Wow, it’s been two months since my last blog…
I’ve still been feeling quite internal, quiet and draw in, which at times has left my own mind watchful and worried about my current state; but then, I realize, this is normal, and I let myself be all over again.
Its interesting when you are in a low or quiet or even sad state, that an attitude of “come on, shift gears”, or “I don’t like this, how do I get rid of it” can sneak in and pounce repeatedly. This attitude leaves me feeling criticised, and prodded with expectation to change. This attitude leaves me feeling unhonoured, distrusted, and disrespected. Whenever I notice my judgemental attitude preying on my “depressed” state, I try first to simply let the critical thought be there by simply witnessing it. I even try to express gratitude and compassion to this worried part of me, because really it is only trying to protect me. For whatever reason, it is conditioned to feel scared of sadness, and this is deserving of my compassion. And although it’s going about “serving” me in an unhelpful, critical way, really I know it is ultimately trying its hardest to be on my side. (Its worth noting how comically contradictory it would be to instead start by criticizing the critical/judgemental part of me!! )
So, after simply being aware of the thought, and then expressing gratitude and compassion towards it, I then try to reason with it. I remind this critical part of myself that it’s ok to feel sad, low and quiet; these are normal emotions and mental states to experience as a human living through both internal and external seasons. Although it’s fair to acknowledge my personal bias: that I find these states less comfortable or pleasurable than joy or ease; the truth is these states, in and of themselves, are not bad or wrong. I remind myself that life is a beautiful mystery, and although I don’t consciously understand the purpose of my low state, it’s worth possibly trusting it. Trusting that the flow of my beingness has a mysterious purpose. (Please note that trust is not about indulging an emotional expression, or about choosing a victim mentality towards it, both of which it is useful to get sound,professional support to work with).
There is wisdom and reason to every rhyme and season. So, for the time being, I just need to be allowed to be myself: whether that be quiet, sad, and low, or happy, easeful and light.
And as I mentioned above, I try not to over indulge any state, and instead aim to actualize the choices I know and believe contribute to wellbeing. Although I am accepting and allowing of my depression, I am not entirely passive about it. Through life experience, and my professional education, I’ve come to learn a lot about wellness and how to cultivate it…so, I put this knowledge, gently, into practice. Some of the basics I know will help me to feel nourished, supported and taken care of are: daily rhythm, good rest (minimum 8 hours), gentle activity (walking, yoga, dance, swimming, light jogging, tai chi), counselling (professionally and through good friends), nourishing food, meditation, time connecting and sharing with others, and quiet time alone (especially in Nature). I try to set intentions to feed my whole being with gentleness, kindness, love and peaceful attention.
But here’s the tricky bit: with out expectation for an outcome! So, I have hope and trust in what I’m doing; I BELIEVE that these activities will contribute to my wellbeing, but, I don’t expect them to…discerning the difference is useful! Each one of these activities can be enjoyed for their own sake, with out approaching them with a “you better deliver” attitude. Tricky as it is not to expect them to, while still trusting they will nourish me in the direction of wholeness!
But, this is what it means to be full of dreams and yet empty of expectations!
Its such an interesting, dynamic, living balance to both accept what is and action on what you hope for. The story teller within likes to think of this as being full of living dream seeds, yet accepting and allowing like an empty, hollow bone.
So, on I walk, on I consider, on I am.