The symbol of spring’s arrival is one of rebirth and renewal, an opportunity for new beginnings. As the temperature starts to rise, the earth beneath our feet softens, making way for new growth to occur.

For many, springtime represents a happy time – a declaration that summer is coming, and school will soon be out. Donning a bulky coat, scarves, hat and boots is no longer necessary, and driving with your car windows down elicits a sense of freedom from the containment of winter.

Letting go of the mind and taking a stroll through nature can have such a restorative and revitalizing effect on the soul. If you have ever stood beneath a grove of redwoods and felt the energy offered up by these living, breathing giants of creation, you know how tree energy can transform you.

Practitioners of Taoism constantly see trees in meditation, with subtle energy as their natural language. My sense is that trees are our bridge to the Source of all living things, who communicates through a tree’s ability to absorb light frequencies and ground them deep in the earth through its root system.

When you suffer with depression, it can be exceptionally difficult to even make your way outdoors, let alone appreciate the brilliance of creation in anything…even that you are alive. Depression depletes your energy, making it difficult to get out of bed and / or off the couch, to open the shutters and windows, to open your eyes and allow the light to enter in.

Depression is the umbrella that overarches a plethora of symptoms, such as emotional upheaval, confusion, grief, melancholy, lack of motivation, shame, abandonment, failure to thrive, and many more…

It is also common for those suffering from depression to also suffer with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive syndrome, post-traumatic stress injury, panic attacks, eating and sleeping issues, as well as physical illness and pain.

So how, when and why does depression begin?

All of us have experienced traumatic events at some time in our lives, some more so than others. Even those of us who appear to have it together, can, secretly, be suffering from the after-effects of significant trauma. Each event lays down its energetic imprint on our physical and spiritual bodies. Each event leaves in its wake non-beneficial beliefs, addictions and patterns as we move through them.

As we react to a traumatic event, we generate emotional energy that can get stored in the physical body. If these emotions are not expressed and released, they can be stored in areas where we are weak or have a genetic predisposition – one on top of the other, every minute, every hour, every day, every month and every year throughout our lives.

Think about all the times you may have felt fearful, angry, embarrassed, ashamed, jealous, hopeless, and / or insecure. All of this negative energy can leave you feeling insignificant, sad or confused…which can, then, lead to manifestations of judgment on your part – against yourself and against others, especially when you feel vulnerable or threatened. There can be millions of these constructs within our beings.

At the same time, as we react to our trauma, we unconsciously generate energetic responses that create non-beneficial beliefs, addictions and constructed behaviors that get stored in the subconscious and pollute our minds with their toxic buildup. Once stored, these energies in our bodies and minds are broadcasting these low-level frequencies out of us and attracting the same negative frequencies in return.

When we are in fear (the opposite frequency of love), our thoughts can also create chemicals and acids that dump into our blood stream, moving through the body’s vascular system and wreaking havoc as these acid crystals deposit into our joints, spine, connective tissue, heart, lungs, digestive tract, liver and bones, causing wide-spread body pain and inflammation that may look and feel like arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. They can coat our nerves, causing a burning pain that could be very difficult to diagnose (and sometimes it gets diagnosed inaccurately). These crystals can form into kidney, gallbladder and / or pancreatic stones, blocking these organs’ and glands’ normal function.

When the body is experiencing an acute-stress reaction, the sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering them to release hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline. When these hormones get released into the blood stream, they increase the heart rate, blood pressure and breathing, preparing the body to fight or flee.

How much stress are most of us under in our day to day?

How many times might we experience these physiological responses?

If our stress is ongoing and we stay in the fight-or-flight mode, we can become addicted to this adrenaline rush and soon need more, just to make it through our day. Over time, this phenomenon can drain the adrenal glands of their vital energy. Cortisol levels can rise in the blood, causing irritability, nervousness and difficulty sleeping. This in turn can bring on a whole other set of health problems and risks.

This continued pattern can be a set-up for heart problems, hypertension, adrenal fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and depression.

As children, many of us have learned to push our emotions down into our beings, to be quiet, to be seen but not heard. As we continue with these patterns of tucking our feelings and emotions down and away, we may start to constrict our muscles and / or clench our teeth and jaw to keep from reacting, maybe from crying or becoming enraged and combative.

As this tucking mechanism continues, we may start to constrict our internal organs, our glands, our blood vessels, and our heart and lungs. In fact, I mention this action in my blog article titled, Heart action, not mind reaction.  This can then create blockages that inhibit our body’s systems from receiving the oxygenated blood, nutrition, and chi (energy) vital to our health. This tucking can also restrict the normal glandular production and release of hormones. This causes an imbalance in the interrelated functioning of our body-mind-emotions.

If you are sensitive and / or empathic, unknowingly you may take on the energy of those around you, feeling their emotions within your own body. You may experience thoughts that are not your own.

A whole other invisible realm of negative beings may also interfere with your emotional state. I am sure you have walked into a store and felt a sense of dread or turned onto a street where there were people who made you feel unsafe.

Karma can also affect the life lessons we are here to work out, adding another layer of challenge and difficulty we come to earth to experience. Some of these lessons can be quite difficult. They may cause us to feel we are being punished with no way out. This can lead some to contemplate or even commit suicide.

Antidepressant medications have their place and can provide relief when you don’t feel you have the strength to move forward, but they have side effects that can leave you feeling disconnected. This in turn can block you from feeling anything.

It is important to understand that any drug, recreational or prescribed, that layers over pain – emotional or physical – is defeating the purpose of pain in establishing and maintaining mind-body-emotional balance – to clue us into something causing imbalance that needs to be looked at more closely for cause and effect.

You can now start to get a clearer picture of the many (and there are more) foundational structures of depression: how, when and why it can begin.

It is our awareness of the things I have described previously in this article that can be the impetus for change. Our view of the world is the lens through which we see our possibilities and the platform from which we make our decisions. Our perspective is what creates our reality. It’s how we operate in life. We also act and react as a result of messages recorded in our subconscious minds – all our lives.

A narrow perspective can box us in, only allowing us to see what is visible through the narrow tunnel of our vision. By expanding our view, clearing the old operating system from our subconscious minds, and moving away from drama, judgment and criticism, we can be less reactive and more at home within ourselves, and in turn, our surroundings.

In next month’s newsletter, I will share Part 2 of this blog article, including the tools and processes that have supported me in healing myself of depression.

My goal in providing this information is to start a conversation with my readers. Send me your comments, your experiences, the things that you find helpful and / or your questions about what you have found useful in assisting you on your journey to more happiness and joy.

I invite you to become a part of my community. Join the conversation and share your story as it relates to the ideas in “our” blog.

You might be interested in my meditation guideDiscovering Your Higher Self through Meditation and Visualization: A Beginner’s Guide. Take a look and see if you find it helpful in developing your own meditation practice.