Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


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Circles of Hope — We must share

Photography by Mary Hone

It is 2am and I can’t sleep.

I don’t know if I’m still buzzed from the amazingness that was Circles of Hope yesterday, or if I’m just so emotionally exhausted even sleep can’t find space to turn up.

It was an amazing day.

Full house.

Incredible speakers and a team that made the entire thing look flawless and effortless.

Beyond the day however, is the emotional space created in sharing this journey with my eldest daughter. Of sitting with her and talking about the story of the past, our fears and sorrows and how to tell the story so that it not only inspires but reminds people that they are not alone.

Last night, I received an email from one of the attendees. They hadn’t planned on coming to the event, but a change in their schedule gave them some free time.

Being a parent myself and going through some personal challenges, I was incredibly moved. I left feeling a healing sensation after hearing you two speak. I knew I needed to attend, if only for a portion, today and the words of you and your daughter were that reason.
Their words reaffirm my belief in why it is so important to share our stories. They remind us that this journey we’re on is our collective human story. We are not alone, we are part of our shared human condition.
Being alone is a silent place. For me, believing I was alone in my fear kept me silent. My silence kept me trapped.
Yesterday, as Alexis and I stood at the front of the room and shared the words we’d worked so hard to create together to tell this story that is both so ugly and beautiful, I felt encompassed by something greater than just the two of us telling a story to the audience. I felt safe.
It was stunning moment — to feel safe in our vulnerability. To feel safe in our exposing of the wounds that once cut so deep I didn’t want to live.
To heal, to move beyond the trauma of the past, we must share our stories.
Yesterday, my eldest daughter and I shared our story. It is not the story of our lives. It is a story about a time in our lives when we were lost.
But as Alexis said in her closing remarks,

I too want to give my son the world. And though it may be a world in which I won’t always be able to protect him –  from others, from my mistakes, or from himself, I will teach him, as my mother has taught me, that together we can stand in the circle, no matter how broken, and know that love is the home we can always come back to.

______________________
And I want to give a shout out to the amazing Mary Hone and her photography and beautiful heart. On Monday, after reading my blog, she emailed to ask if she could the final phrase of my part of our presentation in a photograph.
What she sent me is stunning. It not only captures the sentiment of the words, its beauty creates a sense of wonder and awe, peace and hope.
Thank you Mary.  What a beautiful gift to have my words resonate within you so strongly you create something beautiful in their expression through your art in a way that says so much more than just the words.
My heart is overflowing with gratitude — and you are one of its many blessings.

______________________

(and yes, I did schedule this to post at a more decent, and humane, hour of the morning!  And as always happens when I write it out, I can now go to bed and go to sleep)

Namaste

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Daily Intention: The space between our hearts

As my eldest daughter and I work on our presentation for Circles of Hope on Wednesday, I am constantly in awe of her courage, her insight and wisdom.

Sometimes, her insights and mine differ.

In those times especially, I must remember to breathe deeply into the space between our hearts so that I can see the beauty in her truth and honour its presence.

Sometimes, rather than take a breath, I want to defend against.

Defending against creates opposition. It widens the gap.

My intention is to always move closer into intimacy. To do that, I must let go of defending against and step into being present without fear that our different perspectives are greater than the love that binds us.

I am grateful for my daughters courage and honesty. Through her wisdom, I am able to heal those broken places that were not visible until I felt myself wanting to defend my position and hold onto my view of the past.

As I say in my part of the presentation, we cannot change the past, but through love, we can heal the future.

Namaste.

____________________________

If you are in Calgary and are interested in joining us at Circles of Hope on Wednesday, November 8th –  there are still some tickets available — Circles of Hope


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She’s Back!

For an entire year, my eldest daughter wrote a blog about recovering from an eating disorder.

Alexis did more than survive. She grew. She challenged. She stretched and pushed and drilled down into her roots and dragged out the things that were not working in her psyche and brushed off the dirt and shone up her soul. As the title, How I Survived Myself, suggests, it was more than just the stories of ‘me and my eating disorder’. Alexis writes about how she got through the stories she told herself about why she was/felt the ways she did to discover there was more to her story than the story of an eating disorder and a past that wasn’t working for her anymore.

Alexis is courageous. She is relentless in her desire to live life on the other side of fear, out in the bright clear air of harmony, serenity and joy, in that place where miracles happen on every breath and wonder abounds.

She is also honest. Breathtakingly so.

She hasn’t written on her blog for awhile, so on  Monday night when she called to tell me she had written another post, I was delighted. I know the power of ‘writing it out’. I know the grace of finding yourself on the page. I know how the words let go are the ones that lead to discovering the real story of your life. The one you choose to create after you let go of the one you’ve been telling to keep yourself playing small.

She’s Back!

Alexis blog post… And We’re Back.

And…we’re back.

In showbiz, as it’s sometimes referred to, these words signify the beginning of rehearsal after a break or hiatus. At the sound of the phrase, the company’s members immediately drop all other conversation and activity, the outside world all but vanishes, and the work resumes again.

I say the words now, because it’s the only way I know how to begin.

I’ll be honest, (’cause that’s what I generally try to be here) over the course of these past few months I’ve been on a recess from myself.

I’ve let the world outside steal my thunder, rain on my parade, and pull me away from all that matters.  

I’ve allowed myself into meaningless conversations (mostly in my own head), played a victim, and thrown an epic pity party for myself because life wasn’t going as planned.

After weeks on end of sitting in the epic pile of shit I’d created (though I would have told you then I wasn’t in it of my own volition) I found myself in a precarious circumstance: Was I going to keep on getting sucked in to my make-believe stories and backwards thinking, or was I going to let go and start to live again?

Now I’m not saying that that shit I was sitting in wasn’t real. Because in the grips of a depressive episode, the hurt feels about as real as it gets.   Keep reading!…