Happiness After Depression

I get reflective in the Fall, thinking about the year fading into the past as the leaves start to change colors… this year has not been easy. Physical challenges, loss of a long time friendship, financial stress, etc have all weighed heavily on me. But the other day, I was at the dentist getting THREE cavities filled and after all the drilling, two shots, and the extra shot because I could still feel the drilling, the Dentist said to me, “How do you feel?” I answered like my lips and tongue were made of jello, “Happy,”” and she turns her head to the side and says, “No, how do your TEETH feel?” Ohhhhhhh…

Apparently I’m not depressed anymore, because the first word that came to mind even in the Dentist’s chair was, “Happy.” All the things that happened this year were worthy of a few days in bed feeling sorry for myself, a resurgence of bad habits, reaffirmation of negative self talk, playing the victim, all that stuff. It took a long time, over a decade, of work on myself, yoga, more yoga, and even more yoga, learning how to treat myself and others better, mindfulness, hard choices, pulling up my bootstraps, never giving up, MORE yoga, meditation, getting over myself and my ego, starting over and over again, being radically honest, getting as much therapy as I could afford, building and rebuilding relationships, you know, doing “the work.”

The work WORKS. It’s not instant, it’s not easy, but if someone like me who fought serious, serious depression for most of my life can instantaneously respond, “Happy” after having my teeth drilled, then it’s worth it. It works, and for anyone out there suffering right now, just don’t give up, don’t stop — get to a yoga class, volunteer somewhere, read all the inspiring books you can get your hands on, do whatever little bit of work on yourself you can each day, it WILL pay off. Only you can do it. Just like no one can get on the mat for you, no one can meditate for you, no one can eat right for you, no one can work on you for you. This work, it’s an inside job, and we all have to do it for ourselves. You’re worth it.

I never imagined I could be this happy!

I never imagined I could be this happy!

Breaking an Apology Habit

I work every day, teach yoga full time, maintain a family home, do my practice, try to keep some heathy level of social interaction going, and have an energetic 3 year old glued to me the second I wake up each morning, yet it never feels like I’m doing enough. I find myself feeling like I have to apologize a million times a day for all the calls I can’t take, the events I can’t get to, and the emails I’m trying to get back to…it makes me feel so bad, like I’m letting people down, or not good enough at all of this, yet I never stop moving & working. I have to put my family obligations first, yet still I’m constantly cleaning or planning something for Dhyana Yoga. I wonder, are other Moms struggling with this or am I the only one straddling these canoes? There’s nothing that means more to me than being a great Mom, but I also love my work, work with many of my friends and want to be there for them. I just have to find a way to balance out the two, eventually. But for now, and until my little girl has a schedule that allows me to spend more time away from home, I can only do so much, because in the midst of everything I do get done, I absolutely have to stay present for this little gem right here, my daughter, Lorraine 💖 I just hope people understand and can give me and all Moms a little extra time, a little break, or just appreciate how hilariously hard it is for us to simply get out of the house everyday. I hope I can kick this apology habit — It’s not something I want to pass on, and feels disempowering. I’m working on “taking the opposite thought,” as the Yoga Sutra recommends — I am enough, I do enough, I have enough…and no apologies necessary!

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“As she walked alone on the forest path, she knew her mind had nothing to offer but recycled advice that always took her to the same place of confusion. So she slowed down, paused, and moved into her heart.
It was here that she could hear the heartbea
ts of all the other women in the world who were searching, just like her. In that moment, she knew that advice was not needed.
The only thing she needed was to reach out her hand to another woman who would take her hand and remind her that the journey to the heart takes time… it is a slower walk than the run to the mind. The slower walk into the interior landscape gradually cleared the forest path with a tenderness she never imagined…”
~moe ross

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