The holidays... hmmmm. What I have to share seems to swim upstream from the mainstream but I know that I'm not alone in my experiences either.
This time of year more than any other is a time of gentle coaxing, each year I hope will be easier than the last, and I do believe that each one is getting easier as I learn how to be gentle with myself, mining my thoughts often for the dark forces that whisper and would have me believe that I am shackled to the misery and helpless suffering of depression and despondance when it descends on me. Meanwhile, the world celebrates some of the biggest parties of the year. Without me.
Those of you that know me or have followed my blog over the years know my battles with depression, for those of you new here, now you know too. It continues to be a life challenge, especially during the winter months. I have a SAAD light, it helps, but it's not just about the outside light I'm learning, it's a lot about my flickering inside light that just needs much more care and attention right now. My self care takes priority #1, everything else has to take a back seat.
Taking care of myself can mean taking walks outside by the river, being bowled-over-on-the-ground by the majesty of the eagle that tops our cedar tree, listening to the eagles call
Are they talking about salmon?
Allowing myself lots of room to DO nothing, sit, meditate or wile away the hours reading and writing. To let go of the critical voice that wants to constantly remind me that I am behind, or not enough, or not, not, not...
Creating a little something beautiful somewhere in my life, it could be re-arranging a collection of beautiful objects...
*painted box and pottery cups creations of dear friend Misty Mawn*
Spending time in my visual journal, with my canvas, in my kitchen, garden, or sewing room. Painting a self portrait can be theraputic.
Taking small actions during the day that I can feel good about, accomplished about. It doesn't matter how small. For example - sweeping the floor.
Reaching out a little every day to others. An "I love you" or "thank you" or "I so appreciate what you did/do" keeps me connected and grateful.
Finding something that makes me laugh - remembering something funny or watching a comedy (The Long Long Trailer, a movie starring Lucille Ball and Desie Arnez will do it every time).
Remembering what I do have to offer to the world, what are my gifts? Remembering my purpose here, even when I'm on "sabbatical" for a few months or however long it is.
Being grateful, making a list - either mental or on paper - of all that I have to be thankful for...that list is long.
Each and every day I exert a great deal of energy to keep my boat afloat and going the right direction in these storms. But I've also got better maps now and I use them, and the internet lets me stay connected in a way I didn't have before.
And from experience I know now that there will be gifts to see and receive when the sky is again blue and sun bright, gifts that can also be what I have to offer the world.
I honor and claim this story I'm living, each day I create it through my thoughts, my actions, and my sometimes-weak-and-flickering-but-Beloved Light.
Wishing you all the deepest joy and love this holiday season, and into the New Year.