Dr Dain Heer had a -perfect' life when he decided to end it all. Now, he is determined to save lives through one simple awareness – the pursuit of perfection can kill you; your own greatness can heal your life.
Fifteen years ago, Dain Heer, felt so depressed and hopeless that he had set a date for his suicide. 'I gave the universe six months or I was going to kill myself", Heer explains. 'I had two chiropractic practices, a bit of money, a wonderful girlfriend – I had everything I thought would constitute a perfect life. But, inside, I was dying."
Now, Heer is an internationally renowned speaker, author and co-creator of Access Consciousness®, a popular set of life tools and philosophies. Travelling the world, he shares his personal experiences with abuse, depression and near-suicide to assure others that they have everything to live for.
The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 800,000 individuals each year take their own lives. These tragedies occur all over the world; in low- and high-income areas; women and men, and in all age groups. Although there are country-centric patterns, there does not appear to be one, definitive reason for suicide.
Heer believes one major contributor is society's fictional ideal of perfection. 'We place too much emphasis on perfection." Heer remarks. 'We hold expectations and other points of view about how life – and we – should be. When those expectations aren't met, we believe it is because we have failed – we make ourselves, 'bad" or 'wrong'. In doing so, we are unable to see the greatness that we naturally are."
Heer cautions that many of the expectations we hold about life are not, actually, our own. They are points of view we have unconsciously adopted from others. 'How many points of view about life have you absorbed from your father? Your mother?" he asks. 'If you had no past and had bought none of these points of view, what would you like in your life right now? What would you create for yourself?"
Heer believes that there are many factors that undermine our natural sense of greatness.
Being highly aware and sensitive
According to Heer, we are all unknowingly under constant bombardment of the thoughts and feelings of people around us. '98% of what goes on in your head isn't even yours" he remarks. Highly sensitive people are particularly attuned to, and affected by, the emotions of others. 'They are like psychic sponges", Heer advises. 'They are so attuned to others that, at an unconscious level, it's like they are absorbing and reacting to everyone in a hundred mile radius!"
Tip: Firstly, Heer advises 'Hang out with happy people!" Secondly, repeatedly ask yourself this simple question whenever you are feeling sad, angry or blue: "Who does this belong to?" If the emotion -lifts' from you, you can be assured that you have just picked it up from someone else.
Many depressed people have been abused physically, mentally or emotionally. Dr Heer advises that people unconsciously believe that abuse wouldn't happen to a good person. 'So, by default, those of us who have been abused have decided they must be -bad' or -wrong' to create this. Then we perpetuate this belief into the future by making it a justification for why we can't choose or create goodness in our lives."
Tip: Learn to see yourself from a different perspective, such as 'I have been confronted with the worst of this reality and I'm still here and I'm still searching for something greater." According to Heer, many abused people become the kindest and most caring people in the world as their way of going beyond the abuse. 'You are different. You are greater than anything that has been a part of your life. You are a gift to this world", he counsels.
Constantly seeking answers or conclusions
According to Heer, constantly trying to make sense of (or find answers to) life entraps you in a cycle of judgement, blame and disappointment. Heer's solution? 'Ask questions" he says. 'A question always empowers. An answer always disempowers. One of the problems with depression and unhappiness is that we don't see any different possibility. When you ask a question, even a simple one, you open other doorways of possibility that didn't seem to exist before."
Tip: Ask yourself these questions every day: What can I be or do different today to move beyond this depression?; How does it get any better than this?; Universe, will you please show me something beautiful today?; What else is possible here that I've never considered?
Living a sedentary lifestyle
According to Heer, sedentary lifestyles are very, very stressful on our bodies and are actually quite unkind to them. 'Your body is meant to move! That's one of the reasons you have it. It loves to be mobile. It loves to run, jump, swim, play, walk, rock-climb, have sex, roller-blade and be enjoyed for the gift of movement it can be." he advises.
Tip: Ask your body each day: 'Body, what movement would you like to do today?" And go do it! You don't have to do it perfectly, or like a world class athlete. Make it easy. Do it for fun! For your body! Just do it.
And to anyone overwhelmed with the weight of expectation, judgement and despair, Heer has a simple piece of advice. 'Please know there is always hope. Never give up, never give in and never quit. You are far too valuable to the world!"
Dain Heer is an internationally renowned author, speaker and facilitator of consciousness and change and for the last 14 years has been inviting people to embrace their true greatness. His book, -Being You, Changing the World – Is Now the Time?' is published in 7 languages. For more information go to www.drdainheer.com
Dr Dain Heer is an internationally renowned author, speaker, and facilitator of consciousness and change. Co-creator of Access Consciousness He will be in Australia on 18th November for his 'Being You. Changing the World" class, which will be streamed live across the world. For more information, please visit Dr Dain Heer's website.
Question: Why is pretending to be someone else the greatest way to destroy ourselves?
Dr Dain Heer: Because we are not being who we are! The greatest gift we have to offer the world is choosing to be who we truly are, without judgment and to have the total caring we have for everyone around us.
When we try to pretend to be someone else, we are saying that we have no value! People continuously think, if I was just someone else, I would be happier. If I was someone else, I wouldn't struggle. This actually isn't true. The only way to come out of all of this and be happy and thrive is to start being you! I always say to my clients, 'What if every perceived wrongness you thought about yourself is actually your strongness and your greatness?!"
Question: What signs should friends and family look for in their loved ones who are suffering from depression?
Dr Dain Heer: The first thing you'll notice is that they withdraw, stop interacting, stop accomplishing things and that they are very hard to reach by phone, by email and even energetically. You can't feel them any more.
When this occurs, one thing I suggest is to call them and leave them a voice mail. Tell them how much of an impact they have had in your life and that having them in your world makes your life greater. You can say, 'I know I have never taken a moment to tell you, but I just was thinking of you and I wanted to let you know that if I can do anything for you or contribute to you, please call me, I am here."
The other thing you can do is ask them out for coffee or a drink. The biggest difficulty with people who are depressed is that they feel totally alone and they don't know that they are not the only one going through this. If you can show them they are not alone, it will help. Don't acknowledge their unhappiness. Tell them how they have made your life better. Just one person showing them a kindness can change their whole world.
Question: How can we follow you and recreate our own personal greatness?
Dr Dain Heer: You have to take the first step. Most of us think if we don't know how to do the entire journey we will not know how to get there. Ask, 'What one action can I take today that will increase my happiness right away?" And, recognize that everything is changeable.
Three great questions to ask if you are feeling really down are:
What is it you think you can't handle that you actually could?
Where did you learn you had to have a way out instead of a way of creating a possibility?
What is the gift of you that if the world lost it the world would be a less wonderful place because you're gone?
Question: Can you share your tips to beating depression, naturally?
1) Find someone you can talk to, whether it is an organization like Beyond Blue or a friend. Letting it out and getting it out can change everything.
2) A Question that helped me and I still use all the time is, 'Who does this belong to?" for every thought, feeling and emotion that comes up.
This tool from Access Consciousness is brilliant for stopping mind chatter and the non-stop train of thoughts and emotions going through your head. Most of the time, we are so psychic that we pick up on the thoughts feelings and emotions of everyone else around us. Notice how when someone else is in a bad mood you tend to pick it up?
3) Get out of Judgement
One of the biggest enemies to being happy is self-judgment. The more we judge, the more we get of what we are judging. If you start to be mean and unkind to yourself, see a big red stop sign and tell yourself to 'Stop it!"
4) Asking Questions is potent. Questions take you off a dead end road where you think you have no choice. For example, instead of asking what's wrong with you, ask, 'What is right about me that I am not getting?
5) Your point of view creates your reality. Watch what you are saying to yourself and catch this.
6) Realise you are different. Stop trying to be someone else. Recognise your difference.
7) Get moving!
The body makes happy hormones or endorphins when we exercise it. With these running around our bodies and our lymph system flowing, physiologically we become alive energetically and happy. Conversely, when we are in a cycle of judgment, our bodies slow down, making us feel -down'.
8) Gratitude – practice this on a daily basis. Look at the little things around you – maybe a color, the sunrise, or a view – I ask every day 'Universe show me something beautiful." It is amazing what can show up. Gratitude and judgment can't co- exist.
Interview by Brooke Hunter