In my job as a shaman, I often find myself assisting folks who are depressed or filled with anxiety, or both, and can also have a number of other mental and emotional challenges happening all at the same time. I do my best to create an environment where one can find both peace and inspiration, not just for these folks, but for anyone who comes to see me. Fortunately, I am a very creative individual, so creating a space like that comes naturally to me. Most often, even when I change things up in the environment, people comment on how lovely it is and how the change is also extremely nice, and how they feel so at home in my space. This warms my heart.
People need to be able to feel comfortable in an environment as well as in their own skin. Life is full of stresses and obstacles that make us feel like we don’t belong. And when that happens we end up not feeling like we are comfortable in our own skin. These types of experiences diminish our lives and make us wonder why we are actually here? What is the purpose of living if we cannot figure out who we are and what we are made of?
People will often get messages from others that go something like, “Well, at least you are alive,” or, “Things could be much worse, you could have it as bad as so-and-s0.” These messages are NOT helpful. If anything they will make a person feel like not only are they miserable, but they are also stupid. This piles on the self-loathing. Not having it as bad as so-and-so is meaningless. It is just a game of comparison that serves no purpose whatsoever. People often think that if they look around and see the suffering of others as worse than their own, they will learn to appreciate what they have. But this ignores the FACT that they are still suffering. And when you are suffering, being alive is seen as the PROBLEM, not the solution to your suffering. So saying “Well, at least you are alive,” just makes a person fall into the thought system of, “Well, if this is living, then I have had enough of that nonsense.”
Just because you LIVE does not mean that you are ALIVE. To live is to have a functioning heart beat and to breathe oxygen. To be ALIVE is to THRIVE. When one is thriving one enjoys life and all the trappings. You have not just the basic needs met of a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food on your table. You also have PURPOSE. You feel that what you have to contribute is appreciated. You feel that you can have both passion and contentment in your life, simultaneously. You have a creative urge and follow that. You have a fire in your heart and follow that. You have inspiration and follow that. And before you know it, all of these things add up to a life that is lived FULLY. And when that happens you thrive, and therefore you are definitely ALIVE.
I invite my readers to look for what sparks their passion in life. Find those things, big or small, that bring you joy and laughter, and creativity. Focus more of your attention on those things and less on the things that bring you down. I saw a meme on social media today that went something like this: A ship does not sink because of the water all around it. It sinks because the water enters it. The moral of the story is to not let what you see all around you enter your vessel and weigh you down.
So often we unconsciously let the thoughts and opinions of others into our vessel and then wonder why we are in internal crisis. We need to allow ourselves time to look within. In a world that encourages us to escape from what is inside and occupy ourselves with social media and other numbing agents, this becomes an avant-garde activity. It is like being a pioneer in a world that is high tech. It is an act of rebellion against the status quo. And it is a method that I highly encourage. Become the freak who actually reads a book…cover to cover. Become the freak who turns their phone and iPad off at 10pm so that you can get proper rest. Become the freak who is outside gardening or enjoying nature in some way that is relaxing and possibly productive as well. Become a freak who plants trees to save our planet from global warming. Become the freak who writes and paints and dances in the rain, clothed or unclothed. Be that which you know is within you always. Find your way of being ALIVE. You will never regret that.