As a teenager I suffered from severe angst and depression. My parents threw me into intensive therapy which only made matters worse, and I went deeper into my negative thoughts and hopelessness, and my life spiraled out of control. Not until maturity (late in life) did I find relief from depression and a way out of circling down the drain of despair.
Depression can feel like you are living behind bars of a jail cell, in your own mind. The bars are wrapped around your head, and you feel as if there is no way out. Anyone that has suffered from depression will know exactly what I am talking about.
The trick to this trap is to take one bar off at a time with patience, practice, and compassion. How do you remove those bars? It is done through finding small things that bring you joy. Write five things down that lift your spirits. Put the list on you fridge or in your wallet, and implement them daily. It could be as simple as having a cup of tea with a friend, taking a walk on the beach barefoot in the sand, or watching a comedy on your computer or television. Take tiny steps to elevate your mood through tiny actions that feed the spirit daily.
Only in the last couple of decades have we studied what makes us happy. Previously, our culture has been focused on what makes us sick. In the research they found that negative thoughts seem to be like velcro in the mind, while positive thoughts are like teflon in the mind. As a culture we are obsessed with illness, diagnosis, afflictions, and problems. We have to use extreme cognitive effort daily to focus on the good in our lives, and velcro them into our daily thoughts, and make them a habit, like brushing our teeth.
The biggest remedy I have found for my healing from a deep depression was to find a way to discipline my mind to find thoughts, feelings, and actions that literally elevate my consciousness. Here are a list of ways that I have found to elevate my consciousness daily, so I can live a life that keeps me from living in that jail cell of negativity, despair, hopelessness, and helplessness:
The key to having freedom of the mind, body, and spirit is to do things that elevate your thoughts and feelings and do them daily. Joseph Campbell said it so succinctly when he said, “Follow Your Bliss”. Don’t rehearse all the wrongs that have happened to you or will happen to you. Find what brings you joy now, and implement it.
If you need to see a therapist for your depression, seek help. But remember that you may want to find one that studies happiness, as well as the DSM-IV.
Remember to always choose the path that will lift your spirits and you will soon find that you are a magnet to positive people, circumstances, and behaviors. It’s a discipline, and once you master it, you have the master key to unlock the jail cell of your own mind at all times. Enjoy your freedom.
This is going to make you really mad, so you have to read the whole blog in order to cool your boiling blood, and it will make sense and empower you at the same time.
You are 100% responsible for everything that shows up in your life.
Yes, many self empowerment teachers tell us in order to take control of our illnesses, finances, and relationships, we have to stop blaming others for our circumstances and know that it is 100% our responsibility.
Before your blood pressure goes haywire, let me clarify what “responsibility” means. How we respond to the events that happen in our lives is the outcome. I have heard the equation spelled out like this in Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles”:
In the above equation, we are powerless over the (E) events in our lives, but we can always choose how we want to (R) respond to the (E) event that occurred, and then the combination of the (E) event and the (R) response creates the ultimate (O) outcome of our lives.
Let’s say a tsunami hits your life. Tsunamis can come in all forms, like cancer, death, divorce, or an accident. We may not be responsible for what happens to us, but how we choose to respond to it determines the ultimate outcome. If our response is filled with optimism, humility, and compassion, the results will have those attributes. If we react with anger, blame, hysteria, and self pity, the outcome will bury you under your covers with the shades closed.
So how do you respond to the events in your life? The answer is simple. If you want the life of your dreams, respond in ways that elevate your existence. If you choose to live a life filled with blame, victimization, and helplessness, your life will be filled with all three.
Everything that shows up in our lives is equal to how we choose to respond. If we as individuals are 100% part of the problem, the good news is that we are 100% part of the solution.
Let’s get busy and throw out the complaint and blame game. Respond now with an action plan on how to improve the outcome with thoughts, feelings, choices, and behaviors of optimism, enthusiasm, and creativity. It’s 100% up to you! Don’t you feel calm and better now that you know you are the captain of your own outcome?
Thanks for reading and sharing. Namaste.
Do you have friends that can be nicknamed NegativeNellie or David Downer? Maybe you have friends that incessantly go on and on about their surgeries in every minute detail, or someone that judges every individual that walks by, and feels inclined to put them down, in order to make themselves feel better.
Be careful of the company you keep. Ask yourself if you would like to emulate the people you spend the most time with. If not, it may be time to either spend more time with yourself or choose better company. I love what motivational speaker Jim Rohn says, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.
Every day, I listen to amazing inspirational speakers and authors on the internet and YouTube. Daily, I immerse myself with people that are focused on bettering their lives, the planet, and people at large. My interest is infusing my thought life, my cells, and my very being with goodness.
Satsang is very popular in the United States and in the yoga culture at large, Satsanga is sanskrit and the meaning is (sat) meaning truth and (sanga) meaning company. Surrounding yourself with a community that is invested in reading or singing scripture, spiritual text, or discussing higher truths is essential in order to infuse a deeper meaning in our personal lives.
Smokers and drinkers congregate. Hikers and health nuts unite. Yogis and meditators find one another. Businessmen and bankers do lunch. Families gather in parks and recreation centers. What is your community?
Is your tribe uplifting? Do you grow and expand, and thrive with the daily rituals you share with your cohorts? If not, maybe it is time to join some new Satsang in your region.
It is inevitable that we pick up the habits and traits from those we keep company with. It may be time to loosen the ties with Negative Nellie or David Downer, and spend more time with Optimistic Oliver. If you are unable to raise the shades of those you surround yourself with, to let light in, it may be time to get your flashlight out and search for a new tribe and shed light in a newfound direction for your people.
Thanks for reading and sharing. Namaste.
Registered Yoga Instructor Certified Life Coach