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Untitled. You are browsing articles on “clarity” Photo by Elisabetta Lugari Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. ~Eckhart Tolle The past few weeks, spurred by anxiety that sits heavy on my chest, I’ve been exerting all of my energy going against the flow of life. Long distance relationships — i.e. overseas in a combat zone — are nothing new to me. As a veteran returning to a tough job market with skills geared towards operating in a combat zone, the move to overseas contracting was logical, although not much easier. Two deployments in, he returned home with the goal of finding work that would allow him to stay in the United States.

As he broke the news that another deployment might be his only option, my heart buckled. Photo by 873770 With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment. I believe that mindfulness has the power to change the world. How I Stopped Feeling Depressed. Photo by Sandra Lara Since the start of this year, and for 8 months following that, I have been battling with feeling depressed. And even though I thought I had overcome it during the first few months, its devastating effects lingered and haunted me in subtle ways. It wasn’t until a series of personal struggles and more episodes of emotional breakdowns that followed, did it eventually “crack” me and had bring me back to a place of serenity. This is a slice from that story. I have been writing and rewriting this article on and off for several months, each time exposing different details and insights.

Truth be told, I was embarrassed. Then it occurred to me that, sharing my struggles with you is a good thing. It also shows you that all of us are in this together, in that we all dip into the pit falls of life’s turbulence, but we always recover, and often as a better person. I choose to see what happened to me as a gift. 3 Steps to Live Consciously & Stop Feeling Depressed Try asking yourself, Untitled. Photo by Shannon Editor’s Note This is one of the most beautiful piece of writing.

I recommend reading it. I hope that you find wisdom, clarity and inspiration through Tamara’s story. Adapted from this original article. I make it a rule to never take advice from someone who hasn’t “been there”. Have you ever gone through a complete life overhaul? I urge you to think about it: What if you lost everything you have today? It sounds harsh but I don’t mean to be so. My Story During a 30-day period, 4 years ago, I lost everything: money, love, health, a baby, pets, security and self-pride. My boyfriend at the time broke up with me while I stood holding the still dripping, positive pregnancy pee stick.

I lost the baby after 8.5 weeks and suffered from an extreme crash in hormones. To make matters worse, two days after losing the baby I understood that my bank accounts had been emptied. I stood there blinking at the ATM screen on that early July morning: Balance: $0. My Bounce Back to Life: 7 Lessons. The Art of Letting Go. Photo by Rosie Hardy When the mind discovers that you are no longer afraid of its content, it will leave you alone. There I was again — lying in bed paralyzed by emotion. Constant noise clamored for the attention of my awareness like an uninvited circus. Calliope music screeched a cacophony of self-criticism as lions roared and circled below me, eagerly awaiting my plunge from the high wire after losing my delicate balance between safety and self-destruction.

What could I have done to deserve this? I lay there, unable to move physically, but tortured by a violent mental fight that raged within me. My consciousness kept trying to put out fire with fire, to silence thought with more thought. A Heavy Burden I first attempted suicide when I was 16. How might I be what I wanted to be if at any moment I could be overtaken by this petrifying pandemonium? And then — suddenly — I saw the uselessness of my efforts to escape what was happening at this moment. What could I do? Moment of Surrender. Untitled. Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm. ~Swedish Proverb A couple of months ago, I made the decision to end my financial dependence on my mother. I had on eighty-four cents in my bank account, no place to live and the only income I had was from a part time job and a couple of freelance projects.

Though the timing may have been a bit dramatic, there was a sense of urgency in my decision. I realized that I wasn’t living up to my greatest potential because I didn’t have to. I did quit. Not only was I taking advantage of her, I was sabotaging my own growth and personal development. Establishing my financial independence from my mother meant no longer accepting her offers of assistance. I slept on a terribly uncomfortable futon in someone else’s living room. It was such a humbling experience and a lesson I hope I don’t have to repeat. Establishing Independence 1. The first step in the process is to declare your independence. 2. 3. Untitled. Photo by Eduardoizq The things you own end up owning you. It's only after you lose everything that you're free to do anything. ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club I thought I had it all. I had a job that paid well and all the perks that went with it.

I drove an expensive car and rented a spacious (but overpriced) apartment well-stocked with the latest modern conveniences. I had a circle of equally high-flying, workaholic acquaintances, and we’d spend what little free time we had downing expensive drinks together in fashionable nightclubs and bars. Fully occupied with my busy schedule, I never looked up long enough to realize that a cloud of discontent followed me everywhere I went.

But the economic crash of 2008 changed all that. Like everyone else, I watched in alarm as financial institutions collapsed, sending shockwaves around the globe and setting up a financial tsunami that mercilessly destroyed those in its path. So I guess I shouldn’t have been so shocked when I lost my job. Facing the Truth. Untitled. Photo by Arif Akhtar When you protect yourself from pain, be sure you do not protect yourself from love. ~Alah Cohen Many times in life we are faced with an experience where we pour our heart and soul into a situation and/or relationship only to have our heart broken. We feel like all of our efforts were in vain, and although we gave our all, we are standing in the midst of the rubble that remains.

Often what happens after such an experience is that we decide that we will never allow ourselves to get hurt like that again, and so we do the smart thing and shut down. We close off our hearts and are extremely cautious when it comes to love or any situation which requires us to open our heart and soul.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? When I was fifteen, I had my heart broken into a million pieces, and what made it worse was that it was a culmination of many years of suffering. Unlike many people, my childhood was far from ideal and by the age of 15, I was drained. Ignoring Isn’t Healing. Untitled. Photo by Marcy Kellar Be content with what you have; rejoice in where you are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

~Lao Tzu As a conscious gal who’s committed to deepening my relationship with Self and helping others do the same, I’ve learned some potent lessons about the World’s Most-Wanted, elusive state of happiness. Most often it’s our own expectation and longing for that happy-gassed state that’s actually the culprit of our suffering. See happiness — like any emotion — checks in and checks out on the regular. I used to fret and dread the absence of happiness. But it is absolutely possible to experience more peace and contentment by learning to trust and accept the fluxes of our emotions — the feel good ones and the hard-to-handle ones — so they don’t stampede our spirit and so we can roll through them, growing as we go. Here are four lessons that have helped me and my clients access greater peace, flow and growth. 1. 2. Light creates shadows. How I Deal With Depression. Photo by Nicolas Fuentes Turn my sorrow into treasured gold.

~Adele Three years ago I was depressed. I couldn’t stop crying over the mistakes I had made, and I was trying to dig myself out of a dark hole. I went to a doctor for a checkup because my body was so tired. She saw right through me. I didn’t want people to know I was so sad, but I also couldn’t hide it very well. A year ago I felt the same sadness coming back, and I sunk into that hole again. Getting out of bed was the hardest thing to do, and I didn’t see any point in being awake. Surrendering to the Pain Somehow I realized I had control over my thoughts, and my mission became to stop them from blocking me from living my life.

Surrendering and letting yourself truly feel the pain while standing still is what ultimately frees you from the hurt. For so long I was hoping that someone would come by and save me, but the sad truth is no one is coming. I will be truly, deeply honest with you: Sometimes I feel like it is all bullshit. Untitled. Photo by Leo Rey Hope begins in the dark — the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work; you don’t give up. ~Anne Lamott My friend and I ran along the sidewalk, side by side, our warm breath filling the cold December air. We hoped to cover more miles than usual as we trained for a longer race. Rounding the corner to our least favorite hill, we routinely stopped talking, knowing we would pick up the conversation at the top just like we had done for years. As we leaned into our steps, a man drove past us, leaned on his horn and gave us the finger for no reason.

My friend turned towards the speeding car, her arms lifted in exasperation, and said, “Really?????” We stood there staring at each other and wondered aloud what just happened. I found myself thinking about this encounter for the rest of the day and finally asked myself why I was so upset. I admitted that I hate when things don’t make sense. 1. 2. 3. Untitled. How to Reclaim Your Life After Childhood Abuse. Photo by Utomo Hendra Saputra Editor’s Note This article deals with child sexual abuse, a difficult issue for most to stomach. Because, as Leslie points out, one in four women and one in seven men have been abused before they are 18, and because so many abused children grow up to seek help from posts like those on TSN, I thought it was important to publish Leslie's article.

However, if the subject is triggering, please seek a safe space where you can read this article, ask a trusted friend to read it with you or come back to it when you're feeling more ready. Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth. I’m a survivor of child sexual abuse. But even after decades I still can’t say that completely without shame. But the wounds go deep and are so hidden that for me, and many like me, that feeling of shame becomes as much a part of who we are as our eye color. We survive. I believe many survivors of childhood abuse are drawn to spiritual traditions. Move On & Heal 1. Untitled. Untitled. Photo by Arif Akhtar To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others.

You need to accept yourself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh I’ll never forget the first time I allowed myself to say, “I hate him.” My dearest friend heard it first. “I hate him,” I said with a smile. Always before I’d tried to reconcile myself to his presence. So when I discovered my truth, I not only got to experience a piece of myself, but I was able to free my mind from his power. We’ve all been told again and again about how to become happier, be more positive, create great habits and forgive. A Missing Piece These can be great approaches to improving our lives.

This is hard. I know, you’re probably thinking, “What’s wrong with that? No one does. 1. If we picture all our different emotions as each having their own color, like: Yellow = cheerfulBlue = peacefulRed = angryGreen = energetic Accepting only one end of the color spectrum hides a whole piece of who we are. 2. 3. 4. 5.

I love positive emotions! Untitled. Photo by Steven Ritzer Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be. ~Rick Warren Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that it felt like a ball and chain locked to your ankle, keeping you down? If you’re imprisoned by overwhelm, it can kill your productivity and steal your happiness. Here are seven ways I have found that really work to unlock your ball and chain. 1. You have time to take one deep breath. Feeling overwhelmed can lead to feeling panicked.

Take quick, shallow breaths! This creates a feedback loop: Your brain checks in with your body and asks, How are we doing, body? When you take one deep breath, it’s enough to interrupt the feedback loop: The next time your brain checks in with your body and asks, How are we doing, body? If your overwhelm is caused by physical danger that could harm you at this very moment, run. 2. Write down everything that’s making you feel overwhelmed. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Untitled. Photo by 9042004 Duke It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are the most important.

~Arthur Conan Doyle I have always been wary of the little things in life. The little things can steal my serenity, rob me of peace of mind and kill my joy. At the same time, I have been aware of the little things in my life: The smell of freshly brewed coffeeThe overheard laughter of a strangerA spider web glistening with morning dew How can I be defeated by little things or more likely, how can I LET little things defeat me? Bound Up What are your drops of water? Laundry on the floor of my closetCups left on the coffee tableDust on the baseboardsToo many red lightsThe air too hot in a department storeHungerHeadachesLoneliness These small and meaningless inconveniences are like water dropping on my forehead.

What I have is an unbridled inner frustration that makes my head spin around like a supernatural poltergeist. Handling the Big Things Successfully In contrast, I think of the big things: Untitled. Photo by Oliver Mercader Never regret yesterday. Life is in you today and you make your tomorrow. ~L. Ron Hubbard If only. If only you could turn the clock back. You’d probably wind the hands right off the clock face, wouldn’t you? You’d probably do a lot of things differently, right? Oh boy, they say not to wish your life away, but I spent nearly twenty years wishing mine back to do totally over. If you’re anything like I was, you’re probably disgusted with yourself because you failed to take action, didn’t speak up and lived a life that just hasn’t panned out the way you wanted it to.

A Toxic Cycle You know, shame and guilt are awful companions, yet they tag along with you day after day. That’s why regret hurts every day. Regret leaves you forever imprisoned in that time and in that situation, perpetually caught up in your own “failings.” That’s a truly horrible place to be. Living a Half-Life No excitementNo achievementA nobodyA half-life, at best And that’s when I got angry. Forward. 1. 2.