In my experience, connection to our community is essential to our well-being and living a meaningful life. We create and attract meaningful relationships with a healthy foundation that starts within ourselves. That’s easier said than done. Personally, I’ve often wondered if life is worth living without connection.
With the recent rise in suicide deaths and depression, we see evidence that supports this connection to the community. The article linked above shows us that while people were forced to isolate during the pandemic, suicide rates increased amongst all ages, including our youth. The truth is that long before the pandemic, most people either had suicidal thoughts and/or know someone who suffers from depression.
I have learned that through our most challenging life experiences, we often find our purpose and service.
As I reflect on my childhood and journey, I see how connection and a lack of connection changed the trajectory of my life. Once I got to the other side of my personal struggle with mental health, I was determined to create ways to hold space for those who struggle in similar ways, including my 9-year-old son. I’ve learned how to fill in the empty spaces within myself so that I can be present, supportive, and offer authentic relationships. I have learned that through our most challenging life experiences, we often find our purpose and service.
Here are some of the tools I use to navigate challenging moments and how I added meaning from life experience:
- I embrace challenges and learn all I can from my experiences.
- Practice forgiveness for myself and others.
- Practice meditation and prayer on my own and with others.
- Practice breathwork daily (Certified Breathwork Instructor, Carol Lampman).
- Exercise on my own and with others.
- Practice acts of kindness.
- Offer one-on-one spiritual mentoring.
I created a talk show, Connection & Prevention, with Tavia Avila this year. The program provides a safe place for listeners to show up as they are, utilize the tools and resources provided, ask questions, and participate in the ongoing discussions surrounding suicidal thoughts and mental health.