Imagine… being the first human being on Earth, watching the dawn of the first sunrise.
Imagine opening your eyes to see an unknown and immense glowing ball of light in the sky, outstretching warm golden rays to the land, painting the sky in crimson and red.
Imagine feeling the sensation of life-giving warmth on your skin for the first time.
Now, think of the things that have occurred between this first monumentous event, and the present moment. Since the very first seed of life… the first wave crashing to shore, the first eye opening, the first tear shed, the first flower blooming… all that has transpired in plant, animal, microbial and human history… has occurred between the span of the first rays of sunshine hitting the Earth and now.
So where are you now?
What takes up your days?
What occupies your thoughts?
Do you feel part of the magical dance of life? Or have you forgotten the primordial sacredness of all things?
. . .
Anxiety and depression are, at the deepest root cause, the inability to accept the present moment.
Ever since this moment was turned against, refused, altered, we have been lost, in a never-ending game of trying to chase our own tails.
You may think that the real root cause of anxiety and depression are traumatic events and hardships, but it is actually the reaction we have to those events, which triggers a state of being within us that makes it feel like it’s not safe to be in this world. After something traumatic happens, our body chemistry changes. And if we never get the chance to recognize this and come back to the present moment, we get stuck in anticipating and fearing the next disaster, whether it be physical or emotional.
In the wild, if a zebra is chased down by a predator but manages to survive, it shakes furiously for an extended amount of time, to release the flood of adrenaline that was in it’s body. After that, it can return to peacefully grazing in a field, looking like nothing had happened before.
We, as humans, have forgotten most of our survival instincts, and get repeatedly triggered, day after day, causing a whole spectrum of anxious and depressive feelings that we don’t know how to ‘shake off’.
Our bodies are energy systems. When we have ‘negative’ energy, such as fear, anxiety or sadness, if not acknowledged and expressed properly, it stays inside the body. Like attracts like, so this energy attracts more of the same. Depressed friends, sad music, emotional movies, self-neglect, self-loathing, poor dietary and lifestyle choices and so on. Many people think that these effects are the cause of depression and anxiety, but they are not.
The mainstream medical belief that depression is an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, is taking the result of life experience and behaviour and saying that it’s a cause. It’s like cutting your foot, and then having people tell you that your foot hurts because your body is faulty in producing chemicals that cause your foot to bleed. That does not address the root cause of your pain, which is the cut, not the painful response.
So ignoring the root cause of something and taking medication to make it better, is like taking pills to try and numb the sensation of your bleeding foot, while it’s still bleeding. This leaves you believing that there’s just something inherently wrong with your foot that you have no ability to change.
You may come to the believe that you were just born with a bleeding foot, that it was meant to be that way and always will be. You may have forgotten, that when you were six years old, you hurt your foot in the exact same place, and it has been weak ever since. You see other people who have bleeding feet too, so slowly you become to accept that this is normal.
Depression is the result of suppressed emotions. It is the result of going through life, without being able to acknowledge and release negative emotions and traumatic experiences. So you get slower, you get heavier, you get quieter, and more hopeless, until you feel like you are drowning just trying to live day to day, because you are carrying within you, the largest pile of old hurt and pain. More often than not, depression is an (unintentional) unhealthy tie to the pain of the past.
As well as this emotional suppression, the physical and chemical balance of your body is a big factor in depression. We have to work to keep ourselves active and happy. Happiness doesn’t just come from inactivity, poor eating habits, sleeping habits, isolation and other behaviours that would make anyone feel bad.
Humans were designed to eat mostly fruits and vegetables. We are products of nature, and so we have to live in accordance with nature if we expect to feel good. Eating natural foods is vital to producing the brain chemistry that supports a healthy body. There is no disconnect between what you put in your mouth and your own mood.
Think about it – the alcohol that makes you numb and happy, the coffee that makes you energetic and excited, the sugar that you crave and get anxious without… every single thing we put inside of us causes certain chemicals to be released in the body.
What we need to survive is abundant in fruits and vegetables. Some of the healthiest foods on the planet are dark leafy greens, which contain high levels of minerals that the body needs, such as magnesium, which allows our muscles to relax. There is no coincidence in this. It has also been found that 80% of serotonin, the blanket chemical blamed for depression (a lack of it), is produced in the gut anyway (1). So depression has more to do with what your putting inside of you, than the function of your brain.
Depression is multi-factoral, as everything is. After that initial inability to accept the present, all of the other detrimental factors come into play, in our internal and external environments.
It can be a messy picture, because of the nature of today’s messy world. Where most are living out of accordance with mother nature, where most are not fuelling their bodies with the food we were meant to consume, where we feel alone and isolated and do not know how to process our own emotions. It creates a mess, where people don’t know what’s causing what, and sadly the persons brain, the very thing of highest intelligence that’s trying to keep them alive, takes the blame for dysfunction and disharmony on the other levels.
How does this make sense, when our brains are only responding to our own thoughts and environment? Wouldn’t it then make more sense to try and change those things that actually determine how we feel, instead of leaving everything be, and medicating ourselves to try and fix the problem?
. . .
So what exactly is anxiety?
Anxiety is constantly expecting that something bad is going to happen.
The only reason anxiety arises is because of life experiences that have produced negative feelings, which stick with the person, and so they go on with their lives, fearing that the same situations will occur again and again.
Anxiety can all stem back to one event in their life in which they didn’t feel safe, therefore their body remembers this and automatically programs the same response when they come across the same thing, or situation, or person. That is why people can have anxiety about anything and everything, and some anxiety may seem utterly irrational and strange to others, while it sends the person into panic.
There is only anxiety, when a person has internalized those negative external experiences and formed an identity with them. Unfortunately, today anxiety is fashionable. It is an incredibly popular accessory, that people enjoy showing off and comparing. . . Just walk into a university.
All you will hear, is people talking about they expect to fail this, to fail that, to fail life, demean themselves, demean others… It’s an incredibly contagious virus, to be negative and have an anxious personality.
It just doesn’t make sense to not be anxious anymore. It is truly rare to come across someone who is genuinely relaxed and happy. However, I don’t believe the people who express this constant anxiety are to blame. They are only responding to the way that life has been laid out for them in this world of systems that use punishment as motivation. It is the same fear-based system used in school, university, and work. If you don’t hand this in, or turn up on time, or conform, then you’ll face some form of ostracization, or get a low mark on a piece of paper that is meant to denote how intelligent and/or worthy you are.
There is really no need for things such as social anxiety. This has been built up for a number of reasons; prominently an increasing isolation/addiction to technology coupled with a high-school mentality where people are judged and excluded, leading to one having negative thoughts about themselves, insecurities, poor health and lifestyle habits…
Basically our society is a breeding ground of all types of anxiety.
This much anxiety is not good!! It’s not something that you want to hold onto. Even if the reason for the beginning of the anxiety was something traumatic, that should not be an excuse to prolong your own suffering. If you have truly suffered from anxiety, you will want to let go of it, because it’s not fun. It makes life unnecessarily scary and uncomfortable.
The problem is, that while anxiety we would have had thousands of years ago, when being chased by a predator, may have been useful for survival, the anxiety that most people have today is not useful for survival, and is connected to non life-threatening events which end up deteriorating the persons quality of life.
Our environments and lifestyles have changed so dramatically in the past 100, even the past 20 years, from how humans spent the majority of the time they’ve been here on this Earth. We are now always in a rush, having to meet certain deadlines, and pay certain bills, trying to look and act a certain way… the list could go on of things that can cause anxiety. But most of us live with all of these, plus the stress of the natural environment being degraded.
The entire health of our species is at great risk, on several levels.
We must realize that we can be free of all of these things. It is possible. It may seem daunting to try and think about how you would get out of this feeling that you feel trapped in, but you must realize that you can and you will.
All of these ‘diseases’ are products of the mind (and living artificially, out of harmony with nature so our physiology is unbalanced), they are not just conditions that we catch like a virus and are powerless to. Instead of running away of from these feelings of fear and dread, we must confront them face on.
Ask – Why?
Why do I feel this way?
What’s making me feel this way?
Do I have to feel this way?
If I can feel this way, then is it possible for me to make myself feel another way?
It’s all about coming to awareness, and giving ourselves the breathing space to examine things and ask questions. That’s the most important thing you could do.
Inquire, and ask questions.
If you don’t ask questions, you will never get answers, you will prolong your problems looking for band-aid solutions.
We have to ask the questions that stir the deepest and darkest parts of ourselves.
It seems scary and impossible to face, but that is the biggest illusion – because on the other side of awareness, questioning, realization and change is FREEDOM.
Freedom from the things you didn’t know were controlling you from behind the shadows. We must understand that we all have certain beliefs about ourselves and our own lives and the world that control how we operate and feel. Once we bring these to light, we can start making changes, and try to produce something that we would actually desire and enjoy, in our short time, on this incredibly beautiful planet.
. . .
Always remember that the sun will rise each day. And it will continue to.
Always remember that the tides will rise and fall, as they have for millions of years… the same way they did when dinosaurs roamed this planet.
The same way they do now, with humans and cities and cars.
Think about your own life from the perspective of these eternal cycles of nature. It is possible fill our days with presence and joy for the celebration of life.