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Meditation, Family, and MS

“We want kids to take the time out. As adults, we need a timeout, too.” – Adam Weber

Adam Weber is an accomplished speaker, author, and entrepreneur with a personal connection to the world of chronic illness.

Living with primary progressive multiple sclerosis for over a decade, Adam has discovered the healing power of meditation in managing stress and maintaining a positive outlook.

Drawing on his own experience, he created a user-friendly meditation technique known as Easy to Meditate, and now shares this transformative practice both in-person and online. Adam’s genuine and down-to-earth approach has made a tremendous impact on those seeking to improve their well-being in the face of life’s challenges.

Discussed in this episode – 

  • The life-changing benefits of meditation in managing chronic illness and improving overall health.
  • Adam’s journey with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and his valuable insights.
  • How to start a meditation practice when you’re in a fast paced career or lifestyle.
  • The transformative power of mindfulness practices 
  • Self-care and mental health prioritization for a balanced and fulfilling life.

Guest Spotlight: Adam Weber

Guest Adam Weber with logo, Meditation Not Medicine

Adam Weber is the “NO BS, common sense” speaker, author, product creation specialist and owner of the highly successful companies, “Meditation Not Medicine,” “Weber Real Estate Advisors,” and “Weber Advisory Group.”

Adam helps people learn how to reduce their stress through his highly celebrated meditation technique called “Easy to Meditate.”

Adam has dedicated his life to helping others learn to meditate to reduce their stress without medications.

Adam is proud to include some of the most accomplished individuals and organizations as clients.

Visit Adam’s website for the “5 Day Challenge Mini-Meditation Course”

Love the Podcast? Get these books by Andrea Hanson

Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis

“It is refreshing to have a book that fosters hope and promotes self-healing. This book is an excellent resource for those looking for ways to be proactive….and ways to find hope.”

“It is a true guide on how to listen to our bodies, connect to them, nurture ourselves and understand the power of our mindset.”

“I will be recommending Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis widely to all my patients when dealing with a diagnosis or setback!”

Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis – The Book!

Stop Carrying the Weight of Your MS

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)


NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.

Adam Weber

Meditation has always been a go-to for me, but it's not a super regular practice. So I was really excited to talk to this week's guest. He credits meditation for saving his life. He holds it in such high reverence. And before you think he's one of those people that. Do something to the extreme. He's not, he's a completely down to earth, regular guy. And he's talking about how accessible meditation can be for all of us.
Adam Weber is a speaker and an author, and he's living with primary progressive, Ms. Often people don't know that there's actually four different types of multiple sclerosis. And Adam is very open about what it's like for him and how disability has changed his life. What I love the most about today's episode is how open Adam is. We talk about everything from how chronic illness can change relationships to career success.
So please enjoy this week's episode and visit Andrea Hanson for more on Adam Weber. Resources we talk about in the show and transcripts from today's episode, and you can find that link in the episode description. Welcome to the live your life, not your diagnosis podcast. I'm Andrea Hanson, author, motivational speaker. And master certified coach. When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I was told. I would never reach my goals. But I did. And I'm on a mission to prove that life with a chronic illness can still be expansive and quite remarkable.
Everyone has their own unique path. I'm talking to people, living with a chronic illness that come from different backgrounds, have different points of view and are achieving amazing life goals of all kinds. To you inspire you To achieve what you thought was impossible. These stories are raw. Uncensored and judgment free. Listener discretion is advised
[00:01:55] Andrea: I'm here today with Adam Weber. Adam is the no BS Common Sense speaker, author, product creation specialist, and owner of Meditation not Medicine, Weber Real Estate Advisors and Weber Advisory Group. He's a former corporate warrior with a progressive form of multiple sclerosis and helps others learn how to reduce their stress through his proprietary form of meditation called Easy to Meditate through either in-person or online training classes.
Adam has dedicated his life to helping others learn to meditate, to reduce their stress without medications. Adam, welcome to the podcast.
[00:02:32] Adam: Good morning or good afternoon. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
Depending when you're listening to him. I'm doing great. Thank you. I'm doing great.
[00:02:39] Andrea: I was so excited to have you on because meditation is something that I talk about a lot. , people know that it's great for stress reduction when you're talking to people with chronic illness , they all want stress reduction, of course, because it's such a good thing for our health, but it can be kind of a squishy subject as far as like, how do I do it? What do I do it, how do I know it's working? How long do I have to do it? There's so many questions. So super excited to have this conversation with you, to ask all those questions and kind of get to it, but.
Before we get into that, I always think it's interesting to talk to people about what they were doing before their diagnosis, because I think it's interesting to hear what people's, , career ambitions and life goals and life ambitions were like, because a lot of the time after we're diagnosed,
we can be changing what we're doing, changing our life goals. But there's always some kind of a through line where it doesn't change our values necessarily. It doesn't change what we really want to do. It just maybe changes how we do it. So I would love to hear what you were doing before you were diagnosed.
[00:03:49] Adam: Well, prior to my diagnosis, , and even after my diagnosis initially, because the disability had not really set in from primary progressive, multiple sclerosis. , I was working in the corporate environment in, at a base outta New York City, and it was a, a thriving, thriving career. Not just professionally, but you know, financially as well, which really allowed.
Myself and my family to really thrive, travel a lot, do things I never, well, I'd hoped to do when I was a kid, but wasn't sure if I'd be able to do them. And, , once I'd grown up and I was outta my father's and mother's house, and things, things really changed since the diagnosis because as Ms progressed, , it. Interfered it got in the way. It's really screwed up my career. , at first I said, all right, I'll slow down a little bit and maybe I won't have the, the foot on the gas pedal co pedal constantly. You know, you change your diet, you change your, and, and I've always been somebody who's worked out a lot.
But then what happens is, you know, you have that where you fall and it's, you know, it's not like you tripped on the field playing a sport. It's when you fall in your own home and you, not every time, but I had to be. There was one time where it was myself and my older son at home and. The ambulance had to come to take me outta the house, and that's that moment.
I think it's more emotionally and mentally where you realize things have really changed. , Where, because you know, you learn a lot. You, you try to learn as much as you can, but you don't really learn all the ins and outs and all the nuances. Like, you know, when you have MS people think, well, you know, we fall, people fall all the time.
You hear about athletes. They have, I had had surgeries before, all sorts of things back in high school, older, and I, you know, weeks later I remember. I actually remember having knee surgery and being at the gym on a Friday and being at the gym on a Monday. Now, I wasn't doing legwork, but I walked in with the brace on my knee and I was doing upper body work and within weeks I was, you know, after I went to rehab for my knee, I started doing light exercises at the gym.
But then with MS, it really changes you.
[00:06:38] Andrea: Yeah. Let's back up for a second. When were you, when did you get your diagnosis for ms?
[00:06:45] Adam: Well, when I got the f the, the, the actual diagnosis where, which was correct, , was as far back as 14 years ago because I've had mo I, I, I'm a, a son of a doctor and a nurse, grandson, nephew, all that I had access to the best doctors in the world. My father was a doctor at New York University Hospital, , in addition to his own practice, but then Ms.
At the time, there's another hospital that I was recommended after I had had back surgery and the doctor said, I see something again. I. Been misdiagnosed before that, but when they went in to do my back surgery, that was supposed to take about an hour and it ended up taking about two and a half hours because they had to avoid the, the lesions around my spine.
, , I had L four L five back surgery and , that's where. There were a couple lesions and my doctor was a top neurologist at, , one at the Ivy league based hospital in New York City.
And they said, if you gotta have this done, he's the only guy you want to speak to. And his name kept coming up.
And I said, well, okay. If it's, it's even more than if your wife says it. If your wife says it, you do it. But when all these other doctors said, this is the guy you need to go to regarding that, especially after other people had messed up in, in, , with my back before, , I went to this particular doctor.
And again, he's the one who diagnosed, he found it, but he said to me, listen, I'm not, , an MS specialist, And he goes, this is the doctor I want you to go see. , and that doctor's at one of the top three MS centers around, , not just on the East coast, but it.
It's Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. And she was recognized as the best.
She was also somebody that every time I, after I found out I was diagnosed, or they thought I had it, every time I'd look it up on the internet, there was her face.
[00:09:00] Andrea: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:01] Adam: Whether it be the replay of a TV show, a radio interview, , a nationally recognized website, , that sort of thing. She was always the one that everybody said, this is the person you need to go to.
And I was fortunate enough that I actually, I was the last new patient. She accepted for a while
[00:09:21] Andrea: Isn't that so interesting how that happens? It's like kismet sometimes where it's like you see people all the time and that's exactly who you need, or you have, you know, you have access to being the last person on their, on their list and it's, it's really cool how sometimes that can happen and I think it's also very lucky.
[00:09:41] Adam: And I also had somebody who, , Knew her and made a
phone call on my behalf and said, , you're, this is Dr. Weber's son. And, you know, and everybody said, well, it's, it's that little community of everybody. You know, you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. We all take care of each other. It was just like in the real estate world, New York City,
[00:10:02] Andrea: Hmm.
[00:10:03] Adam: you know.
I worked again at one of the big national firms. There was at the other, at the same time, there was only one other large national firm. Now there's a third. And, , honestly, if I had to recommend somebody, I recommended 'em to my competition.
[00:10:19] Andrea: Mm.
[00:10:19] Adam: When they needed it done, they recommended it to me.
And the reason was because if you want to deal with the best you have, you know, if you want to be the best, you have to deal with the best. And, I had read a lot of stories, unfortunately. Of doctors who are a one size fits all approach. Well, this is her specialty. This is her one thing. This is what she does from the moment she wakes up in the morning to when she goes to sleep.
And probably afterwards. I knew I was dealing with the right people and my father knew I was dealing with the right person and. My wife knew. And so, and my wife is, is a two-time cancer survivor and is from the, , Philadelphia area. And there's one big hospital down there that if you're going to get sick, it's the
hospital you
[00:11:11] Andrea: the one. So was, was it a surprise when you were formally diagnosed or? A lot of times we have a feeling something's going on and it just hasn't really been diagnosed, , or diagnosed correctly. Was that your, were you kind of feeling like, okay, something's happening here, I just need to know what, or was it completely shocking when you realized like, crap, I have to go to an MS.
[00:11:34] Adam: Well, let's put it this way. I had no, I had heard of it, but not, but not really known what it is because MS also stands for Master of Science.
[00:11:45] Andrea: Yep.
[00:11:45] Adam: I know. I said, look, my wife's got three Ivy League degrees and I grew up on the North Shore Long Island, where getting graduate degrees is the norm for
[00:11:54] Andrea: I get it. I have a Master's of Science and I actually don't like to put MS after my name
[00:11:59] Adam: You understand. And when I had got my graduate degree in real estate, , I always thought it was that and it just, It was devastating because I didn't, had no idea I had heard about it, but you know, you hear, you hear a lot of things on tv, you hear about famous people with different diseases, things like that.
, and then I went out to the, and it, this was at the time there were, I wasn't even, when I was diagnosed a long time ago, the, I didn't even, there were no iPhones even at the time.
I had to, I went, I had a Blackberry and no, I mean, it was really that long ago. And so I reached out to my wife and. She was able to look it up and she's told me what, what it was, and I just started crying because I had, you know, when I, when I found, well, what happened was I went home, looked it up on the internet, and the first thing you see is somebody in a wheelchair.
And you see yourself as a very vibrant, athletic person doing what I do for a living. And then the next thing you, and they, again, being misdiagnosed. So you said, eh, they misdiagnosed it. It's like when they tell you you got a really bad cold and you have the flu. You know, I, I, I was one time diagnosed where they said I had, , a bad strain in my knee and I had had a slight tear on the medial collateral ligament in my knee.
But by the time they got it right, it was healed for the most, for the scar tissue had built up. They were like, we can't do surgery cause it's a little too late. I'm like, well, I'm glad because I had no idea. I had no desire to have anybody. So did I wear a sleeve on my knee? For the rest of my lacrosse career.
You got it.
It was, you know, that kind of thing.
But, look, yes. I had a sick son, my younger Daniel, , but I also knew, they told me, they said, yeah, he's going to need a nber of surgeries, but you know what, he's going to be fine.
[00:13:57] Andrea: Mm-hmm.
[00:13:58] Adam: my wife's a special education teacher, , She teaches these kids every day and she goes, listen, he's not going to be a hundred percent in the first six months, nine months a year.
Give it a couple years and it'll be fine. Went to physical therapy. He got speech that he got everything. Physical therapy, speech, therapy. Next thing you know, the kids playing football. And I'm thinking to myself, well, I'm happy as hell and he's playing football. , but they, you know, with ms it's very, very different and.
As much as I, I don't diminish my wife's illness or my son's illnesses, , or any other things , but. When they told me and then I, and then you actually speak to the doctor and they, you find out more. It's the most devastating thing. It's you wake up every day and it may not be the first thing you think about, but maybe if you're not walking perfectly or you slip a little bit, look, I slipped in the shower before.
I'm not talking about falling down. But then before I said, Hmm, is this normal me? Is it me being tired from the gym? Or is this the beginning?
[00:15:12] Andrea: Mm-hmm.
[00:15:13] Adam: for a long time it was j maybe just slipping a little bit or the cup was wet. That's why I didn't hold onto it the way I could have. , , but you know what?
At some point when I went to using a cane, then I went to using a walker and at times a wheelchair more times than now. Not, not now. , It really screws with you. It screws with your head. , because it's not, look, I, I've been blessed growing up a son of a doctor and having means to do things and go places that other people could only imagine.
And listen, I used to travel for work, , where it would be like the biggest, the inconvenience. Was having to get on a plane for me. Now with a wheelchair, it's difficult for me, for me to get on a plane. I, I, some people say, well, there are other people who are on wheelchairs. Yeah, but you know what, it's difficult.
It's not easy. And because when you, when now when I travel, I travel with my wife and my two boys, and we used to go to one resort in Northern Pennsylvania. , where everything was on a hill, and even when I've traveled to the Cayman Islands, everything was on a hill or stairs were needed. Now, they didn't have the ADA compliant because it wasn't necessarily, and frankly, you're lucky that they spoke English, let alone ADA compliant.
Oh, and then, But you realize how much you miss out on. And I, I live where, I live in Westchester County, New York. The way the baseball fields my sons last year, my oldest son Andreas, last year in baseball, I had to watch games from the car in the parking lot. We would, other parents knew it started to know about me and some just knew about me because they were, we were all friends, our kids were friends.
They would save the parking spot for me. Where I would be able to best see my son bat a couple times a game or you know, that kind of thing. But it's a, , disease has done more to screw with my head that yes, it messes with my body,
But it's done more to screw with my head than anything. . And I, I had started using meditation not a lot before the diagnosis because of the world I lived in.
[00:17:42] Andrea: Right.
[00:17:43] Adam: But once I was diagnosed it was, if I'm not meditating twice a day,
I'm a mess. I'm a mess. I, we're already, we're talking now and it's around. It just happens to be, and I don't know when you, people will listen to this.
It's around early afternoon. I've already meditated twice today.
[00:18:00] Andrea: Yeah. Yeah. Look, I always say when it comes to chronic illness, because people listening have all sorts of chronic illnesses or they don't, , but their loved ones do. And as much as you can understand somebody else's chronic illness, it doesn't. It's not, it's not a zero s game. Just because we're having bad days and we have issues doesn't mean we are diminishing the bad days and issues of somebody else.
And just because other people have bad days doesn't mean that we can't have bad, bad days, right? Like everybody has their own feelings and their own struggles and their own wins and successes, and it doesn't take away from anybody else's experiences. I think that's, it's always important to say, like, you can feel how you want to feel.
Feel, and you're not going to be diminishing someone else just because you're talking about how you're feeling. I always feel like that's something that, I don't know where it came from. I don't know if it was just growing up with, you know, like other people have it worse than you and see, you know, so you can't talk.
I, I, I don't know where it came from, but I see it and I always want to say like, You can have a bad day and it has nothing to do with somebody else's bad day, and you can have a hard time with your wheelchair on an airplane, and it has nothing to do with how much worse of a time somebody else has.
[00:19:15] Adam: I also grew up the son of, , a, a guy who loved Star Trek more than anything, and as far as tv. So we could, you know, you could see people go one minute, you know, and then they would go in, they would use some sort of, , Space age tool, and the guy would be from being broken to basically running in the next, in the next scene.
[00:19:36] Andrea: Yes. I can't wait for that. That's going to be so great
[00:19:39] Adam: I hope I live to that point. I truly do
hope I live to that point. , and honestly, yes, I'm selfish to, part of it's for me, but for my wife of 20 years at this point, and hopefully for a lot longer and my kids. To have their dad, their hus, my wife's husband back and heard my kids to have their dad back
[00:20:03] Andrea: Mm-hmm.
[00:20:05] Adam: There was a dad when I would watch the baseball games from the sideline who had a father-in-law who had ms,
[00:20:14] Andrea: Hmm.
[00:20:14] Adam: and he unders, he would come sit with me and he'd be like, I can see the game. And I'd be like, why are you coming to sit with me? And he whispered in my ear. Because my father-in-law has ms.
And he goes, I get it. He goes, you're not alone. But I can't tell you over the years the people that I, I, I grew up on the North Shore, long Island. There were two in particular people that were my best friends. That unfortunately I can say, look, they, I, they don't hate me, but they're really not my friends anymore.
They, they're just not, they, they, they go, we used to go on vacation whenever I was married early, even before I was married. And we were just couples. We would go on vacation together, we would travel, you know, different parts of the world. , and now it's, it's like they've forgotten who I am Now. I'm not here to complain.
That's their problem, not mine. Because if they said, Let's go to dinner or, or you know, let's do this. I gladly do it. But they don't ask anymore because they know it's difficult for me. And I, and I don't think that's an excuse, but I think that's the way that people react. What they don't react well to what they don't understand.
[00:21:31] Andrea: I, I agree. I think it's interesting, and we've talked about this on, , different episodes of the podcast about how. When, when you have a diagnosis, especially, it happens within, , the first five even, 10 years of having the diagnosis. I think, , certain things happen and I think that there are. There are changes in us where our, either our values either shift or we, we value some things more than others and it's different than how we were when we built a friendship with somebody and things are going on with us that other people don't understand. And it can happen to where people that maybe weren't such great friends all of a sudden come best friends and some people who were great friends.
Maybe aren't such great friends anymore because you're right, it's people. People have a, a hard time sometimes when their friends are going through big changes, and it could be a big change with the diagnosis and disability. It could be a big change with things like, Weight loss. Anybody who has lost a lot of weight can understand that.
All of a sudden, people are a little different around you because it starts to make them look at themselves a little bit differently. It's, and I think you're right. I think the underlying thing here is that it's not you, it's it's them, and it's totally fine. They're allowed to go through whatever they're going through.
But it definitely happens where your friendships change, your relationships change, and sometimes they just get stronger and sometimes, , they fade and they're a little less strong,
[00:23:05] Adam: My relationship with my wife is a lot stronger. Yes, I
went through what I did with her. Yes, we both went through what we did with our son. , yes. She under, she's also again, had. Her own father who's had medical issues, her own mothers who had medical issues, , other people she knows. Cause as we get older, some of us just have medical issues.
Doesn't have to be ms. Doesn't have to be, doesn't have to be cancer like my wife's had twice. You don't have to have a premature baby, like my r our younger son, , who had all sorts of surgery. But people see things through a different lens. And it's odd because I had a friend who. It was just over time, we weren't, we, we had lost touch and he, you know, he had no idea about my ms.
And, and then, and then when all of a sudden he became sick with something else, then all of a sudden you hear from them
And you almost say to yourself, h. And then you realize they're alone and you get it. And, , But then I have a couple friends that I never thought were good friends, who, , like I have a friend with als. , look, we were friends, real friends because of athletics. , and after, you know, I was sick, nobody reaches out to me. But then when they get sick, they know you're going through something. So I don't know if they're looking, you know, reaching out to you to see if you can help them or they can understand how better to deal things, deal with
[00:24:43] Andrea: , I think that's it. Honestly. I think there's a certain amount of understanding that comes from having just, and you're right, it doesn't have to be specifically MS or anything, but I think there's just a certain amount of, of understanding and almost like a comfort with vulnerability that comes when you're dealing with a diagnosis or a chronic illness with either you or with someone who's really close to you and, Sometimes people aren't ready for it.
Some people don't know how to deal with it. Some people don't know how to get there because all of a sudden it's like you're on different levels. Just when it comes to things like vulnerability with having this, and once they go through something themselves, it almost, you know, they, they, they get it and they understand and there's more of a comfort talking with somebody than there was before.
I think that's, I tru think that's, that can be what happens. I
[00:25:36] Adam: I, I completely agree with you, and it's, again, these are the people who. They weren't, they weren't there necessarily for you before, but now they're there for you now and so you're skeptical of why all of a sudden they're, they want to be your friend. So the, it becomes a trust issue. It's kind of like, I'll trust my wife forever with everything because she's been with me.
I, we've brought, been each other's side the entire time and. My older son who's witnessed it a, a lot of it, not just my stuff, but our, his brother's stuff didn't, he didn't witness my wife's stuff, but he's witnessed other kids' stuff. You know, he's come up to me and said, dad, I'll always love, I'll always be there for you.
That sort of thing. I like to think that, but I've told him, listen, when you're out of the house, go do what people your age do. Don't worry about me. I'll be fine. I'll see you on holidays. I'll talk to you, you know, on your birthday, all the stuff that we do now, but. Live a full life because I, yeah. And again, I say this because I had fraternity brothers that died young and I've had other friends die young.
I mean just during the covid lockdown there were three people. Two, I didn't know very well. I knew them all cause they were all from my high school. One I knew well, but these were people with comorbidities who ended up dying from Covid at the early, before the vaccine and all that. ,
[00:27:04] Andrea: Yeah. Look,
[00:27:05] Adam: That, that's just the way it is.
I hate to say it that way, but that's the way it is.
Listen, I've been running, I've been hit by a car twice, and I wa and I, one time I had to go to the hospital the other time, I, I just, I was bruised and battered for a couple weeks, but you know what? All of a sudden I wake up two weeks later one day, and it's like, I guess all that icing and all that, other's rest worked. But MS is, as much as we like to think it's not a new disease, The treatments for the disease, they're still holding back on. I look, I've said I'll donate my body to science if you, I'm Jewish and I'm not supposed to be doing that, but I said you guys want to try some stuff with stem cells on me to see if it works, because it's working for some people.
Said, my body's yours afterwards. You want to cut my head? Go do it. Do what you gotta do. I'm yours because. If what happens with me can help others, whether it be with nutrition or with exercise or with certain, not necessarily surgery, but treatments, I'm all for it because I get it.
my dad was with Doctors Without Borders. Here's a guy who just went around just because it was just about helping people. That's the way I was raised.
[00:28:14] Andrea: So speaking to that, you had mentioned something that you do, which is meditation, and you did it a little bit before, but now it's super ingrained in your life. How were you first introduced to meditation or specifically meditation as something that you could do to help you with your stress and help you with ultimately with your ms?
[00:28:36] Adam: You want to know how I fir? I got first introduced
meditation. Let me tell you, before I met my wife, it was that long ago. I went to in an attempt to try to become more friendly with a nice young lady. She, no, no, it was true. I was living in New York City and it was like, , she goes, , you want to go on a date?
She goes, go to yoga with me. , and I said, okay. I, I had, I, now I had no, I had heard a yoga, but I wasn't a yoga guy. I was the guy who went to the gym. , I gotta say afterwards I was really, , kind of upset. I went, not because of the meditation, because meditation was part of it, the breathing, the meditation at the end, that sort of thing because I was so sore.
, and then, Working in the corporate world, I learned that breathing and meditating was going to be helpful and visualization. I'm somebody who lives very deeply in the Jack Canfield. I'm a Canfield trainer, so I li and that was long before Ms. , I lived in that success principles, Jack Canfield. He had been on, in fact, on my podcast.
Jack and I became friends because oddly enough, although he went to Harvard and I went to Ohio State, we belonged to the same fraternity, but at different schools. So when you know, when you find that out, you find it's like people do things with people they know, like, and trust. And Jack's like, oh, you were in this, I was in this fraternity at Harvard.
I'm like, yeah, I was in Ohio. Now look, I get me, don't get me wrong. I am the biggest bu my two sons are named after Ohio State one after a. Coach one after a football player. I live and breathe Ohio State. But you know, he went to Harvard and that's one of those, you know, you've always, you've always been taught, like my wife with three Ivy League degrees, that the best, the brightest, the smartest are all the Ivy League people.
[00:30:31] Andrea: Allegedly.
[00:30:33] Adam: I love, yes, thank you for saying that. Because if I say when I've said that to my wife on some days, I'm like, You can't make soup, but I love my work to get, but she can't make soup. She's really, it's horrible. I hate to say it that way.
[00:30:46] Andrea: so Jack Canfield, just for those who don't know, is the, the Chicken Soup for the Soul. He did that whole thing that came out in the nineties. When did that come out?
[00:30:55] Adam: With Mark Victor Hanson, and then he was the author of the Success Principles, a, a book that for me is like a Bible and became even more important to me after my diagnosis. , and not just the one principle, E plus R equals l event plus response equals outcome. It's like you get ms, how do you respond to it?
It's not just a, if you want the outcome. Like I said, I had to change my responses with my wife. I don't, I don't, unless it's so bad where I need her to get me a heating pad or ice pack. , especially an ice pack when it's freezing outside, you know, or it's freezing in the house. That guy, you gotta explain yourself and, , to get the outcome.
[00:31:35] Andrea: So they, were they into meditation? what's the
[00:31:38] Adam: Jack Jack's a meditator. ,
Jack is a meditator. , but other people, I had my first introduction to meditation was to find out who Deepak Chopra was. , and then I, locally, I had met somebody. When I took a yoga on my own, which helped push off the, the progression of my ms, , I believe it did well. It was because I kept my body in a lot better shape.
Now I'm not able to do certain things with yoga, but , , this person from yoga said, you gotta try transcendental meditation. So I did.
[00:32:19] Andrea: And what is that? Just for people who don't know, just
[00:32:21] Adam: it's twice a day for 20 minutes. It's, it's a little bit different, , as far as the closing your eyes and the breathing and the quiet. There's no, there's no noise in the background, there's no anything.
It's just pure quiet. , but then again, I worked in New York City, so I had my, find myself on Colbus Circle at lunchtime or other parts of the city where I, it's not going to be quiet like that. So you gotta learn to just shut everything out and do your own thing. And that was something I had to learn to do.
And that's something I did do. And, ,
[00:32:54] Andrea: What? What, so you discovered it, but what made you want to keep doing it?
[00:32:59] Adam: honestly, that particular was, it, it, the people I met really, , encouraged me to come. To sit downs where people would meditate together and it was just like, you'd go for an hour and everybody'd be quiet. It was, look, as a guy from New York, you know, in New York City, when it goes quiet, it's kind of new to you because the noise, , for me it was a release for me, it was a, , a way to get away from things.
And also for me, I was the guy because of the, the work I did and who I worked for. Everybody was always on the go. Everybody was always going crazy as far as, and I shouldn't say going crazy, but things were, the speed was a lot faster as far as the way we did everything. And I needed to slow down. , I needed to focus.
And then after my diagnosis, I really needed to focus on myself. Not just meditation, but one thing I learned through Jack. , most people think of it as dreaming, but visualization. I incorporate visualization into my meditation where I still, my see myself walking unassisted one day, nothing. I see myself going into the bathroom, taking a shower kind of thing without needing assist bars
, but you know, you learn and meditation for me, I really need realize. Now again, there are certain people that aren't accepting of it.
There's a lot of people that are not accepting of it. I used to be the guy who would go for a run. Or go for a walk. Just go outside and breathe. Cause I live in New York. Go outside. You know, you go out on Central Park or you go out in other parts of New York City and you see things and you say, hell ain't that bad.
Is it what you're going through? Isn't that bad? All right. That client yelled at me. The boss didn't like something, this and that. But you know what? I'm not that guy. I remember being outside. , I happened to be doing a, an appraisal down in Midtown and it was near New York University. , the hospital there and.
I, I wasn't diagnosed was long before I was diagnosed and I thought to myself, I saw people, and again, it's New York, people living on the street, and I said, you know what? It's not me. I'm glad it's not me. , but you become accepting. And then, , look, life, life throws a lot of things at you, so you do what you
[00:35:32] Andrea: Yeah, so with meditation, when you started to go through and it became a practice? What was it that made you want to go into making it more of your career?
[00:35:44] Adam: I still have my real estate business where I do certain types of real estate work because I can't do other types of work. , but I had people that I worked with and people that I knew that said, you just seem a lot more calm and a lot more grounded, and what's changed didn't happen overnight.
And I said They'd whisper in your ear almost like, Hey, I'd like that too. I'd like to be at peace. And look, it's not perfection, but it can help you, and I think that's one of the reasons my relationship with my wife is flourished because I've learned to be calmer, not crazy, also, , more grounded and with my own children
you know, I've taught them, you gotta learn to breathe. I, I want them to meditate. I've asked them, I've tried to get them, they're not really into it right now based on their ages, but I hope someday they will be.
And I've taught other people to meditate too. And they've said, wow, love it.
[00:36:40] Andrea: What do you think is the barrier? I, I feel like everybody knows meditation. Everybody knows generally what it is.
[00:36:46] Adam: People think the monks
[00:36:47] Andrea: everybody does it, but yeah. I mean, there's the monk, but like, what do you think is the biggest barrier for people to
[00:36:54] Adam: For me, I, what I've said now, Jack and I have talked about this actually, , I think we're similar in what we think and others think there's too much woo woo involved around it. , it's very, nah. I,
[00:37:06] Andrea: No, I I want you to go into that. What does that mean when you say like, what is woowoo means something different to everybody,
[00:37:12] Adam: When you look, go ahead and look up meditation on the internet and you'll think of, you'll find a lot of, no, you are not everything, but you'll find the, these days, but older, you'd find the Tibetan people in their sheets sleeping, you know, with the sheets on and, and bald heads. Now mine is, because after covid a few times, my hair never really grew back.
, but you know, other people, yeah, that happened. I used to have
[00:37:32] Andrea: you. So you think people, the barrier for people is that they feel like they have to just go all in and be perfect and change their life to be able to do
[00:37:43] Adam: Yeah. No, no. Yeah, I, you know, listen, we want kids to take the time out.
As adults, we need a timeout. Doesn't mean you need to meditate for 20 minutes, half hour. There are times where I may ha get a phone call from somebody who's just a jerk, or I speak to somebody and you know what I do? I'll meditate for five minutes.
I'll meditate for three minutes. I'll meditate for 10 minutes. It's like you're just taking a break, taking a timeout, slowing down, or my kids are fighting and my wife says, you're not really interact, you're interacting. It's like, I just gotta, you know, you want to be an example for them and to remain calm.
To remain cool. , are there certain people who have less to do with me or nothing to do with me? Yeah. Maybe there's old preconceptions. I'm not a young kid anymore. I'm in my mid fifties. , but it's the kind of thing I wish I had known a lot more about, a lot longer. In fact, somebody on LinkedIn really said to me recently, they said, , Guy was talking during the pandemic about all the stress because he had to work from home and his kids were learning, his kids were learning from home, his wife was working from home, just like my house and I, he said, what should I do?
And I said, one word, meditate. Then I actually had a client of mine who happened to see the post, , because we were, you know, in LinkedIn, it's a shared network in a lot of cases, or a network, you know, extended network, and it's like this meditation thing is, you're really into that. I'm like, saved my life.
And I truly believe it's saved my life because look, I go into the hospital for treatments and things like that, and I've had other things in the doctor. I, them saying, don't go to sleep. A I said, I'm not going to sleep. I'm meditating because listen, I'm in the in the ho And again, I grew up a son of a doctorate nurse.
I grew up in an environment where, Everything was going crazy around you with the medical treatments and things like that, and cause different sports industries injuries. If I had known sooner rather than later to meditate, I gladly would've done it a long time ago. I'll be honest with you, it's one of the best things that's ever happened to me is learning to meditate.
It's a, it's a method of self-regulation.
[00:39:42] Andrea: So what does it look like when you, when you meditate, say things are getting kind of nuts and you want to just take a moment? What are the logistics here that we're talking about with meditation?
[00:39:54] Adam: For me, I'm a big believer in the closed eyes. , some people like you could do it with open eyes. I'm like, really? , but it's, for me, it's about breathing. Also and slowing down and self-regulation and learning to, it's like the stereo as kids. A lot of us, I used to play it real loud. I'm that kid from the heavy metal era in the eighties.
, but now, nope, it's turned the vole down and it's not turned the vole down on the, on the TV or, well, yeah, I do that or the radio, that sort of thing. , but it's just turn your overall vole down and that's one thing I have to do.
[00:40:32] Andrea: So what do you say to people? Because I'm like this, it took me a while to get into meditation and I now have, you know, I mean my own practice and I, I value it, but for a long time and sometimes even now, sometimes I'll sit for meditation. I. And my head is just going, and I can't like you turn the vole down, but like my inside my head,
[00:40:54] Adam: it's going to happen. It's going to happen. Let it be, it'll pass. It's one of the things I first learned. Not in my first meditation. Well, yeah, they teach it. But until I really got into, , my second real training in meditation, , meaning the second I thought I would try not, they're like, listen, it's going to ha they said let it go.
Let it go. And fortunately, I live in New York and not that New York is better, but New York is different because of the sheer population. There's so many different, well, you say that they say, These are doctors that, I mean, my doctor at, at the hospital, and they found out, one of the things, they talk about, the things you do for stress.
I'm like, I meditate. They're like, h? Because they didn't expect to hear that everybody, everybody reacts differently. Some, like my wife is still, she's not a meditator. When she gets stressed out, she eats. When she gets stressed out, she needle points. Yeah. We are getting old.
[00:41:55] Andrea: You know, that was one of the biggest game changers for me, is what you just said when it come to me, came to meditation. It's, it's not about clearing your mind.
[00:42:05] Adam: No, it's about your own practice. You define, you create your own practice over time. It's not, everybody's not going to be the same. I, when people say once I, I'm not like you. It's like, I'm glad you're not like me. You gotta figure it out for you. You gotta figure out your breathing. You've gotta figure, like, you know, people hear me talk sometimes and they say, Oh, you're not, you speak too fast.
You're not a meditator. And I say no, because sometimes because of ms, I can't speak or I speak broken English. So in my, and, and we talked about this at the beginning, on the days my voice is working, I talk, it's almost like I'm, I tell my wife, she goes, you don't shut up. I'm like, I'm catching up. Like remember yesterday you were saying I wouldn't talk or I had nothing to say, so I'm catching up everything I couldn't say yesterday, or I might not be able to say tomorrow, saying today. Like my kids know when I put my hand over, my heart means, boys, I love you. They understand it because there's some days I can't say it, I'm that dad every day. My kids don't walk in or walk out of the room with me without hearing. I love you. Not every dad is the same. Not every mom is the same but I've realized, especially after illness and after my younger son, , Having issues that, you know what, say it when you can because there's going to be a point where you won't be able to, like my father's passed away.
My father and I had a very tortured relationship, and I say that because, , he always wanted me to be a doctor like him. He always wanted to be a, , Do certain things the way he did 'em. , that's part of it was part of my religious upbringing. I grew up in a religious Jewish family here in New York where we were supposed to dress like our parents and do things like our parents, but I was the opposite, especially after I went to school in the Midwest.
I came back, my dad's like, boy, Ohio State's really changed here. It's not just that, but it was the relationships with other people that changed me. My dad didn't like football. You can't go to Ohio State. Doesn't matter where you're from. I live in breathe, Ohio State football.
[00:44:13] Andrea: Mm-hmm.
[00:44:14] Adam: That's just, that's nature.
That's the way it is. , I loved football before, but it was primarily my pro team here in New York. But you go to Ohio State and you go sit in a stadi with 105,000 other people, and boy does it change you.
[00:44:33] Andrea: Yeah.
[00:44:34] Adam: It's not like going to Madison Square Garden. It changes you. And thank God it did for me, because honestly, it's one of my things that.
If MS has taken a hold of me, I have lots of games on
on D V D and other, I'll watch it. You know why? Because I know I can escape what I'm feeling. I know I can escape.
[00:44:54] Andrea: I love it. We could have a whole separate conversation about football because I also really like
football. I, so I want to highlight something you said earlier though, because I think it's really important, , that people hear this because I think you're right. I think it is the. Barrier that a lot of people have when it comes to meditation.
It's feeling like they have to be perfect, feeling like they have to clear their heads, all these kinds of kind of things. And I know there's people who are listening right now thinking, okay, this sounds way more accessible than I thought it was.
[00:45:24] Adam: It is.
[00:45:25] Andrea: What would you say to them as far as how they can start?
Just they're going from nothing to, to just starting something that they can create a habit, create a practice with, and get all of these benefits. Because, I mean, we didn't even talk about the 5,000 benefits that come from
[00:45:41] Adam: I look. I could promote my own book and my own teachings and that sort of thing. It's easy, but I tell people. Go to like YouTube or something like that, or one of those other providers where you can just learn to do it. And if, even if it's for a couple minutes, like I said, there are times where I learned was in that 20 minute block.
, but it was tough. So do it in three minutes, five minutes, 10 minutes, one minute. Take a, take a seat and take a breath. , if I, I, I'm not the guy, nobody would ever, when people hear me say this, they'd say, what happened to you? Meditation changed my life. I know people say that's crazy. , like they'll understand A wheelchair changed my life.
They'll understand, , the sys walking devices changed my life. They understand other things they can physically see, but you don't see meditation. People take a, somebody sitting there with their arms crossed their legs crossed their eyes closed. You know what? Take a seat. Just, even if it's for a few minutes and build your practice up, it'll change your life.
I, I don't say that flippantly, guaranteed. It's guaranteed.
[00:46:50] Andrea: I love it. Adam, thank you so much for coming on, sharing your story, being so open and sharing what meditation has meant to you, how much it's changed your life. Like I said before, I think it's an incredibly important conversation. I also think it's very much misunderstood and I love talking to somebody who believes that same thing because I think it's true.
I think that if, if people know that you don't have to be perfect and you don't have to do something that totally clears your mind or is an hour a day of not moving, right? If it's not like that, you can still do it and it can still change your life.
[00:47:29] Adam: It can, it did mine. meditation will change your life. Just, you gotta try it. It may not work the first time, it may not work the second, it may not work the 10th, it may not work the hundredth, but you know what, it's building a practice. For me, it really didn't work as unless I felt it until months into it. I, it just didn't, because I hadn't learned to self-regulate myself and self-regulate my nervous system in my mind.
[00:47:52] Andrea: Hmm. But that's something that comes with practice.
[00:47:55] Adam: Oh, it definitely does. It did with me.
[00:47:58] Andrea: I love it. I also love seeing the cat that just walked across your keyboard.
[00:48:03] Adam: Yeah. No, I'm a, I'm an animal lover galore,
and, , we've. Between my dog and my cats and people think, oh, no, no, no. This is long before ms. I was raised, I was that guy who actually showed dog. I was taught as a kid, my dad, I had to learn certain things as a kid. One of them, we showed our dogs in shows.
, I've been to, you know, shown Westminster all that sort many years ago
in New York City. Yeah, it was, again, it was, I was taught this, it was. You had to learn certain, if you grew up in my house, you had to learn to do, it was discipline
training every day. , cause it was not regular showing, it was obedience training.
, it was all those things. You learned about it in my father's house. And you know what? It's training. It's like train your mind. Did the dog be do everything right the first time? No. The dog didn't do it right the 10th time or the hundredth time, but you know what, eventually the dog did it right? And one of our dogs was a champion because of it.
And that's if you want to be a champion yourself. And I'm truly a believer, whether you're in work, an athlete, just a, a husband, dad, boyfriend, whatever, girlfriend, I mean, whatever your thing is, meditate, I'm telling you it'll change your life. I'm the least likely person anybody would've ever thought that meditation would work for,
[00:49:27] Andrea: Well,
thank you so much. I really, I really appreciate it.
[00:49:31] Adam: Thank you so much. If you like the show, don't be shy. Please give us a five-star rating and review. Follow us on apple podcast, Amazon music or wherever you're listening right now. To see complete show notes and resources mentioned in this episode
visit Thank you for joining me And until next time take care

About Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis

Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis podcast

Hear inspiring discussions with people living with chronic illness. These people went after their passions and big goals -even when everyone told them they couldn’t. Listen to stories of resilience and gratitude in the face of uncertainty.

I’m your host, Andrea W. Hanson, Author, Motivational Speaker, and Autoimmune Rebel living with multiple sclerosis. You’ll not only fall in love with these guests, but you’ll soak up positive mindset tips and ideas to find your own unique path to success.

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