Black Diamond/Turner Valley/Longview

Black Diamond Strong – Jun 2021

Black Diamond Strong Takes A Break

Have you ever wished for a magic wand that replaces agony by hope?

As an animator for the rural mental health project, my role is to engage people who are passionate about community wellbeing, bring them together and create ways to make mental health part of daily life. These days, I find myself without inspiration and I realize I have to come to my senses. Literally.

Indigenous elder Kerry Moore once said to me “you cannot heal unless you feel: emotions are creator’s antibiotics”. This is a different way of looking at symptoms such as anger, anxiety and depression, which is what happens when the brain produces the “fright, flight and fight response”. How I wish there was another way.

The linear fashion in which we approach life in today’s society, is causing many challenges, including the tendency to solve problems with our mind, rather than our heart. With the pandemic going on for so long, being so widespread and so unpredictable, we are collectively stuck. How do we move forward?

I do not have the answers. I do know however that now, more than ever, I need a break and personally I find that in nature. The science is clear: engagement with the outside allows us to breathe, gives space to reflect and makes us realize we are part of something bigger than ourselves.

This is a call for your wild side to leave sorrow behind. In a world getting increasingly complicated, we need the simplicity and resilience of nature. Spring is the time to see the blue skies, be touched by the sun, hear the wind, smell the mountain flowers and taste the salt of our own tears. Through our senses we will regain hope and strength.

Black Diamond Strong is meant to be driven by curiosity, connection and celebration. All ideas and thoughts are welcome. Residents are invited to share personal stories by email to diamondvalleystrong@ or in writing at Black Diamond Strong, p/a FCSS 301 Centre Avenue West, Black Diamond TOL 0H0.

Riny Tuithof de Jonge
Community Animator Black Diamond
Black Diamond Strong Mental Wellness Movement


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