Anxiety and Depression

It is extremely common to have these two monsters attack at the same time. It’s sometimes hard to understand how they go together. Anxiety brings out all the nervous and unused energy out, while depression tries to “save energy” by creating feelings where one doesn’t want to do anything. They’re on opposite ends, one is hyperactivity and the other is glum. When they appear together it is like wanting to do nothing and yet having a fidgety foot.  And they appear together when one last lost perception of what things can be like if they were to be changed. Often times they occur when things are not going well, and when you lack the vision to the change the situation, they persist. Now, that doesn’t mean that it cannot happen to someone who’s living a comfortable life. Just because someone is living a comfortable life, it doesn’t mean they are aligned to their life purpose. 

Sometimes one can have all the luxuries of the world and yet have no meaning in life. What does one do with a meaningless life? It’s a struggle. To find meaning in the despair, in the luxuries, in hardships, in responsibilities and in duties is not easy. Sometimes we get so lost in the world that we lose ourselves. There is fear. And then there is sleep. I have known people who would sleep long hours just so they don’t have to feel their gut in their mouth from anxiety, and so they don’t have to look out the window and know the time is passing by yet there is nothing they want to do to seize the moment. 

I don’t believe in antidepressants, they may be good for a quick-lift-me-up in the darkest of days, but they are not the solution.

Just in case someone does happen to find them in their sorry state, the monsters temporarily disappear. They return though, with the darkest of thoughts. It’s never easy to truly know how one feels. If certain strategies make one feel better, there’s no guarantee it will not return. When anxiety and depression do show up together, it is extremely important to manage them, find meaning in life and gain various perspectives. It is easy to say, but it takes time and needs discipline. It is also difficult to have discipline when there’s an uneasy feeling throughout the day. Just because its difficult and there is uncertainty involved, many people would rather be stuck with a known enemy than an unknown friend… until they start feeling at ease. 

I don’t believe in antidepressants, they may be good for a quick-lift-me-up in the darkest of days, but they are not the solution. The solution comes from within, the inner-work, through meditation, reiki, automated writing, exercise, sound healing, holistic work. Any approach that is continuous, progressive over time and takes into consideration your body, mind, emotions, and soul. It doesn’t matter what approach is selected, it does matter whether you are committed to it. 

Fear and Anxiety 

I would say fear is one of the stronger emotions in the lot. It is capable of making a perfectly sound person paranoid and sometimes even to the edge of being insane. Fear triggers certain chemical reactions in the body such as cortisol – the stress hormone. Given our lifestyle today, we already produce high levels of cortisol and if we add prolonged un-contained fear, we increase the risk for stress-related disease… and anxiety. 

To deal with anxiety that occurs from fear, it is important to target the fear and its root cause.

It is absolutely normal to be fearful of something or the other. But when your fear starts making decisions on your behalf or makes your behavior uncontrollable, it becomes a problem. Uncontrollable fear leads to anxiety because we unconsciously realize we lack control on the situation. 

The fear, however, is a perception that determines your anxiety levels. Losing a loved one is a legit fear. If the loved one is in the middle of a high-risk surgery with 2% chance of survival, the fear is justified – but at that time anxiety will not be predominant because there will be other things to take care of i.e. hospital formalities, taking care of other loved ones etc. On the other hand, having a gut-clenching fear despite knowing that the loved one is safe, healthy and happy is quite uncommon. It is a perception that one can never be sure what happens the next minute. It is like living in paranoia because you cannot control whether this loved one lives or not. And because there is nothing concrete about it, there isn’t any task at hand. The lack of concreteness leads to anxiety. Anxiety is not something that occurs when one is engrossed in doing the task at hand, it is something that creeps up when the uncomfortable thoughts engulf us. 

To deal with anxiety that occurs from fear, it is important to target the fear and its root cause. I like to use Reiki for that. It helps to heal the root cause without making it too uncomfortable. The last thing an anxious person needs is to be more uncomfortable. I like reflective meditation too, it gives you answers. It helps the person know more about why they are clenched with such fears and why these fears were triggered. 

Anxiety is a gateway to knowing oneself better. It gives you the opportunity to face yourself and seek answers. When one is happy, what answers can one seek? Even if one seeks, they are not good enough to deeply know one’s wounds. It is best to see and heal the wounds when they are truly open. 

The Divine Plan and Anxiety

There are many levels of anxiety and of course, there is the good kind and the bad kind. The good kind is almost always involved when we are in sync with the divine plan. But when we are not in sync with the divine plan the anxiety is the bad kind. The one where your shoulders feel stiff and the breathing is as shallow as can be. A void bottomless pit in the body or the fidgety leg syndrome – however it shows up, you know its not good if you are not happy with it. And if you are not at peace with the decisions you are taking, can you truly be in sync with the divine plan?

Over the years, I have often seen decisions being made with the most logical and rational process. However, when it is time to execute those decisions, the emotions show up. The same emotions weren’t considered while making the decision. Sometimes, our mind will convince us that we can work with or work around our emotions. But emotions can be powerful and stubborn when they are in control the logical mind is out first. And then, these emotions have control over the body – the breath to start with. Anxiety is a bunch of emotions put together. For each one, it won’t be the same – yet it will have similar effects. 

It is always important to be aware of the body because emotions can be hard to keep track of at times. If a certain part of the body feels stiff, address it. Is it the anxiety or is it something else? 

When making decisions, I know I am in sync with the divine when I close my eyes and feel at ease when I think of the choice I’ve made. If my shoulders feel stiff, or my legs feel numb, or my breath is shallow, I know I have to re-evaluate. Time and again, I’ve seen that the divine plan – if you are open to it, is of least resistance. When you are on the right path, things will fall into place with enough effort. But if it’s not the divine path, no matter how hard one tries, there will always be something falling out of place. 

Anxiety and Change

Change is good; change helps one grow in several aspects. But change is scary because it disturbs our current routine. Even if our current routine is all about sitting on a couch all day or actually waking up at 5 am and hustling from day to night – it is all predictable. A little change in the schedule for a day or a week won’t seem like a big thing because the predictable routine is soon going to return. And if it’s a completely new schedule even for a week, it tends to throw people off their best game. 

Anxiety can be as subtle as insomnia or as extreme as a panic attack. It can be a heavy chest, some grinding teeth or even a bottomless pit in the stomach.

I have always found change and anxiety to be interlinked. Anxiety arises with the need to control and to know that everything will fall into place. Change creates chaos that gives no guarantee that everything will go the way one would want. It is said that change puts you out of your comfort zone and into the learning zone. How does one know whether the change is enough to help you grow or push you into a hell hole of anxiety? 

Smaller changes often allow somethings to stay constant and those things are what we can fall back on, in the middle of uncertainty. These changes would be: moving into a new house, getting a new job. And the bigger changes would be: moving countries, traveling alone for the first time. The bigger changes can’t accommodate the constants of life and that’s why they provide the greatest of growths. 

Change is a cause of anxiety. Sometimes it just feels safer to be stuck in a rut than to spread your wings and fly. But because some changes are important, anxiety needs to be dealt with. 

Ways to deal with anxiety:

  • Writing a journal
  • Automated writing
  • Reiki
  • Channeling guidance
  • Faith and prayer
  • Positive Affirmations i.e. “Everything will fall into place exactly the way it is supposed to”
  • 5 Deep Breaths 

Instant Karma

There used to be a time in my life where I would look at the nasty things some people did, and I would wonder “Is there really such a thing as karma? Why haven’t they gotten back what they have been sowing for a long long time?”. It would seem unfair how people could just continue recklessly with no consequences… after all, karma was the foundation for a lot of things in many cultures and religions. Over the years though, I have seen changes, maybe not in others – but definitely in me. 

After starting my Reiki journey, karma started coming to me much faster than it did before – and perhaps even to the people associated with me. The reason? We are heading closer to cyclical end of energy patterns. The newer generations are bringing in a different kind of energy – much lighter and more responsive. We, who are here before them, are also upgrading ourselves. This upgrading is making us more aligned to our Higher Self and the universe – this makes it easier for us to learn from our karma and move on to newer learnings. 

We are in a constant flow of mind where we think that whatever we do, doesn’t require a karmic check

In the old days, we were taught to see karma as a punishing mechanism for all the “wrong” things that we did or intended. Today, perceptions have changed. We are starting to see karma as a learning pattern, when we act a certain way and it comes back to us, we learn and grow. Ideally, this is a good way to look at it – quite effective for highly conscious people. In fact, many highly mindful and conscious people realize their karmic patterns and take it head-on. They try to resolve it using various methods. This way the reduce the karmic baggage they drag around. 

The tricky part is there are many people who still live recklessly, get their instant karma and yet have no awareness as to why things happened and what they learned. They get stuck in the cycle of repeating the same behavior over and over again. Sometimes, I’m in this place too.

It’s so easy to say “Oh, look what happened to XYZ, it’s her karma getting back at her and yet she doesn’t understand” and it’s so difficult to think “Oh, look, my karma is getting me back for what I did to ABC”. We are in a constant flow of mind where we think what we do, doesn’t require a karmic check. It is difficult to identify when Karma is actually playing out its role – not just in bad times but even good times. 

I am thankful though, the karmic energy is more instant now than earlier. It is easier to reflect on what one did a month back rather than in a couple of prior lifetimes. 

Narcissistic Tendencies 

I came across a really surprising video today about narcissistic gaslighting in the energy healing context. It explored how energy healings, tarot readings, therapies, etc could sometimes be clouded by inner-self projections of narcissistic people (either us or those around us). 

Energy wise, they project themselves to be very different from who they are and what they want

Narcissism itself is quite hectic to deal with, if any of you have ever had to, you would know. In person, it can be very confusing unless you actually know the person you are dealing with is a narcissist. Energy-wise, they project themselves to be very different from who they are and what they want. Sometimes they project their inner-self but do not act according to it because they are not consciously aware of it. 

Reiki and certain meditations have definitely helped me identify and even protect myself certain projections. These projections aren’t always ill-intended, but energy protection is important, otherwise, there may be energy drains or hooks on to the aura. 

This is part of the reason why energy practitioners always suggest shielding and grounding. Shield are energy bubbles, pyramids, symbols (and other means) that are used to ensure minimum negative energy impact on self. Grounding helps one center themselves to the earthly realm. These things are done in general, but of course, in specific cases, different methods are required. 

Video: (about narcissistic gaslighting in energy work 0:00-13:00)

Shielding & Grounding techniques:

What does it mean to be spiritual?

I have seen many people who call themselves religious and look down on others who may be atheist, spiritual and even from different religions. That doesn’t make the religion wrong, it just means the individual’s perception and ego consider the individual to be far superior to those around the individual. I’ve also met spiritual people who believe in certain occurrences and will argue with those who have had different experiences. I’ve also met atheists and agnostics who will try to prove everyone stupid for having their faith. We all probably have met these people. 

But, we have probably also met people exactly opposite. The religious lady who doesn’t judge. The spiritual man who believes in living and just lets others live on their own terms. And of course, the agnostics and atheist who have no reason to be “doing good” from the fear or love of God, and yet they do it because their hearts are clean. This world is made up as many kinds as it needs to be – and yet each belief system is tried to be captured in a single essence. 

It is nothing and it everything. As long as it governs your life and doesn’t impose anything on anyone, that is spirituality.

There is nothing that can stop a religious person from experiencing a good deed passed on to him or her from an atheist! And there is nothing that can stop an atheist from experiencing the Universe. 

When I am asked what does it mean to be spiritual, I don’t know how to explain it. It is nothing and it everything. As long as it governs your life and doesn’t impose anything on anyone, that is spirituality. It is the understanding that one’s path shapes them as a person, and expecting someone to be shaped by our path is like expecting a goldfish to be a catfish just because they are kept in the same pond. 

Just because I am spiritual now, doesn’t mean I haven’t been atheist in the past. And it definitely doesn’t mean that I can’t believe in Gods. I may not choose to do rituals, but instead, interact with them the way I want. To be spiritual is not to be tied down by certain boundaries, its to create your own without imposing them on others. I love spirituality because it pushes each individual to connect to the Universe in their own capacity. The stronger the connection the more they feel. There’s no third person trying to make things happen. In close relationships, we frown upon having a third person interfering between the moments, so why do we not frown upon any third person interfering between our connection with the universe?

Respecting the Body

As we grow older, we realize the changes in our body – not the minute they pop up, but the minute they can no longer keep up with the pace of the mind. It is then we reflect and think we are old. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way though. The body is a beautiful thing, if treated well it can work just as fine even as the years go by. I remember one of my teachers who told me, 

“Think of the body as a machine, over time it will need repairs and it will breakdown one day for good. The only thing we can do is try to maintain it in a way that postpones the repairs required. Now think of this machine being fed with sugar instead of greasing oil, what do you think will happen? Sugar is not required by the machine and it doesn’t help the machine function in any way. It will not only hinder the current operations of the machine but perhaps also spoil it for later use. That is how the body is, treat it right and it will work for you.”

It is true that the physical capacity will deteriorate over time and we cannot prevent it, but we can surely slow it down.

This explanation was an eye-opener for me. It is something so basic and yet I never thought of it that way. It is true that the physical capacity will deteriorate over time and we cannot prevent it, but we can surely slow it down. 

There is a Buddhist story which highly relates to being respectful of the body. When Lord Buddha left his palace to become a monk and attain enlightenment, he found meditation to be the answer. He decided that he would stop nourishing his body with food and he would just concentrate on his meditation. Time passed by as it would and Lord Buddha kept getting weaker and weaker. At times he would hallucinate and his meditation wasn’t getting him the results he hoped for. He decided that starving was not the way to go and that a healthy mind cannot stay in a weak body, so he decided to eat and nourish his body well before he meditated. When he had a hearty meal, he realized that overeating was causing him to be lazy, sleepy and sluggish.  He understood his body, hence he understood the two extremes were not an ideal path for him. He chose the middle way, he ate enough to fuel his body and not his desires and cravings. An appropriate portion of meal ensured his mind was alert and the meditative states were easier to achieve. Following this as one of his guiding principle Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in approximately 6 years of his meditation practice. 

This story has several lessons that I cherish, one being appropriate nourishment for the body. And the most beautiful thing is you are the only person who can truly love your body – by what you eat, what you drink, how you exercise, how you process your emotions and thought patterns. The body is not just physical existence, it is an interaction of several layers – food, thoughts, emotions, karmas, genetics, soul purpose. The soul is larger than the physical body, yet it is bound to the body on the Earthly plane – and without the body, it is not bound to this world.  

Uncomfortable Feelings 

There are often days where we face circumstances that stir up emotions within us – good and bad. The good, we celebrate and cherish. The bad, cloud our emotions where it is difficult to comprehend the probable implications of situations.

This too shall pass…

Most of the self-help books we refer are to help us overcome a certain uncomfortable feeling, and yet it is very rare that people are thankful for these feelings. It is these feelings that help us grow – stronger, mature, wiser, and yet they are the reason our willpower is exhausted at times.

Going through emotional hardships and uncomfortable feelings require a lot of willpower and purpose. Purpose drives willpower, if you don’t see a better future, would you strive hard for anything? Purpose also reduces the toll on willpower, imagine striving to survive a marathon knowing that you had participated in a sprint! The mind will play its games and if you see it through, it will be because of self-discipline. But self-discipline itself cannot govern willpower, eventually, it will collapse. Self-discipline is a muscle, not a skill. It needs to be relaxed just as much as exercise. 

I often meet people who lack purpose and they say they don’t know what they are living for and why they do the things they do. And that’s an okay place to be, there’s nothing wrong with not knowing why you were born and what your purpose should be. However, it is important to have an intention, a life statement or a goal – these give you purpose to stick through the storm of uncomfortable feelings. Looking at the bigger picture, we sometimes forget the importance of the smaller details. 

In Reiki when we start a session, we set an intention. This intention helps Reiki know what we want to focus on. The same way, have an intention or a statement that gives you a focus – in the lowest of lows, it is this statement that will guide you and be the purpose to your willpower. 

Uncomfortable feelings are the best to help you grow, but you can’t leverage them until you have a certain frame of mind. Sometimes people would much rather stay depressed than find a way to manage it because in their frame of mind they can’t see beyond it and a known enemy is better than the unknown – what if things can actually get worse for the current lowest of lows? 

Stay low while the tides are high.

One of my statements is, stay low while the tides are high and another is, this too shall pass. It helps me recognize that these are fleeting moments that won’t stay forever, and because they won’t stay maybe I can lay low by journalling or meditating by asking questions and then trying to answer them with the most patient and loving voice – that’s how I did it before I learned how to channel and do automated writing. 

Forms of Reiki

Master Mikao Usui, the man who re-discovered Reiki as we know it today. It is a wonderful energy healing system that works through the universal wisdom. When Master Usui brought Reiki to us, it had 3 levels and 4 symbols activated through various attunements spread over a certain time duration – where the student would practice and the teacher would determine the readiness of the student to learn more. Over the years, things in the Reiki world have changed a lot. Some of these changes are distance attunements, techniques of attunements, symbol drawing methods and newer Reiki systems. While changes are inevitable, we are lucky that a lot of these changes are positive (at least how I perceive them). Distance attunements were always possible but rarely practiced by traditional masters who trained under Master Usui – perhaps because they viewed attunement methods to be very sacred and wanted to be more involved in the process. Techniques of attunement vary as per lineage mainly because these rituals were immensely sacred and they weren’t meant to be written anywhere. It is possible that every master who trained under Master Usui added their own rituals and passed it to their lineage of master-teachers. Over the generations, some of these rituals because so lengthy that some master-teachers channeled shorter techniques which work equally well. And the symbols, due to their sacredness they were only memorized and never inscribed. It is believed that Master Usui gave out slightly different drawings for the same symbols to different Masters. As of today, there are symbols with the same name and different drawings – some carry intense energies and others slightly less intense, nevertheless all powerful. The evolution of Usui Reiki has occurred in this pattern. 

The Usui Reiki has also lead to re-discoveries of more symbols through various channels. A master-teacher while mediating can intend to be introduced to new symbols or stumble upon them by Divine will. These master-teachers are the channel for these new symbols. The channeler will often club the symbols they are introduced to and form a new type of Reiki i.e. Karuna Reiki, Karmic Reiki etc. All these forms of Reiki require their student to be a practitioner of Usui Reiki at level 2 or 3 (depending on the type and level,  if one wishes to teach the new form of Reiki they need to be master-teacher level 3B in the Usui system). It is said that Reiki originally had more than 1500 symbols that we know of and perhaps more. These symbols were not given to Master Usui because Earth beings were not ready for more. As the vibrations of Earth and its beings has risen, more and more symbols have been given. Not all practitioners learn many forms of Reiki – many will stop at Usui Reiki and some don’t even learn beyond level 2. Reiki has to be a calling, if it isn’t then the dedication required won’t be there. 

Some people feel they can pay to get Reiki done for them and everything will sort itself out, but Reiki is a conscious effort. A practitioner may send all that is required, yet until the person has not made certain changed in the lifestyle or perceptions, it is difficult to see results. In the same way, if a practitioner sends reiki to himself or herself, the changes take time but are more long term. This is mainly because the practitioner’s dedication leads to higher learnings, deeper healings, and greater understandings. There are several who will start their healings but will never see it through to their results due to the lack of dedication and motivation. I have never seen two healing journeys alike. It’s beautiful how the energies interact with human energy and create certain results.