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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Moving your body helps to heal depression

Written by Amie on March 8, 2010 – 1:16 am -

I am connected to my body again!

I’ve been on a hiatus from writing because I just wasn’t feeling it. I always want to be coming from a place of authenticity, so I don’t want to write just for the heck of it. As I may have mentioned in one of my last posts, I have been doing alot of inner processing. Wow, I have to tell you, I feel like I have found something I lost a long time ago. No idea when I lost myself, but all I know is that I am back. Specifically, my head is now attached to my body. I actually *feel* like I am living in my body again. Honestly, I had no idea how cut off I was from my body. By this I mean really feeling the sensations of my body, really *knowing* that those attached limbs are mine. It is so hard to explain the feeling except to say that it reminds me of watching a baby discovering her body; wiggling her hands, seeing her legs kicking in the air. Imagine the baby’s delight when she realizes that *she* is the one moving those little toes, hands, legs. This is exactly how I felt one night when I was doing what I call moving meditation. I was dancing in a dim room with my Ipod in my ears, and suddenly I felt a strong connection to my legs. Slowly, the rest of my body became known. I actually *felt* my legs moving; I mean I really felt the tingling of the *aliveness* in my body. I nearly fell on the floor and cried. I had *no idea* what I had been missing. I was a numb person walking around practically bodiless. I welcomed my body back, and celebrated her arrival!

To feel better-MOVE your body however you can

I must tell you that if you want to feel better-MOVE. I don’t mean move because you think you want to be in better shape, or move because “it is good for you”. I mean go to a space where you can be alone, light some candles (or not), dim the lights or turn them completely off, and then let your body lead you in how it wants to move. No fancy dance moves, no worries about how you look, no thinking you may be doing it “wrong” (there is no wrong here). Just close your eyes and let your body lead you. Trust me, it will. And, the best part? You will feel so much better. No expectations here. Just allow your body to move. I will tell you I have had some strong feelings come up. This may or may not be the case for you. I had so much anger I wanted to punch something. I found an outlet for that, a yoga block. It worked. I even punched the air, and that helped too. Sadness hit me too. Please don’t be afraid of the emotions though. They are energy-as long as I remember to breathe, they go right through me. I feel them in my body, NOT in my head. I get in touch with how my body feels, not what my mind *thinks* about what my body is feeling.

If I don’t know why I feel depressed, moving helps me feel relief

There is a big difference here, and I think this is why movement is so powerful. Our bodies have stored every little detail of everything we have experienced in our lifetime. So sometimes when we feel so incredibly depressed and don’t know why, it is because our bodies were triggered and our bodies are remembering something that needs to be felt and released. This leads to relief and freedom! So many times I have felt so depressed and I drive myself INSANE trying to figure out why. My mind makes up all kinds of scenarios, but none of these stories feel true in my body. My mind is capable of making me believe just about anything, but if I don’t feel it in my body, it doesn’t really feel quite true.

My body needs to move!

Movement is what our bodies love. When we allow our bodies to just flow, just move how they want to, our mind turns off. This is the beauty of moving. I have always been a person who feels better after I exercise. However, this movement that I am talking about is NOT about exercise. It does exercise your body, to be sure, but that is not the point of it. The point is to let your body express itself, let your body be free, and give your mind a break from the stories that are not true. Allowing your body to hear music and move without judgment is like finding a treasure within a pile of junk. I can see and feel that this is one component of healing depression that is essential. Expressing myself in this way is so freeing. It helps me move energy that is stuck in my body.

This is not about what you look like when you move

It is so important to remember that this is not about what you look like when you dance and move. It is not about what you wear or what music is the right music. It is just about finding something that feels comfortable and allows you to move around freely. It is about finding music that speaks to you, and finding a space where you feel safe and free to move as your body wants to. Lock the door if you need to, cover the mirrors, turn off the lights. It is ok to just stand there and wiggle your toes or your hands. Look at your hands when you wiggle them. Remember, there are no special moves or choreography, just follow your body, because it will lead you.

Sending an intention out to the Universe

For the last few months I knew that I wanted to move my body more than I was but I just wasn’t sure of the path. It is always interesting to me how resources and people show up in our lives as we put out intentions out there. I found a wonderful book called Dance- The Sacred Art: The Joy Of Movement As Spiritual Practice (The Art of Spiritual Living). It is on the book carousel on my site. It is exactly what I was looking for. I am also incorporating some yoga into my morning routine before I meditate. My body finally yelled loud enough for me to hear! My truth is popping out everywhere, and it feels wonderful!!!!!!! I feel more confident, authentic, and true to who I really am.

Gabrielle Roth

Start here by listening to Gabrielle Roth’s The Power Wave. I use an Ipod so that I don’t really hear outside distractions, but do whatever feels good to you! You can also download her song called Body Parts. It is excellent to help you focus on each body part. I couldn’t find a youtube video of that one. Imagine all of the other people you are connecting to when you are dancing! Incredible! Leave any judgments or expectations at the door. They are not allowed in. Only your true self (which is perfection!) and your incredible body. Have fun!

There is also a really easy song to dance around to called “C’mon” by Renee and Jeremy , under “featured videos”. It is such a good feeling song!! Shake your booty, you will be so pleasantly surprised and filled with joy!

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