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Nineteen years ago, I was 2O. And depressed about it. The simple fact of my birthday launched me into my first bout of “clinical” [i.e. serious, prolonged and intense] depression. It was not to be the last.

Stuck in the gray quicksand of despondency, shell shocked after so many years of being sheltered, shepherded and shaped mentally, socially and emotionally in the school system and the culture of my family and religion and the larger, privileged middle-class American consumer culture all around us. I went to a psychiatrist who prescribed me pills to take each day as long as I should live and wisely advised me to go back to work.

Work, at the time, was at an Austin ad agency. And I did go back and I did get through the depression. Til the next summer. The summer of my failed yoga teacher training in Quebec, Canada. I signed up for a month and lasted 4 days. Flew home feeling like I’d fallen on my face. Flat. Self-labeled failure. Bleak, dark depression cloaked me once again. All I did was hide inside ruminating and feeling bad. Barely ate, had no interest in reading or watching anything. Beauty and gratitude were blocked from my vision. It finally lifted with the help of those antidepressant pills and effort, just in time for September 11 to happen and the whole country to spin into a flutter of shock and dismay.

Fourteen years ago, I was 25. Depressed yet again, deep in the heart of Texas. Stupid heartbroken broken post manic woman crashed back at home, flat. Unaccepted. Unacceptable. Incapable. And yet, I was beginning to see the pattern. Starting to realize that it would lift. The black storm of listlessness and melancholy would not last forever, as I had seriously thought it would back when I was 2O.

Ten years ago, I was 29 and preparing to move myself to Guatemala. Been here ever since, aside from occasional trips to visit home and travels abroad. It’s been a glorious, amazing, incredible decade of self-love, growth, expansion, learning, challenges, partnership, motherhood and all the things that go along with all of this.

I gratefully welcome another July, with joy, compassion, nostalgia and appreciation. It’s going to be an intense astrological month of eclipses. One breath at a time. One step at a time. Focus. Move from a place of love. Embracing Mercury retrograde. Looking back, remembering the past, healing the wounds, hugging the inner child. Observing and dissolving anger and letting the feelings flow, arise, and be released. Thinking before speaking. Choosing my battles. Ever discovering balance and harmony, the yoga of everyday life. The yoga of sanity.

Namaste.