May is Mental Health Awareness Month. That's why I hosted my book launch concert on May 17th at the New York Irish Center. I wrote and published my recent memoir because I wanted to share my story of overcoming depression in order to help others find ways to let the color yellow enter their lives again.
Yellow is the color of the solar plexus, the third of the seven chakras in the human body. It is located at our center, where the sun shines three inches above the belly button at the core of our being. Sometimes clouds of emotion cover our internal sunshine and feelings of depression overcome us. But just as weather patterns are temporary, and clouds give way to sunshine, so are the emotions that sometimes darken our hearts and minds. It is natural to feel all the feels, to experience grief, sadness, and depression. But it is important for us not to remain there in the dark, to cling to those clouds, and stay stuck in negative thought patterns. This is the core of my message in my latest memoir The Gods of Clown Alley.
The photo above was taken in Arles, France, the town where Vincent Van Gogh lived and painted. I took my mom there at the end of our healing journey. We were both suffering from extreme heartache brought on by loss and separation. My book reveals our journey to a wellness retreat in Sedona, Arizona where we attended healing workshops from sound baths to psychic meditations. Each chapter goes deeper into our past where characters in our lives are introduced like members of the circus. Celebrity artists are also woven into the story, from John Lennon, to Ernest Hemingway, to Vincent Van Gogh. Mental health issues surrounded the circumstances of their deaths.
Despite Van Gogh's debilitating depression, he often painted using the color yellow, the symbol of happiness. He was able to transform his pain into beauty, and his art work is loved on a universal level. John Lennon sang, "All You Need is Love." His message was simple. But so many of us have a hard time believing it. I once believed that Hemingway was a bombastic jerk based on what I had read about him. But his spirit came to me in a dream where he said, "You don't really know me." When I woke I realized, I don't even know myself, so how can I judge others?
My message to you this May, and every day of every month, is to be gentle with yourself. Focus on the color yellow at your core, and work on your mental health daily as if your life depended on it, because it does. You are worthy. You are luminous. And you are a god in this circus called life. You have the power to create the life of your dreams. There is no need to spend your life in darkness when you have the power to turn on the light switch. It begins with shifting your perspective. Never forget how powerful you are. Never forget the sun will always return. May the Force be with you, always and forever.
The Gods of Clown Alley - Available on Amazon