From the darkest, deepest places, it seems like the light, the joy and the strength to live a fulfilling life are impossible to reach. Let me share with you a secret: your sadness is your soul claiming for you to listen!

I am sure lots of people will ask me how I dare to treat this topic in a blog post. There is such seriousness and taboo around depression! Well, let me tell you, I have suffered it. And in my darkest moments, I wished to find small floating boards to help me ascend if just a little bit out of water. Talking therapy and drugs don´t seem to work for many of us.

Today I want to take a stand and share my story, because sharing it in an empowering way helps me to heal and will maybe help other to heal too.

1 Your soul is speaking, Listen!

Depression, anxiety, heaviness and hopelessness., There are many names for our soul sickness. From a lack of energy to get out of bed, to the lack of will to live., The symptoms have been classified and studied.
I suffered them since I was little and I still remember what my father told me when I was around 12 and had my first episode of deep sadness

Sadness is your soul claiming to be attended.

Our soul is crying to be held, to be loved and to be listened to. There is so much wisdom hiding in our souls. It is our connection to the divine and the higher realms and we have long forgotten how to listen to it. We are too caught up in external living and our souls are claiming us to listen.

2 Acceptance and Awareness

The way our souls talk to us is through emotions.
It is through emotions that we can experience our own thoughts, conscious and unconscious. They are the center of our human experience.

To honor one’s emotions is to honor one’s soul.

If you, like me, were brought up to believe that being sad or emotional is embarrassing and a sign of weakness, then let me share something with you: it is necessary to go through periods of darkness and emotional tenderness to be able to shine bright. In your biggest challenges, resides you biggest resource. And it is part of the cycle of our human existence to experience the whole spectrum of emotions.
It is how we react/act with them that makes the difference.

To own your power you must own your s**t. – Naia Leigh

3 Pain hurts but Suffering condemns

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The difference between a “bad day” and a pathological condition is the amount of time we remain dwelling in the emotion.

What make us suffer a long time and fall into depression is not the pain itself, is the drama built around it.

Pain happens in the present moment. Suffering is our mind getting stuck in the past, or projecting into the future.
My biggest liberation came when I understood that is the identification with my pain that made me suffer. The identification and the resistance to the emotion and not the emotion itself was making my “bad days” turn into weeks of numbness.

Allowing the pain to hurt for as long as it needs without resistance, and simply witnessing it with a non-judgmental awareness is what has gotten me out of my more painful moments. It is resistance that turns pain into suffering, and suffering makes us victims for generations!

Embodiment: Allow the pain to be there. Make a conscious act of being present with your pain in a nonjudgmental way. Don’t try to numb it or escape from it. Observe it as if you will be observing the surface of a lake where tears are falling and creating ripples… Meditation, Yoga or practices like Qui gong allow yourself to look inside.
Use your breath to be with your emotional pain. With every inhalation feel its deep hurt, and with every exhalation let it go and observe it. It might be very hard in the beginning, but with practice it gets easier, and it is deeply liberating.

4 Identify the story behind

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We can understand what we can name. Sometimes the source of our emotional pain is clear and easy to identify. Sometimes though, it is an inexplicable sadness, lack or interest for life or numbness that takes away the joy of our lives without apparent reason. Search for the root.
Identifying the patter or story behind our emotional pain is key to being able to name it. And once we name it we are in front of a recognizable character with whom we can deal much easier.

Embodiment: When the source of your depression is not clear for you, and the mind runs in circles without clarity, go to your body. Dance!

Dance is the hidden language of soul of the body. -Martha Graham.

Our emotions are stored in our bodies, not only in our brain, but in all our tissue and bones.
Start moving different parts of your body in an intuitive way, and be aware of the feelings that get triggered. Take your time to go body part, by body part and observe carefully.

Sometimes a movement will trigger a kinesthetic awareness, or a definite feeling. Stay with it and allow it to evolve, grow and present itself to you. Then see what emotions are associated with it and name them.

“Moving only my hips in slow circles a kinesthetic awareness gets trigger… I feel heat…intense heat. Developing deeper the movement the feeling of anger arouses. I stay with it, allowing myself to feel it and expressing it however way it needs to be expressed. Silent screams come out of my chest. A story comes with it, my personal mythology. Now is much easy to name it”

5 Express it in an artistic way

You own your life, you own your emotions, you make the rules.
The only way to liberate from an emotion is by taking it out into the world and setting it free. Expressing our feeling and emotions goes beyond good advice. It is vital for our health!

Now the traditional way of expressing them is through rationalization. Emotions aren´t rational! They are experiential.

The best way of projection is Art. -Fritz Perls

This is why some people make art out of their feelings, while others get depressed. Express!

Embodiment: Find the support that better suits you and express what you feel and the story you have identified.

Paint your pain. Write a poem, a song. Create a dance performance. The sky is the limit. And remember it is a pure spontaneous act of expression. Don´t plan and don´t think about the result. Just let your emotions flow and catch a blue print of them.

6 Create a ritual to release it

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Rituals have the power to make conscious decisions real to the unconscious. Charles Eisenstein

You have acknowledged the existence of the emotion, and found the story behind it, letting it be expressed. Now is time to let it go.

Forgiveness is one of the most healing practices we can have.

Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a better past. -Jack Kornfeld.

Embodiment: Make a ceremony for yourself. Choose exactly how you want it to be. Is important that you do it with awareness and intention. Give it the importance that it has.
For me the presence of Fire always helps to bring the feeling of release. Remember to integrate deep breathing during the practice so that your entire body opens to the message that your conscious mind is sending to your unconscious system.
A very powerful prayer is the Hawaian Oponopono. It is an ancient prayer and its power has been long proven.

Ho´Oponopono

I am sorry
Please forgive me
I love you
Thank you

7 Fill in with new light

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After the ritual has been done, a feeling of relief invades me. It is time to fill in with the new.

Embodiment: Do a meditation of your choice. You can do a visualization or come in contact with your body energy from the Root Chackra (base of your spine) all the way up to your crown, letting the energy be released through your Crown Chackra
Keep a clear intention of bringing in the new, fresh and light energy.

8 Set up the new path

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You have re-written a pathway. Now give it time for the river to flow in the new canal. Is time to set up a purpose, no matter how big or small. A purpose for this new path is to remain in the light.

Embodiment: Create a ritual or a personal practice to repeat daily. It can be just a few minutes of mindful presence and a mantra of your choice. Or you can create a vision board with your new life path. I am very visual, so for me painting an ideal image of my new path and having it in my altar brings back the body-memory awareness of the work done.

Remember, some of our patterns have been running for generations, and it might take longer to change them. Be patient, and repeat these 7 steps as many times as you feel necessary until your body and your unconscious mind understands the new path.

Something else!
Find support. Community is one of the most important aspects if we are in the path of self-improvement, and we work with deep emotions. Actually, for me community is a vital aspect of our human lives!

I have done this work and I know it moves things on a deep level. But I also know that once we come into contact with ourselves and tune into our intuition, we are our best healers. Trust!
Take it easy at first. Be gentle with yourself: you are a precious and delicate creature inside and your strength depends on how in contact you can be with your vulnerability.

Drink a lot of water during and after the whole process. It helps detoxing and eliminating from your system toxins that are going to be released.

I wish from the bottom of my heart that these 8 steps will help you in your journey towards an empowered and fulfilling life.
It is our birthright to live in joy, to be provided for and taken care of and to unleash our highest potential.

Sincerly

Layla.

Artist Featured: Brad Kunkle