Category Archives: Metaphysical/Spiritual

Dream

I have a dream.

I’m in my 43rd year of living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).  

My new endo told me that I will get some kind of medal from the Joslin Institute when I reach 50.  Really.  Who cares?  They get a chip after 30 days in AA, NA, GA and SA.

17 years ago I made a “push”. I was 39 yrs old, broke, in debt up the wazoo, out of shape, not taking care of myself…..I figured if I did not make a change I wouldn’t make it to 42.  Over a 2 year period I started inquiring into several “things”, like…… writing, reading, yoga, meditation, running, acupuncture, massage, eating well, cranial sacral therapy, and more.  It was slow at first. Then stuff began happening.  I got a job, I was getting in shape, feeling better about myself.  Life changed.  I got out of debt, started making good money, got in shape, blood sugars starting coming down/better control, I was happier.  

During this time I had a three month period of time where I took off from work and really connected with my current “edge” and began to “push” against it.  I reduced insulin requirement up to 50%, at times.  I mean long period of times (week or so).   Since that time the roller coaster reached the top and started its’ descent.  What goes up is going to come down.  It’s a long story and I will spare the details, for now.  It can be summed up as this. I went from A1C’s in the 9’s, broke, in debt, depressed, feeling hopeless and helpless, not working out, addicted to things I need not be addicted to…..I went from this to In top physical shape; I could run 5 miles under 50 minutes.  I could do 2 Bikram yoga classes in one day.  My weight was ideal.  I felt strong.  I made enough money to buy a cool condo in Boca Raton, Fl within walking distance of my Bikram Yoga Studio.  It was a 5 minute drive to the beach.  I had a lot of free time.  Things were good.  

I got on the pump and I changed my attitude about testing my blood sugars.  I wanted to know.  I tested 10-15 times a day and loved the flexibility of the pump.  With the combination of getting in super physical shape and having the pump, I got my A1C’s in the low 6’s. I ate anything I wanted.  I wanted to eat good.  

I have often compared managing blood sugar as a type 1 to flying a plane.  The physical plane itself is the physical body.  I had transformed my physical body into a stealth fighter jet.  It wanted. It needed good fuel in the food I was eating.  I needed to inject insulin but the insulin seemed to be working better.  I needed less.  I was personally experiencing one of the most profound yoga principles;  “LESS IS MORE.”  I was getting this at so many levels.

My dream is to share this experience with others who are challenged by type 1 diabetes.  Whether that be the person with diabetes, a parent, a sibling, a friend, a healthcare worker (that includes you doctors). They sometimes think they are special and in a group of their own. My father was a doctor and I have met a lot of them…so I know.  

This is how I want to share it.  I want to “host” an intensive retreat like program where I demonstrate and guide others into an inquiry of what I did, how to do it and why.  Not like a boot camp or simply an educational experience.  It is an immersive training which will be based on the principles of yoga and Natural Law Principles.  I have a support “team” in place right now.  It includes a CDE, an acupuncturist and cranial sacral therapist, a Bio-feedback specialist, a massage therapist, a life coach and a few yoga teachers incluing one who is a Bikram Certified Teacher.  

Each day will consist of:

*2  yoga classes/day

*Meditation

*Walking

*1-2 hours classroom meeting discussing many topics including yoga principles and applying to diabetes management, spiritual     metaphysical “map” inquiries.

*Great     Food.   Will, of course, accommodate for vegetarian.

*Some     form of body/mind work.  Could be acupuncture, light therapy,     massage, cranial sacral therapy, bio-feedback, life coaching….and     a few more.      

*There will also be a few opportunities to do a few other things like go to the beach or an excursion to Captiva or Sanibel Island.

I visualize the retreat being in South Florida around the Fort Myers area.  I want it to happen in November of 2019.  I want to keep this initial one small (8-12 participants).  And my dream doesn’t end there……..

In a way, this is my new five year plan.  I’m turning 57 in 2 weeks. Still here.  No complications (knock on wood).  I think that what I did 17 years ago is a huge factor in why I am still here.  I’ve come to realize that it is best done in “spurts.”  Interval like. And an intensive retreat where we are focusing on where our edge is and working on expanding can be a profound “spurt.”  It’s kinda of like intuitevely knowing to do a combo bolus.  The body wants to receive it in spurts some short and some a bit longer.

I want the initial retreat participants to be those who want to not only personally experience pushing their edge but also have a desire to help others with our condition.  T1D is like a yoga pose.  It is like walking on a high wire.  And it is like flying a plane.  So, my dream is that from this initial retreat we plan a second one and then some will qualify to lead their own retreat.  

I have so much more I want to say and if you are interested in it let me know or visit the link to my blog site where I have been writing about all of this for the last 10 years.  

I will write a future post called My Dream 2.  Where I can expand on some of this.  It’s awesome for me as well because I am creating something which provides me an opportunity to do this work more and more.  I have done it with others but not people with diabetes.   I have worked with a few people who were depressed and addicted.  There is a close parallel to these conditions and diabetes.  A few of these people wrote client reviews and I posted them in my blog section as well under Client Reviews.

The Path……

I’m tired.  I know….no one wants hear that from someone else.  It’s ok on this site because there is an “upfront agreement” that it’s appropriate to ‘vent’ or express hardship because we all share a similar challenge that few others can even begin to relate to.  I’m in my 43rd year since becoming aware that I “had” T1D.  I’m 56 years of age fast approaching 57.  . . .  Boy, could I tell you some stories……But that’s not the point of this post.  What is the point?  

I don’t have any complications other than the naturally prevalent and evolving Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  A few years ago I told my doctor that I was feeling increased anxiety and the blues.  He suggested I sit down and chat with someone.  I did.  After three sessions I got my diagnosis.  Now….I completed one year of graduate school in psychology so I was somewhat cognizant of the many possible psychiatric disorders that have been invented including the 10 personality disorders.  Yes, it was 1995 when I learned all about this stuff and, therefore, I was not completely up to date.  And the field of psychology has been, is and will probably continue to be in a state of constant “flux.”  Therefore, I was surprised to find out that I was diagnosed with a new personality disorder called “Adjustment Disorder.”  My first reaction was …. DUH.  Then I laughed.  I said to my “counselor:…”Of course, half sarcastically, it makes perfect sense!  How does one really adjust to T1D?  Because, to be honest, it’s a clusterfuck; an impossible task.  Yet, I am still here.

The therapist went on…..It is like “Cognitive Dissonance.”  I said, “Of course it is.” Then I said….”What do you suggest I do?”  All of this……The diabetes, the adjustment disorder, the cognitive dissonance, the left vs. the right, good and evil, Light and Dark, YIN and YANG…..is the duality of our lives.  

I am tired of this interplay between my physical body, and my maladjusted mind and injected insulin.  This dissonance.  This adjustment disorder.  This dysfunction.  This DIS-EASE.  Results in such UN-EASE at times.  It’s Exhausting.

What’s the point?  Is it just survival?  Because, at times, that is the way it is……Crawling to the fridge at 3am with a blood sugar of 28….downing a pint of lemonade and eating a bag of chips with french onion dip…disconnecting my pump because just the thought of more insulin dripping in is deeply alarming….passing out as the blood sugar begins to elevate….waking up at 7am with a mouth so dry I can’t talk….Headache. feel like I ran into a brick wall…check bg…412…..get out the syringes…pump it up!

You can do it Michael, says my family, friends and supporters.  Most don’t even know the battle, of course….and those that do …….know that I can do it…at times.  At times..I am just tired.  

What do I do now?  It does feel like I am in the season of “End Times.”  Kinda coincides with all that’s happening in our world.  Things are about to change.  It doesn’t look good or maybe it does?  Because you can’t have anything in this life without its polar opposite.

Here is my point……There has to be a blessing to this curse.  This sucks.  There must be a reason.  I know through my yoga practice and other studies of a TRUTH that keeps me going even though I am tired.  I know that “This too shall pass.”  I’ve been through a lot with diabetes.  Been low and been high.  It is more difficult for us to find the middle path than with someone with a normal physical body.  Or maybe not!  I believe that the blessing of diabetes is in the lesson it teaches us about the arising of the polar opposites…of the duality….of the interplay between yin and yang and the battle between Light and Dark.  

The Buddha would put it this way….”It is equanimity and awareness.  Like the wings of a bird.  Or the two wheels of a cart.  When practiced together they lead to liberation from suffering.  If either is weak or lacking, it is impossible to progress along the path.” 

Buckminster Fuller says….”Total Accountability and Total Feedback Constitute the minimum and only perpetual motion system.”

Kripalu yoga instructs.. ..”First Proper Alignment …Second..Find and explore your edge.”

While my physical body and mind grow weary….my heart and soul are beginning to awaken to the “hope” that there is more to this than surviving.  I won’t get religious.  But allow me to inject a spiritual perspective to inquire into if so inspired.  If easily triggered by this topic please stop reading here.

The Kabbalists……And btw, Kabbalah is not a religion.  It is more like a spiritual map or decoding program of the “spiritual world.  Trigger alert!!  Jesus was a Kabbalist.  Anyway, they would say that the purpose of life comes down to an understanding of The Creation Story itself and the “Why” behind it.  And, without expounding on those things at this time……We are here because of the need for, In Hebrew everyone…… TIKUNE.  TIKUNE, defined, means “Fixing” or “Rectification.”  What needs to be fixed?  What needs to be rectified?  The answer is our VESSEL TO RECEIVE THE LIGHT OF FULFILLMENT;  THE LIGHT OF THE CREATOR.  Why does it need to be fixed?  Well…that’s the questions isn’t it?  Kinda like Jeopardy.  

Again, I am not writing this to promote a faith or a dogmatic system of understanding our existence……There are many “maps” of the territory.  I have referenced several in this post already….Yoga, The Buddha, Chinese Medicine, Kabbalah.  Bucky Fuller …… But for a moment suspend your disbelief and consider Diabetes…….

We are missing the “key” that opens the “door” to the cells (vessels) of our body that permits glucose (energy, light) to flow. ….. It is said that the opponent always attacks through the immune system.   It must.  Why was our immune system comprised?  

Ok.  I will wrap up for now…..I feel a little better.  Thanks.

The Cause

I got diagnosed with Type 1 at the age of 14 in 1976.  Yep, I’m getting old but I still feel like that 14 year old in many ways.  It was different back then.  I was “flying blind.”  No short acting insulin, no test strips, no A1C test…Took one injection of NPH in the morning and rode the peak.  Mostly ate food by feel.  How I survived that…I don’t know.  For me, this “journey” has become spiritual in nature rather than physical.  I really didn’t think I was going to make it past 40 years of age.  I’m turning 57 at the end of the month.  It’s bonus time from here on out.

Yet, I am trapped, or at least I feel trapped. in this physical body that often does not feel well and needs to be poked with injections, infusion sites, finger pricks and all the other stuff involved.  The doctors told me, when I was diagnosed, that they were on to a cure and we should have one in 10 years at the most.  It’s been 42 and a “cure” is just as far out today as it was then.

For me, there is a cause.  There has to be.  If not, this suffering would be for nothing.   My education has taught me that there is a cause to everything.  We may not be able to detect it but it’s there.  There is a book published back in 1984 called “You Can Heal Your Life” written by Louise Hay.  It’s a book that connects dis-eases with mental/emotional/spiritual causes.  I remember, that one of the causes for diabetes was ……… “A Longing For Home.”  This resonated with me.  Prior to my diagnosis I had a few experiences of being desperately homesick when away to a hockey camp or a soccer camp.  I remember, the sick feeling at the “pit” of my stomach.  I was so nauseous I could not eat.  I was so upset I peed my bed.  Why, am I telling you this?  Am I saying that I got diabetes because i got homesick as a kid?  Nope.  I don’t know why I got this curse of a disease.  I’m over it.  

Type 1 diabetes ejects “you” from the home of the physical body.  It disrupts one of the many essential “perpetual motion systems” in the body. The destruction of the islet cells of the pancreas combined with a continued immune system response results in the death of the physical body.  In a matter of weeks or days.  That is not an opinion.  That is a fact. Without injecting insulin “you” are out of here.  Diablo has won.  But, just under 100 years ago a few guys invented a way to get insulin into these people who were dying of ‘Diabetes”.  

The story begins to change.  It is truly a miracle.  And over the years the treatment (way of getting insulin in and the way to test/check blood sugar levels) has improved.  But we are no closer to understanding the cause or finding a cure than we were 100 years ago.  At least on the physical plane. WHY?  What is this diabetes?  Why has it exploded into an epidemic in our society.  What is the cause?

My life, since diagnosis, has been a combination of survival, seeking immediate gratification and finding the cause and cure for this dis-ease that, from one perspective ruined my life and negatively affected those around me. This dis-ease has caused much suffering for me.  There must be a reason. There must be a cause.  I knew that the day I was diagnosed and I know that now.  

I’ve been on this for 42 years.  Some would tell me to let go of this DESIRE Michael and live your life.  You can live a normal life you just need to take your medicine and eat right.  For me, that wasn’t the case.  

Am I any closer to understanding why I got this?  Maybe.  I got my suspicions.  My seeking for the cause and a cure has taken me to some interesting places and teachings.  

Everyone, or almost everyone, has heard the cliche quote about this life……”We are not physical beings having a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings having a physical experience.”  Well, if this is TRUE then why this physical experience of Type 1 Diabetes?  

Retreats

 

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We have a location in upstate NY on the east bank of Cayuga Lake that is a perfect setting for a small group ( four to eight participants) retreat/intensive.

 

 

 

Beautiful accommodations with yoga/fitness room right on the lake.

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You design your own retreat.

 

There is nothing more effective than a few days to apply focused concentration.

 

 

If you are a group you can come for a few days of rest and relaxation with yoga, meditation, good food, golf, finger lakes wine tours, gorge hikes.

 

4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, wrap around deck, fitness/yoga room, huge deck, paddle boards, access to boat rides……..and a lot more.

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Set your own itinerary.

If you want us to collaborate with you we can talk about integrating one or all of the following:

  • My take on of yoga as a healing tool for my diabetes.
  • Introduction to Vipassana Meditation
  • Introduction to Kabbalah
  • Introduction to Spiral Dynamics (Map of human cognitive development)
  • Introduction to Integral Theory (Ken Wilber)
  • Shadow Work
  • Acupuncture
  • Cranio-Sacral Therapy
  • Massage
  • Chines Herbs
  • Supplements
  • Diet Counseling
  • Bio-Feedback
  • Laser Therapy
  • Light Therapy
  • Crystal Therapy
  • Chakra Balancing

As far as food….many options all tailored to your desires.

 

Let’s Do This.

 

954-254-8871

mpmahanger@yahoo.com

The Yellow Brick Road; Brick (9); Essence

One of the many wonderful human beings that I’ve known who has affected other human beings in a markedly inspiring degree was e.e. cummings, the poet.

He wrote a piece called “A Poet’s Advice,” which I feel elucidates why “little I,” fifty-three years ago at age thirty-two, jettisoned all that I had ever been taught to believe and proceeded thereafter to reason and act only on the basis of direct personal experience.  Cummings’ poem also explains why, acting entirely on my own initiative, I sought to discover what, if anything, can be effectively accomplished by a penniless, unknown individual–operating only on behalf of all humanity–in attempting to produce sustainingly favorable physical  and metaphysical advancement of the integrity of all human life on our planet, which omnihuman advantaging task, attemptable by the individual, is inherently impossible of accomplishment by any nation, private enterprise, religion, or other multi-peopled, bias-fostering combination thereof.

Continue reading The Yellow Brick Road; Brick (9); Essence