Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Removing Blocks

Journaling in a hand-bound book.
The hardest thing about the process is knowing what they are when they come up.

In my experience, a block doesn't come up all nice and clean, revealing it's true identity.  It comes up from the ego, disguised as someone ELSE's problem.  Oftentimes, it's my husband's.

For example, E is was giving me an informal course in Programming 2, a class that I dropped in college and always think about going back and retaking.

He very good at keeping a lot of data in his head and processing it.  He rarely has to write things down in order to understand them.  So, this is the way he teaches. Unfortunately, this is not at all the way I learn. My attention goes in and out from minute to minute - and I may miss whole paragraphs focusing on something else like, the tone of his voice or what I am going to cook for dinner.  I am very much a visual learner.  If it's written down, I can just look at it in my own time, regardless of how often my attention weans and waxes...

So, the other night, I get EXTREMELY irritated while he is teaching me command line syntax.   HOW does he expect me to keep ALL that in my head without writing it down????  What kind of person does not write things they are explaining, ANYWAY?

I get SO angry at him, I tell him: forget it.  I can't take his *class* and storm off.

After I am by myself, I am still fuming.  This is definitely a block, I know.  Because it is *my* block, it is hard for me to see it for what it really is.  My ego HATES being exposed.  So, I have to get to work.  I journal.  I meditate.  I try to let go of all of my current thoughts about the situation.  And I hear a small voice (figuratively!).

It says: "You must be stupid.  Something is wrong with the way you think."  Ha!  This is it!  Obviously, I am not stupid.   But, clearly, this is a deep seated fear that I have.  This is why I got SO angry with E's teaching *style*.   Some time ago, I was taught that if I didn't understand things quickly, then I must not be *good* at it.

Side note: This is the way, unfortunately the way most of our children are taught in school and at home.  They are praised for learning something quickly - and are not praised for struggling through material.  They learn that they are *good* at something that is easy.  And that the opposite must be the case: they are *bad* at something they struggle with.  So, they learn to hate struggle.  Praise, itself, is the problem... but that is another blog post.

I go back to that *lesson* and retrain myself.  I tell myself that it is okay to have a different learning style.  It is okay to struggle with material.  This says nothing of my value.  I am enough. I know enough.  And the block is removed.

Unfortunately, sometimes, for whatever reason the last step isn't entirely successful.  Sometimes, I may have the same block come up, multiple times.  Sometimes multiple blocks come up at the same time, making identification extremely complex. But I know that they will come up, naturally.  And I will continue to retrain myself.

Since my breakTHROUGH, I have been seeing blocks left and right.  They come up several times a day.  It's pretty intense.  Sometimes, I have to excuse myself at awkward times to deal with them.  But I know that this is the key to *curing* my depression and reaching spiritual enlightenment.   So, I don't mind at all :).

Monday, January 6, 2014

I had a *productive* conversation with my higher self.

This is big news since I have had a torrid relationship with myself for a very long time.

I went to a meditation once, and in it we met with one of our spirit guides.  Mine was a skinny guy with long robes and a jolly disposition.

Another participant told us she saw herSELF as her spirit guide.  The leader of the meditation was impressed.  I was appalled.  Why in the world would I want to meet ME in a meditation?  Gross.

When I think of myself, I think of this argumentative, unattractive, know-it-all, transparent, WEIRDO who feels the incomprehensible need to share all her vulnerabilities.  WHO in their right mind would want to meet HER in a meditation?  Not me, for sure.
Meditating in the backyard.  My brother came out and
took  this picture.

I have been successfully avoiding her for most of my life.  However, when I had my recent breakdown - she came front and center.  Having learned how my shadows appear, I knew this was something I couldn't avoid much longer.

So I invited her into a conversation during a meditation.  While I am laying in bed with my daughter to help her go to sleep, I often go into a meditation.  This helps my daughter go to sleep - and it guarantees I make time to meditate.

In the meditation, I saw her big and floating above me.  Smug.  I was smashed down in the shape of a suitcase, in a box that could fit me and another few suitcases.

I asked her, "Why do I hate you?"
She responds, "You don't hate me, you are afraid of me..."
She continues, "You know I won't fit in that little pathetic suitcase carrier.  Once you become me, you will burst out of there and you will NOT fit in where you have been trying to fit in your whole life.  Some people will not like you.  Some people will not approve of you.  Some people will be afraid of you.  You have been afraid of that."

I get the familiar tingles that tell me she is telling the truth.  And I immediately realize THIS is what was trying to come up!  THIS was the source of my depression.   My higher self has been trying to get my attention, but I have been ignoring her.

"Okay, Okay. WHAT should I do to get out of here?" I ask her.
She tells me, "Just get up.  There is nothing holding you.  You think there are strings but they are not there."

I look with one eye (because my other eye is strangely covered by some other part of my body in this ridiculous contortion) and sure enough, where it seemed to be strings tying me down, there were none.  Just my imagination.

Amazing, right?

Since then, I have been constantly making an effort to get up and out.  Currently, I think I am sitting on the edge of the container.  Still wanting to be liked/loved by those I respect - but not quite willing to contort myself to be that.

One of these days, hopefully, I will be completely OUT and away from the box of acceptance and conformity.  I will realize that I am safer out than in.  That my own love and acceptance is more than enough to sustain me.  And I will be big, and floating, and fully, and completely ME.

That will be awesome. :).

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Meditation Pillow
I almost killed myself last month.  Seriously.

It all started in November at my book club.  My book club, by the way, is made up of some of the most AMAZING women I have ever met.  My friend, who happens to be an intuitive healer, talked a little about her spiritual journey.  She talked of some Kundalini exercise - where if you do it a certain ridiculous number of times, you will get a major spiritual experience.  Of course, I promptly started to practice it.  She told me that I should NOT do it.  She said that there was a good chance I wouldn't be able to handle it.  I was like: "PSHHHH!  You think that is going to stop me?  I am TOTALLY doing it!"

This spiritual journey is so SLOW going.  I want to be THERE already!  I want all my blocks to be gone.  I want to be able to communicate with my spirit guides.  I want to be able to listen to my intuition!  I want to feel energy!

SO, I did the exercise.  I did it that night. I did it the next morning.  I tried to google how to do it properly, but without the name of it- google couldn't help me.  (If you are curious, the exercise involves doing kegels, tightening your butt muscles, and pulling up your stomach muscles at the same time.)

However, as the universe would have it, there was a full moon that next night and I happened to have a Full Moon Kundalini yoga class!  And would you believe that we did THAT very exercise for most of the session. I did not have an experience that night - nor the next.

But when my moon time came around again in December (which happened to be the 21st anniversary of my monthly cycle), I was a WRECK.  Now, let me tell you, depression is no stranger to me.  I experience it pretty much every month with my period.  I get sad or mad or just irritable.  I go off in anger, or I may cry at nothing.  I have recently learned that I get depressed when blocks are trying to surface, but I push them down.  I have been getting some energy work done (mostly Reiki) to help me release them.  And it works really well.

But THIS?  This was no ordinary depression.  This was "I can't move my legs" depression.  This was "I can't even TALK" depression.  If you compare my normal monthly depression to cramps, then this would be labor pains.  It was UNBEARABLE  I remember my kids looking at me, trying to talk to me - and I literally could not speak.  Anaya (my two year old) would wipe away my tears saying "Sorry, mommy".  Because that is what she says when someone is hurt.  And BOY was I hurting.

Can you believe I almost LEFT them???
I got energy work done several times, but it wouldn't last.

I hit rock bottom on December 17.  I left my house in a RAGE after arguing with my husband.  It was super cold, I did not have a jacket, and I live in the hood (I am usually too scared to run down the street in the daylight).  However, it was well past midnight and I just COULD NOT be in the house with him anymore.   He chased after me and brought me back in (my kids were staying with grandparents).  I remember looking up in my psychotic state and seeing the full moon, and thinking "Is this real?"  Because people going crazy on the full moon is SUCH a cliche...

Anyway, I wanted to DIE.  So, I started thinking of ways that I could do it.

1.) Gun?  No, too messy: I didn't want my family to find me dead AND bloody.
2.) Hanging? Do you know how hard it is to find something in the ceiling that can support your weight?  Really, Really hard. Also, it will hurt.  I yanked something around my neck to test it.  Umm, no - I am trying to alleviate pain, thank you very much.
3.) Jumping off something really high.  That is just for people wanting attention.  I am not trying to hold up traffic.
4.) Finally, I had an epiphany!  I could die from car exhaust!  It was such a calm and clean way of dying.  People die from that without even knowing! And no blood!

Once I figured out a way, I had to figure out when. I knew I couldn't do it with my family home.  I didn't want them to die, too.  So, maybe the next time I took the kids to school and my husband was at work, I could just come home and do it.

When I had that thought, I knew it was only a matter of time.  I knew that it would mess my family and friends up.  I have heard the stories of people's lives after someone close to them committed suicide.  It would be AWFUL.  But at the same time, I was tired... so very tired.  It was like being sleepy on the road at night.  You don't want to fall asleep - but it's inevitable...

So, I told my mom.  She TOTALLY (understandably) freaked out.  Almost had me committed. But the hospital would have definitely forced me to take drugs.  In the back (waaaaay back) of my mind I knew that I had asked for this.  I had BEGGED for a breakthrough.  I just didn't know I would have to have a breakDOWN first.  So, I agreed to stay by my husband's side until I could see a therapist.

By the way, it is extremely hard to get help for people wanting to commit suicide.  I called the national suicide hotline number and they had me on hold for several minutes (both times I called) - so I hung up.  I called every therapist I could find online and NO one was available.   My husband took me to a mental hospital for emergency care - but my only options were to either 1.) commit myself for at least 3 days or 2.) the doctor would commit me for as long as deemed necessary. So, I didn't even fill out the paperwork.

I DID finally have my *spiritual* experience.  During one morning after all the drama, E and I were eating at the Flying Biscuit and I had the epiphany: "I need to stop judging my thoughts".  In Christianity, I was taught to "guard my thoughts, guard my heart".  I was taught that even a bad thought was a sin - so to prevent myself from *sinning*, I judged all my thoughts harshly.  Does this thought lead to success?  Is this a good thought? Is this a bad one?  How could I EVER listen to my intuition if I never shut up the guard dog that was constantly barking?????  Duh!

I felt like my crown chakra opened all the way and like I was floating for about 5 minutes.  It was pretty awesome.  Not the fireworks I was expecting, but pretty memorable, anyway.  After that, I have been finding and pulling up blocks left and right.  AND I had a very productive conversation with my higher self.  (more on that here!)

Also, one of the moms at my kids' school is a psychotherapist.  And she got me in contact with another psychotherapist (actually, several - but I picked Greta because she is a life coach and she is close!).  It has been working out great.  Greta is not fully convinced that I have *cured* my depression.  But I am not worried at all. I am sure I will get sad or mad or irritable again (I have already, actually).  I still have plenty of blocks, I'm sure.  However, now I have tools to help me navigate them- before they get pushed down and turn into depression.

I finally feel like my head is clear(er).  It's almost like I had a cloud over my head for my entire life, and now it's dispersed!  What a wonderful, FREEING feeling!  And without medication!

What if everyone with depression really just had blocks that need to be removed...?