This is one episode in the video series that I’ve been working on this year with NAMI Montana. We now have over 200 mental health awareness videos to share with the world!
It has been a long time, or so it’s seemed. Since the sun has shined, since hope was felt. We’ve been in the darkness for far too long. After experiencing months of depression, I am once again hitting the road to speak and sing of hope. My aim is to help people find serenity in the storm. From the bad comes good. No matter what you face, we can get through it together.
Hope is what helps me to hang on, when everything else tells me to let go. To find hope, we must look to the moment. Put simply, we must be in the now. Explore your senses. What do you hear? What do you see? What do you feel? The magic is in the moment. Don’t let it slip away. Keep falling in and out until you learn how to stay a while. The moment is now, nothing more, nothing less, and we are in it together.
My guitar is packed and I’m ready to go. It has been a while and I am excited to hit the road again and get back to the stage. Keep an eye out to see if I am headed your ways. I hope our paths cross, soon.
These have been hard times for everyone. All of our lives have been touched by this pandemic. Mental Health has never been more important.
Even if you’ve never faced depression or anxiety, you may be feeling it now. I know the pain all too well, but I’m here to tell you there is Hope.
If you or someone you love is struggling, please reach out for help. You don’t have to go it alone. We can be there for each other, and together we will make it through. Text GO to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
History has been made by people who faced mental illness. With their greatness came suffering. The ages would remember how they fought for the collective good. These were not perfect people, but they kept going in spite of their suffering. Just when they thought that they could go no further, they took one more step. Oftentimes they failed, and other times they didn’t. In spite of their personal pain they kept going, inspiring others to do the same.
Their greatness came from overcoming obstacles, not avoiding them. We too are destined for greatness, but our journey will not be free from struggle either. In fact it may be harder than it is easy.
There is a greatness in each one of us that needs to be acknowledged, that yearns to be loved–a deep knowing that we have inside of us. We reach inward for the wisdom that is ours. As we reach out for hope, we let go of fear. We are part of something greater than ourselves. This life is about you and me finding our way back home–where we began with our perfect self.
Hope is what I hang onto when everything else tells me to let go. And it’s easy to forget there’s hope when you’re going through hell. I’m living proof that hope is worth believing. All of the suffering I’ve experienced has prepared me for the present moment.
It feels like change is in the air – I’m seeing smoke signals everywhere. 2,000 high school students elected to attend my presentation at Bozeman High School. While attendance was not mandatory, students led the way by embracing a message of hope and human connection inspiring each other to be there. They were an amazing audience and the connection in the room was tangible. What a great kick-off to a Spring full of schools. I am excited to connect with students and staff at schools across the state as the Montana Schools Tour begins again.
The Montana Schools Tour is presented by the Montana Office of Public Instruction, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Foundation. The tour is sponsored by the Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery at Montana State University, and the Gilhousen Family Foundation.
The night sky is filled with stars, so there is light amidst the darkness. We too are called to shine. The simplest act of love transcends the insecurity of hate. Fear is only formidable until it is replaced with understanding. Compassion dismantles discrimination because it speaks to the heart and quiets the mind. Confusion exists in the world so that we can respond with love.
Truth is absolute strength and it is on the side of those who seek it. It is in each one of us to do good. In a world that is not sane, we must find peace in our humanity. Every human being has inherent value and is worthy of love. The connection we share with one another helps us realize why we are here. We are in this together, part of something greater than ourselves.
The moon holds court among the stars, illuminating us all. Into hopeful darkness, light shines indiscriminately. Tonight, the answers to the world’s problems are found in our hearts, not in our heads.
© Jason DeShaw, All Rights Reserved, 10/09/2017
I just returned home from the East Coast. I performed at Harvard’s McLean Hospital for clinicians and researchers. I also went to New York City to meet up with Glenn Close and see her perform in her Broadway play, Sunset Boulevard. It was a stunning performance! She is an amazing person as is her sister, Jessie, and nephew, Calen. Now I prepare for a busy spring of touring. I hope to see you out on the road.