Pathways Out of Depression Part 4: Creating New Programming

If you’ve been reading my blog post series about overcoming depression, hopefully by nowyou’re crystal clear about what your values are (See Pathways out of Depression: Parts 1- 3) and you have a good idea about how they can help you carve a path out of depression.

But beyond this, you also need to know how your past experiences might be triggering your depression. A good example of this is the character “George” in the movie “Hugo.” George is a brilliant filmmaker whose visionary movies enchant his viewers until they become distracted by WWI. When people stop coming to see his films, George gets depressed and angry, telling himself his work isn’t important and no one cares.

As George continues to buy into these beliefs over the months and then years, his depression gets worse. He blames it on the world around him, because “no one” recognizes his genius.

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Pathways Out of Depression: Part 3-- Shifting Old Programming

In my last blog post, I talked about learning how to identify old programming—those thoughts you have in your head, and stories you tell yourself…sometimes without even realizing it. But, it’s REALLY important to start paying attention to them if you want to pull yourself out of the dark hole of depression!

Hopefully you’ve spent some time figuring out what those old stories are. In this post, you’ll learn how to stop being hooked by that old programming.

Maybe you’ve heard this joke:  You hear your neighbor‘s dog, Brownie, howling like crazy on the front porch. You ask your neighbor, “What’s wrong with Brownie? Why is she howling?” Your neighbor tells you, “Brownie’s sitting on a nail.” You ask your neighbor, “Why doesn’t Brownie move?” Your neighbor answers, “I guess it doesn’t hurt bad enough.”

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Pathways Out of Depression 2: Recognizing the Old Programming that Feeds Your Depression

If you’re feeling depressed, there’s a good chance that at least part of the reason is that you’re buying into Old Programming.

What do I mean by that? It’s a voice that tells you what to think and how to act. Sometimes you don’t even hear the voice, but it’s still what drives your behavior.

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Pathways Out of Depression Part 1: The Link Between Depression & Life Purpose

If you buy into what the entertainment media is selling, I’m guessing that you think depression is bad—something to be avoided at all costs.

If you will only:
* Take this pill
* Buy that car
* Wear these shoes that make your feet feel oh so good,
Then you can keep depression at bay.

But how much money do you spend each year trying to push depression away? Funny thing is, all of those fixes are only temporary. They don’t get to the core of what is making you blue.

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Opening to More Love

What would happen if you focused on LOVE? For the next month, I invite you to find out, using my visual journaling process described below.

Each day, identify a challenge or desire in your life. Use my scribble drawing process to set an intention about  and invoke an Intuitive Image related to your challenge or desire.

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When Perfection is Perfect

 Usually I discourage people from trying to be perfect. But in 2017, perfection is something I think we should strive for. I don’t mean perfection in the normal sense. What I mean is that it’s time for us to step up to the perfection of our full potential as co-creators on this planet.

Spiritual teacher Patricia Cota-Robles* talks about “patterns of perfection” that already exist, but just need to be manifested in our everyday lives.  These patterns relate to every area you can think of: better ways of offering mental and physical health care, communicating in relationships, parenting,  creating affordable housing, growing/delivering food, law enforcement, and much, much more.

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Journey Through the Darkness

One of my clients recently told me how distraught he is by the state of affairs in the US, especially with all of the politics related to the election. I told him the way I choose to view this is to believe that all of the darkness Humanity has created is now surfacing to be healed and cleared. 

There are so many things around and within us that need to be healed and cleared. If we try to fight or suppress them, it may feel like trying to hold a beach ball underwater. The more we push down, the harder the ball pushes back!

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Reinventing Yourself

There comes a point when you know it’s time to re-invent yourself. You might be feeling frustrated in a job where the system is highly dysfunctional, and you have ideas about how to make things better, but no one wants to listen. Or, maybe you’re in a relationship where you’ve been giving way too much of yourself, and you’ve lost track of who you really are.

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The "N" Word

I don’t agree with the old adage “Tis better to give than receive.” In my 25+ years of working with human service professionals including teachers, nurses, and therapists, I have seen too many of these helpers experience burnout. Many employers are only too happy to see their workers give 100%+ of their time and energy. But if you are giving 100% of yourself in the workplace, how can you have any energy left over for the rest of your life?

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Architects for Humanity

What things in your own life and in society bother you? 
What if the reason these things irritate you is because YOU are part of the solution?

Perhaps you are being called to become an Architect--not for a building, but for designing the very systems and structures that will create a foundation for the New Earth!

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Maintaining Hope

Visual Journaling is an amazing tool to help you gain insight! I have had difficulty maintaining hope on a consistent basis, so I used this process to help me gain insight. I randomly colored lines and shapes on the page, added magazine images and other items that appealed to me, and then wrote about what I saw in my image. I was reminded that spending mindful time in nature and thinking about nature's cycles helps me feel hopeful. And the little round orange circles are "Bright Spots" that I'll look for every day.

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The Role of Love

Today, I invite you to consider the role of Love in relationship to a particular challenge you are facing.

I recently asked a client who had been dealing with a challenge for several years, to imagine herself on a path. I asked her to picture what was standing between herself and what she is wanting. She told me that she saw herself standing in the way. This is often the case, and what we typically do is berate ourselves for not being who we need to be or doing what we need to do. But how well has that been working for you?

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Seeing the Gift in Pain

Witnessing domestic violence as a preschooler had a powerful impact on me. I can FEEL other people's pain, and until I understood and learned how to deal with this as an adult, I found it challenging, to say the least.

Yet, without this ability—the gift of empathy—I would not be nearly as effective in my work as a Life Coach and Art Therapist.

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