"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us." ~ Marianne Williamson

Friday, July 6, 2012

Chasing Rainbows

From Ireland with Love <3
Chasing Rainbows 

"Under the shelter of each other, people survive"
(Gaelic Saying)

Blarney Castle and home of the Blarney Stone (I smooched it for good luck!)
Phew! May Mental Health Month was eventful (to put it lightly) and kept me so busy I had little time to blog (sorry amigos). Before I knew it June arrived and I was hopping a plane to Ireland! Here are a few photos to see for yourself, as no words I write could fully describe it!

One of the highlights from my trip was hearing radio commercials about mental health, encouraging folks to seek help and not be embarrassed or ashamed. Awesome! Overall, Europe has a great mental health system and is the birthplace of the study on mental health. 

When visiting the beautiful Cliffs of Mohr, I was excited to see well placed signs with the national crisis hotline number reminding folks to call if they needed to talk to someone. Way to go Ireland! This gave me such hope for the work I do, because mental health is a serious global issue that affects us all regardless of age, race, gender, social class, or geography. 

Cliffs of Mohr 
Sitting at the Southwestern edge of Ireland (literally) at the Cliffos of Moher (photo on left), I felt the cool air on my face, listened to the crashing waves hit the massive side walls, and watched as birds gracefully hoovered over the water waiting to swoop up their next meal. Above was a sky painted in various shades of blue, that eventually melted into the to horizon ahead. As my eyes tried to register all the beauty I couldn't help but think of those we have lost to suicide and how they will never experience this wonder. If only they knew what wonders awaited them, what might have been?

Irish National Crisis Hotline Sign at the Cliffs of Moher 
While working to break the stigma behind mental illness and educating others that it is okay to ask for help can sometimes be an uphill climb, it is one I gladly scale. I love life and strongly believe that together we can beat this epidemic, starting with the message of hope. I wish everyone could see what I did, because that is what life is about! The experience itself is one worth living for. Seeing all the wonders of the world is something everyone deserves. It is why giving up is not an option. 

View from the top of  Castle 
You know, I believe something magical happened to me in Ireland. In between all those rolling green hills, majestic castles, and cobblestone roads, I found a new peace within myself. It was as if every part of me was highlighted for me to see, like colors from a rainbow. I am far from being perfect and have so much more to learn, but at the end of the day I like who I am, flaws and all. Reflecting on that, I was reminded that no matter where the path in life leads, if you know who you are, you do not need luck. Accepting and loving yourself is the pot of gold we should always strive to search for. Never base your worth on the acceptance of others. Follow your dreams, do not lose focus, stay strong, and never give up.

My friends, you just never know what you will find (or what will find you) when you are out there chasing rainbows. <3

Big hugs,
Ane :)
Ring of Kerry: Scenic route along Southwestern coast of Ireland

Page from Book of Kells

"The Book of Kells,"  may be the most amazing thing my eyes have ever seen. It was written during the 6th century by Celtic monks and includes the four gospels of the New Testament and is hand written. All decoration is hand drawn and painted with intricate design. No photos were allowed of the real text, so this picture is the best I could do. Which is even more reason for everyone to visit Ireland! 

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