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No More Searching, Nothing Needs to be Different Than it is

"Looking at myself" has had a remarkable effect on my perception and experience of this life! I hope that my story will encourage others to really go for it and not to get as frustrated with themselves as I got with myself. My suggestion is to try to do it and don't give up until the "looking" is doing itself. Then relax and enjoy the ride!!!

Before beginning John's practice of looking at myself, I had an intense yearning. A gnawing desire to be different than I was. I was not happy with myself or how I was experiencing life. I wanted to change both. I also experienced a subtle and sometimes not so subtle background of fear and anxiety.

After 25 years of searching, I found John Sherman. His simple suggestion to shift my attention to the feeling of "me" sounded like something I could do...I just needed to understand where to find this "me" he spoke about.

Basically, it was an experience of trial and error. At first, I had a lot of doubts and felt that I was doing it wrong. I got frustrated with myself because I didn't think I was remembering enough or going deep enough. But I didn't give up. I continued for several years to try to find this "feeling of me", to understand what it was that John was suggesting I put my attention on. I believed him when he said, "you can't do it wrong" and that, "things would change over time"...I was determined to "see for myself" as he suggested.

I had erroneously believed that I needed to remember to look at myself every minute of the day and found that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't do this. So another hint that served me well was "just keep looking whenever you remember to do so". This allowed me to relax and stop getting so frustrated with myself. Also, I loved when he said that, "the only time that counts is when you remember to look at yourself, all the rest is beside the point".

Some more of his helpful hints were:

That this feeling of "me", that I was to look for, was no different no then the feeling of "me" that I remember when I was a child.

He also said, "Look and see if "I" was always here. I found, as he had suggested, that there was never a time that, this feeling of "I" was not here, and that this feeling of "I" or "me-ness" never changed.

John also suggested that nothing could help or hurt this feeling of "me" and that this "me" was just the simple, ordinary feeling of "me". He said to look for myself to see if this wasn't true. I did look and found that "I", this "me-ness", stayed the same even though my mind would decide that I was hurt or angry, happy or suffering. I could see for myself that this "me" was untouched, whatever emotions or moods appeared, stayed for a while and then disappeared. This was very freeing!

My relationship with my life now is often one of wonder, joy, and immense gratitude. I am enjoying the adventure as it unfolds...even when the circumstances are seemingly difficult or my reactions come from old habits or patterns. I watch and amazingly there is little or no judgment of me or others. Nothing is heavy anymore. I no longer have the feeling that I need to change me or my life. Life is no longer a problem. I do what comes naturally and spontaneously. I no longer feel the heavy burden of being responsible for my actions and having to do the right thing. I do what I do. It's light and easy!

question

question

Hi Carlee,

I just read your post. I have a short question: you said you got frustrated because you thought you had to look at yourself every minute. And then you mentioned that John said: only the moments you look at yourself count, all the rest is beside the point. So isnt it useful to look as many times as possible? Thats at least what I'm trying to do. And yes I also get angry with myself sometimes when I notice I dont want to look at myself but pay attention to something else. But isnt it a good thing to look as often as possible? Thats what John means right?

Thank you,

Nadia

Nadia, in answer to your question; I was intent on looking at myself whenever I could remember, but realized that it wasn't helpful to beat myself up and get frustrated. Once I relaxed with it, It seemed to go much better. I took John's words at face value, "whenever I remembered to do so" was just that...no pressure, no frustration (which is only more time not looking at yourself right?...another way to involve ourselves in the story!). Just having the intention seemed to be enough to keep the process going and over time the more I looked the more I remembered to look. If you continue to have this intention, the looking will start happening on its own and for me I began (through the experience of looking repeatedly) to realize who I was. The misidentification seemed to slowly fade away as the reality of what was always here, always the same, unchanging, became more tangible. I hope this answers your question...or maybe by now you have figured this out on your own. Sorry I took so long to get back to you.

 

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