Heartfelt Message from Karen Joy

Have you ever had those days where you feel something heavy sitting on your heart?

There could be all kinds of things causing it… stress over money, career, school, relationships, family things, doubt, fear, hunger, your own safety, grief…

Today my heart is heavy with grief. 

May is the month of mental health awareness in the USA. I know that there are too many who don’t have the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical care they require to be whole and flourishing, right now… in this moment. My heart aches with grief for you and I want you to hear and know that you are not alone.

When I came to the practice of forest therapy (forest bathing) for my own mental health. I was holding trauma and PTSD in my heart, mind and body from a long-term abusive relationship. And while I was in relationship with that person, I witnessed a friend, a beautiful 13-year-old friend take her own life.

She, who had come to work with me on my little farm as a place of sanctuary, found life to be too much to navigate. And while I cannot know all that led to her decision, I know that she did not feel seen or heard. She told me so once. And I was too busy, and too scared at the time, to be able to truly listen and see her.

Mental illness is treatable and suicide is preventable. The healing and prevention starts with true connections. Our human spirit does not arrive in this lifetime without the support of other human spirits, it takes two to bring in one. We are not alone on our journey and even when we sometimes don’t have physical connection to those who brought us in to this world, or perhaps the ones who brought us here were not able to make the best choices for us, we remain connected. Connected through spirit, through family, through ancestors, through neighbors and friends, through community. You are not alone.

Grief sits heavy in the body. It makes the heart ache, the limbs feel heavy, the spirit dull. It stays with me today to remind me how important are our connections to each other. The spiritual human requirement that we see, know and feel the sacredness that is centered at our core and it’s profound and deep ties to all-that-is.

You are not alone.