The Human Disease

“Our minds can do ANYTHING when we’re told we CAN, but the world tells us we CAN’T.” – Jennifer Lakhmi Chand

For a long time I’d been trying to figure out why I felt so broken, looking into things like psychology, spirituality, and reading a lot of self help books to try and find the answer. Being diagnosed last year began my true journey with mental illness, and Ayahuasca made me reconsider it all. This past weekend in Kundalini Yoga Teacher training, what I learned has made me wonder if mental illness is even a real thing at all.

Our entire modern society is sick. In some parts of the world, people still have to fight for their survival, but in places the United States, it’s almost like we create our own problems since we no longer have to fight for our lives. Don’t get me wrong, some people still do, but it’s not like we need the same stress responses that we had years ago as hunter gatherers. Now we have completely new stresses in order to invoke those responses, like jobs, relationship and family drama, racism, sexism, road rage, etc. In order to even get by in this world, the majority of humans ingest altering substances such as caffeine, alcohol, weed, pharmaceuticals, and all manner of hard drugs. We’ve forgotten what our TRUE NATURE is even like… and the fact of the matter is… we’re ALL living this human condition, and we’re ALL being affected by the environment around us in subconscious ways that frankly, fuck us up. And most people would rather cover it up and put a bandaid on it, just for that bandaid to repeatedly be ripped off… because they’re AFRAID to actually see their own scars. We are all SO AFRAID to take a good hard look at ourselves… because we can’t handle what it is that we’ll find. If we get off the substances, we actually have to FEEL. And that’s SUPER uncomfortable for people nowadays when all that other stuff is so easily accessible and constantly thrown into our face with marketing.

But all that shit is MESSING US UP. The food we eat, the substances we ingest… SUGAR. All those terrifying food and drug documentaries exist for a REASON, yet people remain ASLEEP.

What became really clear to me this weekend in yoga learning about the 5 Kleshas (The Root of All Pain and Suffering), the 10 bodies (The Bodies that comprise us beyond just our physical body), and the Ayurvedic Diet (Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic foods) is that there is SO MUCH that affects us that we are COMPLETELY UNAWARE OF, and SO MANY ASPECTS to our personality and SO MANY WAYS for us to fall off the path… that “mental illness” is inevitable. In fact, this morning in the Daily Sadhana I’m doing (daily spiritual practice beginning every day at 5am), at the end my teacher mentioned something about how meditation and this daily practice would “free us of the disease” and it became clear to me that it’s true! As humans, we are ALL diseased. Unless we truly commit to beginning to see our true selves, to recognize that deep within we’re all shining with the light of the universe and make attempts to have a relationship with that light… we’re going to keep feeling shitty.

This past weekend I had such insane revelations about my negative patterning from childhood, and so much came up regarding my ridiculous self hatred that left me a crying mess on the floor… But really… sometimes being a crying mess is absolutely necessary to begin to cleanse yourself of the emotions that you need to. CRYING DOESN’T MAKE YOU WEAK. IT’S A NATURAL PROCESS FOR OUR BODY THAT WE NEED TO DO FOR RELEASE. A symptom of “bipolar” are these emotional extremes, and the deeper I go, the more I’m able to find the source of these extremes, and am really wondering if the combination of the parenting that I had and the world that we live in (including marketing programming and diet) is what gave me these symptoms/caused these hormonal imbalances in my body that have led to this diagnoses. We can’t just blindly accept what people tell us — we have to learn to seek the answers out ourselves, and those answers only lie within. We are SO TRAINED to look to OTHERS for those answers and that’s HONESTLY part of WHAT FUCKS US UP. I am just beginning to SCRATCH THE SURFACE on that one. Really start to ask yourself who you’re looking to for guidance… I now see that a lot of my self hatred comes from the fact that I’ve never learned to look within for the answers, which has led to me acting out in ways that I have never bothered to understand but would only ask OTHERS to tell me why I was acting certain ways.

There is SO MUCH I want to go into right now about all of the above, and I probably will during the week… it’s just a LOT to go over in one post, plus I’m starting a new job today and gotta start getting ready! I’m going to be a character designer on Rick and Morty and although I’ve been freelancing, it’s my first day in house! 😀 All of these revelations are coming at a good time… and although I know that stress and worry are inevitable, I’m finally learning the proper tools on how to deal with life. And I’m also FINALLY starting to see that it can never be a MAGICAL SOMETHING that helps you deal… true healing is a lot of work.

Nurturing Issues

I find that Kundalini Yoga more than anything else is helping me learn to stabilize myself. The owner of the studio says that our minds are so busy that the yoga is designed to tire out the mind in order for us to be able to meditate. Especially for those of us with bipolar minds, they’re constantly going going going and it feels like there’s no hope of silencing it at ALL. But no matter how shitty I feel, how fast those thoughts are going, Kundalini Yoga ALWAYS makes me feel better, and I walk out having some sort of revelation about what my thoughts are trying to tell me. Tonight it was about NURTURING.

I realized that since I’m always bouncing back and forth between the extremes of depression and mania, it’s been difficult to form any type of self care routine. I used to think this was primarily a discipline issue, but I feel like discipline can only come if you can sustain the motivation to follow a routine. What am I saying?! Isn’t the point of discipline supposed to be that it happens even when you’re NOT motivated? In any case, struggling with extremes makes it seem IMPOSSIBLE. When I’m manic, I feel like I can do ANYTHING. Like run a ton of miles, lift a buncha weights, go to yoga, draw, go out to lunch or dinner with EVERYONE… all in the same day on like, an hour of sleep. I always get excited and tell myself that I’m building all these great habits and that it’ll be easy, but the routine ultimately ends up being completely unsustainable because it’s set up during my manic high where I feel like I can actually accomplish things. Then when I fail to do all those things and crash, I have even LESS motivation to take care of myself due to all the self hatred of being unable to follow the routine. It’s been like this for YEARS, and I KNOW that I do it, yet I haven’t found a solution… the mania is always so strong that I haven’t figured out how to create realistic goals, and the depression hits so hard that it makes it nearly impossible to recover before my next manic phase comes along.

Today in yoga we did a set called the “Foundation for Infinity,” and were told that it’s when we’re in that flow state where everything seems to be going right, that we’re flowing with infinity. It’s within infinity that anything is possible, and you can only feel it when your mind is at peace. This is why it’s so important to tire out the mind in order to be able to meditate and experience that this is actually possible! After our set we did this meditation to the chant of “Hur Hur Mukanday” which is a mantra for releasing blocks so we’ll be able to nurture the seeds that we sow in order to manifest what we want. During this meditation I saw a child version of myself with a watering can, watering seeds that had just been planted then sitting patiently waiting for them to grow. Then that child turned into me, now as an adult, getting FRUSTRATED that they weren’t growing quick enough, and throwing a fit over it. Then I felt like a seed of light was beginning to sprout at my chest, and immediately it got stomped down by this dark energy within me, before it even had a chance to grow.

This is what I’ve been doing to myself my ENTIRE LIFE, and to visualize it in such a way… I felt like I was punched in the gut. Patience and nurturing are clearly something I need to work on. I instantly thought “If I can’t take care of myself, how will I be able to take care of a kid someday?” And also, I’m 30 years old… I should be able to know how to take care of myself by now. I also thought about my husband… So often I’m stuck in my own thoughts or self hatred that I don’t pay attention to his needs. He’s even TOLD me this multiple times, yet I haven’t gotten much better at it because I’m still so wrapped up in MYSELF. Thankfully he’s really understanding and knows this is difficult for me, but it makes me feel terrible and selfish, always like “HOW AM I STILL NOT ABLE TO DO THIS?!”

Normally all this would’ve bummed me out, but after the meditation I felt a really strong resolve to start taking this more seriously one small step at a time, because really… that’s all we can do. The dwelling HAS to stop. The unrealistic goals have to STOP. The self hatred has to STOP. But none of it is going to happen overnight… which is where the nurturing comes in. All of these things are just seeds that need to be watered… and I have to actually ALLOW them to grow rather than stomping on them before they can even turn into something. And maybe that’s something that this inner beastie is trying to tell me.