How to shift out of self-doubt and depression
NOTE: A few hours after I posted this story, I learned of the tragic suicide of actor Robin Williams. My heart breaks for him, and even more for the millions of people, worldwide, who suffer from depression. My hope is that what poured out of my soul (see below) can support someone who is in the pangs of mild depression or self-doubt. My prayer is that we learn to recognize the pre-cursors to depression – discouragement, desperation, and despair — so we can support those in need. If you are in the US and concerned that you or someone you know may take their own life, you can reach out to www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-SUICIDE for help.
Have you ever woken up — or fallen into — a terrible mood, and didn’t know how to shake it?
I have. So I have a story to share with you, and some deep guidance from my Soul that I want to pass along…
This surprised me, because for over a week, I’d been doing a fantastic cleanse to reset my body. I’ve been losing weight. I’ve been sleeping incredibly well. I’ve had tons of energy and ideas. I’ve been jumping up and down with joy to be exercising intensely.
So when I got out of bed, I was not expecting to feel depressed. Or to start doubting all kinds of situations, like my business, my love life, my social situation.
I was caught like a deer in headlights by angry self-negating thoughts.
That hadn’t happened in a long time. I was feeling like such a sad, sad sack.
Fortunately, I’ve been practicing kundalini yoga for nearly a year. And I know that Yogi Bhajan said that when you’re emotional and commotional about your deepest issues, it’s time to “bolt your butt to the mat.” In other words, it’s time to do yoga.
So I begrudgingly started to move my body, and felt the tiniest bit of relief. I meditated, too, but it was hard to stop crying. And then I put my hands on my chest and asked my Soul for guidance. I got really quiet and just listened.
My Soul directed me to get out a beautiful new journal, and start writing the words that she shared with me. I felt such a release, and relief. A gentle warm breeze of ease filled my body.
These words were meant to be shared. These words are meant to help you if you feel stuck in self-doubt and depression.
This guidance can work for you if you’re wanting to shift out of a feeling or state of being that’s not working for you. Here’s the message from my Soul. May it uplift you, in body, mind, and spirit (and soul).
I know you feel heavy with self-doubt and depression. That’s coming from your mind, your ego. It’s old mental programming. Extraneous yet damaging thoughts. You’re accustomed to listening to your inner dialogue and buying into it.
The first thing I must let you know: Don’t believe everything you think.
When you’re thinking something (you may not even be aware that you’re thinking it) and you start to feel tight or heavy or like you can’t quite breathe enough air, I want you to notice that your body is signaling you. It’s informing you that you’ve lost touch with me, your Soul.
The second thing I want to convey: I speak to you in many ways, with my favorite way being via the instincts and impulses I send through your body.
Of course, I prefer to send signals that make you feel open, relaxed, light, uplifted and deeply inspired. I always love when you take deep, long, slow breaths that make you feel so full and nourished. I want you to release those breaths with ease, so you enjoy the in and out cycle that will bring you back to your natural, serene, innate wisdom. I’m in constant touch with you, if you will only tune into what you’re feeling in your body.
Now, in paying attention to your body, you probably have a lot of unnecessary judgments.
Like I know you can complain that you have “bulky calf muscles.” And I’ve heard you whine about your flabby tummy. Guess what? That’s your pesky, critical ego talking to you. Me? Your Soul? I tend to speak in a loving, encouraging way.
The third thing that’s important: If you want a sensational life, get in touch with your sensations.
So there’s a specific way I want you to tune into your body so you can hear me, your Soul. I’ll share more of these ways with you over time. For now, let me say that the guiding principle is to start with noticing one sensation that you’re currently experiencing in your body, and just tune into that. Really listen to the sensation, the way you would pay attention if you were listening to a really good friend who had something important to say but might be having a tough time finding the words to express herself.
- You would be patient.
- You would be non-judgmental.
- You wouldn’t immediately try to interpret what she meant, you’d just keep listening.
- You wouldn’t make up a story about what was happening or connect her words to other events, at least not right away.
This is how to listen to your body, especially when you’re feeling incredibly emotional. Whenever you don’t feel good about yourself, you’ve lost touch with me, your eternally wise Soul.
Please know this: You were created with a wise body, so you could hear me, and also so you’d know when you’re on or off track with me.
Aaaah, as you’re taking in my words, I noticed you just took a lovely deep breath. That sigh is part of you letting go of tension and pressure you’ve been putting on yourself.
Compassionately, I notice you applying unnecessary pressure and tension to your body – like grimacing, pulling up your shoulders, clenching your jaw.
Those are learned behaviors that you picked up growing up. Like from family. School. Friends. The people around you. Relaxation, ease, and going with the flow – those words describe your natural state of being. Your birthright
Let’s shift you out of depression and self-doubt and into more of a sensational state of ease right now.
Here’s the Sensational Shift process I’ve been wanting to teach you:
Spend a moment and notice, right now, what’s the sensation that stands out the most for you right now?
Oh, so you feel a lot of tension in your jaw at that joint where the back teeth come together?
Whoa! I know, you want to “fix” the tension, by massaging the area. Or you want to wiggle your jaw around to loosen it up. Just for now, please just notice what you feel, being as neutral an observer as you can be.
I know, I know, you want the pain to go away. Sure, you could do some Reiki or other energy medicine on that jaw of yours, or take a painkiller. But what if the sensation of pain has a message for you? Please don’t interpret now. Simply focus on the sensation in your precious jaw.
Does your jaw feel heavy? Yes I know it does.
Is the pain moving or stationary? Oh! It’s moving in tight little circles, eh? Just let that happen.
Oh! Now you feel a crunching that arises spontaneously, a gripping sense, around the little circles of tightness. Just keep breathing and noticing your sensations.
You’re doing just great. Your sensations, emotions, and perceptions will shift.
I’m curious. That tight feeling in your jaw — is it shallow or deep?
Ah, you notice the tight sensation seems shallow in your upper molar, but deep in your lower molar, even though you’re not biting down or jiggling it. You’re mindfully bringing your awareness to the sensations you’re feeling in the jaw joint.
Mmm… Nice sigh. That’s a sweet release of tension.
How is that jaw of yours now? Oh, you really feel an intense in the lower jaw?
Hmm, and now you feel your tongue, especially the front of your tongue, pushing against your front teeth, very lightly?
Fascinating. Hmm, are you relaxing just a bit from when we started? A little less doubting and depressed? Nice!
That shift happened so spontaneously, so organically, so naturally.
I know we have a bit more to explore here. For now, I want to celebrate that just by paying attention to your sensations, you positively shifted your emotions and your thoughts.
Sometime, I’ll tell you all about the science of why focusing on your sensations can be like meditation, but even easier.
Don’t you love a stress-reducing technique you can do with your eyes open, if you choose to do it that way?!
Certainly helps if you get tense when you’re driving, and want relief!
For now, I’ll say that giving your mind a task, especially one related to paying attention to sensation — without judgment, without an explanation, and without interpretation — well that just connects you to the present moment.
And when you’re fully surrendered to the present moment, you get the sensational gift of being connected to me, your Soul.
I am always here for you.
When you are connected to me, you feel your best.
And you’ll have times when you feel disconnected from me.
To reconnect, do a sensational shift. Tune into your sensations. You’ll get present. Stay with the exploration of present-moment sensation and you’ll ultimately feel calmer. You’ll get out of mental and emotional turmoil and into your true nature. And you’ll be back in connection with me, your Soul.
I love you.
Ooh, you groove on hearing that! I can feel how your chest lightens up. Your body feels more open. And oh, yeah, you’re breathing so deeply.
You are meant to joyfully create sensational shifts in the world – to use your innate talents and abilities to do good in your unique ways to benefit others.
And, if you ever lose track of how to be your sensational best, shift your attention to your sensations in the way I’ve just shared with you.
When you feel nervous, worried, confused, unsure, overwhelmed, doubting, depressed, or any other way you don’t want to feel — make a sensational shift.
Your embodied awareness will bring you back to being connected with me, your Soul.
You are sensational.
In all ways.