When depression, grief or fears about a medical problem swoops down and swallows us whole—mind, body and soul—it’s sometimes impossible to put one foot in front of the other. For much of the last eight years, depression made me feel like I was falling from a thousand-story building, but Guided Imagery and the sound of Belleruth Naparstek’s voice slowed my fall. It’s allowed me to gather myself together, again, and find my way.
Last week I spoke with Belleruth Naparstek, a pioneer of Guided Imagery, and she’s everything… and more… I’d hoped.
Depression by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 ImageCreator
Most of us have experienced depression from time to time, but did you know the worst thing we can do about it is to do nothing? If you’re like me, perhaps you’ve had situational depression that resolved itself when the circumstances that caused it were resolved. Or like me, if you’ve also had a longer, more severe depression that blankets you in a dark shroud, you may decide that like your less severe depression this, too, shall pass. But what if it doesn’t? I don’t know if this is a medical term, but sometimes I’ve thought of myself as functionally depressed.
In other words I show up for life and get my “to do” lists accomplished, but it can be a struggle.
This morning I drove to Fredericksburg: a quaint, old German town in the Texas Hill Country. The abundance of spring rains have filled the land along the highways and back country roads with endless carpets of wildflowers. Prairie Angels, Texas Bluebonnets, Indian Paint, Mexican Hat and Evening Primrose are scattered along the roads and hillsides. Wildflowers blanket pastoral fields of sheep and goats, and beauty blooms among the prickly pear cactus. These earthbound bouquets signal rebirth and renewal, and they remind me of the spring my chemotherapy came to an end.
I LIKE TO THINK BABIES WERE CONCEIVED AND BORN HERE, AND WOMEN MADE FRESH TORTILLAS AND HUNG LAUNDRY…
While it’s fun to get together with family and friends, the Holidays can make even the most organized person work overtime to get everything accomplished. Last week a friend reminded me about Sprayology, the homeopathic, or all natural, products she’s used for a longtime. One helps her deal with stress; another helps her sleep without waking up groggy like she’s taken prescription sleeping pills.
Homeopathic medicine has been around for hundreds of years. Homeopathy is based on the premise that some natural substances can stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms. Since I use guided imagery and hypnosis, the concept makes total sense to me.
WHEN WE’RE LIVING OUR LIVES LIKE WE’RE IN A MINI CAR ACCIDENT ALL THE TIME, OUR ADRENALS GET FATIGUED BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE ANY DOWN TIME. THE HOMEOPATHIC APPROACH REMINDS THEM THEY’RE UNDER STRESS AND THEY NEED TO HEAL.
On two different days this week, I found a big, praying mantis in my Texas kitchen. The first one was perched on the coffee maker; the second was on the toaster. With each discovery, I scooped it up, took it outside and placed it in a bush. They were not afraid of me, and because in the fourth grade, I had a praying mantis, I was not afraid of them.
My praying mantis lived in my fourth grade classroom, in a large aquarium with a vented lid. One morning we all arrived to find hundreds of baby praying mantis crawling along the walls, the student lockers and across the desks. My praying mantis had been pregnant. It was her babies that had invaded the school, and by the shrieks coming from the teacher’s lounge, they’d made their way there as well.
THE MANTIS NEVER MAKES A MOVE UNLESS IT’S CERTAIN IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO. IN THAT MOMENT, I REALIZED THAT WITH MY BUSY WORK SCHEDULE, I’D ABANDONED MY MEDITATION PRACTICE.