Tag Archives: depression

Thinking in New Ways

Sometimes it is great to be busy.  Right now is one of those times.

I am an electrician, although currently unemployed!  So I have to find a job.  In the meantime I have been spending all my minutes on the study of psychology and the arts too.  My hours are dedicated to my children.

The short of it is that I have a few moments to blog today.  VERY important moments.

I thought about my last blog, and it is fine to discuss nirvana.  What I missed discussing is the more obvious: Nirvana and the death of Kurt Cobain.  At the other end of the spectrum, and sometimes closely related to ‘nirvana’ is severe depression and suicide.  It has the potential to rob the lives of the people we love – like Kurt.

I believe that the mindfulness that focusses on the present – as well as mindfulness of good memories, potential for good moments in the future, and even fantasy (as I discuss in my last blog) – can help a person with depression.  There is no absolute solution, but education on ‘mindfulness’ is one great avenue for self-management.  In bipolar disorder a person may swing from the height of mania, or even a sense of nirvana – to the lows of depression.  Balance is so important to achieve, and self-management strategies including mindfulness can be the key to success and content.  Other important strategies are: having a balanced, nutritious diet, getting exercise, getting the right amount of sleep, avoiding substance use and taking prescribed medication.  There are many other strategies as well.  One of the key strategies that people with mood disorders use is expression (i.e. in the form of creativity). Even if this is not a ‘strategy’ per se, it is a part of life where people find inspiration. With help: the artistic side can also lead to balance. All the while that people are finding this balance: the rewarding product of music, or visual art is developed and recognized.

As time is limited today, I have drawn on a poem from my past (years ago) to insert here:

Sensible

My future is painted here and there

With brush in hand, I’m taking care

Sometimes my design is so hard to see

Sometimes the easel is so hard to see

Sometimes the painting is so hard to see

My future is painted here and there,

It’s a collaboration – I’m quite aware,

Sometimes the artists are so hard to see

Sometimes my partners are hard to see

Sometimes (my) God is so hard to see

Listen to the sound of the falling rain

Listen to the sound of the passing train

Can you see the bird singing in the trees?

Can you see the leaves caught up in the breeze?

Listen to the wind as the cars pass by

Can you hear the roadside sigh?

My future is waiting here and there

With that in mind, I’m taking care

Sometimes the right way is so hard to see

Sometimes the pathway is so hard to see

Sometimes the road is so hard to see

Watching all the places as I pass by,

Watching all the faces as I pass by,

When will I stop to wander?

Where will I stop I wonder?

Where we stop to wander is very important.  Having a strong social network and company (family, friends) is paramount for me.  Sometimes we are still alone, and this is an important time to have options.  I do what I need to do to get by and find ways to be content.  That means taking time for myself to enjoy creativity.  When the process may start out seeming boring or saddening, I try to focus on the small details, focus on what is interesting and focus on the next moment of content.  Life is a journey.  No destination is final, even if we are stuck in one spot.  When we can think of ways to be content, we can be content.  Even when we are standing still, the journey goes on and there will always be a chance to see the art in it, and to find rewards in what we do.  Thinking is freedom, or thinking in new ways can allow freedom and content.

Mood: Balance through mindfulness

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Painting: Lee Matuga

Ya…  Mindfulness can be a challenge when what you are doing is in some way horrible.  I hate to think of the different nastiness that a person can go through.  Real pain or disgust is hard to bury with thought, but through practice like meditation:  it is possible to some degree.  In this case, I suggest relying on the promise of that ‘cup of water’ to quench thirst, or some moment of content.  Looking to a conversation with a friend or a view of the mountains, lake or even trees in the big city could help many people.  Humour is GREAT.  To see the humour in things may in fact outweigh many other types of mindfulness.   If that is not available, sometimes the imagination can be a great get-away:  picturing what we want to picture.  We can reach this through a memory, a potential future or even a fantasy.  Mindfulness of the present is most often described as the answer, but other forms of mindfulness (eg. A memory, something to look forward to, or a fantasy) can also bridge that time that is difficult to endure.

I feel a bit lazy to be drawing on my past lyrics for some of my blogs, but I am making sure to spend time on fresh ones, like yesterday…  This below – was written a few years ago.

Mood

Pointing at it, pouring into it,

Biding my time.

Thinking of it, yearning for it,

Biding my time.

Push … Push …No answers, No escape. Where will I go?

Will I ever advance to a thoughtful path?

Quiet decision and Then,

The calm nirvana surrounds my universe.

Permeates my consciousness.

Will I be here for long?  Will it be here for long?

Will I come back soon?  Will I falter?

My world is protected on all sides,

Now.

Calm fulfilling energy, Peaceful train of thoughts travels to different corners of my mind,

Chorus:           The future, the past.

Investigating all that is present, on the journey.

How will it continue?

What is next, and will it be safe?

Stay peaceful, if you are strong, smart and modest enough.

Still peaceful – considerate,

Bold.  Pervasive.  Thirst for knowledge.

Drinking from it, drowning in it,

Biding my time,

Striving for it, Straying from it,

Biding my time,

Reach …   Reach . . . No answers, No release, Where will I go,

Will I ever advance from this thoughtless mood?

Loud intrusion and then

Vile anxiety surrounds my universe,

Permeates my consciousness

Will I be here for long?  Will it be here much longer?

Will I leave here soon?

Will I escape?

My world is closing in on all sides,

Leave Now, Fearful train of thoughts travels to different corners of my mind,

Steam rises of the distant stress, Here we go again- another test.

Chorus

Come take the test.

What is the test?  Maybe balance – the ability to focus: find content.  We all go through it.  Nirvana…  Is it a myth??  A band – Yup.  Part of everyday life for people – I hope so, even for a few moments.   I’m not going to look up the definition.  I just trust that it involves great balance and content.  In this life- I would suggest that if it does exist: for most people it is temporary.  I’m not talking levitating or anything like that.  I’m talking: a cup of water when you’re thirsty, a beautiful sunset, a great conversation, a great tune in a enjoyable environment.  Hmmm…  What else is purely pleasurable?  An A1 mood.  The ability to shut everything negative out through mindfulness?  Enlightenment??  Really??   How complex could it be? I am watering down a very complex and revered concept.  Please add a comment, so I can offer a defense.

Mindfulness till comforted

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When sorrow is pouring down like a torrential sleet,

No shelter, no warmth,

A coat with a broken zipper,

Become the elements.

Become the ice, become the aching water in your shoes,

Become the emptiness.

It does not surround you.  You surround it.  You will outlast it.

In time a ray of warmth will pierce the pain.

For now you are your world,

In time you will be refreshed,

Colours of peace and whispers of comfort

Will soon touch your life,

You cannot ignore them,

As we carry on to the next content moment,

With a cup of water to quench our thirst,

warmth

and a fine light to see by

I have started to take on a course to help people suffering from depression and mania (bipolar disorder).  There are a lot of things to be happy for, but sometimes they are so hard to see- obscured by troubles and the haze of depression.  Sometimes we have had a bad run of luck.  We often have a lot to think about.  Truth is, I am alone right now, and my writings have been inspired by music in the background: Elvis.  Not a fan of Elvis?  I never heard anyone say that before.   Again, this poem is about mindfulness. Mindfulness is a great tool in overcoming boredom.