If you are struggling with depression, you are likely not connecting to your strength and confidence. You likely have lost connection to yourself, and to your own way of knowing. This lack of confidence suggests that you have lost your connection to your soul center.
In your depression healing process, you can begin each creative practice session by developing a felt-sense of your true soul center. Once you can strongly sense your soul center, you can also start to sense into your ego structure. You can watch how your socialized ego structure is rejecting, ignoring, or attempting to negate your true soul expression.
When emotional and psychological suffering occurs during a depression, we usually forget the rest of our life. We do not remember the joy. We do not remember our resources.
So, your growth task as a reasonably resourced and regulated adult is to identify the strong and competent parts of yourself so that they can consistently love the younger, undeveloped aspects of yourself.
Psychotherapist Stephen Gilligan offers an interesting way to understand the connection between the somatic self and the cognitive self. There are two German words for eating - Fressen and Essen. Fressen means to eat like an animal/to eat like a pig. Essen means to eat like a person.
So, using these words in a more general way, you could look at Fressen energy as wild, untamed and natural and when you bring the human love to it, it transforms into a more elegant Essen expression.
Fressen Energy on the Left: This drawing of my untamed fressen anxiety took about 30 minutes to complete, and I am sure that I would have carried anxiety in my body for much longer than 30 minutes had I not done this drawing. In this case, I felt the anxiety, I drew it out, I saw it, I named it, and I fully processed an adverse experience of unexpectedly losing my job.
Essen Energy on the Right: After I drew out my Fressen survival fears another drawing came through without much effort. On the right, you can see a calmer and more visionary drawing where my soul expressed through me, encouraging me to be very present for the positive changes that were coming next in my life.
Fressen energy can be seen in a child’s spontaneous play, in temper tantrums, in expressive art, in whining and in innocent kindness and innocent cruelty. Fressen energy is also in storms, wild celebrations, and intense sexuality.
Essen energies are in traditions, practices, culture, groups and families that mould these wild energies. This moulding can be harmful or helpful.
Three relationships can be had with wild Fressen energies:
1 - Fressen energy can be stifled and oppressed
2 - Fressen energy can be ignored and let run wild.
3 - Or third, the middle way, Fressen energy can be maturely loved.
Fressen Energy + Loving Essen Attention = Artful Human Expression.
If you have felt unmirrored or inaccurately reflected by others it is entirely possible to maturely witness and love yourself through spontaneous art and writing! I have been processing my processing painful emotions for over 25 years with expressive art and writing, and it is such a surprisingly elegant way to love the upset and unaccepted parts of myself!
The Art of Healing Depression - A Year of Expressive Art and Writing is now open!