”Pilgrimage of Desire: A path out of walking depression”

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“I once read that succumbing to depression doesn’t mean you are weak, but that you have been trying to be strong for too long, which is maybe a form of denial. So much of life happens somewhere in between being okay and complete breakdown—that’s where many of us live, and doing so requires strength.” ~ novelist Matthew Quick

Let’s play a little word association.

When I say someone is DEPRESSED, what comes to mind?

You might think of someone who:

  • Looks or acts sad most of the time
  • Cries often
  • Can’t feel any emotions (positive or negative)
  • Can’t get out of bed or leave the house
  • Can’t work
  • Can’t take care of themselves or others
  • Thinks or talks about suicide

That’s what severe depression can look like, and it’s a terrible and potentially deadly illness. Most people would notice those signs, realize something was wrong, and hopefully get some help.

But depression has many different faces and manifestations.

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I was one of the walking depressed. Some of my clients are too.

We have many of the symptoms of clinical depression, but we are still functioning.

On the surface, people might not know anything is wrong. We keep working, keep going to school, keep looking after our families.

But we’re doing it all while profoundly unhappy. Depression is negatively impacting our lives and relationships and impairing our abilities.

Our depression may not be completely disabling, but it’s real.

Walking depression can be hard to recognize because it doesn’t fit the more common picture of severe depression. But it can be just as dangerous to our well-being when left unacknowledged.

This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive or to diagnose anyone. But these are some of the signs I’ve observed in myself and those I’ve coached:

Nothing is fun:- You root around for something to look forward to and come up empty.

You can’t find flow:- Working on your creative projects feels like a grind, but you keep plodding away.

Your energy is low: –Maybe you’re not getting enough rest because you’re too anxious to sleep, or you’re trying to cram too many tasks into a day, or you’re punishing yourself by staying up. Whatever the reason, you are effin’ tired.

You feel worse in the morning and better at night:-I remember explaining this to a friend, who found it mystifying. In the morning I felt the crushing weight of all the things I had to do that day. In the evening I was temporarily free from expectations and could enjoy a moment’s respite.

You have simmering resentment toward others:-Sure, you’re still doing what everybody asks of you, but you stew in anger the whole time. You are jealous of and bitter toward people who look happier than you feel.

Your self-talk gets caustic:-You say nasty things in an effort to shock yourself into action. You use shame as a motivator.

You feel distanced from people around you:-It’s hard to have genuine, intimate conversations because you have to keep up this front that you are alright.

You deprive yourself of creative work time:– This helps you exert some control and stirs up feelings of suffering that are perversely pleasurable. Also, taking on new projects that prevent you from writing or making art lets you prove to yourself that you’re still strong and capable.

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Jen Lee has coined the term Dutiful Creatives to describe those who are inclined to take care of their responsibilities before anything else.

“If life were a meal, you’d consider your creativity as the dessert, and always strive to eat your vegetables first. Pacing and knowing how to say No are your strengths, but your creativity is more essential to your well-being than you realize.” from Jen Lee

You notice a significant mood change when you have caffeine or alcohol: –A cup of coffee might make you feel a lot more revved-up and optimistic. A glass of wine might make you feel really mellow and even ~ gasp! ~ happy. (That’s how I finally realized that I was depressed.)

You feel like you’re wasting your life:-Some people have a high sensitivity to the inherent meaning in what we do. Creativity coach Eric Maisel calls this our “existential intelligence.” If our daily activities don’t carry enough significance ~ if they don’t feel like a worthwhile use of our talents and passions ~ then soon we are asking ourselves, “What’s the point? Why should I keep going?”

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Why is it hard to admit that you have walking depression?

You may recognize many of these signs in your life but still be slow to admit that you are depressed. Why is that?

Because it feels presumptuous to put yourself in that category when you’re still getting by. You feel like it would be insulting to those who are much worse off than you. You may feel like you have no real reason to be depressed.

Because your pride and your identity take a hit. You have to admit vulnerability and allow that you are not the all-conquering superhero you thought you were.

Because you realize that you and your life need to change, which feels like more work piled on your plate.

Because you are admitting your own responsibility for your unhappiness and that can trigger self-judgment.

Because you might uncover grief or anger at those around you for not seeing and taking better care of you.

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What to do, what to do?

I’ve posted another entry about how creatives heal from walking depression, and here are the highlights:

  • Rest.
  • Make use of medication and other physical treatments.
  • Do therapy.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Make connections.
  • Reduce your responsibilities.
  • Spend time creating.
  • Change your thoughts.
  • Develop meaning practice.
  • Change your life.

These steps are simple to say, not easy to do, so make sure you get as much support as you can.

 

Pilgrimage of Desire: a path out of walking depression

My life’s work is to help writers and artists recognize their depression and find healing by making their creative work a priority.

As a young adult, I longed to make my mark on the world as a writer. But after university, I got sidetracked by all the demands of ordinary life.

Soon I joined the ranks of the walking depressed. I was working, volunteering, and looking after my family, but I was also desperately sad.

I found the path out of depression by following my desires—to write, to travel, to become a friend and a creativity coach. Eventually, I left ordinary life behind. I thought I’d found my happy ending, but there was more to the story …

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Manifestation- “Create Your Own Reality”.

 

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“The only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down.” “When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you.”

A great many of my teachings are about how the mind creates the reality you live in. I teach people how to create their own reality. Many spiritual teachers do. The benefits of doing that are obvious. But what I want to talk to you about today is the shadow side of manifestation. The shadow side of “create your own reality”. I want to outline some common pitfalls that we might unintentionally tumble into once we have committed to the path of manifestation. Keep in mind that there is a lot of nuance in spiritual practice.

1. The first pitfall is that once we find out that we can make whatever we want to be true, become true for us, we will actually make true whatever we want to be true for us. We enter the la-la land. That may not at face value sound like such a bad thing. But take a look at the downside to this, if we have not fully questioned WHY we want something to be true, or WHY we want something to happen for us, we could be manifesting directly from our suppressed shadow side. For example, one woman who was an avid manifestation practitioner, but who was also an environmentalist, started dating a man who was an off-roading enthusiast. She loved this man, but the thing that was preventing her from being close to him was that he did not seem to care about harming the environment. He was not open to changing his principal past time so she was in an existential crisis. She decided that to be with him, she needed to have an open mind to off-roading. So she went with him on an off-roading trip. On the trip, they ended up killing a small sapling that was in the middle of one of their steepest routes and they ended up driving over some cryptogamic soil. She was thrown into a guilt spiral. She wanted desperately to be free of guilt. So she began to subconsciously and also consciously manifest proof that what she did wasn’t all that bad. Sure enough, she was a match to a meditation experience where she saw that death must occur for anything that is created and that the destruction of the environment was inevitable because it was created. She began to see proof that by adding to destruction, she was clearing the path for a new creation and that death could not be wrong so inherently, the killing cannot be wrong either. She was right. That is one perspective about destruction. But it is not the only perspective. It is not the only truth. And it is certainly not the full objective truth. She decided to invest further in the past time of off-roading in order to be close to her boyfriend.

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Did any of that feel off to you? If the answer is yes, here’s why… You can manifest whatever you want to be true. She wanted it to be true that what she did wasn’t a bad thing. So she manifested proof of it. But the thing to consider is why did she want it to be true? Because A) she wanted to not feel guilty and B) she wanted to be close to her boyfriend. Instead of asking for those two things directly from the universe, she began to manifest justification for something being right that she, in fact, knew felt wrong to her. She was unaware completely of the shadow aspect behind why she wanted it to be ok to go off-roading. The shadow aspect must be COMPLETELY unveiled for a manifestation to actually be completely in alignment. A serial killer can convince himself that by killing women, he is keeping them safe from an even worse fate. He will be able to argue that this is true. He will make it true for himself. But does that make it objectively true? More importantly, is it healthy or in alignment for him to make that thing he wants to have been true, actually be true in his own reality?
Being able to convince yourself of anything is only as good a mental tool as it does. In order to really create well, you need to come out of denial and use the shadow to enhance the light. Use the awareness of what is unwanted to design your perfect life and move towards that instead of trying to change the unwanted into want. We need to question why we want to manifest the reality we want to manifest, especially the shadow reasons. This is how to avoid becoming a serial killer who can justify killing people because, in his reality, he is keeping them safe.

2. The second pitfall is that often when we practice manifestation, we begin to disbelieve in objective truths that we don’t want to have been true for us. We go into a state of denial. For example, many of us don’t want to believe in danger. But the danger exists for people on earth. We may not want to believe that children are sold as sex slaves but they are. We don’t want to believe that there is radiation in the ocean, but there is. We don’t want to believe that the holocaust happened but it did. We don’t want to believe that corporations sway the government, but they do. There are a great many things that exist on earth that are real and objectively true that people don’t want to include in their subjective reality.
Is there an objective truth outside of subjective truth? Yes. Everyone and everything’s subjective truth combined into one big picture is objective truth. To be aware and enlightened, we need to remain open to seeing that truth. Regardless of how tempting it may be, you cannot progress on the spiritual path and live your life inside a bubble reality made for only one. It is a disconnection. We live in a consensus reality. Even though we absolutely can create a reality that is separate from everyone else’s reality, we came here to this consensus reality to co-create, not exempt ourselves from the co-creation. Why might I say the opposite to someone who is in a state of victimization and why might you hear me contradict this last statement while talking to someone in the future by telling them to “create your own reality without caring what is objectively true?” I might do that because they are currently thinking they have no hand in creating reality. They are powerless. But that is not where the truth ends.
Ask yourself these questions, is it a virtue to disconnect from the consensus reality to the degree that you are not even experiencing the same things as anyone else? How do we maintain a view of objective reality while living in our own subjective realities? Last week, I was over at someone’s house and I saw multiple low vibrational beings there, feeding off of someone’s energy field. But the owner of the house is a positive focus junkie who is unaware of the suppressed shadow aspects of himself. Because of his ‘everything is awesome’ vibration, he could not perceive them. The fact that he couldn’t perceive them does not mean that they weren’t there. It just means that he could not perceive them being there.

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You could ask why it is important to see what is there if it is unpleasant. I will tell you that awareness is the answer. Consciousness is the answer. When we discovered enlightenment and discovered how to create our own reality and started teaching it to each other, we did not mean create your own reality by willingly becoming ignorant. I will tell you that it is important to open up and become aware enough to see all of what is there the FULL picture. Not just half of the picture. Not just the light half and not just the dark half. What causes many of us pain is that our eyes are closed to the light half. Not that they see the dark half. Likewise, what causes many of us pain is that our eyes are closed to the dark half, not that we see the light half.
We need to expand on the idea that ‘create your own reality’ can lead us into the pitfall of denial. Mankind is one of the species on earth that is the most objectively self-aware. This has its upsides and its downsides. One upside is, with such a strong sense of “self”, enlightenment is often realized in human form. One downside is, with such a strong sense of self, there is strong motivation to have a positive sense of self and world, this means anything about the self or world that is perceived as negative is often denied.
The human consciousness becomes unaware of what is negative because the human consciousness has developed many beliefs which have made negative not ok. When we make something “not ok” we cannot admit to its existence. We must think we are good to such a degree that we cannot open up our vision wide enough to recognize aspects of ourselves that are out of alignment. Denial prevents us from moving forward as a species because we cannot even admit to what there is to transform. Denial is so much a part of the human consciousness since our species gained the ability to objectively conceptualize identity, that denial is now a self-preservation function of the human brain. Denial is a defense mechanism. It is fascinating to me (when I am not directly suffering because of it) that human consciousness tries to protect itself from itself.
Why are we unable to admit to an obvious truth we see? I suppose I should say, why, (when we are in denial) is obvious truth not obvious to us? Denial allows the ego to protect itself from things that the ego is convinced it cannot cope with. For example, if we are attached to the idea of being the best mother, we usually develop extreme resistance to the idea of not being a good mother. We feel as if we cannot cope with the possibility that we are not a good mother. This is where denial kicks in. The ego protects you from objectively seeing yourself because of the potential for pain. It sweeps the times you were a “bad mother” under the rug and only allows you to selectively remember the times when you were a “good mother”. You have stopped seeing the truth of yourself objectively. Your reality now consists only of what you want to believe. You have whitewashed over everything unsightly. A great many manifestation experts would tell you “good because your reality should only consist of what you want to believe is true”. I do not agree. I think your reality should consist of things you want to make true for yourself and beliefs that work for you whilst being acutely aware that other equal truths do exist in this world.

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Many of our spiritual practices are in fact not spiritual practices, they are excuses not to see or feel certain things that down deep we are afraid to exist or are true. We call this spiritual bypassing, which is the next pitfall. A selective focus for the purpose of manifestation is not the same thing as denial. But the selective focus for the purpose of manifestation serves as a very good excuse to go into a state of denial. You do not have to deny something to validate something else.
Denial is not only about a flat-out rejection of an evident truth. It is also about minimizing the importance of something that is already evidently true in your reality. If we are bypassing by denying or suppressing something, it means we are resisting something. So by encouraging someone to bypass, deny or suppress, we encourage them to resist. We need to allow and explore whatever we feel the need to deny, even if it is just a possibility. The longer we are in denial, the harder it is to come out of it. It is possible to positively focus on something without denying the negative.
The rule of thumb is that if we have extreme resistance to the idea of something being true, we are probably in denial about something. And the more committed we are to AVOIDING our painful emotions, the more in denial we will be. We need to practice non-aversion.
A very common thing to see in the manifestation community is people putting a positive spin on everything. While doing that can help you to see the full picture, and discover the more objective truth behind what happened to us (and thus not get stuck in negativity), the positive focus should not be used to avoid or whitewash over the negative side of the picture. When we do this, we are using positive focus as an analgesic. This is symptom relief, not real and lasting change. Our car broke down because we were supposed to see the pretty sunrise. We are smoking pot because it expands our consciousness. We are proud that our friend stabbed us in the back because she was getting her suppressed anger out. Our mother was a good mom to have because her addictions helped us to find out who we really are. We ignored our own intuition about going somewhere dangerous because we were the hero that was meant to ward off the bad guy. There is a very big difference between creating the kind of world we would prefer (which involves admitting to the full truth of how the world is currently for us) and covering a murder scene with yellow paint so it does not feel so bad. Are you manifesting an improved world for yourself and others? Or are you manifesting yellow paint?
3. The third pitfall is spiritual bypassing. Spiritual bypassing is the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs. Never has a spiritual belief system been invented that opens the door to spiritual bypassing wider than ‘you create your own reality’.

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4. The fourth pitfall is that Manifestation allows you to step into a judgmental state that is void of empathy and compassion because you have convinced yourself that people bring painful experiences onto themselves. I’m not going to go easy on this one. How many times have you heard the following… “They brought on their cancer. They are choosing to be depressed and focus negatively. They created poverty. They could just as easily change their mind and create something different”. It is easy to convince yourself that people either want to experience the painful things they are experiencing or that they are ignorant of creating their own reality and that’s why they are experiencing painful things. This is a disconnection in and of itself from others. And a kind of piousness. Just because someone was a match for cancer because of thoughts or childhood pain, doesn’t mean they deserve cancer and doesn’t mean that the cancer is not real. It also does not mean that they are deliberately consciously choosing it. Much of what occurs in people occurs subconsciously and to act like it is just a matter of attachment to pain or stubbornness or ignorance that makes someone create negative experiences in their reality, makes it feel terrible to spend time around you. Just because you know that you can create your own subjective reality that feels good to you all the time, does not mean that others (who do not currently know that or who have not perfected that art) are less evolved or less spiritual or are choosing to be attached to their pain and egos. In other words, the fourth pitfall is the risk of invalidating people, trivializing people’s experiences and losing compassion by becoming egotistical and holier than thou more manifest.
5. The fifth pitfall of manifestation is the avoidance of negativity. Once people learn that they create their own reality, the very next step people take is to avoid all things negative. You can’t think it if it’s negative, you can’t look at it if it’s negative, you can’t acknowledge it if it’s negative, you can’t do it if it’s negative or else you will create negative things in your reality. When we teach people to use their emotional guidance system by following their joy, people do set themselves free to create the reality that they envision. But the trap of this particular path is that all other emotions become “unacceptable” and one runs from unacceptable feelings.
Denial keeps these unacceptable feelings out of one’s consciousness. While our emotions are a guidance system, they are absolutely not guiding us to avoid all things negative. Suppression and denial of the negative abound as a result of creating your own reality. We avoid our entire shadow side. You don’t need me to tell you just how dangerous that is. Suppression and denial will do nothing but make your shadow larger and make it manifest even more intensely externally, regardless of how aware or unaware you may be of those manifestations.

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6. The sixth pitfall is that critical thinking (not to be confused with criticism) goes right out the window. The baby goes out with the bathwater. Critical thinking is the act of awakening the intellect to the study of itself. It is an open-minded stance. Critical thinking allows us to see multiple viewpoints before deciding what is actually in alignment to manifest. Many manifestation gurus are directly opposed to critical thinking. But the reason they are opposed to it is that you can and will manifest proof for anything you believe and then call it reasonable proof or reasonable thinking. But I happen to be of the opinion that our capacity for critical thinking actually makes us better at manifesting. It means we can develop awareness of all viewpoints before deciding a course of action in terms of creation. The more information we have, the better decisions we make. The more awareness we have, the better chance that our manifestations will be in alignment manifestations instead of out of alignment manifestations.
7. The seventh pitfall is never being able to access the present moment. If we are always focused on creation, we are never in a state of stillness and peace. We never really truly experience the now-ness of life or how the now-ness of life feels. We are never really present with ourselves. When we are using the unwanted to move towards the wanted, we are in a state of perpetual movement, always after the next best thing. This can be a kind of suffering in and of itself. It also makes it so you cannot fully be present with someone else unconditionally as they are right here and now so it can be a barrier to intimacy. If we are living only for what is coming and if we are living in our own LaLa land, we cannot really connect with other people. We can potentially even manifest a reality where we cannot really relate to them and they cannot really relate to us.
We need to practice present moment mindfulness and embracing what is, along with manifestation. We need to stop using manifestation to avoid the current state of ourselves and instead join ourselves in the now with our own unconditional presence. , Even the most exquisite spiritual methodologies can become traps of unconsciousness. You are practicing the art of manifestation. It is a practice that is full of nuances and complimentary contradictories. As frustrating as it is to navigate that minefield with no real solid truth to hold on to, it is an art form that brings you back to the awareness of being the infinite creator and teaches you to sculpt reality itself.

If you are interested in expanding on this concept, please check the link below:-

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”We Will Emerge From The Cocoon, Spread Our Wings, And Fly”

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‘I am closest to my mother, as she is my rock, my pillar of strength, and my world. Not only has she stood by me through all times – happy, sad, and otherwise – but there have even been moments when I had completely lost hope, and her immense belief in me had lifted me up.”

Devastating heartbreak. Sudden illness. Unexpected departures.

Whether it’s a business challenge or a personal situation, tough times happen for everyone.

Trying to “stay positive” and “keep the faith” can feel almost impossible.

And no matter how strong we think we are, unforeseen change can leave us all feeling quite vulnerable and lost.

That’s why it’s important to remember that even though you may feel helpless — you’re not.

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When things fall apart, we sit still.

When things fall apart, we run fast.

When things fall apart, we hang on.

Marilyn Monroe said, “Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together.”

Falling apart is to be expected in the process of life, growth, aging, and death.

What if we stop looking at breakdowns as falling apart, but rather the place between what was and what will be? The time just before things come together in a different way.

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When the caterpillar enters the chrysalis and its metamorphosis begins, we can only imagine that the process of this transformation will be uncomfortable. The cells of the caterpillar literally become what are called “imaginal cells” as the tiny creature grows into something completely different and utterly magical.

Unless the caterpillar undergoes this radical transformation, it will never fly as a beautiful butterfly.

If we don’t break down, we don’t break through.

There isn’t a single successful person out here in the world who hasn’t learned to weather breakdowns and failures.

Pema Chodron said, “Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”

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Mistakes are painful. Sometimes they are life-threatening, or send us to prison, or cause the loss of those we love. Squirming through the discomfort of perceived failure can be downright humiliating.

But when did we decide that worrying and panicking would make any difference?

When you come up against a situation like this remember that on the other end is a golden nugget of hard-earned truth molded from experience. And stretching yourself in that way will lead to expansion.

You get to become comfortable being uncomfortable. We say this a lot. Amazing things rarely happen in your comfort zone, on the couch eating Doritos. In your comfort zone is where you only dream of amazing things happening.

I will never forget the time I was at one of my early team handball practices.  Things weren’t going the way I wanted, I was pissed off, my legs were burning, and I was far from comfortable.  I was in a bad mood and complaining to myself when something literally life-changing happened for me.

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As I turned around to take a look at the other end of the court we were sharing with another team’s practice, I saw that this wasn’t just any team. It was a team of basketball players in wheelchairs. They were going at it hard, leaving everything on the court. Here I was complaining to myself about my legs burning when I realized in an aha moment that I was beyond blessed to have the feeling of these legs burning at all. What would any one of those players give to feel what I was feeling?

Those players could’ve given up when they lost the use of their legs or never started playing at all. But they dreamed of playing and so they did whatever it took to get on the court. Words can’t express how much they inspired me to see my life differently.

Oftentimes when things fall apart, if we just open our eyes, we will see something immensely beautiful.
We will emerge from the cocoon, spread our wings, and fly.

”Rising Storm-Everyone’s Doing The Best That They Can”

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”Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

Albert Einstein

I’m sometimes amazed and embarrassed by how critical I can be — both of other people and of myself. Even though I both teach and practice the power of appreciation (as well as acceptance, compassion and more) when I find myself feeling scared, threatened or insecure (which happens more often than I’d like it to), I notice that I can be quite judgmental. Sadly, as I’ve learned throughout my life, being critical and judgmental never works, feels good or leads me to what I truly want in my relationships and in my life. Can you relate to this?

I’ve recently been challenged by a few situations and relationships that have triggered an intense critical response — both toward myself and some of the people around me. As I’ve been noticing this, working through it and looking for alternative ways to respond, I’m reminded of something “It’s important to remember that people are always doing the best they can, including you.”

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The power of this statement resonated with me deeply when I heard it and continues to have an impact on me to this day. And although I sometimes forget this, when I do remember that we’re all doing the best we can given whatever tools and resources we have, and the circumstances and situations we’re experiencing, it usually calms me down and creates a sense of empathy and compassion for the people I’m dealing with and for myself.

Unfortunately, we tend to take things personally that aren’t, look for what’s wrong, and critically judge the people around us and ourselves, instead of bringing a sense of love, understanding, acceptance, forgiveness, and appreciation to the most important (and often most challenging) situations and relationships in our lives.

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When we take a step back and remember that most of the time people aren’t “out to get us,” purposefully doing things to upset or annoy us, or consciously trying to make mistakes, disappoint us or create difficulty (they’re most likely just doing the best they can and doing what they think makes the most sense) — we can save ourselves from unnecessary overreactions and stress. And when we’re able to have this same awareness and compassion in how we relate to ourselves, we can dramatically alter our lives and relationships in a positive way.

Here are some things you can do and remember in this regard:

1.) Give people the benefit of the doubt:-Most of the time, people have good intentions. Many of us, myself included, have been trained to be cautious and suspicious of others, even seeing this as an important and effective skill in life and business. However, we almost always get what we expect from people, so the more often we give people the benefit of the doubt, the more often they will prove us “right,” and the less often we will waste our precious time and energy on being cynical, suspicious and judgmental.

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2. Don’t take things personally:-One of my favorite sayings is, “You wouldn’t worry about what other people think about you so much if you realized how little they actually did.” The truth is that most people are focused on themselves much more than on us. Too often in life, we take things personally that have nothing to do with us. This doesn’t mean we let people walk all over us or treat us in disrespectful or hurtful ways. (It can be important for us to speak up and push back at times in life.) However, when we stop taking things so personally, we liberate ourselves from needless worry, defensiveness, and conflict.

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3.) Look for the good:- Another way to say what I mentioned above about getting what we expect from other people, is that we almost always find what we look for. If you want to find some things about me that you don’t like, consider obnoxious or get on your nerves — just look for them, I’m sure you’ll come up with some. On the flip side, if you want to find some of my best qualities and things you appreciate about me, just look for those — they are there too. As Werner Erhard said, “In every human being there is both garbage and gold, it’s up to us to choose what we pay attention to.” Looking for the good in others (as well as in life and in ourselves), is one of the best ways to find things to appreciate and be grateful for and we remember that not everything is about us all the time.

4.) Seek first to understand:- Often when we’re frustrated, annoyed or in a conflict with another person (or group of people), we don’t feel seen, heard or understood. As challenging and painful as this can be, one of the best things we can do is to shift our attention from trying to get other people to understand us (or being irritated that it seems like they don’t), is to seek to understand the other person (or people) involved in an authentic way. This can be difficult, especially when the situation or conflict is very personal and emotional to us, however, it is one of the best ways for us to liberate ourselves from the grip of criticism and judgment, and often helps shift the dynamic of the entire thing. Being curious, understanding and even empathetic of another person and their perspective or feelings doesn’t mean being in agreement with them, it simply allows us to get into their world and see where they’re coming from — which is essential to letting go of judgment, connecting with them and ultimately resolving the conflict.

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5.) Be gentle with others (and especially with yourself):-Being gentle is the opposite of being critical. When we’re gentle we’re compassionate, kind and loving. We may not like, agree with or totally understand what someone has done (or why), but we can be gentle in how we approach it, talk about it and engage with them. Being gentle isn’t about condoning or appeasing anyone or anything, it’s about having a true sense of empathy and perspective. And, the most important place for us to bring a sense of gentleness is to ourselves. Many of us have a tendency to be super judgmental of ourselves. Sadly, some of the harshest criticism we dole out in life is aimed right at us. Another great saying I love is, “We don’t see people as they are, we see them as we are.” As we alter how we relate to ourselves, how we relate to everyone else and to the world around us is altered in a fundamental way.

As the Dalai Lama so brilliantly says, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Everyone around us — our friends, co-workers, significant other, family members, children, service people, clients and even the people we don’t know or care for — is doing the best they can, given the resources they have. When we remember this and come from a truly compassionate perspective (with others and with ourselves), we’re able to tap into a deeper level of peace, appreciation, and fulfillment.

”Why Do I Feel I Don’t Know Myself Anymore..?”

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”I don’t fear death so much as I fear its prologues: loneliness, decrepitude, pain, debilitation, depression, senility. After a few years of those, I imagine death presents as a holiday at the beach.”

Hello Folks, I am reaching out to anyone there who suffers from anxiety, unwanted thoughts and depression like me.

I feel like I am living in a dark hole and that nothing good ever comes into my life anymore.

My unwanted thoughts are robbing me from having a good and well-maintained life, I am stressing myself out for no reason and I don’t know what to do, I am so scared and when I look into what long-term anxiety can do to the body I burst into tears.

I had a fear of death for quite some time last year and as of the last December, I had a very bad incident of little hours of sleep in a week.

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”A big part of depression is feeling really lonely, even if you’re in a room full of a million peoples.”

It was so bad that I was drinking to pass out but of course, that makes me SO MUCH WORSE! I have been okay with being able to sleep but it’s only because I have taken something to make me sleepy and then the next day I am drowsy and spacey. I am always thinking about fearing of not been able to sleep, it’s so bad that I don’t work anymore, I don’t plan any events with anyone or even see anyone because I panic about not been rested… I wanted to make music with the humblest person I know but because of this fear, I no longer get involved in music anymore.

I just can’t seem to get my mind of this and it’s destroying everyday, I just do the same thing everyday feeling sorry for myself and crying so much it makes my head hurt.

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DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SADNESS AND DEPRESSION:-

Another important twist is that people can feel sad, even intensely sad, without depression being involved. When people experience a loss, they usually feel sad, but don’t necessarily feel depressed. Sadness and depression have similarities, but they have some important differences.

When people are sad and express their sadness, they feel better, whereas when people are depressed, expressing their pain may not give them relief.

When people are sad and express their sadness, they feel better, whereas when people are depressed, crying and expressing their pain may not give them relief. Sadness doesn’t involve mean thoughts about oneself or hopeless or suicidal thoughts, but depression often does. Sadness doesn’t involve distortion in perception, or loss of perspective, whereas depression usually does. Finally, sadness doesn’t interfere with feeling other emotions, while depression often prevents a range of specific emotions.

In my experience, most people who are depressed have some sense that something is wrong, and if they don’t, people around them usually do. It really doesn’t matter whether suffering fits neatly into the DSM diagnosis for depression or not.

It’s not necessary to diagnose yourself or your loved ones. If you or someone you love is suffering, get professional help to assess what is causing the suffering and what would help relieve it.

 

 

”The Sole Meaning Of Life Is To Serve Humanity”

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”The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.” Leo Tolstoy

What is the true meaning of life?

No matter what job title you hold, how many zeroes you have in your paycheck or where you came from, I know the true meaning of life can be summed up in one word: service.

Don’t believe me? Ask the 14th Dalai Lama himself. I was inspired to write this post after a stranger who gave me this lovely card. It was given to him during a visit from the Dalai Lama. So I wanted to share this gift with you:

I framed it and keep it in my apartment as a reminder that even though life is an intricate, complex layer of experiences, the meaning of life and key to joy is through giving back and serving others.  I used to think to be a writer would bring me joy.

All of my dreams manifested, however, I still found myself feeling empty. My soul was still not satisfied. I was hungry for something else.

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I believe we are all brought here on earth for a reason. As a child, I remember praying  and asking, “Please use me, use my life to make a difference, to help others.”

I’d ask myself, “What am I supposed to do with my life? Why am I here? Am I on the right track?”

I felt like the Santiago, the little shepherd boy in Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist (one of my favorite books) who was searching for the treasure in the Egyptian pyramids that would bring him happiness. I too was searching for that “treasure,” only to become disillusioned after I found it.

After many personal and professional twists and turns, I’ve finally found the joy that I was searching for through serving others via my nonprofit. I believe we all have a power, some sort of talent that comes naturally to us. But it isn’t just about discovering this gift and keeping it to yourself.

As I’ve experienced, the true joy comes from giving it away. I am grateful to use my power of connecting with people and telling their stories to spark civic engagement and ultimately change. Service is the meaning of life and what will ultimately bring you joy.

“Discover and use your power to help others.” Along with this journey, I’ve met incredible people from all walks of life — the true treasures in my life. I’d love your feedback on how these stories made you feel and what you will do to make someone else’s life better.

As you will witness from our stories, it doesn’t take much effort, just a small action. What can you do to serve others? Onward!

 

”Be The Change You Want”

 

”Gandhi, the man who inspired human rights movements worldwide all by dramatically living the simple nonviolent life he preached, once said: “you must be the change you want to see in this world”. We now see this quote everywhere; at churches, yoga centers, political rallies, on workshop flyers, and bumper stickers. But what does “be the change” mean? To be the change means to want, choose and commit your actions to do the right thing.”

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In order to do something, you have to want it. If you want something, you’ll endure all the struggles and pain that come with it. You are determined to reach your goal. A change can only happen if you want to see it happen, and the only a change could happen is if you put your effort into it. The quote “if it’s to be, it’s up to me”, explains to us that too many people think that others such as leaders are supposed to be the change. It’s obvious that nothing is going to happen without you. You can choose to make a change or not. To take action or just sit there. But you know, at the end of the day, the choice was and is yours.

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

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Secondly, choosing is a decision. There are hundreds of students in the school that we don’t know. And maybe one of them is sick of everything. They can’t put up with life anymore. They don’t see the happiness. They don’t feel the love. But you could change that. If you see someone sitting alone at lunch, why not invite them to sit at your table? Everyone is talking about it, reading about it, thinking about it, but they are not doing it. They don’t understand that their actions will only happen by their choice. Gandhi said, “whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it”. This quote encourages me to do the right thing no matter what. To me, this means that I won’t always get an award for every good deed I do, but I should do it just because it is the right thing to do. Our decisions need to be made there and then, and we have to commit our actions to create a change we want to see.

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

6a00d8341c500653ef019b019de1f1970c-800wiNext, committing is like a contract with yourself- to do whatever it takes to reach your goal. A commitment is the action step, the push to get you through the difficult times. No matter what you decide to do, you have to commit yourself to it. Even if it is inviting someone else to sit with you at lunch. When you see a person sitting alone at lunch, you want to make their experience at lunch positive. Therefore, you choose to invite them to sit with you at lunch. But then all these thoughts come rushing into your head, and when you look around yourself, everyone seems to be glaring at you in a weird and awkward way. Just for a stupid reason like that, you decide not to invite the student to sit with you. That is why you need commitment. So you could tell yourself “this is what I want to see happen”. You will need to put all your effort and thought into making it happen, but you can do it. If you want it bad enough, you will not allow anyone to get in your way. That is what commitment means; to give all your effort and thought into making a change you want to see happen, take place. 
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” 

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Lastly, “to be the change you want to see in the world” means to notice what is happening around is us and to take powerful, solid steps towards constructing the life and world of our imaginations. Seeing the change you want to happen will take much of your effort of wanting, choosing, and committing your actions to stand for what is right.

Be That Change This Year And Wish You All A Happy New Year:)