Column, Living the Dream

Living the Dream: Drawing strength come from the forest


Stepping into the conference room, I look down at the ring on my finger and know that I can do this. If you haven’t figured me out already, I am an introvert. I do well with one person or two, but an entire room or bar full of people sends my heart to pump rapidly. It’s always been that way. Even when surrounded by people who I have known for years or those that I know absolutely love me, I cannot stop the way my insides react.

This conference is no exception. I am at an international real estate conference that will be conducted half in English, half in French and I will know one person, whom I met last night. But I am here to learn to be a better realtor and that includes learning how to better socialize through my anxiety.

It’s why I play outside, usually by myself, because while there might be more trees surrounding me than people, trees are comforting and strengthening. I feel stronger in the forest, my feet connected to the earth and my soul growing within me. Perhaps it’s the repetitious movement or the escape from the “real world” that gives me strength. That is something that I have been striving to figure out for some years now.

Nature is where I feel at home, I feel safe, and secure. But this week, I am in Montreal, the 10th largest city in North America and probably the closest one to our little spot of Vermont. So when I arrived yesterday ahead of the conference, I took the time to walk around the neighborhood. Intrinsically, I sought out nature.   

My body was pulled toward the riverfront, about a mile and a half away from the hotel where my room is on the 19th floor. It kind of feels like I am on a chairlift turned about and looking down into the valley. That’s what I keep reminding myself. I’m just on a chairlift, not at the 205 feet off the ground with no escape.

I am not focusing on that. 

I spent the early evening seeking out nature in the city. I found a natural plant garden with the coolest walkway through it, the branches of regional plants arching above me. It was lovely, a hidden garden in an area filled with construction cranes and random trash blowing in the breeze like tumbleweeds.

Just looking down from my window, I can see a beautiful and formal perennial garden 19 stories below. It has little paths wandering amongst perfectly maintained bushes, but the green is still there, peeking out from around all the grey.

And I can feel the water, way out there looking at me. I know it’s there, even if there is an insane amount of building separating me from it. I am definitely not a city girl, but I can find enough strength in the nature that is creeping through to bring me through. I can walk, finding comfort in the motion. I can find the nature anywhere.

And while I am inside, trapped to a chair for hours at a time? I have a ring on my middle left finger that carries energy within it directly to my heart. Yes, it’s a metal ring that probably sends more zingers than anything else, but it brings me power. Perhaps it’s the Power of Grayskull, something that got me through more childhood issues than I care to remember. From it’s energy, I can become whatever it is I need to be. 

I am stronger, whether internally or externally. I am the better version of myself, the more powerful version and can overcome any struggle presented to me. Whether it’s the challenge of sitting still or being confronted with a room full of strangers. I am woman, hear me roar. We girls can do anything. I have the power. Phrases that I heard randomly throughout life and while watching Saturday morning cartoons when we were at grandma’s house. 

I lost my ring a few months ago and have been trying to live without it. It was miserable, the vein to my heart felt like it was flapping about in the breeze, ungrounded to anything. And so I messaged the jeweler who made it, all those years ago. They said it was no longer in their product line, but they would make it for me. It’s called the Radiant Reflection Ring. I had no idea it was called that, but it fits perfectly. It reflects the radiance of the world into my soul. I know that’s super cheesy, but damn does it work for me.

Now I’m just looking forward to Monday when I get home!




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