The Art of Living-excerpt from Chapter 4 of Surviving Depression, an Ecological Perspective

The Body Relaxes by Play, the Mind relaxes by Creativity, the Spirit relaxes by Laughter….

Living as an art form is something that some Asian countries have mastered; one only has to look at the way some Japanese people live and see that they have turned living into an art form. The benefits of learning this enable us to create a quality of life which allows room for beauty, aesthetics, self-nurturing and happiness. In contrast to material wealth in life, which doesn’t allow room for living as an art form, but does create a feeling of emptiness and stress instead of self-nurturing or having time to connect with nature and creativity.

 While lifestyle management can be complicated for people with depression because we find it hard to find meaning and purpose, as we have lost our meaning and purpose. We lack the motivation to do anything, our living space becomes messy and dirty, and our outward way of living expresses a sense of defeat, having given up on life because we feel life has given up on us.  Life events that lead us to this predicament of emotional stasis can be intense. We may have unresolved emotions and anger to deal with or have lost a spouse or lost too many people we loved in a short period of time, such as family or cherished friends, or we may have lost a job, our status, our home and so on. 

Some people’s stories are very unusual, you are not alone in your loss, your story may be different but how you feel with your grief and sadness is similar to that of another’s loss and pain.

When one goes through deep trauma, it is lived in our daily memory, it is felt deep within our cells, which seem to vibrate with that deep trauma and loss. Some moments are replayed, as if we were reliving what happened just the day before. Then it is so hard to find one’s way back to joy and its easy to feel like we will never laugh again or experience fun or happy feelings, and we forget the ability to feel joy and cannot imagine we will ever feel love or such joy again, especially, when we are in raw grief or dealing with so much loss. Therefore, it is important to encourage ourselves by finding a new motivational incentive to help us create a healthier lifestyle. This is why the art of living is challenging but also rewarding, (especially in a totally messed up world like this one). It is a unique project for each individual, it gives you a goal, and means your job will be to create your own unique Art of Living, to nurture and bring back aesthetics, beauty, colours, music, dance and joy into your lifestyle. It means you can be creative and exercise a new way of seeing yourself in relation to the world, you are literally writing a new chapter for yourself but intentionally focusing on the things that used to bring you job before, revitalize those things, just because of your loss it doesn’t mean you won’t ever feel those sparks of joy again

Find your way back to the art of living, reclaim your humanity and feel that passion for life once again return.

by Carla Constance Shaw

Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, An Ecological Perspective…/dp/B084QKQLCV

Carlita’s environmental projects and writings can be followed at Evolve to Ecology

Thank you and good health to you, health is wealth

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