Tag Archives: depression

That Day


I wanted to share this poem that I wrote on April 2nd.  It was meant as a reflection of my social anxiety.

“That Day” by John Adams

Blown about by winds of fear,
a timid prayer escapes my lips.
How long shall they overcome me?
As long as the part is played?
Counting minutes ’til curtain;
the great finale–the close of the great
masquerade,
when trembling fingers
pull uncertain mask strings,
and the whole company–
the antagonist, the hero,
the lovers, and the dead–
rise, maskless,
bowing upon applause
with vulnerable human faces.

Undeniably, that day,
the scales will fall.
But for just one moment
my eyes shall seek comfort
in the unsteady hands
of the whole company.

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my Sunday morning sofa syndrome


Every Sunday morning, I have a choice of two inspiring groups from which I can attend. They are both at ten o’clock. I often start struggling on Saturday trying to decide which one to attend the next morning. Then Sunday morning hits, and I find myself sitting next to my sweetheart Chloe (see picture of Chloe below), and I have a tall mug of hot coffee, about 6:00 a.m., and suddenly I feel there is a third choice for Sunday morning. Stay here with Chloe and my coffee.

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But I’m not in charge of planning every detail of my life. I have a Higher Power that knows a lot more about the big picture than I do. My Higher Power knows that if I don’t get my ass off this sofa, and contribute to the mainstream of life, I will soon find myself out of rhythm with the Universe.

I hear people talk about getting active as a physical fitness affirmation. For me, I have to get active as a mental fitness exercise. Whether I go to my Sunday Morning twelve-step group, or the Unity Church, it doesn’t really matter, AS LONG AS I GET MY ASS OFF THIS COUCH. I need that reminder that I am part of the mainstream of life.

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No doubt we have all hit spells when we didn’t feel the urge to get the day going. Pulling the covers up around us seemed far more inviting. There’s nothing wrong with occasionally resisting the next twenty-four hours. We do need variety in our lives. Even a healthy, fun routine is still a routine. Shaking it up is good for us. But if we make a habit of avoiding whatever plans we’ve made, we need to take an inventory of our feelings. Depression isn’t foreign to most of us. Chronic depression needs to be addressed, however.

If we begin to feel blue about our lives, let’s make sure we are expressing our feelings to a friend. Generally, there is a simple solution. Maybe we have forgotten to pray and meditate regularly. Perhaps we have become self-absorbed. Being appreciative of others generally changes how we see every aspect of our lives. Recounting with a confidant or in a journal all the blessings and achievements we’ve accumulated over these many decades often pushes us out of the doldrums.

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Let’s remember that most days surprised us with their outcomes. We never got exactly what we expected. This is one certainty about life that we can always count on. And the other thing I can always count on is that Chloe will be home waiting for me, and VERY excited to see me.

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tangible reasons to be happy today


I know there is a lot to complain about in the world. I am no stranger to depression and anxiety. As much as I talk about spiritual enlightenment and the invisible realm, it is usually not quite enough to snap me out of a depressive funk. So, I will dedicate this blog entry to those tangible things that help me realize that this is a world full of beauty and love, and it is worth living. And don’t forget to watch the video at the end of this post!

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Cheer Up!
17 reasons it’s a great time to be alive
By Matt Ridley | as told to John Dyson (adapted from Reader’s Digest U.K. edition) Read more: http://www.rd.com/best-of-america/cheer-up-17-reasons-its-a-great-time-to-be-alive/#ixzz2txQz1nbj

1. We’re better off now

Compared with 50 years ago, the average human now earns nearly three times as much money (corrected for inflation), eats one third more calories, buries two thirds fewer children, and can expect to live one third longer. In fact, it’s hard to find any region of the world that’s worse off now than it was then, even though the global population has more than doubled over that period.

2. Urban living is a good thing

City dwellers take up less space, use less energy, and have less impact on natural ecosystems than country dwellers. The world’s cities now contain over half its people, but they occupy less than 3 percent of its land area. Urban growth may disgust environmentalists, but living in the country is not necessarily the best way to care for the earth. JUST MAYBE the best thing we can do for the planet is build more skyscrapers.

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3. Poverty is nose-diving

The rich get richer, but the poor do even better. Between 1980 and 2000, the poor doubled their consumption. The Chinese are ten times richer and live about 25 years longer than they did 50 years ago. Nigerians are twice as rich and live nine more years. The percentage of the world’s people living in absolute poverty has dropped by over half. The United Nations estimates that poverty was reduced more in the past 50 years than in the previous 500.

4. The important stuff costs less

One reason we are richer, healthier, taller, cleverer, longer-lived, and freer than ever before is that the four most basic human needs—food, clothing, fuel, and shelter—have grown markedly cheaper. Take one example: In 1800, a candle providing one hour’s light cost six hours’ work. In the 1880s, the same light from a kerosene lamp took 15 minutes’ work to pay for. In 1950, it was eight seconds. Today, it’s half a second. In these terms, we are 43,200 times better off than in 1800.

5. The environment is better than you think

In the United States, rivers, lakes, seas, and air are getting cleaner all the time. A car today emits less pollution traveling at full speed than a parked car did from leaks in 1970.

6. Look for the helpers

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7. Global trade enriches our lives

By 9 a.m., I have shaved with an American razor, eaten bread made with French wheat and spread with New Zealand butter and Spanish marmalade, brewed tea from Sri Lanka, dressed in clothes made from Indian cotton and Australian wool, put on shoes of Chinese leather and Malaysian rubber, and read a newspaper printed on Finnish paper with Chinese ink. I have consumed minuscule fractions of the productive labor of hundreds of people. This is the magic of trade and specialization. Self-sufficiency is poverty.

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(I can’t remember which WordPress friend I stole this stunning picture [above] from, so please forgive me. Message me and I will credit it to you.)

8. More farm production = more wilderness

While world population has increased more than fourfold since 1900, other things have increased, too—the area of crops by 30 percent, harvests by 600 percent. At the same time, more than two billion acres of “secondary” tropical forest are now regrowing since farmers left them to head for cities, and it is already rich in biodiversity. In fact, I will make an outrageous prediction: The world will feed itself to a higher and higher standard throughout this century without plowing any new land.

9. The good old days weren’t

Some people argue that in the past there was a simplicity, tranquillity, sociability, and spirituality that’s now been lost. This rose-tinted nostalgia is generally confined to the wealthy. It’s easier to wax elegiac for the life of a pioneer when you don’t have to use an outhouse. The biggest-ever experiment in back-to-the-land hippie lifestyle is now known as the Dark Ages.
Cheer Up!

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10. Population growth is not a threat

Although the world population is growing, the rate of increase has been falling for 50 years. Across the globe, national birth rates are lower now than in 1960, and in the less developed world, the birth rate has approximately halved. This is happening despite people living longer and infant-mortality rates dropping. According to an estimate from the United Nations, population will start falling once it peaks at 9.2 billion in 2075—so there is every prospect of feeding the world forever. After all, there are already seven billion people on earth, and they are eating better and better every decade.

11. Oil might someday run out, but…

In 1970, there were 550 billion barrels of oil reserves in the world, and in the 20 years that followed, the world used 600 billion.

So by 1990, reserves should have been overdrawn by 50 billion barrels. Instead, they amounted to 900 billion –NOT COUNTING tar sands and oil shale– that between them contain about 20 times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia. Oil, coal, and gas are finite, but they will last for decades, perhaps centuries, and people will find alternatives long before they run out. And electric cars are finally a reality. Solar and wind farms are popping up everywhere!

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http://littlegreenblog.com/green-technology/energy-saving/alternative-energy-sources-for-our-homes/

12. We are the luckiest generation

This American generation has experienced more peace, freedom, leisure time, education, medicine, and travel than any in history. Yet it laps up gloom at every opportunity. Consumers do not celebrate their wonderful field of choice and, according to psychologists, say they are “overwhelmed.” When I go to my local superstore, I do not see people driven to misery by the impossibility of choice. I see people choosing.

13. Even in the poorest countries, where poverty, hunger, and disease are still a huge problem, there is more awareness than ever, and there are more people than ever doing things about it. There are still wars and famine, but they are no longer being ignored, and the growing consciousness of the internet is getting more people involved in the solution, exponentially!

14. Great ideas keep coming

The more we prosper, the more we can prosper. The more we invent, the more inventions become possible. The world of things is often subject to diminishing returns. The world of ideas is not: The ever-increasing exchange of ideas causes the ever-increasing rate of innovation in the modern world. There isn’t even a theoretical possibility of exhausting our supply of ideas, discoveries, and inventions.

15. We can solve all our problems

If you say the world will go on getting better, you are considered mad. If you say catastrophe is imminent, you may expect the Nobel Peace Prize. Bookshops groan with pessimism; airwaves are crammed with doom. I cannot recall a time when I was not being told by somebody that the world could survive only if it abandoned economic growth. But the world will not continue as it is. The human race has become a problem-solving machine: It solves those problems by changing its ways. The real danger comes from slowing change.

16. This depression is not necessarily depressing

The Great Depression of the 1930s was just a dip in the upward slope of human living standards. By 1939, even the worst-affected countries, America and Germany, were richer than they’d been in 1930. All sorts of new products and industries were born during the Depression. So growth will resume unless prevented by wrong policies. Someone, somewhere, is tweaking a piece of software, testing a new material, or transferring the gene that will make life easier or more fun.

17. Optimists are right

For 200 years, pessimists have had all the headlines—even though optimists have far more often been right. There is immense vested interest in pessimism. No charity ever raised money by saying things are getting better. No journalist ever got the front page writing a story about how disaster was now less likely. Pressure groups and their customers in the media search even the most cheerful statistics for glimmers of doom. Dare to be happy today!

Check out these inspiring blogs from people who have made their own lists of reasons to be happy:

http://www.yourlifeyourway.net/2011/09/19/300-reasons-to-be-happy-things-to-love-about-your-life-now/

http://www.alexandrafranzen.com/2014/01/07/infinite-reasons-to-be-happy-hopeful/

http://sunshine625.hubpages.com/hub/101-Reasons-To-Be-Happy

And if you’re still not convinced the world is getting better, you HAVE to read this article (you’ll be very, very glad you did) http://dashes.com/anil/2013/02/the-world-is-getting-better-quickly.html

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how I rediscovered and reclaimed my spirituality


I would like to quote a story from the book called “Alcoholics Anonymous”. I want to share it, not because I wish to talk about alcohol, or addiction, but because I believe it beautifully illustrates how each one of us can find our own spiritual path, one which does not depend on any religion or the acceptance of anyone else’s creed.

There was a time when I did not know the difference between religion and spirituality, and when I felt I no longer fit with the religion I was raised with, I rejected all of it. For over ten years I considered myself an atheist. Those were ten very dark years. In 2011, I had a spiritual experience. I consider it a miracle. My mind opened up to the fact that I could believe in a spiritual purpose that did not need to agree with any preacher, holy book, or dusty baggage buried deep within my subconscious.

This whole blog, Chakra Toaster, is sort of my own personal journey of spiritual discovery. It represents the fact that my spiritual life is a living, evolving reality.

I have gone from religious, to atheist, to spiritual. I believe in Spirit guides, and we all have a unique journey. But are we really so unique?

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Here is the story that taught me the difference between religious and spiritual:

“I had always believed in a Power greater than myself. I had often pondered these things. I was not an atheist. Few people really are, for that means blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere. My intellectual heroes, the chemists, the astronomers, even the evolutionists, suggested vast laws and forces at work. Despite contrary indications, I had little doubt that a mighty purpose and rhythm underlay all. How could there be so much of precise and immutable law, and no intelligence? I simply had to believe in a Spirit of the Universe, who knew neither time nor limitation. But that was as far as I had gone.

“With ministers, and the world’s religions, I parted right there. When they talked of a God personal to me, who was love, superhuman strength and direction, I became irritated and my mind snapped shut against such a theory.

“Despite the living example of my friend there remained in me the vestiges of my old prejudice. The word God still aroused a certain antipathy. When the thought was expressed that there might be a God personal to me this feeling was intensified. I didn’t like the idea. I could go for such conceptions as Creative Intelligence, Universal Mind or Spirit of Nature but I resisted the thought of a Czar of the Heavens, however loving His sway might be. I have since talked with scores of men who felt the same way.

My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, “Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?”

(From the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” Chapter 1)

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Joyce Meyer?! Really?!


It is amazing how often my Higher Power opens a window and lets me notice a new scent in the air outside. I will admit, I am not a Christian. At least not in the fundamentalist sense. I love the teachings of Christ, but I respect them as much as the teachings of all enlightened teachers. My list of gurus is wide and varied. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, K.E., L.P., Buddha, Charles Fillmore, Bill Wilson, Marianne Williamson, and many others. But up until now, I have had a serious aversion to teachers who I consider fundamentalist Christian. Yesterday, that changed. For the first time in over ten years I watched a video of Joyce Meyer. It’s amazing how, in desperation and depression, we seem to soften just enough to let God mold our minds. I wish I could say that happens more often, but at least I can say it happened last night. Joyce Meyer joined my personal list of gurus through which I feel God speaks to me. It is a major development in my spiritual evolution, and I had to share that with you.

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This is a sign that my fourth chakra is charging up enough to power through some of my old baggage that has been holding me back. I am convinced that once I get my heart chakra spinning properly, things will change for me in amazing ways. I am ready for a breakthrough. I am finished feeling like a victim. Who would have thought Joyce Meyer would be the catalyst. My Higher Power works in mysterious ways. Today, I am extremely grateful for that.When-you-are-tempted

Lao Tzu Has Been Speaking to Me


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I am taking a few days to really contemplate what I am doing and HOW I am doing it.  I feel as though I am not doing my best because I am irritable and discontent where I am.  What do I do to change things?  I don’t want to be where I am and I am having trouble just letting go and allowing the Universe to form my journey.  I am so distracted by my irritability that I am not even motivated to continue my study of the chakras, which was the whole purpose of this blog.  I will continue on the chakras in a couple days, when I recapture my serenity.  Until then, I am meditating on what Lao Tzu has to say to me.

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