And so it begins, it being a renewal of health – a return to tapas (one of the niyamas in yoga). Tapas being the zeal to practice; for me it will be to practice life-giving activities including viewing/treating my body as a temple, most holy and divine. This involves the food I ingest, (alongside acknowledging the power I have in choice and how to use that so others are not facing oppression but freedom), devotion to yoga and meditation, along with running and creating the endorphin release my brain and body desperately longs for and honestly needs to function fully and wholeheartedly.
“Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food.”- Hippocrates
This morning, I intended to be running at this exact moment, yet I find myself typing. Maybe another renewed, new-ish practice – self-compassion and an internal listening of what my body/heart needs without my mind interrupting and complicating things. Oh how crafty the mind can be, trying to convince us all that we are weak – a failure – already on day one, so why not throw in the towel, right? Well to you, dear friend, I say in my grandmother’s voice, “Hush it!”
Now to listen to the other voice rising in background:
I am loved.
Focus on what you can do rather on what you cannot do and do those things.
It’s ok to mess up or change your schedule as long as you follow through and treat yourself with loving kindness.
And the best one, you are never alone.
I really like that last one because in the physical world, I’m often alone. At my job, at my apt, grocery shopping, running, doing yoga, praying, going to church – all done solo as I have done most of my life. Yet there is this guiding hand pulling me (well there are two – one that leads me on the happiness trail; the other back to bed with covers pulled over my head, fearing the world). It is my choice which way I go, what I allow to guide me. I actually can change my own brain chemistry – surprise! When the all or nothing thinking or whatever negative thinking patterns start to arise – squash them with encouraging self-talk and action. Man, take this blog post to the self-help isle now. In all seriousness, the truth is what we think becomes our emotions and thus becomes our actions. Sometimes sadness and grief approaches and we need to acknowledge their presence. However, we can hack away depression through active living, through exercise, diet and don’t forget the spiritual card. (Also maybe some professional help).The holistic approach to life- my friends are probably completely sick and tired of hearing me preach it…but they all agree of course.
Here is my truth: As of late, my dear old friend depression has decided to make a visit. I have to acknowledge his presence but my door isn’t open for an extended stay. Come in, let me feel but also let me remember how I can push you back out the door, down the stairs and into your little sadness mobile to nowhere-ville. This vulnerability will be a fight that I engage in for the remainder of my life. Don’t get discouraged here – I’m learning it has become easier and the visits are less frequent and definitely not as lengthy. Yet, they still come and that doesn’t mean I wear a sign detailing whatever diagnosis the DSM would care to chart me under nor does it mean I pretend that I’m a perfect package of contentment and butterflies. The situations that have played out in the past few weeks ripped open some scabs that I had hoped were already scars. Still scabs that require healing but they will be scars that I add to the collection. This collection isn’t a tally of weakness nor is it shameful to say it exists – they are part of reason I have the strength, perseverance and zeal for a fully lived life.
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ― Kahlil Gibran
Cheers to August– with the reminder to “just breathe.”