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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

Friday, March 24, 2017

Are You Bored If You’re Not in a Relationship?


This business about being bored if you’re not in a relationship is really important because on the one hand it means you’ll get into a new relationship very quickly (perhaps too quickly) for all the wrong reasons, or, at least, for a lot of the wrong reasons. On the other hand, it tells us a lot about what is really going on inside of you.

Before we take a look at these points, let’s first examine what a relationship so very often appears to be all about:
  • Because we are in love, we feel good
  • Because we feel good, we need
Or
  • Because we need, we feel good
  • Because we feel good, we are in love
Would you agree that this is what often happens?

Would you also agree that this tells us that the relationship is perhaps not so much about the other person, or even better - about the two of us - as about me? I need, I feel good, hence I am in love.

While this may be an over-simplification, it is, nevertheless, what hundreds of clients have effectively told me has happened in their lives. Of course, you may have convinced yourself of other reasons at the beginning:
  • I love this person because he/she is fun to be with
  • I love this person because he/she is exciting
  • I love this person because he/she is romantic
  • I love this person because he/she is so intelligent
  • I love this person because I’ve never felt so safe
  • I love this person because I’ve never felt so loved
  • I love this person because we like the same things
  • I love this person because he/she admires me so much
  • I love this person because he/she needs me so much
You get the point. Whatever we tell ourselves – assuming the reasons fall within the parameters of what I’ve outlined above – the common denominator is that it’s always about me.

And a portion of this whole relationship being about me is that it keeps me busy. Occupied. Having fun. Busy thinking about the other person. Even if the thinking is ruminative about why things – right now – are not so good in the relationship. And hence, distracted from – perhaps – other things I should be looking at that concern me. My psyche, my emotions, my inner world, the state of my inner well-being independent of the other person.

So now we come to the point of the title of this article: Are you bored if you’re not in a relationship?
Here’s what often happens. The relationship ends. For whatever reason. Your life has lost excitement. Drama. Entertainment. Doing things together. Feeling part of a couple. Looking forward to evenings, to weekends, to vacation times. Even the part where you’re ruminating about why things aren’t as perfect as you might like. But at least while you ruminate, you still are in a relationship.

So how do you replace that empty feeling? That feeling of being alone? That feeling of no longer really enjoying your life? That feeling of having lost an important part of yourself? That feeling of being less than you were before?

You see, all those feelings and many other, similar ones,  point to the fact that there is, indeed, something missing inside of you, and that you are trying to fill up this missing part with the person with whom you are in a relationship. And that is not – I am afraid – a very good reason to be in a relationship. You see, when you fill up your own missing bits via another, if and when the other fails you, deserts you, gives up on you, dies, etc., you are once again left alone with your missing bits, and will once again need to rely on another to fill them for you.

For example, if you mainly feel safe when you are in relationship with a certain kind of man or woman, and you seek out that kind of safety, when will you ever learn to provide safety for yourself? Or if you mainly feel that life is fun when you are with a certain kind of person and you seek out such a person, when will you ever learn to provide fun for yourself? Or if you mainly feel that life is so much more worthwhile if you are with a certain kind of person, when will you ever learn to provide worth to your own life by yourself? Or if you mainly feel that you only really feel good about yourself when you are with a certain kind of person and you seek out such a person, when will you ever learn to make yourself feel good about yourself on your own???

Clearly, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have people in your life who make you feel safe, or who bring fun and laughter into your life, or give you reasons that let you feel your life is more worthwhile, or who make you feel good about yourself. But it does mean in most uncertain terms that if you are unable to provide those things for yourself first, you will always have to rely on another to do it for you. And therefore you will most likely wind up loving someone for the wrong reasons – although at the beginning you are convinced that they are the right ones. And those wrong reasons will also likely bring about the demise of the relationship.

So. Now what? Assuming you take what I’ve written here as the truth – or at least the highly probably truth, what can you now do?

First and foremost take on board all I’ve said about looking for others to fill your missing bits … such as, for example, learning how to feel good thanks to you, and not thanks to whoever is in your life. In other words, if you first take charge of your state of well-being, then no matter who is or is not in your life, your state of well-being does not depend on them, but on you. That is the process.
Secondly, take a good look at exactly what those missing bits are. Where do you need to replenish yourself? What parts of yourself do you need to grow and/or heal in order that you are able to live a life independent of the need to have others who fill the missing bits of yourself? Become responsible for all of this by realizing that the more you take charge of your life, your inner peace and well-being, the more you will be able to live a life of freedom. Freedom does not mean not having other people in your life, that you love and cherish. It just means not needing them for all those things that you should be supplying for yourself.

And a final remark regarding those missing bits: what are your inner resources? In other words, what do you have inside of yourself that helps you take good care of yourself when you need it? Are you aware of how to take good care of your thoughts and feelings? Said another way, have you begun the process of loving yourself? Are you fully responsible for all you think, feel, say, and do, and how you react to whatever it is that life throws at you? Are you aware enough of yourself at all times so that you are able to change your self-dialogue when it needs changing, so that you can, indeed, take good care of yourself? Do you practice mindfulness? These are all inner resources that can be your staunchest allies; your greatest friends in times of need. And when you do have these inner resources, I guarantee you that you will no longer get into relationships simply in order to fulfill your needs, because you will be well on the road to fulfilling them yourself.

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See the preview to my new online course, available shortly
"Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin" 

CHECK THIS SPACE FOR UPDATES

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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 (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available 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 (English). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle



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. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Blows Life Deals


When life deals you blows - maybe just an occasional one, or perhaps a series of hard blows, like boulders crashing down a mountain during the rainy season, one after the other - if you have nothing in place that gives you shelter, you may be in for a much harder time than you are able to manage.

In the terms I am referring to here, shelter means inner strength, inner wherewithal, pathways that you have forged over a lifetime of dealing with other blows and learning that they can not be assuaged with outer distractions, but that they need inner resources.

Inner resources can be come by with practice. It doesn't have to necessarily be hard to acquire them. But they all require that you look at yourself with great honesty. They require that you do not pretend to yourself that whatever is happening is so due to another's fault. Of course another may have done something very hurtful or damaging, but whoever carries the onus of the situation, the real point is, what are you going to do about it, so that you can live your life from now on (the moment of the blow) and move forward. And blaming someone isn't going to help you in that endeavour.

If a boulder slams down a mountain-side and partially crushes your car, but you manage to escape unscathed, what is the point of blaming your predicament on the weather, or the mountain, or the circumstances? No matter how many times you repeat the story to anyone who will listen, the facts don't change. You will have to get on with it, hopefully you have car insurance that doesn't make nasty noises about 'acts of God', and figure out how to get down from that mountain.

In other areas of your life, it's a bit of the same. People who may hurt you are making their own choices. You can't make those (or future) choices for them. But you can make your own choices. And herein lies the challenge to begin to accrue inner resources. This is a choice you can make every single time something occurs in your life that is a blow - large or small. You can determine to learn from it. You can determine to shore up those inner resources by practicing a bit more every day (even on those days - and hopefully there are many - when no blows fall).

Practicing tennis only on the days he plays international tournaments, would not take Rafa Nadal very far. Practicing every day - simply to strengthen his 'game' - means that on the day of the tournament, he is not only in form to play the match well, but may have upped his game thanks to all the practice.

So it is with us. If we want to have strength when we most need it - when the blows rain down on us - we need to have practiced long before any of those blows fell. Such practice will stand you in good stead - not to mention what it might do for others who observe you, and decide to model portions of their own life on yours. As they say ... shine a light ...

So what are these inner resources? What I have written about ceaselessly on this blog as well as in all my books, workshops, conferences, and of course, with the clients that come to my private practice:
  • practice mindfulness every day
  • practice being aware and conscious every day
  • recognize that your inner peace comes from there
  • practice compassion & loving kindness
  • choose to be responsible for all you think, feel, say and do, as well as how you react at any time
  • love yourself
  • take very good care of yourself
  • forgive, and then forgive again
  • make good choices
  • be responsible for your own happiness
  • observe your inner self-dialogue and improve it as needed
All of this is covered in my books. All of this can be - if you so choose - very straightforward. Remember: much of it depends on your intention and then on the attention that you pay to said intention. Choose well. Choose now.

***************

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available 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 (English). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle



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. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Does Making a Mistake Mean You're Out of 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.

Charles Kettering, inventor, engineer, and businessman, as well as head of research at General Motors for well over 20 years, said: the only time you mustn't fail is the last time you try. In other words, you need to keep on trying, until you get it right. You need to have an attitude of faith; of willingness to keep on trying, over and over, until you get it right.

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!
***************

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available 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 (English). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... próximamente en Amazon en versión bolsillo y E-Libro para Kindle


Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros en español por todo el mundo próximamente en Amazon.

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. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Monday, January 23, 2017

What Do You Carry in Your Psycho-Spiritual First-Aid Kit?

We all know that our normal first-aid kits requires items such as gauze, iodine, antibiotic cream, aspirin, etc., but we generally don't look at the well-being of the rest of ourselves - the mind and the spirit - as requiring an equally (if not much more) important first-aid kit.

Think:
  • when you have a headache, you may take a nap, take an aspirin, or rub a slice of lime over your forehead
  • when you're running a slight temperature, you may take an aspirin
  • when you step on a rusty nail, you will either wash the wound with hydrogen peroxide and apply anti-biotic cream, or you'll make an appointment to get a tetanus shot
  • when you have diarrhea, you eat some bananas, or have some anti-diarrhea medication
So what do you do when:
  • you're feeling low
  • your best friend has betrayed you
  • you've been down-sized
  • the gray, damp weather is driving you to distraction
  • your spouse/partner has given you a weird look and you know, judging by that feeling in the pit of your tummy, that something is going on
In both sets of examples, you get my point, but in the second set, there are no easy aspirins or bandages to apply. That's why it's so necessary to have your very own psycho-spiritual first aid kit available. This may consist of supportive friends, inspiring or motivational literature or audio programs, the knowledge that if you go out into nature, or choose to focus on gratitude, it will help turn a leaf on how you are feeling, and so on. But in order for it to work, you must
  1. have some of it in place, because you've explored it, worked with it, done it and felt the effect it has on you at good times
  2. begin one or more of it immediately when you notice something is going on. In the same way that you know that if you don't get the tetanus shot in time, there may be more serious consequences, so you should also take on board, that if you don't undertake to do something about your inner state immediately, there may be more serious consequences.
A final point to remember: the more you choose to do this, the more it becomes a habit, the less you need to think about it, and the more it will have a positive effect on your state of mind very quickly.

***************

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available 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 (English). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle



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. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Learning from the Past - But NOT Living There


In the past I've spent some time commenting on the fact that if we look too much to the past: either to its pain or its perceived happiness and glory, we risk becoming caught in a loop that will not allow us to live fully in the present. By going through an experience that somehow resonates with something similar in the past, in particular if the past one was painful, the present one will tend to pull us fully back there and literally keep parts of us in the past, meaning that those parts of us are simply not available for us in the present.

However, despite that caveat, there is much to be said for examining our past, for being familiar with its crests and troughs, and in particular, with its patterns. However, in order to be able to recognize all of this, we need to thoroughly know our past, and in order to do that, it needs to have been examined. It needs thinking about, in other words.

One of the easiest ways I know of doing precisely that is by following this simple system - A Life Timeline Exercise:
  • take one sheet of paper for each year of your life, including year '0', when you were born
  • at the top of each sheet write the year and your age
  • write - as most of us know this - your city of residence, and perhaps the actual street address where you lived
  • write who lived in the household with you, including parents, siblings, grandparents or other relatives, household staff and any pets
  • if you are old enough to be in kindergarten, write that, or else school, college, etc
  • your jobs
  • any birthdays you remember and why, ditto Christmases and vacations
  • best friends
  • your first set of roller skates or bike, musical instrument, etc.
  • sports activities
  • studies
  • church
  • clubs, etc.
In other words, the point is to write the obvious, because by so doing, you begin to remember snippets of the less obvious, or the partially forgotten. The object is to have a maximum of 1-3 sheets per year of life, written in bullet-style. And by the way, just do one bit at a time. If you get out the requisite sheets of paper and just write the year and your age at the top on the first day, that's fine. Then leave them in a convenient place in your house, where you may pass frequently, and add a bit each time you remember something.

Slowly, you will begin to form a picture of your past that goes far beyond just the painful or happy memories and this picture, just as surely as a puzzle coming together, will help you understand not only your past, but more importantly, what you can learn from it in order to make your future better. You will recognize connections between events in your life, for example:
  • the fact that you are averse to getting the puppy your spouse wants, reminds you of a situation when you were a child, desperate to have a pet, and your parents refused to allow it. Recognizing the similarity in patterns, although in both cases you were on the opposite side of the spectrum, allows you to explore some of the emotions involved and see more clearly, perhaps what this tells you. Are you afraid of hurt or vulnerability? Are you reacting by rote, instead of thinking things through? There are many variations on a theme, and it will be up to you to recognize what applies to you.
  • the hurt you feel today at being blown off at the last minute by a friend with whom you had planned to have lunch, reminds you of an occasion when you were a teen where you were also blown off. This leads you to recognize that people often treat you less well than you would like. This leads you to think about the fact that you find it very hard to speak up when something happens that is hurtful. 
Recognizing these connections between the past and the present will allow you to make changes regarding your life. How are you improving your future today?


Note: I've written about this exercise in the past, and talk about it frequently in workshops, groups, speeches, etc. I am always amazed at how few people actually go ahead and do it. While I understand that written exercises are often largely boring, in this instance I believe it can be exciting. One, because you start remembering many snippets from your past that you thought you had forgotten, and two, because in so doing, you can make real connections about your life and its meaning in ways that are often quite difficult to achieve.


***************

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available 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 (English). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle



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. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What is Your Fate?


Have you ever noticed your relationship patterns? Attracting similar people into your life, or falling in love with similar people (even though at the outset it might have seemed that they were polar opposites)? Or have you ever noticed how you tend to repeat something you already experienced? Or have you had similar supervisors or bosses in different jobs - in other words, a similar kind of situation arose because of some type of issue with each boss? Or perhaps you tend to be very impatient and because of your impatience you tend not to double check certain things you do and hence have landed in a similar kind of mess - or made important, albeit very avoidable mistakes - on various occasions.

Some might call these examples fate. Or bad luck. But our friend C.G. Jung would have said: Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. So that tells you (if you care to really understand it), that as long as you don't connect with the part of yourself that is in the shadow, i.e., the part that isn't easily visible for you to see & understand, and only becomes visible by virtue of the things that happen to you (such as some of the examples noted above), then those very same things will continue to occur again and again, and you may well call it fate or bad luck. 


Again, Jung has something interesting to add: My own understanding is the sole treasure I possess, and the greatest. Though infinitely small and fragile in comparison with the powers of darkness, it is still a light, my only light. So what does it mean that we need to connect with the part of the self that only shows up via that which happens to you? It means that one of the things you can do, is to examine your life on the basis of those events that have occurred - in some fashion - more than once. This gives you a starting point. Jung says: Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.

Becoming conscious - awakening - is ultimately one of the most enriching and most freeing things you can do for yourself and by so doing you may find that your fate is no longer your fate because you will have a much greater hand in shaping it.

***************

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available 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 (English). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle



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. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Learned Helplessness, Hopelessness & Moving Forward


Just as many others, you also may be feeling some (or a lot of) helplessness in the wake of the outcome of the US elections today. Obviously I have no crystal ball and am unable to reassure anyone that things will be OK. The American system has a number of checks and balances in place that in theory will prevent a madman at the helm from doing too much damage. But that, of course, is mere speculation, as one year ago we would have said that anyone who spouts venom and bigotry and racism and sexism, etc., would never be nominated, let alone elected.

But here is what I'd like to say today: it is up to each and every one of us to move forward in the very best way possible - in our own lives - in order that the light that we shine may illuminate the life of some of the others who touch our lives, and they in turn, may do the same for those who touch their lives. In order to be able to do that, you must not allow yourself to succumb to helplessness, or anger, or any other negative emotions. This is the only way the world can change, whereas if you succumb to whatever negative thing it is that you are feeling, the world will not only NOT change, but it will have more people in it who believe this man is a good choice. Gandhi said be the change you wish to see in the world and Goethe said if every man will sweep in front of his own door, soon the whole town will be clean.

Learned helplessness and hopelessness are terms that have come into our vocabulary principally through the research of authentic happiness and learned optimism (click here to test yourself on learned optimism) psychologist Martin Seligmann.

Learned helplessness can be understood as the near passive acceptance of unpleasant situations. This passive acceptance eradicates those reactions another more positive thinking individual might have, which would help the person to try to escape from or control the situation. Learned hopelessness is a more serious state, bordering on deep depression, that is the result of prolonged immersion in the prior state of learned helplessness.

In Seligmann's experiments with rats, dogs, and eventually (consenting) humans, it was discovered that when a test subject had experienced a situation where no matter what it did, it could not escape a negative outcome, its subsequent experiences of the same situation, even when conditions were much more positive, and the subject could have escaped the negative outcome merely by trying something different, that subject would invariably give up, assuming that it had no chance of escaping the inevitable.

Victor Frankl, the renowned psychiatrist who was held in Ausschwitz during the Holocaust, and father of logotherapy, wrote in his famous Man's Search For Meaning that one of the main reasons he was able to survive, was because he had not lost hope, as so many inmates of that hell hole had.

BBC Journalist Alan Johnston freed on July 4th, 2007, after being held by a Palestinian faction in the Gaza Strip for nearly four months, insisted that one of the main reasons he had been able to survive psychologically, was because he never lost sight of hope. So also say - in some fashion or another - Nelson Mandela and Alexandr Solzhenistyn.

Hope and optimism are essential to our physical, psycho-emotional and spiritual well-being. In the above-mentioned research, and much more that has been done since, a state of learned helplessness can lead to a weakened immune system, heart attacks, cancer, and all manner of illnesses. In order to find your way back to such a state, if you feel that you are leaning towards learned helplessness or even hopelessness, you might begin by reading some of the suggestions made in many posts here on this blog about reaching for joy and happiness.

If you are aware of a negative inner state, the first step is to realize that your awareness has given you a choice. The next step is to begin to implement that choice at every step of the way...little by little. Get your inner freedom back and begin to live your life that way you are actually meant to. Start now. Don't wait for some calamity to befall you and then begin, or regret that you didn't begin earlier. Take your life into your hands. Change the negativity and believe in yourself and what you are truly able to do - despite outer circumstances.

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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 (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available 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 (English). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


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DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle



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