Finding Beauty in the Ordinary
Today is #BellLetsTalk Campaign.  And today, Bell, a telecommunications company, puts 5 cents for every tweet of #BellLetsTalk towards mental health initiatives.  I like this type of company promotion as it helps others.  Money is raised, but it also raises the awareness of mental of illness.  For far too long, mental illness has been whispered about and people have not sought treatment because of the stigma of having a mental illness.

Mental illness is more common than people think. Statistically they say, one in five people will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime.  The reality is that everyone has been touched with mental illness whether it be as an individual, or through a family member , coworker or acquaintance. 

I have suffered from depression. My last bout came when I found out that the growth on my spine had returned. I went into a very dark hole and only came out of it thanks to therapy, medication, family, friends, coworkers and creating ArtWork & Words. If you suffer from any mental illness, I encourage you to get help. 

Above I shared two ArtWork & Words pieces that pertains to my bout with depression. The black and white ink work is called "True to the Core." The font is small, so I will transcribe it below, as I think it shares a small aspect of how a person feels, in the world, with depression.

True to the Core
I have been lying to you. My exterior interactions tell you that I am solid, real and good, but deep inside I feel that something is wrong at the core of my being.  There is a hole, a void, an absence that makes me feel alone and wounded.  So, I try to fill my cavernous core to prove that I am whole.  Then in my eyes I won't feel like nothing, as I will appear as something to yours.

In lieu of Canada winning the World Junior Hockey Championship this past Monday, here is a past hockey ArtWork and Words piece.
My past has memories of hockey.  In winter, the ice waited for us.  On Saturday nights, we gathered around the television.  From a hockey player’s sweater, my favorite number was realized.

So, the question needs to be asked: Does this sport define us as people, or do the participants make the game?  The answer is, “Yes.” Hockey is a sibling to Canada’s past.

As a Canadian, my identity is tied to this sport.  This game has the same nature that created this nation.  In its play, I observe tenacity, endurance and heart.  I witness players adapting to the changes that occur around them with fluid strength and a quiet pride.  Comradeship is balanced with the solid awareness of each player’s potential.  Controlled abandon is skillfully applied.

My past memories of hockey have defined my present.  This is how I to choose to play the game of life.  

There is something wonderful about a new beginning.  A new baby, a recent improvement in work, the beginning of a relationship or almost anything fresh, brings light to the eyes of those sharing its news (and to those hearing it).

Today is the first day of a new year.  Like most people, before I turned the page to this new year, I looked back at the past twelve months.  This was a moment where I pondered and considered the times I just lived. I find reflection is a good thing, as I can step back and look at what is working in my life and the things I wish to change.  From this perspective, I can bring light to what I wish to perceive more of in my existence. New Year’s Resolutions can range from the desire to get healthier, leave a relationship, find a special someone, take care of the financial house, sign up for an art class or adopt a pet from the SPCA. Whatever it is, the key is that it needs not to be based on other’s ideals, but my own wants and dreams.

I know what makes me tick. I know what sparks my interest, what adds fire to my spirit and what makes me smile when I think of it.   And when I have been unsure of what makes me tick, my intention is then to find what does; from there, I then set out and allow myself the opportunity to play, experiment and learn. The foundation of life is to be true to ourselves, and to do this we need to find the light within us. When we connect to who we are, there is joy in our lives, our actions seem easy, and we shine in all that we do.

Each of us is a light. Some radiate their talented light on a world stage, while others enlighten others, closer to home, by their thoughts and actions.  There are leaders who, by the light they carry, ignite a movement, while an unassuming soul can shine on someone’s life with a smile or kind word. One type of light (life) is not more important than another; light is Light. We each have our own brilliance to share with the world around us. Your light is needed.