Watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the second time yesterday, I felt a profound connection to the idea of the dark and light side of the Force, and how something seemingly fictional, relates so well to us as human beings, particularly going through the extremes of Bipolar Disorder or spiritual awakening symptoms. (Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening)
The opposing symptoms of depression and mania could be likened to the dark and light sides of the Force. But also, as humans beings in general, I believe we all have the capacity for light and darkness.
The inner struggle of Kylo Ren between these light and dark side of himself is evident in his scene with his father, Han Solo, on the bridge. He wrestles with his own will and decision to embrace the dark side, and his inner light which he is reminded of by his father, and perhaps his own need for love.
Personal Experience *Trigger Warning*
I sometimes feel that my own spiritual journey (which has indeed been a journey with symptoms labelled collectively as Bipolar Disorder) has led me to experience a similar inner battle.
I have flown to the heights of euphoria, felt completely at one with the world, believed I could achieve anything, felt surrounded by God’s love, angels and the most beautiful Divine creatures and beings.
The devastation caused by my dark side can only be described as the most destructive tidal wave imaginable surging through my life.
I’ve felt surrounded by demons, by beings preying on my soul, manipulating and terrifying me for their own amusement. Psychosis one might question? It felt very very real to me and my own belief is that I should trust my experiences, feelings and intuition- this was real.
Self-destruction felt inevitable. Implosion of my soul, annihilation felt like the only possible outcome. To wrestle with the desire to take your own life is no mean feat. You are at the depths of human darkness with seemingly no way out, ready to commit murder of the self. To describe the devastation, the terror, the utter hopelessness is nigh on impossible to those who have not experienced it.
I called out for help amidst the soul-chaos and I was calling to the Light. I chose the Light and the Divine answered my call. I am so blessed. We are all so blessed. All we have to do is choose, and call out for help. Help finds us when we open our hearts to the Light.
I believe some humans are born into this life to experience extremes of emotion for their own spiritual growth and for that of the planet. I believe that all the good we create, the love we experience here is present in heaven. I believe any darkness created here in our lifetime is cancelled out by the supreme unconditional love of the Divine.
The Force Everyday
I also believe a battle between our light and dark sides exists in the everyday, in the mundane.
When we choose to believe a negative statement that automatically runs through our minds, we are choosing to believe in the dark side for example.
Upbringing may have left us believing that we are not good enough. The statement “I’m not good enough” may automatically play through our minds over and over. The darkness takes hold when we choose to believe this. We end up constantly playing out “I’m not good enough” in our lives, as some small failure or other, because our ego needs to know it is correct- it feels safer.
But we can turn to the light by recognizing when we are thinking or playing out “I’m not good enough” and choosing more self-supporting and loving thoughts about ourselves. We can create “I am good enough” and play this out in our lives to create a more joyful and fulfilling life.
In the case of my own particular challenge, binge-eating, I could give into the darkness to prove that I am correct when I tell myself “I have no self-control”, and give into the cravings to binge eat and ignore my emotional needs.
I could reassure myself that I am an incredibly strong person, as demonstrated in my own fight against self-destruction. I could acknowledge my emotional needs and meet them, not with food, but with my own love and light. I could tell myself that I have the capacity for self-control and that I have the power to make a more self-loving decision. I can accept any pain that is bubbling up inside me and have compassion for myself by doing something self-nurturing, possibly comforting to my inner child, like colouring, watching Harry Potter, or singing. These are just my own personal coping mechanisms. (For more ideas see 10 Ideas to Distract Depression: Don’t Feed the Monster.)
Everyday in life we can choose between the light and the dark- whether it be through an epic battle as seen in spiritual awakening experienced as Bipolar Disorder symptoms or otherwise, or through more subtle interactions.
May the Force be with you (the light side obviously).
“Woah! Did that really happen?!”
Sometimes the pain of what I’ve been through emotionally seems completely unreal- like, did I make it all up? Was that a nightmare?
I can remember how I felt and what was going through my mind, but it feels detached somehow. Almost like it was a different ‘me’ experiencing it.
When I’m feeling better, I tend not to look back too much at what I’ve been through. But I saw a TV programme with someone talking about their mental health experiences and it came flooding back.
In the darkest depressions I just couldn’t see any point in living. Life felt so empty and despairing and only full of pain. My belief in a loving God was challenged to the max. I felt dark spirits around me. I felt evil around me. I felt like I was at the point of letting the evil overpower me. I felt like I was dying. I absolutely hated myself. I rejected and abandoned myself.
Images of hurting myself, and strong impulses to do so, filled my mind. I’d wake up scratching myself and pulling at my hair in the middle of the night.
At the time I remember feeling 100% positive that I was completely to blame for what was happening to me, and that this was all I was worthy of. I didn’t see it as depression, I saw it as a weakness in me, and something I was going to be punished for.
It is only now I’m feeling better that I see how much darkness I had survived, and that I was ill. Sometimes I really do have to remind myself that this is an illness, and there is a biological basis to it. I don’t necessarily believe it to be 100% biological. I think environmental events/traumas all play their role, and some of us are just more sensitive to these things than others.
Sometimes I can’t even believe I survived it all!!
Right now, I’m so grateful that I’m feeling more myself at the moment!! I’m not going to dwell on these past times, but I will remember to rejoice in my strength- right from the Lord!!
Visit the new sister site of Emotional Wellness, The Light Sanctuary– a website dedicated to spirituality.
Spirituality and working with energy have helped me so much to manage my Bipolar symptoms and high sensitivity that I wanted to dedicate a completely new blog to the topic.
A few days ago an article was published in the media sharing the results of a Danish study. This study found that those who received 6-10 sessions of talking therapy after self-harming or suicide attempts were significantly less likely to self-harm or attempt suicide again. Participants were studied over a 20-year period.
New Ideas within Psychiatry
A week ago I attended the launch of Katie Mottram’s book Mend the Gap, an account of her unique experiences and perspective into psychiatric diagnoses and spiritual awakening. (You can read more about her book in my previous post: Mend the Gap: A New Hope for Mental Health.
Katie has first-hand experience having grown up with a mother who had repeated psychotic episodes and suicide attempts; Katie herself works in the mental health services; and also has experienced her own mental health issues. She explores the possibility that perhaps these ‘psychotic’ experiences and mental health issues are actually side effects of spiritual awakening.
The launch was extremely well attended and very well supported by Katie’s colleagues within the mental health services.
He gave a fascinating talk about how he went into psychiatry having learnt all the tools of the trade at university, and over the years has found there to be something missing or lacking in mental health services and psychiatry. Having spoken to some of his colleagues, he found he was by no means the only one who felt this.
It wasn’t until he went on a retreat and began practicing mindfulness and meditation that he began to realise that some of his own experiences during meditation were not unlike those reported as mental health issues and psychosis.
His experiences have lead to him running a new pilot scheme being trialled in various locations throughout the UK, and currently used successfully in Scandinavia, Germany and some of the US states.
Peer-supported Open Dialogue is a programme of talking therapy where meetings are attended by the patient, their family/social network and a psychiatrist or trained mental health worker.
What struck me in Dr Razzaque’s talk about the therapy was how the intention was for the psychiatrist to ‘leave his/her training at the door’ and to approach the meeting from a ‘human’ perspective, on the same level as the patient and attendees, rather than as an expert with greater power.
I think this is fantastic and will break down barriers between mental health staff and patients, which can sometimes feel like an ‘us against them’ process.
In Finland, of those who took part in the open-dialogue process, 75% who experienced psychosis returned to work or study within 2 years, and only 20% were still taking anti-psychotic medication after a 2 year follow-up.
It gives me so much hope to think there are mental health workers who are really making a difference with their new ideas. Psychosis and other mental health issues can only become more normalised as a result, which in turn reduces fear and stigma, and supports and empowers patients.
How a Mental Breakdown Can Lead to a Spiritual Awakening: By Dr. Russell Razzaque.
Katie Mottram, a friend of mine, has just published her book Mend the Gap: A Transformative Journey from Deep Despair to Spiritual Awakening.
Katie speaks candidly from a very unique position having lived with a mother who was diagnosed with a serious mental health condition when she was young, and who tried to kill herself; having worked within the mental health profession; and having experienced her own serious symptoms, which could very well have been compartmentalised as a mental health disorder.
We Are Not Mad!
Katie writes of how she firmly believes mental health conditions are not necessarily a result of ‘madness’ and that individuals are actually experiencing a spiritual awakening, symptoms of which can cause depression, anxiety, mood swings, supernatural-type experiences, hearing voices, headaches, lethargy. She is currently working with mental health professionals to pioneer changes to the current understanding of mental health conditions, within the psychiatric profession.
Diagnosis and Harsh Treatments
As a result, those who are experiencing these symptoms are categorised into a box and labelled as having Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, or some other scary sounding diagnosis.
Individuals are given strong medications to numb them, even heavy anti-psychotic medications and electro-convulsive therapy- which Katie has witnessed first hand and found traumatic to watch.
But what if we were to listen to their experiences and take them seriously?
To get a sense of the book’s content check out Katie’s guest post:
I myself have been through my own spiritual awakening and been diagnosed. Katie asked me to contribute a paragraph or two to her book:
“At the age of 18, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. During the depressions, I have not wanted to live in this world. It felt too full of hate and anger, everything that is harsh. I felt too sensitive and fragile to survive in it. However, at other times I was so moved by beauty, art, music and nature that I felt as if heaven was on earth. I felt so much energy and passion for life. But, I felt at the mercy of my emotions, like I had no control over my life. I struggled to remain employed as my emotions would overwhelm me and I was constantly anxious and having regular panic attacks.
Three years ago I became involved with a spiritual development group and since then, I have gained great understanding of these experiences. My teacher described the depression as the “Dark Night of the Soul”. My true self was longing to emerge. I had been rejecting my true creative passions and sensitivity, suppressing it in order to fit into a societal role that I was expecting myself to fulfil. I desperately wanted to be like everybody else- to hold down a 9-5 job, to have a car, a yearly holiday, enough money to have the luxuries in life. I desperately wanted love and approval. But my soul was screaming out for nature, meditation, art, music, writing, spirituality. I thought these things would make me an outcast and that I wasn’t good enough. Suppressing my true self was causing a dark depression to cast over me. My soul needed me to make changes.
Through the weekly spiritual and personal development lessons I learnt that my extreme sensitivity to the emotions of others can be explained in terms of clairsentience- I energetically “pick up” the emotions of others, like a sponge or a magnet. Our teacher takes us through energetic exercises that focus on recognising which emotions belong to us and which to other people. The exercises are performed in meditation and involve grounding and centring our energy, and clearing any energy and emotions that do not belong to us. These exercises have been like magic! I always feel so much clearer and stronger after performing them, which I now do regularly.
We also identify thoughts and beliefs which are not serving us in life and learn to change these to positive ones, through meditation, journal-writing, practice and patience. We are learning to love, forgive and accept ourselves, as well as other people, just the way we are.
Spiritual development has allowed me to feel in control of my life again, and no longer at the mercy of my emotions and thoughts. I have gained the courage and empowerment to change my life in ways which allow me to live as my true self and, because of this, I have so much more hope for the future.”
I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to contribute to Katie’s fantastic book, which I found inspiring and full of hope for those of us who are looking for another way to work through symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood swings, and so-called psychotic episodes. It brings new hope!
With acceptance of our experiences as valid, and of ourselves just as we are, perhaps we can forge a path through our symptoms and gain a new, greater understanding.
Mend the Gap is now available to buy in paperback and on Kindle via Amazon:
Mental Health and Spiritual Crisis: Guest post by Trish Hurtubise.
I was at my job in a fashion retail store when I realised I had absolutely no energy. I’d noticed I’d been tired recently, but this was something else. I could hardly walk, or only extremely slowly, and the thought of having to stand up for even the next ten minutes caused me to panic. Needless to say I went home sick and I haven’t been back since.
(I had experienced this kind of tiredness as part of depression before: a symptom known as psychomotor retardation.)
The last six weeks have been their own journey. I was relieved to have been given the time off work to rest, but was immediately faced with a strong sense of failure and frustration. Why couldn’t I work for more than a few months at a time? I was also panicking about money.
My energy levels still haven’t improved- a cause of further frustration, as I have been resting and sleeping lots.
But it wasn’t until last Saturday that things began to change.
Last Friday night I contemplated visiting a twice-yearly Mind Body Soul fair held at a school on the other side of the city. I knew it possibly wasn’t sensible due to my depleted energy levels, but I love these fairs and am intrigued by the many different therapies on offer there and the stands selling spiritual books and crystals. I listened to my intuition which was nudging me to go.
So after a complicated and exhausting journey to the school, I turned up at the fair and immediately booked in for 30 minutes of Reiki and Crystal Healing with Kerry Kwiatkowska. She had a colourful marquee set up in the large school hall to create a more private environment whilst having the treatment, which was a strong attraction.
Reiki & Crystal Healing
Reiki involves lying on a massage table fully clothed with a blanket covering you. The healer connects internally with universal healing energy and acts as a channel- focusing the healing energy on the seven main chakras.
She began by taking me through a gentle meditation to help me relax and allow my focus to return to myself rather than be distracted by the bustling hall outside the marquee.
As the healing energy was channelled, I felt a strong heat coming from her hands and also an intense sensation of the energy throughout my whole body being pulled downwards towards my feet. I had been so ungrounded and hadn’t even noticed! It was as if the healing were pulling my dislocated soul back into my body.
After 30 minutes I felt blissed out and totally relaxed!
As I lay back on the massage table Dee tested various points on my body with a pendulum and performed a simple kinesiology test. She received intuitive information about an area of my life which was out of alignment and needed healing in order to bring my physical and emotional bodies back into health.
She focused in on 14 years ago, when I was 20- the year I took an overdose. She asked me to tell her a little bit about it, which was difficult to tap into such a painful time, but I was willing to try anything to work towards healing! I had been depressed for about a year at that time and told her that I’d woken up that day not feeling at all myself. I felt as if something else had taken over my body and willed me to take the overdose. It was a very impulsive and violent act against myself and connection with the despair and self-hatred I felt at that point took a lot of mental strength.
This was the first time I’d said out loud to anybody that I felt I had experienced some kind of possession by a dark and sinister entity.
Dee then asked me to revisit the time in my mind again, but this time to call on God for protection. I needed to really feel His protection and strength, which was difficult at first, but given a few minutes of focused concentration I felt as if a strong protective golden light was shining out from my heart. It grew in size and strength and the feeling of protection was intense. For some reason the image and voice of Aslan from the Narnia films popped into my head and I realised this was helping me to have a focused vision and feeling of God’s energy through a familiar character.
Dee was all the time dowsing at this point- amplifying and sealing in the positive, protective energy I was experiencing.
As I walked away from the therapy I felt stronger and more protected. It also brought up some fears I had held unconsciously about dark, sinister entities. Every time I felt this fear creep in, I imagined the strong, golden, Aslan- energy around me, and an intense booming voice commanding any dark entities to leave.
I never realised how fearful I had been of dark psychic energies. I knew supernatural horror films scared me senseless and had caused nightmares in the past, but I thought this to be true of most people. I really feel so much safer than I did.
During the therapies I received a clear intuitive message- that I am worthy to receive God’s love, abundance, grace and blessings. I consciously opened up my heart to allow God’s light inside me and to flow through my body.
Yesterday was the first day I felt able to ask for help. I rang my spiritual development teacher, Dawn, who helped me to understand the lessons I’m currently learning and what had caused my depression.
I had been giving 100% of my focus and energy to my new job in retail and had become materialistic, causing me to veer away from my life purpose again- I’ve done this quite a lot!
In the last 3 years I had found love for myself through focusing on spiritual and personal development, healing, writing, art and music. But since working again I had replaced this with my ego’s desires for money and beautiful things. I was spending no time at all on my spiritual growth.
I’d cut off the energy from God/spirit- mistakenly thinking I could do it all myself and wanting to have complete control over my life.
Dawn also reminded me of the power of gratitude in raising my vibration again. So every spare moment I’ve been thinking about something that has made me really happy in the past, in this case, singing in a great choir with a fantastic group of friends. Once I had this is my mind, I focused my attention on my heart and nurturing a feeling of love and genuine gratitude for the experience and the people. This has the effect of raising mood and attracting other experiences which have the same energetic vibration.
I’ve done this exercise with small things throughout the day too and have definitely felt brighter and more positive for it!
When you’re deeply depressed I think it’s easy to feel great resistance to thinking of something that makes you happy. It’s almost as if the ego doesn’t want to let this positivity in, as it would prove the ego wrong: “I’m so depressed”, “my whole life is a disaster”! The ego hates to be wrong so will be resistant to anything that challenges it!
I think you have to have the intention to allow love, positivity and gratitude in. Even if it doesn’t come straight away- keep thinking about letting it in at various points throughout the day. Allowing yourself to feel gratitude and positivity will follow.
I think we also have to let go of our innate human need to be in control. If we’re allowing Divine love into our lives and surrendering to God, we are NOT in control, and have to trust and have faith in God.
Not beating yourself up if you are finding this process difficult is also extremely important. I’ve had to gently remind myself this a few times!
Just accept each moment of life for what it is right now. It is exactly how it is supposed to be. However you are feeling is okay and safe to feel.
We are all worthy of love, joy, health, abundance and great blessings!!! ALL of us!!!! There is plenty for everyone!!!!!
This depression has been about getting me back on track to work on my life purpose. I went off path in a belief that the job in retail was my only hope of paying my bills and that to keep the job, I had to give everything 100%- all my energy and focus.
But I am so grateful to Dawn for confirming what I already knew deep down, and to God for setting me straight again.
My energy levels haven’t yet returned to normal, but my mood is much brighter and more positive and I know I’ll be back to normal functioning soon!! . Now I need to rest and return to meditation, spiritual development and writing, before progressing to study different healing modalities to help others like me!!
Last year, Katie Mottram kindly contributed a guest post to Emotional Wellness: Mental Health v Spiritual Crisis.
Emotional Wellness: Mental Health v Spiritual Crisis: Guest Post by Katie Mottram.
Mental Health and Spiritual Crisis: Guest Post by Trish Hurtubise.
Many thanks to Trish Hurtubise from Mental Health Talk for contributing this fantastic guest post to my blog. Mental Health Talk provides an online platform for those who have mental health issues to talk openly about these experiences.
Today Trish talks for the very first time about her own experiences on a spiritual level and has also created the cartoon!
Specialist help is available if you are experiencing anything similar to Trish. See the resources section at the end of the post.
Possession from a Spiritual Perspective
Have you ever considered that your experience with mental health may be more spiritual than biochemical?
Or I should say I have started to look at my journey from this perspective. I have a few friends who have looked through this lens and it is amazing how much light it has brought to the darkest periods of their lives.
So I have chosen this guest post to be my first time articulating my journey as a spiritual experience and to be open to where it takes me. And so this post does not become an epic piece, I have decided to focus on my experience with “possession”.
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “possession”? I think of the movie The Exorcist and Linda Blair’s head spinning around.
This happens to be the kind of possession I am referring to.
A possession state is considered a form of spiritual emergency. “Spiritual emergency” was coined by Stanislav Grof — a psychiatrist and pioneer researcher in the field of altered conscious states as a way of connecting with the psyche. He has written many books on the subject with his wife.
We have heard from Rachel on her experience with hypomania from the perspective of spiritual emergence, but when and how does spiritual emergency fit in?
When the initiation of spiritual emergence occurs and it is too dramatic for the individual, this natural process becomes a spiritual emergency. In my experience I remember initially an ebb and flow of profound connection with the Universe, receding into fear of the engulfing energy I could feel flowing through my body. Sometimes during these states of terror I believed I was “possessed”.
Evil: Up Close and Personal
I had been experimenting with the paranormal since 2000. Malevolent entities, black magic, the dark side of psionics, and hexes were a part of my life. It was this exposure I now believe fueled my idea of being “possessed”.
I experienced a traumatic event involving the paranormal in 2007 and was immediately analyzed and treated for spiritual shock via radionics.
But I was severely traumatized on all levels. My body and mind became plagued with visions of a dark entity with blood red eyes that would destroy my soul and overtake my mind.
I was all the more convinced of its existence because of severe neck spasms that tossed my head in all directions. There were times when I could feel a mass of energy moving from my gut up to my throat—I was sure it was the entity trying to choke me. I would go into a full blown panic attack.
Day after day I gathered every ounce of my resistance to stand against it. But there were times when I faltered and I would lay paralyzed waiting for my inevitable death. I would wait for hours.
It never came.
The Psychiatric Backhand Slap to the Face
I never told anyone about these “possession” experiences until…
I don’t know what triggered me, but eventually I moved back into emergence where I felt I had access to the collective conscious. I never felt so open and connected to everything before. It felt like someone had erased my edges and I had melded with the flow of the Universe.
I could articulate theories and philosophies I had never studied; visualize anatomy and neurological systems like I had memorized them, reading medical journals with ease; I could see the connections between people and feel love everywhere; my psychic ability was never so accurate; and my photographic memory was keen.
I began to write mathematical formulas using the spiritual laws as variables. I was on a mission to save the world and according to my theories, our earthly demise would come from the full suppression of feminine energy by the masculine (I have found out since this is an actual theory by mystics with street cred).
After relaying my findings to an alternative practitioner I trusted, he suggested I was psychotic and needed to be medicated.
I remember wanting to vomit.
The next morning I had my first (of many) gruesome vision of my death by my own hand. I was overwhelmed, terrified and unable to be alone. The dark entity returned and spiritual emergence turned to scrupulosity; I believed God was punishing me for not being strong enough to save the world and He would make me sicker and sicker if I did not prove myself worthy of His grace.
The dark entity as a possibility for spiritual transition
It was with the assistance of medication that I began to question the existence of the dark entity and it faded. Today I believe it was a state of mind; much like how Grof refers to a demonic archetype in a possession state.
According to Grof, this demonic archetype is a state of consciousness. Furthermore it represents the polar opposite of the Divine and can even be Its’ guardian. And if I would have been able to confront this dark entity with support, I could have experienced profound healing and transformation.
Of course because of the way my experience manifested, I was not in a position to even remotely consider the spiritual side of my “possession”.
How Has this Changed My Perspective on My Experience with Possession?
I find that reviewing this part of my journey in this way has left me with more questions than answers:
Around the time I started medication, I was strongly compelled to forget what I had been through. So I purged all connections I had to my spirituality. This involved selling and giving away $4,000 worth of divination tools, denying my extra sensory skills which I believed were from God, and ignoring my social connections to the world of the paranormal.
I quickly shut the door on my spirituality because I believed it was what had gotten me into this mental illness “mess”. It is quite ironic to me now that I would be looking at spirituality as a way that could have gotten me out.
But amusement aside, me writing this piece does bring my focus back to an exploration that has been forming since this journey started, yet I put off taking action because it brings me full circle…
I can feel it is the path to the rebirth of my spirituality.
What feels right to begin exploring is a less grandiose version of the feminine versus masculine theory I concluded during spiritual emergence… how the divine feminine plays out in my life and once empowered, how it will enable me to serve humanity better.
I see now I will need what I have become from my experience with “possession” to go down this path; someone who practices love and compassion to accept all states of being and experiences, including her own.
Perhaps my experience with possession is a result of spiritual emergence after all.
Wikipedia: Stanislav Grof
Quote from “The Stormy Search for the Self” by S. & C. Grof re possession states
Spiritual emergency blog
Wikipedia definition of psionics
The Radionics and Dowsing Institute of Canada: What is radionics?
Article from schiz life: Schizophrenia and Scrupulosity
Spiritually this is a time to let go of old patterns, habits, fears, emotions & beliefs (or “baggage”) that no longer serve us. This is an extremely healing thing to do & helped me enormously in overcoming the parts of my Bipolar Disorder that medication couldn’t touch.
Layers of Healing
Since I quit my job a year ago I’ve been trying to release as much baggage as I possibly can. Every time I think I’ve finally forgiven somebody (including myself) for long-running, deeply-felt grievances, I end up finding new threads of resentment stealthily growing again. The emotions are always lessened in intensity compared to how they were a year ago though, so I’m thinking that we can only release small layers of baggage at any one time. This is perhaps more gentle on us. We are healing one layer at a time.
Simple But Not Easy
Releasing all the baggage is not something you can do overnight. I honestly used to think it was. Self-help books would suggest releasing old baggage as if it was the simplest thing in the world to do. It is simple, but it’s definitely not easy.
I believe the key is to start with the intention to release old patterns/beliefs/habits/fears/resentments.
Affirm as often as you can:
“I am willing to release old patterns”.
Even if you don’t feel willing yet, you will begin to. Once you’re in that space of willingness, you are then able to begin work on releasing.
I still have so much to release though!! One of my main negative habits is my food addiction. I am rather resistant to releasing this one (to say the least)! I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be dragged away kicking & screaming from my beloved Ben & Jerry’s, though I certainly hope it doesn’t get to this point!
I’m going to work on being willing to release my unhealthy eating habits.
I also have to remember that it is often the behaviour/the habit, I am addicted to, not necessarily the food.
I’ve started changing the habit by increasing my daily intake of fruit & veg. This tends to work extremely well the first few days after supermarket shopping, when I’m more inspired by the lovely fresh produce. But as the fruit & veg runs out over the week, or goes off, well-intentioned convenience store visits for apples & salad become binge-eating triggers. Training myself to walk past the chocolate/biscuits/ice cream/cake-aisles has definitely got to be at the top of my “releasing” plan.
Judging myself & others harshly is definitely another pattern I want to release. I don’t think I realise I’m doing it half the time.
If we judge someone else on the street as “fat”, what we are really doing is setting a standard by which we judge ourselves. If we get that fat then we will judge ourselves as harshly as we judges that other person- if not more so. I’ve felt absolutely despairing over my body image before- like it was completely disgusting. I was so cruel to myself! I think I thought it was the only way to lose weight- to bully myself. In reality this just made it worse!
I need to stop looking in the mirror and criticising myself all the time!!
I will look only at my beautiful hair, skin & eyes!! And I will appreciate every little bit of these wonderful things I am blessed with!!
I believe releasing baggage is one of the keys to overcoming many mental health conditions. I do believe that there are conditions where biology takes over, but I also believe that medication can never help 100%. This is where we can help ourselves by beginning work on being willing to release old patterns & experiences of the past, then form the intention to heal them. This is a great starting place!