It's amazing what nature can do for the soul. This week I spent an incredible few nights on country being mindful about my self care and paying particular attention to connection. Connection to myself, to the land and everything else in between.
Personally I am lucky that it is easy for me to connect. Whether it be my First Nation culture, connectedness to self or connected to those around me. These are tools that I have been lucky enough to be taught from a young age.
What’s been a really powerful healer in the dark moments of my depression is connection. Connection to myself, my thoughts, those who impact my thoughts and situations that impact my thoughts; both positive and negative.
The key is identifying these thoughts, and giving your power to the right kind of thoughts. If we have negative moods or thoughts, don't give them power by concentrating on how bad, draining, negative they may be; find positive and give those positive thoughts weight and energy; 1% at a time - you can do this through gratitude, compassion & humility.
I am at a point in my recovery where I can identify negative situations that may lead me to be in a negative head space - that of course doesn't guarantee that I am always at optimum wellness. I was born with bipolar disorder, (which among many other mental illnesses) mine along with many, are genetically passed on from generation to the next. I have found that being aware of circumstances and situations that lead may lead us into a dark places and do your best to avoid them.
Being connected to family, friends and community is hugely important. Having those close connections not only is a benefit to you and me personally, it is usually always your close support network that identifies you your behaviours before you do.
Connection to self also means that I have to pay attention to what's best for me. My Bi Polar disorder means I am medicated. I understand not everyone is medicated, but for me personally, being compliant with my medication are a significant part of my wellness.
During my week out bush (with no TV, no internet or phone service) I was able to connect more so with me than anything else. My head slowed down, I had a clear mind and was able to pay attention more to the little things in life that we take for granted; nature, birds, animals even the breeze.
Connection to my culture is without doubt my biggest healer; getting back to nature gives me clarity and a peace of mind.
I was able to connect with many of my cultural brothers, whom are as close as family and share some special time.
I have found that connection, any connection, self, others, culture, is key to wellness & remaining well. Mine may differ from yours; but connection is a common key to staying well. Connection plays a big part in my overall mental health and wellbeing.
The one that is critical for me to maintain my wellness, is to stay connected to my culture, the land and everything in between.