Tuesday, January 2, 2018

5 ways to treat anxiety & depression

Life is indeed an interesting journey. One day you may be on top of the world and the next you may be scraping by at the bottom of your emotional ladder. This week alone for me has brought with it a flurry of emotions and I’ve discovered many truths about myself.
1. I’m not alone in this — My friends have also shared similar feelings of anxiety and feeling heavy.
Learning to appreciate the dark — I’ve always been a pusher of positive psychology and visualizing positive things all the time but yesterday I was reading Osho’s views on it and he called it straight BS. He mentioned the appropriateness of having both light and darkness in our lives because focusing on only one spectrum of life is limiting and downright delusional. A perfect balance is reached when we are able to sit with both the good and the bad.
Which takes me to this revelation:
2. There are no binaries.
From a mindfulness perspective, we are simply observers of our thoughts and it is not the event but our perception of an event that creates “chaos or harmony” in our lives.
Once we begin to see life as a journey filled with nuances of light and dark do we begin to see things differently.
I’m learning that life doesn’t always have to be about “good this…good that..” It’s as if I’m training my mind to focus on only the positive experiences and ignore the dark ones.
If that were the case then I would be elated and filled with ecstatic joy but I’m not and that’s because I haven’t been sitting with my pain.

Rather than sitting with the pain, I’ve been ignoring it with pleasure.

Call it distractions by eating delicious food, hanging out with friends or watching Netflix, I haven’t been very mindful lately and that’s why I’ve been feeling so blue inside. And here’s the third revelation:
3. It’s okay to feel blue — you may think that you shouldn’t feel sad or society may tell you that there’s something wrong with you to feel that way but it’s okay.

It’s okay to feel sadness and we should allow ourselves the courage and freedom to dig deep and discover why we feel that way.

Just like a child who is acting out, they’re not doing it for not reason. They’re either hungry, sleepy or agitated by something. There’s always a reason. Just like that, us humans always have a reason for our depression.
We just need to take a few deep breaths and take ourselves out of our mind.

Mindfulness is key.

What’s helped me the most in this journey is that it helps to know that we are not our thoughts but simply observers. And the most liberating thing in the world is to know that our feelings are telling us something.
Who knows, perhaps it is this very same feeling of depression which may be the catalyst for you to achieve something great.
As the saying goes: “One must follow the shit to find the pony”…

Call to Action

So here are a few steps I’ve taken that have helped me in this time of reflection.
  1. Reflecting — just sitting quietly and thinking on a meta level has helped greatly. Sometimes just seeing yourself in third person helps you to make wiser decisions. We often give such great advice to our friends but fall short on ourselves. Reflecting breaks this barrier that we create.
  2. Listening to spiritual teachers — I’ve been listening to Sadghuru talks on YouTube lately and the man has some serious wisdom!
  3. Practicing Mindfulness — I’ve been practicing mindfulness and it’s helped me in many ways. Just having the reminder that “we are not our thoughts but merely the observer of our thoughts” has helped me ten fold in my internal process.
  4. Writing — just writing my thoughts out the first thing in the morning has been such a calming experience. It really helps to get your thoughts out on paper.
  5. Practicing gratitude & being in the moment — just knowing that tomorrow isn’t promised and today may be my last day allows me to appreciate my immediate surroundings and my friends & family more.

I’ll leave you with a poem by Rumi that is always a treasure trove in times of despair.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

How to have a blissfull morning

Most mornings when I wake up my mind heads straight for the phone, ready to digest all the information to fill my mind’s blank state.

But today is going to different.

Today I’m going to first take a few deep breaths and just appreciate the sounds of the birds chirping outside.

While I listen to the chirps I also notice the beautiful sunlight radiating its' splendor across the trees.

So many shades of green I see…what a delight to my eyes.

So today was indeed a great morning.

Instead of turning on my phone and heading straight for the Trump infested news, my mind is in a state of gratitude.

Now that is mornings done right ❤

Hope you have an amazing day

5 Signs You’re Dealing with an Energy Vampire

Ever heard of the term “energy vampire” before? It’s sounds like something that’s right out of an R.L. Stine novel. The term has been used again and again in pseudo-scientific references and is a widely accepted concept in the realm of energy healing. I remember long discussions with one of my energy healing mentors Diane who would tell me about people that would latch on to the energies of other people in rooms. From my derived research in the paranormal, energy vampires are not mythical creatures but people who function at a very low vibrational energy. These are people who thrive off of drama and make it their purpose in life to bring down all those whom they come across. Simply put, these are immature, self-centered individuals who use other people for their manipulative ways.
From an ontological perspective, EV’s (Energy Vampires) are simply people who have not psychologically matured. They are like a hurt child on the inside and lack the mental tools of resilience required to function as a healthy emotionally intelligent human being. Science still hasn’t figured out why some people exhibit these low vibrational energy patterns but if you study some psychological personality disorders, you will see that many illustrate a genetic predisposition to these EV-like symptoms but there are other possible reasons how one’s environment can predispose a person to becoming an EV. Be it sexual abuse or any forms of extreme abuse in childhood, bad parenting, or having horrible role models, all these can be triggering factors.
In my experience training as a Therapist, I encountered many energy vampires. They’re easy to pick out as they lack empathy, are self-centered, exhibit jealousy, envy and a plethora of volatile emotions. Simply put, these people scream drama and there’s never a dull moment with them. Here are 5 signs that you’re dealing with one:
  1. They Lack Empathy — These people will just say outright mean things to you! They have a way with words and their tongue can be a sharp ax, cutting through your soul with their harsh words. Don’t even think about fighting with this person because they are always ready to pounce on an opportunity for an argument. You’re usually always available for them emotionally but once you start divulging your sad stories, they don’t show as much interest. No matter how hard you try, you just cannot force them to show you as much love as you show them.
  2. They’re Childish — No matter how old they get, these people are always going to act like they’re little children. You’ll think you’re in front of a 40 year old but take away the physical appearance and you’re left with the persona of a 5 year old child. In my humble opinion, EV’s are people who have not psychological grown and are emotionally immature. They’ll argue over little petty things and hold grudges. Don’t even think about taking that last pizza slice that they’ve been eyeing because if you do, you’ll be on their shit list!
  3. They’re Inauthentic — EV’s have a remarkable pattern of not being genuine. They simply follow what others are always up to and value themselves through more materialistic ways. They will judge a person by their looks, background, money or status. They will suck up to and try to impress any person who has money but if they’re in the same room with someone of lower privilege then forget about it! They won’t initiate in any relationship with a person whom they do not see a gain with.
  4. They Gossip — This is their bread and butter folks! An EV symptom list cannot be complete without this one. They have a knack for picking up small details about a person and are more than happy to share those opinions with the rest of the world. Rather than focus on 1 good thing about a person, they would much rather pick up 99 blemishes in a person’s character and even create lies about them. Gossip is just something they enjoy to occupy their time with. Remember the saying: “Small minds discuss people, medium minds discuss events & great minds discuss ideas”? These guys love to discuss people and rarely anything else so beware!
  5. They’re Overly Dramatic — According to EV’s, since the world revolves around them, if you cause discomfort to them in the smallest of ways you’re going to hear about it! They have an air of narcissism and for some reason there’s always something bad happening in their life. It’s like they only choose to focus on the negative and play a story on their mind that everyone is bad and out for them. They love drama because they feed off of it. They don’t like to see people in harmony so they like to stir the pot and create chaos in any good situation. Because they’re so unhappy with themselves, they just want to make others around just as much miserable.
So there you have it. I know, it’s not a very uplifting topic but give yourself some self-care and avoid these kinds of people. They really have nothing of value to offer you and fake smiles hide their envy towards you. So that’s a wrap but because I have such a passion for this topic, I’m going to write out 5 more traits for you!

6. They will bring your energy down — Ever leave a conversation with a person feeling like you just watched a depressing video? Yep, this person just sucked all the positive energy right out of you. A friend of mine always told me, “Shayan, there are 2 types of people, those who offer us life-giving conversations and those that offer us life-taking conversations.” If you feel just negative energy oozing around a person then this person will offer you life-taking conversations! Nothing inspiring about them but simple misery….And as they say “misery loves company” so watch out!
7. They love bringing others down — According to them, if they’re not happy with their lives then why should you be? They’re fragile people and they want to break you down till you’re just as weak as them on the inside. If they see you happy, they’re not going to like that. It’s like a child who sees you with a shiny new toy and wants to take it away from you because it doesn’t have one itself so why should you. Just don’t ever share your happiness with them because they’ll envy you and never be genuinely happy for your blessings.
8. They’re genuinely unhappy people — This is a trait for more intuitively advanced people to dissect about a person’s demeanor on the inside but EV’s just aren’t happy on the inside. They’re unhappy with their lives and their constant negative thoughts aren’t a big help either.
9. They’re copy catters — They’re not original and they love to follow the crowd. There’s just not a whole lot of originality to their bone.
10. They love giving you the evil eye ;) — In many Middle Eastern traditions, the evil eye is something that people give to others whom they envy. EV’s have an unusual way of always noticing something about a person and with their envious eyes, can strike invisible arrows of damage to the other person they are noticing. Always create a protective psychic shield around yourself when you’re with them. Wearing protective amulets of gemstones also help greatly.

I hope after reading this list, you’re reconsidering many of your friends in your circle. Chances are that you know quite a few of them. Like attracts like and if you notice yourself attracting many people who display qualities like these then you may be functioning at a low level yourself. Raise your vibration through positive thinking along with practicing gratitude and really begin to reflect upon yourself if you tend to fall into negative patterns.

5 Reasons Why it’s Going to be Alright

Life has a pretentious way of throwing curve balls at us. Some days we’re elated & feeling on top of the world and other days it feels like we’ve hit rock bottom. But don’t let that get you feeling down on yourself because you’ve been through this before. In fact you’ve been through a lot worse! So here are 5 reasons why everything’s going be alright.
  1. You’ve got a great support system — Be it your mother, brother, sister, dad or your quarky best friend from childhood, you have people in your life who are always there to lend a shoulder to cry on. Whenever the going gets tough you’re fortunate enough to have someone who’s going to encourage you and share that large tub of Haagen Daz with you over a night of Netflix binging. It’s going to be alright ;)
  2. You are a tough S.O.B. — You might not realize this but you’re alot stronger than you think you are. You’ve also been an anchor for others during their times of distress at times! If others tried to be in your shoes they may be returning them back within 5 minutes after realizing that you have a pretty hard life. So don’t even second guess yourself for a moment because your resilience is going to help you get past any hardship that you encounter.
  3. You have a good internal compass — You’re a pretty intuitive person. You may have those moments of doubt and even have a nervous break down or two, but deep down inside you know it’s going to be alright. You’re not one who “hopes” that everything’s going to be alright but has faith that it will all be play out. Call it God or the Universe, you firmly believe that there’s a divine power orchestrating all these affairs and you’ll be taken care of. As you know, in the end it always works out so why worry so much?
  4. Karma is your friend — As a believer in karma, you’ve helped others, gave charity, smiled at a stranger for no reason and even gave up your seat to allow the old uncle to sit on the bus. Karma is one of those forces which never forgets, in fact some traditions say that everything you put out comes back at you times 3! So all those little nuggets of humanity you contributed towards to your fellow man are going to come in handy for this time of upheaval. You’re a good person and karma’s definitely looking out for you.
  5. Life is helping you grow — This one’s a little more philosophical one but ancient philosophies teach us that our experience on this earth is a test. The more hardships we face the more opportunities for us to evolve spiritually. Ask Dr.MLK, Joan of Ark or Malcolm X if they became who they became without ever having to facing any adversity. 10 times of 10 they will tell you that all of the hardships they faced in life were the catalyst for helping them become genuine and great leaders. You may not be leading a pack of activists on the footsteps of the Washington Monument to protest civil rights but the mere fact that you are more emotionally supportive today of your loved ones than you may have been in the past shows that you’re growing as a person. Everyday you allow life to throw curve balls at you and you take them with stride. It’s you’re very own internal growth that’s helping you make sure that everything’s going to be just fine.
After reading this I’m sure you don’t think you’re situation’s so bad anymore. You’re a pretty strong person and your resilience is off the charts. You should really owe it to yourself and tap yourself on the back. You may not know it but many people look up to you. With this in mind, go out there into the world with the awareness that everyday is a blessing for you to experience and that you are a bad ass who’s not only going to get through any situation but thrive within it.

5 Reasons Why You’re Awesome!

Life has it’s ups and downs, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t celebrate the majestic existence that is called LIFE. Here are 5 reasons why you’re is awesome ☺
  1. You allow others to shine! You have an amazing innate ability to help others go through their tough times and you’re always there to offer emotional support. You’re their anchor and without you, they wouldn’t have anyone else genuine to turn to.
  2. You’re living or trying to live a life of purpose! You sometimes may regret thinking if you made the right choice taking that really odd general ed class or your first job in sales but keep on hustling. You never know how later on in life you’re very odd interests and experiences may come in handy for your future endeavors. Steve Jobs mentioned that it was the calligraphy classes he took in college that shaped the quintessential Macintosh keyboard characters which have Apple it’s dynamic look on computer screens.
  3. You genuinely care for others. When someone’s feeling down or needs just that extra little push of support you’re there for them. Your words of encouragement mean the world and that’s what makes you awesome!
  4. You’re not petty about things. Humans are funny creatures who make a lot of mistakes so in the future when your friends make a silly joke or drop the ball, you forgive them. Because you know that life is short and you don’t have time to be petty about those little things. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
  5. You’re the type of person who’s willing to take out that change from your pocket so you can give to your friend who’s a few cents shorts for that snack. Believe it or not, some people are really cheap when it comes to money. Even some very rich and powerful people have been reported to tip very little and aren’t willing to give a single quarter to the needy. But that isn’t you because you know that money isn’t the most important thing in life and you value your connections with people over material possessions.
Overall, I think you’re a pretty awesome person. You tip well, you smile when you greet others and you say thank you when someone does you good. And I get it, sometimes you may feel a little down but hey don’t ever forget, people look up to you! The world is a much better place with you in it ☺.

5 Signs That You’re An Old Soul

If you’re reading this article, chances are that you feel like you don’t really belong in this era and would rather be kicking it with Earnest Hemingway in one of those Great Gatsby themed parties or skinny dipping in the Nile after your long 10 hour shift building the Pyramids. Here are 5 signs that you indeed are an old soul:
  1. You feel out of place wherever you are — There’s never a moment where you feel like you finally belong. You feel like everyone’s operating at a certain wavelength and you’re no where near their level on the spectrum. It almost feels like it’s you and an army of others in the room. Point blank, you just don’t fit in and would rather not play into those meaningless mind games that people usually play.
  2. You think at a very high level — While there are people out there who are solely concerned about major football players being traded in the off-season, you’re out here concerned about a child in Uganda who’s supposed to be getting the same level of human rights as you. Your intelligence supersedes superficial matters and you have decided to put your minds attention to larger and more meaningful causes in life.
  3. You can tell genuine people apart from the fakes — At this point in your spiritual journey you’ve met alot of souls and you can tell who’s being real with you and who’s not. Old souls generally are very reflective and through their karmic cycle have accumulated a wealthy treasure of experiences where they have evolved spiritually. Young souls on the other hand, are still learning and may fall under the trap of our matrix to “fit in” society and as a result lose their individual uniqueness. Old souls on the other hand are unapologetically themselves. We ain’t got no time to fit in.
  4. You can “feel” people’s energy — This is an interesting one. By just being around a person for a certain time and in only a brief interaction, you can feel their energy unconsciously. Call it auras, vibes or chakras, you can feel the energy in a room and in a person. If you like their energy then your channels of communication are open and jolly, but if you’re not digging their vibe then you close yourself off. Because ain’t nobody got time for energy vampires!
  5. You know that you have a purpose in this life — You have an innate awareness that you were sent on this earth with a purpose. Although you may have moments of doubt and question yourself in all your silly life decisions, each mistake was crucial to help you get to where you are supposed to be. At the end of the day, no matter how heavy or hard it is, you’ll still keep your head up knowing that you have a purpose in this life. And that keeps giving you the fuel and the fire you need to keep on functioning in this young yet ancient life.
So here’s to another lifetime of experiences. I’ll probably be coming out with 5 more qualities in the future but keep doing You! You have a purpose and you’ll get there ☺

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Pains of a Wounded Warrior

Funny ain't it... Life just has a funny sense of humor... In my previous post I seem like I know everything there is about the mundane existence of the Universe but in this post I'll be talking about the exact opposite...I know nothing at all...and on top of that I am not the happiest person in the world...
Life has its perils and nuances of mediocrity.. at times the feeling of living seems difficult and death seems to be the easier decision to cope with life's troubles. Oh the irony of that statement.  Now I have no desire to speak of suicide or killing myself but a true introspective person would understand that the pain we carry throughout our lives can be very intense and debilitating to our fragile psyche.
I feel vulnerable..weak and timid.  I thought I would never see the day where I would say those words and let alone have them describe my current state of being.  But I must say I feel like a worn out punching bag and life is Muhammad Ali running on high testosterone.  I just need a break man... Life can you hear me?  I'm doing the best I can and I'm just a human.  I've been let down by so many people that I have trust issues now.  I was never a cynic but now I get those thoughts before I have to make the extra effort to minimize them.  I feel more comfortable around troubled, broken souls than I ever did before. Maybe its a transformation, maybe its my metamorphosis into becoming the complicated soul I always knew I was.
Is it no coincidence that I have such a huge affinity with James Dean? Many see him as the transcendental rebel archetype but I see him as the troubled little boy who's innocence was taken away by the world.  When I look at myself I see the look of a troubled young man who can't see the face of the innocent child anymore.  I feel like I'm losing a part of myself which is so dear to me.  I feel like the betrayal, the backstabbing and the gossiping has taken away my naivete to believe in the good in people.  
I just don't know who I am anymore... I see the name, I see the face and I hear my voice but It's like it's all completely alien to me.

I hope I can find myself...