I visited the doctor this week for my annual physical. The check-in nurse saw my journal. “What are you writing?” she asked. “I’m writing about going sane,” I said. It took her a moment. “Oh. As opposed to going insane. I get it.” And she proceeded to tell me how so many more teenagers are coming in with depression. “I wonder if it’s all the bad news about the war and the economy,” she mused. “Maybe,” I answered.
But I really think it is a direct result of the constant stimulation that kids—and the rest of us—are expected to handle. Always available by phone, text or email: immediate response required. Days filled with non-stop activity. Pressure from ourselves and others to perform and produce. But does all of this “stuff” feed the soul? I don’t think so.
Slowly our well goes dry, and as Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, says, if you don’t fill your well with what matters to you, pretty soon you’ll be wringing out the moss at the bottom. You have nothing left to give. You get depressed, anxious, sick or numb. It’s insane.
Cameron says sometimes, when you start to go sane again, when you fill your well with art, reading, a retreat, or even decline an invitation, it may seem like you are going insane. People may question why you are no longer available, who you think you are, what happened to you. You will need to practice going sane regularly so that you stay sane and keep water flowing in your well.
One way to fill your soul is to come out and sit in a chair in the pasture with me and the herd of grazing horses. It may seem insane, but try it. You’ll come away replenished and full. Or try a full day personal retreat with the horses.
Lynn Baskfield, owner of SpiritDance Coaching, is a Minnesota based equine guided coach and educator doing individual coaching, retreats, and group workshops for spirited midlife women (and older) around the world. She is also conducting a yearlong apprenticeship program in Australia starting March, 2015 for coaches and horse professionals who want to become qualified Equine Guided Coaches. www.equinecoaching.com.
© Lynn Baskfield 2014