Mental Health Week

Exercise is one of my keys to good mental health

Thursday 10 October is mental health awareness day. I wonder about mental health often. There is so much unspoken about it. So many different ‘afflictions’. So many assumptions. So much denial and ignorance. Thankfully, more people are speaking about their own experiences and making it less taboo. Yet, still there is stigma around it.

🙏

As someone who has most of my life lived with on-off depression, low self esteem and sometimes deep self loathing I have learnt a few things about being in this place and the subject of ‘mental health’.

🙏

I know that whilst I have tried many things to ‘cure’ including a time on anti-depressants, for me, not ONE thing works. It requires a multi faceted approach. Bit like the multi faceted journey it’s taken to get to the places I have found myself.

Shamanically we call it soul loss. Psychotherapeutically ‘splitting’

🙏

Anti-depressants numbed me out even more than I was making me even more lethargic and melancholy. I took myself off them after 6 months. Yet, they gave me a reprieve for a while. For some they are vital medication. For others, a way to AVOID actually FEELING this thing called LIFE.

🙏

As part of my journey to understand myself and ‘get better’ I have tried and trained in the following: Reiki, Theta, kinesiology, NLP, Psychotherapy, Shamanic work, Massage, Amatsu Physiotherapy, Nutrition, Geopathic Stress, Family Constellations, EMDR….the list continues.

🙏

I’ve worked with homeopaths, nutritionists, colonics, therapists, coaches, Healer’s, Acupuncturists, I’ve Feng Shui my house and life, I’ve cried on body workers, I’ve had soul retrieval, shamanic curse work…. you name it I’ve probably given it a go.

🙏

You know what I’ve learnt more than anything on this intensive ride called life….emotions are the way forward. Taking back your power, owning your projections, recognising the parts, the wounds and stories that play out. I have learnt to self parent and taken responsibility for myself, my health and my life. I also have a ‘team’ that help me do this.

🙏

Rarely are we allowed to be the fullness of who we are here to be.

We are told not to cry, not to get angry, not to play, curse, rebel, yet these are all expressions of ourselves. Our truth, our values, our passions, our pains.

🙏

I’ve learnt that NOT ONE thing fits and cures all. Indeed is there an actual ‘cure’ for mental illness?

What is ‘mental illness’?

🙏

I am not disrespecting or demeaning anyone that suffers. We all have our journey and we all have our way through. There are so many different things that affect us and our lives. Not one ‘red or blue’ pill or method really ‘fixes’ it. Is it something to be ‘fixed’ or is it something we ‘manage, monitor and understand’?

🙏

Speaking to a dear friend last night she mentioned how ‘Healing is a practise’ (https://linktr.ee/nora.cabrera). I agree and have written often about how we as a society look for the ‘quick fix’ because we are able to buy something instantly we expect that with our health, weight, love life, life! Yet, it’s taken us all these years to get to this place. It’s gonna take a while, an exploration and the turning over of stones, light in the dark corners to actually heal and get to know ourselves.

🙏

On my journey I have learnt these things: Nutrition is key. Friends a treasure. Exercise vital. Mindset paramount. Family a blessing. Feeling is one of THE answers. Not all of us have all of these. Yet, we all have access to some, and we all have the ability to FEEL if we give ourselves permission to be a little bit brave.

🙏

For a long time I wasn’t able to exercise due to a couple of ‘issues’ which I still have but only a few months ago after a particularly dark time I cancelled my Netflix subscription (I was numbing out through this) and rejoined the gym. I haven’t looked back. I can’t do all I want, yet, 5 days a week I get my butt out of bed and hit the weights and bike. I feel more vital, more alive, more whole. Sometimes on my spin bike through sweating and moving my body I cry. I find myself sobbing deeply. I allow it. It’s not cool, Do I care? No! Do I let myself feel what’s going on? Yup! Do I grunt, swear and get really f****ng angry? You bet your life I do. I also do this in dance.

🙏

The body holds so much. All our stories. All our wounds. Our own. Our ancestors. That of the greater conscious. When we do ‘our work’ we are lightening the ‘load’ of our own over taxed, numbed ourselves and those of our families and our species.

🙏

I have seen how for myself, my clients and many when we suppress what’s going on…we loose ourselves…. we loose our vitality, our interest, our passion, our creativity. Our lust for life, our life force libidic energy suffers and we find ourselves navigating through life shooting ‘poison darts’ of frustration, anger, unexpressed grief to unsuspecting people and things.

🙏

How often, for example have you been grumbling through life, for an innocent person to say or do something and you loose the plot? Mine usually happens when I’m driving. Once in a store years ago, I swear a guy touched my butt, he may or may not have but I flipped my absolute load at him. Shocking myself, him and everyone else in he store. I was so deeply in my malaise and depression I had no knowledge of what actually happened. I retraumatised my system and ended up having a huge melt down and went into a place of such self-loathing. I was unable to see the deep pattern playing out of placing myself in a life that was not me. I was pretending. I wasn’t feeling I was existing.

🙏

It takes a brave individual to dare to feel, to allow themselves to be fully in life warts and beauty. It is a way forward out of the depression. For many the numbing of feelings is what is causing depression. Not always is it an imbalance. Sometimes yes, frequently no. We are so eager to numb it cause feelings ‘hurt’, it makes us vulnerable. YUP. However, it opens us to life, to connection to living. Yes, this also can be shit and painful. Yet, whilst we spiritually bypass feeling the ‘shit’ stuff to hanker after the addition to joy. Do we actually know what brings us joy? Or is it a temporary fix and ‘high’ bit like the drug of sugar. We are addicted to shopping, sugar, the next training course, sex, alcohol (put yours here) everyone is doing something to avoid feeling. Do I still do it? Hell yes! I have to watch it. Amazon Prime love me. It’s so easy. Press and Oopse nice parcel to open the next day. Yet, does the joy last? Hell no. It’s gone on a heartbeat.

🙏

The way to joy…..through the grief. Two sides of the same coin. Yes, I’ve said this before. I’ll probably have it on my gravestone yet for me it’s true. Find the tap to the emotions and begin to allow them to flow, ease the stagnant pond of putrid non expressed emotions and we become lighter, more engaged, more willing to interact. Our veil is lifted and we can begin to see and feel life. Sometimes for the first time.

🙏

Does it hurt? Yes it can. Does it last? No? The more we learn how to ‘be’ with them. To befriend them see them as the allies they are. The guides to what’s going on in our lives. The relationships to leave. The jobs to change. The food to not eat. The easier it gets. Embodied Awakening I like to call it. We are calling ourselves home to ourselves. Fully….

This to me is the journey of mental health. It’s a journey home to self.

It is a JOURNEY… it is being real. It is being alive. It is also a practise and we are not going to get it right first time, second, third or one hundredth. However, each time, each tear and each punch against the punch bag makes it easier. Through it we come home. We become whole and we become sovereign to our own life.

🙏

With all good wishes and in grace for each of us on our journey. Sarah www.theembodiedawakening.com ‘walking you home to self’