Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Headwaters gathering and learning to be present

I have always been someone who struggles with stress and anxiety. There is rarely a time when I am not thinking about the future and trying to figure out how to piece a plan together so that I am optimizing my time and doing everything on the list of goals. My teacher called me very passionate, but the problem is that it is also to my detriment. I am passionate about too many things, too many interests and directions all crowding and vying for space in my muddled brain. When you have too many options and ideas, I've noticed that nothing really ends up happening. Like a chicken without a head, there is a lack of focus to get anything begun and seen through to completion. That was another tidbit from this same teacher, who noted that what I needed most was a serious focus into my desires and where I wanted to take my life in the near future. I know this to be true, as someone only really able to see the full picture, details and specificity are nearly impossible.

This weekend, I was present at a gathering in the Beaver Valley near Collingwood Ontario, where people came together to discuss primitive skills, nature awareness and connection to others and community.
My attendance to this gathering has, you could say, been a long time coming. I first learned about Kimbercote farm four years ago during my Katimavik days. I didn't know much about it at the time but I wrote it down as somewhere to check out one day. I also learned of Earth Mentorship run by Chris and Laura Gilmour, and Stix and Stones Wilderness school. But they sort of fell out of my mind and I didn't think about any of it for several years. I know that because of my Katimavik experience, I was led to choose Fleming College as my first post-secondary venture. From there I learned about various stewardship initiatives in southern Ontario. Getting involved in the schools Environmental Initiative club, had me making friends with people who shared my views and interests in sustainability and self-sufficiency.
This spring, the schools eco initiative had their annual Back to the Roots gathering (started by Carly Jae of The Pine Project North) at Wolf Den Hostel and Nature Retreat. It was a hugely therapeutic weekend, and while there, I met all those individuals involved in the organizations I had heard about years earlier. They were mostly all Fleming grads! And all were connected through friendship and a network with Ben and his hostel. I hadn't known this before setting up my Field Placement with the Hostel.
It's weird situations like that, certain encounters, compulsions or tugs on the dial of our internal compasses that point us in directions we didn't plan and ultimately can't predict.
To take it back to the beginning, it all branched from my poor high-school performance. Had it not led me to fail entry into University, I might be completing a useless degree in psychology right now. Or I could say the journey started when I chose to take my high-school coop placement at Parkwood Hospital, where I met kids who were doing the Katimavik program at the time.
It's intuition I suppose,
something I need to learn to trust and tune into.
Which brings me back to now and my future worries and doubts and insecurities.
These worries were present throughout my strange path from high-school to now, even though things have worked out so well and given me so much.
So if I remember that and remember that I can trust what my gut compass is telling me, I can try to be more present and grounded and contented.
Because, how do I work towards my goal of healing and helping others if I cannot focus enough to be productive and fully involved in everyday life? Present so that I don't sit back at the end of the day, scratching my head and wondering where the day went and how it was I didn't accomplish anything.

Headwaters helped. I knew that by going there I would be able to get in touch with people who I could speak to to learn and gain insight from. While there, I spoke with many people who were involved in many different initiatives in this province that while all were different, each was connected in some way to the heart of what I'm looking for.

So for right now, it's about doing what needs to be done right now. Job applications haha.

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