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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Venuta


Those of you who know me, know I keep speaking about the power of connection, and how it only takes that one connection to have a huge impact on a person’s life. I am passionate about this, because I have experienced this throughout my life in varying degrees. My motto is “Connection creates Hope, Hope creates possibilities and possibilities create dreams.” “Connections can be big, small or what I call micro connections, those seemingly irrelevant moments that take seconds, but leave a huge impact. “

Last week I had the honor of being part of “The Connection Project.” Their web page says, “The Connection project began as a mental health storytelling event in 2018 and has since expanded to a community focused on well being. The project aims to inspire and uplift others by offering ways for people to connect in a space of compassion, kindness and love.”

This was held in the Mary Winspear Centre, in Sidney B.C. And because of Covid, things were a little different this year. Even though there were not a lot of folks in the theater, it was being live streamed- something new for me for sure. This was also the first talk I gave without notes or cue cards. -well except when I quoted from a book I was talking about- I wanted to make sure I had that right.

I have been in a play twice in my life. Once in grade 2 for a school Christmas show where I was a bonbon- aka- had my arms and head sticking through a cardboard box covered in red crepe paper and a big bow on my curly red hair, no lines. And the 2nd play was The Vagina Monologues- which I had a small speech/part. That’s the extent of my experience of being on stage, besides school choirs, band etc.

So, you may ask- why did I want to be part of The Connection Project? Because I believe in the power of connection, and have experienced how that can help someone realize they are not alone, and it can have a huge impact in someone life. My heart and guts told me to go for it, so I did.

But once again, my stage experience is not what I would call extensive, and could I do it?

I had to write the talk, and then memorize it. I have never tried memorized so many lines and didn’t know if I could actually do it. Part of me was…” What the hell am I doing? “and another part of me was loving the challenge.

I found for me, I learn and remember better when I can move, so, I copied the talk out on index cards, and walked around town and the neighborhood trails, with a stack of index cards and talking to myself. In 5 days, I logged roughly 25 miles and I’m sure I now have some kind of reputation around town.

But it was all worth it.

It was an amazing night of courage, storytelling and connections and I had the honor of telling a part of my story, along with other brave souls. Living with a mental illness, we are often told not to talk about it, or folks will get upset etc. So, it’s even more important then ever to have events like this, and have connections with folks, and to be accepted for who we are.

Events like this, lets people know, that I, and others, may be living with a mental illness, but it’s not all of who we are. It's about getting rid of the stigma, and fear. Its about connections.

Connections can save lives, they did mine.

I opened my talk with “I have a philosophy and its this. I never know where my words written or spoken will land, and may they land where they need to tonight.”

I have attached a link to “The Connection Project. “web page below. You can find the 2020 event, and past events there.

Take good care of yourselves and think about past connection from folks and how they helped, and maybe start making more connections today.

Cheers and be well and below is the video of the evening.


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