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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Your inner voice vs your outer experience

Written by Amie on July 16, 2011 – 1:30 am -

Our hearts are broken but we hide it, we learn to pretend that all is well

We have been taught that depression is an illness and it needs to be treated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it doesn’t, I’m just saying there is a different way to look at it.  I do not believe it is a “condition” that has to stay around forever. Many of us have been told depression should be treated like diabetes, etc. I don’t believe that. This is just my experience though, and I respect others’ experiences that are different from my own. Depression is so prevalent right now because human beings have gotten so far away from love and truth. There is that inner voice that *knows* without a doubt what the truth is. The difficult part is that the outside world is screaming things that make us feel bad about ourselves. The *truth*  and our *external experience* do not match up. Inside me, my voice is shouting,” I just want to be with loving people, sharing my life and experiences on a day to day basis.”  But the message we have learned is that we should be competitive with each other, we should be careful of the crazy people out there, we should not trust certain people, we should do this or that and we will be successful. All negative messages going against what the inner voice (which connects us all to each other, btw) is telling us. We get confused and start ignoring the truth within so that we can “fit in” with others. Our hearts are broken but we hide it, we learn to pretend that all is well. We learn to pretend that we are happy. We learn to hide how we feel for fear of being labeled weird or weak. How sad.

Once you start being who you really are, your depression will slowly start to go away

I am here to encourage you and to help you feel empowered! Yes, there are times when we have to “pretend” with certain people until we can get ourselves into another situation where healthier people are involved. However, most of the time people feel more connected and loving if you share your true self. Others are dying to be real with each other. Look at all of the positive stories happening in the world. Most people are loving and will do anything to help others. This is who we really are! Depression exists because we have gotten away from our truth. So many people have become like robots, just existing to get to the next day. No wonder so many people are depressed!!! I am here to encourage you to start doing one thing per day that helps you to start re-connecting with that truth inside you. Meditation, being in nature, going to a movie; whatever it is that you know makes you feel *good*. Who cares if someone else disagrees with your choice. We *all* hear the same loving messages, we all have a piece of the same thing within us that loves us unconditionally, we are all connected to each other, we are all here to help each other and love each other. Once you start being who you really are, your depression will slowly start to go away. Yes, there will be without a doubt times that you will need to just sit and allow your feelings of sadness or grief or despair to be there, and there will be times that you fall back into a deep dark hole. But the more you practice *feeling*, and the more you start surrounding yourself with people who *see* you and *hear* you, you will start remembering and then knowing without a doubt that all is well, and that you are loved.

Depression is not a disease

Depression is a way of being that came about because we are not living in the way that is true to who we really are. We have been conditioned to hate ourselves. When we start pretending to be something we are not, and we start acting in a way that goes against what our heart really wants, depression is right there waiting to set in. It is our body’s way of saying, “something is off!, something is not right! please listen to me, don’t change who you are!” There are also traumas, horrible situations, etc that will put someone into a deep depression. This is the same thing as I am saying above though-we must protect our hearts when horrible things happen, so we learn to pretend that we are not broken, that we are not hurt, that our hearts are not suffering and aching. Please know I am not saying this is just some simple thing you can just switch.  Becoming aware is the first and most important step. Become aware of what you are saying to yourself, and become aware of *why* you do and say the things you do and say. Is it habit? Do you really feel what you are saying is your truth? I want you to know that you can change, you can learn to nurture yourself in a way that will bring about self-love. Self-love happens when you listen to and follow your heart. When you start following your heart, your heart will lead you to remembering the truth of who you really are.

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Posted in Awareness, Connection, Depression, healing from depression, Kids/teenagers and depression, Meditation, Nurture yourself, Self-love | 1 Comment »
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