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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, April 2, 2018

Pain & Joy: The Balancing Act of Your Inner Life



Buddhist Trungpa Rinpoche is said to have pointed out that it's possible to be enlightened everywhere except around your family, a statement which – whether actually said by him or not – I find quite humourous. And yes. It is so very true. Families can be loving, warm, painful, exasperating, joyous, hurtful, plain mean, and totally divine. Families can fill your heart with sheer, utterly boundless joy. Equally they can pierce your heart with glass shards resulting in unspeakable pain. And yes – you may have worked on becoming more enlightened, more spiritual in many arenas of your life, you may have been doing this for a very long time already and yet – you will find yourself tripping up more often than not in interactions that involve your closest family.

Sometimes we believe that because we've already been through much pain and hardship and have already come so far in our spiritual quest, that henceforth things will be easier. Not because we're 'better than', or 'superior to', or 'more evolved', but simply because we've already learned so much. As though now there were less to learn. Not so, as I was aptly reminded last month in a FB post by Alan Oken. He writes: "Many of us have reached a place in our spiritual development when our ideas about the Path and the reality of the way the Path truly unfolds are in conflict. A lot of us believe that once we have set a foot on the Spiritual Way, we can just glide “on home to the other side!” This sentiment comes about early on in our development. It is a kind of “gift” to encourage us. But as those of us who have been walking a little longer along the Way can readily attest, this apparent gift of ease along the “cosmic conveyor belt” is far from the truth. In fact, for a very long while, our crises in life will appear to multiply and not lessen after we have identified ourselves with the Soul. 

This is because there are now even more levels of interplay to consider in each and every one of our relationships, be they with people, objects, ideas, emotions, or beliefs. What is also true is that the direction, quality, and nature of these personal, impersonal, and transpersonal crises (for they indeed occur on all of these levels!), is that they take on a specific direction. Our crises therefore become fewer in number but far more specific in terms of the "energetic principles" that they represent. The identification of these Principles is a faculty of the higher mind and anchored in the Soul." Another humbling reminder of the fact that spiritual growth is not only a life-long spiraling process, but also of the fact that the bar is continually raised along the way.

Speaking with several friends (separately) of their (and my) individual and personal pain, we felt supported in our mutual understanding and sharing in the discovery that we feel we are all living an inner balancing act that never seems to stand still. In this inner balancing act one is conscious that joy and pain are capable of coexisting simultaneously. It brings to mind something I once read of a man who had been in an accident, resulting in quadriplegia. He said that at times, when he was in the company of friends, or when a joke was being told, he was able to momentarily forget the state of his body.

The inner balancing act of joy and pain is not about forgetting. But it is very much about being able to feel joy in the midst of pain. Those who have lost a loved one know that occasionally in the midst of sorrow, even in a short period of time after the loss, they may smile or even laugh. It seems incongruous, almost disrespectful, and yet it happens.

Again, the inner balancing act of joy and pain is not about suddenly smiling or laughing, but about being aware of your pain – whatever it may be – and simultaneously being able to be aware of – and experience – joy. This can only come about in my opinion, if you practice mindfulness.

In his Letters to a Young Poet Rainer Maria Rilke speaks of how great sadness transforms us and brings us closer to ourselves: “ … you must not be frightened … if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloud-shadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any agitation, any pain, any melancholy, since you really do not know what these states are working upon you?”

In seeking to balance suffering and joy in your life you must realize that suffering eventually leads to joy, and joy eventually leads to suffering. We live in a dualistic world. One without the other would not be what it is. Joy without suffering would not be joy. Likewise suffering without joy would not be suffering. If suffering did not exist, we could not have joy. And without joy we would not have suffering.

One of Taoism’s most important concepts is wu wei, which is sometimes translated as “non-doing” or “non-action.” I’ve been grappling with it for many years, having initially read about it in the writing of Fritjof Capra. “A better way to think of it, however, is as a paradoxical “Action of non-action,” Elizabeth Reninger writes. “Wu wei refers to the cultivation of a state of being in which our actions are quite effortlessly in alignment with the ebb and flow of the elemental cycles of the natural world. It is a kind of “going with the flow” that is characterized by great ease and awake-ness, in which--without even trying--we’re able to respond perfectly to whatever situations arise. 

The Taoist principle of wu wei has similarities to the goal in Buddhism of non-clinging to the idea of an individual ego. A Buddhist who relinquishes ego in favor of acting through the influence of inherent Buddha-nature is behaving in a very Taoist manner.” 

What this teaches us is that in the midst of suffering, where we may be tempted to rush in and try to resolve, that which at this moment cannot be resolved, that we may need to remain still. To rest in non-action. Hence the concept of non-doing. Or as a dear friend of mine puts it: sit like the hare.
In his book “The Art of Living” Thich Nhat Hanh writes: “Mindfulness has the capacity to embrace our suffering. It says, Hello, my dear pain. This is the practice of recognizing suffering. Hello, my pain. I know you are there, and I will take care of you. You don’t need to be afraid.

Now in our mind-consciousness there are two energies: the energy of mindfulness and the energy of suffering. The work of mindfulness is first to recognize and then to embrace the suffering with gentleness and compassion. You make use of your mindful breathing to do this. As you breathe in, you say silently, Hello, my pain. As you breathe out, you say, I am here for you. Our breathing contains within it the energy of our pain, so as we breathe with gentleness and compassion, we are also embracing our pain with gentleness and compassion.

When suffering comes up, we have to be present for it. We shouldn’t run away from it or cover it up with consumption, distraction, or diversion. We should simply recognize it and embrace it, like a mother lovingly embracing a crying baby in her arms. The mother is mindfulness, and the crying baby is suffering. The mother has the energy of gentleness and love. When the baby is embraced by the mother, it feels comforted and immediately suffers less, even though the mother does not yet know exactly what the problem is. Just the fact that the mother is embracing the baby is enough to help the baby suffer less. We don’t need to know where the suffering is coming from. We just need to embrace it, and that already brings some relief. As our suffering begins to calm down, we know we will get through it.”

Your inner life is always a balancing act, and YOU are fully in charge of that – if you choose to take on that responsibility. Part of why you consciously choose - seek - to be the one in charge is because you have grown to love yourself. Loving yourself lies at the base of so much of what allows you to grow and expand. Loving yourself is the beginning of a wondrously brilliant road. Joy and pain will always have their places there.

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CHARLAS EN ESPAÑOL EN YOUTUBE


Vampiros energéticos: Su efecto destructivo en tu vida

En YouTube aquí:








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En YouTube aquí:





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Se grabó y se puede ver en YouTube aquí:


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BOOKS - LIBROS - BÜCHER


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: Also see my other other blog 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 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

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 post: 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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VIDEO COURSES IN ENGLISH


See the preview (click the image) to my online video course:
Fatherless Women & Motherless Men





Now Available
"Fatherless Women & Motherless Men"

Click HERE for the introductory pricing of US 15


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

See the preview (click the image) to my online video course:
Freedom From the Torture of Your Thoughts




Now Available
"Freedom From the Torture of Your Thoughts"

Click HERE for the introductory pricing of US 15

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

See the preview (click below) to my online on-demand video course  




  NOW available

"Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin"


 ****************************


Charlas en español:





Se puede ver en Youtube aqui







Se puede ver en Youtube aquí



Se puede ver en YouTube aquí:


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

BOOKS - LIBROS - BÜCHER


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: Also see my other other blog 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