Depression as a gift and learning to stay in the moment

Written by Amie on January 12, 2012 – 7:57 pm -

depression was the best thing that happened to me 

I now know *for sure* that depression can be the greatest gift you will ever receive, if you make the choice to come back to your truth and express who you really are. In my opinion, and I think I have said this before, the majority of people walking around today are numb and are depressed. The people who are courageous and who are sick of feeling numb, are the ones who will recover and then go on to help others wake up. I know the consciousness of our planet is growing by leaps and bounds right now. Depression is the soul’s way of waking us up to the truth of who we really are. The truth is every single one of us is pure love. I know this without one doubt in my mind. We are all connected and we are all part of the whole. We all have pure love within us and we all have the capability to be full of joy. I really don’t even like the word depressed because it has such a negative connotation. I can honestly say depression was the best thing that happened to me because it forced me to find my true self. The true self I love unconditionally.

I didn’t know that being present in my life was another option

I want to write about my experience with learning how to stay in the moment. In the past, I didn’t understand what this meant. Even after I read the book, “The Power of Now”, I still don’t think I understood what it meant. I had been in my thinking mind for so long I didn’t know that being present in my life was another option. Once I began waking up and feeling more alive, I began to *really* understand what being present to my life really means. I am sort of “thinking out loud” here because at this point, I am not sure if I will be able to explain the feeling I have about this topic. I will begin by talking about why this topic feels alive in me right now.

everything that happens in my life is because it is what is supposed to be happening

For the past year or so, a certain *knowing* has become a part of who I am. That isn’t very clear, is it?! I will try to describe this feeling. It is a deep knowing I have that helps me trust that all is well. Everything is as it is, and will all work out for my greater good. I am not saying I won’t have disappointment and sadness etc. Everything that happens in my life is because it is what is supposed to be happening. I’m saying, for the most part, I no longer add my “stories” or commentary to situations and experiences. I follow what is happening without trying to analyze it or judge it to be right or wrong. The reason this feels alive in me today, however, is because my old conditioning came back to me in the past few days and I was reminded how it feels to become disconnected from this source of knowing. When I start analyzing a situation, trying to guess the outcome, or trying to figure out the reason behind something, I lose the connection from myself and this *knowing*. The mind (or the ego, or the pain-body) has an agenda to keep me in my conditioned pattern of staying out of the present moment. Just remember, this is something that takes practice if you have been living in the past or the future (in your mind) for a long period of time.

trying to distract myself from my truth or my feelings

When I go into the past or the future in my mind (or some people try to keep themselves so busy so as not to have time to feel), I am not living from my truth. I am living in a made up story with the intent to distract myself from my feelings. When I am distracted from my feelings, depression can very easily creep in and carry me back down. I haven’t been in a deep depression for quite awhile now, but I can feel the feeling in  my body of what I know to be the beginning of falling down into a deep dark hole. I am so grateful to be aware of this pattern. The minute I become aware of what I am doing (trying to distract myself from my truth or my feelings), I remind myself of what is happening, and I am able to come back to what is true.

how to bring yourself back to the moment

I must emphasize to you to please be gentle with yourself while learning this new skill. There are times when, in order to protect ourselves for one reason or another, we must distract ourselves. It is okay to do this if you need to. The important part is that you are aware of doing it. The more you allow yourself to stay in your truth and to be in the moment, you will need to distract yourself less and less. Also, when I talk about staying in the moment, this does not always mean trying to figure out *why* you were avoiding feeling or why you were distracting yourself. Let go of needing to know *why*, and just let yourself feel what is there in your body. The most important tool you have and that nobody can take away from you, is your breath. Breathing and paying attention to your breath will always bring you back to the moment. Practice this right now. Stop reading and just close your eyes and feel the air coming through your nostrils. Feel it flow back out. Now pay attention to your body sensations. Is your stomach tight? Were you holding your breath? Go back to “watching” the air move in and out of your nose. Focus on this. Release the tightness in your body…watch it flow out. Again, no need to figure anything out. Just be an observer. If you find yourself drifting off in your mind…be nice to yourself and say…I will start over. Then focus on the air moving in and out of your nose. If you want to add something to it, you can say to yourself…I am breathing in love (or peace, or whatever you want)….I am breathing out fear (or negativity, or whatever feels true for you).

for example, try this: “I am sitting on a chair”, or “my feet are feeling cold”

Another way to come back to the present moment is this: If you catch yourself doing the analyzing thing…just acknowledge it first…by saying…oops, I am distracting myself right now. Then, tell yourself what is real right now in the moment…for example…if your mind is saying something like, “oh my gosh, why in the world did that happen to me today, this is just crazy, unfair etc.” (and if your pain-body is as mean as mine used to be, it will go further into this: “I must have done something wrong…what is wrong with me…why would I do something so stupid?”) Sound familiar? That was all too common in my mind when I was in a deep depression. The way to start getting out of this conditioning is to state what is *really* true in the moment. Look around you and point out something that is indisputably true. For example, try this: “I am sitting on a chair, or, “my feet are feeling cold”, or, “I feel my toes moving in my socks.” (What is not true in the moment ,or ever for that matter, are the stories you have made up about why you are feeling bad. Test this theory by asking yourself to prove your story. Can you prove it without a doubt?) All of these things (the chair, your feet,etc) are happening in the present moment. This helps bring you back to right now, and then you can focus on your breath. Until a person becomes aware of their thoughts, it is nearly impossible to heal depression. Depression is alive in you because you are not living in your truth. Depression is the pain of your repressed emotions fighting against the truth of who you really are. Your repressed emotions cause an imbalance in your body. Depression happens because you are repressing the true essence of who you are. Shame and guilt keep your true essence from coming out because you were conditioned to hide your true self.

“When we understand that the ability to live with any situation is not in what happens, but in our relationship to ourselves and our own minds, we are free. Absolutely, breathtakingly free.” ~ Geneen Roth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Believe nothing until YOU decide it is true

Written by Amie on August 25, 2010 – 1:00 am -

You don’t need to be fixed

So it has been awhile since I have written, but I am feeling the need to write, so here I am! I have been doing so much internal processing, and I just haven’t had the urge to write until now. I am reading the book The Presence Process, and I am doing the work involved. I highly recommend this book! For me, it is exactly what I needed after reading A New Earth.  I want to write because I am hoping that my journey and process might help someone else on their journey. I think it is really important to remember that no one person or people can give you the answers you need to “fix” you. The reason I believe this is true is because nobody needs to be fixed, and each one of us has everything we need right inside us. Our “job” is to remember what is already within us. Every single person is perfect exactly as they are. Each one of us is exactly where we are supposed to be. We can read and listen to other people which is helpful, but we still have to follow our own heart. Others can get us started on the path to discovering the truth within us, but nobody can do it for us or tell us exactly what is “right” for us. We must remember that we are loved and we can remember the truth when we choose to. It really is a choice that we can make. We can choose to believe the “stories” we have been told our whole lives, whether these were verbal or non-verbal, or we can choose to not believe one single thing unless it resonates 100%  with us. I do understand what it is like to be so depressed that you don’t know to even question your beliefs. However, since you are reading this, you must have a feeling somewhere in your body, that is telling you there is another way to be living.

The towel police???

I want to help you remember the truth that you were born with. Most of us get sidetracked and forget this truth. Rather, we are conditioned and shaped to believe what others and society deem as “right”. The truth is each of us knows exactly what we need, what we want, what we feel. The problem is that we have bought into the stories that we were told. Because we were children when these stories were told, we had no way of knowing that we could question these stories. I have been quite shocked lately at the things I have discovered about myself. In fact, I am questioning everything. I don’t just mean beliefs in general. I mean I question everything I am doing, seeing, believing, liking, observing……I went shopping the other day for some bath towels. I was looking at the colors available, and thinking to myself, “I can’t buy all of the colors that I really like, I have to just choose one color so that they all match.” I almost convinced myself that I HAD TO do this. I almost convinced myself that I had no choice but to purchase one color so that…..so that what??????? The towel police wouldn’t come arrest me for choosing multiple colors of towels….and they don’t all match????? WOW, I realized what my thoughts were telling me and I laughed out loud, and then proceeded to buy whatever colors I loved!!!! And, guess what, they don’t really even match the colors in my bathroom….I know…what a shock!!!! I felt so happy when I left the store. I loved the colors I picked out, and I loved that I chose them because I wanted to, not because of some voice from somewhere (?) was telling me what I should do.

Right/Wrong/Good/Bad

This is the incident that really clarified things for me. I had been questioning my beliefs before, but not to this degree. I wasn’t really allowing myself  to be completely myself. I still had these voices telling me what I “Should” do and what was right/wrong/good/bad. My goal is to not label anything good or bad, right or wrong because who gets to decide what is right or wrong, good or bad???? I am not going by someone else’s idea of that anymore. I check in with myself, and then I decide what I would like to do. I feel free! My world consists of the stories in my head. I want to encourage you to question every single thing that you do. Try to become aware of the stories for each encounter you have. Become a curious child again, and ask yourself why? Why can’t I have the color of towels that I want? Why can’t I go do something nice for myself. Don’t believe any of the stories you are telling yourself unless you can prove that they are true. I can’t think of one valid reason for me not to have multiple colored towels. How can I prove that I must have a matching set? I can’t. It is a story I picked up somewhere along the way. Most of the time, our stories make NO SENSE!  Learning to observe everything without judgment is helping me so much. I am able to step back and laugh at most things I “thought” we true. As Buddha said, “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

LOVE this song and video by Michael Franti! Remember…..YOU are loved always!!!!! Remember the truth within you that can never be taken away.

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