Dear Ashok and Retrainers:
Today is the 6-month date since I began the Gupta Program. It is the date that I taped on a drawing of a sunflower on my wall. Six months ago, I put that date up feeling like it was a very long way away—physically, mentally and emotionally, but I practiced, as Ashok teaches, to use that date not as a goal to “fix” myself, but as a way to let go—by reserving judgment until I arrived at that day on the wall.
Today is that day—and I am recovered.
I lived with CFS for thirteen years, riding the cycle of “remission and relapse.” I don’t want to go into the details of my illness or its onset, since I know how we folks can be before we begin retraining. We easily dismiss a success story if it isn’t exactly like our own experience, or if we think the person hasn’t had it “bad enough” or “long enough” to be counted as legitimately ill. This is one of the insidious parts of this condition—and healing from it means healing the way we see ourselves and the world around us.
A year ago I went to a doctor after a severe relapse, I took with me a list of my symptoms (knowing I was going to have to “prove” myself). The list was a page long, single-spaced. Three months ago I looked at that list and crossed off 70% of the things on it. Today I looked at it again and crossed off the rest. Today I am 100% recovered, and building a new and happy life.
I found that the DVDs helped me to recover from my symptoms, but the webinar helped me to learn how to build a long-term happy, healthy life. That is the key to staying well for me. The more positive I am the stronger I feel inside and out. The tools the Gupta Program has given me are tools for a wonderful life, not just for being physically healthy, but for thriving.
My journey with the program started when I realized two things: 1) I felt stuck in “fight or flight” response. (I call it, “fight, flight, fix or freeze”) I was very reactive, fearful, and always rehearsing for a fight. 2) I was outwardly positive, but inwardly very negative. I spoke in such a mean way to myself. I didn’t know how to get out of fight or flight, but I did start uncovering and re-writing the negative messages I had believed about myself. I practiced hearing my subconscious thoughts in a conscious way, understanding where they came from and that they were not true, then replacing them with more positive messages. One thing led to another (it was real trail of magical clues) and I discovered the Gupta Program. When I saw the hypothesis, it immediately made sense to me. After thirteen years with CFS I was ready for things to change.
I did the program as directed. I definitely resonated with the “accelerator” tool more than the seven-step process. This is because I knew that my negative messages came from deep patterns that had developed over time. I wanted to get to the source of the thoughts, not just the thoughts. I use the seven-step process for things that are more on the thought-level, like obsessive thinking about a person or a conflict or event. Just the “stop-stop-stop” and a breath and smile can shake me out of the past or future thinking and get me back into the present moment. I meditated two-to-three times day, and found the “soften and flow” invaluable. I also found that the positive visualizations what I call “the lemon exercise” helped a lot. It helped me to have positive imagery to focus on to replace the negative thinking. That gave me hope and I could feel it changing my inner sense of the world instantly. I revisited those positive visualizations several times during a day, and I am certain this had a huge impact during my first few months of recovery.
Over the course of the six months, I was able to take myself down from taking 18 supplements a day and drinking special water to keep my blood-salt levels up (to prevent that dizziness we get). I was taking three times the supplements of some things just to get a small effect. I now take five very reasonable vitamins and herbs a day- normal things that any person would benefit from (D, C, Iron, Ashwaganda) that are for my long-term health. I drink regular water. I was also on a “methyl guard” supplement as one naturopath had convinced me that I had a genetic condition that could never be cured and I would have to be on the expensive supplement for the rest of my life. I felt dependent on it and terrified if I ever ran out. Today I don’t take that supplement. Regardless of my genetic profile (whatever it may be) I know that my wellness is well taken care of using the tools of the program and living in the new way I have learned. I also now sleep through the night—which is a miracle in itself. I haven’t done that since I was a child. The page-long list of my symptoms are on a permanent vacation, and I am confident that I can handle life without their cropping up.
Two years ago, I got a guitar and started learning how to play. I have always loved to sing and I found that singing again helped me to relax my mind and feel my feelings. The Gupta Program encourages us to do things that make us happy and to find distractions. I embraced music and last week I played my first open mic and sang two original songs that I wrote. I did that after going roller skating for two hours. I had bought myself a pair of roller skates for my birthday and decided that my way of getting physically fit (when I was ready) had to be something that made me really happy. I got myself a private lesson, and spent the afternoon rolling around the rink to disco on my iPod. I went straight from there to the open mic. This was more activity than I had had in a long time. The program teaches us to “be active at our edge” as we are getting well, and I had decided that day to see how active I could be. But most of all, I had decided to pursue joy and enjoy life. For so long my symptoms kept me from truly pursuing a freedom that I wanted in life. I lived in fear of the next relapse. I limited myself, particularly with regards to personal joy (ironic since my last name is joy). So it was joy that was my main motivation—not only for my day, but for getting well with the program.
The next day I was tired, but not fatigued and nowhere near collapse. That was when I knew for sure that I was well. I was able to do something intensely physical and something intensely emotional (I was so nervous at the open mic!) and leave the experience feeling calm, happy, and focused on what I thought of myself, not what others thought of me. I didn’t have an ounce of self-criticism. I also didn’t have an ounce of the “prove myself” ambition that had been a part of my life for so long. I didn’t feel an adrenaline rush. But I did feel so much joy. I was deeply satisfied. I felt not only “good enough” but “great!”—meaning I felt contented. I couldn’t stop smiling.
I still am learning so much. The program has given me a way to work on myself, my well being, my inner and outer happiness, and to build a good life. I am still doing the webinar, but I find myself these days watching the recording since I am pursuing more joy by going to drawing group during the time it is on live. The recording is just as helpful, as I can pause and write down notes and thoughts as I go, and take more time and even deepen my experience with the information.
I know today that CFS has been a gift in my life. It led me to this program which gave me the tools I needed to understand myself, love myself, and believe in myself in a whole new way. It is healing me on a deep level. Even though I was a person with a great deal of outward success, a lot of that was driven by a fear of inadequacy and an emptiness inside. Today, I try to live in the present moment and to be satisfied with everything that is or is not a part of my life. I meditate twice daily because it makes my life better. I soften and flow when emotions become intense. I stop. I breathe. I honor my experiences. I smile. I put myself first, set boundaries, talk with a great deal of kindness to myself, and remind myself, as Ashok always does, “You’re doing great!”
Thank you, Ashok. This program is truly miraculous, and a gift to all of us. I am so grateful that you pursued your own wellness and also took the step of sharing what you found with the world. To all the retrainers—thank you for being a part of my well being. If you are still on the road to wellness, believe in yourself, believe in the tools. Dig deep, it’s worth it. You can do it.
“I choose health and happiness!” – Daisy Joy