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.

 

 

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How’s It Going With Your 2019 Goals?

Setting goals is good, but sometimes it can be a set-up for terrible heartbreak, especially if the goals were set too high.

For example, one of my goals this year was to sell 1,809 books by March 31st, which was set too high given the reality that I had no publicist and no budget. Even though I knew it was what some call a “stretch goal,” I’m still feeling a tad sad about it, so I am grateful that I have many tools for working skillfully with difficult emotions.

Are you feeling sad about any of your goals not panning out? If so, you might benefit from using my two best tools for working with the sadness of disappointment: Cultivating the Witness and Practicing Gratitude. Both are described in the extensive list of spiritual practices at the beginning of my book, The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes.

When re-evaluating goals, it is good to remember that many goals are ever-shifting and evolving. While goals give a sense of direction, the path may change many times. And sometimes it ends up being best to abandon the path of a goal altogether and find a new direction.

So, how’s it going with your 2019 goals?

 

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

 

 

Monday Morning Musings on Grief

 

Some say that grief purifies the mind and the heart.

Did you know that emotional tears – tears of grief or tears of joy – are different than reflex tears? When you cry out of sadness, those tears contain a higher percentage of protein-based hormones than tears caused by irritants.

I say that if grief doesn’t take you down, then it will eventually take you Up. (And while allowing the sadness to flow through, it is helpful to do what you can to Gratitude Up and Happy Up. See my previous blog “StarFire Teja’s Three Tips to Help You Gratitude Up”)

What do you say?

 

image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

StarFire Teja’s Three Tips For the Lonely at Valentine’s Day

Approaching Valentine’s Day can be a difficult time for the lonely and broken-hearted. I have been there, so I understand how excruciating that pain can be. If you feel some sadness now, I hope you will happy up through reading the tips in this blog. If you already feel happy now, please forward this blog to someone who feels sad.

1. Try to keep a sense of humor. Laughter is very healing and it uplifts the spirits, so look for funny videos, books, and cartoons to help lighten your mood. To help get your laughter started, here is a hilarious video from nine years ago. In this video my younger son was ten years old, my hair was long, and I still thought that I wanted a romantic partner to make me happy. Thankfully I no longer cry myself to sleep!

2. Here is a list of my previous blog articles which might be helpful to you now. If you’ve already read these, try reading them again because re-reading information helps it to sink in on deeper levels. Whether or not you have read these articles already, try reading them out loud because that also helps the material to go deeper into your mind.

“Into the Fire”
“Divine Feminine & Divine Masculine Union is Within”
“It Is Your Duty to Live”
“StarFire Teja’s Three Tips to Help You Gratitude Up”
“StarFire Teja’s Three Super Simple Spiritual Practices”

3. Remember that Valentine’s Day is about all kinds of love, not just romantic love. When I was growing up, each year my Grandma Becker sent hand-made Valentines to all of us grandkids. She mailed them to us with a dollar or two tucked in the cards, and it was always such a thrill to receive them. So remember that you can also share the Valentine’s Love with friends and family. Also practice cultivating self-love, and then extend that love out to all the beings in all the realms. And then, if you find yourself feeling that you love Everyone and Everything, that’s when you are in the Highest Love Vibrations.
Enjoy that love! Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope this blog was helpful to you or to someone you love.

May All Beings Be Elevated to the Highest Love Vibrations!

Protection Prayer When Grieving

Did you know that you need a little extra protection when you are feeling sad? Your energy field and your immune system are more susceptible to outer influences when you are grieving.

Jacob Liberman, in his book Take Off Your Glasses and See, writes “When we are happy, our immune system feels happy and works with relish, and when we are sad, our immune system is depressed and far less energetic…. prolonged depression can weaken the immune system, and… happiness can be a powerful healing agent.”

As I have written in previous blog articles, we can choose to be happy. Per the Upanishads (a collection of wisdom by the ancient mystics of India), the mind is the means to happiness. We really can decide to be happy. This doesn’t necessarily happen immediately, but if you regularly tell yourself that you are choosing to be happy, then over time it will become true for you.

And, even the happiest people still have sad times. Grief is an integral part of the human condition. It is the inevitable reality of life that other people die and anything may change unexpectedly at anytime. So, knowing that happiness is better for the immune system, and also knowing that some sadness is inevitable, my solution is to pray for protection when grieving. This prayer that I say might be helpful to you also the next time you are grieving.

“Dear God, Please protect me from all harm while this grief is passing through me. May this grief purify my mind and my heart. Through this sadness may I be healed on every level. May I be open to more Love and Compassion.”

May you be protected when grieving. May you be open to the Love and Compassion that sadness can bring.

 

image courtesy NASA Goddard