I have often talked about how ART can be a potent channel for expression when suffering from depression. Indeed I would be in an even more terrible state if I were not able to express myself through my writing and music.
I then took this stage of thinking to another level, or, if you like, application. As a young man I trained in Karate as a form of self-defence and sport. Latterly in Boxing as well (but not with any success….when I took my glasses off I couldn’t see my opponents hands until they landed on my nose !!!), which often left me seeing stars !
One of the first principals that many martial arts teach us is to use, the aggressor’s energy to their own demise.
TURNING NEGATIVE ENERGY INTO A POSITIVE
So, for example, if someone takes a wild swing at you, you simply step out of the way and this will likely bring them off balance and they will probably end up on the floor without any contact…..and if they don’t then you can gently help them along!!!
ART, be that music, painting, writing, woodwork, knitting or any other creative activity can be metaphorically the same. I know for sure that it is with me. I am using my depression “energy”, which is hugely potent to create something that is of positive introspection.
That does not mean that, everything I write is positive in its readable nature, far from it in fact, but it gives me a pause for thought and a reflection at a certain point in time. So, positive or negative, this has to be good, because I am constantly self-monitoring, and I often enjoy writing, even if I am really low.
So in this respect, I like to think, I use the “aggressor’s” energy to its own demise.
In one way or another this helps to break down the walls that sometimes isolate us from being able to communicate.
Have you ever wondered why, when feeling depressed you may feel sapped of energy?
The reason is that depression drains your energy; but, importantly, it doesn’t just leave you drained and then go away (!), it uses YOUR energy to torment you and put you through the “ringer”. It makes you question yourself, your purpose, your ability, your relationships and a whole host of other things too.
In this respect the metaphor of martial arts, using an aggressor’s energy to their own disadvantage, becomes a little clearer and better illustrated, perhaps (?).
I was searching for a way, that I/we might experiment with the idea of reclaiming our energy when down in the dumps.
The reclamation of your “energy” (the very essence of who we are) is a bit like the last blog where we talked about “keys”, which undo some locks. But these may only work so long as the lock hasn’t been changed.
Added to this you may have to try twenty different “keys” before finding the correct one, (I refer to “keys” of course as being behavioural strategies, medication, practising mindfulness, doing voluntary work, etcetera) only for it to work once and never again,
Then again you might be lucky enough to find a “magic Key” that works forever…..it is possible. BUT, unless you go looking, for the magic key, the chances of finding it are zero.
THE HOLY GRAIL
SO how do we start on the epic journey and quest for the “holy grail” (?) it’s not as difficult or grandiose as you may think, or that it may sound, in fact all you need is a pen and some paper to start your journey.
These are the keys to the beginning of your journey……….with these meagre tools and your consciousness, you can create list of possibilities.
In my experience the most potent and reusable “martial art” technique (or key) is something that involves us being a help to someone less fortunate than our self. (This does not have to be in a faraway land, it can be your elderly next door neighbour).
Equally if you are lucky enough to be able to get actively involved an overseas initiative, then this can be both self-empowering and empowering to others as well.
I wish you all God Speed, as you embark on your quest!
With love, peace and hope