Which came first? The chicken or the egg?
I’m betting on the chicken because the egg would have needed somebody to fix a nest and keep it warm!
Oddly, I was pondering this yesterday, in light of the question of depression.
Depression, as the old saying goes, runs in my families.
Heavily genetic on one side.
Possibly more situational on the other.
I have been one of the ones who, in some wild DNA marathon, manages to out run it most of the time.
But, as my old friend Henry Close would remind us, If you’re not depressed sometimes you’re not paying attention!
Apparently, I’ve been paying attention lately.
Here’s what I’ve noticed.
I don’t usually realize that I’m feeling depressed while it’s happening.
What I do notice is when it stops.
Rather like one day deciding to put some new lights in the house because the time for dimness has passed.
Here’s the tricky part…
Do I change things because I feel better or do I feel better because I change things?
I suspect the answer is YES!
Which is to say that both of those things are probably true.
Even something simple like rescuing paint brushes from their canning jars of murky water and washing them can help.
Suddenly, they have hope again. They’re ready to do what they were meant to do.
Brushing the dogs can do it, too, but is a whole lot more tiring!
Lately, I’ve been eating a lot more bone broth. This is big on my list of things that, while they don’t necessarily fix things immediately, can’t possibly hurt.
And, I have a Qigong retreat/tune-up scheduled this summer.
If I had to guess, though, I’d say it was the painting – the Intentional Creativity process I’m learning – that is calling me beyond paying quite so much attention to all the sad, frustrating, infuriating news in our world and back into a place where I can attend to hope and healing.
Where, just for a moment, every now and then, I can actually be hope and healing.
Now, clearly depression comes in many sizes and colors with different chemical and genetic and contextual factors. There are lots of theories about “causes” and “cures”.
And, if we’re being honest, there’s probably some vested interest at work in some of those theories.
The amazing author and artist known as SARK is fond of what she calls radical self care.
Healing foods. Long, scented baths. Walking. Time to sleep. Comfort.
She’s convinced me!
And then, as often as possible, a tiny change for the better. (Susan calls them micro-movements.)
There are nearly endless options.
My Feng shui friends say it takes more energy to ignore things that aren’t working than it does to fix them.
Change the burned out bulb. (Ok, I’m on a lighting kick!)
Put some real food in a pretty bowl and skip the drive-up window.
Wear your favorite paint shirt, dried in the sun, all soft and fresh and friendly.
Be gentle with yourself.
Nobody ever got shamed and blamed out of depression.
Ask for help if you feel like it’s bigger than you can handle.
And, along with all the rest, create something.
Today, I will turn on all the lights and paint. (After I wash the brushes!)
More dots. A few words. Still, in many ways, background.
With the help of my new Instant Pot, I will take some crab shells we’ve been saving in the freezer and the fennel Bill’s kindly going to fetch from the Farmers’ Market, and experiment with broth.
There’s thyme in the garden, too!
And, assuming my painting cooperates, I’m planning a nap, complete with Spring Forest Qigong’s Six Word Chant playing softly in the background and enormous dogs snoring gently at my feet.
Chickens or eggs? Who knows?
Thanks, Greg Camp!