March 05, 2021
Dear Allyson,

My fiancé and I are in our early 20's, love each other deeply and are creative people. We both draw, he plays guitar, I write, paint, and create in other mediums. When we first took LSD together, we remembered knowing each other before. It was the most profound experience of our lives. To protect our sacred connection, we vowed to help each other grow, and appreciate our relationship more than ever. A problem we share is suffering with depression, leaving us feeling stuck, unhappy, and unmotivated to create or even to live. I find it hard to stick with and finish an artwork and lack confidence in my abilities. We feel as if we aren't fully living life and fear that life will fly by us and we will be unfulfilled in the end. 

How do we find motivation to create when we feel so stuck? To battle depression, we have been listening to Ram Dass and trying to implement his ways in our everyday lives. Garrett and I look up to both of you, because you and Alex understand the creative aspect of spirituality.  When we're both depressed, we watch a CoSM video, especially to get our day started. But how do pull yourself out of the repeating loop of being depressed, attempting to create, feeling as if you've failed, losing the creative spark? 

Garrett and I are very grateful for the wisdom you and Alex give. The CoSM community feels like home, and we are inspired everyday.

Ask Allyson Image
Transforming Depression: Healing the Soul Through Creativity by David H. Rosen, MD
Dear Selena & Garrett,

Thank you so much for your question. Crushing emotional forces, like no time in memory, are affecting the lives and mental health of many during the pandemic. Ram Dass is indeed a venerable spiritual guide.

The future you are living into gives you the way you feel in the present. Reaching for a challenging future can catalyzes us forward into our life. Dream large and work everyday toward a goal that calls you, no matter how out-of-reach it seems to you in your early twenties. If you want to be a fine artist or musician, the time is now to take steps toward that goal, no matter how far away mastery may seem. The way toward a truly happy and fulfilling life is to immerse yourself in solving a BIG problem. Finding and fulfilling your passion is a BIG problem. Finishing artworks is a good beginning.  You may have to make time everyday to paint, draw and play music, to practice enough to begin pleasing your inner judges. Creative discontent is the artist’s best friend as it catalyzes your work toward ever-higher standards. 

Your soul’s light is unique and has to be cultivated. To lift the weight of fear and hopelessness from your creative life, GO FOR THE JOY!  Look for what attracts you in your art medium and in your chosen subject. Take out your best works and line them up, even if they are unfinished, and ask yourself what you like and don’t like about each piece and how you would improve it. What would need to know or practice to create that piece to your satisfaction and to better communicate your intention for that artwork. Review the work with your beloved and choice people whose opinion you trust and ask them what they like best and feel needs improvement. Do the same works over and you will learn plenty about painting and drawing. Send me pictures and I will give you feedback. [email protected]

Alex and I recommend the inspiring book, Transforming Depression: Healing the Soul Through Creativity
by David H. Rosen, MD . The people Dr. Rosen interviewed for the book, had jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and survived. Each one realized the moment they went over the edge, that they had made a terrible mistake, and on the way down they decided that if they lived, they would never attempt this again. In surviving, each of them felt that they had been saved and found purpose in their lives that sustained them. They wanted to be of use and serve and share their experience so others would not lose hope in their lives. 

Alex sends warm regards


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