Boulders, Rivers, and Mental Health Week
It's Mental Health Week May 7-11, led by the Canadian Mental Health Association.
One of my favourite analogies about mindfulness and meditation is to imagine standing on a steady boulder - feet planted firmly - in the middle of a rushing river. You watch the water ebb and flow around you. Sometimes there are violent crashes, and sometimes you see fish travelling upstream. You have no concern for where the water originates, where it's going, or your relationship to the water. There is movement all around, which has its place in that moment, and you have your own. You're steady on that rock.
I think it's wonderful that there is so much more discourse on mental health today than in previous years because there are so many facets to mental health. There are intense feelings which come from managing personal touches with mental health diseases. Then there is personal health management, and all that entails.
How do you care for yourself? How do you care for your family, and those you love? Do you make time to check in with your own well-being, providing the time you need to breathe, and digest whatever you've been experiencing from this crazy life?
Where are you in the image of the boulder and the water? Perhaps you can see the boulder from the shore, and are wondering how you can get there - how you can one day stand firmly. Maybe you're standing on the boulder for the first time; your knees are shaking, but you've done everything you can to get here, and you're not taking your soft gaze off the water.
Perhaps you're seated at the edge of the river, surrounded by rocks, and anchored safely to the ground. You allow your feet to feel the soft current, as you watch the busy river flow.
Take some time this week for yourself. Where are you in the picture? Where would you like to be? Celebrate that at the very least, you can visualize where you are today.
Be mindful this week of other people. Wherever you appear on this picture, others appear in other places.
Be good to yourself, and reach out. Be open to stillness and conversation.