Deep Rest

aI heart me some Jim Carey. Honestly, I was not allowed to see a lot of his movies while I was growing up in our religious household. As an adult, I haven’t exactly made up for lost time. I have never seen Ace Ventura or The Mask. Honestly, until I saw The Truman Show, I was not a fan of Jim Carey. Then, there was Bruce Almighty, which I also liked. Somewhere in there was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. My opinion had improved.

Then, recently, I watched “I Need Color” on YouTube and I sort of fell in love with Jim Carey. I think if we met, then I would probably say something stupid like, “I need color too!” Then, I stumbled across this video where he is talking about depression and I loved what he said. Summing it up…

Depression is Deep Rest.

Depressed people have stopped the charade, dismantled the façade. They are weary from being the person they thought they were. He also said some great things about identity. Knowing ourselves is impossible. In trying to know ourselves, we create the façade instead of letting it go.

These things he said remind me of Thomas Moore’s approach to depression. Moore equates depression to the astrological Saturn, which is the slowest moving planet, taking thirty years to transit through all the signs of the zodiac. It’s rings represent the limitations of human kind, offering restrictions and delay. For a long time Saturn was viewed as a sign of loss with fear and loathing. Slowly, over time it became a centering symbol, bringing balance. Other astrological interpretations of Saturn point to great sensitivity and narcissism (great self-interest).

I love these descriptions, because I have come to know each of those facets of depression. It doesn’t just improve one day and I’m instantly  feeling better. With a major depressive disorder diagnosis, depression is a fluctuating entity throughout my life. It moves slowly, coming in and out of play.

Depression has also taught me that I have limits and boundaries. I have learned that there are many, many things of which I am not capable. It has also brought delay and hesitancy to my life. It is the cautioning alarm for my soul. “Do not go there!” It warns me not to compromise my entity and desires, bringing balance to the self-sacrificing mantra I was preached from my youth.

I, too, thought of depression with fear, angst and even hatred. I fought its intentions as though they were an assault on my person. Yet, I have learned this “nemesis” is actually more of a friend – teaching, guiding, equalizing. I am sensitive to its fluctuations and perhaps too often absorbed by my inner state.

This last sentiment ‘absorbed by my inner state’ reminds me of the teachings I heard growing up and even into young adulthood. The consensus tended to be “Get out of your mind and into your life”. I’m pretty sure that is a book title somewhere. I can understand the need to let go of anxiety as it is a vacuum sucking away at life. But what if that is not a possibility? What if anxiety is hardwired into your system by trauma and experiences?

I’ve found in life, through depression and anxiety, that going deeper has been a far more fulfilling answer. I spent years ignoring my mind and my body until the cacophony of my spirit became too clamorous to ignore.    Here, I come full circle to Jim Carey’s idea of Deep Rest. In stillness I have found the path which my soul knows. It is not a path to enlightenment or my identity, but rather a resounding sound which I follow.

What if, instead of whispers such as “Did you hear she is depressed?”, people simply said, “She is in Deep Rest”? How would that change the conversation? Would the stigma dissolve? Or would the words become tainted?

Candidly,

Ash

A New Type of Revolution

Sunday, I was at Target entirely as a means to be out of the house. We needed absolutely nothing. Sharing a car with my husband has given me serious cabin fever.  If I get a chance to leave and spread my wings, then I better go – somewhere, anywhere.

My latest Target finds were two $3 square wood plaques, painted in spring colors. The first says, “Every day is a fresh start.” And the second says, “Wash your worries away.” When I saw them and their price tag, Oprah boomed over the load speaker, cheering, “She FOOOUUUUND IT!”

Not really.

It felt so good to find those little items. Target is like that. When you walk in the door, you can feel the gods of peace and tranquility descend, as you grab a cart simply to lean on while you walk. I mean, rarely do I actually need a cart at Target, but I always get one. It’s what you do to prepare for “The Item” or “The Items”.

“The Item” is the thing you have been looking for your entire life. You have never ACTUALLY seen it before, but you know that somewhere, out there a fairy godmother is blinking it into existence. Think “I Dream of Jeannie” with crossed arms, a precise head nod and full wink. Sometimes, if you are very lucky, Jeannie creates a SET of “The Items”. If this happens, then you will invariably stand in the checkout line with guilt. I mean, finding “The Items”? Your girlfriends will for sure be jealous. Your husband? Anxiously moving money around in the budget.

I cannot tell you how many times “The Item” has been a water bottle. I don’t know how Target does it, but their selection of water bottles is a verifiable phylum in the animal kingdom, of which there are innumerable species. I swear to god, they discover a new one each week and every damn time I think, “This is it!!! I’m going to drink 64 ounces everyday for the REST of my life! I’ll be like the Jillian Michaels of water drinking!!!”

Except the next time I go into Target, I can almost guarantee that I will be dehydrated from the steady caffeine drip that is my Mountain Dew.

Why the Target Rally Cry?

I don’t know how many memes I have seen about moms in Target, but it’s a lot. In fact, as a socially awkward mom, I find that talking about Target is a sure fire way to make a friend. I mean, in the rare event that that they hate Target (I’ve never actually come across one of those moms), then what would you talk about? Aldi? Whole Foods? Costco?

I think there is more too it than just shopping. I think there is more to it than buying things for ourselves – more than finding “the item”.

I think moms are desperate for self-care.

Independence, alone-time, pursuing an interest, buying something for yourself without hearing about the 87 things your child saw that they wanted – these are things we don’t get very much. I don’t think people talk about the hidden burdens of parenting enough. Sure, we complain about poopy diapers, messy kids who refuse to do chores and squabbling siblings. Those aren’t the real, draining factors. They are just tips of the iceberg. Underneath, lies a hidden, colossal anchor.

Someone is dependent on you.

You are responsible for someone. Just existing in that context is weighty.

I have had days when I just needed to exist. I did the bare minimum for myself and for them. I have had days when I closed the bathroom door to go potty (do people still say restroom? Huh. I guess that word isn’t in my repertoire anymore), as I listened to the small being wail and thrash against the door. How dare I tinkle for 30 seconds by myself!

The worst part for me (I’m sure not everyone feels this way), is that I feel guilty for that 30 second tinkle.

Which is fucking ridiculous.

Then, there is the matter of pursuing interests. People talk about how you forget to connect with your partner when you have children. Then, suddenly, one day you have an empty nest and you are fumbling your fingers, looking to the other person like they are a stranger! But the real problem isn’t that you don’t recognize the person across from you. The real problem is that your don’t recognize yourself. Who is that looking at me in the mirror?

It’s the caring for children and ignoring the care of ourselves that leaves us unhappy. We are desperate to fit one more thing into Suzy’s schedule so that she can grow up, hopefully get a scholarship and live a full life. While the entire time, we fail to live our own full lives. And what kind of example is this to our children? This failing to live full lives, it only teaches them to do the same when their own little angels arrive.

A New Kind of Revolution

In Target, by myself, I can walk up and down the bedding aisle 87 times and find every endcap clearance shelving in the store, without a child begging for toys or a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino at Starbucks. I can fulfill my wants and desires for the hour and a half that I roam the store and emerge a human once again.

THAT is why the Target craze exists.

But what if, nobody freak out now, we liked being in our homes just as much? Now, there is an idea that could change the world. There is an idea worth fighting for.

But also, I just need to run to Target and pick up a few things to make this home more enjoyable… Shop on, sisters!

Candidly,

Ash

 

Ten Things about Me

  1. I am an idea geyser. For real, give me a topic and I will spout of ideas for hours. One day, I was driving down the road with my husband and we passed an automotive repair shop. I said, “I wish more women were mechanics.” Then, I proceeded to outline a future non-profit that would teach women in need various trades – electricians, plumbers, mechanics, etc. It would be called Maintenance Mavens. Seriously, these ideas are everyday occurrences for me.
  2. Make love, not war. I totally have opinions. Everybody has opinions. I just don’t really think they are worth fighting about. In fact, I’ll concede my opinion simply to make peace. Sometimes people think this makes me wishy-washy, but truly NOTHING is so important that it should destroy our friendship.
  3. I am a metaphorical gypsy. I say metaphorical simply because I’m not much of a traveler. I mean, I’d LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to travel. I just don’t have money to travel. Anyway, metaphorically, I’m a gypsy. I move from one idea, one opportunity, one adventure, one skill to the next. I never stick with anything that long, which is probably why I’m good at quite a few things and excellent at….
  4. It’s immaterial. Long ago, long ago in a galaxy far away….in high school, I wanted to be rich and famous. Then, somewhere between graduation and getting married, I ceased caring. My house is not pretty and I don’t have a lot of things. Sure, I’d like nice things, but its not worth 80 hour work weeks for me or my husband. I’d take poor over powerful.
  5. I have lost dreams. I sang. At recess, I sang. No foursquare for me…I’d just walk around singing. That was my dream. I’m not really sure if I gave up on it or if I couldn’t hack it or if I stopped wanting it. I just know that it feels lost, as in missing. I miss it – the singing. I was even pretty damn good at it.
  6. I am absent-minded. For real, on the Fourth of July, I left my phone on top of the car. My husband drove to work the next morning with it there. It fell off about two miles from my house. My ten-year-old used Find My Phone and we went and discovered it in the middle of the road, completely in tact. Perhaps this would make me insanely lucky….if only my other absent-minded stories ended this way. *sniff, sniff* We will save those bad boys for another day…
  7. My inner dialogue isn’t kind. My therapist blames my parents. I blame my perfectionism. Either way, my natural inclination if anything (and I mean anything) goes wrong is that I’ve fucked up. It’s me, not you. I’m the mess. Sad, but true. I wish I could change it, but did you know that you can’t? Seriously, psychologists disproved the whole “you can change your thoughts” idea years ago. Research has proven that our thought patterns are largely formed by the age of eight. The new trend in therapy and psychology is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (vs. cognitive behavioral therapy). The idea is that we can’t change our thoughts, but we can change how we respond to them.
  8. I am open-hearted. I really like people and I want them to succeed and be happy. I don’t assume that the rest of the world is out to get me. So yeah, I’ll let a total stranger borrow my phone and then, I will probably be screwed when they steal it. Oh well, it’s only material.
  9. Authenticity is paramount. Seriously, being forced to do anything = death. Probably, this is the reason I’m always pursuing some sort of entrepreneurial endeavor.  I can’t sell things to people, because I’d be like “This item is pretty good, but I wouldn’t buy it so you probably shouldn’t either.” I also can’t pretend to like a bad idea or be in a good mood.
  10. I heart Giraffes. Awhile ago, I discovered that Giraffes eat Acacia trees. Not really that significant, except that Acacia trees have thorns! Would you eat thorns? Me either. This completely fascinates me and so now I’m obsessed with Giraffes. I mean, who can turn thorns (pain!) into energy? Giraffes, that’s who!!!