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"My heart has become capable of every form; it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian monks, and a temple for idols and the pilgrim's Ka'ba, and the tablets of the Torah and the book of the Koran. I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love's camels take, that is my religion and my faith."
You've no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You. nothing seemed right. What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean. Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient. It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these. So- I've brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember me.
- Jalaluddin Rumi
Veiled Secrets of Surrender
yesterday my spiritual companion reminded me about surrender, and at the twilight of sunset the inner teacher broke silence to talk about veiled secrets of surrender work.
the one with no face reminded: where are you going, my son? stop all and re-learn surrender first.
surrender is human being's inner core, with it each child is born. for each human being surrender is that secret door.
it is an invitation into the secret space of submission enter to be absorbed in clouds of unknowing.
once you know the mysteries of surrender to the Divine, all other mysteries will transform from coarse to fine.
either: surrender or suffer surrender or be ungrateful surrender or be forgotten surrender or be dead heart surrender or be lost surrender to boundless openness or remain closed.
surrender to the Divine and be His. surrender and taste this supreme bliss.
12 Depression Busters Build a personalized "toolbox": a list of a dozen depression busters to direct me toward mental health, and an emergency lifeline in case I get lost along the way. I consult these 12 techniques when I panic, when I get pulled into addictive behaviors, and as armor in my ongoing war against negative thoughts. Here they are: twelve strategies to take us all to the promised land of recovery from depression. 1. Get Some Buddies 2. Read Away the Craving
3. Be Accountable to Someone 4. Predict Your Weak Spots 5. Distract Yourself 6. Sweat
"); document.write(curPage.Body); Working out is technically an addiction for me (according to some lame article I read), and I guess I do have to be careful with it since I have a history of an eating disorder (who doesn't?). But there is no depression buster as effective for me than exercise. An aerobic workout not only provides an antidepressant effect, but you look pretty stupid lighting up after a run (trust me, I used to do it all the time and the stares weren't friendly) or pounding a few beers before the gym. I don't know if it's the endorphins or what, but I just think--even pray--much better and feel better with sweat dripping down my face. 7. Start a Project 8. Keep a Record
One definition of suffering is doing the same thing over and over again, each time expecting different results. It's so easy to see this pattern in others: "Katherine, for God's sake, Barbie doesn't fit down in the drain (it's not a water slide)" or the alcoholic who swears she will be able to control her drinking once she finds the right job. But I can be so blind to my own attempts at disguising self-destructive behavior in a web of lies and rationalizations.
That's why, when I'm in enough pain, I write everything down--so I can read for myself exactly how I felt after I had lunch with the person who likes to beat me up as a hobby, or after eight weeks of a Marlboro binge, or after two weeks on a Hershey-Starbucks diet. Maybe it's the journalist in me, but the case for breaking a certain addiction, or stopping a behavior contributing to depression, is much stronger once you can read the evidence provided from the past.
9. Be the Expert on health foods like 5htp,same.vitamins and mineral supplements
The quickest way you learn material is by being forced to teach it. I adamantly believe that you have to fake it 'til you make it. And I always feel less depressed after I have helped someone who is struggling with sadness. It's the twelfth step of the twelve-step program, and a cornerstone of recovery. Give and you shall receive. The best thing I can do for my brain is to find a person in greater pain than myself and to offer her my hand. If she takes it, I'm inspired to stand strong, so I can pull her out of her funk. And in that process, I am often pulled out of mine. 10. Grab Your Security Item
Everyone needs a blankie. Okay, not everyone. most important things are sometimes invisible to the eye: like faith, hope, and love. When I doubt all goodness in the world--and accuse God of a bad creation job--I simply close my eyes 11. Get on Your Knees and have a prayer . 12. Do Nothing in the SUN
i If you do nada, that means you're not getting worse, and that is perfectly acceptable most days. After all, tomorrow is another day.
The following is a list of suggestions for coping with depression. Some of these techniques may work for you; others may not. Some may work sometimes, but not all the time. If you try to follow one of these suggestions and it doesn't work for you -- forget about it and try something else. Before you try any of these techniques, consult with your physician or mental health professional. Every person is so unique that what might sound like a helpful suggestion for one person may be detrimental to another. Only a physician or licensed mental health professional who knows you well can make a determination about whether a specific coping technique will be beneficial for you.
The following suggestions are based not only on my experience as a therapist and books on depression, but on the suggestions made by some of my clients who have struggled with depression for a long time.
The symptoms of depression fall into three categories: emotional, mental, and physical.
The emotional symptoms of depression include anger, withdrawal, feeling “flat,” “empty” or “like a dead person.”
Anger: If you can, try to express your anger in a way that does not harm you or others. Physical exercise, cleaning, gardening, carpentry, ceramics, or writing, talking, praying or drawing pictures about your anger often help to release at least some of it. Some people find it helpful to write letters to the person whom or agency which they feel is the source of their anger. If you want to try this writing technique, be prepared to write two letters. The first letter should be only for your eyes. In it, you can write whatever you feel. You can give vent to all your raw emotions of rage and frustration. The point of writing this letter is to release some of the rage. You don't have to keep the letter if you don't want to. You can simply tear it up and throw it away. If writing it has reduced your anger even a little bit, it has served its purpose.
However, if you want to write a letter to actually send to a person or agency, you need to “sleep on it” and share it with people you trust to determine if sending it will serve a useful purpose. Such a letter will take careful thought. Although it may be a strong letter, it should not contain threats of aggression. Furthermore, if you find that expressing your anger, either in writing or in other ways, only increases your anger and makes you feel out-of-control of yourself and more likely to be aggressive, then you may be one of those people who needs to hold their anger in and not express it.
Withdrawal. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others. The first step towards counteracting this trend towards withdrawing is to acknowledge its existence. You need to admit to yourself that you are withdrawing. The second step involves talking to someone about your withdrawing and feelings associated with withdrawing, feelings such as feeling “dead” inside. You need to talk to someone safe who won't criticize or reject you. Set a time limit on the amount of time you will talk about your feelings with a friend, for example, five minutes. If you keep the time short, then you need not worry about burdening the other person. Then, if you can continue to relate to that person.
If there is no one to talk to, you might consider thinking about what it means to you to be withdrawing or writing about it in a journal.
If you can (and only if you can), try to attend whatever function it is that you want to withdraw from for a limited amount of time. The “function” may be as simple as talking to your partner or someone in the family or it may be as major as a family reunion or big party. Make a deal with yourself that you will attend the function for a limited amount of time. Pick a time period that you know you can handle, not a period of time that you think you SHOULD handle. Then cut that period of time in half and make it your goal to stay at the function for that period of time. If you achieve this goal, consider yourself a success.
After you have stayed or engaged in the activity for the time you set for yourself, you may want to leave as planned or you can stay a little longer.
However, if you find you don't have the energy to relate to others, then don't beat yourself up over it. Find your safe place and enjoy being alone with no one or nothing making demands upon you. Although depression can be painful, it can also be thought of as a “time-out” for you to re-evaluate your life and priorities. [It's also a great time to work on projects of activities that require solitude -- if you have the energy or interest.] Some psychologists like to think of depression as positive in that it gives people time to center themselves. Instead of thinking, “I'm a social failure or a psychological wreck,” tell yourself, “I'm recharging my batteries.” Criticizing yourself for being depressed is a waste of precious energy.
Feeling “flat.” If you don't mind feeling flat, don't be concerned about it. If you don't feel comfortable feeling “flat,” then you can try to activate your emotions by listening to music, watching a movie or favorite television program, helping someone in need, or reading. Remember, the goal is to feel more alive, not more numb. If watching t.v. enlivens you, continue watching it However, if watching television or videos lulls you into a state of numbing, you are no longer achieving your goal of feeling more alive.
Mental Symptoms: Confusion, slowness of thought, memory loss, and other mental dysfunctions
If your brains feel like molasses, make a list of what you need to do that day. Include only important activities which must be done and rank order them. If there is a time you have to have a certain activity, like picking up children at a certain hours, write that time down next to the name of the activity.
This list can be your guide when you get confused or can't remember.
Perhaps you feel ashamed at having to make a list like this. “If I was ‘normal' I wouldn't have to this,” you might be telling yourself. Perhaps if you weren't depressed, you might not need to make a list. However, many non-depressed persons, even high achievers, make and use lists. Wealthy people hire secretaries to make and tend to their “lists.”
Unless you are severely depressed, keep in mind that depressive episodes come and go. Just because you need a list during a difficult time, does not mean that you will always need a list and that you will be making lists forever. This is a temporary coping device, that will help you to feel more competent and help you do what you need to do or be where you need to be, which will improve your self-esteem.
Reduce your goals. If you usually can read a three page article when you aren't depressed, your goal when depressed should be smaller. Keep the goal of reading, but shrink it. For example, make your goal one paragraph or on page. Your difficulties with concentrating and other mental difficulties may be temporary. Even if they are not and you must live with them for a long time, denigrating yourself for something you can not change and never chose for yourself is counter-productive. Putting yourself down uses up valuable energy which you need to function in life. When you're depressed, every ounce of energy counts. Don't waste it reminding and chastising yourself for having symptoms of depression. You didn't chose to have clinical depression, did you?
Fatigue: If you're depressed, the last thing you'll want to do is move your body. Yet it may be the thing you need to do the most. Any movement helps. Simply getting out of bed and taking a shower is a start. Your physical movement will help your mental problem. The more you move, the more your brain can work. Physical movement, especially exercise, activates the mind and releases a natural anti-depressant.
If you can't exercise as much as you used to when you weren't depressed, then consider doing a fourth of what you used to do and consider yourself a success. Perhaps once you get started, you will find you have enough energy to do more. In most cases in life, motivation comes before action That is, you are motivated to do something, then you do it. If you are depressed, action precedes motivation. You have to act, then you get motivated --- maybe. Suppose you try some exercise or some other type of action in hopes of helping your depression to lift, and you find yourself not only unenergized, but more fatigued then ever. In that case stop, if you want. You tried. For now your degree of depression may not allow you to proceed. But that doesn't mean that you should stop trying. Depression is unpredictable. Maybe on Tuesday when you forced yourself to go for a walk, you had to turn around and go home because you were so tired. But perhaps on Wednesday, when you force yourself to go for a walk, the walk will achieve it's purpose of “waking you up.”
Distraction. Some people find that distracting themselves, by driving reading, talking to others (not necessarily about the depression), watching tv or a movie, or helping others may help shake the fatigue. Others, however, find that watching tv or a movie, fatigues them even more. Judge the worthiness of an activity by its fruits: does the activity enliven you or deaden you? If it enlivens you, then it may be worth pursuing. If it deadens you, then you know it is not helpful in counteracting depression.
Eating. Overeating as a way to pleasure yourself and “wake yourself up” will ultimately put you to sleep. Try not to overeat -- or undereat. Either one can add to the fatigue of depression.
Pain. If you have physical pain, call a doctor or nurse. At least keep a record of the pain -- how severe it is, when and where you experience it.
Drugs and Alcohol . Like food, they can be used as a &ldquoick me up” but in the long run they let you down. Both alcohol and drugs drain the nutrients out of your body, diminish your mental capacities, alienate important people in your life, and hence, in the long run, contribute to increased depression.
The right anti-depressant in the right dose can work wonders -- if you can tolerate the side-effects. Although there have been great strides in research on anti-depressant medications during the last few decades, sometimes even the most competent and caring doctor can not prescribe the right dose of the right medication on the first try. You will need to be in frequent contact with your psychiatrist or physician to assess your response to the medication.
Some of my clients can not tolerate some types of anti-depressants, but have found found relief in others. This involved a process of experimenting with one drug, then another, that was time-consuming, costly and frustrating. “But I'm worth it ... and I have no choice. If I can find a drug that helps me, then it's worth all the trouble,” explains a client. This man was lucky. He eventually found the right combination of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs that gave him energy and helped him repair his marriage and his finances. But not all people are so lucky. I've had clients who have tried ever single medication on the market, including herb remedies, to no avail. Some of these persons became ill from the medications. Others found that the medicine helped lessen their depressions, but that certain side effects of the medications were intolerable.
The side effects of medication must always be weighed against the benefits. Once again, each person is an individual. The medication which helps one person may not help another. A side-effect which is a minor nuisance to one person, may be unbearable to another.
Taking care of your depression by seeking psychiatric help can sometimes feel like a part-time job. It takes energy and effort to keep the appointments, monitor the effects of the medication, and call the doctor when there is a problem. You must keep calling your doctor if you have a negative effect from any medication.
Managing depression takes work:mental emotional, and physical work. And it takes energy -- what depressed people lack.
If you are on medications, realize that it is your responsibility to take the medication as prescribed, not just when you feel like it. You also need to report side-effects to your doctor and be assertive enough to tell the doctor the truth -- the whole truth -- about your reactions to the medication.
The doctor can't do it all. You have to take an active part in telling your doctor what works and what doesn't
Clients with depression offer the following suggestions in coping with depression. Since everyone is unique, the same activity or coping strategy will have a different effect on each person. Only you can judge, from your own experience, what helps to feel more alive than more dead.
Talking, walking, getting in touch with nature, helping others, eating something special that isn't harmful or against food plan, exercise, medication, listening to soothing takes, reading or learning something, being alone, being with others, resting (or the opposite, exercise); medication, fishing, fantasizing about good times; staying with routine, gardening, driving in country.
What happens to a car that is driven cross-country 50 times without a tune-up, oil change, or tire rotation? What happens to a car that is well maintained but driven coast to coast 1,000 times? Would some parts start to wear out? Might the car eventually cease to function altogether?
People aren't cars. However what happens to a car due to overuse or inadequate care is similar to what happens when they undergo prolonged severe stress or trauma and consequently don't have the time, money or ability to take care of themselves. Under such conditions, their emotional and physical reserves become taxed to the point where they can easily develop a clinical depression. Depression can also be caused by medical problems, by a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or by genetic factors. Dieting is another leading cause of depression,
Depression is by far the most common psychiatric problem in our country. Almost one third of women and one tenth of all men can expect to suffer at least one bout of depression in their life time. Unfortunately, few people individuals recognize the symptoms. Even if they do, they often fail to get help.
Don't you be one of them. Depression is a highly treatable condition. There is no necessity for, or purpose in, continuing to suffer needlessly.
What is Depression?
Everyone has “the blues” from time to time, and when it happens we often say we're depressed. But there are important differences between the “blahs” common to most people and biochemical or clinical depression.
For example, depression is part of the grieving process. If you are depressed because someone you love has died, this is not necessarily a sign of clinical depression. In normal grieving, the depression tends to lessen over time, even though it may take years. In clinical depression, however, the depression tends to increase over time. Clinical depression also involves mixed feelings towards yourself or others, self-hatred, and physiological problems such as sleep disturbances and fatigue. Indecision, inability to concentrate, memory problems, lowered sex drive, confusion and crying spells are other symptoms.
In clinical depression, the negative feelings are so overwhelming that they impair your ability to function. You can't make it to work, or it is a struggle to get there. You stop going out. You avoid socializing. The smallest task seems like a monumental chore and you can't concentrate enough to read a newspaper article, much less a book. You have trouble meeting the most basic obligations to your family or yourself. Indecision plagues you.
Depression is not only painful it itself, but creates fear. When you can't concentrate on the task at hand, you start to feel insecure about yourself and begin to worry that you won't be able to meet your responsibilities or take care of yourself. Your self-esteem becomes damaged, which, in turn, creates additional feelings of worthlessness. In our society, self confidence is valued. It isn't &ldquoopular” to have low self-esteem. If you are depressed, you might feel you have to hide your difficulties from others in order to be accepted by others. You might even feel you have to pretend to be happier than you really are.
But pretending is exhausting. Pretending creates further stress and only increases your fatigue and sense of isolation. Hence eventually you may give up trying to pretend and simply resign yourself to loneliness. Even when you feel like being with others, you might chose to be alone because pretending takes up too much energy and, if you are depressed, your energy is limited.
Clinical depression can make it difficult for you to know what is real and what is not. It is not unusual for people with depression to become hypersensitive to the reactions of others and to distort how others feel about them. Someone may say something to you, which under normal circumstances, you would hardly consider worth remembering. But under conditions of depression, you might experience that same comment as a major insult or slap in the face. Or, due to depression, you may feel utterly hopeless about situations in which there is, in fact, considerable hope.
Are you are plagued with feelings of fatigue, hopelessness, worthlessness? Are you having trouble concentrating and making decisions? Are you experiencing little pleasure in activities which used to interest you? Do you find yourself sleeping too much or too little?
If so, you may want to have yourself evaluated for depression. This would involve scheduling an appointment with your family doctor or a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or psychiatric nurse.
If you noticed a small lump on your body, you would probably make an appointment to have it checked out immediately. Perhaps you think that depression isn't as serious as all that, but it is. Left unchecked, depression grows worse over time and can not only make you feel miserable, but make you physically ill. Research has shown that depression harms the immune system and that people with depression are more susceptible to various illnesses and infections.
There is no need to go on suffering and put yourself at risk for more emotional and physical pain, when there is help available.
Oh my fair North Star I have held to your dearly I have asked you to steer me To one cloud scattered night I got lost in my travels I met Leo the Lion Met and a king and met a giant With their errant light
There's the wind and the rain And the mercy of the fallen Who say they have no claim to know what's right There's the weak and the strong And the beds that have no answer And that's where I may rest my head tonight
I saw all the bright people In imposing flocks they landed And they got what they demanded And they scratched at the ground Then they flew and the field Grew as sweetly for the flightless Who had longing yet despite They could hear every sound
There's the wind and the rain And the mercy of the fallen Who say they have no claim to know what's right
And if your sister or your brother Were stumbling on their last mile In a self-inflicted exile You'd wish for them a humble friend And I hope someday That the best of Falstaff's planners Give me seven half-built manors Where half-dreams may dream without end
There's the wind and the rain And the mercy of the fallen Who say hey it's not my place to know what's right There's the weak and the strong And the many stars that guide us We have some of them inside us
THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE PRECEPTS OF THE ANTIQUE AGE
The Emperor Huang Ti:
I have heard it said that in antique times humans were living to the age of one hundred years. In our days, at fifty years we are already worn out. Is this owed to the changes of circumstances or does it come back to the fault of humans?
The Physician Chi Po:
In the antique age, man used to live according to the "Tao" the "Principle". They used to observe the law of Yang and of Yin, to be sober, to live a regular and simple life. For this reason, healthy in body and in spirit, they used to be able to live up to a hundred years. In our age, man drinks alcoholic drinks like one drinks water, looking for all the pleasures, and addicting themselves to intemperance, so they do not live beyond fifty years. The Sages teach that in order to be able to avoid the "Perverse Fongs" (Sicknesses owned to exterior influences), it is necessary to lead a simple and peaceful life. Keeping thus in reserve all of its energies, the body cannot be attacked by the sicknesses. The wise man must protect himself from desires, thus his heart will be at peace, and his body can be tired, but not his spirit. It is by living in such simplicity that man can still, in our days, live to the age of one hundred years.
The Emperor Huang Ti:
Old men can no longer have children. Is this law determined in the Heavens?
The Physician Chi Po:
In girls at the age of seven years, the energy of the Kidneys takes shape, hair and teeth have their full bursting. At fourteen years (Two times seven) they reach puberty, the genital glands begin to function. It is at this moment that the Conception Vessel displays its energy; that [the energy] of the Chong Mo meridian is reinforced. At this age, the menses appear; the young girl can beget. At twenty-one years (three times seven) the energy of the Kidney meridian is in full activity; the wisdom teeth are coming out. At twenty-eight years (four times seven) bones and muscles become strong, the body becomes robust. At thirty-five years (five times seven) the blood and the energy of the Yang Ming meridians Levels of Human Growth Hormone decrease as we age. By middle age and beyond HGH levels have plummeted to a tiny fraction of their youthful levels -- and science shows that there is a direct correlation between lost HGH and the troubles we all dread most, such as weight gain, loss of interest in sex, sagging skin and muscles, wrinkled skin that lacks good tone and texture, flagging memory… HGH is the incredibly exciting answer