Learning to Surrender

A good friend of mine sent me this wonderful 9 minute podcast today. It’s called Learning to Surrender.

When I got it, I partially felt like rolling my eyes because I feel like I could record a podcast called “Being Forced to Surrender”. But, I gave it a go. Here is an extract, which gives you an idea what it’s about.

Surrender means to give up, abandon, relinquish, to wave the white flag. What a beautifully divine word. A word we should choose at every chance we can remember, for as the story goes, we are not in control, we are floating on a cosmic river carried from the stars, into our mothers womb, out into the world, where we then resume the same course, only now grounded in body.
This episode helps let go of our worries and fears. It reminds us that we are supported and that life is unfolding just as it should.

If you want to listen, click here.

It’s a different experience to surrender to life on life’s terms. I’m still learning. And surrender and acceptance don’t imply you sit passively, allowing anything to happen to you. I like to think of Life as my partner, maybe leading more than I allow. When I lead, it generally is a short lived high 🙂

The other day, I sat bawling at my kitchen table – the 245th job rejection of the year – for a role I really wanted. Allowing myself to feel the despondency and sadness that comes with getting a big fat no is quite a big thing for me. Waterfall instead of plugging up the sink.

What didn’t help was my sweet friend trying to make things better and fix me. She suggested I could have a mental block, not getting jobs because I might not believe in myself. Instead of now crying from sadness, I felt like weeping for a different reason.

Things not going your way, including your mental falling-apart-ness is definitely NOT due to a mental block. It is simply Life. And the best thing you can do when people try to attribute made up stuff to your situation is smile and shake your head.

On a different note, I’m listening to this awesome Ted talk tonight, by the amazing Andrew Solomon. He says it like it is.

To watch, click here.

(or press play below)

Happy listening!

xx

Books and blogs when times are rough

“When things fall apart and we can’t get the pieces back together, when we lose something dear to us, when the whole thing is just not working and we don’t know what to do, this is the time when the natural warmth of tenderness, the warmth of empathy and kindness, are just waiting to be uncovered.”

Pema Chodron

Your brain is not the most awesome or inspiring place to delve into when you’re feeling awful.

Scientifically speaking, things have changed too.

Your brain:

depression-mri

What can save the day is a couple of things. Maybe add new ones to your own ideas list. Not everything is appropriate for different times of day or weeks; sometimes you need cheer up laughter and other times you need to listen to someone talking of an experience you relate to, so that you feel less lonely. So, here are a few suggestions based on things that have worked for me.

  • For leaving the house and walking down the road when existential panic and feelings of WTF threaten to overwhelm you: music and podcasts 🙂 
  • For getting dressed in the morning: sometimes a podcast, sometimes a piece of comedy from YouTube. Sometimes angry female lead songs.
  • For commuting: definitely a podcast
  • For getting home from work: music
  • For bedtime: a spirit-based podcast or a book (if you can concentrate enough to read – this is often one of the first symptoms of mental illness)

Ideas: 

For comforting people, who strengthen you just where you are:

  1. Tara Brach: https://www.tarabrach.com/talks-audio-video/
  2. Pema Chodron: https://www.lionsroar.com/how-to-move-forward-once-youve-hit-bottom/

Music:  

For changing your brain up and out of the sadness (thanks to The Mighty)

Tune 1

Tune 2

Tune 3

Tune 4

Tune 5

Tune 6

 

For books that comfort:

6ef5168d2c399c76547acf84a6affb96noonday-demonthe-happiness-trapself-compassion

For podcasts you can relate to:

  1. Mentally Yours
  2. The Hilarious World of Depression
  3. Mental Illness Happy Hour
  4. On Being

And…. buy or read any design, art, fashion or tune-out magazines that help you feel superficial and detached from the world of mental illness. Because life is also about coral pedicures, baking the perfect chicken pie, Singapore shopping and antique jewellery up for auction. The main purpose of anything you do is to either bring comfort to yourself and/or help you to feel less alone and more understood.

Finally, my favourite mental health cartoonist in the world is Gemma Correl. She takes the seriousness of things out of things, and will put a smile on your face 🙂

mental-illness-feels-like-illustrations-gemma-correll-9

Happy reading, smiling and listening!