how your thoughts determine how you feel

Written by Amie on April 4, 2012 – 1:29 am -

what would it be like to be trapped in this box?

Imagine you are in a large box. A box that is big enough for you to stand in comfortably, but too tall for you to pull yourself out of. You are trapped in the box. If you reach up high, you can’t reach the top of the box. You are standing there wondering how in the world you will get out. It is too heavy to tip over, nobody can hear you screaming for help, and the box is too thick to punch a hole in. I am sure there are ways out, but please play along with me for a minute. Read this and then close your eyes and really focus your thoughts on what it would be like to be trapped in this box, or somewhere else that feels bad to you. What thoughts are going through your mind? What are you telling yourself? Are you telling yourself you will never get out, you are trapped, you will starve to death, you will die in this box, nobody will help you? This list goes on and on. How do you feel in your body when you really see yourself in the box trapped and unable to get out? Is your stomach tight? Are you starting to feel sick? Tune into what you would feel in your body if you really believe the thoughts you are telling yourself. When I do this, I feel as though it is really happening to me. If you don’t feel this way, then imagine a scenario that would make you feel just as hopeless or negative. Tell yourself things that validate this story. Now open your eyes and remind yourself that none of it is true, it is not happening to you even though your mind is telling you it is happening. The mind is incredibly powerful this way. It will give you all kinds of “evidence” pointing to these thoughts being true.

if your thoughts tell you horrible things,  you believe them, and then your body responds

I want you to see how you can easily convince yourself that the stories you tell yourself are true. Negative thoughts feed on each other, and before you know it, a deep depression has taken over again. Paying attention to what is being “said” in your mind is so very crucial to getting past depression. There were so many times in my past that I was convinced I would never feel better. I told myself things like, “I can’t do this”, “this is as good as I will ever feel”, “this sucks”. These thoughts all feed on each other, and your body responds by feeling sick, or your muscles tighten, your head may start aching….there are so many ways our bodies respond to negative thoughts. Now change the thoughts to things like “I can’t wait to go to my favorite store on Friday”, or “I love hearing my boys laugh and have fun”, or “I am so grateful I am able to take a warm bath”. Say anything that you know makes you feel good. Now notice the contrast…how did your body respond to the negative vs. the positive thoughts? Thoughts are who you are. If your thoughts tell you horrible things, you believe them, and then your body responds with the feeling of “depression”. Depression will continue because your soul knows these things are not true, but your mind is right there trying to convince you these thoughts are true.  Unfortunately, you believe the thoughts because that is what you learned to do. This is not your fault. Therefore, you feel miserable until you decide to work on remembering the truth that is within every single one of us. The truth that you are pure love. You have the power to make this decision at any moment you choose. You can make this decision as many times as you need to.

just as the negative thoughts were learned, they can be un-learned

Don’t believe everything you think! I have this saying hanging in my house. Some people are confused by it at first. Many people believe that if they are thinking something, that makes it true. This is absolutely not true! The negative thoughts in our minds are never true. We were not born to hate ourselves. We were born to love ourselves and others. The self-hate that goes on in your mind is the conditioning you learned. You were not born with these horrible thoughts. These are learned. So, just as the negative thoughts were learned, they can be un-learned. It takes work, with part of the process being having the willingness to feel your emotions as they arise. If you don’t feel your emotions, you will stay stuck in the negative thought process you have learned to use. When you avoid feeling your emotions, you are numbing a part of your true self. When you numb your true self, you will be depressed. You can pretend for awhile, and some people pretend their whole lives. If this is the case, then it may feel as though you are just going through the motions of being alive. In reality, it is like dying a slow death. In order to get through depression, it takes courage and willingness.

our whole mood changes because we believe the thoughts

I am currently reading and listening to teachings by the spiritual teacher Gangaji. She has made the statement several times to “just stop”. Stop identifying with the thoughts in your mind, stop searching for “the answer”, stop looking for enlightenment, just STOP! It took me awhile to really understand what she was trying to say. Now I see, (at least I think I do!). Just stop the mind. Your mind is telling your stories to keep you stuck. Instead, feel your emotions, observe the thoughts, and most definitely do not follow the thoughts! They are just thoughts! We get into the trap of believing our thoughts, and then our whole mood changes because we believe the thoughts! We truly do have everything we need right inside of us. It takes a conscious effort to make the decision to begin questioning your thoughts to get back to the truth of what you have had inside all along. You have love, and you have the answers that you thought you could only find outside of yourself. When you continue believing your thoughts, and you continue following some external happening (such as looking for enlightenment, or looking for the magic answer to fix your depression) you will stay depressed. Instead, the next negative thought you become aware of, try saying to yourself….just stop…that is a story…just stop…it isn’t true. And then, notice how your body feels. You just took some power back, and doesn’t that feel good?! Enjoy and remember what that feels like! *This* is your true nature!! I promise you!

A video of Gangaji:

 

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How do I get out of depression?

Written by Amie on July 2, 2011 – 8:46 pm -

How do I get out of depression

I have heard many people talk about “getting out of” depression. I have said it myself many times as well; “how do I get out of this depression?” When I was meditating this morning it came to me that we never “get out of ” depression; rather we “go back to” the truth we were born with. We learn to go back to ourselves, which makes the depression dissolve. When we come from the mindset that we are plagued or trapped or stuck in depression, it instantly puts us into the helpless, victim mode. The victim mode is when we tell ourselves we have no choice. When one feels as they have no choice about something, they feel hopeless. Hopelessness fuels depression. The story we tell ourselves then runs our life. “I am stuck feeling depressed, there is no way out of this”, “Depression runs in my family, I am stuck”…..the conditioned beliefs and thoughts go on and on. We believe them and they become true. We are stuck. But, we really are not! It is just a story we are telling ourselves, and it can be changed!

Uncover the layers of conditioning that have you trapped

This takes a shift in your perspective. We begin to come back to ourselves by learning how to uncover the layers of conditioning that have trapped us in depression. We must rediscover the truth that has been sitting right behind the depression this whole time. There is no goal to get to. Start right where you are in this moment. Begin by becoming aware of the thoughts and beliefs you tell yourself. What do you tell yourself about your depression? What thought just went through your head? What story did you just tell yourself about that thought? Do you believe it? Can you prove that it is true? Really? How does it feel in your body when you believe your thought?Just notice, don’t judge. Become aware by becoming an observer. Just watch your mind….what is it telling you? Is it labeling the thoughts for you? Is your mind saying something is good or bad, right or wrong? Do you believe that? Where did that belief come from? Does it even make any sense? A very important point to remember is that all situations are neutral until we add our own commentary or story to them. They are still neutral, but our stories have labeled them and then we believe them. This is just your mind (ego) trying to keep you in check. When you start questioning things, the mind gets nervous and works really hard to try to come back to what it knows. It helps to think of this as a separate entity. Eckhart Tolle calls this the pain body. All of the accumulated trauma, stories, beliefs, and thoughts in our bodies become a separate entity that gets triggered until we are able to look at them and see them for what they are.

Depression is layers of untruths

Depression is layers of untruths that are just covering up who you really are. Who you really are got pushed down each time into hiding time and time again. The conditioning we receive in childhood teaches us to hide how we really feel, who we really are, and what we really need. We receive the message that we are somehow not OK. We unconsciously respond to this by building layers inside ourselves in order to protect ourselves. The process of depression begins each time we hide a part of ourselves. We have all been taught to do this. The great news is that it can be undone! Healing depression means finding your real self that was buried. It is a process, yes.  In order to heal, you must peel away the untruths of who you are not. Your real self (your joyful happy self) is still inside you, it always has been and always will be. It takes diligence and courage to peel away the untrue stuff to get to your true self. It is exciting work!

Depression does not mean there is something wrong with you

Depression is a reminder to you. A reminder coming from that place of truth inside you. It is  hoping and waiting for you to start peeling away the walls that have been built up to protect your heart. Your heart has been hurt by traumatic and stressful events in your life. Many of these being beliefs put upon you when you weren’t able to take care of yourself. Even as adults we believe things about ourselves that just aren’t true. Everybody has had events happen in their lives that force them to hide who they really are. Some people have had more than others. “Fixing” your depression really means chizeling away at these things blocking your truth. The truth is you are perfect and that you have everything you need inside you. Depression happens when you get away from believing you are meant to be here and that there is a purpose for your being here. Depression means losing the connection with the source of all life-the flow of love. Depression is the wall of wounds and hurts that cut you off from the infinite flow of love inside you. Start today by becoming aware of your thoughts and beliefs. Question everything!!!!! Do not believe your thoughts. Write down your thoughts and how your body feels when you think them. Awareness is the place to begin.

 

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