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The Tao of Depression by Roxanne Burnett of Mastering Alchemy

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:

  • Allow yourself to listen once again to your own sensitivities?
  • Trust and accept that your anger, irritation, illness and depression as signs that your true path of harmony is calling to you?
  • And allow that message of change to seep into your daily schedule, your office, home and heart?

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 is the gift this darkness is offering me?”
  • “Where am I not being truthful with myself?”

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!

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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.

You can find more free articles, e-books, DVDs, audio recordings of teleclasses, webinars, and Q & A sessions, along with more advanced Mastering Alchemy teaching programs at www.MasteringAlchemy.com. Sign up for a  FREE Newsletter and get regular updates on new articles, teleclasses and webinars as they become available.

PLEASE NOTE: Universal Copyright 2010 is authorized here. Please distribute freely as long as the website www.masteringalchemy.com is included as the resource and this information is distributed on a non-commercial no charge basis.

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10 Responses to “The Tao of Depression by Roxanne Burnett of Mastering Alchemy”

  1. Sunil says:

    I think, Depression is a very lonely, frustrating and soul-destroying condition that requires support from friends, family, the medical profession and the community at large…maximum suffering in this time,That is really a nice information thanks to sharing with us.

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  2. Leila says:

    I like your article Roxanne. I agree that it’s important to listen to all the signals our bodies and minds give us. I like the practise of listening out for feelings in my body or mind everyday.

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  3. Mark, Cabo San Lucas says:

    As an “ex-deppressive” I wish I had heard this information a few years ago – the simple recognition of being depressed was immediately followed by “whats wrong with me?”, which was in the “I’m damaged goods” category, contributing to the downward emotional spiral. Had I been able to recognize, as Roxane beautifully points out, to LISTEN to the voices of the feelings, rather than discount them as something wrong, I might have been able to resurface much quicker and perhaps not had to fall into that trap again! Thank you Roxane, exquisite insight!

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  4. Andras says:

    At one time while I was intensely depressed, the thought came to me that staying depressed was a betrayal of creation. I suppose that was exactly what I needed to hear, because from there on I was able to pull out by refusing to stay depressed.
    It surprises me that some still refer to yin and yang as equivalents of feminine ans masculine. In human beings, yin and yang manifest as aspects of feminine and masculine, as well as independently of them(front/rear, substance/energy, cold/hot etc). What some people do is attribute certain yang charecteristics — usually the ones which are leading to imbalance — to masculinity, and the rebalancing traits to the feminine side. This is not objective, this is lunacy.

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  5. Dr. Robin says:

    Depression is a choice one makes and it is not an illness and there will always be one cure and that is to decide your life has value and simply change your mind. You may wait until you are faced with a life threatening illness to do this and as you may believe that depression is the seed to may illnesses first of all Cancer and this as well as high blood pressure, diabetes and several others can be cured simpply by deciding to be happy. Deciding life is worth living and living it. Most people are afraid of life and they are not living only existing but once you begin to live life and not worry about the outcome because we all die in the end so may hay while the sun is shining and live, all you need to do it just do it and keep on doing it because you like doing it. Your friend Dr. Robin

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  6. John says:

    I think your title should be changed… Poor use of the word Tao in my opinion. If one focuses on depression and aligns themselves with depression then the outcome will simply be more depression.

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  7. Roxanne, thank you for your insightful article. I agree about the value and guidance from our lower vibrational emotions. They are information wanting our attention. Not enough people teach about the gifts of the shadow. Thanks for sharing. And I absolutely love, admire and appreciate what you and Jim are generously offering in your Mastering Alchemy free webinars. Many blessings to you.

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  8. Kimber says:

    Thanks Roxanne for some useful insight. I suffered a deep depression a while back. I had experienced a huge personal loss and was so angry and grief stricken I really wasnt functioning. Though I am not suffering anymore,I would have to agree that it did “force” me to take time for myself eventually. Until your article I don’t think I thought of depression in a positive way. I will keep that in mind for myself and others. Thanks again.

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  9. Debbie says:

    Hi Roxanne,

    I agree with you whole heartedly. I have always belived that depression is something that you go through and not something that you get stuck in. Like everything in existence, it all works in cycles and depression is a part of the cycles. It is a good time to look inside and find out where the imbalance is.

    Wonderful article

    Much love

    Debbie

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  10. Annie Stith says:

    Being someone who has a chemical imbalance (low levels of seratonin, norepinephrine, dopamine; as evidenced by the benefits of medications that increase these), I think it’s important to distinguish this mental illness from the natural bouts of depression we all go through as part of life.

    It’s not my being depressed that causes the imbalances, but the other way around. Yes, the illness requires introspection and dealing with any issues caused during a spiral. However, without being properly medicated, I cannot maintain a “normal” balance of these neurochemicals and, therefore, sink into a depressive episode.

    Annie

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