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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, April 23, 2014

The Gift in Your Problems


There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. 
You seek problems because you need their gifts.
Richard Bach

Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity to heal.
A Course in Miracles

These quotes, both of which I've used occasionally on my Facebook Page Rewiring the Soul and on my Twitter account, are so illuminating if you just take the time to think about them. And of course the more you think about them, the more you're able to put their wisdom to use in your life in the way we perceive our problems or challenges.

Think back: what have you learned from the major problems in your life? I lost my mother at the age of 19, long before I was anywhere near being prepared - if one ever is - for such an event. Furthermore it happened while I was traveling abroad and she was there one moment, and gone the next when the phone call came. What did I learn? To make every moment count. To use such a devastating situation to grow and understand more about life so that her death would not be in vain. I became so much more of a self-responsible human being due to that. I also learned how important it was to never neglect an opportunity to tell those that we love, that we do indeed love them.

Then my only brother died when I was 23. I went to the funeral with my eldest son of barely three weeks in my arms. More devastation. He too, just as my mother, had died of cancer, although up to 24 hours prior to his death, he had been in remission. We believed he had made it. I lived far from him in another country, and so received another devastating phone call indicating he had just been hospitalized with numerous new cancerous growths that had appeared overnight, and that he would not make it. What did I learn? The above lesson was reinforced. I learned about the fragility of life and the need to live it at its fullest as long as you have it. I grew a few more inches.

Scarcely 18 months later when my second son was less than one month old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the end it was a false alarm, but until I knew that some months later, it had caused me to take a look at my own mortality. What did I learn? That my own mortality scared me much less than the well-being of my children (I worried about them being left half orphans, and I determined - before I knew it was a false alarm - that I would breast feed this second baby to the age of 6 months, breast cancer or not). Thus I also learned that I knew I could deal with this. It showed me another portion of my strength.

About two years later, my third son, then nine months old, was found at the bottom of the pool. It appeared he had drowned and for several very frightening and long drawn-out minutes, it appeared he had died. What did I learn? That I was able to keep my head in an emergency. That I did what was necessary to manage a situation that was totally out of control. It showed me a portion of my strength. 

Only a little later, with those three very small boys of 6, 4 and 2, I went through a very contentious and acrimonious separation and custody battle with my spouse. It was everything but pretty. I was alone, without my family of origin (they were mainly dead), not in my country of birth or the country where I had been raised, and with very few friends in the country where I lived other than those that had befriended me via my spouse. Many of those subsequently decided he was a better choice, and hence terminated their 'friendship' with me. I had never worked. I had no money. And even though I was the one that left, I was deeply, terribly alone. And frightened. So what did I learn? That I was very strong, that I was a survivor, that I was flexible in ways I had never even imagined - a flexibility that allowed me to turn my life around, and above all, I learned to see through other people's eyes and I learned to forgive. The lesson of forgiving, when based on a desire to clear the past of its hold on you, is perhaps one of the most important lessons you can learn in life.

After that there were many more lessons to learn, many more difficult moments. Perhaps one of the most significant was some eight years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer again. This time it was the real deal. No false alarm. In the end all was well, but not before going through a very difficult inner process. What did I learn? That the mind and heart (the first and third brians, as they are now called ... see my article Introducing Our Second & Third Brains: We Do Think With Our Heart and Instinct) are at least as important as the body in a process of healing. I learned that my inner strength was serving me very well. And I learned that love (most especially 'healthy' self-love) is crucial to the process.

Obviously your problems will be different from mine. Better or worse is not a comparison that is germane to this post, because problems are what we make of them. Perhaps what for me was horrendous at some point of my path, for someone else would have been easier, or vice versa, what I was able to bear with relative inner ease, for others would be insurmountable. Problems and challenges are subjective, but we can all look for the gifts in our problems. Because, as Bach says, we have them because we need their gifts.

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

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch:
 
Rewiring the Soul

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

Reviews From the Back Cover:

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

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

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

The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

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

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


The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self 


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

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


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

Monday, April 21, 2014

Which Companions Shape Your Life?

  
John (not his real name, all names in this article have been changed) was recently told he has a tumor. Malignant or benign, he will not know for about three weeks, after a series of tests and the results that they offer. Marguerite was taking her husband’s suits to the cleaners and found a hand-written note – not his handwriting - in the breast pocket of one of the jackets: Your love makes life worth living. Matthew and Lily have just been notified by their bank that unless they pay the overdue mortgage on their home, it will be repossessed by the end of the month. Jennifer had a call from the police this morning. Her son David is in jail for possession of cocaine. Michael got fired yesterday. And William was robbed. Burglars broke into his home while he was away on a brief trip and managed to open the safe where he had six months’ worth of emergency funds and his wife’s jewellery. None of it was insured. Finally, Mariel, a horse trainer, had a car accident, and not only is her car totaled, but because of injuries she sustained, she can not work for at least six weeks and her job only allows her six sick days per annum.

When Life Gets Hard

Such a list of bad luck and hard situations doesn’t exactly make for fun reading. But here is why this is the subject of today’s article: when life serves up the hard bits, the companions we have chosen up to that point in our lives, will shape – at least in part – the manner in which we are able to deal with the problems. They will sustain us and they will help us get through that dark forest to the clearing on the other side. Or not.

Habitual Companions

Here are some of the companions we habitually choose – we spend our precious time with these companions - and because they are habitual, and because we generally choose them long before any of the hard bits in our lives have appeared, they impact our thoughts and behavior in ways that are detrimental instead of uplifting when the more difficult times show up, just as sugar and chemicals in food are detrimental to our bodies and creep up on us until finally one day we realize the body that we have is no longer healthy:

§  Endless television shows that we watch simply because we happened on them, either while channel surfing, or because they were there when we turned on the TV
§  Junk books
§  TV and radio commercials and print advertising, not to mention billboards that encroach on our time and thinking as we drive through the streets (similar to what mindlessly eating sugary treats or salty chips while we watch TV or read, does to our body)
§  Fashion, gossip, and sports magazines
§  Irate political, sports, and religious commentators on radio or television
§  Conversations consisting to a degree of gossip, or discussion of other people’s lives
§  Conversations consisting to a degree of complaining about something in our lives which we expect the other person to listen to, and vice versa, listening to others complaining about their lives (see also Do Your Relationship Boundaries Contribute to Your Well-Being?
§  Spending time in thought on endless worrying about problems (see also Controlling Ourselves, Our Lives, and the People in Them
§  Spending time in thought on endlessly going over and over what someone did to you that you simply can not forgive (see also Can You Forgive?)
§  Spending time in thought about how bored we are, or participating in some of the above activities simply because we are bored (see also Finding a Meaning for Your Life
§  Socializing with a great amount of alcohol or some other type of substance, meaning that the actual interaction with other individuals is probably not on a level that serves us
§  Socializing with people we are addicted to because of the power they have (see also What Are Your Addictions?)
§  Shopping until we drop (even if our credit cards are already groaning under a weight of debt)

Nourishment

There’s nothing wrong with all of the above in moderation, but if you were to make a list of all the hours you spend on all of the above activities that apply to you, you might find that when you need another kind of inner back-up, you don’t have it. When life throws us the curve balls, when the floor falls away from under out feet, when unexpected setbacks arrive, frequently what we most have going for us is what we carry around inside with us. What we have nourished ourselves with. Think of a young woman about to get pregnant. It’s logical, we all understand that if she is eating a healthy diet, the body that will become a vessel for the baby will be able to nourish that growing fetus in a much better fashion, than a body that is filling itself with junk food or substances. So it is with us as we prepare ourselves for those moments in life when the going gets rough.

Resilience is required for difficult times. Inner strength is required. Wisdom, trust and faith (not necessarily religious) are required. Belief in yourself is required. Knowing that you can survive will take you a long way. Emulation of others you may admire who have gone through tough times is helpful. Learn about them. Read about them. Be inspired by them. And above all, love yourself (see also Love Yourself First).

Think of this: how much joy have you stored up in your life to get you through difficulties? (see also Do You Dance?) Have you figured out how to live a joyful life no matter what? (See also You are Here to be Happy). How much understanding have you stored? Have you filled yourself with ideas that will see you through? What would you do – inside your head - if you were stranded on a desert island, or if you were placed into solitary confinement? Obviously those things are highly unlikely to happen to the great majority of us. But that – feeling that we are all alone - is how we sometimes feel when we are going through tough times because there is nothing there to sustain us.

Keeping Your Energy High

I’m an inveterate reader and have been ever since I discovered the public library with a spectacular children’s section in the city where I lived in Canada as a child. I took my bicycle there once a week, filled the basket with books and read those books over the course of the week. Evidently most of those books were novels, children’s books, and so on, but I quickly realized that there were certain books or certain pieces of information in some of the books that spoke to me in other ways than the rest. Hence I avidly searched for more of those books or for more books with passages of that nature. They nourished me. As I grew older, I began to acquire books with the goal in mind that I wanted material that nourished me, and then, even at the age of 15, realized that some of those had become faithful companions when life got hard. I was able to find solace in them, greater understanding of how I might continue on, and certainly, they encouraged me in my darker hours.

But it need not be books. It just needs to be a habit – once you understand this process – of finding daily quality nourishment that will sustain you (see also Keeping Your Energy High), because it has served to grow a being (you) that carries inner strength and conviction, a being that knows it can survive, no matter what is thrown at it. Such inner nourishment can come in many guises, but you will know it because of how it raises your inner energy, your inner sense of well-being and helps you grow towards the goal of truly loving yourself. Begin to make the pursuit of such energy-raising nourishment a habit. It will serve you well and lead you closer to inner peace, well-being and freedom.

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

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch:
 
Rewiring the Soul

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

Reviews From the Back Cover:

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

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

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

The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

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

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


The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self 


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

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


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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Being Absolutely Certain Something Is Right



You've just had a great idea. You are beginning to put it into practice, or having some initial conversations about getting it going. And the doubts assail you. Will you ever get it right?

You've been offered a new position. It involves a lot of money and prestige. Also a great deal of work. So far so good. All of that is to your liking and you have no fear of it whatsoever. And then the doubts assail you. Will you ever be able to take so much responsibility over so many matters and get it all right?

You've been painting for some time. You desperately want some recognition. The owner of a fairly well-known local art gallery proposes that you do a show there nine months hence. You know you will need at least another 15 pieces to do it properly and are filled with joy at the prospect of finally having an exhibition. And then the doubts assail you. Will you ever be able to get all those pictures done in time and done right?

You get the picture. Because you are uncertain about getting the finished product - or the demands of the job - or the idea -just right - you stop in your tracks and don't continue what you started. You become immobilized and paralyzed at the thought of not getting it right. Thoughts can be assassins, and these thoughts of doubt and something not being just right can kill an idea, an opportunity, or a new life long before you even give yourself a chance. Be aware of those thoughts and their power to annihilate. Beware of not doing that which you will regret in the winter of your life when you are sitting on your terrace in your rocking chair remembering it all. Recognize that none of the world's great accomplishments and discoveries and works of art would ever have been completed, if the people involved had allowed the thought of doubting the just rightness of the end product to deter their progress. 


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

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch:
 
Rewiring the Soul

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

Reviews From the Back Cover:

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

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

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

The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

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

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


The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self 


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

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


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

Monday, April 14, 2014

Choosing Habits


Consider with how much care we choose our clothes, our cars, our hairstylist, the cologne we use, the watch we wear, our mobile phone, and yes, the restaurants or clubs we frequent. Consider also - if it applies - the care with which you choose your wine, the paintings or rugs that adorn your home, and the destinations at which you vacation.

And why wouldn't you? Choosing with care shows that you enjoy living in aesthetically pleasing surroundings, or dressing yourself as well as your pocketbook will allow you.

So what do we do with our habits? Certainly we only rarely choose them with care. Generally speaking, our habits are formed long before we think about them consciously (if ever) and so we continue with them without considering whether they embellish us or not.

What do I mean by habits that embellish? Simply that by having and maintaining such habits, they serve us well, as opposed to blindly leading us to places we might not wish to frequent. Here are some examples:
  • a habit of having bread with every meal may cause the pounds to creep up on you and before you know it, you find yourelf in a place where it is very difficult to stop the habit, and yet if you continue with it, you will need a new wardrobe (to say the least)
  • a habit of not listening when others speak to you because you are busy thinking about your answer, may cause you to do less well than you would like in your professional environment and in your personal sphere may eventually cause you to lose your partner or spouse
  • a habit of watching 3 hours of TV every evening may have numerous results including unwanted unwanted weight piling up due to being such a couch potato, and brain cells losing their strength due to not being used, other than in this passive way
  • a habit of judging others (even if only in your mind), may cause you to never see the real person behind whatever it is that you are judging
  • a habit of blaming others for whatever you are unable to do perfectly yourself may cause you to never learn to take responsibility for yourself
  • a habit of giving in to others' manipulations may cause you to lead a life filled with bitterness and resentment due to never learning to say no
  • a habit of demanding perfection from yourself may cause you to live a deeply unhappy life because you will find it nearly impossible to live up to those impossible standards, that you have set for yourself because you do not love yourself
Your habits determine - to a large degree - the quality of your life. Choose them well, and if - when they were formed - you were not yet aware enough to choose, now, that you are more aware, take them under a microscope, examine them, and begin to discard those that do not serve your highest good.

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

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch:
 
Rewiring the Soul

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

Reviews From the Back Cover:

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

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

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

The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

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

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


The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self 


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

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


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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tending Your Inner Garden


Clients have often told me that they fear being by themselves. That they fear their own company. That they will do anything to avoid an evening on their own. Other clients tell me that while they may not fear being alone, they find it a most boring proposition, and can’t quite imagine how to fill the time, other than with TV or a novel. Others refer to being uncomfortable in their own company, and hence, avoid it. (See also my February 2006 Newsletter: Making Choices: Taking Responsibility For Our Lives).

All three alternatives lead us to the same conclusion: if this is how you feel about being alone with yourself, somehow you are not connected to yourself – and - more importantly, you have no real relationship with yourself, and therefore, probably don’t know yourself.

Why is this important?

Marrying Someone You Fear

Imagine marrying someone whom you fear being alone with, someone whom you avoid spending an evening with on your own. Imagine marrying someone you find so boring, that you would not want to spend time alone with them. Or imagine marrying someone in whose company you feel uncomfortable, and therefore, you avoid this person.

Sounds like a bad joke, doesn’t it? You’d run ten miles before marrying such a person. You’d do anything not to have to spend time with such a person. Nevertheless, that’s the situation we have with ourselves when we don’t recognize the value and importance of establishing a relationship with ourselves that makes us enjoy our own company, find ourselves interesting companions about whom we can always learn something new, and who can always lead us to deeper and deeper levels of understanding, and who is fun and exciting to be with…on our own.

Conjunctio…Are You Interested in Yourself?

Really? Is such a relationship with the self really possible? It basically comes down to what Jung termed the conjunctio, in other words the meeting of two separate parts of the self (generally unconscious) in the process of becoming a whole, or of uniting, and in so doing, of transforming.

But that actually sounds like a lot of psycho-babble. Who can contemplate overcoming what sounds like such a difficult hurdle? Anyway, who has the time and money to go into therapy in order to learn about all these things, and explore the deep dark past of one’s childhood? In actual fact, it is not so hard, and it certainly doesn’t depend on whether or not you go into therapy. It has a lot to do with becoming conscious and aware of the self, with a desire for knowledge of the self, and with the acceptance of responsibility for the self. So basically it has a lot to do with how interested you are in yourself.

Individuation and Becoming What You Can Truly Be

Jung, who brought us the idea of the integral, or holistic human being, said that becoming what we can truly be, growing into that which is inherently in us when we are born, is what the process of individuation is all about.

Maslow, who brought us the hierarchy of needs said that in order to self-actualize, we need to become everything that we are capable of becoming.

Joseph Campbell said we should follow our bliss.

Being Bored with the Self

All of these concepts refer in some way to self-knowledge, but also to meaning. (See my June 2006 Newsletter Finding a Meaning in Your Life).One can only be bored in one’s own company, if there is no meaning in the life; if the individual has not yet bothered to think about what meaning he or she could give to his or her life. I won’t delve more deeply into that subject, as it has been dealt with in some detail in the afore-mentioned article, but I do encourage you to explore it in order to begin to understand how to find the meaning in your life.

Fear of Being Alone with the Self

If you fear being alone with yourself, perhaps you feel there is so much in you that you hate, or despise, or judge, or criticize, that it is simply a very dangerous proposition to spend time there…together with yourself. In other words, it is scary to be with someone towards whom you have these very negative feelings. So doesn’t it make sense to get to know this person that you are inside and out, and to clean out, if necessary, all those parts that are reprehensible, or, even better, to come to realize that there are actually no really truly reprehensible parts, and that you are, in fact, a rather enjoyable person to be with? But this is only possible if you take the journey inside in order to begin to get to know yourself…more importantly, in order to begin to love yourself.

Many of the difficult feelings you may have about yourself can be addressed by using the “energy barometer” I refer to in the article Your Energy Barometer: Make Your Mind Body Connection Work for You. Shifting your energetic vibration, in other words deliberately making yourself feel better will automatically take you to other levels where your thoughts and feeling about yourself will change. On those other, higher levels, it is so much harder for negative or low energy thoughts to find a breeding ground. When you are feeling good, how often do you dwell on downward-spiralling thoughts? When you are feeling good, you don’t want to cry. So shifting your energetic vibration to a higher level, is something I encourage you to start practicing every single day, each and every time you recognize that you are spiraling downward.

Being Uncomfortable with the Self

If you are uncomfortable with yourself, it may have much to do with the fact that you have simply not much knowledge of yourself, and so feeling uncomfortable is similar to how you feel with a comparative stranger, about whom you know little, and who therefore does not create the sensation of ease and comfort a good friend does. Doesn’t it make sense to try to become your own best friend? Again, in so doing, you will begin to not only appreciate yourself, but also like and love yourself. Even admire yourself. Imagine spending all your time with a friend about whom you feel this way…and this friend is you!

Tending the Inner Garden

I wrote earlier that this process need not be difficult, tedious, and certainly does not require the services of a therapist. It does, however, entail something akin to gardening. When you plant a seed in the garden of your house, or in a pot on your terrace, you know very well, that in order for it to grow into a strong oak tree, an elegant palm that sways in the wind, a rose, a geranium, sweet-smelling rosemary, or a flowering perfumed hibiscus, it first needs soil (preferably rich), water, sunlight, care, and constancy. The inner garden is no different.

Enriching the Soil

Possibly the soil in which you are beginning your process of growth is not particularly fertile at this time. You know that out there, in the external world, you can create a compost heap in order to enrich the soil you use for your plants. In the internal world you can begin to feed your soil (your mind, heart, and soul), with reading and viewing material that will convert into great compost, rather than trashing your garden with leftover junk food and plastic waste (which on the inner level might be likened to the mass media shows and books or magazines that many people like to read and view as a steady diet, and which has no hope of ever converting into rich soil).

For more concrete pointers on these ideas, have a look at my blog, specifically at the April 2, 2007 post Keep Energy High! Watch How You Feed Your Brain, Heart & Spirit in order to better understand this concept of maintaining rich soil in the inner garden. Read also the last few paragraphs of the April 29, 2007 post Baelo Claudia: Roman Ruins and the "Now" in the same blog.

Tend your garden well and watch the lush process of your own inner growth that will take place. Only you can do this for yourself, and only you can make the decision to begin it now…

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

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch:
 
Rewiring the Soul

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

Reviews From the Back Cover:

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

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

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

The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

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

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


The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self 


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

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


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

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bliss


Who can possibly be considered the happiest man alive? According to Daniel Goleman in an opìnion piece Sitting Quietly, Doing Something some time ago in the NY Times, that man is the Tibetan lama Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.

Rinpoche, who is a master of the art of well-being, as Goleman informs us, got that way the same way you get to Carnegie Hall. Practice.

As Goleman recounts how Rinpoche recovered quickly from a small mishap that Goleman witnessed, he comments: Quickness of recovery time from upsets is one way science takes the measure of a happy temperament.

And he adds: While annoyances like these are hardly life’s greatest tests, handling them gracefully takes a composure that few of us seem to have at our disposal in the way that Rinpoche does thanks to his practice.

Clearly we can not emulate Rinpoche's year-long meditative retreats, but according to Goleman, in current research shown by Richard Davidson (who heads the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin), in conjunction with Jon Kabat-Zinn, father of the mindfulness technique, with subjects from a high-stress bio-tech company, these beginners were taught the mindfulness technique for 30 minutes over the course of eight weeks, and were already reaping benefits in their everyday stress-filled life, and reported greater well-being and happiness.

Read entire article here

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

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch:
 
Rewiring the Soul

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

Reviews From the Back Cover:

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

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

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

The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

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

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


The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self 


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

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


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.