We begin with a series of questions about depression. Notice the common thread of not feeling supported or cared for.
Q: I live alone and my family is so caught up in their stuff that they haven’t a second thought for me, let alone any help. I feel really devoid of help in my home life. I have this autoimmune disease that I probably gave myself, which is literally devastating my little life and I haven’t the support that I give others in need. What happen to “what goes around comes around”? I have literally given the last 25 years helping those that could not help themselves. I am having a hard time helping myself or even wanting to; where is the “comes around” for me? I have just pissed and moaned my way through this letter and I am sending it anyway as I need some help. I am really lost to me.
I’m trying to use Reiki and Emotional Freedom Technique. The tapping spots, are they above eyebrow, side eye, below eye, upper lip, chin, k-27 tap under the collar bone, and hand chopping–also liver and underarm taps? [Yes.] I used tapping when I took tests in Anatomy and Physiology classes. It worked wonders on my tests. My statement was “Even though I doubt my abilities, I deeply and completely accept myself for who I am.” I know the statements need to be specific. My statement this morning was “Even though I don’t feel like living, I deeply and completely accept myself for who I am.” Yesterday’s was “even though my immune system is confused, I deeply and completely accept myself for who I am.”
A: Depression can be anger turned inward because of feeling helpless. It takes a lot of energy to stuff negative emotions, so acknowledge them and imagine them turning heavy so that gravity can pull them down into the earth to recycle. Look at your circle of friends as an intentional family that you’ve created through bonds of affection and shared values rather than biology. Let go of expecting your family of origin to be there for you: You have a new family, divorce the old one in your mind because they’ve been abusive. Get help from practitioners with experience in treating depression.
Q: [A year later–progress! The following is her comment after I emailed the note above.] Wow, I can remember that. That was such a dark, low place. It brings tears to my eyes that someone can feel that low and more so that it is me. I love the change, though it feels so scary at times relying on Higher Power and guidance, allowing the energy to transfer and to love me in the process. The moments are mine to do with what is right and necessary. My heart must lead. I heard that forgiveness begins when we can give up the hope of a better yesterday.
Q: I have been very depressed with strong desire to get off the earth plane. I just don’t know what is with this severe depression and disjointedness. I have so much pain, sadness and depression. I just sob and think about taking pills but my pets are darling and seeing them tells me not to do anything. I have a responsibility to them, etc. and as I write this I think and a responsibility to myself. Why does that not come up first or at all? But I do have a responsibility to myself; it helps just saying that. I wake tired of having to do the day. I don’t want to do this anymore and Great Spirit will not let me go to the other side, so I must learn something to get by. I am finding it really hard to care about me. I am losing interest. Funny thing is when I go within to find out if I can die or not, I get the message “There are folks you love that will need your help and folks you don’t even know that need you.” Why am I so efficient and successful at caring for anyone other than me?
A: What I’ve read about suicides is that their spirits go to a kind of limbo space, very boring. The human body is such an incredible gift because we can learn a lot quickly on this dense dimension.
I’d try to do something enjoyable everyday, look at the stars, plant a new flower, see a funny video, bake something yummy, exercise to get endorphins activated, do some good for someone. You need a support system, someone you can call when you feel hopeless. When brain chemistry has gotten chronically off balanced, we may need medication to get balanced enough to cope. Your depth of despair requires a psychologist. Don’t try to slog through by yourself.
Q: I’m depressed. My family isn’t supportive of me. Help!
A: When I look at your energy field it looks like a weight pushes down on you, keeping you from experiencing the little joys of daily living. If we look at our purpose here as to unfold our potential, as creatures with free will, we select the important people in our lives to provide us the opportunity to grow. Sometimes this means being nurtured and encouraged and sometimes this means the opposite in order to learn self-sufficiency and to find inner strength. If you look at your family as teachers you chose, learn the lesson, and then you won’t have to attract other people like them again. We repeat our particular core issue over and over until we get it. Look within for your strength and acceptance. Try a daily affirmation like, “I can’t change the past but
I can learn from it to create a good future.” The Course on Miracles emphasizes forgiveness of yourself and others. You might want to read the book, which the author believed was channeled from Jesus.
Also, I’d build fun activities into your weekly calendar. Make a list of what you love to do, including daily exercise (triggers endorphins) and a morning walk in the sunlight (regulates melatonin). Everyday look for something simple that tickles your fancy, such as a flower on the roadside, or someone wearing a nutty hat. Keep a journal that includes how you’re progressing and what you’re proud of about your uniqueness. Affirmations seem simplistic, but they help reprogram the unconscious mind to be more positive. Minerals and herbs like SAMe and St.
Johns’ Wort help some people, as do omega 3 fish and flax oil, and homeopathic remedies such a arsenicum album or flower essences like agrimonia or gorse. Experiment with alternative remedies and chart what works.
Q: I cry a lot, am getting tired of being in emotional pain.
A: It feels like since your childhood you’ve taken on other people’s pain to try to heal them, as untrained healers often do. State positive affirmations, such as I deserve to be happy, and be aware of what thoughts come up, such as “Ha, that’s impossible.” Analyze where those negative beliefs came from, usually from childhood. Note how long your crying session is, and then plan an equivalent amount of time for fun, for play. Remind yourself you’re not responsible for other adults and taking on their junk doesn’t help them or you.
Q: [Japan] I was hospitalized for three years with depression and now I’m having trouble with my adult daughter who still resents my absence in her adolescence.
A: Depression often follows after unresolved trauma and part of the psyche splits off or disassociates. A soul retrieval ritual may be useful as well as western medicine techniques.
Recognize your daughter is an adult now, don’t offer her advice unless she asks for it, and think of fun outings to do together. People bond when they share positive experiences together.
Q: My parents were alcoholics who neglected and abused me. I still feel depressed and dislike my inner child.
A: Try replacing that childhood girl. Thank her for getting you through in one piece, then replace her with a happy girl. The unconscious is programmable, as when a hypnotist tells a subject that he is going to place a lighted cigarette on the subject’s skin it blisters even though the hypnotist uses a pencil. We can recreate inner parts with our imagination, creating a kind of inner movie about how we would like to recreate our childhoods. Dialogue with the inner girl by writing notes for her, conducting an imaginary dialogue with her, and paying attention to your dreams. Ask what she would like to feel nurtured.
In John Bradshaw’s “Homecoming” audio tape he suggests a Neuro Linguistic Programming technique to heal your childhood. He explains that the unconscious doesn’t know the difference between thought and reality, as in body being aroused by a sexual fantasy. Redo the memory, giving yourself a new childhood with internal remapping and reprogramming. You may need to revisit the same memory many times.
Relax, get comfortable, breathe deeply, and let go in a way that balances you, keeping yourself safe. See a door, a long winding hallway with a door at the end, and open the door to your room. Make it any way you want it to be, beautiful, simple, with colors you like. Put a chair out for you and a smaller chair for your inner child. Ask the child to be there with you, having a sense of him or her. Tell her, “I’m your champion; I’m willing to go back with you to times that were hard for you. I have some strength we can use.” Ask the child to tell you about a time when it was shamed, got in trouble, got a spanking etc. See that scene on a screen. Be there in your own body being the champion, feel the resource and strength that you have. Make a fist with your left hand and feel your strength, your resources. Breathe, be back in the room and relax.
Tell your child, “I’m willing to go back in that memory and protect you.” The child needs to be willing and cooperative to do it. If it is OK, take the child by the right hand, and walk into the scene, making your left hand a fist. Keep doing it till it feels better, more powerful. Take a deep breath, relax both hands, and both of you be in the room. Tell the child what it needed to hear,
“You’re a wonderful little boy/girl, that was awful those kids were bullying you, or whatever.” Relax your hands. Tell the child, “I’m your champion now, I have strengths you didn’t have then.” Give it a hug, walk back, breathe, and open your eyes.
Q: I can’t let go of past disappointments and sadness.
A: Think about the image of peeling onion skins layer by layer. Let a little sadness go each day. Visualize it turning to dust and blowing it out. Set your intention to find something enjoyable about each day so your attention is in the present rather than the past.
Q: I get anxiety attacks when I get in the car to leave the house.
A: I’ve had a cluster of questions about anxiety. Although uncomfortable and scary, in fact anxiety doesn’t cause a physical problem like a heart attack. Analyze the triggers like getting in the car and figure out what they means to you, like leaving the home feels unsafe. For some people a pool of fear surfaces in fear of flying or a car wreck even when they have no negative experiences with these things; this deeper pool needs to be explored and vented with the help of a therapist.
One solution is to gradually desensitize the fear by associating it with something safe, such as just sitting in the car with a good book, fun music, and a comforting cup of herb tea for five minutes, then ten minutes the next time, until you feel comfortable turning on the engine.
You also can try distracting yourself as by listening to music. Create a mental picture of a safe beautiful place and call it to mind when you start to get anxious. For example, I call forth a joyous experience when I was snorkeling in Hawaii surrounded by a large school of small silvery fish and felt peaceful in their midst.
Instead of trying to repress the obsessive anxious thoughts which creates more anxiety, allow yourself to be obsessive about counting and recording them, recording how many come up during the day, acknowledging them and then imagining them flying off like birds. To deal with the underlying fear about safety or lack of confidence, simple visualizations to feel grounded and centered are explained in Essential Energy Tools. Another tool is tapping on acupressure points in Emotional Freedom Technique. Tapping can derail the habitual response amazingly quickly.
Imagine you’re a turtle, carrying your safe shell with you when you leave home. Visualize a bubble around your body made of space launch strong plastic. You can see out but other people’s energy can’t permeate. Shift your focus from your internal anxiety to looking a people you encounter as works of art, with various colors and sizes and shapes.
Q: I get anxious when I’m driving too far from home. How can I get more courage to explore?
A: When you want to change a chronic problem such as anxiety or pain, NeuroLinguistic Programming suggests changing the memories and sensations about the problem, as by imagining it as a movie, then running it backward and then erasing it. Try the “Swish Pattern” to change the senses around the problem (NLP: the New Technology of Achievement by Andreas and Faulk). Some of my coaching clients have used these techniques with good results. 1) Think of the problem and an image to represent it. What do you see in your mind’s eye? 2) Change gears by saying your phone number backwards
to distract yourself. 3) Create a resourceful positive image. 4. Put the positive image in a tiny sparkling dot of light and enlarge it. Go back and forth from the positive image in an enlarging dot to a neutral blank screen until you don’t feel unpleasant feelings. Let the positive light enlarge and multiply and encircle you. Test by trying to get the original negative image back.
In addition, try an affirmation such as “My safe place is not physical: It’s inside me.” Take breaks while you’re driving to get out and stretch and get grounded to the earth. Also try acupressure tapping (emofree.com).
Q: [Japan] I’m uncomfortable in crowds.
A: Imagine a protective bubble around you sparkling with light-emitting sequins that repel other people’s energy. Focus on the crowd as art from behind your eyes in the center of your head (as when you’re on the train), looking at colors of clothes, hair styles, different ways of walking, and so on. Make it an enjoyable experience like going to an anthropology museum rather than an ordeal.
Q: I’m a sensitive guy so being around groups of people is difficult for me.
A: Therapist Elaine Aron reports in her book The Highly Sensitive Person that people like you, around 20 percent of the population, are bothered by high levels of stimulation, such as noise or crowds. They are more likely than other people to respond to subtleties, be intuitive, and overwhelmed. They may not set boundaries between themselves and others. Aron explains HSPs often are prescribed drugs to cope with anxiety and depression because the serotonin levels in the brain get eroded by cortisol levels, caused by the ongoing stress of over-arousal.
Just knowing you’re an HSP can reframe your judgments of yourself, give yourself permission to set aside time alone to recharge your batteries or to take time to make decisions. Aron suggests HSPs should also avoid caffeine and sugar, carry ear plugs in case of loud noise, eat protein snacks to restore blood sugar levels, meditate, do deep breathing, listen to peaceful music, drink calming herb teas such as chamomile and lavender, and get plenty of sleep. (Aron also provides a workbook and writes a newsletter, titled Comfort Zone.)
Visualization tools can help HSPs to be less reactive to the environment. Imagine tucking an energy bubble in under your feet so that you feel a complete egg-shaped shield around you. Put a violet flame around your energy field if it feels protective. To define your boundaries, imagine big, bold “No Trespassing” signs outside your aura and visualize it filling it with soothing colors.
Q: I’m a people pleaser and sometimes I get caught up in other people’s dramas; it’s draining.
A: think of being in a tennis game. You stay on your side of the net. You can give suggestions, if asked to, but otherwise respect boundaries between adults. Taken too far, this tendency can be co-dependency.
Q: I put myself last in order to be nice to be others.
A: If you suppress your irritations and resentments, they don’t go away; they simmer under the surface and erupt in irrational ways. For example, I knew a woman who resented her husband and “accidentally” burned his favorite foods. They eventually divorced. It’s actually nicer not to “gunnysack” your little resentments until they build up and prevent you from being loving. Use effective communication skills, saying “I feel___ because___ and I suggest ___ as a possible solution for us to negotiate.” Do active listening where you both let the other person know it seems to me “you’re feeling ___
because___” until you get it right. Remember, this does not mean you agree, just that you understand, which goes a long way in relationships.
Q: I regret not being a better husband and regret my past decisions. I’m a worrier.
A: The past is water under the bridge. You can’t change it but you can learn lessons from your experiences. Remind yourself that we’re all imperfect and that we grow by learning from our mistakes. Focus your attention on what you want to manifest now and in the future. When you start your worry habit, think of taking out that tape from a recorder and putting in a new tape that says, “I direct my attention to what I want to create now.” Make a list of decisions and qualities that you’re proud of and add at least one a day to balance the inner critic’s carping voice.
Q: [Japan] I’ve had a stalker. I look at him as a teacher for where our frequencies match and I surround myself with my own protective energy bubble.
A: You’re very wise to look at each experience as an opportunity to grow in understanding and strength, a mirror to unresolved unconscious issues. If he continues, let the police know. It’s 20 smart to ask for help when we need it.
Q: I feel really ungrounded and like I’m not sure I belong on this planet.
A: Research proves that intention is the key to harness the power of the mind (see Essential Energy Tools for the scientific explanation). Visualization serves to focus the mind. Imagine that you have a beautiful energy bubble around you and see it as clearly defined all around. Fill it with an earthy color like green. Then visualize a tree or waterfall from the base of your spine, descending deep into the earth, like your taproot. Make it as wide around as your hips and clearly defined, try putting gemstones around the pipe to make it easier to see. A shaman would say you’ve suffered disassociation caused by trauma and that soul retrieval is called for to bring back lost parts. Try the Young Living essential oil blend “Grounding.”
When I look at your purpose, it looks like your spirit vibrates at a really high frequency. You’re here to help lift us up from a low density to a more spiritual level, to turn swords into plows, to use a Biblical image. I see wings behind you, an intriguing image!
Q: A week ago I was snorkeling by myself on Maui. Before I go in the water I give thanks for the beauty and ask permission of the four directions. Although entranced by the underwater coral beauty, I was drawn to look over my shoulder. I saw a large gray fin with a large body pointed in my direction: Shark– my worst fear. I did what you’re not supposed to do and splashed and kicked, swimming for shore as fast as I could. When I asked a fisherman on the beach if he’d noticed anything, he said, “Yes, a big gray thing was following you.” I’m OK during the day, and feel more assertive than before the encounter, but at night I have scary flashbacks to that fin.
A: Think of this as an initiation into a higher state. You faced the embodiment of your fears, didn’t freeze, and got away. Since a shark can out swim us, I believe your prayers connecting you to the divinity in that place protected you. When you see the shark image in your mind’s eye, thank it for its gift of life and replace the fin with a bright gold sun full of enhanced courage. Let the fear surface, don’t repress it, sending the fear down your imaginary grounding pipe into the earth. Some Hawaiians regard the shark as a protective spirit (aumakua) and view seeing a shark as a good sign. Appreciate your new lease on life! You’ll probably want to snorkel with a partner from now on!
Q: My mother always tells me I’m wrong and it makes me doubt myself although I’m in my 30s.
A: Criticism can be a form of control. If she keeps you off balance, then she feels she can make sure you will take care of her when she’s old. Sometimes people criticize what bothers them about themselves, projecting it on someone close to release the tension of conflict. You’re an adult, so you can tell her you would like to hear about what you’re doing right, and you’re not going to listen to frequent criticism. You can be polite about it, simple, say something like, “Mom, let’s stay positive.” If she doesn’t, get off the phone or walk away.
Q: I was in foster care and group homes since the age of five because my parents were abusive to each other and me. At 18, I was on my own with no support from anyone. I still have no idea where my parents or brothers live. I stole and was in prison, and did it again. I was out for two years and loving earning my own living, and learning a trade, but I was caught taking some scrap metal to sell. In
Butte County, with the third strike law, I’m looking at 25 or more years in prison. How can I cope with this?
A: Some men chose to spend their lives in contemplation and prayer in a monastery. You didn’t choose this path consciously, but instead of descending into anger and despair, I’d look at yourself as a monk.
See what good you can do for other inmates, visualize the planet healing and truth about the lies told us coming to light. See what you can learn, like Spanish from other inmates, and take correspondence courses. I’d also write letters to newspaper editors about the injustice of the third strike law. Seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me.