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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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Who & What Decide How You Feel?


The extent to which your feelings are influenced by sources external to yourself is generally not appreciated until you make a decision to become aware of it. Undoubtedly you know that if you watch a horror film, you might feel frightened, causing your adrenalin levels to rise, just as though whatever is happening in the film were happening to you in real life, but when it happens in other, less obvious situations such as those that follow illustrate, you may not think of their influence on you as easily as you perceive the horror film's influence:
  • when you receive an email from a friend filled with beautiful images of the earth accompanied  by words that make you appreciate the glory of our world, and then the images catapult into others of garbage-strewn shanty towns and slums, or plastic-filled oceans, with the message indicating what we, as the population that fills the earth have done to occasion this, you will feel sad or guilty or ashamed.
  • when you hear about children dying of malnutrition or disease in sub-Saharan Africa, similar feelings may flood you
  • when you watch a sad love story depicted in a movie, such as the famous Love Story, or Bridges of Madison County, you feel sad. In fact, you may even cry.
  • when you see a film such as Temple Grandin (about the life of a woman who overcomes autism - not in the sense that she is no longer autistic, but in the sense that she creates a wonderful life for herself despite being autistic), or a similar film The Horse Boy about a young autistic boy who is taken to Mongolia by his parents to see if shamans there can cure him - you may feel elated at the end of the film
  • when you hear the news anchor recounting yet another massacre in yet another country, or another suicide bomber who has ended the lives of dozens, you probably feel awful, stunned or outraged
  • when you hear that your best friend has been diagnosed with malignant stomach cancer, you feel sad, perhaps angry, fearful and a host of other emotions
If, however, you are truly awake, conscious and aware, you will notice these emotions, and then you will literally choose what you do about them. And before you call me a loveless cretin, who needs to learn something about compassion, bear with me.

Let's examine the one about your friend who has been diagnosed with malignant stomach cancer. That is, perhaps, one of the biggest on my sample list above of outside sources influencing your emotions because it's closest to you. Of course you will feel one or more of the indicated emotions at first glance. But then you get to choose, if you are aware. And the better you choose, the more you will help your friend. The more you allow emotions to rule your initially negative reactions to the news of the cancer diagnosis, the less you will be able to help your friend. However, should you decide to react with strength and love for your friend, deciding to treat your friend as though he/she continues to be the same as before the diagnosis, in the sense that the diagnosis is not what now labels their existence, but simply one aspect of their existence, that admittedly, needs to be dealt with, but should not define who they are, then your presence in this person's life will be of much greater value, than if you sat at their bedside with a serious demeanor, and held their hand (lovingly).

Feeling elated at the end of the two movies about autism is obviously a much more positive emotion, and yet, if you think about it, as you palpate it within yourself, under ideal circumstances, you should be able to create such good feelings by yourself. I'm not suggesting you don't watch movies or read things that make you feel good - quite the contrary, I'm a great proponent of doing precisely that (see Keeping Your Energy High and Keeping Your Energy High 2) - but that you begin to train yourself to keep yourself in that good place without necessarily needing other sources (than yourself) or depending on other sources.

Said in a nutshell: neither should external sources cause your emotions to go into a sharp decline, nor should you need to depend on them in order to maintain them in a state of equanimity. This, of course, brings us full circle to what I wrote about in Happiness is Bad?. I quoted:
  • Happiness: not minding what happens (Krishnamurti)
  • Happiness: accepting what is (Tolle)
  • Enlightenment: the quiet acceptance of what is (Dyer)
If you don't mind what is; if you accept what is, then neither negative nor positive emotions will hold sway over you. This is not about giving up, nor is it about apathy. It's about equanimity, and equanimity equals inner harmony, inner balance, and inner well-being.

Image: National Geographic - Giraffes walking among gazelles in Africa


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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.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Butterfly You Carry Within


Speaking to a teenager yesterday, who is beginning his first year of college, I reminded him of the age-old symbol of the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, and how he - the teen - would be going through that process as well at each stage of his life. And right now, it meant leaving the safety and security of his family and venturing out to live in another country and to begin studies that were very different, and almost certainly, very challenging compared to what he had been doing up to this point. 

This symbolizes the emergence of the butterfly in him - at this stage of his life - that has been preparing over all these past years to be able to come out of the chrysalis (of his own making) in order to continue his trajectory as a butterfly.

I find this symbolism so very helpful, especially when you are stuck in a place where it feels you are confined, not moving forward, and yet, just beyond the horizon, you are able to discern the possibility of something that is just barely beginning to emerge.

In our lives this may happen over and over again, each time we come to a new stage that we have been preparing for, and find, that as we struggle to reach the place we want to arrive at, that we can't yet see the butterfly. It is there - just as in nature - the butterfly is there in the 'imaginal' cells within the chrysalis long before the 'real' butterfly actually emerges and can be seen in all its splendor. The magnificent Jean Houston once said: We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released.

Are you preparing to release your butterfly?

Image: Monarch butterfly emerging from the chrysalis

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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.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Don't Lose Sight of Your Choices


Each choice you make takes you down a specific road. As you observe where you are in life, you can look back at the choices you've already made and realize how you got to where you are now. However, many people who are not present in their lives - who are not paying attention - are not aware of which choices took them to which place, if you ask them some years later. Being fully aware of yourself and your life is not a laughing matter.

Nevertheless, should you not be where you want to be, please be aware that what this post is about is not blame. Likewise, if you have no idea how you got to where you are, this is not about blaming you. I'm simply hoping to jolt you into awareness about yourself and your life.

Therefore, if you are not where you want to be, consider the choices you have made. For instance, how often have you chosen to regard your lack of good fortune or ease in gathering speed along your chosen road of life, as bad luck?

Or how often have you chosen to react with anger, with depression, with a low-energy mood to one situation or another in your life?

These are also choices you have made.

How often have you chosen to spend an extra 20 minutes in bed instead of working out or meditating or learning that new language or becoming skillful at the use of some software that might give you an advantage in your quest in life?

How often have you chosen to say to yourself this is how I am and I can't change it?

How often have you chose to begrudge another his/her good fortune, rather than rejoicing - truly rejoicing - on their behalf?

Every choice we make brings a specific energy into our lives. That energy in itself leads us to more choices that could increase that same energy. If it was not the best to begin with, it is therefore increased negatively. But at any part of the road we can choose to make other  - better - choices.

If you begin to keep your eye on your choices, to observe them, to be truly aware of them, and the intention that has brought them to life, you will be in a position to see clearly where your life would go into new directions if you changed those choices.

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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, September 19, 2014

Steering Clear of the Naysayers


You had a really great idea. You told someone about it. They found a really good reason why it would never work. You killed your idea.

But a short while later someone else made your idea work.

You tell a friend about how much you are looking forward to your vacation. He smiles and tells you that you will need to be careful because when he went to the place you are going to, he got mugged, and the hotel overcharged him. Also the mosquitoes ravaged him. Your pleasure has been smudged. You worriedly wonder if you made a bad choice. You are no longer looking forward to your vacation without thinking negative thoughts.

The naysayers, the negative thinkers, who often call themselves realists, nevertheless tend to emanate a negative energy over whatever it is that you are planning, if you listen to them. Understand that your own energy and emotions are affected by the people you associate with, and unless you are very strong within yourself, their negative effect on you may cause you to back out of something you had been very positive about, and that may very well have come to a good conclusion.

Naysayers tend to get their strength by deflating or taking away the strength of others. Not because they are terrible people, but because their modus vivendi feeds on looking at the glass as being half full. It's their habit, their ingrained way of thinking. They could change it if they became aware of what causes it and made the conscious choice to change. Don't let them push you into becoming one of them.

And don't let them cause you to abandon your dream.

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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, September 17, 2014

Three Keys for Creating a Lifelong Friend


A friend is so much more than just another person. A friend can be counted on through thick and thin. A friend doesn't care that you sometimes tell the same joke over and over, nor does a friend mind when you don't call for a while. Neither does a friend care if you've aged, or gained weight, or want to go - yet again - to that one restaurant where the beef carpaccio is so good,  E. Hubbard said a friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.

These friends you may be lucky enough to have, however, are out there, in the external world. Today I want to talk about the friendship with yourself, because you are possibly - and probably - the only one who will be with you from the moment you were born until the very second you cease to exist.

But chances are that you have never developed that friendship with yourself. After all, who ever told you about this, and that it might be one of the most important things you could do for lasting well-being. Probably your parents did not say that, definitely your schools did not teach that, more than likely your church did not suggest you do this either. And while mass media encouraged you to do and buy many things to adorn yourself and make yourself more important externally, I very much doubt they ever gave you any messages about creating a friendship with yourself.

So here are three keys you can implement in order to begin right now:
  1. Just as you love your friends out there in the external world, you need to create a loving relationship with yourself. This means caring for yourself, being kind and compassionate to yourself, and loving yourself. Also see Loving Yourself: A Roadmap 
  2. Be willing to 'be there'. Just as you are willing spend time with your friends, and be there with them, you also need to create time for yourself. This implies self-reflection, awareness, and mindfulness. Also see Consciousness is a Full-time Job .
  3. Be willing to 'get to know yourself'. Just as you gradually get to know a friend over time, not only because you spend time together, but also because you are interested in getting to know them. You want to know how they think, and what makes them tick. This implies developing interest in yourself, and observing all that makes you tick. More self-reflection. Have a look at Are You Doing it for Them or for You? 
Creating and developing this friendship with yourself is as important - if not much more - as doing so with people in the outside world. They may leave, change, move away, die, but you will always be there with you. The relationship you have with yourself makes all the difference in a life worth living.


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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, September 16, 2014

Bereavement Support Group



Bereavement Support Group

Every second Wednesday, beginning October 1st, 2014 from 7:30 to 9 pm


This bereavement support group is designed both for those who have recently lost someone or are currently undergoing a process of loss, as well as for those who have lost a loved one some time ago, but are still feeling its consequences - on any level.

We will meet every second Wednesday, beginning October 1st.

As someone who has undergone many bereavements in my own life due to an early loss of both my mother and only brother, as well as the loss of nine close friends in different countries in a period of three years, this subject lies close to my heart. These losses caused me to search and read widely, and thus has allowed me to gain personal insight into many of the psychological, emotional, and spiritual intricacies that may assail you. This group aims at discussing some of the issues you may be facing on those inner levels - including simply the topic of death and dying - and offers tools to allow you to move forward - inside yourself - in a way that benefits your well-being on all levels.

The meetings will entail a 30-40 minute introduction by myself of the topic of the week, followed by a group discussion about that topic, or whatever other topics may arise.

Note: Religious or spiritual beliefs are not a prerequisite or hindrance of any kind, however, please know that these topics may form part of the discussions.


Schedule October - December 2014

Oct. 1                    The Trauma - and the Gift - of Loss
Oct. 15                  Living a Day at a Time
Oct. 29                  Joy, Pain, Grief, Guilt, Thoughts & Moving On
Nov. 12                 Mindfulness: An Approach to Inner Peace Bedside 
Nov. 26                 Tales of Joy (as observed by family, hospital staff, or hospice care workers)               
Dec. 10                 Dealing with the Holidays: Finding a new Narrative

The group will reconvene after the Christmas break either on January 8th on January 21st, 2015

There is a per meeting cost of 15 €. Please contact me privately if this is a hardship. All are welcome, and no minimum attendance is required, however, it is suggested that you come as often as possible, as all meetings are planned in order to benefit you and your well-being, in such a way that you are more able to take charge of your inner world.

If you are interested, please send an email to gabriella@advancedpersonaltherapy.com in order to be placed on the twice-monthly email list for notification of the meetings.

Please do your utmost to arrive punctually between 7:15 and 7:30 prior to the beginning of the meeting. Coming later than this time will interrupt the flow of the group. The venue is Edificio Iiwi-A-25, Calle 25, Guadalmina Alta (close to Cable Ski in Guadalmina and Passion Café in San Pedro). If you need directions, please send an email.

NOTE: 
 
If you wish to participate in any given meeting, please RSVP before Tuesday at 9 pm prior to the Wednesday meeting you wish to attend at info@advancedpersonaltherapy.com If you subsequently need to change your plans, please also let me know in order to give your place to another person as seating is limited. 


Further Information:

                                                    Phone: 34 952 929 071  

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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.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Monday, September 15, 2014

Knowing What to Ignore


Normally we ignore the superfluous things in our lives; the things that don't add to its value, or the things that teach us nothing new, or those that we simply don't need, that are bothersome (but only to a certain degree), and that distract us from a task at hand. We might also ignore a slight headache, the itch from a mosquito bite, as well as the news blaring in the coffee shop (or in future we might choose a different one with less blaring). We might ignore the fact that it's raining - precisely today - when we had wanted to take the kids on a picnic, we might ignore the noise from the insistent and concurrent ubiquitous lawnmowers in our neighborhood as we sit at our laptop composing yet another blog post, and we might ignore the little voice that says: get up, move about for a few minutes to stimulate your organism - you've been sitting far too long. You might ignore your spouse's retelling of that old joke for the 89th time simply because - although you no longer think it's funny - you love your spouse, and know that he/she derives enormous pleasure out of the telling of it. And you might ignore your colleague's boasting about the fact that a given idea that has been successfully implemented was mainly hers/his - because - you're the one who got the promotion!

What about ignoring slightly more important things that can wreak havoc on our lives such as: a family member's rudeness, lack of consideration, or downright unkindness? Or perhaps finding out that your best friend whom you always 'dragged' along to parties by asking the hosts to invite him/her, is now throwing a party for all these people he/she met through you, and has not invited you? Or imagine coming back to your car and seeing it has been keyed and is therefore now defaced on that side. What about the 18th rejection letter you received for that novel you so lovingly wrote?

Ignoring things such as these - that, I admit, can be hugely hurtful or annoying and upsetting - nevertheless means that you choose inner calm over being hurt, annoyed or upset. Isn't that a benefit derived from this business about ignoring certain things?

You might object - in the example of the family member - that he/she needs to learn about boundaries, manners, and rules, and of course, if this is an on-going behavior that occurs frequently, then yes, something (such as a talk about boundaries, for example) might need to be done. Or in the case of the friend who did not invite you, you might object that this deserves a reaction of some kind, and of course, that is your choice, but in that case you might first sit down to discuss what happened with the friend, and then perhaps come to the conclusion that you have been used, or that this was never really a friend - or - you might get a deeply-felt apology and reasonable excuse and things might return to normal.

Knowing what to ignore - and then deliberately choosing to do so - is what partially composes the stuff of a life worth living. Rumi said the art of knowing is knowing what to ignore and I would gently suggest to you that you carefully analyze all those things you don't ignore that create havoc and discomfort for you, in order to decide whether they are, perhaps, things you would do well to ignore. Part of it is, of course, caring enough about yourself to choose to ignore that which simply does not serve you. You could even take it one step further, by following Jiddu Krishnamurti's reason for why he lived a happy and content life: I don't mind what happens. And lest you think this is apathetic, understand that what he means (I believe) is that first you find a place of calm and balance inside, whenever something happens, and then you look once more at what happened, and that is when you begin to understand how it might be possible not to mind.

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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, September 12, 2014

Cancer Support Group


Alternative Thursdays, beginning Sept. 25th, 2014
7:30 to 9 pm 

This cancer support group is designed both for those who have been recently diagnosed or are currently undergoing treatment, as well as for those who have come out the other end, but are still feeling its consequences - on any level. Caretakers and family are also welcome.

We will meet every second Thursday, beginning Sept. 25th.

As a cancer survivor myself (2006), I am deeply aware of many of the intricacies, both physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual that may assail you. This group aims at discussing some of the issues you may be facing on those inner levels, and offers tools to allow you to move forward - inside yourself - in a way that benefits your well-being on all levels.

If you are interested, please send an email to gabriella@advancedpersonaltherapy.com in order to be placed on the twice-monthly email list for notification of the meetings.

You will not be expected to divulge personal details at any time unless you wish. The group meeting will begin at 7:30 and last until approximately 9 pm. For approximately the first 30 minutes I will introduce the topic of the week, followed by a group discussion about that topic, or whatever other topics may arise.

If you wish to participate, you may come to any of the meetings - and although it is recommended that you attend as many as possible,
as all meetings are planned in order to benefit you and your well-being, in such a way that you are more able to take charge of your inner world. There is, however, no minimum attendance requirement. Everyone is welcome, whether you have previously attended or not.

*** Schedule September - December 2014 ***

Sept. 25               The Gift Inherent in Everything
Oct. 9                   Joy, Fear, Thoughts & Survival
Oct. 23                  Living a Day at a Time
Nov. 6                   Changing the Story of Your Genes
Nov. 20                 Mindfulness: An Approach to Inner Peace
Dec. 4                   Dealing with the Holidays: Finding a new Narrative

The group will reconvene after the Christmas break on January 15th, 2015

There is a per-meeting participation fee of 15 Euros. Please bring exact change. (Please contact me privately if cost is an issue).

Please do your utmost to arrive punctually between 7:15 and 7:30 prior to the beginning of the meeting. Coming later than this time will interrupt the flow of the group. The venue is Edificio Iiwi-A-25, Calle 25, Guadalmina Alta (close to Cable Ski in Guadalmina and Passion Café in San Pedro). If you need directions, please send an email.

NOTE: 
 
If you wish to participate in any given meeting, please RSVP before Wednesday at 9 pm prior to the Thursday meeting you wish to attend at info@advancedpersonaltherapy.com If you subsequently need to change your plans, please also let me know in order to give your place to another person as seating is limited. 

Further Information:

                                                    Phone: 34 952 929 071  

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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, September 11, 2014

Living Your Life For Others


What is it you really care about? What gives you a wonderful sense of inner well-being?
  • Is it what others think of you?
  • Is it about how important they perceive that you are?
  • Or how popular you are? Or the people you rub shoulders with, or are on a first-name basis with?
  • Is it about being seen at certain places, restaurants or parties?
  • Is it about wearing certain kinds of clothes?
  • Or perhaps about how your home is furnished? Or its location? Or what sits in your driveway? Or in the berth at the marina?
  • Is it about your professional situation, or your position (and power) in any group at all that you belong to?
Somehow I don't believe any of the above give you that wonderful sense of inner well-being, and yet, that is what so many of us do ... living a life for the sake of others, in the sense of how they are perceived by others based on any or all of the above benchmarks.

Why on earth do we do this? How do we allow ourselves to be lulled into this manner of thinking that has nothing whatsoever to do with real inner well-being? Is it because of our childhoods? How we are taught to give importance to our appearance and the toys we have, or the toys our parents have? If so, please also print up this article and give it to your parents, and ask yourself some very serious questions about how you are handling the raising of your own children.

Is it because of the all-pervasive influence of mass media? We can't discount it, and we often discuss it, so why not give it its proper place in our lives ... a place that we control, as opposed to being controlled by whatever it is such media are trying to make us believe.

Don't misunderstand: I'm not saying there is anything wrong with any of the above, having lovely things, knowing popular, famous or powerful people, going to lovely or exclusive places. What I'm suggesting is that it makes no sense to live our lives for the sake of others, for how they perceive us for the sake of the place these things have in our lives.

Think about it: do you make yourself happy, or does a thing do so? In the case of the former, it is safe to assume that you are free, but in the case of the latter you are dependent on the existence of that thing in your life, so you are not free. It is up to you because it is a choice you make every day, all day long.

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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, September 9, 2014

Slipping & Sliding With Those You Love


Relationships - whether with friends, family, or partners - are susceptible to running into walls or even dropping into deep crevices. It can happen in the most unforeseen ways and totally floor you. If you've been living in a rosy bubble of complacency believing all was not only well, but very well in your relationship, such events can catch you so off guard that at first you simply flounder.

How, you ask yourself, can my relationship with this person have gone off the rails so easily? What did I miss over the past months - or even years - that made it possible for such a derailment to have occurred just like that? What has the other person been seeing in this relationship as opposed to the way I have been seeing it?

At this point you may begin a period of - potentially - painful rumination (rumination is rarely constructive). You may go over past events or conversations trying to find clues that lead to the point at which the rails separated (and remember, I'm referring to any close relationship: friendship, family, or life partner), and you may or may not be very successful in this endeavour.

If you're fortunate you may find clues in the most unexpected places, realizing that subtle signs had been pointing towards the potential derailing long ago, but that you - complacent in your belief in the underlying health of the love that bound you together in this relationship - chose, not to ignore, but to pay scant importance to. You could not imagine that the little pebbles you were stumbling over could unite to form the mountain you are now facing.

After a period of reflection on your part - and remember that reflection will often serve you better than rumination, and certainly better than immediate blind and reactive reaction to whatever it is that has caused the slipping and sliding that led to this derailment - you may still need to reflect further and give space, most especially if you believe you are the one who has been blindsided because your reactions under such circumstances will tend to be defensive. Giving some space for pause and reflection on the part of the other person may lead to a more transparent future conversation. Or not. It depends on the amount of damage done on either side.

If you use this period of reflection to purposefully practice mindfulness in order to come back to your inner calm or peace of mind, learning "how to ride the energy of the mind with a sense of stability ... [because] ... if you are going to become completely identified with nowness, then you have to be open to whatever arises: good or bad, happy or sad" (quote from The Practice that Brings Bravery), then you will find - in time - that your suffering diminishes.

Is this easy? No. It may number up there among the most difficult things you've set out to do. But no one said life is easy.

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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, September 5, 2014

How Well Do You Fit In?


Remember peer pressure when you were a teen? Maybe that was decades ago. You should see how it works now - it's so much more difficult to withstand - possibly due to our all-pervasive social media. I see a lot of it in my office with young teens going through very difficult situations. And you know that bullying often is a consequence of it.

You also know that most of us stopped responding as much to peer pressure - or perhaps stopped paying any attention to it all as we left that part of our lives behind and began our so-called 'real' lives. Fitting in forms part of belonging to a larger community, and there are laws we must abide by, written and unwritten, codes of conduct, as well as a measure of kindness and consideration. But fitting in goes so much farther. A number of recent movies depict this theme in harrowing terms: for example, Divergent & The Giver.

Perhaps you started working at a large law firm after finishing your degree. There is a dress code that generally goes far beyond "business attire" in most firms, and depending on whether the firm is based in a large or small city, that goes even further.

Perhaps you went for a career in teaching grade school children. It may be expected of you (at the particular school at which you teach) to not 'do' more than the other teachers, or to not get involved with the students beyond the boundaries of the school, even when you know that the extra tutoring, or talks you have with the parents would go a long way to helping Suzy or Johnny grow to excel.

You might be a stay-at-home mom. Freely chosen. You gave up your career - at least until the kids are in grade school - to be there for them. Now you notice that the pressure is beginning to build. Other mothers who do what you do are taking their children out to the most amazing classes - constantly. There's no down-time. If it's not language-enhancing classes, it's logic-raising classes, it's foreign-language immersion, and it's swimming. You feel as though you are running a marathon just to keep up.

A final example. Let's say you became very spiritual and started studying the matter and even moved to a community or ashram. What are the rules? What rites are you expected to follow? How are you expected to meditate? How often? How long?

My point being - of course - is that 'fitting in', so that we feel accepted and secure, isn't just about wearing certain kinds of clothes, or visiting certain restaurants or clubs, or reading certain books, having specific political ideas, and so on, but is much more pervasive. It can flow into any area of our existence, and potentially obstruct it in ways that are damaging to the soul; the spirit - or what many are calling non-local consciousness.

How well do you fit in, and what are the consequences of doing this?

Image Credit: Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney

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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, September 3, 2014

Live Your Best Life 2014-2015



Group Meetings to Support Your Growth & Well-Being

LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE!

We all deserve to live our best life. We all deserve joy, peace, happiness, and inner freedom. So why are each of us not living our best lives and experiencing all these things? Schools teach us how to read and write, they teach us about math, geography and history, but they do not teach us about life and how to live it. Sometimes our parents do, but most often, they do not. This discussion group is designed to change that.

Are you experiencing any of the following in your life?
  • Relationship breakdown or stress
  • Financial stress
  • Major illness (you or a close family member)
  • Poor communication with your parents or offspring
  • Worry and desperation due to:
    • Fear of aging
    • Unfulfilling life
    • Depression
    • Loneliness 
    • Boredom 
    • Desire for change
    • Lack of progress and success
On Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 our weekly discussion group will once again begin meeting (now in its 6th year). What is new is that it is not focused on any one given problem, but that precisely because it focuses on growth and well-being, this group literally addresses any problem. The path that leads to inner and outer peace and well-being is a path that serves you no matter what kind of situation you are facing.

You will not be expected to divulge personal details at any time unless you wish. The group meeting will begin at 7:30 and last until approximately 9 pm. For the first 30 – 40 minutes I will present the topic of the week, and then there will be a general discussion in order to facilitate the understanding of the methods by which the tools that have been discussed may be incorporated into your life … beginning immediately.

If you wish to participate, you may come to any of the meetings - and although it is recommended that you attend as many as possible, simply because each is designed to further you along that road to inner and outer peace, joy, and well-being - there is, however, no minimum attendance requirement. Everyone is welcome, whether you have attended previous meetings or not.

Meetings will be not be announced by email except to those who have requested to be on the specific announcement list, but information will be available every week on my Facebook pages:
There is a per-meeting participation fee of 10 Euros. Please bring exact change. (Please contact me privately if cost is an issue).

Please do your utmost to arrive punctually between 7:15 and 7:30 prior to the beginning of the meeting. Coming later than this time will interrupt the flow of the group. We meet in Guadalmina Alta. If you need directions, please send an email.

NOTE:
If you wish to participate in any given meeting, please RSVP before Monday at 9 pm prior to the Tuesday meeting that you wish to attend at info (at) advancedpersonaltherapy (dot) com If you subsequently need to change your plans, please also let me know in order to give your place to another person as seating is limited.

SCHEDULE of TOPICS
      
2014

September
            
Sept. 9             The Daily Torture of Your Thoughts - If YOU Aren't in Charge
Sept. 16           Choice: It Brings Freedom Into Your Life
Sept. 23           Creating a New Environment for Your Genes
Sept. 30           Happiness: What Does it Depend On?
             
October

Oct. 7               No Meeting
Oct. 14             Are You Aware or Are You Blind?
Oct. 21             The Many Faces (and Uses) of Mindfulness
Oct. 28             Your Comfort Zone

November

Nov. 4              Dealing With Worry
Nov. 11            Changing Your Energy level
Nov. 18            Emotional Unavailability & Neediness
Nov. 25            Controlling Others

December

Dec. 2              Dealing With Your Own Anger
Dec. 9              Unhealthy Boundaries: How Did They Get There & Whose Fault are They?
Dec. 16            Having a Spiritual Relationship with Your Partner is Good for Your Sex Life 
                       Our Annual Christmas Dinner follows the meeting
Dec. 23            No Meeting
Dec. 30            No Meeting

2015

January

Jan. 6               No Meeting
Jan. 13             Taking on Self-Responsibility
Jan. 20             Your Wounds: Is That How You Identify Yourself?
Jan. 27             Steps To Loving the Self

February

Feb. 3              If You Don't Forgive, You'll Never Leave Your Past Behind: Here's How to do it
Feb. 10            Learning From the Blame Game
Feb. 17            Growing More & Faster Than Your Partner: Now What?
Feb. 24            Why Do We Complain?

March

March 3            Acquiring the Habit of Joy
March 10          The Emotional Vampires in Our Lives
March 17          Inner Well-Being & Peace: Here's How to Begin Feeling Like That
March 24          Coming to Grips with Emotional Pain
March 31          Looking at Your Addictions (We ALL have Them!)

April

April 7              Using Failure in Positive Ways
April 14            Bless You! (Learning to Be Compassionate)
April 21            Brain Health & Quality of Life
April 28            Communicating More Consciously and Effectively With Your Partner

May

May 5               Creating Better Relationships with Your Children
May 12             Beginning to Learn How to Live in the Now
May 19             How Important is it to be You?
May 26             Examining Your Past or Changing your Present?

June

June 2              Our 3 Brains: Learning to Use All of Them
June 9              Choosing Where to Place Your Attention
June 16            Co-Creating Your Life
June 23            What is the Truth You Tell Yourself?
June 30            Finding Meaning in Your Life

July

July 7               Choosing Love Over Fear
July 14             Do You Intend to Love?
July 21             TBA
July 28             TBA

Further Information 
or to request to be included in the group email list sent out weekly:
Email: info (at) advancedpersonaltherapy (dot) com
    Phone: 34 952 929 071  

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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.