For the last 2 months, it feels like, I’ve been in and out of depression. Some days, I feel as happy as ever. Others, life hits me like a ton of rocks and I’m left trying to regroup. Like anyone who depression frequents, you keep going, doing the everyday things, knowing that one indeterminate morning in the future, you will wake up and feel normal again. I don’t have that kind of time now. I have a significant other and a puppy. I have a full-time job and time-intensive hobbies.

If my depression isn’t triggered by foods or substances, then what is it triggered by? My best definition for depression is this:

Presense. We’ve all heard the word and some of you are rolling your eyes. Presense isn’t some fluff keyword. Its a practice. A daily activity, like brushing your teeth or going to work. Its a practice in putting all of your attention, all of the fibers of your being into the here and now. That looks like putting down the phone and really listening to your partner; focusing on the task right in front of you instead of the next one on the list; loving the people in your life for who they are instead of wishing they were different; listening to your body when it says you need rest, instead of staying up late and watching tv.

The starting point for presense is in the body. The body holds our love, pain, memories, and healing. The body is an intelligent organism that can be de-coded, re-programmed, and optimized to serve you. When you understand the body and its energy centers, then you will understand the mind.

The body has thousands of energy centers, or chakras, but we will only focus on 8 of them. As you work through the energy centers, you will begin to understand why you feel the way you do and continue the journey to discover who you are. This is about more than just depression, its about being aware and living a purposeful life.

The 1st energy center is called the Root. Its at the base of your spine and includes the pelvic floor and the 1st three vertebrae.

If the answer is yes, there may be an imbalance here and we need to ask ourselves why. Why do we worry about money? Why do we feel an impending sense of doom? Knowing the why can often bring up solutions that resolve the imbalance. The why is often related to childhood traumas or experiences that left us feeling unsafe and vulnerable. We are no longer those children on the surface, but those small spirits live within us, trying to protect us from old dangers. Knowing where the imbalance comes from, allows us to face them and tear down the lies.

The 2nd energy center governs creativity and sexuality. It is located above the pubic bone and below the navel, encompassing the genital region and the hypo-gastric plexus.

Your answers will tell you if there is an imbalance. We are here to create. It is in our nature. Whether we’re creating a child, a business, a painting, a solution, we need to feel like we’re contributing something to the world. Our body is our home, honor it, and get to know it. It will tell us when to move, when to rest, when to shit, and when to love. When we look at someone doing something that makes us feel afraid or incapable or a sense of longing, we need to run towards that. Take risks. Thats where innovation, personal growth, and a life you never imagined will surface.

The 3rd energy center governs the self. It is located around the navel in the area of the solar plexus and up to the breast bone and digestive system.

Every single person is worthy, has a purpose, and gets to choose for themselves. Sometimes our power is taken away by those who have perceived power over us, like a parent, a child, a boss, a government. Most of the time, we’ve given that power away. We defer to someone or something else to tell us who to be, what we are worth, what we should feel, and want we want. Take back your power. No one will ever know you like you will. Spend time with yourself and get to know you. We must change ourselves and our life will change around us.

The 4th energy center is called the Heart. It is located at the center of the chest.

When someone hurts us, it can seem impossible to move on, to forgive, to stop telling the story. Often times, we cannot express how we truly feel when we experience trauma so it is stored in the body; and every time we remember, those same emotions come back and we back there, in the past. We don’t have to live in the past, we can choose to let go, choose to stop telling that story, choose to stop blaming others or ourselves and open our heart. Life is full of love and letting ourselves be open to receiving and giving love will heal old wounds. Not everyone is like that last lover or like your mother or like your old boss. If we are currently experiencing trauma/pain, place yourself in their shoes and try to understand that they experienced trauma too. Be compassionate. If it is repeated, offer love and compassion from a distance with boundaries in place.

The 5th energy center is the Throat. It governs the jaw, neck, mouth, and tongue.

Personally, I’ve struggled extensively with this energy center. As a child, I was taught to be quiet until you’re spoken to, to not ask questions, that my opinions didn’t matter. If we are to live harmoniously, we must listen compassionately and speaking truthfully and gracefully. If we want something, we must speak it first. Singing, humming, reading aloud, or even chanting can help us open this energy center.

The 6th energy center is Intuition. It is located at the pituitary gland, eyes, head, and lower part of brain.

We all have a story that we ascribe to of what world we live in, how things work, and what is real. I am not the first to tell you that everything and anything is possible and exists. This world is what we made it and will be what we make of it. We all have a spiritual path and our soul/spirit, is constantly leading us back to our path. Are we open to see that? Do we ignore the signs? There is more to this world that what we can experience with our senses. The question is are you paying attention and what will you do with what is being offered to you. Meditation will bring silence and stillness and open us up to more possibilities.

The 7th energy center is Spiritual. It is located at the crown of the head.

Whether we choose to be apart of a religion or not, we will come to learn that life is not random and that there is an order to the world we live in. We cannot live in a bubble. We are a living hive here on this planet and we all affect each other. What we choose to ascribe to will eventually include some higher order, whether its God, the Universe, or whatever you choose to call it. Meditation, prayer, and silence are all ways to connect with this energy center.

The 7th energy center mantra is yours to create.

The 8th energy center is the Soul. It is located about 1-2 feet above the head.

Enlightenment is a word that most people shrug at. Another way to look at it is Awareness and Love. Its inner peace.

This exercise is meant to challenge you. If you find some of the questions hard to answer, that they bring up uncomfortable emotions, that is the point. Use this guide as a litmus test of your emotional well-being.

Bookmark this web-page, pin it, download the questions and mantras. Come back to this and use it as a resource. Share it with friends, family, and co-workers who would benefit.

I want to create a community of people who are not afraid to face themselves. Who want to grow and evolve. Who strive to do the unimaginable. Please leave a comment below and share how you’ve worked through the guide.