chasing euphoria

“Practice what you preach†ultimately got me into this mess. I kept telling my children and my students that if you are not happy, make a change and change is a scary place!!  So here I am, making a change and starting from scratch; leaving a well paying, coveted teaching position to follow my bliss and face my fears.

 

Chasing Euphoria, is the blog journal of my journey into the gorgeous, terrifying unknown. Going from a full-time salary to a line of credit paycheck, I am chasing my dream, writing a book and living my theory that if we lead our lives with our inner passions, the rest (and the money) will follow.  Ultimately, Chasing Euphoria is the result and beauty of my second disaster.

The Beauty of Disaster

I am currently working on my first book, The Beauty of Disaster, a self-help motivational memoir and guide to offer people a positive perspective on the disasters we face in life.

 

Inspired by the flood I experienced in Minden, Ontario in the spring of 2013, I take you through my personal experiences, introduce you to my perfect bully as I realize the pitfalls of compassion, the freedom of pain, and accept and release my inner dandelion in my blog Chasing Euphoria.

 

I question the intellectual focus of education.  I offer insight into our childhood bully and I give practical tools to make change.  My goal is to empower compassionate people, our greatest commodity, and reduce the power of the intellectual bully.

 

I hope to have The Beauty of Disaster

ready for sale by the spring of 2014.

empowering the compassionate to fight the bully

a fresh outlook on life

Feedback from Chasing Euphoria blog:

My dear precious friend, I am Euphoric about reading the 1st two entries. Absolutely from the heart - love Melody Beattie! And you even more! Keep being brave vulnerable and strong!!

 

I just read your first entry.  Amazing.  Inspiring, truthful and expressive.  I loved it.  I've been journaling more lately as well.  Reading one of your entries will become part of that process!

 

I love it.  I feel like we are talking to each other face to face.  You are opening my mind.  I can hardly wait to read more.

living my theory

Image Code: Reload Image

chasing your dreams

Dear Sweet Pea

Dear Sweet Pea is an advice column for people of all ages looking for a fresh perspective on a problem in order to move beyond the problem with love and learning.  I have often found that a simple shift in perspective was all I needed to help navigate the rapids of life.  It is a long-term goal and dream of mine to start such an advice column.

 

To contribute, read and receive the monthly column

 

peace is flowing like a river

Articles

My push into article writing began with the Minden flood.  A series of 4 articles was accepted by The Minden Times.  Sadly, due to employment circumstances, I made the difficult choice to publish only the first and last articles.  Gratefully, I enjoyed article writing so much that I want to write more.  Check out the list of topics and titles (Services – “Workshops, Seminars and Presentationsâ€) for potential articles I can write for your paper, magazine or newsletter.

 

Testimonial

Thank you for sending the articles-just have read the first one, and I look forward to reading the rest.  You are bringing something good to the world.  The experience of reading the article I found gentle and so that helped me read in a reflective way.  Bravo!

 

Peace is Flowing Like a River

As I sit in my parents home and my mother’s beautiful art studio I reflect on the happenings in Minden and all that has happened to me, to my neighbours, to my community, and all of the conversations that I have had involving and revolving around the flood waters that surround my home and my community.

 

Like so many others, on Sunday I evacuated out of my home on Invergordon Avenue, and like so many others have watched the river waters rise and fall and rise again around my home, my neighbourhood, and my community.  Like so many others I count my blessings that my situation is not as bad as the people down the road from me who have been under water since Friday, and I experience a sense of guilt and gratitude every day when I paddle along my road to my home to discover that my basement is still dry and my sump pump is keeping my house safe.   I wish I could say the same for my wonderful neighbours with whom I am sharing this pivotal and life changing experience.

 

It is precisely that life changing experience that I will write about in this and subsequent pieces.  As things seem to work in my mind, odd thoughts appear out of nowhere, and this morning, after shedding tears listening to the woman on the radio talk of the stress the evacuees must be feeling because their home and place of refuge is under water, the song from my childhood church days sang, “Peace is Flowing Like a River, Flowing out of you and me, Flowing out into the desert, Setting all the captives free.† Using those four lines I will write four pieces about this experience.

 

All of us are wondering why.  All of us are wondering how.  All of us are wondering what next.  All of us are wondering who is responsible.  And all of us have been given an opportunity to find great strength and change in this difficult and challenging situation.  In a conversation with my neighbours we discussed lightly and heatedly our frustrations, our speculations, our concerns, and our wonders; all of which left us spinning in a place of unknown waters.  Within that conversation came the questions:  what are we going to do?  How can we make change?  And I have decided that as writer, it is here that I will start the process.

 

I see this tragedy as a means of creating great change and that Minden has the opportunity to lead the way to new and better things because we are great and caring people.  That said, we also have to honour the fact that we are hurting.  Floods pull things up and flush them away.   The longer this flood lasts, more pain will surface and more help will be needed, especially for the victims of the flood, to help flush this pain away.  We are all experiencing the pulling of things and frustrations and resentments that are ages old and deep into the recesses of our minds that we have buried.

 

I myself am experiencing that very thing on many levels:  you “suck it up,†count your blessings, keep feelings and emotions in check, and get on with it because you have responsibilities.  You just have to put it out of your head and be strong.  Well I am strong, but I cannot put it out of my head and the speed with which this experience dropped me into a depressive state caught me off guard.  It was difficult to admit that I needed help.  It was very difficult to cry publicly and lose emotional control.  It was extremely difficult to admit that I couldn’t continue at work; that I had to get a doctor’s note and admit that I was depressed.  And I am fortunate enough to have a job where I can get the time off and that mental health services are available to me.  I am fortunate to have parents living in the area with a place for my children and I to stay.  I am fortunate that my basement is holding steady despite the fact that the only way to access it is to canoe along Invergordon.  For me to admit that I need time off work, that I need mental health assistance, that I am not strong enough to cope with this alone are just a few of the many fearful areas that those of us directly impacted by this flood have to face.

 

In all of this so many different levels of our societal structures and beliefs will come into question:  How do we deal with feelings that the powers that be “withhold information†– that politicians and leaders cannot tell it to us straight for fear of litigation?  How do we cope with the frustration that the information received is so ambiguous and “cover-your-backside like†that no one really knows anything?  That there is so much bureaucratic red tape that nothing will get done in an expedient manner?  That our town councilors, even though they want to show compassion and offer true financial assistance can’t, because the paperwork process is a flood unto itself?  And our children?  How can we help them through the stress they are experiencing and give them the tools to find their own peace as the very place they call home is surrounded by water?

 

As we move through this it is my dream that true compassionate leadership will emerge.  That people who have the power to change financial compensation, like government and insurance companies will make it happen and cut the red tape that has us tied in knots.  Sadly, I do not hang my hopes of change there.

 

Instead I hope that as a community we find acceptance, set aside blame, make change, find learning and peace.  We are all good people; good people who are living in a world of fear. Together we will help each other, support each other and ourselves through this extremely difficult experience.  Together we will find beautiful opportunities that this experience will bring, including embracing the tears, angers and frustrations.  It is time for all of those emotions that are surfacing as a symptom of this flood, all of the things, if we are to be brutally honest, that have bothered us for years, to surface, to be expressed, and to be washed away as the waters recede so that we can replace our inner homes with a foundation and structure that is more to our joy versus our prison.

 

Some of us will have to go further than others.  Some of us will have to lead the way.  All of us will have to find what we want to change and change it.  We can make the world watch and we can be the model that leads the way.  Let us do so with compassion.  Let us show the world how we wash away our pain and rebuild with love and community versus anger and resentment so that we can return to our peace which flows like a river.

 

MINDEN, ONTARIO, CANADA    TELEPHONE 705.854.0243