Catharsis: purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension ~ Merriam-Webster.com
I was invited to spend some time with a small group of women at “the lake” last weekend. One woman is a friend I have known since the beginning of Catholic grade-school but had only re-acquainted with in the past year. One is a woman who I have known since junior high but who I have only seen occasionally at yoga over the past year and the third is someone I just met briefly last summer.
A few years ago, I am certain that I never would have gone away for a weekend with a group of women who I knew more as acquaintances (versus being close friends). However, now as I have entered the second half of my fifties, I am willing to take risks and move myself outside of my comfort zone. I am willing to let go of that little gremlin on my shoulder who sometimes puts me back into grade school mentality telling me that I am not pretty enough or popular enough or smart enough.
What I learned last weekend is that there is no better therapy for grief, trauma, broken hearts and job related stress than time spent laughing, dancing, and sharing deeply with friends. I also learned that the definition of a Friend has no prerequisite in terms of time… it is possible to know someone for only a day, a week or a month and be able to still define them as a friend. Friendship is about being a support and enjoying being around one another. Spending time with friends can truly be cathartic when we need to renew ourselves spiritually and/or emotionally.
Last weekend, each of us had time to share about deeply personal times of our lives which have affected us over the years. We shared each others’ grief… we celebrated each others’ strengths… we laughed away sadness… and we honored those we had lost.
Best of all, we found the little girls who still live within these middle-aged bodies. The little girls who giggle uncontrollably… the little girls who dance without inhibition… the little girls who are willing to hang on tightly and ride the waves as they laugh hysterically.
Yes, we found the prescription for anti-anxiety, depression and fatigue:
- Sharing stories in a safe, nonjudgmental environment
- Spending time outdoors, basking in nature’s beauty
- Exercising the body through recreation and dance
- Singing from the depths of the soul
What is your prescription for anti-anxiety, depression or fatigue?