A Joyful Journey...

Join Doris Smeltzer, critically acclaimed author/educator, as she muses on topics from eating disorders to the mysteries of life. Often "Featured" are select, astute observations made by Andrea during her all too brief 19-year life…it is she who taught us: the joy IS in the journey!

"Listening" when a new perspective arises

The flu bug hit me like a train (evidently it was Type B--not covered by this season's flu shot). It would be sweet if it confers immunity upon me for the duration (fingers crossed :)

Right before being hit by this illness, I spoke at the EDRS conference in Petaluma and then at the CREDN conference in Portland, OR...both phenomenal experiences. The audiences were incredibly warm and receptive and re-energized me in doing the work we do!

Amazingly, I had a bit of time on Sunday after the CREDN conference to spend with a friend. She took me into a world of nature that felt like a "time-out," Silver Creek Falls...it was a phenomenal way to end what had felt like a marathon the few weeks just prior. AND it provided some beautiful memories for me to cling to as I endured chills, fevers and an aching body.

The beauty of having had a nature-filled experience just prior to becoming ill, was the perspective it gave me on my life. It reminded me that I deserve breaks. That running at full speed does not serve me in the long run. That everything that needs to get done will be completed in its time and fretting over this fact is counter-productive. As I lie in bed feeling week and puny, Andrea's words came to me from a poem she wrote about her experience with the Great Sequoias: (the final 4 stanzas)

My roots are small but wiry
Thin but deep
Spreading out in a weave through the earth
Deep tendrils into the molten core

I stand with my cheek
Pressed against the cold bark
Listening ... and I hear

And I know that I am as strong as this tree
Even more resilient
Than this Giant

Great Sequoia
Largest Living Thing
And me. 

Although feeling stronger and more resilient today, it is good to be reminded to take the time to "listen" as Andrea describes here...life is too short not to...

[Originally posted on the Gürze Books Eating Disorders Blogs]

 

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Silenced by Bulimia (Gürze, 2006). read more...

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