Posts Tagged ‘hope’

CC CHRONICLES: Thick Skin & Lookin’ Within

Published by cctadmin on July 30th, 2015


I was walking home along the boardwalk yesterday; enjoying the sun on my face and in particular, time to think about and reflect on what it means to have ‘thick skin’. I’ve heard it said that to have thick skin is a ‘gift from God’; that it takes time and learning to acquire it, and finally, that in order to face life’s rejections, haters and obstacles, it’s all but essential to have it. The very definition of ‘thick-skinned’ is “insensitive to criticism or insults“.

Why the contemplation? Well, I can identify things I want in my life; like strong family connections, a healthy relationship with my partner, financial security, education, a home and a fulfillment from music. The list goes on. I’ve never expected any one of those things to come easy; and in fact, they never have. I continue putting time and effort into my life’s ambitions with a quiet confidence that there’s worth in that patience and dedication.  Hopefully that worth is the joy experienced along the way.

On the other hand, within our passioned pursuits there is also much opportunity for disappointment; the ‘nothing comes easy’ part existing in the form of obstacles like a door-slam to the face, criticisms or the many hoops we often have to jump through in order to succeed in our goals. There’s always an opportunity to give up. Rationally, I understand that ‘nothing comes easy’; stumbling blocks are a given; and it’s with this I contemplate how to acquire a hardened sense of logic.

I recall how scary it was in my youth when I was just forging out on my own and having to establish security; similarly, going to University in my 20’s and facing all sorts of intellectual pressures. Being an independent artist without management or a band to my credit also beholds tests of my inner strength. Given this and more I can acknowledge the ‘thick skin’ I had to personally attain in the face of these things yet, on my walk home, I still couldn’t help but feel briefly overwhelmed at the realization that ‘thick skin’ is not only a goal in itself; it’s an on-going process.  There is no end.   I may have some of it, and I’ve strengthened over the years but I could use some toughening up even still.

It can be discouraging; I certainly began that walk feeling daunted about some of my musical pursuits in particular. In fact I felt downright deflated; but it only took some time and reflection on route home to consider that like anything else worth having, I was, and I am going to have to remain patient; I’m going to have to keep my head up and trust in the process of my future pursuits. Regardless of weather things in our lives turn out exactly as we want them to or not, I’d really rather keep trying, keep getting back up on the horse and giving it another go – than opting to fall to my knees in defeat. With that in mind I found a way to turn around my inner doubts and see them all as part of this process. It didn’t necessarily take away all my discouragement however it did just enough to have me feeling less defeated.

What do you guys think about the thickness of your own skin?




CC CHRONICLES: Performing ‘Imagine’ @ Flin Flon City Hall / World Suicide Prevention Day

Published by cctadmin on September 10th, 2014

CC CHRONICLES: A Message from CC on World Suicide Prevention Day

Published by cctadmin on September 10th, 2014

CC CHRONICLES: Preparing for World Suicide Prevention Day

Published by cctadmin on September 7th, 2014


September 10th is a big day – a day that I’m thinking about a lot as I gear up for the week ahead.

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is an awareness day observed on September 10th every year, in order to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world.  The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health, to host World Suicide Prevention Day.  In 2011 an estimated 40 countries held awareness events to mark the occasion and I’m proud to see that up here in my hometown of Flin Flon, Manitoba – a community are coming together to participate in bringing that awareness to the forefront.

As of 2011, an estimated one million people per year die by suicide or “a death every 40 seconds or about 3,000 every day.” According to WHO there are twenty people who have a failed suicide attempt for every one that is successful, at a rate approximately one every three seconds.  Suicide is the “most common cause of death for people aged 15 – 24.” More people die from suicide than from murder and war; it is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide.

Now – one thing I’m NOT here to do is judge; in both my personal and professional capacities as a mental health worker I am well aware there are a lot of conversations that can be had on the topic of suicide.  I believe these conversations are well worth having of course, however, YOU WILL NOT FIND ME USING WSPD as an opportunity to preach or indulge in my own personal feelings.  Why not?   For me, suicide is NOT a black or white topic – but suicide is real and those who are affected by it in whatever way shape or form they are – should look at September 10th as an equal opportunity to keep the awareness of this subject alive as well as celebrate and foster HOPE and STRENGTH.

There will always be a need to talk about suicide and there will always be people who struggle;  therefore its my mission to to not only engage all sides of the issue – but more importantly I WANT TO DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO BUILD YOUTH RESILIENCY AND INCREASE HOPE WITHIN THE DESPAIR.  Resiliency and hope can not be maximized in conversations weighted down in judgement.

On September 10th many communities will be working very dedicatedly on raising awareness on this topic, as well as linking communities and individuals to resources and supports that can hopefully assist them in whatever is going on in their own lives.  Our own town of Flin Flon is organizing a gathering that will take place at Pioneer Square (weather permitting – if its raining it will be at the Chamber room at City Hall) – where you can expect a variety of different activities.  I will be there in both my capacity as a mental health worker and a singer – in fact I look forward to connecting with youth there via music and using the opportunity to celebrate LIFE and HOPE and STRENGTH!!!

I encourage folks, wherever you are to take note of this day, and simply be aware that this is a real issue – that there is hope and supports out there – and there is indeed SOMEONE who cares enough that they will be there in those dark hours to ensure you’re not alone.

I also encourage members of the Flin Flon community to come out to Pioneer Square for noon – where you can enjoy a FREE LUNCH as well as some entertainment and a memorial to honour those who have died to suicide.  I am excited to also be singing a handful of songs with the youth that will be gathering there  - songs we chose for their messages of hope and strength.

CHECK OUT our rehearsal of Stand By Me’ which will be one of the tunes we look forward to playing.

CAMH has online resources available for people who would like to learn more or have been affected by suicide.

Click HERE for information on suicide (including a list of symptoms, how to help someone else, and treatment resources if you need help)

For more information on World Suicide Prevention Day