When Paths Diverge

BY RACHEL WONG

Routine makes life so easy. We become so set in our ways that sometimes it’s hard to let go, especially when we decide to go one direction and life pulls us the opposite way.

When it comes to friendships and growing up, it took me a long time to really understandparting-ways the obvious – that we all grow, and when we grow, we change. We are exposed to the world everyday and we learn so many new things. We meet new people and engage in new opportunities. All of these experiences shape who we are, and ultimately, we find like-minded people to spend time with along the way. Spending time with those who are similar to you can put you at ease – it feels natural to open up to people that you can relate to. But when friends inevitably change and paths no longer align, it can take a while to realize that it might just be time to part ways.

. . .

Alicia* and I were inseparable. It’s hazy in my mind now how we even got to being friends, but we have known each other since we were 6 and we have stayed friends ever since. Like most friendships do, ours had its ups and our downs, and we were there for each other during times of both triumph and sadness. We were the kind of friends that talked all the time about the future and what our lives would look like together: we’d be each other’s maid of honor at our weddings, we’d get matching SUVs and we’d alternate hosting play dates for our children during the day.

It was a very idealistic way of thinking, but despite reality eventually hitting us, we made it – sort of.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Salsa when you feel like it

BY LACHLAN CRAWFORD

I’ve grown to love the very early morning before the sun goes up. Everything is calm in theimages.jpg pre-dawn – waiting poised for another day to start. On early winter mornings after a heavy snow, everything in the street is particularly quiet and still.

Recently, however, on my early morning walk, I experienced the most exciting secret burst of life. As I was trudging through the snow, a storefront in my neighbourhood caught my attention. The business’ night staff was unabashedly blasting salsa music in their brightly-lit store as the surrounding commercial buildings stood empty in the cold dark. I noticed a jovial middle-aged man singing and dancing with a mop as he worked the floors. He noticed me too making my way through the cold dark snow outside and waved for me to join in.

To me, this was a wonderful reminder that there is life within us at all moments. Even joywhen the air is bitingly cold and the world is asleep, there is life happening. There is the same life within me and within all of us, even when we feel drained by the weather or by an attitude that makes us think we can’t do something, or shouldn’t. There is always the energy to be different and to blast the music of your own soul. It’s infectious when you witness it, so don’t be shy and let yourself salsa when you feel like it. You could be making someone out in the cold smile and laugh.


 

LACHLAN CRAWFORD apple pickin

Lachlan is a student of natural medicine at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and a prospective student of contemplative psychotherapy at the Institute for Traditional Medicine in Toronto. She combines her learning from both alternative medicine and buddhist-influenced psychotherapy to develop a new way to address mental health concerns in a truly holistic way- with mind, body and spirit. Her professional interest blossomed out of her own struggles with depression and anxiety, helped greatly by her practices in meditation and ecstatic dance. Lachlan is a spirit, a writer and a traveler who loves the smell of Nag Champa.

For more info on Naturopathic Medicine and Contemplative Psychotherapy, see

Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine http://www.ccnm.edu/

Institute for Traditional Medicine http://itmworld.org/?page_id=275

 

The Imbalance Deal

BY LACHLAN CRAWFORD

I am a student for life. I love learning, and relish any chance to gain experience in my field of interest. It’s incredibly nourishing to study what I’m passionate about, but I also know that the life of a dedicated student can bring with it periods of serious imbalance in my life: weekends when I’m holed up with textbooks, late nights at the library, having little time for self-care. This happens to all of us. Not just to those in school, but to everyone pursuing their goals.

Imbalance is not always a wholly negative thing. Sometimes it can bring about great achievements. But when overwhelming schedules and commitments are unsustainable, we give up too much of ourselves. The imbalance can become toxic and we can end up in social isolation, withdrawal, depression and a sense of failure. When this happens, often our first inclination is to wish we had done a better job of managing commitments and schedules so that it wouldn’t happen in the first place. Or, we wish we were better at saying ‘no’. Instead of blaming ourselves and looking back, however, there is a kinder way to meet such difficulty that arises in our lives. Continue reading