What are some of the messages you’ll find in my new book Heart of Miracles? It’s the story of my journey from illness and disconnection to a new level of awareness, peace, love, and understanding. In Heart of Miracles, I describe my near-death experience due to a condition called cardiac tamponade. I had emergency open-heart surgery, and spent many years recovering. During this time, I entered a very deep period of self-exploration and exploration of the nature and cycle of Life. Seeking to strengthen my recovery, I visited India, Italy, the Kingdom of Bhutan and Israel to explore the spiritual teachings in each one of these places.
Each experience brought new lessons. Here are a few:
India: In India, I was reminded that we are never truly alone. There is always a guiding hand nearby, an invisible Source of all that is Love. If you are lacking this connection to a Higher Source, try meditation.
Italy: Everyone who is in a couple or married was single before they met that person. When you are around happy couples don’t say “Love is for everyone except for me,” or “It has never worked out for me in the past, I give up.” When you see romantic love around you, only be reminded that it’s a possibility for you too. Align with that!
The Kingdom of Bhutan: In The Kingdom of Bhutan, the people believe in reincarnation, that we go through a cycle of different embodiments here on Earth for our own learning. They believe that we play different roles in each other’s lives due to past life connections, and that we should be conscious of living a good life (here and now) so that we will be blessed with positive people and circumstances in our next life.
Israel: Jesus is a key figure from the Holy Land, and he reminds us of the importance of living an ethical life and having compassion for others. Apply this to your life, and you will find an Open Door to true riches.
Among the important discoveries I made during these years was learning how to make myself happy with minimal effort. A couple of years after my heart surgery, I was pretty depressed. I had to work really hard to fight my way out of the gloom, but adopting an exercise program or getting out of the house for enjoyable activities just wasn’t an option for me.
There are numerous prescriptions on how to beat depression: exercise, Feng Shui, saying affirmations, nutrition, spiritual retreats, etc. But I have found that the problem with depression is that you’re very disinclined to do any of these things. So what are some great ways to start toward happiness, even if you simply can’t muster much motivation or have the capacity (or money) to engage in some of the traditional ways out? Don’t give up. There are a lot of small steps that you can take that require very little effort or money, only a decision.
Any movement whatsoever in the right direction is helpful.
Here are 5 tips for overcoming depression:
1. Watch happy and funny movies or TV shows. When you open your Netflix or iTunes, type in “Comedy.” Take in only media that will make you laugh or inspired.
2. If you can’t leave a room or bed, it’s still important to connect with others. Listen to Hay House Radio, or make sure you have daily contact with someone fun outside your home (like a phone call with an old friend).
3. Play guided meditations and spiritual audio tracks while you sleep. I love Doreen Virtue Podcasts, Louise Hay Affirmations, or anything by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Many are free on YouTube.
4. Stop eating sugar or products with refined white flour.
5. Pray. Spend a few minutes every day asking a Higher Power to lift depression from your life. Ask for GRACE. Ask simply: “Higher Power, Creator of All that is Good and Love, I ask you for the GRACE to guard the peace in my heart and the thoughts in my mind.”
Your request will not be denied. You can do it! I love you and I am praying for you.
Karen Henson Jones is a co-founder of Malibu Beach Yoga in Malibu, California. She also works as an assistant to Khen Rinpoche, the founder of the Siddhartha School and head abbot of the Tashi Lhunpho monastery in India.