Mental Health Conference; Day 2

Hey everyone,

So day two of the conference was just as powerful as day one and I’m sorry this has taken so long. Work got really busy and I hit some hard anxiety that took some time to work through. Day two began with a talk from keynote speaker Kat Singer. It was very powerful and they shared some of their art which was very moving.

The workshops for the day were to follow the keynote speaker. The first workshop was presented by Subata Khalid and Susan Chen and was titled Reframing Body Image. They spoke about body image and changing it from negative to positive. It really meant something to me and I am so happy I got to experience it. The two of them were very knowledgeable and inspiring.

Another workshop was presented by Tyler Sarry and was titled Outside In. Tyler spoke about not only being physically fit but also being emotionally fit. He shared strategies about mastering ones mind and body. His workshop was a lot of fun and everyone seemed excited to be there. The atmosphere in the room was very uplifting and this was a very enjoyable workshop. I had the pleasure of speaking with Tyler outside of his workshop and he is a very positive and uplifting person.

The third workshop was titled Healing Through Yoga and presented by Marlee Liss. She focused on using yoga as a tool for healing. She was also one of the vendors at the conference with her book titled Re-Humanize. It is a very powerful, thought provoking book that I will be doing a post on at a later time. Marlee is an inspiration and someone I am so happy I got the chance of meeting.

The final workshop was presented by Shaila Khan and focused on using movement for self care practices. This was an interesting workshop and I had a chance to participate in some of the activities. I really enjoyed it and it’s something that I would recommend to others. She introduced different movements to deal with stress.

The final keynote speaker was Jennifer Poole who is a professional within the mental health field. She brought a different perspective to mental health and it was a very interesting talk.

Also on day two was the living library which I had the pleasure of being one of the books. There were “books” standing around the room and people were able to go and “read” them. I spoke about abuse and it’s effects on body image and I believe that it went really well. The living library was a new concept to me but it was also a very powerful one. It is something I would do again if given the chance.

Day two was a success as was the entire weekend. I am so proud to have been part of it and it is something I look forward to being part of in the future. I hope that everyone who attended walked away with something they were looking for or something they didn’t know they needed.

Talk Soon,

Lyndzey

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Mental Health Conferece: Day 1

On the weekend of February 3rd and 4th I had immense pleasure of attending a Mental Health Conference at York University that was organized by one of my friends with Project Heal. This was the very first Mental Health Conference I have ever been to, however I know that it won’t be my last as it was such an inspiring experience. Not only was I able to attend but I was also able to assist in running the conference over the weekend.

Day one began with a welcome address presented by Alicia Pinelli, who then introduced the first keynote speaker Charles Hargobind. Charles spoke about Mindfulness in the 21st Century and his talk was very relatable. He focused on calming one’s mind and body through mindfulness practices and the benefits such practices have on everyday life. He spoke about his own life experiences and how he has used mindfulness practices to calm his mind and body.

Once the keynote speaker had finished there was a break to allow for everyone to mingle as well as check out some of the displays and vendors. These included Scared Queerless and NEDIC both of which I was able to talk to. Scared Queerless is a nonprofit organization started by a group of individuals who are aiming to combat violence in and towards the LGBT+ Community. NEDIC is an organization that focuses on awareness and prevention of eating disorders, food and weight preoccupation, and disordered eating by promoting critical thinking skills and a healthy, balanced-lifestyle.

Next everyone had a chance to attend one of four workshops all of which were very well done as I had the pleasure of attending bits of all four. The first was presented by Alan Faigal and was titled Mindful Movement. He focused on using movement and self-care, including moving creatively to gain vitality and self-awareness. Everyone involved in the workshop was able to find news and creative ways to move their bodies to release some of the daily stressors and replenish their energy. This was a very fun workshop. The second workshop was presented by Alyia Chan and focused on Supporting Loved Ones Experiencing Mental Health. She focused on being able to support loved ones and other’s we work with who are experiencing mental health. She taught how to facilitate conversations, identify changes in mental health, and other ways of support beyond the medical model. Her workshop was very informative and something I think I will be able to use.

The third workshop was presented by Cameron Algie and was titled Overcoming Anxiety Through Play. He spoke about using Improv and play to help with anxiety. He introduced different forms of improv to allow someone to connect with their body, let go of judgement, make mistakes and laugh. This was a very fun and helpful workshop as I live with anxiety. It was nice to be able to let go, just be myself without worry. The final workshop was presented by Alicia Pinelli and was titled Reclaiming Your Awesomeness. Alicia spoke about the awesomeness we had as children and what has made us lose that sense. How society has shaped who we are and what we can do to get back what we had as children. This workshop was very inspirational and is something that really makes someone stop and think.

Once the workshops were finished lunch was provided and NEDIC did a presentation that was truly powerful. Everyone was then able to go to a second workshop of the four that were presented. Finally everyone came together for the last keynote speaker of the day Janna Morrison. Janna spoke about her experience with an eating disorder in a talk titled The Chaos Within: The Healing Process. She shared her journey with an eating disorder as well as her experience with the healing process. Her talk left very wet eyes in the audience, it was very moving and inspirational as well as emotional and very real.

Overall the day was a success and by the end of it I was ready for day two to begin. Stay tuned for Day 2 as well as an overview of the weekend.

Talk Soon

Lyndsay

30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 23 – 27

Day 23: A letter to someone, anyone

Grandma,

I miss you more than I can put into words. Each and every day I think about you and I hate that you aren’t here anymore. I thought it would get easier with time but it hasn’t and it sucks. I hate not having you to be able to just call on my way home from work like I used to. I hate not being able to drive to see you for dinner before driving the hour home so that I wouldn’t miss work in the morning. I hate not being able to tell you everything.

It isn’t fair that you were taken from us. There are so many bad people in the world and yet you were the one taken. I think about you all the time and miss you even more often. I love you so much and I am going to keep living my life trying to make sure you would be proud of me. You mean so much to me and I will never stop loving you.

Till we meet again,

Lyndsay

Day 24: Write about a lesson you learned the hard way

I have learned a lot of lessons the hard way but the one that comes to mind is not to trust everyone. Sure there are some people in the world that can be trusted but there are also a lot of people who shouldn’t be trusted. I used to trust a lot more easily than I do now even when I had a bad feeling about something but now I know to follow my gut when it’s telling me not to trust.

Day 25: Think of any word and search it on Google images. Write something inspired by the 11th image

Word: Believe

Dreams are a strange but wonderful thing, they come in two rather abstract concepts. Let’s begin with the one most people think about when someone says dream, the ones that happen when you are sleeping. Such a concept to think that our minds can create these images while we are asleep. When all other functions are put on pause we still see those images and they create something we might not understand. Though dreams are our subconscious trying to convey something we want or something we are afraid of happening.

So why is it that the second type of dream is where we set a goal we wish to achieve? Well it is because we are aiming for something that we want and while there may be fears holding us back that goal is still present. I believe that in a way the two concepts intertwine with each other and although we may not know it they each shape the other. Follow your dreams, both kinds and reach for the stars.

Day 26: Write and area in your life that you’d like to improve

This was by far the easiest one for me to do… I want to improve the way I see myself. I want to be able to love myself. I have been through a lot and come out stronger but I still have many many moments where I hate myself and I hate the way I look. I’m working each and every day on loving myself and accepting myself for everything I’ve been through and all the scars that I carry but it is still a difficult road.

Day 27: Write about something that’s kicking ass right now

Last night I went to my first paint night and I think it kicked ass. I loved it and I’ve signed up for the next one. I also have my bullet journal going and it’s allowing me that creative outlet. I believe the creative parts of my life are kicking ass!