A Creative Look at Depression through Story Telling
I have said in the past that I don’t offer workshops on psychotherapy themes very often because there are so many resources at your finger tips. However this workshop is different because I will use story telling to help you relate to your depression and I will use the finger labyrinth to help you discover powerful ways to write, heal, and and work with your depression. Yes, depression is a disease that will most likely effect you all of your life. But depression does not have to be a prison sentence. Depression denial keeps us hoping, wishing, and begging for depression to go away rather than accepting that along with cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, depression must be worked with through self care, medical care, and building positive resources to strengthen your resilience.
I have been doing Saturday Zoom Workshops for this past year. We just finished the Miller’s Daughter in our last two workshops. There we explored resilience and endurance as ways to grow our own hands while engaging with our forest people. In this workshop we will explore a couple of stories, one of them being another Clarissa Pinkola Estes, dark German fairy tale of Erl König, from her book Mother Night. Erl König lived in the dark forest and stole children’s souls. Depression often has a genetic link and in addition has its roots in our early years of life. Depression can stem from emotional abandonment like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. The goal in all of my workshops is to offer a pathway to empowerment and this workshop is no different. We will explore many avenues of creativity to lift our mood and let go of self-limiting beliefs, such as “It is not okay to play.”Soul snatchers are at the root of depression, insecurity and lack of motivation in our daily life. Soul snatchers hang out in the forest such as the story of the Earl King.
You will gain the following in this Depression and Creativity Workshop on April 10 from 11-1:00 P.M.
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
- How they are also the Soul Snatcher in his/her life.
- How self-limiting and shaming statements from the past still have the snatched soul in prison.
- How the Labyrinth, Art, Journaling, Imagery and Soul-Dialogue can help the participant reclaim his/her lost soul.
This article could just as easily be called Joy Snatchers, but then you may not have opened it. 😊. Depression is a medical condition that is caused by a neurochemical imbalance in the brain, such as, but not limited to serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine imbalances! Depression is a serious biological condition, often hereditary and needs medical attention to be treated properly or it can result in suicide. Depression cannot be wished away nor can you “act” your way out of it. The slogan “fake it until you make it,” does not apply here. I wanted to address the reality of clinical depression before I launched in to talking about depressed mood, melancholy or feelings of inadequacy and insecurity in the feature article to help you understand Clinical and Pervasive depression needs to be addressed professionally. Symptoms are very much the same and soul snatchers are often at the root of both conditions.
Depression coexist with shame. Soul snatchers spread shame like grass seed in spring. I want to assure you today if you suffer from depression there is absolutely nothing you did to cause it and you can’t snap yourself out of it. Depression is like cancer, diabetes and heart disease and it must be treated medically for you to feel differently. What matters is how you manage your depression. Depression management is your responsibility. Managing your depression is where you will find your power. Talk to your family physician about your mental health and get referred to a trusted professional in your location! The Soul Snatchers article can help with journaling and imagery techniques!
Beware of the soul snatchers on your journey in life. Soul snatchers are those words, sentences, attitudes, and accusations that make you feel small, inadequate, afraid, and not good enough. Soul snatchers stalk looking for opportunities to diminish your presence in this world. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, a Jungian analyst and story teller shares an old European story that goes like this: A dad had his young son in his lap riding on horse back through the dark forest. The young boy begins to protest in fear and says, “Papa, papa something is following us.” His dad assures his son that nothing is there and with each protest his dad explains it away. Then, even the horse bolts forward in fear and when the father gets home, his young child is dead. Erl König has stolen the child’s soul just as he stole his father’s soul years before.
How many times as a child were you told:
Don’t be afraid.
It is your imagination.
You have nothing to cry about.
Quit acting silly.
All of those sentences are soul snatching sentences. The sentences in themselves are not malevolent or intended to be harsh. Even the dad with the son on his lap was trying to reassure the son, even telling him at one point the presence was just the fog in the trees. None the less the son was gone by the time they returned home.
Each of us have experiences like this in our past and have said the exact same things as parents. Couple those “normal” soul snatching experiences with childhood abuse, neglect, lack of attachment and emotional abandonment and it makes it harder to be happy as an adult.
Soul snatchers create a cocktail of shame and self limiting beliefs causing us to overthink, lose motivation, and become joyless humans just going through the motions of our life, not able to experience the river of joy Rumi speaks of above.
What can you do to retrieve your soul? Note I am not speaking about the shamanic process of soul retrieval that a shaman journeys into the other world to bring back your soul but I am speaking about creative ways you can spark the motivation flame inside of you.
Start with journaling your soul snatching stories. Walk back in your memories to your childhood. Write about times you felt less than, inadequate, stupid because you did something that any kid would do. For instance asking for more ice cream and being told not to be greedy or worse yet being told that you are too fat!
Once you have written your situation, put your pen down and close your eyes. Go inside and find your younger self in your mind eye. Open a conversation with your younger self from a place of compassionate listening. Thank your younger self for sharing how they felt. Let him/her know that ice cream is so inviting that of course they wanted more. Share that you are sorry that comment from the adult shamed them. Maybe your child wants to color you a picture in your journal about how it felt. Let them know you are a safe person to share whatever it is that they are thinking, feeling, needing with you. Maybe take them for an ice cream!
“Oh no! “ I hear you screaming. “Getting ice cream is too dangerous and I may not have been fat as a child but I am now. No way can I have ice cream.” Listen to yourself. If you are clinically overweight you probably got there by cheating. So come out of the cheating closet and be honest while learning how to have ice cream without overdoing it! Restrictive behavior is rooted in shame and you already know that it isn’t successful! Learn to do your life differently! It is never too late. Check out the workshop to get started and rescue your soul from the soul snatcher!