March 27, 2008

There Will Be Days…

And yes, there will be days on which you awaken and feel that Black Dog hanging over you like a suffocating blanket. Your mind will absolutely, positively believe it knows you are depressed again.

Ah! Another one of those days, the story in your head goes. What’s the point? I haven’t the energy to move. Such a darkness is in my head today, I want to hear nothing, see no one, smell no smells, touch nothing.

So the story goes.

Until in an instant you become aware that someone is watching you tell this tale to yourself. As the story of depression builds its way up to a novel, you can’t help but be distracted by the realization that you are being observed.

There it is again. You catch it in the corner of your mind’s eye. Disturbed, you look again and in astonishment you discover –

It’s you. The bigger, wiser, essential You. Simply watching, with no judgment, no accusations, no shame.

Then all there is, is the Bigger You, in the same body, yet not the same. Now you listen completely to your body, and you gather the information it brings. No labels, simply observations: Your head feels heavy. Your physical energy seems low. Your eyes feel dry, your breathing is shallow. Your stomach growls.

You take a slightly deeper breath now, let it go, and your stomach growls again. Your legs feel stiff, so you stretch and watch them come alive, tingling.

Up you come, and there are no more tales. Stretching more, your whole body comes to life. For several quite minutes you move your arms and legs slowly, mindfully. Hear the message your body delivers.

Out you go, feet to the floor. Moving with intention, stretching in all directions. And though by this time another string of thoughts has begun to weave another tale, you watch and listen to the truth of the body.

Depression was the story.

Your feet tell you the Truth.

There will be days. And once again, you smile.

Exercise

Sit down at a table or desk and close your eyes. Place your hands palm-down before you. Bring your attention to the space between each finger. Stretch your hands, then raise your them, elbows anchored to the table or desk top.

Slowly fold your hands together. Notice which fingers are on top. Now unfold them and fold them again, this time with the other fingers on top. Take a breath.

Experiment with feeling the joints in your body today, the spaces between them, and the tissue that connects them. Which makes movement possible?

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