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"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Self-Talk: Friend or Foe?


Your inner world of self-talk is most generally not conscious. Self-talk implies thoughts. And most people get lost in their world of thoughts without recognizing that it has happened. Why this happens has much to do with how interested you are in consciously being able to make good choices about those thoughts / that self-talk, and specifically, in how much you have decided to make a practice of being conscious.

Self-talk about anything at all can be both friend and foe. Take the example of playing golf. You swung badly. Your ball went into the water, or so far off to the left into the trees, that you still haven't found it after 10 minutes of hunting for it. All this time your self-talk is on. What are you saying to yourself about that poor shot? Whatever it is, those words; those thoughts, are either your friend or your foe. Depending on that self-talk, you now are gently beginning to feel better about having swung so badly, or you are feeling far, far worse.

Let's take another example. You've been offered a new position at an outstanding firm. It even implies a substantial raise, as well as a move to one of the world's most exciting cities. You need to give your final answer by Monday. As you mull over it, your self-talk is on. What are you saying to yourself about that challenge? Whatever it is, those words; those thoughts, are either your friend or your foe. Depending on that self-talk, you now are slowly beginning to feel very apprehensive about taking on such a huge challenge, and leaving your family and friends behind, or you are filled with adrenaline, anticipation, and a sense of your future opening up for you.

A final, and much more personal example might be about having gone on a date with a new person. You very much enjoyed him/her. You anticipate future dates and perhaps - who knows? - even more. However, time has gone by and you haven't had any contact. Perhaps you've reached out, and there has been no reply to your message, or perhaps this person had said they would contact you shortly, but has not done so. As time goes by, your self-talk is on. What are you saying to yourself about this situation? Whatever it is, those words; those thoughts, are either your friend or your foe. Depending on that self-talk, you now are beginning to believe there could be something wrong or lacking with you and that explains why there has been no contact, or you are aware of the fact that you have no control over another individual, and how they behave, but whatever they do or don't do, it is not a reflection on yourself.

Becoming aware of your thoughts is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. It also brings much peace to your life.

Image: Kevin H., National Geographic: A blue heron in the last rays of a setting sun, Great Falls National Park, MD 

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch



Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Your Gut & Depression


In light of Robin William's recent passing (and without any direct knowledge of his specific condition), and with the sole desire of bringing some information that may be useful for some readers, have a look at this 2013 article in Scientific American Gut Bacteria May Exacerbate Depression that states "researchers have found evidence of bacterial translocation, or "leaky gut" among people with depression".

It specifically indicates that leaky gut may have a direct link to depression, further stating that the causes of leaky gut are:
  • regular use of painkillers and/or antibiotics
  • infections (such as HIV)
  • autoimmune disorders
  • alcohol abuse
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • gluten hypersensitivity
  • severe food allergies
  • radiation therapy
  • inflammatory disorders
  • psychological stress
  • exhaustion
Further, it appears there is a link between gut bacteria and Parkinson's and as you may know, Parkinson's is also frequently correlated with depression. Source

In an article I posted here in May of this year: Improving Gut Health Improves Mood, I had already discussed the fact that scientists have been demonstrating for some time that what lies in our second brain - the gut - may very well influence our mood, indeed, whether we are depressed or not. In other words, healthy bacteria - or the absence thereof - in our gut affects our mood.

Please become proactive with your own health. Not by becoming your own doctor, but by informing yourself, so that you are also able to have a say in it. Believe it or not, this too, is part of loving yourself.

Image: Cenote, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico


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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch



Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

That Elusive Inner Peace


No magic formulas here. No silver bullets. Just the daily practice that makes it possible. Inner peace needs attention on a daily basis for it to become a marked presence in your life.

Why would you think achieving a measure of inner peace is any different than keeping your body toned? Or your teeth clean? Spending some time on raising the quality of your inner peace - say, for example, as much time as you spend on FB or other social media per day - would move you into a place, and this I promise you, where life would gain an irrevocable quality of inner harmony - even if your outer life resembles a runaway roller coaster.

Things - those things that happen to all of us and disturb our thoughts, feelings, and well-being - would have much less power to upset you. And furthermore, each day that you continue to give that amount of time to developing your inner peace, would make that quality of harmony stronger and stronger.

There's a famous quote by Zig Ziglar, that I have frequently mentioned. People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well neither does bathing. That's why we recommend doing it daily. And of course the same applies to many of those other inner things we want.

Inner peace is everyone's right, but rarely comes about just because or through wishful thinking. It must be cultivated. Much can be achieved by emulating others who have gone before us - if you know what they did - or if you read their writing (or listen to their clips, now so readily available on the internet).

Another form of cultivating it - perhaps the most direct way because it has the power to so directly impact on your daily life - is paying attention to your thoughts - that in turn cause your emotions. One of the ways of doing this is following a mindfulness practice. I have described a tantalizingly simple way of doing this here in my posts and refer to it frequently. You can find it here. Doing this on a daily basis will initially show you the power your thoughts have over you, and as you continue doing it, will allow you to be the one who is in charge of those thoughts. That is one of the most direct steps to inner peace. And the process is so simple. All you have to do is practice it every day.

If you want more scientific and detailed information about why it works, and how it has been demonstrated to work, in study after study, on issues such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, OCD, and numerous other problems, start by looking up Jon Kabat-Zinn on YouTube and listen to some of his talks for a detailed background on mindfulness. Thich Nhat Hanh - a Buddhist monk who was the one who initially introduced Kabat-Zinn to mindfulness - is another wonderful source, freely available on the web.

Remember: finding a good measure of inner peace is easy, but only if you do your part: practice every day.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch



Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Wishing Your Life Away


Getting out of bed and wishing it were already evening so you could relax. Working out at the gym, wishing you were already done, so you could have breakfast. Sitting in traffic and wishing you were already at work. Sitting at work, looking at the clock and wishing it were time to go home. Standing in line at the bank or supermarket and wishing you were already at the top of the line. Having dinner with the family and wishing it were already done so you could watch that new episode of the series you are following on TV. Thinking it's only Monday and wishing it were already Friday. Looking at the calendar and wishing it were already the month that you go on holidays. Lying on an idyllic beach and wishing it were already evening so you could go to that upscale night club after dinner. Lying on that idyllic beach and thinking that this afternoon is really going to be fun because of that trail ride you've booked.

You (me, and all the rest of us) wish your life away by having thoughts of this nature and other similar ones in any situation you can possibly imagine.

Why?

Because we are never (or rarely) in the present moment. We don't know how to stay there. We have no clue. Often we even flee from it. Or may be afraid of it. It implies being on our own at times, and it certainly implies knowing how to be in a quiet place inside ourselves.

What does being present really mean? Being here and now with all your senses, but most particularly with your thoughts. When your thoughts (or wishes) take you to another time in the past or particularly the future, you are literally wishing your life away.

Imagine sitting on a blanket in a field of late summer wild flowers with your young children and your spouse. Imagine thinking and worrying about work issues or problems. Imagine what such worry and stress does to your energy field and how that might impact on those who are with you. Imagine furthermore, having occasional thoughts about the awards dinner you will be attending that evening that fills you with pride, but also some trepidation. Now your energy field is even more confused and your feelings are also more muddled, as they have been impinged upon by so many thoughts that are not germane to the moment in which you find yourself. Why? Because you are not being present.

Being present in such a moment would mean some of the following:

  • being filled with the wild aroma of the flowers surrounding you
  • hearing the joy in your children's voices as they revel in being out there, and most particularly, in being out there with their parents
  • it would mean hearing the buzz and murmur of insects as they fly about in your vicinity, and the soft sighs of the wind as it passes though the trees above you
  • it would mean being aware of the presence of your partner in that moment, and being able to delight in words - unspoken or not - that pass between you two as you look at each other over the heads of your children
  • being present would mean that you would not only be able to indulge in this activity yourself, but you would be fascinated by the interest with which your children observe the path of an ant through the stalks of grass, as it carries a crumb from the sandwiches you brought with you.

Such is being present. Such is living your life instead of wishing it away. Such is assuming mastery over your thoughts which leads to mastery over your emotions.

Please click on the labels below for more posts on these subjects.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch



Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Saying Hello to the Unknown


Leaving the familiar behind is not something all of us do easily. It may create stress, worry, and fear, and therefore many people do their best to avoid it. Yet it is at the threshold of the unknown that growth, expansion, and adventure may take place.

How else was the New World discovered, how else did the first moon landing take place? How else were so many of the objects we take for granted invented? The submarine, the airplane, the microscope, and the printing press, not to mention digital technology in all its wonders that lead us to even more 'magical' discoveries!

I am also reminded of a 2008 movie I've enjoyed so much that over the years I've seen it several times. It relates the true story of a journalist out to get a coveted scoop, yet who winds up on some strange by-ways due to the vagaries of his situation, and is then faced with the unknown which he not only fears, but which - in modern terms - freaks him out. Nevertheless, he takes on the challenge, never realizing the riches that will come to him thanks to it. The title of that film is The Children of Huang Shi.

And on a very personal level, when you leave a familiar job routine to take on a promotion with greater responsibilities, even if you remain within the same firm, or when you leave a comfortable job to take on a new one, even if it's in the same city, but with new colleagues, new systems, and many other unknown factors, or when you start a new relationship, when you have a child, when you move to a new city or country, when you start some inner work on yourself (whether in therapy or otherwise), when you start a degree at university, or even simply when you dare to change your appearance in ways that are apparent to others, and hence expose you to comments (good or bad), you are taking a step into the unknown.

How do you greet it? Do you look forward to meeting all the unknown elements of this new sector of your life, in the knowledge that this will change you in ways you are not yet familiar with, and that in that changing, you will not only grow, but also become more of what you can be? Do you allow yourself to see the miraculous in that possibility? Do you actively look for change of this type?

If the answer is a lukewarm yes or a maybe, or perhaps even a downright no, then please remember what I wrote above: it is at the threshold of the unknown that growth, expansion, and adventure take place. Crossing thresholds always implies risks, but frequently also fear. Allow yourself to greet the trepidation, worry, or fear as a friend that has the potential to bring you to new places, and such potential is worth gold. Saying hello to the unknown is frequently akin to greeting a stranger who will somehow show you riches beyond belief.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch



Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What Does Judging Do To You?


Judging - not only yourself, but also others - is an exercise in negativity, although some may feel momentarily uplifted by their apparently lofty visions of themselves as opposed to those they are judging.

While the reproduction above of the Last Judgement by Hieronymous Bosch is not exactly about the tenor of today's post, it nevertheless depicts the suffering and degradation you (or I, or anyone) subject yourself to when you judge.

Let's first examine why you judge. Is it not because you either tacitly acknowledge a lack of confidence or feeling good about yourself and hence - by judging another as even 'worse' than yourself - you find a road to feeling better about yourself, or because you don't acknowledge a lack of confidence (while nevertheless, in fact, lacking said confidence), and/or a lack of inner well-being, and so, just as in the other example, you find that you tacitly feel better (at least for a moment), after having had thoughts or words about someone whom you consider further down on some kind of artificial scale than yourself?

I hope you can see what is wrong with this picture. Firstly, it's ego-based. Your ego is the part of you that falsely believes it will feel better by judging or denigrating others. And most of the time you do - but only for a bit. Then it's back to same old, same old. So you have achieved nothing, other than a few moments of feeling better, in exchange for having created - inside of yourself - negative energy by having such thoughts, or speaking such words about someone else. Secondly, it builds on a premise that never moves you forward. By using negative, judgemental thoughts about another to make yourself feel good, or to give yourself confidence - while, even if only momentarily believing that you yourself live according to another, loftier, higher standard - you defeat any mechanism that might truly move your spirit in a higher direction.

Without belaboring the point, here is another way to go about this business of improving a lack in confidence or inner well-being. Try catching yourself each time you 'hear' thoughts or words of judgement pour from you. To catch yourself, you obviously need to practice being aware, so that in the moment that you do catch yourself, you can truncate those thoughts or words by telling yourself that they will only give you a false sense of improved confidence or inner well-being at the expense of another (who may or may not be as you are on the verge of expressing, but how that person is or is not, is simply not germane to your ultimate inner sense of confidence and well-being), and that by sending a silent blessing to the person or group of people, or race, religion, or nation you were about to denigrate, you will begin to change important aspects of your inner wiring that will - eventually - allow you to feel not only greater self-confidence, but also much greater inner well-being and love for yourself.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch



Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

When You Love, What Exactly Are You Loving?


Have you ever given it any thought? What, in fact, do you love, when you love?
  • Do you love the feeling of being loved (as opposed to not feeling loved before)?
  • The feeling of being adored (as opposed to not feeling adored before)?
  • The feeling of being doted on (as opposed to not feeling doted on before)?
  • The feeling of being important to someone (as opposed to not feeling important before)?
  • Do you love feeling fulfilled (as opposed to how unfulfilled you felt before)?
  • Do you love feeling secure (as opposed to how insecure you felt before)?
  • Do you love feeling needed (as opposed to not feeling needed before)?
  • Do you love how good you feel when you are with the other (as opposed to not feeling nearly as good without the other)?
  • Do you love knowing you are not alone (as opposed to how you feel when you are alone)?
  • Do you love how the other gazes into your eyes (as opposed to how you feel when no one gazes into your eyes)?
  • Do you love the fact that the other appears to only have eyes for you?
  • Do you love how the other shows you how much you are loved?
You might say to me, but of course, all of that is normal when you are in love, and I would not disagree with you in the least. But how much of that has to do with you? I mean: how much of that has to do with how this being in love makes you feel? What have you said - or thought - about the other person, with the exception of how the other makes you feel? Have you examined where the other is in all of this? Don't worry - I'm not implying that you are being selfish.

I'm actually asking you to consider that perhaps a part of this whole business of what you love when you love has much more to do with satisfying a deep longing inside yourself that you are not capable of taking care of - or so you think, or have been taught to believe - on your own. And so you need, so to speak, the other to take care of it for you. The other fulfills you, being with the other makes you feel secure, needed, important, valuable, etc.

What is this longing? Why does the fulfilling of it by the other make you feel so good? (At least until the relationship palls or goes sour). The longing is for your self-love. We are not taught - generally - to love ourselves, and so we need to fulfill that need with another. And so you seek to do so through your love relationships. And that is precisely why so many of them go sour. If you could learn to fulfill your own needs in the self-love department, the weight of responsibility in the relationship for making you feel good about yourself would no longer rest on the hapless shoulders of your partner. You would assume responsibility for it yourself. And your love relationships would be lighter (by not being burdened by such a load), and yet more profound because two individuals who come together, already having learned to fulfill their own needs, already having assumed responsibility for their own inner well-being, will reach depths of love that people involved in the other kind of relationship can only dream of.

Image: Adam Martinakis

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch:

 
Rewiring the Soul

Click here to download the first chapter.
To see the Table of Contents click here

Reviews From the Back Cover:

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, Director, Center for Sacred Theatre, Ashland, Oregon; author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world & practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd; Founder Trans4mind.com; author: Daring To Be Yourself 

"The human being's directory to the soul. A breakthrough for those seeking practical assistance, those of a more mystical bent & every soul awaiting discovery." Toni Petrinovich, Ph.D.; author: The Call: Awakening the Angelic Human

The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

To download the first chapter, click here
To see the Table of Contents click here

Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

“All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come."
Chris Griscom: Spiritual Leader, Author (among others) of: Ecstasy is a New Frequency

“Eloquent and comprehensive, showing how your primary love relationship may be a sacred vessel that transports you and your partner to a place of mutual healing and expansion.” 

Robert Schwartz: Author of Your Soul’s Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born 


The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self 


My new book: The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self, is just out. Click here to download an excerpt. 

From the Introduction: It is your right to live a life of love. It is your right to understand that loving yourself first is not a selfish way of behavior, but one that allows you to live that life of love. However, it's highly probable that you never got the instruction manual explaining exactly how to accomplish this. Possibly your family - and it may have been a loving family - considered loving the self an act of selfishness. Or perhaps the members of your family simply didn't practice loving the self, and of course, what you didn't see - what was not shown to you - while you were growing up, meant that you just didn't learn how to apply it to yourself. The closer you are able to move towards loving yourself, the closer you will be to living a life of love - quite independently of whether you are in a love relationship or not. A life of love can be lived with or without a partnership, because a life of love implies that you know that it all begins with you by loving the self. The more clearly you understand how to love yourself, the more clearly you will see that it is very hard - if not impossible - to love others in ways that are unrelated to fulfilling any of your needs. Loving yourself first is - for so many of us - one of the hardest things we will ever learn how to do. But know this: the benefits affect you in every particle of your being - body, mind, and soul - and are greater than you will ever be able to imagine.

Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin (to be released Summer 2014)


My new book (due out summer 2014), deals with a subject that affects great numbers of people. Neediness and emotional unavailability are two sides of the same coin because both are based on a lack of self love, a fear of love, and a fear of the hurt that love can engender due to the vulnerability that being in love generally evokes. A person may live out one side of the coin (neediness) in several relationships and then - in a new relationship - may find him or herself living out the other side of the coin (emotional unavailability).


Neither of these tend to be deliberate because there is never anything consciously deliberate about the way a defense mechanism arises in childhood. A man who refuses to commit should not blithely be judged as being manipulative or callous although on the surface he may very well appear to be so. Furthermore, the older he gets, the more of a history of this nature he acquires, and hence the more those who sit in judgement reach the conclusion that they are right. The same could, of course, be said about the emotionally unavailable woman. Another case in point: a woman whose neediness may appear as emotionally manipulative (of her partner, parents, children, or friends), generally also does not behave this way in a deliberate fashion. The same could be said about the needy man.

Nevertheless some individuals, who have used these defense mechanisms over many years, have observed their effect on others, and so the emotionally unavailable man or woman may have noticed that this behavior magically attracts a certain kind of partner. Likewise, the needy man or woman will have observed that certain individuals always seem to do their bidding, if the neediness in expressed in emotionally manipulative ways.

This book dissects the causes and solutions of these defense mechanisms, paving the road - for those who wish to change the inner landscape of their emotional constraints - to live and be able to love more freely.

Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Using Feelings to Achieve Goals


In the blog I've frequently written about the importance of your feelings, your emotions, your energetic frequency as a barometer that can tell you whether you're on the right track or not.

If you are feeling down, sad, blue, depressed, despairing, angry, jealous, etc., you are definitely not in the place you should be in to get further towards whatever goals you are attempting to achieve. Whether these goals are of a personal nature, regarding major relationships in your life, or whether they are of a professional nature, or academic or financial goals ... none will come to you effortlessly if your inner state is not on a track that can lead you there.

You can easily use your feelings to guage whether you are in synchronicity with whatever it is you wish to achieve. It somes down to this simple equation: if you are not feeling good, whatever you wish to achieve will be very hard to come by. Your feelings are a barometer that tells you that you - and your internal self - are off course and need attention of some kind in the same way a fever thermometer tells you your body is off course and needs attention of some kind. And then, of course, once you realize that your feelings are not in synchronicity with that which you wish to achieve, you will need to choose to do something about them.

And to change how you are feeling is not quite as hard as it sounds. It has a lot to do with choice, and it has much to do with what you choose to focus on. If your goal is to build a company up from the ground, or if your goal is to set the world record in making the tallest house of cards, or if your goal is to have a loving relationship in your life ... if you find yourself in a negative state, or sad, or angry, or depressed, especially if those negative feelings are related to how you feel about your prospects of achieving that goal (but even if they aren't about that specifically), then you must realize that such an inner feeling state is anything but synchronized with any of those goals.

Your feelings can guide you through your entire life. Observe them, pay attention to what they are telling you, because when you find that your energetic state is poor, when your feelings are low, they are literally serving as a GPS showing you that you made a wrong turn somewhere, and so are indicating that you need to move you to a better place.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch



Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Building Muscles That Keep You Going


Clients often come to see me in the midst of chaos. That's understandable - after all, people such as myself who work in the field of psychotherapy and healing - expect that.

Nevertheless, there is something wrong with that scenario. You've all heard of how historically Chinese doctors of medicine were paid a retainer to keep their patients healthy. If they did their job well, helping the clients stay healthy, surgery or other drastic measures would not be required.

So in the example I cited above, about clients making appointments when they are in the midst of chaos, lives falling apart, or dreadful moments of pain, worry, and stress, it's a bit of the same. If you eat poorly, don't exercise, sleep badly, and in general, live an unhealthy life, and then you go to the doctor when you feel very poorly, it will be much harder to turn your health around, than if you had gone to see that doctor long ago, in order to get good advice about how to live a healthy life in order to greatly increase your chances to not get sick.

In the case of psychotherapy we can use the same analogy. The way we live our lives in the minutes of our days - every day - has a far greater influence on how well we are able to weather great emotional, psychological, and spiritual storms than what we do when the storm hits, especially if we don't do whatever it is until we are already well into the eye of the storm. If you invested in hurricane shutters, and always keep an up-to-date supply of batteries, bottled water, and canned foods on hand, when that storm hits your city, you won't have to scramble madly, fighting the crowds, in order to get yourself stocked up.

Therefore, the title of today's post: 'building muscles that keep you going' has much to do with what you do every day when things are OK; when there is no particular stressor in your life, and when you believe yourself to be in control of matters. What you do on such days; what you think on such days; what you feel on such days is what builds the stuff of your inner fortitude that will work in your favour when difficulties come to visit. So if you don't really know what you could be doing, thinking, and feeling in order to build those muscles that will keep you going, you might want to decide that it then when it's a good time to attend some seminars, read some good books, or visit someone such as myself, instead of postponing much of this until the proverbial stuff hits the fan!

One final point: many people have told me during their first visit that they have, in fact, gone to many seminars, or read numerous books, but their life never changed. They recount how hyped they were, for example, after some of the seminars, or how much peace they had found after a retreat, or how much this or that book had resonated with them, but their life never changed. Therein lies the problem, and I've been guilty of this myself at earlier times in my life. You know what you're hearing or reading is precisely what you need. It furthermore gives you a sense of great inner energy. But you go home, or you close the book, or switch off your device after viewing an online program, and you simply don't apply what you learned on a daily basis. Building muscles that keep you going need attention every day. Not necessarily exclusive attention, in that you may not need to set aside time to practice, because much of it can be done simultaneously with your other activities, but without paying conscious attention every day, when you do actually need those muscles, they won't be there for you. As always, you choose.

Image Credit: Vladimir Kush / http://vladimirkush.com/ 

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch



Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Friday, June 27, 2014

And If There Is No One To Blame?


Life as a child was great ... I always found someone or something to blame for whatever was going wrong. My older brother had not let me come along to play with his friends, the girl down the street had broken my favorite doll, the weather had spoiled our picnic, my mother had scolded me harshly, I would tearfully tell my father when he returned at night, the 'bad' stove had made me burn my hand, the 'nasty' friend had not let me win the board game. As you can imagine, I had a lot to learn.

And learn I did! But in that learning, and in the realizing that the more you take on full responsibility not only for all you do, but also full responsibility for all you think, feel, say, and above all, for how you react to those things that happen, meant that I began to see life with totally different eyes.

And of course, doing that, means there is no one left to blame. No matter what happens, and no matter what another does.

That is ridiculous, you say.
  • The government and the financial system which it allowed for so many years has messed us up so much, that many of us are living on the brink of poverty. That is clearly the government's fault.
  • Or: my car was totalled in that accident yesterday when someone ran the red light, and that is clearly the other driver's fault.
  • Or: I've been diagnosed with breast cancer, and that is clearly the fault of my genes plus the environmental pollutants.
  • Or: I've been training for national qualification as an equestrian jumper, but my father has been so negative about it all, stressing me every time I go practice, that I didn't make the grade, and that is clearly my father's fault.
We could come up with any number of other examples, but what I wanted to show by using these in particular, is that even in cases where many of us might agree that it is so obviously not my fault, if something of this nature occurs, I would still say: but you must take full responsibility for how you react; for how you choose to react.

Because of course much of this is a question of seeing that there is always a choice. A choice of how much attention I pay to what is happening in the government, first at my community and local level, then provincial or state, and so on, and finally at the federal level. I also have choices about the kind of car insurance I have and what it covers, and while I don't have a choice about the genes I inherit, I do have a choice about how I influence those genes on the basis of much of the information that is coming out of cellular and molecular biology (and it is my choice to read about these things), not to mention what I allow into my 'environment', which includes not only what I breathe, eat and drink, but also how I live, how I manage stress, with whom I am surrounded, and so on. And finally, I always have choices about how I react to others' negativity. I even have choices about how much time I spend with people who are negative - even a father.

But while I stand by the last paragraph, I believe that much more important even than that, is the choice to always assume responsiblity for your own reactions. Find a place within where you gain equanimity and inner balance about whatever it is that is happening, and then, and only then, begin to decide what to do about it. Some things we can change. Others we can't change. But what we can do always, is to love the self so much, that our first priority is the recuperation of this inner balance. That is the first and the most gigantic step in not blaming and in accepting responsibility for yourself.

Take your life in your own hands, and what happens?
A terrible thing: no one to blame.
Erica Jong 

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch



Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Look Inside First


Finding reasons out there for the multitude of things that go wrong in our lives; judging or criticizing others for things we allow in ourselves; blaming others (or circumstances) for things we justify in ourselves, are all what many of us (myself included) do so very often in the course of our daily lives. Because it's always so much easier to see it out there.

Looking inside first is hard. But it can become a habit. And the more you do it, the more you realize the enormous degree of freedom it gives you because it signifies that you begin to choose how to react, as opposed to needing to find fault with or judge, or criticize, or look for reasons out there to justify whatever it is that is going on.

Think of it this way: when you do all those other things that allow you to avoid looking inside - how do you feel? Is it not true that while you may feel you now have a justification for whatever it is that is going on, you also don't really feel great? You may feel slightly superior, which may give you an edge, but it's not actually something that makes you feel good, is it?

Let's say you see a homeless person on the street. Let's say you give that person some coins. And let's say you feel sorry for them. But let's also say that all the while there is a little voice in you saying why can't they get a job? So here's the thing: perhaps they could get that job, or perhaps not. But it's not up to you to make that judgement call. That is their responsibility. Or their choice. But it is your choice to look inside yourself to determine why you need to judge. And it is also your job to be conscious enough about this in order to stop the judging and simply let be. It is your job to grow your inner self to the point where you no longer judge (or criticize or justify, etc.), because it is your growth you are interested in, isn't it? Or do you concern yourself about the growth of others while keeping yourself on a shelf of superiority that allows you to avoid looking at yourself?

I know, this is not necessarily fun stuff. But it's the stuff our potential growth is made of. Let's look at another example. Let's say you make a point of eating healthy food. Nothing processed. Mainly organic. No sugar. So now you are at the grocery store waiting in line behind a rather stout couple with a shopping cart full of ... you know ... all that stuff you wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole. And what thoughts course through your mind? (Mine too ... as I often say, the things I write about are not because I've surpassed all this mundane stuff and find myself floating on some spiritual cloud, but precisely because I also have work to do). So the same applies as in the example of the homeless person. It's not up to you to make that judgement call. That is their responsibility. Or their choice. But it is your choice to look inside yourself to determine why you need to judge. And it is also your job to be conscious enough about this in order to stop the judging and simply let be. It is your job to grow your inner self to the point where you no longer judge (or criticize or justify, etc.), because it is your growth you are interested in, isn't it? Or do you concern yourself about the growth of others while keeping yourself on a shelf of superiority that allows you to avoid looking at yourself?

So the choice to look inside first is a very important one. Don't let yourself bypass it and take the easy road. At least not if you want to grow.

Image: I am unable to give credit as I found no information, but would gladly do so if a reader would point me in the right direction


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch:

 
Rewiring the Soul

Click here to download the first chapter.
To see the Table of Contents click here

Reviews From the Back Cover:

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, Director, Center for Sacred Theatre, Ashland, Oregon; author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world & practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd; Founder Trans4mind.com; author: Daring To Be Yourself 

"The human being's directory to the soul. A breakthrough for those seeking practical assistance, those of a more mystical bent & every soul awaiting discovery." Toni Petrinovich, Ph.D.; author: The Call: Awakening the Angelic Human

The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

To download the first chapter, click here
To see the Table of Contents click here

Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

“All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come."
Chris Griscom: Spiritual Leader, Author (among others) of: Ecstasy is a New Frequency

“Eloquent and comprehensive, showing how your primary love relationship may be a sacred vessel that transports you and your partner to a place of mutual healing and expansion.” 

Robert Schwartz: Author of Your Soul’s Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born 


The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self 


My new book: The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self, is just out. Click here to download an excerpt. 

From the Introduction: It is your right to live a life of love. It is your right to understand that loving yourself first is not a selfish way of behavior, but one that allows you to live that life of love. However, it's highly probable that you never got the instruction manual explaining exactly how to accomplish this. Possibly your family - and it may have been a loving family - considered loving the self an act of selfishness. Or perhaps the members of your family simply didn't practice loving the self, and of course, what you didn't see - what was not shown to you - while you were growing up, meant that you just didn't learn how to apply it to yourself. The closer you are able to move towards loving yourself, the closer you will be to living a life of love - quite independently of whether you are in a love relationship or not. A life of love can be lived with or without a partnership, because a life of love implies that you know that it all begins with you by loving the self. The more clearly you understand how to love yourself, the more clearly you will see that it is very hard - if not impossible - to love others in ways that are unrelated to fulfilling any of your needs. Loving yourself first is - for so many of us - one of the hardest things we will ever learn how to do. But know this: the benefits affect you in every particle of your being - body, mind, and soul - and are greater than you will ever be able to imagine.

Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin (to be released Summer 2014)


My new book (due out summer 2014), deals with a subject that affects great numbers of people. Neediness and emotional unavailability are two sides of the same coin because both are based on a lack of self love, a fear of love, and a fear of the hurt that love can engender due to the vulnerability that being in love generally evokes. A person may live out one side of the coin (neediness) in several relationships and then - in a new relationship - may find him or herself living out the other side of the coin (emotional unavailability).

Neither of these tend to be deliberate because there is never anything consciously deliberate about the way a defense mechanism arises in childhood. A man who refuses to commit should not blithely be judged as being manipulative or callous although on the surface he may very well appear to be so. Furthermore, the older he gets, the more of a history of this nature he acquires, and hence the more those who sit in judgement reach the conclusion that they are right. The same could, of course, be said about the emotionally unavailable woman. Another case in point: a woman whose neediness may appear as emotionally manipulative (of her partner, parents, children, or friends), generally also does not behave this way in a deliberate fashion. The same could be said about the needy man.

Nevertheless some individuals, who have used these defense mechanisms over many years, have observed their effect on others, and so the emotionally unavailable man or woman may have noticed that this behavior magically attracts a certain kind of partner. Likewise, the needy man or woman will have observed that certain individuals always seem to do their bidding, if the neediness in expressed in emotionally manipulative ways.

This book dissects the causes and solutions of these defense mechanisms, paving the road - for those who wish to change the inner landscape of their emotional constraints - to live and be able to love more freely.

Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.