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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How do I win this battle? Or do I need to?

Written by Amie on February 7, 2011 – 12:02 am -

Resistance and letting go

I have been pondering exactly what it is that I am trying to “get to” or what goal I am trying to reach when dealing with depression. When I feel really out of sorts and down, I keep thinking there is some end result-like if I can just beat this depression I will be so happy! I am realizing this is just another way to resist what is really happening in this moment. It is a way to keep me from just being in my truth; feeling what is really going on right now. How do I feel in my body? What is that tight knot in my stomach? If I keep focusing on this happiness point, the conditioned me takes over and keeps me farther away from my real self. Resistance and not letting go are tough lessons to learn. I keep thinking that I should be able to just beat depression once and for all. If I just do xyz…..fill in the blank, then I will have it all figured out and I will be so happy all of the time.


Protection from feeling pain

Well, reality is here to show me that I am making things so much harder than they need to be. I am spending so much energy trying to change “what is”, that there is no way I can ever truly be in the moment. My truth lies in the moment. Feeling resides in the present moment. Suffering happens when I try hard to change what is true right now in this very moment. Being in the moment can be scary so my mind tries to keep me focused on that “goal” as a way to protect me from feeling too much pain. I guess resistance can be viewed as a defense mechanism. My mind’s way of protecting me from feeling emotional pain is to keep me busy by telling me all of the reasons why I need to fix my depression, why I need to change this or that, and why I am flawed because I have depression. The best way for my mind to keep me from experiencing my feelings is to tell me that I will never truly feel good. Why is it the best way? Because it has been repeating to me so many times, I have come to believe it! Bingo! My mind wins, and I lose. It keeps me focused on the past and future, which keeps me out of the truth-the present moment.

I want to be alive and present

I am grateful for my mind for trying to protect me like this. I am sure it was a wonderful thing when I was a child. I am sure that focusing on something else kept me from being hurt emotionally. However, I want to be alive and present in my life. I want to experience all of it. I don’t want to be checked out to avoid pain. Part of being human means experiencing some pain. The more I allow myself to experience real life as it happens, the happier I am. Being happy is not my goal, beating depression is not my goal. Staying true to who I am in each moment is what I want for myself. Because by doing this, I am authentic. Being authentic is what I want. Breathing and living in each moment is what I want to do. I have no goal. I just am. In this moment, I will be.

Surrender or suffer

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