We get more when we give

I feel like I’m actually coming out of my dark hole. I’ve been wanting to, and trying to, but sometimes these things can’t be forced. Sometimes these moods are there to teach us something. Take us far down to the bottom so that we’re able to spring board back up, like when your feet hit the bottom of a pool and propel you to the surface.

There are many factors that have played into this resurfacing. The sunshine is back, and the white frost on the rooftops in the morning has become a site to behold. Watching people scrape ice from their windshields as I bike past them with the breeze biting my cheeks, the rest of me rugged up like a toasty snowman, has given me an appreciation for this fresh new season. I realise it’s only November, but for the last three years I’ve spent this month sweating in the Middle East, so it’s taking some time to adjust.

It sucks to be down, and thankfully for me these bouts don’t last very long. But when I look back, I realise my best motivation for change comes from falling into these desperate states. When you feel that there’s nothing at all to lose. I was in one of these states when my idea of hiking the PCT was born, and I’m sure others would attest to that with their own stories. How else would one choose to make such a drastic change, have the guts to throw caution to the wind and actually follow through?

My friend Martin from Australia visited recently, and in true form of an old friend I’ve known since I was 16, he basically told me to get into action and start doing what I really want to do. I’ve been talking so much about sharing my story of the trail with kids again like I did near Aqua Dulce at Judi’s schools, and in Australia to the year 12 students of my friend Gen. So what has been stopping me? Fear that maybe I don’t have that same spark or flair that I used to? That the audience won’t be as receptive? That I’m a has-been thru-hiker talking about an experience I had two years ago, and that no one will be interested in listening?

You know what, who gives a shit. I got so down on myself for not doing it, plus work has cut my hours so drastically that basically I’ve got nothing to lose. Fear evaporates very quickly when a task becomes a need or matter of survival. Often I struggle to get out of my warm cosy bed before 8am, and then I groan when I need to strip down before my shower; but on trail we were somehow able to wake before sunrise, stand naked in the freezing cold while struggling to pull on soaking wet clothes with numbed hands, and then walk for ten hours in the rain and snow. How? Because it was a matter of survival. Plus there was no other way to finish the trail.

I have a feeling that anyone who accomplishes something others would term ‘heroic’ or ‘sensational’ looks back later and wonders how on earth they did it. We’re all human after all and capable of similar things. Yes it’s true that some of us are built better for certain activities, but that’s not what gets you over the finish line. Your mind has to be the one that carries you, gives you the confidence, strength and determination to succeed, and the guts to get out there in the first place and do it.

“If your mind can think it the body will follow.” Billy Goat was right. If you really want something bad enough, you’ll achieve it. And if you give it everything you’ve got and still don’t succeed, you’ll never regret having tried.

A card from Fuller

I also received inspiration following my last blog post from a comment someone wrote, which really got me thinking. They pointed out that there are so many people in need that could use my help, and living in Vancouver I’m reminded of this everyday with the amount of people living on the street. They said that so many people write blogs these days from the comfort of their homes, and challenged me to get out and help by rallying support on my blog. It got me looking into organisations in Vancouver that support people or families who struggle with poverty and need help. One of them in particular impressed me with the care they give to single mothers and their children. It’s called Cause We Care, and they have a number of initiatives and activities that depend on funding and recruiting volunteers to help support these families.

I’m starting to volunteer with them early next month, and have decided to rally support from all of you in the form of a donation. $65 supplies a family with a Christmas hamper containing cupboard staples, treats and small gifts. There is also a Christmas dinner hosted at one of the local East side schools for families who cannot afford to celebrate Christmas. Click this link if you’d like to donate or find out more about the organisation, and if you do, please leave a comment on this post. It would be neat to know how much money we can raise together in support. If you have your own organisation or charity that you donate to at Christmas, please also share their link via a comment on this post to encourage awareness for other humanitarian projects across the globe.

There’s no doubt that helping another human being is one of the most satisfying and wholesome feelings we can ever experience. So if the dark and dreary winter is getting you down, try shining some of your own light on someone else, because inevitably that joy will find its way back to you.

Cause We Care

9 thoughts on “We get more when we give”

  1. Hi Rose,
    I am (for many reasons) super excited for you but most importantly I believe you are back on track to discovering your “Why”. I think it was Mark Twain that once was quoted saying that the two most important days of your life are
    the day you were born
    and the day you figure out why.
    If my calendar is accurate I believe this comment is stumbling on your birthday.
    I want to wish you the best one yet!
    The last couple years have sure had there ups and downs and I have greatly admired how well you have stayed unbroken while being so vulnerable.
    I have used your blog at times as my own snorkel of sorts while trying to stay afloat in the seas of my own life.
    To hear that you are setting self aside (again) to reach those in need is beyond measure. It brings up some words from the late Mother Teresa who said,
    “Intense love
    does not measure,
    It just gives.”
    I want to leave you with two things
    One is a song that I often find myself listening to as it always finds a way to give me strength when I’m in my lows.
    Secondly I would like make a pledge towards your project via your donate button over at mexicotocanda2013.com
    Keep the light and shine on Rose!
    Your are so beautiful inside and out!

    1. Thank you again for your kind words and the inspiration I needed to kick start a new direction. I no longer have the donate button on my other website but feel free to donate directly to the link in the post. Your words mean a lot. Thank you again for sharing them with me!

  2. This is really interesting….The last time you blogged, I thought about your time at the Monastery helping with the cooking …. you seemed so happy to be there as a helper….

    Your heart seems to go there, doesn’t it…I mean that you have a heart to be a person that helps others….I am so happy that your latest desire to help and comfort others is your goal….a giving of yourself so others might be safer, happier, and perhaps be blessed by your presence….

    So, does this fit, Rozanne??? …. love from your old friend, Barbie

    1. Thanks Barbie! I have thought about the hostel in Spain a lot recently where I was able to live the best ‘me’ I’ve ever had the opportunity to be. I know life will lead me either back to that place or to a similar environment where 90% of my focus was on others, and the only other concern was eating, sleeping and getting out to walk from time to time. It was the ultimate simplicity and giving of ones self to others I’ve ever experienced! It’s important to try and integrate these behaviours into the lives we live everyday, and hopefully I can find something as wholesome and fulfilling as that over here.

  3. Holy Moly,

    I just spent a bunch of time creating a deeply heartfelt relply for this post…then I hit the back button at the wrong time.
    The whole thing just diappeared…ARRRRGGGG

    So this is a test and a promise to re write to you soon !

    I see birthday wishes being thrown around. Am I late in that too ? How did you spend your special day ?

    From Alaska,

    1. Oh Lyndella I know how frustrating that can be! Rest assured from the beautiful notes you have written me in the past I am able to picture the words you would have shared. My birthday was on Saturday and I had a lovely day with friends on the Sunshine Coast before practising my kayaking rolls in the pool that evening. Nothing like a bit of winter paddling in the comfort of a heated pool! Thanks again for your kind wishes and hope you’re keeping warm up there!!

  4. Winter is never a fun time as it is difficult not to get down from time to time, the trick is to find ways of dealing with it.

    Doing voluntary work for the Cause We Care Foundation is a fantastic idea. This is very much what you are about as it takes a special person to assist with programs of this nature.

    I was wondering if maybe you had thought of combining your love of the outdoors and working with people. There are endless possibilities and it may give you what you are seeking.

    Happy Birthday for last Saturday; have a wonderful Christmas and all the very best for 2016 

    1. What a lovely note and thank you for your support and for understanding me so well! Sometimes we think too hard about how to help, as opposed to actually getting out there and doing something. If we try to save the world we might miss the boat altogether. But if we focus on helping out our neighbour, we may be able to achieve great things. I feel like I’m only leaning to realise these things now! Merry Xmas to you too!

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