Today I found myself wondering, why have I never gotten to say that fun phrase out loud?!?
"More confetti please!" 💜💛🧡❤️💙💚
YESSS! How awesome is that?!? I wish more menus in the world offered confetti and even EXTRA confetti. "Will that be a single dose of confetti or a double?" Wouldn't that be a quirky (amazing) thing to hear at a coffee bar, smoothie stand, a concert, or certainly at a party?? If I ever have a physical store again (I had one at my healing center in Tucson in 2009-2012), I am going to have confetti in my shop!! I mean, of course we ALL need more tiny pieces of COLOR in our lives...Of course we all need more little symbols of happiness and JOY!!
I gave a talk and workshop on the "Healing Power of Creativity" at a spiritual center on the Big Island of Hawaii back in 2014, and I made confetti (heart, star, triangle, AND circle shapes) and sprinkled it all over the floor before people arrived. That was one of the best events (so far--hopefully there are many more to come!!) of my life. I firmly believe the confetti (and my intention in putting it there) helped set a playful, imaginative tone for the talk. People were receptive, attentive, positive, and inspired...and so was I. It was beautiful. Confetti rocks!!
Confetti is a great metaphor, too... It's, of course, symbolic of play and joy and celebration. It is even symbolic of YES! Yay! And Wooo!! We definitely all need more of those energies in our lives!! As a psychiatrist I have seen far too many sad people over the course of my career... It hurts my heart that so many people are unhappy and suffering. I wish I could just pull out my jar of confetti and make it better. I do always try to sprinkle symbolic confetti with my intentions, with the words I choose, with the sparkle of my eyes, with my body language. I try to remind people that there is light in this world and love, too. But first the gloom in the heart must be shifted. Otherwise, confetti just gets muddy.
Healing depression is a journey. Maintaining our mood is a process. Everything we do has the potential to either make us a little happier or a little bit sad. Everything we eat, everything we drink, every word we say, every thought we have, the things we watch, the things we read, how we spend our time... all of these choices matter. We are creating our mood (and the health of our bodies) moment by moment!!
Scientists now know that there's a fascinating circularity to the thought-biochemistry connection... Positive thoughts literally increase serotonin. Negative thoughts reduce serotonin. Serotonin increases positive thoughts. Depletion of serotonin reduces positive thoughts. Biochemistry responds to our thoughts, AND thoughts also respond to biochemistry. A scientific paper discussing some of this research (and more ways to increase serotonin naturally--without medications) can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077351/ It's important to focus on BOTH thoughts and biochemistry for healing... But it's good to know you just have to start somewhere!! Start with the wish and commitment to be happy!! ✨
I am not like other psychiatrists. That's probably pretty obvious!! I am not like other physicians, in general, really. I wholeheartedly honor and respect my fellow physicians, AND I do also feel I am in this role to do things a bit differently, to be an example of another way. This is why I dedicate a portion of my time to teaching "Holistic Psychiatry" at medical schools and why I have developed a Holistic Medicine Mentorship program in my private practice. I want to help medicine evolve!
One difference I've definitely noticed, relative to other psychiatrists, is that I do not tend to go waaaaay down into the mucky-muck with patients. I also no longer prescribe pharmaceutical medications, soooo that's a huge difference. Classical psychoanalysis and even standard psychotherapy loves to do the deep dives into the past and the subconscious, and I do believe both of those can absolutely be fascinating and helpful. It just is not the right service for ME as a healer at this point in my career. I will always have the psychological knowledge, training, and experience I've received within me. But, I have to follow my passions, which do tend to mature (and migrate a little) over time. I have to offer the gifts that I can give while keeping my own balance and joy. My current intention is to serve as an inspirational figure (cue confetti) and guide in my patients' lives. I love to help people connect to their hearts, to their purpose, and get plugged back in and engaged in their reason for being here. I also love getting people's minds and BODIES headed in the same direction (towards health). So, I do a lot of whole health consulting, rather than focusing exclusively on mental health. It is all connected!! ♾
I often use astrology to find hints for what each unique patient's soul intended for this lifetime (strengths, weaknesses, lesson plan, health concerns, relationship insight, points of potential fulfillment, etc.). I find it SO FUN to help people get invested in their own lives!! I love helping people forgive and accept their past, understanding how that exact past had important lessons for the evolution of their soul. I believe all souls are here on the earth to learn and to grow. This is a grand spiritual school. It can be downright miserable sometimes. It can also be wonderful, ecstatic bliss. The lessons for some souls are legitimately devastating. Others seem to have it easier this go round. But, the ultimate goal here, as I see it, is to learn how to love. Again and again and again. We are here to develop our hearts so they are capable of different kinds of love, different kinds of empowerment, different kinds of boundaries, too (because they are often important when we learning to love).
And, it's possibly a lot more complicated than this. It could be that we are also accounting for past actions in each life... things we may have done to others that we now to have experience in a new way ourselves. This is a somewhat controversial view in our culture. But it is a belief that dates back thousands of years in multiple eastern religions. It's worth at least considering the possibility that it could be true. It may not be true, but it could be. If it IS true, it is a pretty helpful concept... It helps me, personally, make peace with challenging things that happen in my life to think, "Hmmm... I wonder if I could have played a different role in this scenario, maybe even with this same individual, in another life...?" That perspective really helps me pause, step back from the situation, and view it more objectively and compassionately. I am more conscious, better able to make more thoughtful decisions, and more willing to TRUST the flow of GRACE (aka the Divine "whatever happens") in a situation when I realize that it is likely all functioning according to some higher plan, a plan I'm not privy to but that ultimately is (hopefully) intended to help ALL INVOLVED evolve.
So, often one of the first things I do with my depressed patients (after looking at their astrology charts) is grab my metaphorical jar of confetti and sprinkle it all over them. I really do try to get my patients to CHOOSE to engage back with life, to release BLAME and SHAME regarding the events in their lives, and make the decision to do the WORK required to climb out of the dark and into the light...
Choosing LOVE to me means not continuing to rehash the story of pain but instead working to have compassion>>forgiveness>>transformation... Suffering becomes a teacher of love! It becomes the ground through which the PHOENIX can rise. I also use diet, herbs, exercise, yoga, meditation, art, dancing, and nature in my treatment plans. Healing is a journey, remember!?! A lot of little steps are needed. It's useful to have a "backpack" full of supplies!!
I didn't set out tonight with a plan to write this post. I only, for some reason, was feeling inspired by the image and thought of "extra confetti please..." and this post was born. Boop! Spirit moves in mysterious ways. And now the Mystery has found YOU....