Growing up, my dad was severely depressed but we didn’t call it that. We called it: “Quiet, Dad has a headache.” We called it: “Dad isn’t coming today. He needs to lie down.” We called it: “Don’t tell Dad, he’ll just get upset.”

We sectioned off from him out of thoughtfulness for what we thought he needed from us. But the truth is, we were afraid of him. Afraid of his moods. Afraid to challenge his request to be left alone. Afraid of his depression.

How does isolating someone who already feels worthless and broken make things better?

Depression is…

I lost my body once.

Not the way you lose car keys or sunglasses. More like the way we lose touch with old friends. The effort to stay connected turns half-hearted. We shift from tossing out specific days and times to saying things like: “soon” and “let’s make it happen”.

I lost my body the way the mountains get lost in the fog some days. We could be driving toward them or toward the middle of the ocean. It’s impossible to tell the difference.

I lost my body the way I lose my train of thought sometimes. What was it…

artwork: danielle noel

Ramit Sethi says: Cynics don’t want results; they want an excuse not to take action.

Having grown up as the pleaser and the helper in my family system, I am acutely tuned in and sensitive to other people’s crappy moods. Another person’s bad mood, in my environment, becomes a signal that sends me into “cheer them up” mode. Usually at my own expense.

For many years I misunderstood cynicism. I interpreted it as a grumpy outlook in the other person. …

photo: Joe Nigel Coleman

Viktor Frankl, after surviving unimaginable horrors during the Holocaust, became one of the founders of the Positive Psychology movement. ⠀

He wrote: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”⠀

How we choose to relate to life, and to the losses we encounter in life, is everything. ⠀

When we relate through our Egos and allow our Egos to direct our healing, we’re in trouble. Because the Ego is rational and linear in its…

image by: brigta/2020

Sometimes I feel quiet in the midst of loudness. Even when everything around me is rushing like a river. The same way I used to feel lonely in the midst of a crowd when I was living on my own in the city so many years ago. The contrast is startling.

My first reaction to the sensation of quietness is: “Something must be wrong.”

There is such a strong link for most of us between busyness and meaningfulness. If we’re not engaged in one hustle or another, aiming the arrow toward mastery, we’re floundering.

But what if nothing is wrong…

The first time I went up the mountain on a ski lift, I panicked. Not because I was up super high above the ground. And not even because I knew, as someone who is tragically uncoordinated enough on dry land, that strapping two slick, skinny pieces of fiberglass to my feet and sending me down a snowy hill was a horrible idea.

Artwork: Calethia DeConto

What panicked me, sitting on the lift that day, was the understanding that I had made a choice I couldn’t renege on.

The only way out is through, they say. …

Our lack of clearly understanding what we actually want creates the circumstance for us to miss it.

I was reading a book about manifestation last week and the author gave a breakdown of her process.

One of the steps was: Identify exactly what you want.

This one really annoyed me, right off the bat, (which is typically a sign that something deeper is being triggered!). It seemed like an obvious given. Of course you have to know what you want before you can manifest it. That’s like saying: before you head out on your drive, make sure you know where you’re going and plug the address into your GPS.

Duh, I thought.

But as the day went…

One of the most common self criticisms I hear from my clients is: “I’m lazy.” This statement is typically delivered like a sad fact: “I can’t climb that hill, my leg is broken.” It sets the tone of what to expect.

But what we perceive as “laziness” is actually just resistance. And resistance is fear.

We are buds programmed to open. We are here to work through our fears, not live at their mercy.

When we pull the veil back and get down to the heart of our true feelings, we can see them for what they are and name them accurately. Once we do that, we can start asking the right kinds of questions. The life changing questions.

Love gets contaminated for some of us very early on in life when we grow up in a dysfunctional environment

Not all caretaking is the same. What we give freely, in abundance, contains a different energetic charge than what we offer in resentment and self-deprivation. When it comes to the art of caring for another person, there is always a negotiation of needs taking place. The thing is, it may not necessarily be conscious.

The Martyred Caretaker is the caretaker who gives from an empty cup and holds a secret contempt for her own needs. She takes the stance, Esther Perel, once brilliantly described as: I make sure not to need much so nobody will say no.

The Martyred Caretaker…

painting by: machumayu oil on canvas 2019

The spiritual teacher Adyashanti coined the phrase: “sacred discomfort” to describe the kinds of growing pains that contain a profound beauty in their hardness because they yield to our spiritual evolution.

A client and I were talking about this recently and we came up with our own version: “sacred agitation”. Everything has been “annoying” her lately.

The word “annoying” is a signal fire to me, in my work as a healing practitioner. It almost always means: HURT. Acknowledging our hurts is often too vulnerable, too much for us. So we downplay them with imprecise language.

Mosquitoes are annoying. Paper cuts…

Mary Welch Official

Healing practitioner, writer and thought leader in the field of emotional intelligence and personal development. IG/FB: @marywelchofficial

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