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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Venuta

Distillation and Seperating ....

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

It has been 3 and a half weeks since my last #tedxsurrey process blog post. And in some ways, it feels like a life time ago as it has been an “interesting” journey.

The final script has been sent in and we have our last zoom coaching sessions this weekend and it will be on delivery, from then on in it will all be in person coaching.

I have moments of wholly crap – it now starting to feel real.

And like every Outward Bound course I have been on, what I think it’s going to be like, and how it really is, can at times, be two very different things. That is very much like life is it not.

This whole process reminds me of a distillation process in a chemistry lab. All the apparatus is set up, you put in the substance in the flask at the beginning, add heat. –(at times it felt like it and I were boiling over)- the substance makes its way through the various tubes and distillation stages. Sometimes it goes quite smoothly and fast, other times, there seems to be blockages and one need to figure them out. At some stage’s things are added, some taken away, and sometimes, one needs to go back to the drawing board, re group and start over. But in time, it works and with excitement we watch as this precious mixer of one’s blood sweat tears, creativity and passion flows into the receiving flask and we wait with baited breath to see if this distillate is the one. This pure and focused ide and writing are the gift waiting at the other end.

These last few weeks, my script is not the only thing I was distilling. A section of my past, came in like a roaring storm and stirred things up, and I had to work on distilling and separating the past camera issues with the present camera work. And it was hard and exhausting work.

It started with body memories- which is usually the first sign something is up, and I found myself thinking of not doing the last zoom coaching session. I was curious and wondered where that was coming from and why- I did my grounding, my check list that I am safe, in the present etc. My PTSD symptoms came for a visit- easily startled, no patience, jumpy and everything seemed to be loud and I was easily irritated. And the sure sign came- I was emotional and afraid on some level. I knew then what was up and I pondered about what to do.

I could bail on that zoom session- I mean life does happen etc- but I didn’t want to, and I sure the hell didn’t want the visiting past to win. I thought of the work I do and once again if I talk the talk- I must walk the walk. I have to be authentic.

I have mentioned before that the TEDxSurrey team and coaches are very supportive. I sent a quick email to the head coach letting her know what was up, and asked her to share with the rest of the coaches. I wanted them to know that I likely would not be looking at the camera much during the zoom coaching, but that does not mean I am not listening, interested of focused.

Doing this was harder then bailing on the session, but as I said I didn’t want the visitors from the past to win, and maybe even more important, I needed to do this to remind myself that the present world is safe.

Th coaches were all supportive, and I was able to stay for the whole zoom and in time I relaxed enjoyed myself and learned lots.

I also had friends that helped me process and distill these moments.

Distillation of the script has made it stronger, richer, and authentic, while distillation of these past memories has made me stronger, richer and authentic.

I’m still working on this memory and will admit I have had a couple moments of anxiety- as once again this weekends zoom is in front of the camera and reading/speaking my script- but I will work on reminding myself that the world is safe, and this event is safe.

The past few weeks have had more then enough challenges and a couple days ago we had to take one of our cats down to the vets to be put to seep- she was special and she will be missed..

I am taking a couple of days off for down time and mental health self care.

Then we have our last zoom coaching sesion n Saterday.

It’s hard to realize that in just over two weeks I will be going over to Vancouver and meeting in person with the TEDxSurrey team and speakers and we get down to the crunch. Yep wholly crap- this is starting to feel real.

Thank you once again to all who have suppoerted and shared the go fund me link to help with the costs of traveling. You have no idea how much this helps.

That’s it for now, take good care of yourself and may life’s distillations be kind to you

Thanks for coming along this journey with me

Until next time

Stay well and stay safe


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