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December 21, 2012

By Kelly Weld, Therapist

The holiday season is a significant time for many of us.  It is a time to gather family and send love to those far away. It is a time to appreciate spirit and acknowledge the sacred within and among us.  It is a time to consider the year that has past, and create intentions for the year ahead.  According to calendars both current and ancient, it is a time of great change and possibility.

Pacific Quest Wilderness Therapy ProgramThis creative potential is ours to unearth both individually and collectively, and I am grateful to be part of that here at Reeds Bay.  Our young adult facility, located on the Hilo shores, has been operating for approximately five months.  I work exclusively in this program, and so intimately know its process.

Here, I have seen many students struggle and then learn to connect with their innate resiliency, shining with the confidence that only comes from earned pride.  I have seen the results of hard work; our gardens are thriving to support our physical and emotional health.  Not only do we harvest much of the food that sustains us in these gardens, we also cultivate a soothing and inspiring environment.  Within these grounds lie student-initiated projects (including ceremonial labyrinths and fire circles).  It is the students’ ownership of this process- their offering towards the land and their community- which transforms their inner landscapes.

A recent Reeds Bay graduate (who lost 40+ lbs in her stay here) wrote this piece about the personal change that inevitably occurs within our lifetime.  Her words articulate her own awakening, and the reasons I am grateful to work as a therapist at Pacific Quest.

“I think it’s safe to say that a good portion of our New Year’s resolutions have to do with change: losing weight, advancement in a job, going after a dream, etc.  What I find most interesting is that when it comes down to the wire, change is hard and change is scary. Somewhere within the year(s) we’ve become comfortable with the status quo (regardless if it’s really comfortable).  I find people who believe that if they have the latest and greatest (insert object, fad, or appearance) they will finally be happy because of x,y, or z.  It’s external reliance, and more people are left wondering why that ‘thing’ isn’t making them truly happy.  It’s obvious to me that people are afraid to look inside themselves.  What’s funny is that looking at your true self, and dealing with your true self, will lead to more peace, happiness, and wholeness.

If there is a theme that the universe gives us it would be change: the very thing we are afraid of.  A tree starts out as a seed, grows rooted and grounded in itself, then grows toward the sky. Even trees endure change over the course of their lifetime.   Humans are built to evolve from the moment of conception. Nature as a whole forces change upon us regardless of our feelings about it. Time keeps us moving forward, because even time changes.

Humans have evolved so much as a species with language and mediums of art and technology, yet we are so slow to evolve emotionally.  More people avoid and resist their emotions. That’s like trying to resist the coming of the sunrise.  Change and emotions come at you regardless if you want it to or not. So why not embrace change and the inevitable future ahead?   Work with change, not against it. Work with your emotions, not against them.

Changing your exercise and dietary habits is hard, but in the end, it is worth it; happiness is the exact same way.  Looking deep within yourself is scary and hard to face.  Yet at the end of the day, people who seek to understand and work on their true self, are worth more than anything money can buy”.

Kimberly W, Age 23

We wish you the courage to seek true insight and happiness in the upcoming year, and may we share that together.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them”. – JF Kennedy

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