BEE HEARD: You are not alone

Native Connections

Food, touch, movement: These are the primary ways we take in comfort and nurturance. Ideally, we meet these needs in connection with or alongside people we love. Cooking and sharing a filling homemade meal, the warmth and safety of a bear hug from a best friend, stretching our bodies like a cat bathing in the warmth of the morning sunlight. We humans are social creatures. Alone, it is too much. 

We all have different degrees of “introversion” and “extroversion,” how much time we enjoy being alone versus spending time with others. Imagine that we all have an internal cup that holds our Life Force. An introvert refills this cup and increases their energy by spending time alone and may get overwhelmed in large gatherings. On the other hand, an extrovert refills their cup and renews their energy by spending time with other people and may feel lonely without regular companionship. Regardless of whether you tend to be more of an extrovert or an introvert, we all still need some level of connection with others. 

Solitude versus Isolation: For all the introverts reading this, it is important to remember that solitude is not the same as isolation. Solitude replenishes and fills the cup. Isolation, however, may serve as a self-imposed safety or defense mechanism (i.e. “I can’t be hurt if I don’t show up”), and can ultimately be damaging to our mental health. Time alone is healthy, but it is crucial to find balance. 

Right now, we have a reduced ability to spend quality time together. We are making the necessary sacrifice to protect our loved ones by choosing to temporarily reduce our contact with others. It is now even more necessary to unite and to be creative in the ways that we maintain connection with others. Now is the time to strengthen the community. Now is the time to connect to the universal heartbeat. You are not alone. You are connected. Separateness is an illusion. If you don’t believe this, I challenge you to go to the mountains. Go safely. Find a space to sit and relax. Listen, smell, taste, see, feel. Perhaps then you will agree, we are never alone.

Support is available: If you are interested in deepening your relationship with and understanding of yourself and others, wish to learn more about your own levels of introversion/extraversion, want someone to talk to, are struggling emotionally, feeling alone, drinking too much, etc. I encourage you to schedule an appointment with the Southern Ute Behavioral Health Department and/or join the weekly virtual Recovery Talking Circle. This open support group meets online every Thursday at 12 p.m. and promotes wellness and connection. We meet on Zoom; contact Marvina Olguin at 970-563-2359 to get more information. I hope to see you there.


  • Southern Ute Health Center: Behavioral Health Division 69 Capote Drive, Ignacio, CO 970-563-4581. For local Native Americans. We are here to support mental health, substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery. Please call to schedule an appointment to talk to someone.  
  • Southern Ute Division of Social Services: 116 Capote Drive, Ignacio, CO 970-563-2331 for local Native Americans needing assistance with child welfare needs and family support. 
  • 24/7 Axis Health Care Hotline: Durango, CO You’re not alone. With our 24/7 crisis services, help is on the way. Your health. We’re in this together. 970-247-5245.
  • St. Ignatius Catholic Church: Pastor Cesar Arras, 14826 CO-172, Ignacio, CO 970-563-4241.
  • Ignacio Community Church: Pastor Randall Haynes 405 Browning Ave, Ignacio, CO (currently located inside ELHI) 970-759-3633 
  • Second Wind Fund of the Four Corners: Believes that every child and youth at risk of suicide should have access to the mental health treatment they need. We match children and youth at risk for suicide with licensed therapists in their communities, 720-962-0706.
  • Women’s Resource Center: Creates personal, social, and professional growth opportunities for all women in La Plata County, 970-247-1242.


  • Colorado Crisis Line: 844-493-8255 or Text “TALK” to 38255. You’ll immediately be put in contact with a trained counselor, ready to text with you about anything.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Has both an online chat and a 24/7 phone line at 1-800-273-8255 if you are thinking of suicide or need help for a loved one.
  • The Trevor Project: Which seeks to serve LGBT youth, has a 24/7 suicide prevention line at 866-488-7386.
  • We R Native: Join the movement by liking them on Facebook (www facebook  com/weRnative) , signing up for the text messaging service (text NATIVE to 24587).

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