I am an Australian Mindfulness Master, Hypnotherapist, Peer Support & Spiritual Life Coach and creator of R.A.G. Therapy. (Resistance, Acceptance & Gratitude) I have vast experience speaking, coaching, teaching and mentoring people (including youth), especially those 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:
1. Lived Experience
Experience has been my best teacher. 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 mental health unit. 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. 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 coaching practice part-time. I made the decision to be a Mindfulness Coach, because to my way of thinking, counselling infers that something is wrong with people. The truth is…people are just ‘Stuck!’
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. These techniques have been extremely valuable in helping people overcome addictions.
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 Master which now has over 660,000 ‘likers’. I also have a page called Spiritual Master with over 340,000 ‘likers’.
In 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. World mental health without medications. It is also a place to celebrate Mindfulness Day, find a mindfulness mentor or tell your story.
In 2016, I founded the Mindfulness Mentoring Institute to train mindfulness mentors and peer support workers. My certificate course is 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 52 week mentoring service aimed at people who have been diagnosed with more serious mental disorder. They are often told, like I was, that they can’t be cured. I love seeing them get their lives back when they recover!
In 2020, I launched my own therapy called R.A.G. Therapy. (Resistance, Acceptance & Gratitude) Over the last 140 years, there has been a progression of therapies including psychoanalysis, behaviour, cognitive, humanistic and holistic therapies. These are often complex, confusing, complicated and most often, require many sessions. Being a huge fan of simplicity, I have come up with a mindfulness based therapy that is easy to understand and put into practice. I launched my simple therapy on Mindfulness Day which is always the first Sunday in May.
The world will remember 2020 as the year of Change. I will remember 2020 as the year that I launched my new guidebook Mindful Insights – Radical Practice for Self Realisation. (Launch was on World Mental Health Day 10-10-20) Sales of my book will fund the setting up of my newest project LEWL.org.au. (Lived Experience Warm Line) which is a phone service by local people with a lived experience of suicide. It is a suicide prevention initiative.
I am always happy to have an obligation free chat via phone or zoom/skype. Go ahead… Contact me… Don’t allow resistance to get in your way!
Mindfully Yours with Love, Joy & Peace Always ~ John Shearer MM
Please feel welcome to contact me for Interviews or Public Speaking Engagements.