"We're not gonna take it"

 The gig is up.                               

We're not gonna take it.
Gonna break it. 
Gonna shake it.
Let's forget it better still!

 Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us, "People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar."

We are all guilty sometimes of putting up with way too much, for way too long. Fear of change and fear of where the unknown may lead, can leave us clinging to doing absolutly nothing;  laying our heads on a pillow of suffering in search of a rest that will not come. 

Yet sometimes, in the quietness of our hearts, we are moved to stare down the bullies, to push against the wind, and make the brave decision to take the path with heart. We gird up our loins or lift up our skirts and decide that, "We're not gonna take it."

As a highly skilled and widely recognized Paramedic, Gaia Girl has responded to many emergency calls that you or I would run from. And like the many who don a uniform in recognition of their career calling; be it Firefighter, Policeman, Paramedic or Soldier, high stress calls, shootings, suicides, accidents and death in all it's myriad forms, can and often does take a toll. Nightmares may surface revealing just the tip of the iceberg. Disruptive sleep patterns, self medicating, internalized stress,  all serve to make "off days" seem like "on days" - Ever at the ready, never relaxed, ready to respond.

And the bad calls? The really bad calls? They just continue to roll through the mind's eye just out of reach like an itch that refuses to be scratched. 

Gaia Girl loves her job. She is good at it. A natural. She is often recognized for her ability to seem at rest and take charge when it would appear that the whole scene is going to pot. She alone knows what her body and her mind experiences when an emergency call comes to an end.  

Yet she knows that she has not been at her best. She has been unable to rest in the moments of the day. It's easier to become comfortably numb with the help of three or four vodka tonics every night while in search of sleep. And the effects like to carry on into the morrow to remind her that she is still not free. Like a whisler in the dark trying to ignore the shadows, the creaks and the rustle of things unseen, she has come to rely on the end of day relief found on ice, in tea or tonic.

The Uniformed Services Program located in the beautiful and historic southern Vermont town of Brattleboro, serves just such a purpose: providing relief.  The program offers tools designed to help with the anxiety, depression, addiction, and post traumatic stress so often found in the ranks of those professionals in uniform. Utilizing cutting edge tools such as neurofeedback, or the ancient science of mindfulness, and yoga, the program offers a wide array of training, education and support. 

When Gaia Girl made the decision to act it was the age old process of, "what to do, where to go, where to start." Me and my ever sense of being pragmatic is often balanced by her view that, "The universe will figure it out" and we sought to hash things out together. Mystery unfolding, her old partner is dating the daughter of the CEO of Brattleboro Retreat. A few calls and she is in. No special treatment. Just a big fat arrow pointing to THIS IS IT!

And I am proud of her strength and courage. 

And I"m her champion??