WRITE009 It’s the Most Depressing Time of the Year

Posted on : 05-12-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Creativity, Featured, Humor

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To be sung to “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” of course. Not to make light of depression, for I have suffered and recovered from it for many years…..and sometimes the only way I can surface out of denial is through the shroud of very dark humor.  Mind you dark humor is not instead of meeting with your doctor, therapist, clergy-person or guru but rather something that can roll you up and out of the black tar pit of despair through if not a few chuckles then at least a  harrumph or two.

For instance, one of my favorite holiday cartoons is Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. Which, by the way, although I loved the cartoon, the part where the scary abominable snow man was introduced always terrified me.  Well, thanks to friend comedian Rob Nash, I now have a whole different way I can think of the holidaze and the hustle-bustle of this time of year:

In case some of you out there missed the reference, this is a pun on the movie Silence of the Lambs.   Humor can get us laughing when it catches us off-guard.  And I don’t know about you, but in my past depression could also sneak up on me and catch me off-guard and before I knew it I’d be feeling hopeless because something benign as the oatmeal being almost at the end of the big container or that the expresso didn’t foam when I made it.  Forget about the big earth crashing horrors of living that can come up, it’d be the little things that would start signalling to me that I needed to reach out and ask for some help, such as upping my meds, or making a phone call and just taking care of bidness.  But, only you fellow depressants understand that feeling such as being in a state of mind when you could compete with a sloth for the center of gravity on the floor, gathering yourself up to get help can feel like swimming in molasses.  That’s why I’m reminding you about humor and that it can help us to get up and moving.

Seriously, I’ve spent hours on YouTube listening to some of my favorite comedians, like Louis CK … til I find those fellow humans that understand what it’s like to see and feel the under belly of life.  Here’s Maria Bumford talking about the Crazy Office Myth.

You’re right of course, being depressed is no laughing matter BUTTTTTTT, laughter can help us realize that we’re not alone and there are probably more of us out there like each other than some would care to admit.  For the record, I’m glad you’re out there!  Now, go find something or someone to laugh at and get some help. One of us surely needs it!

WRITE003 What’s In Front of You?

Posted on : 25-11-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Featured, Heart Talks

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One of the most humbling moments for me while practicing yoga was during a workshop taught by the celebrated Rodney Yee.  All the best yoga teachers in Austin were at this workshop along with who we called “the beautiful people” who frequented our yoga class. We called them the beautiful people because truly, whether male or female, they were a site to behold.  The yoga was flowing beautifully and I felt confident and comfortable with the vinyasas as well as holding some of the poses for more than a few breaths until we were asked to go into the dreaded hand stand. Because I could not (would not) hop up into the hand stand even with two helpers, Rodney stopped the entire room and walked over to help me pop up into the hand stand (which I did, of course).

For weeks, my teacher, Murti Hower, had been working with me on dropping my ego and just looking down at what was right in front of me….my thumbs….so I could swing my legs up behind me into a hand stand.  I’d do well for the few seconds my body moved without my brain until I’d slip into the fear that my arms could not hold up my weight (which is actually an incorrect fear because a hand stand done properly uses the mula bhanda muscles way inside your stomach) and down I would go instead of looking at what was in front of me and dropping my ego.

I was reminded of the “Yee handstand incident” over coffee with a good friend recently who was feeling quite overwhelmed by the situation she had found herself in recently with having to make some hard decisions over her aging and ailing parents. It seemed my very competent professional friend was being put into a leadership spot of having to make some hard decisions for her parents, sibling and family and it all was feeling too much for her.  After awhile of talking it through, she realized that the actual actions that she needed to do at any given time was not what was overwhelming her but rather all the myriad of decisions in the future that were circling in her head.  Ah! The future!   When she just thought about what was in front of her, her parental situation became much more manageable.  We were also able to cull out the tools she has that she can use now to create a plan for doing what was in front of her.   In a moment of inspiration, I realized that this very gifted architect has to sketch out plans for every new building they create or renovate, why not sketch out a plan for her parents?   Luckily, she understood and grabbed on to this inspiration and this BIG HUGE UNMANAGEABLE time in her life became something she could apply all her experience and skills that come so naturally to her to help her devise a plan for the future.

Whether it’s popping up into a handstand or creating a blueprint so that you can see what you’re dealing with what it really all comes down to is seeing and taking action on what’s in front of you. Oh and remembering to breathe into it. Ahh yes, the breath.  Just one breath at a time.

Take a breath between the merries this holiday season, it’ll be easier to see what’s in front of you.