Cleaning up loose ends by addressing depression

It’s that time of year, nearing the end of December,  when I feel the urge to clean up loose ends, finish projects started earlier in the year, to clean my house top to bottom and clear out what is no longer useful emotionally and materially. As much as I love books, I know I need to cull the collection every so often. Of course, my old text books from grad school were easy to part with. The hardcover novels are being repurposed into altered books and art journals.

I’m starting to go through the stack of books that I have read or scanned for useful information. Today I landed on Yoga for Depression by Amy Weintraub. This was my first introduction to Amy, and what followed was collecting her CD’s, DVD’s and taking a class with her at the Kripalu Center. I surprised myself by opening the book and beginning to read it, again.

I know this time I will read it cover to cover. The forward by Stephen Cope caught and kept my attention; he says: ” Depression manifests as our inability to be present for the experience of life.” So many of my clients present with depression and this describes their condition so concisely. What they want is to be normal, to get their life back or create a life. The depression often presents in conjunction with addiction…their own or a family member’s or a friend’s. They want answers, and even when they are taking medication, they want more. Many don’t want to take medication, want an alternative way to deal with the numbness, loss, moodiness.

There are answers, and much like a daily medication regime, alternative methods involved a daily commitment. Although the yoga and mediation regimes suggested in this book take more time than popping a pill, the results are worth the time.  In fact, many of us live lives that are so frenetic, and we believe ourselves when we say ” I don’t have time to______….”. What if we could say, would say to ourselves, I don’t have time NOT to take care of myself, to block out an hour of quiet time to connect to myself, to spirit to healing.

What would it take for you to create time in your day for yourself to connect through yoga or medication or quiet reflection? What would you have to give up? And the real question that needs to be answered: “What would you gain?” What else would you gain by taking that time once a week to join a yoga class or study with a yoga teacher?  How much will you get back by investing in the the additional support of a therapist who can help you stay on track and clear up the emotional blocks that keep you from moving forward, from living the life that you want to live.

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