Firstly, happy new year to all Innerwealth, Personal Change for Global Consciousness “Addicts”… I wish you all a great 2018, but really, why would I limit my thoughts to a single “happy new year?” Why not “happy new eternity” or “happy lifetime?” I’m sure you see the “cosmic giggle” in this rather strange and short term thinking.
Speaking of short term and strange thinking, the incidence of domestic violence, depression, relationship breakups and alcohol related illness doubles and in some places almost triples during “Christmas.” Any thoughts about why? It’s for me, great to see the world evolving past this rather ill thought out celebration as people of diverse religious and cultural heritage volunteer not to get caught up in the mindlessness and unconsciousness of a single religion, rather questionable heritage, event.
Fighting this evolution is the commercial retail world because for them it’s the most important boon to their sales targets each year. In our family, we chose not to make a big fuss this year with Christmas and instead, be thinking more universally about celebrating birth, life and death. The rising of the sun each day is the metaphor of Jesus. It’s the birth, of the Son of God, and this is what brings light to our existence. So, we went to the beach and swam in the ocean at sunrise. We weren’t along at Bondi, with thousands of party goers still making a night of it down on the cold sand.
This all leads me to talk about depression. Look at this startling statistic:
More than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.
It’s wrong. It’s measured by a medical statistic based on western medical feedback. The incidence of depression is at least 6-7 billion people. Why?
Because everyone on earth has it. Depression isn’t as much an illness as it is part of the average human life. We express it, we repress it, we can focus on it, get stuck in it, but everyone has depression. There are those who volunteer for it in the form of quiet time, meditations and solitude each day, and there are those who fight it trying to stay up, happy and on top of the world 24/7.
I know that mental health is a huge issue for the world right now, but I’d like to say that by creating unrealistic expectations of ourselves, or by creating some sort of superhuman state of “always high” or “always inspired” we are actually causing those who are sensitive enough to witness their own emotional swings, to be labelled depressed. Yes, there are those who are “locked into” a sustained and dangerous down state and this we must support and treat, but please be aware, that sometimes by singling out your or other’s downers, you may be calling natural cycles of life by the wrong definition.
Teaching our children not to be depressed is a sure trigger to cause depression to become dangerous. We are wiser, far more conscious, to turn off the TV, sit down as a family, each of us reading a book in the quiet of the night or day, and celebrate the natural rhythms of human nature. Valuing down time, solitude and being with ourselves without the constant stimulation of life, might just be the perfect solution to rising depression diagnosis.
The whole conversation needs to go deeper. The great workshops of 3,000 people going along to find fire walking courage is a boon to the self help industry – including yoga, because it’s offering a glimmer of hope, a burst of enthusiasm, a shot of energy to those needing to escape themselves. But there’s another way.
In a walk in the mountains of Nepal, we start at the bottom full of this fire walking enthusiasm. As we journey, we rise in altitude and lower in naivety, the fire walk bravado gives way to true questions of motive and intent. Our preparation for the walk becomes questioned, the goretex $900 jacket makes no earthly difference, we begin to face ourselves. Depression rises. We are not all that we think. We become real.
Peel away the disguises we use to mask ourselves and what remains, in every human soul is this: a happy/sad person. A high/low person. A good/bad person. A successful/failure. The only way to walk to the summit of these trekking peaks in Nepal is to embrace this reality. We are not who we say we are, we are truly, inspired souls occupying a body that has ups and downs.
Bringing this Self-Respect back to the business, sport, love and family world in Urban Life is easy. One can never forget the truth once it’s experienced. The problem can be that from birth to death a person can avoid it. One can become powerful, wealthy, healthy, sexy, smart and accomplished and yet, never once in the entirety of their life, be real, empty, open and in touch with their truth.
Nor does a walk in the mountains guarantee this revelation. I have met many many mountaineers who have summited the highest peaks in the world with ego in tact. I’ve met performers who have engaged the most difficult of audience all with their ego in tact. But I have never ever met a really happy person who is living with their ego in tact. For real satisfaction and love, one must fall past the ego, or simply said, fall in love.
To fall past the ego, we must allow what is natural to pass the ego. If we are afraid or resistant to the notion of downtime, our ego will punish anything that attacks our uppers. If we are resistant to the notion of feeling a bit down sometimes, our ego will attach to the uppers of life. If this happens, we can only stumble into truth, and usually that stumble is rather painful. It isn’t the only way to find soul. One can choose to become conscious of it.
Don’t be afraid of the dark side of yourself. Instead, give it time. Not days or even weeks. Give it an hour, a few minutes. Get to know what exists in your truth below the surface of relationships, business and sport. Dig in, not with meditation which simply dulls the senses, dig in on a journey of exploration. Dive into Innerwealth, learn how to let go the half truth, half stories and find, within you, the place from which all inspiration dwells. Your heart and soul sits waiting.