by Liz Payne-Meredith
Who knew?! Not me, I was fine. Depression? Umm, looks like not being able to get out of bed, covers drawn tight, shades down. Anxiety? See that raving lunatic over there, pacing, blaming, and talkingamileaminute? That’s. Anxiety. Nope, not me, I’m good.
I never experienced those symptoms; was always able to function. Usually leapt out of bed, smiled at the day, got to work, and dealt appropriately. I didn’t exactly care for you, though, and I didn’t exactly like myself very much either, but no matter, I dealt. Had no idea how cattywampus my life was. How out of balance I was.
I graduated, worked, married; lost my dad in my 20s; life happens. The following years were full of travel, love, dogs, gardens, hikes, and beautiful knitting. But why was I always sort of stuck? And what was the baseline apathy that always nagged? When Daddio died they suggested desipramine, and it made us laugh when I called it “despair-amine” but it didn’t really help any.
Therapy helped and I held on. Until I didn’t. Real life got big and my ability to cope decreased in direct proportion. My fibs about feelings, abandonment, and fear whirled. Behaviors around relationships and food got goofy. Alcohol, drugs and dicey choices added excitement. Forward through heartbreaking divorce, self-destruction, meetings, rehab, relapse, meetings.
I am a survivor. Pried open, I dug deep with honesty and engaged life with integrity. Embraced tools of transformation that brought me to breathwork, asana, kirtan, and fits of joy. My sense of wonder was revived! Friends, hikes, passions, relationships, health, peace, forgiveness, everything amplified.
Yep, I still scrap with depression and apathy; self-love is still a stickler. Amy Weintraub’s “I Am Bliss and So Are You” workshop called to me in 2016. (“Yeah, right”, I thought). But the tools I learned were accessible and quick. I kept at it and felt a shift. And then I’d stop. Our Tucson LFYP Training immersion made the difference. The week-long study intensified my curiosity and desire for bliss, and I’ve kept at it, on and off the mat. LifeForce Yoga tools have taught me to unfold and trust myself and stay connected.
Grief has defined my recent bout with life following intense caregiving and my mother’s departure. It’s lifting now, and I continue to practice because LifeForce Yoga works. I meet lethargy with our bellows breath practice to elevate any. My long-term go-to is our LFY bhavana practice. Each morning I float my arms out in front of my solar plexus (the seat of self-esteem!), envision calm strength, and draw it into my heart with the “so hummm” mantra. I am that and life is good.