In a guest post for our Breathing In & Breathing Out series Tracy Gilmour shares about the importance of connection in her self-care and her community. You can find Tracy and The Warrior Mum Project on Facebook and Instagram.
When I think about what it means to breathe in and care for my soul, it’s difficult to pinpoint one specific standalone practice that I hold dearer than anything else that I do. For me I value choice and freedom and being able to create a lifestyle that both speaks to my soul and cares for it and in doing so brings this amazing sense of calm and contentment.
That’s not to say I live a life void of excitement because I’m still drawn to live music, festivals and spontaneity. Now though, the chaos of my previous life when I was depressed, has been removed and replaced by a strong empowered woman and mum who has found her voice.
Breathing in to me is life and that which gives my soul life is varied. It includes my children and listening to their sisterly chat and giggles as they play together happily regardless of their seven-year age gap. It’s watching them grow up together with an amazing bond and watching their eyes light up when they see each other.
In writing this, I realise that much of what cares for and fills my soul are the simple things in life; my family, my space, connection. Even so to describe them as simple seems inaccurate as they are all individually and collectively pretty magical.
There’s also the breath that I take from being alone, in nature, walking and listening without an agenda other than to be. Or having a go on a swing while at the park just because it’s still fun at 41. When broken down, these facets of my life all stop at one core element and that’s slowing down to be. To be with my children, my partner or by myself; to just be.
Breathing out or giving back almost seems like something other people do, not me. I’m just doing what I do. When I take a closer look at what it is that I do, again there are many elements but in getting to the core of that, I see it as connection; I create connection.
From out of nowhere I’ve created a community hub where people feel welcome. They pop in to say hello, to ask for help and often to offer their support too. I’ve found a huge amount of kindness in a community where I would be considered an outsider.
We live in a world where we are surrounded by people, yet many feel very alone. I hear it from the women I support in The Warrior Mum Project, I see it in the news and the numbers of suicides reported, I’ve experienced it myself and know exactly how it feels to believe in your heart you’re very alone.
Everyone who steps through my doors or enters my world will be made to feel welcome. It’s a genuine welcome and a sincere smile because my belief is that we’re all in it together (this game of life). It doesn’t take much to offer a smile, a hello or to stop and ask, ‘how are you?’ but the impact can be powerful. That second of time you give to another can change them from feeling alone to having hope. That is the power of connection.