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Breaking free from the bipolar mind

As a young boy,   I was deeply introverted and kept everything to myself.

I suffered many anxiety attacks as a child. In one instance I lost a quarter of my body weight.    I had intense thoughts about everything.    A majority of my thoughts were self-critical which only added to my beliefs that I wasn’t worthy of anything.   I can remember my classmates calling me four-eyes and a nerd since I wore glasses.    This added to my already self-critical thoughts on how I should be.   I was unable to accept who I was and the world was not offering kindness.   I had no self-esteem and I saw the world as a very harsh place.

The harsh view of the world only added to my suffering with anxiety.      These anxieties lead to a diagnosis of Bipolar as a young adult.   I had suicidal thoughts at times which resulted in being hospitalized.   Around 15% of folks commit suicide from this disease.

I suffered for decades with intense thoughts that were creating my own hell on Earth.     The thoughts had completely taken over my being and I had no inner peace.   One day, I discovered meditation and found inner peace.

In the beginning meditation was difficult.    I could only sit for 5 minutes a day, before my thoughts convinced me that it was a “waste” of time.   I had plenty of things to do besides “wasting” my time.   I knew that for me to escape the  mental prison of thoughts I had to continue with a meditation practice.     After a few months of practice the mind was growing quieter and a new sense of peace arose.

Meditation gives you space or separation  from your thoughts.    When you have space from thoughts,  they no longer control you.         There are many different types of meditation to gain inner peace.   At the time I began meditation I didn’t realize that my technique of just sitting still was a bit more advanced since it required you not to react to all the thoughts,  and I would have been better off with an easier meditation.

Here is a simple meditation that will have a profound impact on your mental state.

Find a place to sit comfortably and relax.  Make sure it is a location where you will not be disturbed.

Close your eyes  

Take a deep breath for  3 seconds

Hold it for a second

Slowly exhale  for 6 seconds.    Observe the tension leaving the body on the exhale.

Do this routine a few times.   Repeat this meditation process several times a day.

When you place your attention on your breath, thoughts stop and you begin to place space into the thought process.   After  this practice your thoughts will still continue.  However,  the more space you add into the stream of thoughts will result in a quieter mind.   A quieter mind will give you inner peace.  This practice seems too simple to work,  but it does.  Try it for 2 or 3 months and you will notice a difference.

Today,   I no longer suffer the effects of bipolar.  I have completely restored my mental health.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or comment below.

 

Writers conference: "Push to Publish 2013"

I attend the “Push to Publish”  writers conference.

This was my second conference for writing that I have attended.

The conference was set on the campus of Rosemont College.   This was my first time visiting this school,  and it was a lovely campus.

At the conference I was hoping to find an agent who saw the value in my project,  perhaps I did.   I won’t know until they receive my query letter and a little sample of my work.  I will either get a rejection letter or a welcome letter.

The conference was a bit of a personal disappointment as no one immediately feel in love with my work.   They loved my story but the project needs some work.   The house is built now I need rearrange the furniture.

After the conference I realized,  as a first time novelist,  it’s not about you.  It’s about getting feedback about your project.  You want your project to really stand out,  and make it the very best you can.    Everyone is here at the conference to help us achieve our goal of becoming a published author.  They are not out to get you.   They went to best for you.

I did receive some great feedback from other authors,  editors,  agents and attendees.   I did hand out a fair amount of business cards since I realize that it’s about making connections.    Many of the attendees did not have business cards,  which is too bad as I would have liked to see how some of them developed their story.

Hanging out after the event at the “happy hour”  was a great opportunity to connect with  folks.   I spent some time talking to the keynote speaker, Michael Martone.   He  offered some good advice on my project.   Before and after photos of my recovery,   never thought of that.   That would really make an impression.    Besides words they could see the difference.

Remembering Gandhi

Today marks Ghandi’s 144th birthday.

A testament to his non-violence nature  is that today’s also marks the day for International Day on Non-Violence.

He knew that violence accomplished nothing.    People think that  violence can  accomplish something.   All it does is provide the satisfaction of the ego that you are “right” and they are “wrong.”    For the folks that are “wrong”  they are rewarded with unnecessary suffering due to your mind wanting to be “right.”

He said this quote ;”You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

So before you strike out against another man/woman,  stop and realize that you are part of the ocean of humanity.    We tend to think we are separate from each other but when it fact we are all made of the same stuff and at the core of our being the consciousness is the same.  Our mind is blind to this fact and continues to cause us to believe in our egoic thoughts.  Our ego keeps the illusion of separation and you become better than another.

No one is better or less than yourself.    We are equal.

Wishing you peace and love.

 

 

 

 

Philadelphia Writers Conference

Yesterday,  I went to my first writers conference. (Conversations and Connections hosted by Barrelhouse)

The day started off great,  I took the train to center city.   When getting off the train,  I went looking for an exit because it was an unfamiliar stop.   When walking around there was a homeless man standing in front of a Dunkin Donuts.    He was asking for money for breakfast.     I said,  “Sure,  I can help.  ”  Then proceeded to talk to him and gave him $5 dollars then we parted ways.  I was heading for the exist and this new friend went into the store.   Folks often think that the homeless are trying to get money for other things then basic needs,  I haven’t found this to be true.  They merely want what we all long for, respect and compassion.

The conference was at the University of the Arts on Broad St.

There was a good crowd with  over 100 folks.    Throughout the day I went to a few panel sessions;  Agents,  Writing about Difficult Subjects,  and Submitting to Editors.

Over lunch there was a Speed Dating with Editors,  this is where you get 10 minutes to show your work to someone in the business of writing.    You cannot choose who you sit in front of,  they randomly place you with someone in your genre of writing.      I was non-fiction,  so little did I know at the time that I was just placed in front of the editors of Story Quarterly.   Three folks led by Paul Lisicky.   I showed them a bit of the first chapter of “I don’t dwell”   They loved the project and gave a lot of good suggestions for revisions.    I have made these revisions on the sample chapter placed on my web site.

This was my first conference and it definitely will not be my last.  I got to talk to many folks about my book and everyone was amazed at recovery.   I am also looking forward to some of the stories the other author’s talked about and look forward to seeing how they progress.