The truth is, I believe that very few of us have escaped depression and anxiety’s greedy clutch completely. Whether we talk about it openly or not, it has become a part of our current society’s identity and burden.
The good news? It doesn’t have to be.
I struggled for years, decades, with debilitating depression. It zapped my creativity, wreaked havoc on my relationships and painted my days a gloomy gray. My anxiety would interfere with my going to work, grocery shopping or even leaving my bedroom some days.
Most of this was the result of some painful childhood events. But some of it was also a reflection of our times. As a whole, we’ve become so disconnected from Nature and her gifts, so entrenched in technology and media, that we have forgotten the tools we need to thrive emotionally and spiritually.
Now, I’ll spare you a long diatribe on my feelings about our pharmaceutical/medical industry. Having both worked for the industry for 10 years and been at their products’ mercy during my bout with depression, I have nothing positive to say. And momma always said, when that’s the case it’s best to say nothing at all.
So let’s just say that sometimes, aegrescit medendo.
That’s Latin for “the cure is worse than the disease.” I even Googled it so it must be true. And I’m hoping that my momma will agree that if you say something negative in Latin, then it’s okay.
But one day, like a gift from above, I was introduced to someone who could help me. Like, really help me, not just mask my symptoms in a haze of exhausting, weight-inducing and mind-numbing drugs.
The first thing they did was to wean me off the medications that were quite literally killing me. And the second thing they did was to teach me to meditate.
I believe with all my heart that meditation saved my life.
Through guided meditations, I was able to find peace, clarity and inner strength. At first these were only brief glimpses but soon they began to last longer…and longer…until I would find myself having a whole day, then a whole week and eventually months at a time without feeling the Dark Cloud looming over my head.
Mindfulness meditation was perhaps the most powerful ‘pill’ of all. This technique gently guides us into focusing only on the present moment and the power and freedom that reside there. It gets to the heart of our being, the Observer. Through this practice, we learn that we are so much more than just the sum of our feelings. As my yoga instructor used to say at the end of each session:
We notice our thoughts, we notice we are noticing our thoughts, we notice we are not our thoughts.
After practicing regularly for several years, I began to see the truth: That we are safe, complete and whole in the Now. That there is nothing to fear or regret. That we are beautiful and perfect, as is everything we are experiencing.
Ahhhh. Sweet freedom.
So I began to explore meditation like a dog explores the unattended dinner table. I practiced chakra healing meditations, binaural beat meditations and positive affirmation meditations. I studied the Sufi tradition of Remembrance and even busted out my rosary beads from childhood. I devoured anything that would quiet my mind and bring peace into my life.
I had finally found an all-natural, 100% healthy and wonderfully spiritual journey to wellness. Yes, it took time and commitment, and yes it was an uphill climb. But I learned to be gentle with myself when I’d veer off-course and, without judgment or self-flagellation, simply pick up where I left off.
Now is a time of transitions and change.
These days it seems we are being asked to face even more challenges than ever. Can you feel it? It feels big doesn’t it? And kinda scary? Things are changing, WE are changing and let’s face it, change does not feel very comfy most of the time. Everyone I talk to seems to be in the same place right now. A little anxious, a little grim, a little excited, too.
None of us can really understand these transitions or where they are taking us, yet. But each of us can do something to make this time a easier, more peaceful. And I honestly believe that something is meditation.
I’ve created a series of three meditations designed to heal and guide you through this holiday season and times of change. If you check it out and decide it’s for you, you can receive $5 off at checkout using the coupon code: IAMLOVE.
Click here to check it out: Spirit of the Holidays Meditation Kit
However…I’m not concerned with whether you choose my meditations or another’s. What I really care about is that you give this powerful daily practice a chance to work wonders in your life, as it has in mine.
What are your experiences with meditation? Do you practice regularly? What advice can you offer to someone just getting started? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.
PS: After this week, these meditations will be sold separately at $6.99 each so take advantage of the savings and get all three for only $9.99 with the coupon code: IAMLOVE. This is the first step in our journey of unconditional self-love. All week we’ll be exploring new ways to find deep and lasting love and acceptance for ourselves. It is through this work that I believe we can truly have the most positive impact on our world today.
Photo courtesy of Cornelia Kopp