Learning How to Let Go of Your Life

This title might sound suicidal, but this is not my intention. When you look at your life as the consciousness that keeps you alive and allows you to be more active, letting go of your life is freeing your consciousness. You are freeing it from your thoughts and conditioning. This allows you to be conscious of powerful inner resources and develop a deep spiritual connection. This goes against the way most people live their life.

We have been conditioned to be very conscious of the way we think. Our conditioning is so strong that our consciousness is trapped in our thinking mind. Basically, this is another way of defining attachments. When your consciousness is connected to a thought, you are unable to connect to your deeper inner wisdom. On almost every spiritual path, you are encouraged to let go of your attachments, which allows consciousness to enter a spiritual realm.

I want to propose to you that this can naturally happen in every breath. When we learn how to breathe beyond our thinking mind, our in-breath is a way of letting go of the thoughts that define our life. This in-breath can create a habit that frees us from our thinking mind every time we breathe. Then, on our out-breath, our consciousness returns to our thinking mind with a clear perspective.

To the ego that naturally fears death and is what we identify with, this traps us in our thinking mind. For most people, their thinking mind serves them and makes them more efficient in this world. But, when a person aspires to an important goal, that beyond-thought reality is the home of powerful inner resources that they need. For instance, if you struggle with a health crisis, breathing into this depth is how you can become an active participant as a partner with your doctor. Not only do you activate your healing powers, you remove anxious thinking that limits your ability to heal.

If you want to express love to someone who is important to you, the ability to breathe beyond thoughts allows your heart’s expression to be pure. We limit our love by the way we think and were conditioned. If you had the power to transport consciousness to the silence beyond your thoughts, your love would be free from any limitations. Of course, this happens by a habit which can happen to most people naturally. But, for those whose love is limited by their thoughts and conditioning, they may need to put conscious effort into making this happen.

Another aspect of our life that this breath can serve is our work. When we hold onto our thoughts, we block creativity and our openness to new ideas. Creativity is an important part of work and can subconsciously be limited by the habits we create. Developing the habit of conscious breathing, where we let go of our thinking mind, has the ability to makes us more conscious on our job.

Focusing on breathing may sound insignificant, but it can add quality to every aspect of your life if done consciously.  I suggest that you take time and develop the habit of letting go of your thoughts. This can happen by practicing breathing into silence every night before you go to sleep and every morning when you wake up. This will allow you an instant escape from anxious thinking and, possibly, develop this habit in every breath.

In a health crisis, you need to learn how to let go, so that powerful inner resources can assist you. In my book, A Healthy Way to be Sick, you learn to apply this in a health crisis. In my book, The End: A Creative Approach to Death, you apply this same perspective to your final days, as you approach death.


© 2015 Marc Lerner

Advertisements

How to Share with Others When You Are Chronically Ill or Disabled

  

When people greet you with, “Hi, how are you?” most of the time they do not expect you to answer the question. When you are dealing with a chronic illness, that question can be very annoying. A person in a health struggle has to be very aware of who they are speaking to and not share with people who cannot consciously deal with it. This may seem like a small thing, but sometimes the little changes you make in your mind can completely change your perspective.

How you share sets the tone of how you relate to your illness. If your sharing is casual, giving pat answers only, your focus on your illness becomes limited. If your sharing is panicky, expressing fear, your focus will be scattered.  The ideal focus is to allow the interest of who you are talking to, to pull your answers out. This is a natural phenomenon; when you talk to someone who is truly interested, there is a flow and sharing seems to be easier. When you talk to someone with is not truly interested or uncomfortable relating to you, your sharing is awkward and does not seem to flow. So, be conscious of who you share with because it sets the tone for how you communicate about your illness.

It is important to be conscious of what you are sharing, because it is very easy to fall into unconscious, manipulative actions. For example, when a child does not want to go to school, they will often say, “I don’t feel good.” This is something children might do to get out of going to school, but that behavior can spill into other areas of your life. For example, a chronically ill person might use their illness to get out of something they do not want to do. The alternative is just to be truthful and share without any ulterior motives.

When some people have had a chronic illness for a long time, it is not uncommon for them not to want to talk about it.  They may have explained it over and over and there may be no hope for improvement in the future.  This type of sharing can create a dangerous habit, where they use avoidance and it becomes a natural response.

Often, people will try to serve you by offering you the newest ‘magic cure.’ Even though they are well-meaning, I suggest that you be open to everything, but check everything with your doctor.  It is important to have an objective perspective, where wishful thinking does not lead you down unscientific paths.

If you share with someone in an unconscious way (for instance, complaining and self-pity), you may be setting up thought patterns that do not serve you.  The ideal state of mind for a person in a health struggle is to be conscious in the moment, connected to inner resources and accepting the responsibility that this is your body. This does not depend on who you talk to.

Go to Amazon/Kindle.com to purchase A Healthy Way to be Sick, In this book, you will become an empowered patient. You will talk with the confidence that, even though you are sick, you are in control. In the book, The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life, you develop this perspective in your entire life. The intensity of a chronic illness has the ability to make you dig deep to find resources and share from an empowered perspective.

© 2015 Marc Lerner

How to Reduce Hospital Re-admissions Through Patient Participation

We have been brought up in a society that teaches us to rely on doctors, because they know the scientific approach to health. Doctors have gone to school for a long, intense education, but patients have not been taught how to be active and conscious patients.   I want to propose that the high recidivism rate of hospital admissions has a lot to do with not empowering patient participation.

When you look at the new health care law, it requires hospitals to reduce their readmissions of discharged patients. According to an article in the October, 2011, American Medical News, “Hospitals make almost no headway in cutting readmissions.” Researchers affiliated with Dartmouth Institute’s Atlas of Health Care examined the records of all 10.7 million Medicare patient hospital discharges from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2009 and found little progress. They concluded, “Irrespective of the cause, unnecessary hospital readmissions lead to more tests and treatments, more time away from home and family, and higher health care costs.”

Along with its report, Dartmouth released a tip sheet for patients when leaving the hospital. The guide advises patients to ask for post-discharge planning help while still in the hospital and write a plan that captures elements such as expected discharge date, scheduled follow-up appointments, medication list, needed medical equipment and how to respond to anticipated symptoms.

Too often, when we look at empowering patient participation, we look at what the patient has to do to stay out of the hospital. I believe we need to focus on how a patient actively participates. We can do this by teaching practical life skills, like developing a positive self-image, self-trust and a way of consciously connecting to inner resources.

When a person has a positive self-image, they feel more worthy of healing. A person with a negative self-image too often has sub-conscious sabotaging programs that limit the healing process. Every time we think, our thoughts are directed to our self-image. If we have a positive self-image, we get positive responses. A negative self-image too often gives limiting responses.

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, it stated that the attitude a patient walks into the doctor’s office with determines receptivity of the doctor’s treatment. A positive self-image has the ability to better receive the doctor’s treatments.

Another important life skill that needs to be developed to reduce recidivism is self-trust. If a patient trusts themself, they will be more able to tap inner resources to be an active partner with their doctor.  Without self-trust, a patient will naturally look outside to solve their problems. In the case of poor health, the hospital would be a normal place to go.

When a patient trusts themself, their experience sends them a clear and powerful message. When they share that with the doctor, that partnership becomes more effective.  This eliminates one-way communication from doctor to patient. The optimal communication between doctor and patient is where the patient can accurately articulate their problem and the doctor responds with his medical knowledge. In a conscious partnership, if the patient does not agree or has questions, they are more likely to confidently speak up.

A third important life skill is conscious breathing. We become more aware of what our breath breathes into; it is like our breath gives life to what we breathe into. If we breathe into anxious thoughts, we will give life to a limiting part of us. If we could breathe into the silence beyond our thoughts, we could give life to what I call ‘The Wisdom of the Body.’ This is where inner resources are found to make the patient’s role more powerful. When the patient’s inner resources partner with the doctor’s treatments, there are better healing results.

My book, “A Healthy Way to Be Sick,” helps you to be aware and conscious during a hospital stay. In the book, you develop several life skills that help you tap inner resources to become an active patient, instead of a victim.

© 2015 Marc Lerner

Communications When Disabled

 

Disability is like saying ‘no ability.’  A person locked into their thinking mind, who does not see that things can change and be new, can be more disabled than a blind person. Most people define disability as the inability to fit into society. Think about this. If there was a group of 100 people with significant disabilities and 1 or 2 healthy people, who would have a hard time fitting into the group. It depends on what group you are trying to fit into.

As a disabled person, I do not aspire to fit into a group. I aspire to become a whole person living a quality life. I define a whole person as someone whose heart, mind and body are harmonious with a higher consciousness. This has nothing to do with having a part of my body unable to function.

It is possible to aspire to become a whole person as a permanent aspiration. This means that you approach each challenge with your heart, mind and body, instead of feeling unable to be equal with other people. You might ask the question, ‘how can I do this?’ My feeling is that the first step is to accept yourself as a whole person. If you accept yourself that way, other people will tend to accept you that way. Unfortunately, the world is not this way and those who do not accept you simply are disabled themselves.

There are ways to make this change a permanent habit, which is naturally reinforced by the positive experience that happens with that change. A disabled person would welcome that change, because it could change the quality of their life simply by how they interpret things. It makes them proud and affects the quality of their life.

When you do not accept yourself, it has many ramifications. Disability is a great source of stress, which affects memory and clarity of thinking. Think of a radio signal. If there is static on the line, it is hard to receive what is being sent. This happens when you do not accept yourself. Stress can cause that. Static comes not from what is being said or what you have to deal with. It comes from how you  interpret it. We can focus on doctors and therapists to improve communication, but a person under stress might not be receptive.

We think to our self-image. If we feel a negative self-image, it amplifies the results of stress. We have a positive and negative self-image. A Negative self-image carries the burden of past conditioning and frustration. A Positive self-image listens without the stress and static on the line.

After 25 years working with the chronically ill and disabled and being disabled with a chronic illness myself, I have found the self-image is the key to conscious involvement. I have written a book, The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life, available on Amazon/Kindle. In this book, I use a positive self-image to develop personal qualities, like confidence, releasing unexpressed emotions and stress-reduction. This is the cornerstone of my work and my life. When I deal from a positive self-image, I am empowered to deal with any challenge at my full potential.

© 2015 Marc Lerner

I Have Found a Healthy Way to be Sick and So Can You

I have had multiple sclerosis since 1981. I am legally blind in a wheel chair with a heart full of love living with a high quality of life. I do not feel it is my intellect that gives me quality; it is the wisdom of my body. My ego may be actively involved, but when it steps aside and allows the Wisdom of my Body to manifest, I find a healthy way to be sick.

I do not feel as though I do health, I receive it with instructions from my body. Hunger tells me how much to eat and sometimes what I am hungry for. In the past, my mind created habits that were not always harmonious with the body’s wisdom. When dealing with healing with sensitivity, old habits can be broken. Just as a person with lung cancer finds the motivation to quit smoking when they are open to inner wisdom, you can find inner wisdom to guide you in what to eat.

When I see a cancer patient smoking, I feel they think the habits in their mind are more important than life itself. When your priority is to be true to inner wisdom, it benefits your health and healing. When thinking is your priority, you are guided by old habits and those may have contributed to your health problems. I am humbled when I respect my inner wisdom and when humbled I am more receptive to the Wisdom of my Body.

The significant people in my life play an important role also. Being loved and loving strengthens the will to live and activates the Wisdom of my Body.  When I was facing a health struggle and being close to death, I felt my connection to my wife strengthen my will to live. Obviously, I did not heal from my MS, but I was more open to the Wisdom of my Body. I was in Hospice for three months, but it took that long to change my priorities.

Two of my books are relevant to this blog; A Healthy Way to be Sick and A Poetic View of Hospice. You will find them at Amazon/Kindle.

For any of my books, a Power summary is available here.

Hospital Navigation as an Active Patient

The hospital is a place where a lot of frustration and anxiety meet professional care. It is a place where an incredible amount of information is passed. I want to focus on the patient’s role in dealing with the hospital situation. I suggest that the patient strive to be in a super-conscious state of mind. It is difficult for a patient to agree or disagree with a diagnosis, but the patient can be extremely alert when a doctor says what they are going to do.

One time, I was in a pre-surgery room getting prepped for trigeminal nerve (brain) surgery. I was in intense pain. The doctor was reviewing the surgical procedures before I was anesthetized. When he said the surgery would be on the nerve leading to the right side of my jaw, I immediately was alarmed. This was because the pain and nerve went to the left side of my jaw.  After the doctor checked, he said the right side was what was written on the report. He apologized and operated on the correct side. It showed how important patient participation is.

I feel the best way for a patient to deal with the complex environment of a hospital is to be totally alert. I did not have to go to medical school to know the difference between right and left.

This was a dramatic example, but this consciousness is needed on the mundane level of everything you do when you are a patient in the hospital. You should always ask what medication is being given or what procedure you are scheduled for or what meal has been delivered to you. I do not suggest that you be an antagonistic patient, but all these issues are dealt with by being more conscious.

Another conscious thing you can do is to have someone you trust be with you as your advocate. Sometimes, when I was sick in the hospital, I would go in and out of being awake and aware. At those times, it was helpful to have a second set of eyes and ears. Whether you have an advocate or not, being more conscious is not only to catch mistakes, but it is a way to make the treatments and medication more effective.

This is not something you should wait to develop while you are in the hospital. This is how you should enter the hospital, so it becomes a natural part of your life. You do not TRY to be conscious. You only TRY to do something when you feel you cannot do it.  Illness is a great motivator. It can force you to become more conscious, so you do everything you can to deal with it. This is one of the benefits of being sick.

In my book “A Healthy Way to Be Sick,” you will develop the life skills that make you a conscious patient. Illness can be a spiritual experience when you are conscious. Being in that state of mind helps the healing process. The conscious perspective is essential in healing. You can develop the conscious perspective in my book “The Positive Self, Change your Self Image and Change Your Life”. My books are available on Amazon/Kindle

From Diagnosis to the End

In the first few minutes after you receive a diagnosis, you set the tone of how you are going to deal with it. This is the way you are going to relate to your illness from that point on, until it is consciously changed. Doctors say that when a person hears a diagnosis of cancer and slams his fist on the desk, he lives longer and becomes more involved than a person who passively accepts it. Our initial reaction to the diagnosis plays a significant role, but it can consciously be changed by developing better life skills. If you trust your inner resources, you become more confident in dealing with challenges. These include self-trust, self-image and confidence.
You trust what is important to you. When you see your inner resources as an important part of your life, you confidently rely on them. When you do not see them as important, you become a passive victim, waiting
for help to come from other than yourself. In my book, A Healthy Way to be Sick, you learn how to move importance from things that are outside of you to what I call the Zero Point, where you trust yourself. Basically, that says that your life and inner wisdom are more important than your thoughts and perceptions. In a health crisis, self-trust is essential to become an
equal partner with your doctor. The doctor represents the medical world and the resources it takes to heal you. In that partnership, you represent the inner world and the inner resources it takes to heal the body and respond to medical treatments.
The next inner resource is developing a strong self-image. We think to our self-image, which is the way we interpret what is happening. A positive self-image interprets challenges in such a way that you play a significant role. Your interpretation determines the conclusion you arrive at. A negative self-image plays the role of a victim and hesitates to get
actively involved.  Since we trust what is important, we have to see our self-image as an important part of the healing process. In my book, The Positive Self: Change Your Self-Image and You Change Your Life, you develop a self-image that serves every part of you. It is your positive self that openly receives powerful inner resources and plays an active role in
healing.
The most important thing you have in healing is the attitude you have about your illness. Attitudes are based on the decisions you made in the past, when you dealt with similar situations. For instance, if in the past when you dealt with a health struggle, you decided that you cannot deal with it, you formed the attitude that eliminated active involvement in the
future. The poor decision came more likely from your negative self. It is possible to image that same situation and create a decision from your positive self, which will significantly change the attitude you have now. If you are more connected to a positive self-image in your everyday life now, that decision naturally changes.                                                                        Confidence is a result of your positive self being kind and compassionate to your negative self. This eliminates the self-doubt that negative conditioning plays in your life. Confidence, or ‘with faith’, brings a spiritual quality to the challenges you face. This quality opens you to something bigger than yourself to deal with your challenge. It eliminates the self-doubt you, too often, insert into challenges. We cannot always change the challenge we face, but we can always change what part of us deals with that challenge. Confidence is an important ingredient in really trusting ourselves.                                              Every part of a health challenge needs to have the best part of you participate. When that happens, you are a better partner with your doctor. This applies, not only to your conscious lifetime, but it also applies to how you face death. This does not only involve you, but also the people you love and those who care for you. Continue reading