American culture is afraid of depression. Emotions, reflection, introversion, being, solitude and contemplation are the quiet, feminine yin qualities that all women and men can access, but are rarely encouraged to develop. The masculine, yang aspects of doing, extroversion, drive, achievement and competition are validated, encouraged and rewarded. Yet both sets of qualities are required for each of us to attain balanced health and well-being — the active doing of the male and the female stillness of being.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, roughly 26.2 percent of Americans are currently being treated with medication and/or therapy for depression. Although there is much speculation on the causes and cures for this disease, there also is hidden within each person’s experience of depression the precious gift of truth that is crying out to be heard and embraced.
Ease vs. dis-ease
Have you ever had the experience of over-stressing yourself and getting a cold? That cold is your physical body’s message that your system is out of ease or balance. Experiencing a dis-ease is experiencing a time of miscommunication with your inner guidance system. Physical dis-ease forces you to care for your body. Finally you have permission (and are forced) to rest. You have permission to take care of your deeper, fundamental needs.
Your emotional/mental body also offers signals indicating imbalance and dis-ease. As you become caught in the wheel of overachieving and stress, you may become out of ease. Depression is one demonstration of this imbalance. Depression (“pressing inward”) stops time and offers permission to re-prioritize and give to your Self. Depression holds many subtle gifts for you.
Through depression, your inner guidance is asking you to descend into the dark, quiet internal caverns alone, to sit and contemplate that part of yourself which cannot be reached in the external world. This is a descent into your deeper nature. Denying this important time, remaining socially acceptable and covering up or looking away from the message your inner guidance system is offering you, is a missed opportunity. You miss both your personal wisdom and your voice. We learn instead to fear our inner signals, to quiet them, and simply continue to do and achieve. But what if, instead of suppressing your inner signals you were to instead:
Depression arrives as a gift, offering the chance to touch the deeper ground within your Self. Depression asks that you stop and take the time to recognize the quiet, steady voice of your own truth. If you heed depression’s call, the voice of authority is no longer outside, but now deeply within you. Depression demands that your life be viewed, not as a commodity, spent in service to external authorities such as profession, church, community or even family. Depression demands that you hold your life sacred and live moment to moment.
A few months ago, Sheryl (not her real name) requested assistance in reducing her dependency on anti-depression drugs. She also wanted to clarify destructive thought patterns and make the changes necessary to return to a level of happiness she had felt in her early 20s. By respecting and working with her emotions, fears and thoughts, she learned to ask herself better questions and recognize the quiet wisdom her inner guidance system was offering her. Over a short period of time, Sheryl brought into harmony a successful career as a computer programmer with her heart’s desire to teach high school students. She also reduced her medications to almost zero.
If you’ve been feeling somewhat down and depressed lately, what if, instead of stuffing down your feelings, you asked yourself:
What if you allowed yourself to leave a way of doing that doesn’t nourish you; that makes you unhappy, and instead begin to embrace a way of being that feeds your soul?
Perhaps you can!
An author and teacher, Roxane has been offering tools for developing intuition and Personal Power to individuals, businesses and women’s groups since 1994. Following a successful career as an art director for two large corporations and as manager of her own design firm, she trained as a Life Coach and Mastering Alchemy teacher. Roxane’s seminars include: Spiritual Abilities and Tools for Intuition, Personal Energy Management and Female Alchemy. She also has been featured on television, radio and in national publications both in the US and Australia.
She is the co-founder of Mastering Alchemy and presents this work with Jim Self.
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