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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Present and The Holiday Blues

Caution: Consult a medical professional if you have major depression, a potentially dangerous condition that requires correct diagnosis and treatment. Home remedies should only be used with medical approval. Also, check with your medical professional for prescription drug contraindications, and double check with your pharmacist to be extra sure.

From now until the new year I'm going to write about depression, focusing on a remedy per day. Today's post is about living in the present moment and depression. And by depression, I do not mean major depression. I mean something more like the holiday blues.

The present. It isn't just something you unwrap on birthdays and holidays. It's the greatest gift of all. Now. Right now.

So what, you may wonder, does the present have to do with depression. Well, a lot, especially if you aren't truly in it! If you fill your present moments rehashing sadnesses from the past or feeling anxieties about the future, you're totally missing the present!

Consider this. Stop actively thinking about the past and/or future and focus on the present. Where are you now, what's happening this very second? You're reading what I'm writing. Do you have background dialogue running in your head? Turn it off, for goodness sake, you can't be in the present if you're distracted. Stop. Focus. Guide your awareness to the sensations you are feeling at this moment.

(A word of caution, if you are seriously depressed at this moment, do not do this exercise; if you're going to do it anyway despite my warning, do not do it unsupervised!)

Close your eyes and allow yourself to stay focused on the present moment, how you're feeling right now. Become aware of it and stay focused on it. Allow it to slowly lead to a deeper level of understanding, release, dissipation. Stay focused on your present feelings as they unfold. It's like peeling the layers of an onion. You are simply observing here, not directing or anticipating, not trying to figure anything out. This is essential for the process to work. Just stay focused and let the work do itself.

Stay gently focused on the present internal moment until you feel a sense of peace returning to you. When you're ready, open your eyes and face the present external world refreshed and renewed, having released some of the burden you've been carrying. Lightening your load in this way is a bit of mental/emotional housecleaning that can leave you feeling more at ease with yourself and your world. And that's my gift to you today.

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