The unthinkable right, believing that better is possible after suicide? Not the case for Jaclyn Olsen, Founder of Diffusion Solutions. I had the absolute joy and honor of meeting Jaclyn earlier this year. Doing so, I can honestly say has brought a tremendous amount of love, inspiration and beauty into my life.
When I asked Jaclyn why she was so passionate about Going Blue 4U, she shared this with me:
Going Blue 4 U is close to my heart as I had a struggle for years with anxiety and depression silently due to stigma. Sadly, April 16th 2002, my Dad chose to end his life.
I did not realize the magnitude this would have as an effect in my life, my family’s lives and those who loved him so very much. Suicide has been labelled a selfish disease because it only thinks about its self. My dad thought about everyone else, all the time. He just wanted the pain to end, for all of us.
At the time and for a few years after – myself and different members of my family struggled to cope and keep the depression at bay. We still didn’t talk about it. We didn’t know how to. Through the years I’ve worked with some amazing counselors and have used this experience to find my voice, and work on creating a platform of conversation. A few years ago I chose to use the loss of my Dad as a motivator. His life was not going to be in vain.
Recently when aligning with Going Blue 4 U, my Mom shared that my Dad’s parents had wanted to say his death was a heart attack. People in our family don’t commit suicide. Thankfully my mom knew this wasn’t an option.
I think of my Dad everyday and I miss him. My Dad was not the man who ever thought of leaving a legacy. He worked hard & loved his family. That was his legacy. This in another chapter. A family that can talk about suicide & mental health.
He would have hated the blue hair…
You are so very loved!
As I dug deeper, uncovering more about this radiant young woman, I kept finding myself in awe. I am inspired by her generous heart, her contagious smile and her love for her family. On her 28th birthday this April she undertook a Birthday Project – 28 Random Acts of Kindness, in one day – her birthday. This speaks volumes about the vision she has: Believe in better. Diffusion Solutions was born out of the desire for better; better families, better communities, better relationships.
Jaclyn’s Birthday – 28 Random Acts of Kindness
# 1 Wash Someones Car
# 2 Make Someone Feel Special – give a kidlet a manicure
# 3 Practice Gratitude - for all those times my neighbors hauled out my trash bins in the winter while Duncan was away
# 4 Take Time to Talk to a Senior
#5 Spread some Joy – sprinkling coins at the local playground
# 6 Invite a stranger to go in front of you at the grocery store
# 7 Brighten Someones Day – after sharing what we were doing, our cashier shared with us in her thick maritime accent that is her husband had not passed away last year with cancer, today would have been her 35th wedding anniversary
# 8 Laugh Until Your Sides Hurt - Have fun returning grocery carts at a local market
# 9 Feed the Soul – gave a $10 gift card to a Mom with a little child.
# 10 Encourage a Local Team – We chose to encourage the local beer league baseball team with ice cream bars. As we were walking away we overheard them say, “Did that just really happen?!”
# 11 Help Someone Disabled
#12 Clean up Your City - Ollie loved this one. Went to the Mahogany dog park and picked up poop
# 13 Take Care of Four Legged Friends – offered water to thirsty puppies leaving the dog park at Mahogany Dog Park.
# 14 Remind Someone They Matter – dropped off tulips at the community seniors home at Mackenzie Towne Revera Seniors Home.
# 15 Snacks on Me – quarters in the candy machines at the local Dollar Store
# 16 Thank a Hero – swung by Stn 30 to thank our Firefighters at Mackenzie Towne Fire Department
# 17 Lift a Spirit – gave the nurse 5 balloons to give to the 5 kids who needed them the most today at Alberta Children’s Hospital
# 18 H.O.P.E - Helping Other People Excel – treats for the wonderful nurses on the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at Alberta Children’s
# 19 Lend a Hand – it’s the little things that matter
# 20 Caring is Sharing – taking time to share a special treat
# 21 Say Thank You – after years of working in a crisis field, I know that little sentiments such as saying thank you often go unspoken. For my partners in the trenches, thank you at Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.
# 22 Remind Someone of Their Value – a heartfelt note to a woman at the local women’s shelter along with a $25 gift card to a local salon. I left the card with one of the counselors & encouraged them to give it to the women who needed it the most today at Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.
# 23 Give to Those in Need – put some groceries in the food bank drop box at Superstore
# 24 Notes of Encouragement – a dozen notes of encouragement placed through out books at the local Indigo
# 25 Help Fill Some Hangers – cleaning out the closet for the local Goodwill
# 27 Leave a Generous Tip – for those who make a difference
# 28 Count Your Blessings - You are so very loved… XOXO
Dream Big – Believe in Better
And it keeps going, Jaclyn has created the Dream Big – Believe in Better Series.
Dream Big is the inital session in an ongoing monthly community series aligned to speak to families and teens who desire better in their lives and relationships. By focusing on family engagement, we believe this creates a platform of support. A common ground to explore, formulate and grow. Each presentation is designed to open the doors of communication, make you think & inspire greatness through change. Plus a few giggles too…
Jaclyn has arranged for three very enthusiastic, motivated and inspiring speakers to talk about the value of dreaming. Finding their dreams, believing in them and aiming higher.
Attendance is FREE with a donation to the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank (donation collection at the theatre).
Reserve your seat HERE for this amazing event on August 22, 2012 at Cardel Theatre.
So as you can see Jaclyn is clearly being the change she wishes to see in the world.
Worthy Wednesday is about celebrating that you are worthy, we are all worthy, and that you are enough.
Every Wednesday Lee gives a SimpLee Serene Shout Out to an individual or organization being the change they wish to see in the world.