Monday, January 12, 2015

After the storm comes the sun...

So it's the new year, 2015 a brand new start. This year was supposed to be THE year for me or so I thought so all the way up until January 1. I've been spending the last few months, quietly contemplating my life and whether or not I believed I was headed in the right direction. I was doing some things right, but ignoring the bigger challenges and occupying my self with smaller goals and allowing my self to take joy in small victories. Now this is not a bad thing, to focus on smaller goals, but ignoring the bigger picture all together is no way to accomplish the long term goals you have set for your self. Obviously we are all due for improvement at times and my time has come.

The hardest part of all of this has been a serious bought of depression. Turns out, even those people you loath for all their smiles and never ending bubbly happiness can get bummed out too.  As a conversational topic, to me depression is something so easily dealt with by talking with trusted friends or family, doing yoga and mediating, or even reading up on some mental health exercises but as a reality it kicks your ass physically and mentally until you are so confused that you can't see which way is up.

 On one of my trial runs as a fairy unsuccessful surfer, I hit the water hard and was caught under the wave for a good solid minute or so. Swirling and turning for what felt like an eternity, hearing nothing but the low roar of the wave and seeing everything spinning around at once all while not being able to take a breath. Thats what depression feels like to me. Depression is an old friend to me, not always my own but that of a close friend or family member, and I find it all to familiar each time it rears its ugly head. In my past I've seen first hand accounts of how depression affects the person who has it as well as those around them. Its not too pretty. Although, what a blessing it has been to see those people I love come around the bend and find a way to smile, a way to love themselves more, a way out of the water. I guess even after a huge beat down wave takes you under, you can eventually break to the surface for a huge gasp of fresh air. Maybe that's what it feels like when you finally beat the pressure of it all and take a breath as it if had been years since your last.

I have a picture in my home that reads, "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf".  Stopping the power of a wave is impossible, it will come regardless of what you try to do to stop it but could you maybe ride it instead? Shitty things happen to all of us, every day. We have to remember that while that is true, its just a true to say that good things happen to us everyday. So yes, while I'm going down a chipper road of self motivation, I also want to remember this- its ok to process this crap. I can't say how frustrating it is when you tell someone that you're feeling depressed and their response is simply to tell you to try to be happy, look on the bright side. Shove that sunshine right up there, well you know where the sun doesn't shine. Sometimes your physical body is telling you to be sad, it rushes you with chemicals that make you feel blue, makes you tired and basically makes you feel like crap inside and out.

I think that I have figured out how this all works, you start to feel those feelings again they come back or new feelings form that you make you stop dead in your tracks and you ponder why? Why am i feeling this way? why is this or that happening to me? What am I going to do? How do i fix this? After this questioning process begins then you move to the excuses, excusing our selves by coming up with any reason that makes us "feel better" if only for a minute and all the while we come up with more questions and more excuses. It just becomes a process of feeling crappy and doubting everything and if that carries on for too long, that is where depression takes a hold of your life and it can hold you down if you let it.  If this goes on for weeks, well those are going to be the worst weeks of your life because everything will go wrong.

Why does everything seem to go wrong when your depressed? Im guessing its probably because all you see are the negative things. Pessimism takes over and well aren't you just a peach. I can recall several times over the past 4 weeks that i've been just rotten to someone for no reason. And of course everything has gone wrong, the budgets been all jacked up, the dog had to go to the vet (or should I say slot machine- for all of this guessing, I feel like its a gamble every time) TWICE, other financial blunders, tension with friends, and  pretty much a long list of personal failures and doubts that flooded my head ever since I realized that I'll be thirty this year. Not to mention, I've had the worst cold since my great pneumonia episode in the early 2000's. Nothing like being nice and depressed when a violent take over occurs in your body that makes you feel like you've caught the plague. Thank goodness its finally just hanging out right in the middle of my face, making my head feel like it weights 50lbs.  I guess while I'm being honest here, I was pretty low and Im still pulling my self out of it.  There it is everyone- for all of you who thought I was always happy and bubbly ALL the time. I've come out with it<  I too am human, and I get sad just like everyone else. There are times when I feel tremendously alone, even amongst a million friends, but I have to remember that I am not alone.

All this time that I've spent being bummed, only seemed to get worse and over the course of time i'd quit running, and eventually came to today when I realized I'd not done a full yoga session in over two weeks and hadn't even tried in the last week. For all the effort i'd put into it before, as an aspiring yogi this is the most depressing fact that I have faced. Yet fortunately for me, it is the easiest thing to fix and my sure fire way to get back on the right path to happiness. Being sick shall remain a true excuse, as doing inversions with a sinus cold is no easy thing to do, but now that I am on the tail end of it I need to start doing what I can. I need to accept those negative feelings, acknowledge their existence and then allow them to pass through me, like clouds passing by in the sky.

Its time to get back to planning, setting goals- but this time small goals that feed into BIG goals! Time to get back to yoga and meditating and finding my true self, I know she's hiding in there somewhere. Time to look up, and see the beauty in every moment. The only thing that has ever been stopping me is me, what a simple villain to defeat.  So while I may be 12 days late, heres to the new year and discovering what is beyond all those obstacles. When something is challenging is usually means that the pay off is well worth it, so I can only assume that underneath the perceived negative start of the year is something worth fighting for. When I started thinking about 2015 I believed it would be my year, the last year of my twenties and something to be celebrated in a big way.  We are all fighting the daily struggle, we all want to be happy, we are not alone. So cheers to you, may you find the happiness you deserve and the life you create in your dreams. We can do this, we can find a way out of the dark and into the light, if we only realize that real change starts inside us and only then can we send our light out into the world.

Here's a few of my goals for this year.....
And to count my blessings; each and every one 
* Meditate everyday for at least 10 minutes
* Go to at least two festivals
*Take a class or two
* Hear, see, feel more music
* Take more photos with my DSLR instead of my phone
* Pass CBEST test!
* Get my teaching credentials
*Take the GRE Exam
*Begin planning my masters program
*Survive through the fall teacher training at my yoga studio

And finally I give my self permission to feel what ever feelings come my way, giving them the attention they deserve, but also allowing them to pass. I give my self permission to feel more joy from the little things that happen each moment that we choose to ignore while we mull  over our problems and negativity. 

Our problems are like the waves, they will always be there and some are bigger than others. We can't stop the waves from coming, but we can learn to ride them, which sounds so much better than drowning in them.

Cheers to this NEW year!

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