Story time is not just at bedtime. We continuously tell ourselves stories throughout the day, every day of our lives. Whatever we experience we translate into a story that we store in our vast memory bank. Sometimes they are stories that reflect reality and other times they are fictional. Fiction that can lead us to see ourselves in a more positive light or at times drag us to see ourselves lives as non-functioning and incapable; as non-worthy and evil; as impossibly lost and as failures.
Today’s guest Regena Rosa Celeste(?) was a yoga teacher, trying to bring wellness and wholeness to herself and her students. Years before she had been caught in the web of depression but did not acknowledge her situation or the need for help.
Regena got hit by depression at the same time her mother was combating cancer and her Dad was facing his own challenges. At a time that her parents were so in need of help, the story she told herself, was that it was shameful for her to reach out and request help for herself. So she didn’t. She ignored the depression and pushed on.
On the outside it seemed that all was good. She had a job, family, friends. In 2013,
during a short 7 minute meditation, Regena got in touch with her higher self which told her that she was going to go on a journey. She felt a longing for more than what she had and this journey would bring her what she sought.
Three years later her depression returned, this time stronger and more intense. She could no longer ignore it.
“If felt like bricks were weighing me down. I couldn’t get out of bed. Normally I functioned on 6 hours of sleep a night and now if I slept 9 or 10, I wasn’t able to muster the energy to go about my day. Tasks that had previously seemed so simple were overwhelming for me. I tortured myself with the stories my mind was feeding me. Once I drove into a gas station to buy gas and my mind told me,’You can’t do it.’ I knew that I had always been able to do it and saw that my mind was feeding me lies. Then I asked myself what other false stories was my mind masquerading as truth. It was not only a lack of self worth, it was a hatred toward herself.
“The lesson I learned with this second bout of depression was to really feel it to the depths. Every day we wake up we have a choice to make. Who do I want to serve today? How do I want to serve today? Don’t ask yourself , ‘Why is this happening to me?’ but rather, what is this telling me and how can I use it for my benefit. There are so many people suffering and they don’t realize they have a choice.
“I believe the depression served me and led me to get the help I needed. After I began working with my coach I got a therapist and began exercising and eating in a different way. Today I have so much joy in my life. I’m engaged to be married.
Asking for help is not a weakness. It’s the first step to wellness. Martin Luther King said, ‘Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase – just take the first step.’
“Before I had reached out for help, my safe place was the yoga mat. Yoga was the time that these demonic voices didn’t reach me. Then one day, there, on the mat, they attacked me. I thought I was going crazy. I believe there are different levels of voices. I believe that the little, quiet one is our intuition. It’s telling us what we know subliminally. Often we do what is expected of us, and not what we really want to do.’’
One has to be with the pain that’s when the right people come into your life to help you. But the healing process is so hard and painful. We take a few steps forward and then we regress. We might tell ourselves, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ We need to remind ourselves that this is part of the process and that we need to do the work!
Regena feels that aside from getting a coach the things that helped her were: 1.being able and willing to accept help.
2.Knowing that we don’t always get what we want but we get what we need The more I allow my life to bring me what I need (like the depression) I get what I want. When someone is in the pain or suffering I invite them to ask themselves, ‘What is this for?’ and ‘Where in me can I grow from this?’
3.Finding a support group, a friend or a group of friends.
4.One must split from the depression that had enveloped them. For me I did it through exercise. Even if it was 15 or 30 minutes a day, I forced myself to do it. Or I forced myself to call a friend. I surrounded myself with people that I trusted.
“Thinking about suicide is not a laughing matter. I had garbage thoughts and if one doesn’t empty out the garbage often it begins to stink. My coach helped me to disassociate from my depression.
“I feel that we are always in the process of healing. We can’t say, ‘I got here and now I’m home free. We are always going to face new challenges. But now I know how to deal with them. I’m not in a depressive state even though I have sad moments. I am grateful for these sad moments because I can then appreciate what I have when I’m not feeling sad. I don’t live in the fear of it. The fear is debilitating and holds one back from healing. When we are afraid of something we give it much more power than it deserves.
“Your podcast which is bringing mental health out into the open, breaking the stigma is not allowing it to be the scary monster in the room. Depression isn’t scary. It’s just a word. It’s the meaning and feeling we attach to it that’s scary and heavy.
“The turning point was when I realized that this was happening for me to help me. It’s a choice I could still create the story in my head that my life is terrible. I need to ask myself if I want to live in the bad feeling or live in the gratitude of what I do have. When I was trying to recover I would say to myself, ‘Okay, you don’t feel good now. I understand. How would you like to feel?’ It’s like doing the reverse. ‘What do you need to do to feel the way you want to feel?”
Regena has a website and a movement called Internal Peace Now. She invites people to embrace life and have peace in their life NOW. Not in six months or even three months. It isn’t lack of money that makes a person depressed. Rich people are also depressed. What matters is how much love a person has in their heart. People should know that no two journeys are the same. The thing she likes to work on the most is self love. Regena believes if we don’t love ourselves, we can’t love others.
For Regena hope means ‘what’s next?’ She is committed to living and learning from life and to teach others.
We wish her well in her upcoming marriage and that her father a full recovery.
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