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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

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Works in Progress


Someone close to me remarked the other day that they found it hard to understand that I could behave a certain way (something that this person disagreed with) bearing in mind that I post such spiritual things on the internet (e.g. my blogs, on social media, etc.) all the time. Slightly taken aback, I replied that I had never considered myself perfect, and that certainly, what I post is the ideal towards which I strive, but acknowledging that I am nowhere near that ideal. Just like so many others, I am merely a work in progress and that includes snafus, mistakes, and steps in the wrong direction, as well as, of course, learning - or attempting to learn - from them.

But that gave me pause to think about the very matter. When one speaks publicly (as I do), and when one writes publicly (as I do with books, newsletter articles, and blog posts), and when one facilitates groups and workshops (as I do) about topics related to personal growth and spirituality, it appears that some then hold you to a standard and accountable in ways that other mortals need not attain. It's as though by speaking about it, you must be like that.

Which is, I suppose, as absurd as expecting doctors to be the picture of perfect health, lawyers to be fully law-abiding citizens, just because of their profession, as opposed to their sense of ethics or morals, or as absurd as expecting school teachers to know everything about their subject of choice, economists to have their finances in tip-top shape, or plumbers to never have a dripping faucet. In short, it's as unrealistic as many fairy tales are, while simultaneously having what seems to be an intransigent black/white element about it

But the issue at hand is not to point out potential misconceptions of others, but to propose that as we are all works in progress - at least we are, if we assume that we are all trying to improve ourselves, or some aspects of ourselves - that in this process, one of the conditions we might agree to is that we all need kindness, understanding, patience, love, and compassion. It was Plato who said: never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.

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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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, January 26, 2015

Holding Pain in Your Hands


Sometimes people think - when you talk to them about positive thinking and choosing your thoughts, and focusing on the good as opposed to the bad, and so on - that it means never feeling pain, or that it means artificially removing pain from your life. Not so.

Pain is a bit like grief and needs to be lived through and time is perhaps one of its prime elements. But what these ways of dealing with pain do mean is that you choose how to think about the pain, and you choose how to react to the pain, and how you choose to deal with your feelings that this pain involves (which is another way of saying how you choose to think about the pain), and you choose how to live your life during the period of time that this pain forms part of your life.

So choosing a distraction such as a substance, or working at all hours, or frantic socializing or shopping, etc., is certainly not the answer. Pain, as said, needs to be lived through.

Holding your pain in your hands and honoring your feelings is one way. The key word is honoring. You don't yet know if this pain has a purpose or not. And perhaps it does not. Perhaps it's simply random fate that you are living through this pain. But, you may find - years hence - that in hindsight it served a very important purpose in your life's plan, but just now you're not there yet, because all you can feel is the pain.

If you have practiced mindfulness as I so often encourage you to do in these posts, then you may already have a measure of the necessary tools in your kit to set you on your path to be able to hold the pain so that you are able to carry on with a modicum of peace in your life despite the pain. Mindfulness allows you to choose how to think about the pain, and there is a great difference between thinking, for example Oh my God, how will I ever get through this? It's so painful; it hurts so much; I can't bear it; what will I ever do?, to thinking, for example: I don't know how to bear it, so I'm going to find a way to feel a bit better right now, just for a moment or two. I'm going to care for myself due to this pain, as if I were my own child, to give myself a small respite - just for a moment - and I'm going to try to get through just today, in order to be able to carry on. I believe I'll grow from this although i have no idea how just yet, but as I hold the pain inside of me and feel it, I'll care for myself just now, just for this moment.

Both ways of thinking revolve around the pain, but in one of the ways, you choose how to think about the pain, and react to the pain, and you choose how to live your life during this period.

The important part of making that second choice is that it takes away that feeling of insurmountable impotence with which pain can often burden us. By choosing how to think, react, and live, despite the pain, you have a say in the matter, so to speak. Nothing about living your pain in this manner trivializes the pain, but it does make you a participant in how you deal with it.Therein lies part of the cure. Therein lie occasional moments of peace.

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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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, January 22, 2015

Where Do You Go When You're Not Here?


When you're not here, you're obviously somewhere else, but if I qualify the 'here' and ask where do you go if you're not here in your mind or thoughts, we have a very different kettle of fish, don't we?

So where do you go?
  • Are you in a place of past pain? Was that when you were 5 or 12 or 29 or 48?
  • Are you remembering the conversation you had last night with your partner and what you were arguing about?
  • Are you mulling over what the other kid at school said (23 years ago) that made you feel so humiliated?
  • Are you thinking about that idiot that almost caused you to have an accident five minutes ago?
  • Are you worrying about paying the bills?
  • Are you stressing about the paper you have to present, or the report you have to finish, or the talk you have to give before the board?
  • Are you thinking about those extra pounds you put on over the holidays?
  • Are you wondering if that person you had a date with last weekend is as interested in you as he/she made out to be?
  • Are you thinking about your next vacation ... four months from now?
  • Are you worrying whether the clothes you've decided to wear to that dinner next Friday are appropriate?
  • Are you having anxious thoughts about that wisdom tooth extraction tomorrow afternoon?
As you can see, absolutely all of this refers to mental or thought places you take yourself to when you are not here. So that means that a huge portion of your now time takes place in past or future time. Almost like a science fiction movie depicting time travel except that because it's about your life, it's not exciting to do this kind of travel, but rather sad. And of course the reason it's sad is because you are throwing your life away.

Become aware of this time traveling element of your thoughts. Become aware of your role in it. Become aware of your capacity to choose differently; to choose to remain here as opposed to going there. Become aware of the priceless value of your life ... if you manage to live it now rather than then. You choose.

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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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, January 20, 2015

A Year to Leave Useless Impediments Behind


Removing some of the dead weight from your life clearly means that you will be able to move forward more quickly. Progress can happen in a more efficient, orderly, and above all, a more transformative manner if detritus isn't continually cluttering your path. Shifting what you focus on - in order that what you focus on may be of use to you - is also much easier when useless impediments are left behind.

Think of a road through verdant green fields framed by flowering bushes. Then imagine the entire landscape cluttered with billboards and signs that make it very difficult for you to appreciate the beauty around you. Obviously, if a law were passed removing those screaming billboards, you could see what was truly there.

In life it's not very different. Let's examine some of the billboards that scream at us and clutter the scenery so that we simply can't see what is there:
  • negative emotions: hating, feeling jealousy or envy, impatience
  • deciding you are unable to forgive (see previous posts under the label 'forgive')
  • choosing not to learn how to love yourself (see posts under the label 'self-love')
  • being critical and judgemental
  • needing to be right (see posts about 'being right')
  • distracting yourself from inner pain by focusing almost exclusively on external trappings (money, position, outer appearance, etc.)
  • carrying the weight (that has created much of the inner pain referred to in the previous point) around with you, when you know that you could make other choices (if you don't believe this is true, read some of the previous posts under the label 'making choices')
  • choosing not to live in the now (see posts about 'mindfulness')
There are many more we could touch on, but I'd like you to recognize that just as when you learned how to form your first letters with that rather clumsy hand when you were being taught how to write, somehow - almost as if by magic - that early learning led to being able to read your childhood books that heretofore had been read to you by your parents, as did it lead to being able to read all manner of books, even in other languages, if you were being raised speaking more than one; and so does the very early beginning of leaving behind some of the useless impediments listed above - even if you do it very slowly at first, just as you fashioned those letters with your little hand very slowly at the beginning - lead you to be able to leave the others behind bit by bit because abandoning one of them changes just enough inside of you to have an effect on all the others. 

Dead weight, detritus, and impediments: don't let them litter your life any more! Make a choice that benefits you and allows your life to transform.

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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Peace, Education & Freedom for all Children


Today Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi will receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. Both started as children in their attempts to change the lives of children, and of course, Malala - at the age of 17 - is still a child. Both have been attacked and both persevere.

We know something of their stories due to mass media coverage, so rather than rehash that, my interest today is to attempt to understand what fuels them.

Look at this young girl. She has been speaking out in favor of education for all children, but particularly for girls since she was 11. She got shot in 2012. Does she look as though she is taking selfies? Is she worried about how thin she is? How many boys like her? Whether she can afford to get the latest designer bag?

And look at this man who began to help poor children who were segregated from schools due to their lack of funds by collecting books in a cart in India for those children when he himself was still at school. He continued with what is now his life work by doing his utmost to eradicate child labor and child slave labor. Does he look as though he is posting photos of himself on Facebook driving a late model high end car? Or does he look as though he is wondering how his stock portfolio is doing?

So back to the question; what fuels them?

I believe it has much to do with an inner recognition that we are all one. We are not separate, and therefore what happens to you, also - on energetic levels - happens to me. And what I do affects you, and so on. They simply do not see the differences that make most of us tick. They work from another perspective - that of the human family. They care. They are compassionate. They don't see skin color, or what a person wears, or where he comes from. They simply see that we all have needs and rights and all these needs and rights need to be freely available. They see that we are all one. 

What are we - you and I - doing to move ourselves further in that direction as well?

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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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, December 8, 2014

Nature's Priceless Beauty & My Spirit


When did you start appreciating beauty? When did you start noticing what it does to you on an inner level? When did you look at something out there in nature, and feel as though your heart had just stopped for a beat because what you were looking at was so breath taking?

In my case it happened occasionally when I was still a child - I remember, for instance, staring at the beauty of the Matterhorn as I stood in a village in Switzerland that faced its majestic crags - but it didn't happen often enough for me to have many memories of consciously seeing beauty. I remember staring at the amazing beauty of postcards my father had the habit of sending me from one locale more beautiful than the next, and I saved hundreds of those postcards (that somehow mysteriously disappeared in my late 20's), but I'm not so certain that my appreciation of that beauty had to do with it, per se, or more with the fact that I wished I were there with my travel-hungry progenitor. When I was five I appreciated the glittering blue waters of the Lake of Constance below a hillside restaurant in which I sat with my parents, brother, and aunt just outside of Lindau in Germany. Later, in my early teens, I remember traveling from Switzerland to Italy and gazing mesmerized at bonfires that had been lit on August 1st - the Swiss National Day - all over the sides of the mountain across from Lugano where we were having dinner in a restaurant, and then the next day being just as mesmerized by stately villas in what appeared to be lush gardens behind high walls around Lake Como. I remember looking down on the St. Lawrence River from a high vantage point in Montreal when I was 16, snow-packed fields glistening in the sun near Gravesano in Italy when I was 18, and the Mediterranean in southern Spain a year later.

But these moments came few and far in between - they stayed with me over the decades because they had caught my attention in such a strong way - but they were anything but frequent; certainly not daily, and most definitely not something that occurred almost all the time.

Something changed - but not until I was in my 30's - when I began to consciously notice what happened to my inner energetic frequency when I communed with nature in my role of what was - at first - simply a fervent admirer. Later - by now in my 40's - I sought out beauty much more avidly, and of course, by so doing, I actually saw so much more of it. It was always there, but due to this communing with it, and seeking it out, I saw it everywhere. Copacabana and the Cristo in Rio, Chichen Itzá and the immaculate white beaches and turquoise waters in the Yucatan Peninsula. Key West, Sedona, Santa Barbara, Santa Fe, the Garden Route along the Indian Ocean, Cape Town, the Karoo Game Reserve. Palenque, Guanajuato, Acapulco, Sayil, Labnah, and Uxmal. Oman. Dubai, and so much more.

But eventually something else changed. At this point I was in my 50's. It was no longer a question of being in some exquisite place and being wowed by some exquisite view. Admittedly I have lived in some very exquisite places much of my life, but I realize I began noticing beauty anywhere and everywhere and nourished my spirit with it. I believe this happened due to an exponential increase of mindfulness in my life over the past years. The more I am present - here and now - the more I am mindful, the more I am able to "be" with beauty at all times, and the more that beauty has an effect on my inner self; on my energetic frequency, and on my spirit.

This is a gift you can also give yourself if you decide to choose it.

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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Using Failure to Reach Success


There are many successful people in the world, and there are many people who fail. The main difference between the two is this: the successful ones pick themselves up after failure again and again until they finally reach success.

In other words, before attaining success, most people go through different stages of failure on the way to where they want to go, but those that eventually do attain success, learn something from the failure and then make the choice to pick themselves up and continue pursuing their goal, consistently persisting in achieving it.

Abraham Lincoln is a wonderful and inspiring example to understand this:

In 1832 he lost his job and was defeated for the state legislature, but was elected company captain of the Illinois militia in the Black Hawk War.

In 1833 he failed in business, but was appointed postmaster of New Salem, Illinois and was appointed deputy surveyor of Sangamon County.

In 1834 he was elected to Illinois state legislature.

In 1835 his fiancé died.

In 1836 he had a nervous breakdown, but was re-elected to Illinois state legislature (running first in his district) and received his license to practice law in Illinois state courts.

In 1837 he led the Whig delegation in moving Illinois state capital from Vandalia to Springfield and he became law partner of John T. Stuart.

In 1838 he was defeated for Speaker, but was nominated for Illinois House Speaker by the Whig caucus and was re-elected to the Illinois House (running first in his district), and served as Whig floor leader.

Between 1839 and 1842 he was chosen presidential elector by the first Whig convention, he was admitted to practice law in the U.S. Circuit Court, he argued his first case before the Illinois Supreme Court, he was re-elected to the Illinois state legislature, he established a new law practice with Stephen T. Logan, and he was admitted to practice law in U.S. District Court.

In 1843 he was defeated for nomination for Congress.

In 1844 he established his own law practice with William H. Herndon as junior partner and in 1846 he was elected to Congress.

In 1848 he lost the renomination.

In 1849 he was rejected for land officer, but was admitted to practice law in the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1854 he was defeated for the U.S. Senate, but was elected to the Illinois state legislature.

In 1856 he was defeated for the nomination for Vice President.

In 1858 he was again defeated for the U.S. Senate.

In 1860 he was elected President.

Here is the formula he appears to have followed consistently:
  1. Choose your goal or goals
  2. Undertake steps to move in that direction
  3. Failure
  4. Pick yourself up
  5. Learn
  6. Persist (continue doing whatever you can right now that goes in the basic general direction of your goal)
  7. You may need to repeat the loop from number 3-6 several times
  8. Success.
And remember this: many of the successful people that you see or hear about may appear to have reached the success they have so easily, because we typically hear nothing about the many pitfalls and failures they surmounted in order to reach their goals. As you look at that part of their trajectory, you may find yourself much more motivated to continue on in your own.

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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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, December 1, 2014

Carrying a Heavy Load



As you go through a long day of errands and shopping, you find yourself weighed down at the end with many different parcels. You may despair of ever ending your duties and getting rid of the numerous bags and packages, and you notice how your arms ache from carrying them around. You also notice that the lovely ice cream that was tempting you, was simply not possible to have because your hands were so occupied in carrying what you already had in them. So you did not have the ice cream and you also didn't stop to smell the glorious jasmine because it would have been impossible to stoop down with all that weight in your hands. Finally, you wanted to run your hand over the rich velvet of a sofa in a display, but again, could not, because of all that you already had in your hands. It would have simply been too much trouble to let it all go, allow yourself the pleasure of feeling the velvet, and then picking it all up again in order to get all those parcels to the car.

However, on some occasions you may find that you are able to make a brief stop at your car halfway through the day in order to deposit some of the packages in the trunk, thus allowing your arms to relax again and therefore you feel less tired.


In our lives we are loaded down with another kind of burden that can weigh even more heavily on our minds than those packages weigh on our arms, especially if we are not able to let go of those burdens and therefore we continue to allow them to occupy a place inside of us. Those are the burdens of pain, anger, suffering, and resentment about wrongs that others have done to us or that are related to the unfairness of life and that we refuse to release, or we choose not to release, or on occasion, we may not even be aware of the fact that we could release them. And so of course more and more of these burdens accumulate inside of us, leaving very little room for joy and delight and love and happiness. It was the Buddha who said: Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind.


Have you chosen to let go of the wrongs of your life? Remember that the less you love yourself, the more you will cling to the pain and resentment, and the more you love yourself, the more you will be able to do this - in fact - the more you will want to do this. 


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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Making Mistakes & Your Comfort Zone


When babies reach about 11-13 months of age they begin to walk. Tentatively at first, then more securely, and finally, of course, they walk perfectly, unless there is a physiological or neurological challenge not attributable to their skills. At the beginning, a parent is typically there to help the child, encourage the child, and above all, to watch out for the child's safety.

When pilots learn how to fly, they may practice in simulators in order to be able to gain expertise before actually being up in the air. In the early stages, and prior to earning their license, an instructor accompanies them in their first forays up into the skies, in order to remind the student pilot of procedures, to help in difficult maneuvers, to encourage, and again, to watch out for the student's safety.

When we learn how to write we painstakingly trace shapes with clumsy fingers until at last we manage the skill and progress from pencil to pen ... to this day I remember the pride that overwhelmed me on that day when I was seven when I was allowed to write with a pen!

When we learn how to dance salsa, when we fall in love, when we learn how to make bread, when we speak in public, when we learn how to play football, the violin, or paint with oils, we will always first make some kind of mistake. It's part of the learning process, isn't it?

So why do we believe we should not make mistakes later on in life when we do other things? Admittedly, by now we may be adults, we may even be in mid-life or old age, but since there are always things we are doing for the first time, it follows that we'll make some mistakes in the process of learning them. Is our fear of making a mistake mainly based on what others might think? Or on how we look, making such a mistake at our age? Is it based on maintaining an image - even if just in our own eyes, that we have nothing left to learn? Even the most image-conscious would agree with me that such a thought is just plain silly.

So what's it all about? Could it be our ego? Our comfort zone? That when we make mistakes we feel insecure, as opposed to how we feel when we tread on our well-known and by now - deeply-trodden - path? And yet, we all know that leaving the comfort zone is where and when we begin to grow. We left the safety of crawling on our hands and knees to walk. And so we grew. We left the safety of mother's arms to go to kindergarten. And so we grew.

Let's dare make mistakes and rejoice in their teaching rather than sinking in the thought of failure. Failure is never failure unless you don't get back up. Just as the baby who has fallen back on the floor, grins up disarmingly - never once suspecting that once it's older such a fall, figuratively speaking, would make it feel awful - and gets right back up on its feet to try again. Over and over. Until he's got it right. And then, of course, he starts to run. Does he care how he looks? No! Does he care what others think? No! Is he proud of his accomplishment? Yes!

Let's dare make mistakes and learn what our infant selves knew intuitively: trying over and over again makes perfect. And then, let's run!
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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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, November 24, 2014

Seeing Your Future Self


Years ago, in the late 70’s, I chanced across Wayne Dyer’s book Your Erroneous Zones. I was in my twenties, and when I read the last chapter of that book, a chapter that shows a person free of erroneous zones, i.e., a person who is in such a good place inside of him or herself, that he has taken total responsibility for his own well-being, makes conscious choices, and is very aware of him or herself, I asked myself how it could be possible to get to that place. I yearned to get there. And I took the description Dyer offered of such a person as a model to follow. And because I had a model to follow, I was able to grow into that direction. (And of course it wasn't just having the model, it was also determining to actually do something about it, so self-initiative and some kind of discipline also form part of it).

Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of needs gives another model to follow (which Dyer in fact based much of his early thought on). The self-actualizing individual at the top of Maslow's pyramid, is an individual who indeed gives us something to think about … how many of us are in fact there, or even moving towards that? And if not, why not? Frequently, in particular because of the way our school system works, many of us are not in that place simply because we don't know it exists...

There was another book in my life that was conducive to showing me what I could become, and I didn't chance across this one until I saw it in a bookstore in Geneva in May of 1989, now in my thirties. I had done what I'd like to call much of the psychological work, perhaps less of the spiritual work, until I saw what could be in Gary Zukav's second book The Seat of the Soul. Again, it gave me an excellent road map. This one gave directions towards similar goals as the Dyer book mentioned above, but it focused on the spiritual aspect of moving towards the inner freedom and well-being referred to earlier; it focused much more clearly on the growth of the soul, as opposed to merely the growth of the psyche.

So what this is really about is the fact that growth can sometimes be infinitely accelerated if we see what is possible; if we see what we can become.

But this goes way beyond the little boy who wishes to emulate his policeman or fireman father, or the little girl who wants to be a doctor or lawyer like her mother. This is about what is possible from the point of view of inner freedom, of becoming totally responsible for the self, of taking responsibility for one’s own happiness, of learning how to make conscious choices, and of becoming aware of the self.

So when you meet someone who lives in an inner place that you find wonderful (even though it may seem light years from where you find yourself), or when you read about someone who does so, or when you read about an ideal you can aspire to, and you see that this is showing you what you could become, then use it as a map. Because you can also go there.

P.S. and in case you are curious, since then - since the experiences recounted above - there has been much fine-tuning in my life, much re-visiting of areas and issues that needed greater work, as I know there will continue to be until the day I pass, and much of the fine-tuning came about through other books, and also through human beings I've been fortunate enough to meet or observe or study, but the essential bits were put in place through those two early books by Dyer and Zukav.

Image: Photograph by Grégoire Sieuw, National Geographic Your Shot
From a northern promontory on the Faroe island of Kalsoy, the Kallur lighthouse boasts a panoramic view of the sea and neighboring islands. About a hundred people inhabit four villages on remote Kalsoy, one of 18 islands making up the North Atlantic archipelago.

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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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, November 20, 2014

Risks & Their Benefits


In which areas of your life do you take risks? Perhaps you like white water rafting in Costa Rica, or perhaps you enjoy parasailing. Perhaps you play the stock market, or perhaps you allow yourself to seek love even when there is no guarantee you will be loved back. Perhaps you open your own business during a time such as the current recession because you believe there is a niche for your product, or perhaps you decide to take some money you have inherited, using it to not only pay your tuition as you go back to school, but also to live on during those years as you re-engineer your life, in order that you may start a totally different career at your age.

What are the benefits for you in the taking of such risks? Isn't a part of it that it makes you feel alive as little else does? And another part of it is that you know that your existence has value, that this part of you is allowing you to grow, is bringing you closer to purpose and meaning, and above all, is bringing you closer to yourself. Wouldn't it be devastating - having realized the benefits that risk can bring - to live a life of staid security and conventional safety in order to not deal with the risk that risk entails?

Paul Tillich wrote: He who risks and fails can be forgiven. He who never risks and never fails is a failure in his whole being.

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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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, November 18, 2014

Approaching the Self


You know that to come closer to your self - your inner self - the you that is always you, and that was always you, even before you were born and became who you are now - you know, don't you, that in order to come closer to that self you may have to spend some time with yourself?

This is easier said than done if you have been busy being busy. If you have dedicated much time to developing your outer self (your professional, social, and financial prestige, your knowledge of good wines or aged scotch, your skill at golf or tennis, and your ease in even the most exalted of circumstances - all of which are admirable elements to develop), but have spent little time developing your inner self, then you may not take to this business of approaching the self as a fish takes to water. Rather, you may feel very much out of your element.

Oh, you say, but I have been busy raising a family, being a breadwinner, and doing all those things that life requires of us in that process. Yes. Life requires much of us that appears to lead us away from the self, so part of the process of approaching the self involves using life, and all the activities it asks of us - sometimes in near never ending fashion - as part of that. That means, in other words, remaining conscious while you participate in many activities that normally serve to keep you in a blind place, and anything but conscious and aware.

So that brings us to mindfulness. It is one very simple way of approaching the self due to the fact that it leads you to being aware at all times. Whether you are in the shower, preparing breakfast, driving to work (with a car full of children or teens that you are dropping off at their respective schools on the way there), or whether you are sitting in a board meeting, chairing a global conference on aid for Ebola victims, or getting ready to go out for dinner with a few of your friends after a friendly neighbourhood baseball game - if you follow the precepts of a simple mindfulness practice - you will be aware at all of these times. Or - if you are still working on getting there - you will frequently catch yourself in momentary blindness or reactivity, but quickly enough to take you back to awareness before long.

Read this for a brief post about beginning a mindfulness practice that - if done on a daily basis - will impact your life very quickly

You see, what this means is that you never get 'lost' in life so much that you forget that you are you and that by approaching yourself in this conscious fashion through your daily activities, you will come closer and closer to the part that always was, is and will be you. This leads to inner peace. It leads to self-love of a very caring kind, and it leads to inner well-being.

Image: Lotus blossom emerging from the mud, as the self may emerge from life

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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friends & Enemies


It's easy to distinguish between your friend and your enemy when they are out there - visible to the naked eye, not only for how you recognize their faces, but also due to how you recognize what they do to and for you, proving by those words or acts the fact that they are your friends or enemies.

It's slightly  more complicated to recognize when we're talking about the friend and the enemy we all have inside of us. You know - the voice that tells us we can't, or that we're not good enough, or that we'll never make it, or that we're a failure. That voice - the voice of our inner enemy - is insidious and potentially so sabotaging that it might prove itself right if we commit the mistake of believing it. Furthermore, that voice is often heard within the secure confines of our comfort zone and hence it keeps us there, and by so doing, it keeps us from growing.

But we also have another 'person' inside of us, and that is our friend. That's the one - although its voice is often much, much weaker than the voice of our enemy - that says yes you can or it may say of course this is possible, just give it a try or it may say remember when you did such-and-such and you believed you wouldn't be able to manage it and yet you did ... you made it ... just do that again, and so on. This is the voice we need to listen to and this is the inner person that needs to receive precedence in what we believe and what we don't. This is also the one you need to foment, and help grow in strength. One of the easiest ways of doing that is by robbing the other voice of its strength. So each time the other voice pops up, tell yourself that while you don't yet know how to get where you want to go, you choose to focus on the encouraging voice. And so you pivot in your mind away from the thoughts that sabotage towards the thoughts that - while you may not yet be 100% certain of them - at least are encouraging you to move in the direction of your dreams.

Become acquainted with those inner people of yours and make sure that you can easily distinguish between your friend and your enemy and make even more sure that you make the conscious choice of showing one the door and giving the other your hand. There is a wonderful Costa Rican proverb that goes: All people have their friend and their enemy within themselves. 

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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. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

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