Monday, May 30, 2016

Grounding and Centering: The Pool

The last time I did a public ritual, I used this guided meditation to allow the people to ground and center. This is a guided meditation that I composed, wrote, and narrated (below).

It's not the traditional "you are a tree" type of guided meditation, which I'm not a fan of because I've never been a tree, so it's sometimes difficult to visualize (I'm also a little claustrophobic, so the though of being restrained by having my feet become roots freaks me out).

Close your eyes. 

Look at your feet and you will see a small pool of water. The water is still and clear. As you look at it, you clearly see your reflection. As you stare at the pool of water, you will begin to see other faces. The face of a good friend. The face of a loved one. The face of a parent. The face of a friend you have not seen in a long time. The face of a person who annoyed you today. The face of a person who makes you laugh. The face of a person who makes you cry. The face of a person in this space you do not know.

This pool is your mind and it is filled with the thoughts and faces of all the people in your life, the places you've been, the experiences you've had, the stories you share. You put your hand in your pocket and you feel a small stone there. You put it in your hand and at the count of three, let the stone fall into the pool. 1... 2... 3...

Let the ripples carry all those reflections away unti the pool is clear again. Clear your mind of all these images until it is still. Now imagine the pool getting larger... not deeper, but wider. You feel the water wash over your feet. The water is refreshing and comfortable, clean and soothing. Imagine the pool stretching out and touching the feet of everyone in the room. 

Draw some of the energy from the pool up into your being, let it mix with your energy, then let it flow back into the pool. Again. Draw the energy higher into your being until you feel it wash over you, refreshing your spirit, then letting flow back into the pool. Do this one more time until you feel balanced with the energy in the water.

Now send some of this energy out into the pool until it reaches a person in this circle that you know. Send it to a person you do not know. Send it to a friend. Send it to a stranger. And be ready to receive that energy back. 

In this way, we are all connected by our energy and the energy of the water. We are all always connected, but now it is undeniable.

When you have sent out your energy and received the energy and feel balanced, open your eyes.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Depression Epiphanies v1

Depression attempts isolate you, which is why it's important to reach out to others, even when you don't feel like it. This past week, I've fighting off a cold so I've been going to work, then going home to bed early every night trying to get enough rest. But the isolation of that coupled with the depression can spin false yarns in your brainpan and convince you of horrible things.

I was starting to become convinced that my friends were drifting away and that I was seeing the end of my membership in what has been the most awesome friendship circle I've ever been involved with. Maybe they just no longer enjoyed my company and I was being left out.

I arrived at my D&D game last night and a bunch of people had gone out to get food. "I think Erik texted you," said Maia.

"I've gotten in the habit of NOT looking at my phone in the car," I replied. "So I must've missed it. I'll call him now and hopefully, it won't be too late." But when I looked at my phone, there was a text from Erik:

"I am ordering you a chicken Pad Thai."

I nearly burst into tears right there. It was a tiny gesture, but it destroyed the lie that the depression had be feeding me all week. Love ya, buddy. That moment meant more than you'll know. I owe you $10.

When you're in the throes of depression, fight against your feelings and immediately seek out those people who remind you that you're a good person who has a place in this world. Don't let the depression dominate this silent conversation because it is a fucking liar and you deserve better.

"Do you think it's wise to write about your depression so openly like that? People might think you're crazy or unreliable. Maybe that stuff should be kept private."

This attitude is EXACTLY why i need to write about it so publicly. The stigma around depression creates a space where people feel they need to be quiet about it lest they be judged unfairly.

When I write about my epiphanies about depression, I'm trying to show that what you experience has nothing to do with the Absolute Truth about You (which is what depression lies to you about) and everything to do with the condition of depression. I want you to think "Wait... how can he be having the same feelings as me, but he doesn't live the wreck of my life? Maybe this has nothing to do with who I am, so it's definitely something I can overcome."

That's why I write about it.