Coming Out of the Valley

Dear former clients, old friends, acquaintances, and new friends, and loved ones near and far,

I am starting up my coaching business again. I started my former business with blogging. Writing at least helps me. If I am lucky maybe it will help some of you as well.

Today’s talk is about play and creativity. When under stress, play and creativity takes as much energy as fight, flight, or in some cases, freeze responses. Wouldn’t you rather use play and creativity to help through stress? Doesn’t it sound more fun?

I have been in a metaphorical valley. Dahlias and Fireflies is a painting I did in another valley of my life. Dahlias are flowers the grow in valleys and fireflies represent hope and inspiration. This last valley was pretty deep and lonely. My dad died about 3 years ago this coming August. I came home in time to be with him at his last breaths. In that first week, I planned his funeral. In the weeks that followed, I decided I needed to stay in Indiana to be with my mom. I got a new job as a special education teacher in my hometown. Due to problems before my dad died, and issues after my dad’s death, I broke up with my boyfriend. Some people were mad about the break up not knowing what my reasons were. I disconnected with some people for a while because of that. I had to leave my dog in Minnesota for several weeks. I went back to Minnesota and made a stressful move taking about a third of my possessions that remained after already pairing down my possessions as a minimalist. Good news,though, I got all of my paintings. Thanks Kelly! Also, thanks to the three dear friends that helped move all of those paintings to my new apartment I live in now. They were light to move but required many trips. I have nice people in my life. I digress.

By January of that first year, I decided I did not have the emotional energy to be a coach and closed my business. In short, I have started all over. It was traumatic. I made some bad choices to cope, and I might discuss those in a future blog, but there were some good choices, too. I made some new friends that could make me laugh real hard. As I worked with children, the children constantly reminded me to access creativity and play. I learned early in my career as a teacher that play and creativity was a great way to get children unstuck. They have problems, too. Divorce, poverty, abuse, sickness, and death unfortunately does not spare children. I tell people that when dad died it was like being hit in the face and still seeing stars three years later. There were some sacred moments of art and play with children that were like a walk in the Minnesota woods I love, with butterflies, egrets, dragonflies, fawns, frogs, and foxes. Those moments smelled like lilacs. Those moments felt like the softest blanket and a breeze through the trees after a rain. Those moments sounded like children’s laughter and their inquisitive questions– my favorite sounds. I am grateful for those gifts. In my time of need, the children I worked with and my new friends were my dahlias and fireflies.

Have you been through a valley recently? Who were your dahlia’s and fireflies?

Author: Tracy May

Teacher, Life Coach, Artist, Author, Public Speaker

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