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Category Archives: ego

I hit the reset button, and discovered a new awakened reality

a new awakened realityMy life wasn’t falling apart, and my health was stable. I was simply tired of being sick and tired. I knew there had to more to life than suffering. The reliance on the doctors left me over-medicated. Between my six doctors, I was taking 13 daily medications.

I hit the reset button. I went exploring for alternatives and one day I discovered meditation.

One day after a 10-minute meditation session, I had a profound shift of consciousness after I heard an inner voice say, “perfect spirit.” I pondered that phrase for a moment, and I thought, “A-ha, that’s it!” I simply knew that my spirit was perfect and that the body/mind was damaged from the bipolar, MS, and a few other ailments. A moment later, a deep knowing came that “all is well,” and the health challenges were over. This knowing also revealed that I had to create a recovery practice to restore the damage done to the body and mind.

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Others Could Not Heal Or Cure My Bipolar, Multiple Sclerosis, Migraines, Psoriasis, And Psoriatic Arthritis.

Cure My BipolarI am staring at a small stack of appointment reminders. My spare time is spent with my team of doctors. This team has prescribed dozens of medications over that past decades.

Currently, I am taking 13 medications divided into 24 pills to be consumed throughout the day. For each doctor I visit I hand in my medication list, and give out copies of my latest blood test results. It is exhausting to keep up with it all.

My doctors were satisfied with my maintenance medication plan. There was never any talk to streamline my medications. These medications provided enough stability and that was their goal. They never had a plan to cure or heal me – I was incurable.

Even though I had all sorts of side effects from my medications, it was decided that these were the pills for me to take daily. If I could cope with the medications and it was keeping my stable than that was considered a success.

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Confessions From A Thought Addict

Confessions From A Thought AddictHello, I’m Sam. This is my first meeting. I have a confession, I am a thought addict.

With bipolar I often read about the stigma associated with mental illness and believed that I was to act a certain way to prove that I am not dependable. With MS I often read about fatigue and then I developed a belief that I was supposed to be tired all the time. For every ailment or symptom that I was experiencing my mind convinced me to go read about it. After I read about a particular ailment and the potential issues with that ailment — strangely my mind adopted that opinion as its own.

When I looked around the world, my mind had a story about what it saw. My thoughts were non-stop with commentary. Being a thought addict, I clung to the commentary as the truth. I was one with my thoughts. I was blissfully unaware that I was a slave to the mind.

The mind would often bark orders, and as a faithful servant I would carry out those orders.

“Look at those sexy people on TV! You are fat, go to the gym!”

“Look at him, he is smarter than you. He knows more about this disease than you. You should go study more!”

“The doctor said that you are mentally ill. You are unworthy and undependable! Why do you bother to continue to live? You should go kill yourself!”

I pushed myself to go the gym.

I read all I could about my ailments.

I almost died.

I had enough of the mental noise, but what could I do? I was a thought junkie.

I began to look around, and kept myself open to possibilities. I simply knew there had to be a way out from my suffering without killing myself.

The universe, God, source, or whatever you wish to call the higher intelligence is always providing a way to get out from the thought addiction. Being an addict I was simply too caught up in the mental noise to notice.

One night I had a paranormal experience that I could not logically explain.
http://www.samjshelley.com/being-open-to-life/

The universe was always trying to get my attention – but I failed to notice. I read some books to try to figure it out.

One day I read about meditation. There was one benefit that screamed out to me “Inner Peace!”

I fought off the mind when I tried meditation. The mind wanted to remain in control and it constantly barked out orders. The order it loved to bark out during this time “You’re wasting your time. It’s a better use of your time to _________. Go do that instead!” Catch up on the news, catch up on the Walking Dead, play video games, etc.

I’m liberated! I beat the thought addiction!

It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen when I gave myself time to practice meditation. I started with 5 minutes a day and after several months I was up to 20 minutes. Then one day, I simply knew “all is well.” Then the mind shifted and became very, very quiet then a miraculous healing occurred. After this day I had no more symptoms, I moved onto the next phase — recovery.

When are you going to practice?

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Controlled By Thoughts?

Controlled By Thoughts

Why is everyone so damn annoying???   I just want to be left alone to do my thing.   I don’t want to play your stupid social games.   Just leave me be!

I was a freak in high school.  Performing all sorts of anti-social behaviors was my norm.   I would argue with the entire class over something trivial.   Or I would pick on people that wore crosses.  At the time I found people that followed religious traditions bizarre and confusing – blindly following along.

The above is how my mindset was in high school when I 16 years old.  It was the mind of an introvert or was it?   I suspect that I was probably in a different mindset than most of the people around me, but no one ever investigated further simply dismissing my angst as being a youth.     And I kept being annoyed and angry.

A few years later I fell into a deep depression with suicidal thoughts.   I was later diagnosed as a Bipolar Type 1.

At the time this was a perfectly acceptable, this gave me confirmation that I was sick and not screwed up beyond repair.

It took 5 long years with a few hospital stays before the doctor was able to stabilize my mood.   Some of the drugs made me manic where I developed a God like persona that I was invincible while a majority of the drugs left me a lifeless zombie.   I remember one drug that left me staring at wall all day while drooling.   In the 1990’s there weren’t many drug choices.

I lived with the bipolar label for over 20 years.

My outlook has completely changed since I have reversed the “incurable” bipolar diagnosis.

Today I see bipolar as a thought disorder and the way out is to do practices that give you separation from the thoughts.   When I had bipolar I was possessed by thoughts.

I do believe the psychiatric drugs provided enough stability to allow me to do the practice necessary to escape the label.   My doctor never talked about being medicine free, it was too be a life sentence.  I was “incurable.”

My doctor did not support my decision to go medicine free after all it took him 5 years to figure out the right combination.   He was a world renowned bipolar specialist in a teaching hospital in the city with numerous accolades and publications – this was not the path he preached.

Looking back I see that is something that kept me stuck with the bipolar story.  He was the “knowable” one, and I had to treat his word as the truth — after all what did I know about bipolar it was his job to fix me.

I simply knew one day that it was time to let go of the medicine.  Through practice I learned to trust my intuition.   I do not recommend anyone not to follow their doctor’s advice.   I made the leap, it could have failed and I could have slipped back into suicidal thoughts.   It worked out for me as I reclaimed authority over my body.

Today, I continue to practice watching the mind.  The mind is filled with thousands of stories about how things should be.  Some of the stories have resulted in conditioned responses.   Asking folks, “how are you?”  Then not really caring what they answer.   It will take some time to strip the power away from all the stories.

Lately, I have been working on consistency when I meet someone.   When I met someone what is my default behavior?     Do I treat them as an open book, or do I have a preconceived story in my head?

If I cannot read minds, then how could I know what is going on with them?

If I met someone yesterday, why am I convinced that I know everything about them?   I had no idea if they had a shift in ideas or beliefs since we last spoke.

Anytime there is a story in our head we leave the present moment.   We have to leave this moment to go relive the story in our head.  We become time travelers as we relive the past.

When people annoyed me it was because I was reliving a story in my head that everyone needed to behave a specific way.   We can control no one — it was a waste of energy to be annoyed.

Are you in the present moment of reliving a story?

 

 

 

 

Becoming Authentic Self: How Are You Going To Be Different?

Becoming Authentic Self
Recently, in LA there was a group that went out for dinner…they decided on Thai.  I am a plain and picker eater…or am I?   I saw the story from the mind, and decided that it’s time to try it out for the first time.   I order Chicken Pad Thai.    The chicken was excellent, and the noodles and vegetables were okay, there was one spice where I would need to more time to acquire that taste.  Several years ago when I was stuck in my head, this would have been a flatout “No! I don’t eat Thai!”   I would have missed out on this delightful experience and the great conversation that was held with seven other folks I didn’t know.

At the wrap party in LA on Saturday night, I was on the edge of the dance floor swaying to the music.   Then Meg – a dynamic firecracker – grabbed me and pulled me into the dance floor.   When I got there, I hesitated for moment since the mind began to chatter that I cannot dance.   I called out the mind,   “Liar! If I can do yoga then I can dance!”  While dancing I realized that it was the first time I danced in ten years.   When I had MS ten years ago, it was a challenge to walk ten feet with a walker.   Here I am dancing and it’s a miracle, and I am fully embracing it.   Sometimes we need folks to snap us out of a limiting mental story.  Thanks Meg for getting me to dance!

Three days after LA, I saw an old acquaintance –Michael — at a local Spiritual Meetup, he said he was shocked by my profound change since he last saw me about 6 months ago.   I am constantly on the lookup for the mental stories that define me.  Some folks call this a deepening into the true self – I see it as letting go of the past conditioning.

A week later I meet Michael and we begin to have a discussion about my vision.   One of the questions that he asked,

“There are a lot of teachers out there, how are you going to be different?”

“I will hold occasional field trips.   Most teachers I see only hold meetings which become a controlled environment – it’s not noisy.   The real world is noisy.   Real freedom occurs when you learn how to deal with the noise of the world.”

We are still working out the details of a local “I Don’t Dwell”  Meetup.  This acquaintance is a now a friendship, Michael will be the co-admin for this group.  LA showed me the importance of not going it alone, and the need to tap into your supporters – build a small army that will help bring your vision to the world.

My bold idea going to LA was “To show people how to use their pain and suffering as a teacher to free themselves from the limitations of the mind.”   My book is being released later this year and I felt the book was needed first before I launched my vision of public talks and teaching the simple practices I used.  I see that is false – a limitation that was created by the mind.   I can hold local meetings, then when the book is released by the publisher than the size of the audience will change.  My message will remain the same.

We become different by becoming authentic, and not conforming to the way things are normally done.   We don’t allow a story in our head to create a false limitation.  Without limitations the conventional boundaries don’t exist.

Are your limitations real or is it all in your head? Are you becoming authentic self?

On Being Mentally Trapped: Dance, My Little Monkey, Dance!

mentally trapped

I was constantly fed dance routines on how I was supposed to act and behave.  I would often get the dance routine wrong and the mind would pull out a stick and whip me.

The mind was mean — it was quick to criticize me since I was doing everything wrong. I was my mind’s pet monkey.

There was no pleasing my master. I was mentally trapped.

Everything I thought I knew about myself was created from the mind: my identity,  my beliefs,  my opinions,  and my ideas.

My identity kept me trapped into a way that I was supposed to behave. I was given a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and that carries a certain mindset that you are supposed to act crazy and not be dependable. After the diagnosis of MS, I was supposed to be tired all the time with chronic fatigue. I played those parts well most of the time. If I went looking for happiness by trying something out, the mental voice would chime in that I wasn’t good enough or deserving.

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Non-self – “It’s all made up” — Greg Hartle

Non-self is everything made up from the mind.It’s April 6, 2014 and it’s a day after attending the Instigator Experience (bringing bold ideas to life) in Los Angeles.   On the flight home to the Philadelphia Airport I felt like I received a hard slap to the face, after I realized the power of this statement from Greg who is a co-producer and speaker for this event.

“Non-self” is our identity – made up.

“Non-self” is our beliefs – made up.

“Non-self” is our ideas – made up.

“Non-self” is our ego – made up.

“Non-self” is our concepts – made up.

“Non-self” is everything made up from the mind.   “Self” is our pure being – the witness to the senses.

Everyone is chasing “non-self” with “non-self.” “Non-self” is the realm of make believe.  Enlightenment is to know yourself as “self.”

A few years ago, I lost my identity when I had a huge shift of consciousness and then I created another identity as a teacher when I wrote my book.  I use concepts to provide an understanding of the world, but ultimately those concepts must drop away or it becomes a distraction and we remain stuck in “non-self.”   I can only point the way to “self” everything else leads to “non-self” chasing “non-self.”  This is the world of suffering, worry, stress, and fear.   All these items are impermanent (temporary).  The only permanent thing is “self,” this essence never changes.

I told folks I was tapped into the universal wisdom – after today I see that is BS and falls into “non-self.”    People would ask me anything, and I would say “I don’t know.”  Then a little later I would get an answer.  I’m not tapped into anything.  It’s simply “self” talking to “self.”  People are not able to see the answer themselves since they are in the world of “non-self” which is made up.  (a delusion)

If it is all “self”, then why is there a need for pain and suffering?

Pain is part of life.   If someone hits you in the head with a hammer it will cause pain.  If there were no experiences (pain) there would be no reason for us to exist.   Life is experiencing “self” as “self.”  It’s beyond me to understand the necessity of life.

Suffering is “non-self.”  Our story creates suffering.  No thoughts, no suffering.  It is,  the way it is.

After this realization today, I feel lighter with a deeper sense of ease.  The same lightness and ease I felt when I had the big shift of consciousness, but then it waned when I took on the teacher identity.   I see why now, I started to play in the realm of “non-self” trying to come up with concepts to get people to find a way to “truth.”   There is no “truth” that is a mental concept.   This is why two people can see the same exact thing and have opposite opinions.   Who is right?  Well, they both are based on perception of the “non-self” world.

After today my new focus is to find ways to point to the “self” without engaging in the game of “non-self” activities.  There are only a few necessary activities.   Practices that allow the story in our head to drop away –creating the “non-self” world.  And practices which allow healing.

What are you chasing?  Can you let it go?

From I Can’t To I Can

When I followed the “I can’t” voice, I suffered. My diseases continued to get worse. By saying “I can’t” I was denying the present moment, I was resisting what is.  I was giving energy to what I didn’t want.  When I stopped giving this voice free reign over me then the diseases went away. It took some time, but I was willing to do the practice.

I see many people following the “I can’t” voice, and they are still under the delusion that life will magically improve by itself. It won’t.

We have to be willing to improve, and not want it to improve without doing any work.

The work is simple, the mind makes it tough. The mind wants to stay in control.

It is simply a matter of watching the chest rise and fall with the breath. When the mind is engaged with watching the breath…thoughts cease. The “I can’t” voice goes away in that moment.

We have hundreds of moments a day to watch a single breath. Any time you find yourself waiting — waiting at a red light, waiting in line, commercial breaks on TV, waiting for the laundry to finish. All those moments of waiting are ideal practice times. In time, the “I can’t” voice will lose power over you.

What are you waiting for? Go from I Can’t to I Can.

The Last Breath

be here nowNo one knows when that day will come, but it comes for everyone. The latest government statics show that 160,000 people die each day.

I suspect at least of quarter of those who passed expected to be here tomorrow. They had hope and dreams for tomorrow. Perhaps they spent their last day full of worry and stressing about something that never came. Or they died after a big argument with their spouse; now their spouse is leaving a life of regret wondering if they were the cause of it. Perhaps a young boy had harsh words with his parents before bed, and he wakes to find that his mother died overnight. This boy is now devastated, wishing he had another moment to tell mom how much he loved her.

Life is a mystery,  and we never know what is around the next corner.

Many folks act like they are invincible. They are making plans, setting new goals, putting off something until another day (procrastination), etc. They are forgetting about this moment, this moment is the only thing that is certain. Tomorrow may never come.

It’s easy to say to enjoy each moment, but it’s actually a difficult task. Through our various life experiences we have developed a strong bond with our thoughts. Our thoughts become the absolute truth. This mental chatter is constantly expressing its views, opinions, and judgments. Since the mental chatter becomes your truth, it becomes very easy to call people “wrong” and arguments/fights occur. The mental chatter is stuck in a loop — repeating the same information (programs). This mental chatter is rooted in the subconscious.

The subconscious contains all the programs on how we move in life. Some programs are useful — walking — but most are not. The programs save time and energy, but they will pull us into the past or create an imaginary future — they keep us out of the present moment.

One has to make conscious choices whenever possible and not allow the subconscious to make a default choice. This is a challenge, since it becomes a normal behavior to live from the subconscious. It takes practice, a practice worth undertaking. Life is more enjoyable when you are in the present moment — you are not weighed down with all the mental chatter and a false sense of “truth.”

The mind loves to stay in control, and it will generate numerous ideas on why it doesn’t want to practice being in the moment.

We have a choice to remain stuck in thoughts or set a new course for a freedom.

What do you choose?

The Year in Review? Resolutions? Plans for 2014?

The end of the year is almost here and a lot of articles and social media prompts are asking questions.   All these questions want you to dwell on the past year or project what is going to happen in the New Year.

The subconscious is the master of our domain –it stories the memories and beliefs (the programs).  These questions fuel the subconscious which keeps us stuck in the story of me.  The story of me is where all our suffering is stored.

If I took the question; “How was you year in 2004?”   This was the year I was diagnosed with MS.   I wouldn’t have much of an answer — MS was a nightmare.  Living a “normal” life was difficult.  That question would have led me to do dwell in thoughts of a difficult life.   It would give my MS story more power over me.

If the next question was, “What’s your big plan for 2005?”  I probably would have answered to live a “normal” life with MS.   However the subconscious mind was stuck in the story of “a difficult life with MS.”     Living a “normal” life would not come true unless the subconscious program was removed.

I focused 2004 and 2005 since they offered clarity for this article.    We have all dramatic events that keep us stuck.   Drama is a part of life and it’s important not to dwell on any areas.

The subconscious mind works much faster than the conscious mind.   The brain developed the subconscious mind to save energy and time – it creates programs.   Making conscious choices is slower and uses more energy.  We have to work on the subconscious programming by being in the present moment.

The ancient text of India, the Bhagivita gita provides great advice to stay in this moment.  “You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. “

Basically, “focus on the task at hand and not the end result. “   Whatever you are doing at this moment, give the task at hand your full attention.  The end result is mind activity, projecting what the final outcome is going to be.  We cannot predict the precise outcome — the outcome will take care of itself if when we give our attention to each moment.

When I was dealing with MS, I was usually focused on the end result — A “normal” life.   If I was in each moment giving my full attention to the task of rehabilitation — I would have recovered quicker.   The subconscious mind had a story that “life was difficult.”  The conscious mind was focused on a “normal” life.   The subconscious mind will always determine the final outcome.    Positive affirmations do not work until the subconscious program is removed.

To stay in this moment we need to make a conscious choice, and not allowing the subconscious program to run the show. If we focus our attention on this moment the mind is not chattering — the mind will be quiet and still.

If we look at resolutions and we set a goal to “work out 3 or 4 times a week and lose 50 pounds by the end of the year.”  This became out focus,   you just wrote a program for the subconscious.   The first week you succeeded and worked out 4 times.  The mind is happy.   The next week, work got really busy and you didn’t make it to the gym.   Uh-oh,   the requirements for the subconscious program were not met.    You begin to suffer.   You start thinking that work is terrible and it keeps you too busy.   You start to get angry about work.   Anger activates the “fight or flight response” in the body.   This increases your heart rate and anger floods the body with cortisol.   In time you will find yourself dealing with heart disease or diabetes from the cortisol.  Cortisol increases sugar in  the bloodstream.

Do not set resolutions with such rigid outcomes.   Change it — I will take better care of the body.   Better care would be to be fully in this moment and not allowing the mind to pull you into the world of imagination.  If you make it to the gym great,   give it your full attention and do not concern yourself on the end result of a fit body.   If you worked out with your full focus on working out with no concern on the end result you will be healthier and in better shape then you could have imagined.   You will have no stress about working out since you are not fixated on the end result.   No stress equals no cortisol and you are healthier.

Plans are difficult to make without dwelling in thoughts.    I am planning on a trip to LA in April 2014 to attend a conference.  If the mind was in control then I would have a list of accomplishments to achieve while there – I have none.   The only thing that may happen in April is that I may end up in LA beyond that is a guess.   I trust that the universe has everything under control and I will learn what I need from the event.   Life in the unknowing is wonderful,   many things happen that I could never have imagined.   No subconscious programs are set,   those only succeed in limiting us.

Be mindful of any questions that cause you to dwell in thoughts.   These thoughts are pulling you out of this moment.