Updated: Sep 13, 2022
Guess what? I’m depressed. I’ve felt this way for a couple of weeks, but it certainly isn’t my first foray with the heavy, cold blanket of depression. Maybe it’s because Chiron is retrograde, but more on that in my next post. I was enveloped by depression for much of my life, then I got to a point where I knew I had to embrace some aspects of myself if I ever wanted to shake the constant weight of apathy. As I started to embrace some of the pieces of myself that I had decided to starve in an attempt to see if they would disappear completely, I started to come alive again. I stopped judging myself so much, which led to judging others less as well.
I don’t blame myself for wanting to disappear certain aspects of who I was because the cause was so obvious; I was afraid. Not just afraid to be myself, I was actually frightened, and it effected almost every aspect of my life. The part of myself I tried to starve and disappear was the part of me that was sensitive to energy outside of what we as a culture consider to be within the spectrum of energy that we as humans are able to perceive. When I was a child, I see things that others couldn’t. I saw my grandmother in our house after she died. She was standing there at the bottom of the stairs, looking like she did 20 years before she died. The hallway was well lit, and I hadn’t just woken up or been feeling tired or sleep deprived, so I knew it wasn’t something I’d imagined, but I also knew a huge faction of society would never accept what I had seen as reality. I saw spirits all the time, but that was the only time I saw someone I knew, and it looked and felt different than the other spirits I had seen.
Almost every night, I would see an ominous (at least it felt ominous at the time to a scared child) shadow at the bottom of my bed. It had no distinct visual characteristics that would point to a specific gender, but I always felt it was male. I was so frightened by this that is affected my sleep. I was always trying to sleep in my parents’ room or with my sister because I was genuinely afraid to go to my room at night knowing that this shadowy figure would likely be there hovering at the bottom of my bed and I tried and failed to fall asleep. I was afraid of the dark, I was unfocused in school, and I was afraid to tell anyone what I was experiencing. I was young, but I knew most people didn’t experience what I was experiencing and wouldn’t believe it if I told them. This is feeling of being weird, different, a secret outsider who was embraced by society in every way but only because I kept my true self hidden from everyone fueled much of my depression and self-worth issues.
When I was in my twenties, I had a near-death experience, and that blew the doors wide open. All of a sudden, the spirit communication and knowing how others were feeling even if I was just walking by them on the street came back to me in full force. Oddly, what initially brought on my depression is also what helped me claw my way out. When my extra sensory perception was ignited again, I wasn’t able to look away from that part of myself anymore, and I had been in such a bad place that I just decided to embrace it. It also helped that I was now an adult and less frightened. I was also living in Los Angeles and for the first time had access to other people who experienced the same things I was going through and could help me through it. As I started meeting with and learning from people who had the same extra sensory perception I was experiencing, I decided to share with the people closest to me. I had shared a tiny bit here and there before, but I always felt like I was sharing a dirty secret.
When I shared this time around, I didn’t feel that shame, and my closest friends and family were supportive. I was shocked by how many people told me they believed in spirits, the afterlife, and the human ability to communicate telepathically. I was also shocked by how many people in my life had their own unexplainable experiences that they never felt comfortable sharing until I brought the conversation up and cracked that door open for them.
Now, depression isn’t always solely attached to some specific aspect of yourself you are hiding, so I still struggle through bouts of depression here and there based on a number of different factors that come together to shape my overall comfort and sense of wellbeing, but this experience gave me so many tools that I know use every time I feel the sads lurking in the corner. I feel the sads lurking right now, so I am writing this to offer anyone who may be feeling the same some steps they can try out to see if they are able to help them claw a bit closer to the light, but also because it is helping me remember that these things have helped me so many times before, and if I act on them, they can help me this time too.
So let’s dive in, here are the steps I take to get my mind, body, and spirit working together to lift my mood and accept whatever is swirling about around me without needing to be sucked into the tornado and taken for a ride.
Tracing Issue Roots
This is a writing exercise that my soul and guides were communicating to me for a while before I actually sat down and tried it. I finally sat down and tried it because I was feeling a little depressed and figured it couldn’t hurt, so something the sads get you to reflect in a way you might not be willing to otherwise which can ultimately really help you grow in the long run. Here is the step by step walk through for how to engage in this writing exercise. I promise, it really helps.
Write down all the issues you want to work through. My own examples: comparison, self-worth, success obsession, perceived intelligence obsession, vanity, anxiety, codependence, etc.
Then one at a time go through each issue and write about them following the steps below. Writing about all of the issues you listed can take months if that is what feels right, but right now, just pick one that is calling out to you and get started.
When writing about the issue you chose, start with when this issue first appeared in your life. You may not know when you start, but free write for 3 or 4 sentences and you will be shocked what comes out.
Write about how this issue initially manifested and how it affected you at different times throughout your life.
Write about how this issue shows up in your life now.
Write about the coping or defense mechanisms this issue had led you to create and employ throughout your life.
Write about how this helped you in any way, what you are learning or did learn from your experiences with this issue, how it could be related to another life experience you were going through at a specific time and how it may have helped you through a hard situation.
Write about the lessons you are learning from working through it here and now.
Now that you understand where the issue started, how it has affected your life and the beliefs it drove you to create about yourself and others, write about the belief you want to create going forward after all you’ve learned from working through this issue.
Write about all the ways you are ready and able to release that issue and move onto instilling the belief about yourself and those around that you want to carry forward from here on out.
Write about any ways you are grateful for the experiences you’ve had with this issue and where it has led you today and say a final goodbye to the way this issue has manifested itself in your life thus far.
Write down affirmations or “I am” statements that can help you redirect your mental and emotional energy and remind yourself of the beliefs you are ready to hold regarding this issue that you can use any time this issue and the coping and defense mechanisms you created around it start to arise again.
Anger Releasing Journaling Exercise
This is a journaling exercise where you let the angriest, saddest, least forgiving and most destructive pieces of you have the floor for a moment. Shoving everything down doesn’t help anyone but taking up residence and living in those pieces of yourself to the exclusion of all others doesn’t help either. Putting these feelings down on paper can help you understand where these bubbling emotions are coming from and can open up the release valve that many of us are afraid will give way to an explosion that cannot be reversed. The truth is, that explosion is coming one day or another, so giving it a pathway to exit in a more peaceful and controlled manner at a time when you are ready and willing to take on the task can be loads better than this explosion igniting at a time when you were least expecting it.
In this journaling exercise, let yourself be raw, unedited, and downright “negative” or nasty if that is how you are feeling. This isn’t about manifesting happiness by being positive, but more about manifesting release by letting out all the things you’ve never let yourself say before. When you are done, you can keep it, or burn the paper you wrote everything on. I’ve done both at different times in my life. Sometimes I wanted to keep it so I could look back on it later because I knew I really released how I was feeling and was already feeling the shift, and other times I burnt the piece of paper I purged all of my feeling onto because I felt I need an even greater sense of release and that symbolic act of destroying that piece of paper helped me to feel free from those emotions and thoughts I had been holding onto for so long.
Hope Renewing Journaling Exercise
This journaling exercise allows you to live in the world you want to live in for a moment. In this exercise I write a journal entry as a future version of myself were all of my wants, needs, and dreams have been fulfilled. I write about what is going on in my life, what I am grateful for, and most importantly, how I feel. This exercise really helps me to better understand what I want, why I want it, and how I might feel if everything I want suddenly came into my reality. It has definitely shown me that some of the things I thought I wanted at one point or another throughout my life were not actually aligned with how I wanted to feel. Some wants become so entrenched in you that you forget to regularly re-examine if you even want it anymore. This exercise can help you clarify what you want and why, and it can also help lift your spirits and refocus your attention of believing you can get where you want to go WHILE enjoying all the things in your life right now that you are actually quite grateful for.
Dancing, Singing, or Listening to your Favorite Album or Playlist
This one is potent, don’t let the simplicity of it fool you. Whenever I am really feeling the sads, my soul and guides will come in with the message that I need to dance and make noise. Dancing can actually move stagnant energy through your body much like reiki does, and it’s a lot cheaper.
Singing can release emotions and call-in certain frequencies you are needing at that time. You can even just start singing or humming whatever you are feeling, even if it is just a sound. When I am feeling a little under the weather or I am dealing with pain in a specific part of my body, my guides will have me hum a specific tone and it often knocks the throat pain, headache, or hip pain right out of me. Singing or letting yourself hum can do the same exact thing on an emotional level, allowing you to pinpoint and feeling and release it by giving yourself freedom to be loud and expressive.
Listening to your favorite album or playlist lets you feel like you are getting a hug from an old friend while you allow your mind to wander. When you are feeling supported and comfortable, your mind wanders places it never would when you are feeling on edge and unsafe. Our own anxiety can often put us in a place of feeling on edge and unsafe, so using your favorite music to help you get into a state of comfort so you can identify why you are feeling the way you are feeling and how you can start to support yourself through those emotional responses to all that you are dealing with at that time.
Being in Water
Water is cleansing. It cleanses the inside of your body when you drink it, but it can also be used to cleanse your emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies when you swim, shower, or take a bath. Use your intention to set the tone here. If you are needing to release something, tell you water you are ready to release it and ask it for its help to draw it out of you and turn it into pure loving energy. If you are needing to draw something in like strength, belief in yourself, or anything else, tell the water what you are needing and ask it to help you draw that into your spirit. When working with water, invite your soul and guides to join you and be open and honest about what you are wanting to get out of this short interaction. You can use water to wash anything away, pull anything in, cleanse, restore, or clarify. Suspend your cynical mind for a few minutes and let yourself feel supported and love by the water you are working with. Visualize whatever you want to release being pulled out of you and washed away by the water or anything you are ready to bring into your life fill up the water around you and seep into your pores. Let yourself see it, feel it, and believe it, even if you can only keep that going for a moment.
Lay in the Sun
This one works on both a spiritual and scientific level. Spiritually, sunlight has the ability to cleanse our spirit and connect us to true source energy, reminding us that we have all we need to survive until we take our last breath and shed our skin suit to once again become pure spiritual energy. Scientifically, many people in the U.S. and beyond have a major vitamin D deficiency which can make it hard for your body to hold onto other important nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and calcium. Getting your daily intact of vitamin D is easiest through direct contact with sunlight. Trust me, 20 minutes of sunlight per day is good for the mind, body, and soul and will not have you looking like a leather bag in a few years. If your skin is extremely sensitive to sunlight or you live in an area where the sun is extremely powerful, just wait until the last few hours of sunlight to go out and soak your skin in those wonderful rays.
Make your Own Food for a While
It is so easy to take on not only fuel from the food we eat, but the energy from those your prepared it. It can be awesome to sit back and eat something out of a package, at a restaurant, or out of a to-go container when we were tired and depleted, but if you are in a funk, this could be exactly what you are needing to pull yourself out of it. Cooking can help you clear your mind and focus on the task at hand. It can help you gain a sense of accomplishment. It can offer you an avenue through which you can satisfy your need to learn new things and keep evolving. It can make you feel more connected to nature and more grateful for the everyday task of eating and having access to food in the first place. All of these things are pluses that can help you start to shake that funk, but again, eating food that was prepared in a factory or by someone else can be a serious source of transferred energy and allowing yourself a short reprieve from other peoples transferred energy for a while can remove those unneeded distractions.
Release Energy You’ve Taken on from Others
That brings us to HOW we can release energy we may have taken on from other people or our surroundings. I’ve been empathic my entire life, but I didn’t know what that meant or how to turn it on and off. You may be too. I got a message from my soul and guides that asked me to create a bubble around myself when I am in social situations or large groups of people and start to feel anxious. When I first received this message, I was staying in New York and the example they gave me was when I get into a cab and feel a shift happen energetically. This helped me to realize that you can pick up energy from close friends, lovers, or even just someone you walk by on the street, but also that you have the ability to control this transfer of energy. Now that I do readings for other people, this message has come through in many different forms for many different people. Sometimes other people’s guides will ask them to see a rainbow surrounding them, others will be told to see a large buddle filled with water, so there are many different ways to put up a wall when you want to project your own energy instead of taking on the energy of others and whatever image comes to mind and feel right to you is the one you should go with.
Another important step here is clearing out any energy you’ve taken on from others that is already within your energetic field, and that is just as simple. To do that, I see myself flipping a switch on my chest and watching my energy shine outward from my body like a lightbulb. It works like a charm, but sometimes in crowded areas or during heavy situations where I am trying to support someone else while not taking in all of their energy, I will need to do this many times because I get caught up in the moment and pull in the energy around me while my mind wanders.
Once you get the hang of using these methods for releasing the energy of others and really basking in and getting to know what your own energy feels like, you can start to see this empathic ability you have as a gift that you can use to understand those around you better. When you know you can cleanse their energy at the drop of a hat if you want to, you can start to feel safer opening up to accepting it in the first place because it is a choice you are making consciously and not just something that feels as if it is being thrust upon you unwittingly.
Move your Body or Go for a Walk
This one is pretty straight forward, but if you are feeling down and that is all you do that day outside of sit around feeling the sads, then that is an accomplishment you should be proud of. It is hard to do anything when you are feeling the sads, and your body will thank you for taking a few moments to stand upright and get the blood and lymphatic fluid moving for a bit.
Sit with a Tree
This one is seriously helpful, I swear. Trees are conscious and they are extremely powerful and meditative. Did you know that trees communicate their needs to each other through mycelium in the ground and they SHARE RESOURCES with each other through with underground network to help each tree and organism get what they need? This is amazing! It blows my mind and warms my heart. I have been in some really dark places in my life working through childhood traumas and went and sat at the base of a tree, told it what I was dealing with (in my head so the others at the park don’t stare at me) and asked for their help to work through those emotions and issues, and felt absolutely refreshed by the time I walk out of that park. You can even ask the tree questions and see what pops into your mind. I have come to some of my most profound realizations while sitting at the base of a tree during a difficult time. Do you think it is a coincidence that the Buddha came to many of their own profound realizations while meditating under the bodhi tree? I think not.
Indulge in the Sads for a Night
If you are in the midst of the sads, sometimes you just need to lean into it. Put on a sad movie, a doc you’ve been wanting to watch but it’s just so sad, or listen to some really sad music and just let yourself wallow in it. Sometimes your feelings just need to be acknowledged and are fed up with being ignored, so they just keep amplifying and finding a way to take over. When you give them a moment to take the stage, you can find them willing to fade and make room fro brighter thoughts and days.
Share How You Feel
Sometimes when we keep something all boxed up, its grows while we’re not looking then all of a sudden the box have burst open and it’s impossible to ignore. When I am feeling something and it keeps reappearing or nagging at me, I know I has to say what I am feeling out loud to someone else. There is something about getting that feeling out of our body and mind and into the world around us that makes it less menacing.
Basic Mind Dump Journaling Exercise
If you don’t yet feel comfortable sharing how you’re feeling with someone else, try this one out. In this journaling exercise, the only goal is to get everything running through your mind out onto a piece of paper. Just write as fast as you can with no care or concern for what you are writing, if you can read it, if it is spelled correctly, or if it even makes any sense at all. This is all about letting it all out. Not just things you deem important, understandable, or useful, but everything.
Be of Service
This one is huge if you have the energy for it, and if you don’t, that is totally okay. One day you will, and on that day, give it a try. Being of service to others in any way is one of the most healing experiences you can have. Whether it is cleaning up around the house because you know someone you live with likes a nice clean home or volunteering for a cause in your area, offering a lending hand can offer perspective, draw you away from thinking about your own problems for a while, and open up a connection to your soul.