snuggle in...let me tell you a story. it's a good one. I promise.
In 1997, I was 23 years old fresh out of college, when I got my dream job (or so I thought), teaching high school English.
The job was beyond HARD.
My students were the ones on the verge of dropping out in a community that had an extremely high teen pregnancy rate.
I wasn't just teaching high school. I also served as a nurse, a teen-psychologist, a trauma specialist, a relationship coach, and a surrogate parent (just to name a few)
....to kids who were only a few years younger than me....
And I gave some more.
And I gave more and more and more.
All while living in a town where I knew no one.
I had absolutely ZERO support.
In my first three months on the job, I lost more kids than I can remember...
• two had kids of their own and never came back
• a few more got pregnant and quit school
• one was killed in a drunk driving accident
• one committed suicide
• one ran away from home
• a couple became homeless (I suspect)
• one was found dead (and frozen) in a beat up car in a parking lot
(and i still remember every one of them. their names. their faces. their stories. and most importantly, their hearts)
I went home from work every night and cried.
I didn't sleep....at all...
I lived on chips and salsa and snickers bars
I graded papers.
I wrote lesson plans
and I stayed after school to console the girl whose boyfriend dumped her because she wouldn't put out.
all while filling out the mandated reporter paperwork for the kid whose mother kicked her out for making a mess of the bathroom - when she had a miscarriage.
Not surprisingly, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and clinical depression.
But the side effects of the anti-depressants were intolerable.
(I learned years later that I'm an empath...and pharmaceutical drugs are NOT friends)
Paxil made me sleep...for 36 hours straight.
Prozac made me attempt suicide (45 minutes after taking my first dose)
Zoloft made my brain so foggy (and numb) I couldn't function mentally.
Fast Forward 10 Years...
Knowing the meds only made me worse,
I had to find alternative ways to treat my symptoms.
I got into yoga, meditation, chakra balancing, holistic health, nutrition, shamanism.
I traded school teaching for yoga teaching, because maybe teaching a different population wouldn't hurt so much.
....and yet ... I still struggled.
And I did ALL the things
changed my diet
daily yoga & meditation
daily walks in nature
Heck...my daily practices took up most of my daily day!
and it helped.
but I still FELT ALL THE FEELS
and therapists still diagnosed me with the Big D and pushed the meds
(I refused - I'm now pharmaceutical free for 20+ years)
I wasn't sleeping well
I felt these intense bouts of sadness and pain
I sunk into these deep pits of empty agony
I had these occasional explosive break-all-the-breakable-things temper tantrums
and whenever I went to a therapist, I left feeling worse than when I went in.
and most of the time, I didn't understand where these feelings came from
because I knew I had a good life.
I hated...resented...detested the word "depression"
accepting that word felt like putting on a scratchy coat that was too tight
So one day, I decided to sit down with Depression and have a good long talk.
I went to my happy place, a beach on Maui (my brother lived there)
and I went into meditation and asked Depression to sit with me.
I told him we'd have to figure out a way to get along, to co-exist.
But he was distracted.
throwing rocks in the ocean
pulling leaves off the broken branches
Finally he wandered off, mumbling to himself
"you're not talking to me...you're talking to them."
He pointed to the the true monsters I needed to make friends with.
Two of them.
EMPATHY & GRIEF
Empathy sat down next to me. She took my hands in hers and she said to me, "Honey, you're not depressed. You're exhausted."
Grief stood behind me with his cold gnarly hand on my shoulder and said to me, "Dear One, you're not depressed. You're grieving."
And all those students, their faces, their names, their stories, the high school students, the yoga students, the chakra reading clients, the shaman ritual participants...all of them...one by one they emerged from the ocean and dumped in front of me all the baggage they had given me to hold.
Empathy said, "you've held a lot of stuff for a lot of people for a very long time."
Then all the students I'd lost over the years, and my deceased family members, and my friends who had ghosted me...their faces flitted about me like white moths...flitting away as fast as they flitted in.
Grief said, "you've lost a lot of things and a lot of people over your life."
Depression, meandering on the other side of the beach, threw another rock in the ocean, and said,
"Depression is about lack of self-worth.
Lack of self-esteem.
Lack of confidence.
A deep empty feeling of not having anything to give to the world.
That's not you.
You're not depressed."
That wasn't me.
That has NEVER been me.
I came out of that meditation and I knew, I wasn't depressed.
In fact, I was the opposite.
I KNEW I had a lot to give.
I was giving it.
My problem wasn't about feeling like I didn't have anything to give
My problem was that I was giving TOO MUCH.
I was exhausted. depleted. fatigued. broken and battered.
from over-serving. over-giving. over-thinking. over-doing. over-helping.
without any support. without any guidance.
and without any way or anyone to take care of me.
No...I wasn't depressed.
First off, I was GRIEVING.
I grieved the loss of my students.
I grieved the pain of their stories and circumstances.
I grieved for the ones I couldn't help.
Every day, I HURT, not just FOR my students and clients, but WITH THEM.
I am an EMPATH
I FEEL and I FEEL DEEPLY and because I FEEL...I HOLD...and I LOVE!
I wasn't depressed.
I was grieving
I was suffering EMPATH GRIEF FATIGUE!
The shift in mindset was HUGE.
I started working with Empathy and Grief as my allies, my assets, rather than dancing with Depression as my fundamental flaw.
But my process didn't end there.
While I had the RIGHT MINDSET,
I still had to take the RIGHT ACTION.
I had to un-learn, un-think, and un-do decades worth of conditioning and patterning.
I also knew that the soul-work I had been doing...all the yoga, meditation, diet planning, exercise, nature walks, gratitude journals, morning pages, yadda yadda yadda...while they were helping...they were also TOO MUCH.
I couldn't keep up a pace of doing all the things all the time just to keep myself somewhat functional. The too much of all the soul-work was in fact contributing to my exhaustive condition.
I needed something simple. something practical. something very do-able and realistic, that I could make a new-way-of-life habit that would make me un-learn, un-do, un-pattern, and un-think all the old broken records around the Big D. Including all those insidious little unknown patterns and habits and beliefs I didn't even know or realize I was perpetuating.
So I changed my practice. I went through every one of my soul work practices and I took the most complex of teachings of them and played the Einstein game of making them simple. and simpler. and simpler yet again.
Ultimately, I managed to create a system of 30-second many-times-a-day practices (rooted in chakra balancing and yoga practice) linked to already established daily habits, and supported by once-in-awhile deep spiritual shamanic ancestral nature rituals.
I named this system The MOZI Method
after a Great Dane I met in the woods.
Fast Forward to Today.
I am living my best life.
I'm living my better than best life...because I can't even imagine how much better life can be...and yet my life keeps up-leveling itself to something I couldn't have dreamed before.
Some years ago, I did a series of MOZI Method exercises to un-learn habits of being un-lovable...and I did a shaman ritual to attract my perfect partner. I am now married to a man I call Hobbit. He is a humble soul who honors me and adores me and inspires me and challenges me in all aspects of my life.
After years of traveling and meandering as a wandering nomad yoga teacher, I did a series of MOZI Method exercises to help myself feel safe and at home. At a time when I was kicked out of a home, a friend offered me her backyard faerie cottage tiny home. Now who else can say they lived in a faerie cottage! And then she offered me an upper level duplex treehouse apartment (when I moved in with Hobbit). And now recently, in the height of a very competitive housing market, Hobbit and I put an offer in on a home. Our first offer. It was accepted. As we did the walk through for the inspection we realized that it offers MORE than we dreamed it could. (urban chicken farming...here we come!)
Currently, I have slightly shifted my MOZI Method exercises to focus on un-learning my self-limiting beliefs of scarcity. gulp...this is a big one. Hobbit reminded me to be disciplined in a series of shaman abundance rituals...and BOOM...we manifested a down payment on the house, and paying off all our debts, and moving into a new home with a LOWER monthly expense list than we have now.
Honestly, right now is my better than best life life ever...and I'm living it right now.
Every single day I get to wake up and have deep and meaningful and sometimes life changing conversations with my clients, and my friends, and my family, and the random person I meet at an estate sale.
I'm mentoring clients, like you, through a personalized approach to up-leveling their lives too.
So now, I ask you
•Are you an EMPATH suffering from empath fatigue?
•Have you been mis-diagnosed with the Big D when you really are grieving?
•Is there some area of your life that is still hitting that self-limiting belief ceiling over and over again?
•do your spiritual practices and soul work routines contribute to your TOO MUCH-ITIS?
•what in your life are you ready to up-level?
You have a choice.
1. You can keep doing what you're doing...and see if you get different results this time around the carousel of life.
2. You can try to do what I did on your own. (it took me 35 years to figure out what worked for me)
3. You can get help from someone who understands you, who has been where you are, walked your walk...and found a better way.
The first step is easier than you think. Just book a call with me, it's free.
I promise, you will walk away feeling heard, supported, validated, affirmed, and with an action plan to up-leveling the area(s) of your life without hitting your head on self-limiting belief ceilings again.
To un-learn, un-do, un-think, and un-pattern your self-limiting patterns of life, and to up-level your life to a new state of awesome, click the link below for your complimentary UP-LEVEL Assessment Call.