As a society, we seem to have the notion of happiness being the measure for life.
Yet, we tend to forget how much hard work that can actually be.
Happiness is fleeting. To wish to be in its perpetual state is forever chasing rainbows.
This is why I’m skeptical of the #100daysof happy meme. Forcing myself to “be happy” or “see the positives” for everyday for half a year is not only daunting, it’s tiring.
How about achieving a life time of meaning and gratitude instead?
On Wednesday, I attended a get-together at the NSW Writers Centre.
Having only received the invitation a week prior, I rocked along with very little idea what the agenda would be or who I would meet.
As it turned out, the topic was mental health; something that had effected everyone in that room.
The speakers themselves had their own personal, powerful stories. Jai Evans was a close, personal friend of the late Charlotte Dawson. Peter Bliss’ sister was Diana Bliss, Alan Bond’s late wife.
Both women were suffering from crippling depression that tragically resulted in taking their own lives.
The conversations in that room reached a level of depth and emotion that can only be described as extraordinary.
We can never make sense of the tragedies that happen but we can certainly try to make meaning out of them.
Jai has carried on Charlotte’s legacy by continuing the homewares line she was about to launch a week prior to her death.
Designed by Charlotte’s long time friend, Billy Allen, 80% of proceeds from the sales of the handmade Balinese canvas cushions and coasters are donated to Charlotte’s favourite 5 charities: Lifeline, Community Brave, ACON, Angels Goals and The Smile Foundation.
As a life coach and advocate for mindfulness, Peter Bliss runs meditation and lifestyle courses for the corporate world – a place where I can attest breeds stress, anxiety and other mental health issues.
It’s one thing that bloggers break the barriers in talking about our own journey of mental health. Yet, there lies the delicate duty in making sure that troubled readers who come to us seeking advice or help are referred to appropriate health professionals.
A big thanks to Sarah Wayland who brought to the table in her wealth of knowledge and sound advice as an experienced counsellor.
Whether we intend to or not, bloggers hold a heavy, public responsibility – both to our readers and our peers.
In this world full of unpredictability and underlying emotional struggles, there is the moral obligation to have each other’s back. We owe it to each other.
If you’re feeling depressed and need to talk to someone, please, please call Lifeline: 13 11 14
For transparency’s sake, the Australian Bloggers Festival is a series of events, leading to the main one later this year.
Wednesday’s get-together was not deliberately exclusive nor intentionally “secretive”.
If you would like to be involved in future events, feel free to contact Louisa Claire.
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