Faye Fitzgerald is the founder of the Training in Power Academy, a spiritual education system that offers over 20 courses in meditation, spiritual healing and self-empowerment. She has counseled and worked with hundreds of clients over the years and recognizes the common struggles that many have with anxiety and depression. Recently she launched a day-long workshop regarding the topic in Toronto. We sat down with her to find out more about her unique perspective on anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression is something that most people, on a spectrum, deal with in their day-to-day lives. As a spiritual healer and teacher, what is your perspective on these two dynamics?
I think anxiety and depression are a call from the spirit, a call to be more and live more than just our human life. We may be successful in our human lives, but spirit must take precedent. It’s a tough go when we are not trained to even look to the spirit, other than maybe in church or something, and that’s just for when we are there. Sometimes, our sense of self is very compartmentalized. What starts happening is this flood of anxiety or depression can sweep through all those compartments, until those false divisions melt away and people start taking stock of what is actually going on inside themselves.
So when you say it comes from spirit, is that to say that anxiety and depression is caused by spirit? Or is it a symptom of a disharmony within?
It is treated as a symptom of disharmony, when we are not functioning optimally. We are then medicated and it’s called an illness and there is still no recognition of some of the deeper causes, which can be from dynamics of childhood that are of a traumatic nature.
When we are traumatized as children we are thrust too soon into our spirit, into that other side. It can come from being harmed and betrayed. Somehow there was a breaking of a greater divine Law toward the child. The child then becomes prone to the touches of the other side, which can cause both depression and anxiety as they go hand-in-hand.
While you say depression and anxiety go hand in hand, how would you describe either side of the dynamic?
The depressive side of things is the recognition that the only way to get over to the other side is through death, so it involves an element of death energy. The death energy then creates anxiety. If there is depression going on, then anxiety immediately follows. Most of us can’t go into a hospital without a little bit of a twinge of anxiety, so it is a natural response.
If anxiety is the beginning and there is no sign of depression, then there is a touch from the other side that is a demand that you pay attention to your higher calling. You are somehow being called into service, toward your noble nature.
For those people who have anxiety come upon them during the day and they don’t know why, or those who wake up in a depression and struggle all day to get out of it, how would you advise them to find their way through it?
When those touches come, when anxiety comes, it’s when we know we are going to take a false step or we know we are going down a road we are going to regret. We know that we are not seeing the full scope, the ‘third choice’ if you will. Most people live in an either-or world. It’s pretty much in a demand-ultimatum and even if you don’t make a decision, the decision is often made for you.
Whether it’s conscious or not, people can put anxiety onto issues of their survival, like food, shelter or genuine human need, but that level of strife really isn’t true for most people. So we have to start looking at – what is the call? What is this anxiety? Rather than running from it, embrace it and really overcome it by facing it and becoming conscious.
You say, “OK I have anxiety, I’ve been triggered, is there something that is stimulating this extreme response?” If so, the more you are conscious of the initial trauma, the more you will heal. The truth shall set you free.
Your suggestion is ultimately, that anxiety and depression can be used as a tool.
It’s part of the grand design of who we are. You’re not really going to be rid of that mechanism, so it’s better that you understand that it’s sort of like a teeter-totter. The more you can come toward the centre of a teeter-totter, the more you are in balance. Lots of us used to do this as kids on the playground. We’d stand on either side of that balance point and run that empty teeter-totter up and down.
When we are way out on the extremes of anxiety and the extremes of depression, it feels much like that teeter-totter: when the depression is up then the anxiety is lowered, and then the anxiety kicks in because there is a death energy then the depression gets lowered. And it goes up and down and down and up, and so on. Until there is a non-understanding and you just feel overwhelmed, victimized, or caught.
The more you can really face these things, you’ll drive them inward toward that balance point, the fulcrum point of the teeter-totter. So you’ll stand there and you might feel a twinge towards depression or anxiety, but you’ve already got the mechanisms underfoot to balance you, so to speak.
Find out more about Faye and her work at www.fayefitzgerald.com.
An anxiety and depression workshop will be offered in Summer 2016 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Find out more at www.traininginpower.com.