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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Allowing myself to feel vulnerable

Written by Amie on June 13, 2011 – 1:43 am -

My first instinct was to gather my stuff and run out the door

I joined a women’s group a few months ago. I joined because I want to continue to grow and learn more about myself. I also joined because I wanted deeper connection with women who are on a similar path. We have had 5 meetings so far, so we are getting to know each other better, but we don’t know each really well yet.  Yesterday I went to our meeting feeling very positive. We started out just catching up with each other.  Then we listened to a short excerpt from a woman who specializes in attachment theory and bonding. We were about 5 minutes into the talk when I suddenly felt a deep sadness that I have never felt before in my life. I couldn’t stop crying, and I felt scared. The pain I felt in my body went very very deep. My first instinct was to gather my stuff and run out the door.

Feel the Feelings

 

This felt new and scary

Instead I went into another room and just cried. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do; stay and feel vulnerable, or run. A year or so ago, I might have completely shut down by hiding my true emotions. Yesterday I felt so raw with emotion, I couldn’t have shut them off even if I wanted to. I don’t know why I was feeling so raw with emotion. I did have a craniosacral session the night before, but it doesn’t really matter why. The bottom line is, I stayed with my emotions, and I stayed to be with the supportive, accepting women in the group. This felt new and scary. I felt so vulnerable. I have some close people in my life that I can be vulnerable with, but it is still not easy for me. I have to feel completely safe with the people I show myself to. If there is any question as to whether or not I trust them, I shut myself off from connecting any deeper.

The old recordings going through my head

After the talk was over the group was meeting back in a circle to talk about our experience. I could not stop crying. I didn’t want to stop crying, but yet I felt scared to be crying my eyes out in front of everyone. Being vulnerable can be so scary, and we have been conditioned to believe that showing emotion and being vulnerable makes us weak. Many of us have been taught that it is something you do if there is something wrong with you. Even though I felt scared and I wasn’t sure how this whole thing was going to play out, I was able to watch my thoughts. I told myself that I should pull myself together or I would ruin the day for everyone else, I told myself that I was just trying to get attention, I told myself that the other women would think I am crazy, and I asked myself what in the hell is wrong with you. The difference in yesterday vs. a year or two ago is that I didn’t follow those thoughts this time, I just noticed them. I said to myself, wow, look at what I am telling myself, these are some really old recordings showing up in my head. It made me feel so good that I didn’t believe these darn untrue thoughts and beliefs, I was just an observer. This is one of the most important tools we need in order to heal depression. We become an observer of the mind rather than a full believer in the stories and thoughts.

We are supposed to be there for each other

I found out what happens when I decide to stay with my strong emotions rather than try to make them go away or run from them. I felt what it is like to be surrounded by loving people who saw me, accepted me, nurtured me, and listened to me. The best part is that they still want to be my friend, they still want me to be around, and they never once gave any indication that I should stop being who I am! What an incredible gift they gave me, and I gave them. By showing our vulnerability, we make it safer for others to show theirs. We are human, we have emotions, and we are supposed to be there for each other just being a conscious witness. We have been conditioned to believe that if we allow someone to show their emotions and be vulnerable with us, it means we have to do something for them; we have to “fix them”. This is not true at all. People just want to be seen and heard, they want to be validated and told that they matter. Being vulnerable opens up a new line of connection between people. Hiding your vulnerability shuts off your aliveness.

Take a risk and put your foot in the water

I think yesterday’s group was a growth spurt! I felt like a new person after I left. I was very tired, but I felt really good inside. I was still feeling fragile and vulnerable, but it felt good. I now know it is safe to be vulnerable with people I trust. Before yesterday, I had one toe dipped in the water so to speak. This time I took a risk and stuck my whole foot in the water. It is important to risk being vulnerable emotionally with people you trust. It is the only way to grow; to show your true self. The way through depression is to gather as many tools as possible that will assist you becoming alive again. Learning to be vulnerable is a huge step, but it is so very important. I have to reiterate that the people you decide to show your true self to must be trustworthy and you must feel safe with them. Taking a risk can be hard, especially if you have been shut down for a very long time. Take baby steps. Open your heart just a pinch and tell someone something you normally wouldn’t share. Even saying “I love you” to someone you think already knows it. If you don’t normally let yourself say that to the person, try it this one time. But only if you feel safe and you trust the person enough.

You are loved…….you are perfect just as you are….there is nobody else in the world who is just like you……what you have to say and what you feel is important to the world…….be gentle with yourself……xoxoxoxoxo to you all.

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