StarFire Teja’s Sad Photo Challenge for Suicide Prevention

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and I am launching a Sad Photo Challenge. I invite everyone to share photos of themselves crying and/or looking sad, to help those who are suffering in despair to realize that they are not alone in their sadness.

Think about how much we all put on our happy faces for others, especially for social media. I think that as a society we need to allow sadness and realness and authenticity of feelings. I don’t think that we should wallow in sorrow or overindulge in it, but rather, we need to allow sadness to naturally flow through everyone, including men, women, teenagers, and children.

When I took the photo featured in this post (almost ten years ago), I was crying and feeling very, very sad. As I looked in my sad eyes in the mirror, I suddenly became inspired to snap a photo, never dreaming that I would ever show it to anyone! At the time I thought, “Why not capture this sad moment, like I capture all the happy moments?” So now I challenge you to also share a sad photo of yourself, with the caption “I am accepting StarFire Teja’s Sad Photo Challenge for Suicide Prevention.”

SadPhotoChallenge_SuicidePrevention_ReachingForOrange_StarFireTeja

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know that I have been dealing with a Fibromyalgia flare lately, and I have to consistently work to happy up my mind and to keep a good, positive attitude. Well, one night a few weeks ago I dreamt that I walked up to two fellows from my high school class, and I said, “Guys, I’ve come to the end of my rope.”

People who commit suicide have truly come to the end of their ropes. When I say that I would never commit suicide, because I couldn’t do that to my family and friends, and because I don’t believe in killing living beings (which is why I choose a plant-based lifestyle), and then I say “but I am in such despair that I wish I would die of natural causes,” no one is alarmed and sends me to the psych unit because I first stated that I would never commit suicide. Not only are they not alarmed, they might say something like, “sorry you’re having such a hard time,” and then go about their day, without realizing that the despair I’m feeling might be every bit as alarming as the despair of someone who would commit suicide… Perhaps the only difference is that I would not kill myself… But, as I said in my dream, sometimes I feel like I’ve come to the end of my rope…

How can we truly help people who have come to the end of their ropes? I believe we can help through active listening, genuine compassion, and understanding. Even if you have never felt deep despair yourself, you can still listen and try to understand. You can also remind people that they are not alone in their pain. In fact, suicide is among the leading causes of death in the United States, and according to the World Health Organization, “Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is a global phenomenon and occurs throughout the lifespan.”

We need to welcome the tears of others and meet them where they are, so that they can feel that where their rope ends, a greater rope begins. We are all connected as part of one continuous energy. We all feel pain. We all want happiness. Not just the human species, but all living beings feel suffering as well as happiness. We are all part of the same rope, and we need to help each other feel that connection to everyone and everything.

If ever you feel that you have come to the end of your rope, please know that you are not ever alone in your pain. Help and connection are always available to you.

For further hope and inspiration, please read my previous post, “It Is Your Duty To Live” and my new book Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life.

If you live in the United States, you can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It is available 24 hours everyday. You can also visit the website: SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

So, will you accept the challenge and share a sad photo of yourself for the world to see? Your sad photo might just help someone in despair to grab onto that greater rope that we all share.

May this post be helpful to many beings.

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy.

 

 

What to Do with Difficult Emotions When You Cannot Stop to Tend to Them

Dear readers, today’s post is a follow-up to my blessing on Friday, “May You Be Willing to Do the Work When the Work Shows Up,” in which I wrote about facing your juicy triggers when they arise. That post was oriented towards weekend time, when you have more flexibility to change your plans…

But what do you do when those difficult emotions arise when you have to work or you have an appointment that cannot be rescheduled? I will share a few tips here, and I would love to hear other strategies that work for you…

When you cannot stop to tend to difficult emotions, it is helpful to cultivate the witness consciousness. Harness the observer part of you, and say to yourself, “I see there is a difficult emotion passing through me now.” Take a moment to acknowledge that you do not have time (yet) to address the emotion… Then have your neutral witness part assure the upset part that you will tend to it just as soon as you can…

Another tip is to take short breaks from your obligations in order to have power cries. You know, like a power snack or a power nap, only it is a power cry… Crying, even for a short time, can really help you to let off some steam and to relieve some pressure from those sweet little emotions that you don’t have time (yet) to process… I did this myself many years ago when I was brokenhearted after a relationship ended: during the day at work, I cried hard for 1-2 minutes during each restroom break, and then I returned to my desk smiling…

What do you do when you cannot stop to tend to difficult emotions?

 

Orange tree photo from Free-Photos on Pixabay.

 

 

StarFire Teja’s Guided Imagery for Highly Sensitive Persons

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person? Or do you know any Highly Sensitive Persons? You can read a list of signs of highly sensitive persons on this wonderful website called Highly Sensitive Refuge here: “21 Signs That You’re a Highly Sensitive Person.”

About 15-20% of people are Highly Sensitive Persons, “HSPs,” and Dr. Elain Aron, an HSP herself and author of the book, The Highly Sensitive Person, developed a quiz you can take to find out if you are an HSP. Take the quiz here: Highly Sensitive Test, and if you have a child who you suspect is an HSP, you can take a quiz for your child here: Highly Sensitive Child Test.

If you are not an HSP yourself, reading up on this topic (at the links above) could help you to be a blessing to someone. If you have a friend, family member, or co-worker who is an HSP, you can help to ease their burdens by simply communicating to them that you have some knowledge and understanding of how difficult life can be for them.

A few years ago, I finally took the online quiz to see if I really was an HSP, even though I already knew I was, and oh my gosh I was off-the-charts, saying yes to pretty much every question! I saw it as a handicap, as something very negative and almost debilitating. So I googled and felt uplifted by reading about all these HSPs who are learning to harness the goodness in their sensitivities so that they can thrive in the world. I also read that many HSPs feel continually assaulted by being in the world, which is something I can very much relate to. Even as I am typing this blog, my nervous system is very rattled because some work is being done on our block that it is shaking the house, and that is making it difficult for me to think clearly.

HSPs are extremely sensitive to pretty much everything in their environment, which pretty much makes everything feel challenging! For me, it seems to be getting worse as I get older. To be honest, I have struggled very much for the past ten years with trying to figure out how to make life in the earthly realm more bearable. Today is my 49th Birthday, and I share the same birthday as Oprah and Mooji. I am so inspired by all the great work they are doing in the world, and I really deeply yearn to be like them and to shine my big fire out into the world. I haven’t yet figured out how to do that, but I keep trying. I can’t help but say, “It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to,” but actually I don’t really want to cry! HSP’s tend to cry very easily, and that has been a problem for me ever since I was a young child. Sometimes I cannot get control over the crying and it completely exhausts my system. If you are an HSP, you can probably relate to that.

As I said, I don’t really want to cry. What I do want is to figure out how to use my bright intelligence and beautiful sensitivities to be helpful to others. That is why I am writing these blogs, because I want to be helpful. Through my struggles to master living in this earthly realm with greater ease, I have been blessed to learn many helpful tools and practices, which I now share with others. One tool that has helped me greatly is harnessing the power of visualizations. Below I offer you some guided imagery for highly sensitive persons. May it be helpful to you or to someone you know…

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering. May All Beings Be Happy!

 

And so… beginning to settle in… and beginning to settle down… breathing down your spine… settling deeper into your mind… and deeper into the center of your being… drifting down… deeper and deeper into your center… settling in to your inner world… with effortless relaxation flowing, from your head, down to your toes… becoming more and more centered… letting things pass through… feeling how everything can just pass through… really letting things through… being centered… and open… soothing your nervous system with compassion and kindness… developing inner strengths… and imagining walking slowly through a forest… deeply inhaling the scent of pine… enjoying the vibrant green leaves… hearing birds calling to each other in the tree branches above… relaxing even more deeply now…

… and feeling how energetic sensitivity is controlled with an old-fashioned radio dial… changing the station… so, focusing on something else… letting go of identification with sensitivities… re-identifying as a very centered person… clear, good boundaries with yourself… centering… opening… changing the channel… focusing on things that feel good… warm sunshine… birds flying… flowers and trees… helping others… family and friends… singing to God… feeling goodness in the center of your being…

… and knowing that feeling overwhelmed starts in your mind… and you can change your mind… and limiting your life starts in your mind… and you can change your mind… your Deeper Mind knows that everything always works out perfectly… and from this moment forward, your conscious mind also knows that everything always works out perfectly… and your Deeper Mind also knows that you always do each thing at just the right time… and from this moment forward, your conscious mind also knows that you always do each thing at just the right time…

… listening deeply to what needs to happen when… and knowing when to stretch the edges a little… knowing you are strong, vibrant, grounded, and healthy… and you are savvy and capable… listening deeply to what needs to happen when… and accepting it when you need to pause and rest and integrate… centered, open, accepting… with great kindness towards yourself… being in love with yourself and all of Life… realizing that the Love Blueprint of your Deeper Mind is now imprinting on your conscious mind… and you are now being activated to open to the Infinite Possibilities all around you…

… releasing any old stories… and knowing that there are many ways of feeling deep connection with self and others… managing your highly sensitive nature… using these abilities to realize your highly sensitive success… emotionally healthy and resourceful… your brain can easily tap into higher vibration energies to help self and others… you are coded to be sensitive to those that need your help… establishing an energy of enthusiasm…

… activating, aligning, and accelerating your passion… embodying powerful inner and outer steps to putting yourself in a constant state of a productive, purpose-filled life… activating wisdom at the cellular level… increasing your self-love… activating the skill of managing your energy… working with your highly sensitive nature and abilities… feeling sensations neutrally as they pass through… living a fulfilling life of joy, peace, energy, and balance… thriving as yourself, living in the world… and connecting out with every star in the sky, while also feeling grounded on the earth… and placing one hand on your heart… and the other hand on your belly… feeling the warm healing energies going from your hands into your heart and belly… feeling gratitude for your strengths… and now returning to the outer world, feeling centered, refreshed, and energized…

 

StarFire Teja’s Book is now on Amazon!
Amazon Author Page here: Teja Shankara