A retreat, a mantra, and who I know I am

Written by Amie on November 14, 2011 – 1:54 am -

My new mantra: “Be Who You Know You Are”

Before I get to the part about creating my new mantra, I want to share my weekend experience with you. I’ve been digging deep for the past three days, focusing on inner growth. I went on a retreat called, “the art of living”. Writing, creating art, singing, and movement were all included. Even though this is something I chose to do, I arrived with feelings of resistance. This is pretty typical for me though. It is an interesting process. So many times when I know I will be doing deep processing, I feel resistant to it. I know it is fear based. I think it is normal to be afraid of what I might find when I start digging around! In the past, I have often chosen to run from the experience, but for the past few years I have chosen to push myself past my comfort zone. As long as it is *my* choice to push myself, I am able to do it. If someone else tries to push me, that is never a good thing. Growth has to be a personal choice. Each individual knows when and if they feel ready to look within, and if they feel safe enough to share with others. For me, safety is a very important detail. I completely shut down emotionally if I don’t feel safe. It is the way I protect myself from being too vulnerable with someone I don’t trust. We all have things we do to protect ourselves, and this is a very good thing.

I made too many choices based on the conditioned belief that I should please others before considering my own truth

The nice thing about the retreat was that we always had the option of not participating. I suppose I could sit on the sidelines and never participate, but then what would be the point of going? It is so incredible to be in the company of others who are on a similar journey of self discovery. When others share what is true for them, there is always someone who is helped by their sharing. What a gift! I participated in some of the exercises on Friday and Saturday. I also chose not to share during a few of the exercises. It was interesting to notice how empowered I felt by knowing it was *my* choice whether or not to share. That, in itself felt great. I think this is a very important part of the healing process. I have to know *for sure* that it is my right to make choices and decisions for myself. This did not come easy for me in the past. I made too many choices based on the conditioned belief that I should please others before considering my own truth. I can say this is definitely no longer the case! Step by step, I have learned to speak up for myself and to put my foot down when something doesn’t feel right to me. It took me a very long time to trust my inner voice and to follow it. It was scary at first for sure! As I have said so many times before, depression will stay with you as long as you keep choosing to drown out your true voice. It is a process, so be gentle on yourself!

More about the retreat

Singing in a circle of women is so incredibly powerful! It is amazing to me how beautiful all of the voices sound together. Many of the women have been afraid to sing in the past. It was something new to them to hear their singing voice. I was always a bit shy about singing. In the past year, I have been focusing on my throat chakra, which has steadily helped me gain confidence in my singing voice. Feeling the vibration of my own voice is just amazing! Feeling 20 other voices along with mine was just beyond words. It felt wonderful! I really encourage you to use your voice as much as possible! Sing in your car, sing in the shower, sing whenever you can! It really is a healing tool. The more you sing, the easier it becomes to use your voice to speak your truth.

This has always been one of my favorite body movement videos. Always listen to your body, as it will tell you exactly how it wants to move. The key is to notice the judgments going on in your mind if there are any, but don’t believe them.

The people that bug us the most are our biggest teachers

Another part of the retreat was movement. I have talked on here quite a bit about how moving my body helps me release emotional energy. This happened again for me at the retreat. As I said at the beginning of this post, I was feeling resistant at first. I finally broke through it on the morning of the last day. We did a meditation/movement exercise, and the flood gates opened! I cried and moved and then cried some more. It felt so good to release a bunch of stuff I had been holding onto this whole week. Without going into too much detail because other people are involved, I will just say I lost trust in one person this week, and two people did things that triggered one of my biggest wounds. Each situation seemed insignificant at the time. However, after reacting to 3 different scenarios with the same core feeling, I knew it was a healing opportunity for me. One of my core wounds is that of feeling disregarded. In the past, I felt as though my voice, my opinion, and my true self were not heard or considered. Because the Universe is so amazing, it keeps giving me chances to heal this wound. People are in my life to help me heal. I know that sounds weird, but it is true! The people that bug us the most are our biggest teachers! Really, I promise you.

Helpful tools used in my journey through depression

All of the exercises we did at the retreat are tools I have used on my journey through depression. The retreat gave me the opportunity to go deeper in my healing. I am grateful for this. Now I will finally get to the  part about my mantra. I want to share this experience because I want to encourage you to make one for yourself. I have had many different mantras in the past few years. They are so comforting, empowering, and nurturing. It always amazes me to hear what others come up with for their mantras.  The process requires you to really listen to your inner knowing. When you ask yourself what your mantra should be, your body will respond. You may have to listen closely, and you may have to change it around a few times before you feel it is the right one. I had to play around with mine for awhile before I knew it was right. Also, we were asked to put a rhythm to the words. Some people even put body movements with theirs. I knew in my body when I found the exact words needed for my mantra. After the events from this week, I knew my mantra had something to do with being who I am and not being afraid to be that 100%. So, my new mantra is, “Be Who You Know You Are”.

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Letting go of depression and opening to love

Written by Amie on November 2, 2011 – 1:11 am -

Being depressed is like being in prison

Wow! I was just watching Oprah’s new Life Class show, and I sobbed tears of joy throughout the whole thing. I am so touched right now. I feel so alive with hope and love, it is overwhelming. In a really hopeful beautiful way. Please keep reading, I won’t talk just about the show the whole post here. The show was about how animals touch our lives and how they give pure unconditional love. There is a program in some prisons called Puppies Behind Bars, and this is what touched me so deeply. Let’s see if I can put it into words. My body is pretty overwhelmed with feelings of love right now. When I watched these men taking care of the puppies, my stream of tears started. I could *feel* the weight of the world being lifted from them. These men felt unconditional love for the first time ever in their lives. It was painfully sad on some level, but so beautiful on a much deeper level. I felt a connection with these men. I realized how depression really imprisons a person. I was a prisoner of myself for years. I do realize that being incarcerated has so many other challenges. I don’t want it to sound as though I am minimizing this.

The minute you decide to pay attention to your thoughts and beliefs, and start *questioning* them is the minute the bars start to crumble 

The men in the show were physically imprisoned, or so it seems. I believe they are also emotionally, spiritually, and mentally imprisoned. This is exactly the same for people suffering with depression. Depression causes a person to be stuck on all levels. Depression is caused by the suppression of one’s authentic self. We become numb on all levels because we are stuck in the thoughts and beliefs we were conditioned to believe. Our authentic selves are fighting against what we have been taught. Each time our authentic truth tries to show itself, the messages we have been conditioned to believe convince us that this authentic self is wrong or bad. So, back to being stuck. It is a continuous fight. The more the thoughts and beliefs are believed, the stronger the “bars” become. BUT, these bars can be knocked down. The minute you decide to pay attention to your thoughts and beliefs, and start *questioning* them, is the minute the bars start to crumble. *You* are in control of your prison, I promise you.

 They have never known what it is like to be loved for exactly who they are. Their true selves have been conditioned out of them

Watching this show brought up so many emotions for me. Like I said earlier, I was sobbing while watching it. It hit me on such a deep level. I could see the humanness of each of these men. I could clearly see what I have always felt. My belief is that people end up in prison because they have never felt love, they have never been really *seen*, they have not been unconditionally loved, they have never known what it is like to be loved for exactly who they are. Their true selves have been conditioned out of them. They are acting out of fear and desperation. They have given up on the hope that they can ever feel better or ever be loved. They are convinced that they are not worth anything and that nobody cares about them. Therefore, they live to survive. In any way they can. Sound familiar? Anyone suffering from depression probably feels all of these things as well. I know I did.

This is the reason you feel self hatred. This is the reason you feel hopeless. This is the reason you feel worthless.

I understand that everyone has their own journey. I know from my own experience that we are exactly where we should be on our journey. I am in a place now that I know *for sure* that each of us has unconditional love inside us at all times. Depression can be healed when we make the decision to become aware of what we are telling ourselves. Every single person is capable of healing. I know this  deep inside. At the core of every one of us is love. By questioning and changing what we believe we get closer and closer to our authentic selves. Every time you allow yourself to notice your thoughts or beliefs, question them, and then acknowledge what you really believe or feel, you get closer to your truth. The truth is *you are loved* unconditionally, and that you deserve to be full of love. The only reason you don’t know this right now is because the messages you have been taught and told to believe are blocking this truth. This is the reason you feel self hatred. This is the reason you feel hopeless. This is the reason you feel worthless. These are *all* thoughts!!! They are NOT true, I promise you. they may feel true deep in your body. That is *only* because you have had them in there for a long time. That is the only reason!!! Stop believing your thoughts. Begin right now by noticing what you tell yourself. Once you start doing this, you will become more present in yourself, which will lead you to being strong enough to process some of your emotions. This leads to healing…..and ultimately to self-love. I don’t even know you, but I *know* for a fact that I love you.

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