Flying Solo


Did I ever tell you I was broken?  Yep, I kept myself that way so you can love me.  I didn’t know any other way for you to even look at me.  So if I remained out-of-order, you would come to my rescue.  I was the bird with a broken wing.  Never really flying very far, like a fish in its fishbowl, I was comfortable in my surroundings.  I thought to myself, with my birdlike wisdom, my wing could never heal because if it healed, that meant I had to fly on my own.

Flying on my own!! That is the scariest thing imaginable.  I would have to jump off a branch and trust that the wind would take me and my wings would work.  Flapping them, would mean trusting myself that I can do it.. and the last time I did, I fell, and broke my beak.  Things went downhill from there.

Then one day, while watching all my bird friends, fly around.  I was getting quite jealous just sitting out on my perch.  I was observing how much fun they were having, and how many worms they were catching.  Obviously it was challenging for me with my  sore wing to get worms so early.  I was hungry, I was lonely and I decided I was worthless.

You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.  ~Amelia Earhart

The other birds felt bad, and sometimes they would come and share their bounty with me, yet, a few birds, the ones that hang out on the wire would sing behind my back.  They often had weddings there, and I was never invited.  I heard them talk about me saying how lazy I was, that if I just worked harder at fixing myself I could have a better life.  This is when I started believing I needed to be put back together.  However, who would do that?

I also had my friends, the blue birds, they would always cheer me on and tell me that everything is going to be alright.  They complemented me on my style, and how they loved the single purple feather which lined my wings.  They told me to believe in myself, that sooner or later I would fly just like them.

As much as they loved me, I often never received their love with open arms.  I thought it would be easier to lay low in my nest, hoping for a visit once and awhile.

K. Shreesh Then one day, my wing hurt so bad, I went to scoop up a juicy worm,  and I fell 10 feet below heading towards my death.  I couldn’t get the nerve to flap my wings, and started to let myself fall.  Then, low  and behold a raven swooped by and picked me up.  He told me he saw me falling from miles away and couldn’t let such a beautiful bird die.  That’s when I turned to him and said:  Can you help me?  Can you teach me how to fly like you do?

He complied right away, and we started flying lessons the next day.  As the days grew longer and the nights grew warmer, I felt my strength come back.  I felt like a hawk!  Ready to face the air!  Ready to swoop over huge mountains.

The birds around me started flocking my way.  I finally was invited on the electrical wire to the morning dove’s wedding.  How wonderful.

Then it hit me, I was never EVER broken.. I was always whole.  I just needed to listen to myself, to my teachers, and to my birdly instincts all along.  And KNOW that the Universe is always there, guiding me and supporting me every single beat of my wings!

I can fly
I can fly
I can fly

Chrysalis Escape


“I dream of a better world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.” ~ Unknown

The above “unknown author” quote was the inspiration for today’s post. I’ve been quiet lately. Especially at home.  My psychotherapist had prescribed “cocooning” as a method of self care and I dove into it full force.   My writing muse has been lost in my journals for the past few days.  I was offline for awhile and I rediscovered my love for my diaries.  I went out and bought myself colored pens, I searched through magazines for pictures, I took out my glue and started decorating!    I have 4 journals now.  A gratitude journal, a journal for my blog, a journal for rambling and another for pictures, quotes and tarot readings.

While offline, I began throwing out things that had been cluttering my new place (already!! I know).  After my last post , I found the need to get rid of some things.  This usually leads to me getting rid of things in the depth of my soul.  I feel old hurts coming up, old wounds which  need to be healed and I am finding my VOICE!

That voice that tells me:  “I love you its ok to be where you are at”!  Last week the “ugly voice” emerged.  It kept on telling me I was “unworthy, lazy and fake!” can you believe this?!!  I found when this old voice speaks, it speaks from my mind.  When the loving voice speaks, it comes from my core.  Right at the center of my stomach.  This, my friends, is an amazing discovery.  My thoughts (some of them) have no power if they do not come from the source, I know this now.  The source is at the center of myself, the center is connected to all things which make us ONE.

Change is an announcement of Life’s intention to go on. Change is the fundamental impulse of life itself.”– Neale Donald Walsch

Since my depression diagnosis, I’ve discovered so many things about myself I didn’t know.  I am literally falling in love with me!  Yet, the old voices are fighting for their life, while I fight for mine, and they are not winning. I learned, with Jennifer Shelton, reading her post Confident or egotistical? Consider the Source to let the voices come, and they will dissolve. I did an Ego Busting session with Sylvia van Bruggen.  Sylvia’s wisdom and genuine love gave ME a voice to tell the ugliness to “F-Off!”  I love this part, although sometimes I speak out loud and my kids will turn away and say “What did you say mom?”  my usual reply “I’m just talking to myself” but really I am not, I am speaking to a voice that is ingrained in me since childhood, this voice and these thoughts are NOT me!   Fighting with them is fruitless, but speaking and acknowledging their presence helps them dissolve.

This is quite a challenging, yet exciting path I am on.  I went from one extreme to the other, and I feel I am about to emerge even more in the next month or so with a better, loving and trusting sense of self.  I have this itch to go out there and discover the world, and I know I must do it in baby steps.  With anxiety and depression with me, I must not jump off the cliff, yet integrate myself at a slow pace trusting the Universe is conspiring on my behalf to help me fulfill my purpose.

This is where I am at.  Taking the ride down the river of purpose.  Slowly finding what makes me tick, what makes me shine and glow like a Tinkerbell!  On this ride so far, I’ve rediscovered writing, photography, and I know I love to help others.  But first, I must help myself.. care for myself, and first and foremost listen to the inner loving voice of my power chakra.

What makes you tick? What is your passion?  Have you rediscovered something you once loved?  Please share with me!

Kim

Seasons: Fury or Bliss?


Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.  ~Pietro Aretino

Watching the fury of the snowfall today reminds me of a post that came to me the other day while walking to the store.

It was a sunny springlike day.  The sun was warm and the snow was melting.. I could even hear the sounds of the birds whom had awakened from their winter nap.  All of a sudden, I noticed a paper cup on the ground, then a food wrapper..  Further down, there was a McDonald’s fry container swimming in a puddle of ancient snow water.. When I thought to myself:  “God.. people can’t wait to throw their stuff away in the garbage”  I mean, there are garbage cans every few blocks.

Then it dawned on me.  We do this.. We do this in our lives.  We take garbage and throw it at ourselves, or we let others throw their garbage at us and we take it!

So I started going through the seasons and saw the seasons as a spiraling cycle of growth a continuum of sorts…  As I walked.. This inspiration came:

Summertime… A time for sun and fun, we are enjoying the outdoors.. swimming, camping enjoying those warm summer evenings under the stars.. However, summer is also a time of great energy and vacation.. We may ignore certain things which need to be done for the pleasure of fun!  This is a good thing.. however, things may pile up in summer… So think of your soul as summer.  Which part of summer are you in?

For example, you are not well, the energy is low and maybe you are in a bad relationship.. During the summer you may allow things like insults, or drama to clutter your life, and close your eyes to things that you love.. art, play and put off the important things like health, meditation or reading.. Maybe you stopped paying the bills, and your finances are in shambles.. but its summer right! We can take care of that later.

Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.  ~Carol Bishop Hipps

Then fall arrives, the leaves start falling.. and clutter the ground.. It can be a beautiful time.. a time of nostalgia and beauty.. yet, it can also be the time the veil starts to drop and it is gets darker.. Things begin to get covered up.. we slowly lose sight of the garbage due to the wet leaves .. Some will relish in picking up these leaves and jump in them.. some will ignore they are there, continue on their path and let them crunch under their feet.

As, November arrives, and the snow starts falling.. more and more garbage is hidden.. and full into January.. the garbage is lost in a mound of snow.  (Now this analogy works well in Northern parts of the world, however, I think those south can get the gist)…. When something is hidden, it is never forgotten.  It remains in the back of our minds.. and it becomes clutter.. The bills still need to get paid (are they piling up?)  your needs still need to be met (are you listening to what you want?) When is the last time you visited the doctor?

Snow storms, can represent a fun time, however, for those who are cluttered with day-to-day things and depression.. snow storms can represent the drama and anxiety we can experience, if, we do not tend to what is underneath.  Our spirits talk to us in various ways, dreams, for example, are sending us messages that something may be wrong.  We tend to dream often in the winter of our lives and they will never let you forget what you need and want in your life… Pay attention to the signs and symbols coming into your life..

Then we get to the point of thawing out.. That is when we discover our clutter.. Its been there all along, lining the virtues of our soul.. Reminding us its time to clean up.. de-clutter.. Rid ourselves of the drama we have created.  Releasing the stories we’ve been telling ourselves.

It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  ~Mark Twain

Springtime! A time of rebirth… growth.. love!  So.. we pick up our shovels or pens and clean up.  We may write in our diaries, and shed a relationship or two.  In every authentic way possible, we clean up to simplify.   The veil is lifted and we feel whole again.

However, while the veil is lifting, sometimes it is hard to look at the truth.  Be kind to yourself in spring.  First face the garbage, and with baby steps.. slowly clean it up.. piece by piece.. and let the Universe take care of the rest.  Hibernation is over, and the process has begun.  Healing is occurring as we speak!

Coming into May.. the flowers bloom, and have room to grow.. because we groomed the soil.. shed some light and watered our dreams.

Summer is full of love again!! Eyes are opened, souls are blooming! This time.. fall is for harvesting and winter is for cocooning and as the seasons continue to circle.. the cycles are easier and easier…

In reality.. This is my story.. it may be yours too.. Yet as the seasons pass,  I realise I am whole and worthy.  No more garbage.  Yet, when I see it pile up.. I know when its time to de-clutter.  Its a cycle which will never end, however, it gets easier every single year.

Kim

Inhabiting Myself


I wrote this awhile back for another blog, however, due to unforseen circumstances, it never got published.  So today, since I was experiencing technical difficulties, I decided to post this short story.

 

 

 

I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I’ve written for myself, and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part.  ~Shirley MacLaine

I can’t believe I shut her up all this time!  I kept her well hidden, locked downstairs in the soberness of the basement.  I went down only to give her the remnants of food leftover from my fridge, and a slim glass of water… other days I would stuff her with food until she would almost get sick!! She HAD to eat, she HAD to stay fat.  That way no one but no one would want to love her.

There were days I would let her out for short periods of time.. this would enable her to see the light and smell the air, just enough so she could survive.  However, she would begin to enjoy the outdoors and she would start smiling and playing.  Amusement was strictly forbidden in this place… she knew that, she would try to smile while I wasn’t looking but I would always catch her!  When I did… Punishment was in order!

“Hey! You!  Ugly!!!! …You think you are pretty when you smile?” I would yell at her.

She would look at me with her eyes so dark.. they were begging me to let her stay but she belonged back where she came from:  In the darkness.

In recent years,  I decided to keep her downstairs for longer periods of time… I would only let her out when I thought she was about to die.  I couldn’t have her death on my conscience, that would be the end for both of us.  I cannot exist without her… I can’t.

One day, when I came to grab her arm to bring her downstairs, she managed to gather enough strength to push me back!  This woman, who didn’t have much energy, managed to run away from me and disappear around the bend.  I was too tired to run after her…. I let her go.

I sat there crying until nightfall set inside my mind.  I realized how much I needed her.. without her.. I didn’t exist.

A few months later she came to visit me, and this time I had no urge to lock her up.  I must admit she looked beautiful.  Her smile was a mile wide, and her glow!! That glow!  I could not stop looking at her…she was mesmerizing.

This woman, who I locked up for years, started to cry. She looked at me directly in the eyes while huge tears streamed down her face.

“You, my dear” She said  “are an egotistical, narcissistic abuser!!”

I couldn’t deny what she was telling me is true.  I didn’t treat this girl with love, compassion or tenderness.  I often forgot to nurture her, and I never embraced her dreams.   She, was nothing to me.. NOTHING!

She looked at me, after she calmed down and said:  “Forgive me? Please forgive me?”  Forgive me for not loving you… for hating you.. for despising you”

I replied “I should be the one asking for forgiveness”

She said “I am you”

And so she was… and so I am.. We embraced each other….

We are no longer rivals .. we are one!

I inhabited myself!

The dark became light, the world became bright.. My creativity soared… I started seeing things in ways I have never perceived them before.  I drew, I wrote, I sang and danced.  I created, I laughed, I cried.  I listened more, loved more and played more.  I joked more, decorated more and everything I would receive would be AWESOME!  I ate better, walked more, and just accepted that this person does not need to be buried.. she exists.. We both exist in  light and in dark need to combine our hearts and give the world the best that we can give.

And so she changed the world… one dream at a time..

In the Spirit of Depression


In Part IV in my series on depression. I thought it important not only to share my truth, but to continue the conversation about mental illness, thus helping one another find tools and ways to ride the waves every single day so none of us, whether you are depressed or living with someone who is, feels alone.

*note Part I in series starts here

I discovered, throughout this whole ordeal: my separation, my move, my past relationships with friends and family, that I had to learn to be my own best friend. Most importantly, I also had to deepen my relationship with the divine:  The divine in me, the divine in you, and  the divine in the Universe. This, is a task of great importance for me. To rely on something bigger than I, to surrender, to KNOW that I am not alone in this world. You and I, together, can find solace in knowing we are loved and supported.

Finding some sort of Spirituality doesn’t make depression go away. It does however, give you a chair so you can sit down and be with it while it is there.

– Mel Horrod

In the past, from a very young age I was always longing for someone to constantly be here to comfort me.. to be my security blanket… Where this feeling of incessant insecurity came from, I do not know.. Was it my parents separation, my father not always “being there”, the bullying at school, the feeling of being ostracized and not being part of the “in crowd”? This lead to bad eating habits and the constant urge to want lose weight over and over. Whatever brought me to today… whatever caused this person, who I am now falling in love with, to hate herself to the point of not even wanting to look in the mirror… is not of utmost importance (healing the roots are), yet, acknowledging that the path I have taken has led me to today has fired my critical urge to want wellness.

What I know for sure, is that I am a worthy and loveable human being. I know this!! right? But do I 100% feel this in the core of my being. I do not feel I am there yet.. and this is where I am going.

Which brings me to the subject of Spirituality. My spirituality has been there since the age of 4 (that is the earliest I remember). I believe 100% (this is my truth) that without the belief in God (this is my term I use to describe this amazing unlimited source I can tap into) I would be dead! Without my belief that there is spirits, Angels, sprites, light, Gods and Goddesses watching over me, I would not be of this earth. It is this belief that I am not alone which carries me through these troubled waters.

I also believe the divine works through people. Real people! I have surrounded myself with those you support 100% my well-being and detached myself from those who don’t. This is part of my spiritual path towards wellness, which also includes medication and therapy. Spirituality alone will not cure me, however, it has taught me to be aware and be there for myself in such a loving way.

In their book, The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Fourself from Chronic Unhapiness, the authors state in their introduction:

“Depression Hurts: It’s the “Black Dog” of the night that robs you of joy, the unquiet mind that keeps your awake. It’s a noonday demon that only you can see, the darkness visible only to you”. (p. 1 Williams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn)

Part of my spiritual path is to practice Mindfulness: The authors describe Mindfulness as:

“The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to things as they are.”

To me, this could mean during a panic attack to stop and focus on my feet touching the ground until the wave passes. Being mindful and grounded, instead of trying to “fight” the panic away is a tool I used often, which is, in fact, surrender and acceptance.

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”

Lao-tzu

To sum up, my faith in God has been, and still is, a major part in my recovery. My understanding of the God in me, has brought me to here and carried me during the very painful times. My gratitude, for all that is and all that will be, creates a bridge for me to cross when times are tough. I am happy and grateful for this gift of depression, because it allows me to go inward instead of searching outside myself thinking I need to be fixed (no need to fix something which isn’t broken).

Even though I am battling depression now, I still choose happiness every day. Do I feel happy every day? NO! Do I feel happy in some moments of my day? YES! because I choose it.. because I know it is there, and I accept when it is not.

Remember we cannot chase away the blues when one is clinically depressed, however, we can use all the tools available: Medication, therapy, friendship, diary writing, mindfulness, and yes God whomever you wish him or her to be!

I leave you with this video of Jim Carrey as he explains how sprituality has helped him with Depression and Bi-Polar disorder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfWN5EW5eo4

Love and light

Kim

Go with the flow


Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.  All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better.  What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn?  What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice.  Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Last week I posted: Depression hits. Now What? = Love Yourself! I discuss the importance of self-love and the ability to treat and love yourself like you would a child or your best friend. This week I want share some of the strategies which help me with coping with certain fears, thus, often removing the feeling of overwhelm when I begin a new task.  Overwhelm, really makes everything bigger in perspective, so I need to break down tasks into smaller steps.

Dealing with depression and anxiety has been a challenge and a huge awakening at the same time. (see:  Let The Truth Be Known:  I Suffer from Depression) I realize, after some great reflection that depression, anxiety and panic have been part of my life since my early 20’s, maybe even earlier (according to my therapist) However, with this latest onset, I have discovered self-loving ways to overcome some of the challenges I face. These self-loving ways are things I didn’t do in past recoveries.. I mean yes, I started, however, I never took them as serious as I do now. There is the little voice inside of me (which I call my higher self) which guides me through. This “voice” is beginning to replace the “negative voice” which ruled my life for 20 years. These following strategies helped me “unlearn” the old and experience new and loving ways to be gentle with myself.

The two (2) things I needed to work on (huge mountains) were: 1. Self-care (Taking care of my body and showering) and 2. Going out / socializing. These 2 things, if I didn’t pay attention to them, could send me into a deep downward spiral. Think about it.. Looking yucky would lead to more self-hate, and not seeking support or running errands would lead me to feel alone and my kids wouldn’t have food to eat. So, during my treatment, these two areas of my life need to have some sort of plan. A flexible plan.. but a plan.

Remember, if you’re headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns!  ~Allison Gappa Bottke

Plans help me shape my world. I for one, was never really good a making plans and sticking to them. Even with the post today, I had a plan to find some terrific article to back up my post, however, I cannot find a single thing which I find “inspiring”. Being too rigid does not work either. “Go with the flow within guidelines” is my new motto! If I were to stick strictly to adding “facts” from an outside source, it just wouldn’t work. This gives me some control over certain situations and help me feel safe. Just like one would devise an “escape plan” in case of fire, I devise an escape plan in certain situations. Take going out for example:

Lets say I must take a bus to go to an appointment. Taking the bus is quite scary, because this means I am going to be far away from “home base”. Home base, is my safe zone. So I usually devise a plan before I leave giving me a 100% right to change my mind at any time. Meaning, I give myself permission to return to home base.

The first thing I do is to make sure I have my cell phone on me. Then, I stash a $20.00 in my purse. This allows me to take a taxi home if ever panic really strikes. Then as I walk out of the house… I talk to myself. I give myself support throughout the journey. Last week, I had to do this and I told myself I had permission to get off at every stop. This permission allowed me to go all the way!! Get it! When I know I have a choice.. it eases my anxiety.

Choices, we all have. Giving ourselves the right to choose differently allows for freedom. So in the end, I always end up where I wanted to go, or do what I planned to do, because I had a choice! I didn’t feel like I was choking on “I must” or “I have to”.. I felt alleviated with “I can, but I can change my mind at any time”…

As for taking a shower, I now get in the bath! I prepare everything around me. I may even break out a few candles and some bubble bath. I wash my hair with clean water from the tap and rince. Giving myself this “motherly” love is exactly what I need!

You can Google “Anxiety busters” or Depression Strategies to find tons of strategies which will work for you.

Yet, the message here is. Give yourself choices. In most instances, you’ll stick to the plan. However, if one day you don’t, that is ok too.. since it is part of trusting yourself, you can take yourself back home. Just like a mom who promises her child she will pick him/her up right after the first day of school, keep those promises to yourself too! I know I did, and it makes things easier.

Its going out and taking a shower still difficult for me; OH YES! However, now that I have “escape plans” and “mothering techniques” these tasks are much more manageable..and will get even more manageable as my recovery continues.

Keep on moving and smile!

 

 

I Grasp!


“Do not be afraid of tomorrow; for God is already there.”  

~Author Unknown

Writing candidly about my depression has been a release for me.  I am able to share, not only my successes, but the journey of recovery while I’m ‘in it’!  In other words, the good, the bad and the darn ugly!

Yesterday, I had a long conversation with God in my journal.  I told him all my worries, and finally asked God to take them!  I can’t carry the burden alone.. I wont.. I refuse to feel crushed by the thoughts which run through my mind.

So in the end of our “conversation”  God told me

“Let me take care of this Kim.  Relax.  Take a walk. Go forth.”  

So.. go forth I went.. this was yesterday..

This morning.. inspiration came in the form of poetry:

I Grasp!

Waking up at 5 am;

Soaked in raging waters;

searching frantically for a lifeboat.

Finding comfort in shallow waters

My feet are on the sandy shore.

I breathe.

Silence is calling me;

I hear the distance

Quiet, crackling, a song!

Intricate details emerge all around me..

Light, texture, beauty come forth.

I am aware!

The presence surrounds me

for a fleeting moment.

I grasp on so tight my fingers hurt..

bathing in silence.

Raging waters emerge anew…

Yet I walk..

knowing I can

knowing…

the presence fo the Universe will come to me

again…

and again….

and again..