Accepting each moment as it comes

Written by Amie on December 29, 2012 – 3:29 am -

 Feeling good happens in each moment, it isn’t something that happens in the future

I want to write about this because I think it may help at least one person. It is another one of those things that I really didn’t understand for quite a few years. I read so many books talking about staying present, or being “in the moment”. I thought I understood what that meant. I found out that I really didn’t know how to put it into practice. I was still too much “in my head”. When you are in your head, it is almost impossible to be in the moment. I would find myself thinking about the future when my depression would be all better. Little did I know, thinking about this was a distraction from being where I was right in that moment. I was “in the future” in my mind, so there was no way to be fully in the moment. Feeling good happens in each moment, it isn’t something that happens in the future. Distractions keep us from feeling. Thinking too much keeps us from really being with how we feel in any given moment. In truth, all situations are neutral. It is when we add our stories, our commentary to a situation that makes it into something other than neutral. (This would be a different conversation if a person is in physical danger. Thinking needs to happen so as to keep a person safe) When we start labeling a situation, we are immediately taken out of the moment, which means we are not present.

this shuts down the human process

We have been conditioned to think too much. We have been conditioned to label every single thing that happens to us. For most people, it is nearly impossible to allow emotions to flow freely through their body and just feel. This is the reason so many people feel so down and depressed. All of those unexpressed emotions are stuck in the body. Trapped, causing anxiety and depression. For many people, the minute an emotion starts in the body, they shut it down. They distract themselves with tasks or thoughts about things that need to get done or reasons why they “shouldn’t” feel the way they feel. This shuts down the human process. We are emotional beings. However, we have evolved into humans who stuff their emotions and who feel bad about their emotions. We have been conditioned to ignore our emotions and sensations, therefore taking us away from accepting what “is” in each moment. A moment is just a moment, it is the thoughts about the moment that make us feel miserable. I am not saying there is no such thing as a sad event or a time to feel discouraged or frustrated etc….but staying with the labels and thoughts about the situation  create a distraction so that your true feelings about the moment can’t be processed. Emotions are truly sensations in the body. The next time you feel angry or sad, see if you can notice your body. When I feel angry, I feel my stomach tighten, I feel my legs start shaking if I am really angry, etc. If we can allow ourselves to just feel these sensations without adding a story about them, they will flow through the body, which allows us to be in a place to process our options, if an action needs to be taken.

I continued to sit with my uncomfortable feelings

I will give some examples of what I mean, hoping that it will help you understand what I am talking about. One example would be when I sat down to meditate the other day. I sat down, and about two seconds after I sat down my mind said “ugh, I really don’t want to do this, I don’t feel like sitting here, what is going on, my mind is racing….” So, I could have distracted myself by getting back up and cleaning the kitchen instead. Instead, I continued to sit with my uncomfortable feelings. I told myself,” gosh, I really don’t want to sit here”, and then I just let that thought be there instead of trying to “fix it” or run away from it. In the past when I felt this way, I would have said, “gosh,what is going on here. yesterday I was able to sit in silence, why not today?” And my mind would have been off to the races so to speak. My mind would have stayed focused on these thoughts, and I would have been sitting there analyzing why I didn’t feel like meditating. So, it is more of an observation. It is like saying, “hmmm, my legs are wiggling around, I am uncomfortable, hmmm….” and then just be with that. No stories, no judging, no analyzing, no trying to find a solution.

you get closer to your truth

Once I learned to just be with what comes, things that were labeled as “problems” are no longer problems. They are just situations, they are neutral. It really is about learning a new way of being. Awareness is key. Watching your thoughts, and then watching the progression of those thoughts. Most people with severe depression are stuck in an endless loop in their mind. I remember a time when I didn’t even recognize that. I had no idea how hard I was on myself. Becoming aware of my thoughts was the beginning of my healing journey. Once I became aware, I was able to begin the process of changing it. The more I was able to stay in the moment and watch my thoughts, the more “awake” I became. I began to see that most of the thoughts going through my head had nothing to do with the present moment. They were either about the past or about the future. Again, thinking about the past or the future is a distraction from how you feel in the moment. One very important detail, however, is that the more you become aware of each moment, you will start to see things about your life that need to be processed and released from your body. Things that happened in the past that you were not able to feel or process for various reasons. I needed help with this. I needed a therapist to help guide me along the path. Doing this does not mean living in the past or  staying out of the present moment. When things from our past affect our present, they need to be processed and released. Processing feelings that come up is very healthy, and each time you do this , you get closer to your truth. Staying in the moment is not always easy. It takes a lot of practice. Most of us have spent our whole lives doing everything except living in the moment. So, be very gentle on yourself as you learn this new way of being. Soon it will start to feel natural. You get as many do-overs as you need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The role of thoughts in depression; deciphering the truth from the lies

Written by Amie on February 16, 2011 – 12:09 am -

Negative thoughts and depression

So many of my negative thoughts are so subtle that I sometimes have a difficult time even realizing I am having them. This gets confusing. I will suddenly feel really depressed without being able to link it to any certain thought. I am slowly learning to recognize what my mind does when I start feeling the dreaded feeling of darkness coming again. My mind distracts me. It doesn’t want me to feel. My brain has been conditioned to avoid feeling emotions. My mind does not want me to “be” in my body. So it distracts me by telling me  that I will never feel better, etc etc. Then, I buy into these thoughts by trying to figure out “why” I feel depressed etc. So, by getting me hooked into trying to figure out why I feel bad, I am taken away from really having to “feel” what is going on inside my body. I have been conditioned to think the worst. For example, “if” I am depressed again, that must mean I am going to be depressed for two weeks this time, and it has to mean that something made me feel bad, and that I really must figure out what it was. These are all distractions to keep me away from the real stuff.

Thoughts vs. feelings

My wonderful therapist helped me see that a thought is just a thought is just a thought. They are not true! I have said this a million times, right? Well, she finally helped me really tell the difference between a thought and a feeling. Seems easy, but I was really getting hooked into my thoughts, and believing them. This isn’t always true, only when I am in a dark place. When I am in a dark place, I believe every single one of my thoughts. She helped me see that I really need to be vigilant about naming my thoughts until it really happens automatically. And, I do believe it will begin to come naturally. I believe our brains can be changed. All other parts of our bodies can heal, why not the brain? So, here is a sample of a conversation that might happen in my head.

“I am really tired of dealing with depression.”

My usual response would be a tightness in my stomach, and a knowing that I will never feel better. Then, I would head down the path of trying to figure it all out!

My NEW WAY of dealing with this same thought is this:

“I am telling myself that I am really tired of dealing with depression; it’s just a thought.” Then, I would notice any feelings I am having in my physical body. For instance, “is my stomach feeling tight? Does it feel tense?” I would follow those feelings until I don’t come up with anything else. It is quite amazing how just adding these few words can make a huge difference! I was really able to see that it is just a thought! It is not the truth. And, if I say it this way, I am able to open myself up to really allowing the emotions to be felt in my body. And, it is so much easier to me to not follow the negative thought into the next usual step of trying to figure it all out.

It is what it is. If I allow myself to feel, then the energy can move through me. If I disallow the feelings by distracting myself away from them, then I feel stuck. And, stuck is not a good place to be when you are depressed because after stuck comes hopeless….not a great place to be.

Be vigilant

I intend to become very vigilant of my thoughts, and I intend to change the wording. It is amazing for me to think that I wasn’t born with all of these nonsensical thoughts. Why would a baby or child hate themselves? Doesn’t make sense. We all get conditioned by society and the people around us. The majority of people have no idea what they are feeling or that their thoughts are not true. When the thoughts go through our heads, it makes sense that we think they are true. But, they aren’t!!! I really do believe that one reason we become depressed is that we believe these negative thoughts, but our true self does not believe them. The divine presence within all of us knows that we are all perfect as we are and that joy and love are our birthright. When our thoughts and beliefs go against this truth, there is an inner fight going on. This does not feel good. We keep trying to believe the negative thoughts while the divine presence(insert the word you use) within us is trying to tell us differently. Depending on how ingrained our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves are, it can take awhile to wake up to the truth. So, here is your wake-up call- YOU ARE NOT YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS! YOU ARE LOVE AND JOY AND YOU DESERVE TO BE HEARD AND TO BE HAPPY!!!!!! YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPRESS WHO YOU ARE. STAY AWAY FROM ANYONE WHO TRIES TO TELL YOU DIFFERENT. PEACE AND LOVE TO YOU, YOUR BIRTHRIGHT IS LOVE. START WITH LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF.

Enjoy this video again! I love it so much, and I highly recommend seeing a Michael Franti concert if you have the chance. His energy is incredible, and he is spreading love and hope! Hope this video makes you feel loved, and maybe it will make you feel like shaking your booty!!!


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