John’s story is the epitome of how the trauma of a difficult start in life can catalyse transformation. John, also fondly known down under as the Mindfulness Mentor, now dedicates his life to supporting other people to transform their lives. A huge warm welcome John to the #Emerging Proud family! ❤
Gooday from Downunder! I was born in 1952 and experienced physical and mental abuse as a child. By the age of twelve, I was also sexually abused by a neighbour. By age fourteen, I was wagging school and out of control. By age sixteen, I was homeless, living on the streets and in trouble with the law. I spent time in youth detention and, with the help of an excellent mentor, was able to get my life on track. At age twenty-one, I got married and started a family, life was good.
At age thirty, and on my Dad’s 65th birthday in 1982, I died and was revived after a horrific truck accident. I believed that there was a reason why I was alive and started a quest to get answers. Despite extensive study into ancient history, cultures and religions, all I got was mental and addiction disorders.
My life fell apart, not so much because of substantial physical injuries, but because of the fifteen years of mental suffering that followed. My mind was like a drunken monkey, very busy and all over the place! I experienced psychosis later that year and spent time in a psych ward. I was diagnosed with mental ‘illness’ and prescribed medications. I had similar episodes in 1984, 1987 and 1992; the only thing that stopped me from suiciding was a tiny whisper that kept saying ‘There’s a reason… you’ll get through this!’
By 1997, I was rock bottom. Mental health professionals told me that I would never be cured, that I would have to take medication for the rest of my life and that I would never work again. I was ashamed that I had mental ‘illness’ and refused to talk about it or get help from outside the ‘system’. It was my dark secret. That was when I got my ‘miracle’. An old friend, who I hadn’t seen since before my accident, knocked on my door and told me his story. Two days later, I experienced a Spiritual Awakening and my life slowly started to change. No more depression and no more medications!
I now call that chapter of my life, my fifteen ‘dark’ years. It was a roller coaster of feelings, emotions and experiences. I value my ‘dark’ years now because I overcame many fears and learned heaps of life lessons. My quest for knowledge and answers continued. I now know the truth about what happened to me. In 82, 84, 87 & 1992, I experienced what is known as Spiritual Crisis or Emergency. I had no way of knowing what was really going on until my old friend shared his story. It was that story that led to my Spiritual Emergence in 1997. I got my life back and have never looked back, except to see how far I’ve come.
I also now know that bipolar is a gift. It’s not a gift that you would wish on anyone, that’s for sure! But when you wake up to what’s really going on, it is life changing. I have had times of ‘mania’ in 97, 03, 09, 13 and 2018. These are simply times when I am totally inspired. I require no medication because I am in control of my mind rather than my mind controlling me. Today, I live with both peace of mind and clarity of mind. Never lose hope my friends, there was a time when hope was all that kept me alive. Be well and remember… You are Not your thoughts!
Love, Joy & Peace Always!
More about John, An Author, Mindfulness Coach, Shaman and all round awesome human! …
I am an Australian Mindfulness Master, Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist and ACT Therapist (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy). I am also a modern day Shaman and Spiritual Healer. I have vast experience mentoring people (including youth) who have been diagnosed with mental ‘illness’. I have put my heart and soul into gaining the knowledge and experience necessary to fulfil my purpose and have achieved great success. There are three main reasons for my success:
- Lived Experience
Throughout that time, I felt that there was a calling on my life, something driving me. I wasn’t always unwell, there were times when I was well enough to function. In 1986, I completed my first course in counselling as a volunteer with the Smith Family. This connected me with my calling and I also completed Front Wheel Counselling in 1990 and Youth Counselling in 1996. I was happy helping others but, like all of us, I was still struggling with unhelpful and negative thoughts.
The skin of knowledge is love, as your knowledge grows, so does your love! I value my ‘dark’ years now because I overcame many fears and learned heaps of life lessons. My quest for knowledge and answers continued. I now know the truth about what happened to me. In 82, 84, 87 & 1992, I experienced what is known as Spiritual Emergency. I had no way of knowing what was really going on until my old friend shared his story. It was that story that led to my Spiritual Emergence in 1997.
I got my life back and worked again. I fulfilled a childhood dream and opened Shearers Cue Sport which was a pool hall in the main street of Wagga Wagga. My counselling skills got a workout in those excellent years between 2003 and 2009. Teens especially benefited from my one-on-one sessions. They didn’t realise that they were being counselled which I believe was a huge factor for my successful mentoring.
Early in 2009, my wife and I decided to move to a warmer climate due to her asthma. What would I do? I searched my heart and decided to surf the internet to find out the latest news in mental health. What I found was a book called The Happiness Trap by Dr. Russ Harris. It was about ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) which is a mindfulness based therapy. I started a personal mindful practice and was trained by Russ as an ACT Therapist.
We moved to Grafton later in 2009 where I started working as a part-time youth mentor with Juvenile Justice and also started my part-time business called Mindfulness Coach. I felt driven by my purpose, so I started what was to become over 9,000 hours of intensive study. I researched the many aspects of mindfulness as well as learning valuable techniques in hypnotherapy and psychotherapy. I gained much knowledge and wisdom before retiring from Juvenile Justice in 2017 to focus on my mindfulness work. Today, thanks to a sound mindful practice, I live with both peace of mind and clarity of mind. I have the answers I was seeking, but my quest for knowledge will never end.
Knowledge comes from learning. Wisdom comes from living. I will always be very passionate about my purpose which is sharing my wisdom. On 11-11-11, I launched a facebook page called Mindfulness Mentor which now has over 650,000 ‘likers’. In May 2014, I invited Australians with mental suffering to an online event called Mindfulness Day. (1st Sunday in May) 4,700 people attended the month long event and it was hugely successful with hundreds of lives transformed. The event became my first book Mindful Actions.
In 2015, I founded mindfullyMAD.org (mindfully Making A Difference). My vision became our vision as many others joined me. Our vision is world mental health without medication. Our mission is love, peace and happiness through the practice of mindfulness. Our objective is to lobby for mindfulness in schools. Our focus is prevention of mental suffering and suicide. It is also a place to find a mindfulness mentor or tell your story.
In 2016, I founded the Mindfulness Mentoring Institute to train people to be mindfulness mentors by way of a certificate course called Keys to Mindfulness Mentoring. Mentor means a wise and trusted counsellor, teacher or coach. Parents and GP’s have also found the course to be very valuable.
In 2017, I launched my year long mentoring service called Mindful Insights. It is aimed at people who have a heart to help others but need to work on themselves first. It is the culmination of my vast experience, knowledge and wisdom packed into 52 weeks. The first 6 weeks is devoted to having a good look at yourself. The next 33 weeks is learning how to develop a genuine mindful practice. The last 13 weeks is learning the skills for Mindfulness Mentoring.
Be Mindful… Pause… Connect!
Mindfully Yours with Love, Joy & Peace Always! – John Shearer MM