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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 28, 2008

Create a New Life: One Intention at a Time or Thoughts Create Molecules

Wonderful things are happening. Global consciousness of the power of thought is growing person by person, minute by minute in an ever-widening fashion. So it stands to reason that the more people who think peace rather than war, or compassion rather than revenge, the more the world as a whole has a chance of moving in those directions.

How Can I Apply These Concepts?

Having said that, many of those who have read the books, heard the audios, seen the movies, have also said that although they grasp the concepts, they still don’t really see how to apply all of this to their immediate life. (See also my March 2006 Newsletter: Intentional Focus: Your Happiness, Your Success, & the Law of Attraction). How can the power of thought make a difference on the individual level? How can it improve the life of a person who is grappling with relationship issues, with financial stress, with professional set-backs, or with health concerns?

Empirical Proof

Einstein said: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. Candace Pert´s research spanning almost a quarter of a century as a molecular biologist shows that every thought creates a molecule. Bruce Lipton’s decades-long research as a cellular biologist indicates that our beliefs and thoughts create (and change) not only our cells, but also our DNA (see also my September 2005 Newsletter: DNA can change according to the feelings of the individual), and that our bodies depend much more on environment and what we make of our environment and how we react to it than genetics, hence taking research far beyond the classical nature-nurture controversy. Max Planck, quantum physicist, said in his Nobel Prize for Physics acceptance speech in 1927 that beyond sub-atomic particles there is a field. That field connects us all (see The Field by Lynne McTaggart). Merely observing such sub-atomic particles, causes changes in them. If we are all connected in the field, as drops of water are connected in the ocean, then what one does creates effects on others, and what others do, creates an effect on one.

We Are All Connected

Bearing all of this in mind, should we not begin to concern ourselves with understanding the inter-connectedness of the tapestry within which we are all woven? I can hear you saying: ”But that is all very complicated. I can’t possibly begin how to understand all of that.” Perhaps you can’t, but what you most definitely can do, is to begin some work on yourself on the individual level in order to improve not only your own life, and how you feel about yourself, but also how you feel about life in general all day, every day for the rest of your life. If you begin today, your life will begin to change today.

Kinesiology, or muscle testing, shows one aspect that the power of thought (and lying or truth saying) has on our bodies (see also the work by David Hawkins).

Bestsellers All Over the Globe

It comes as no surprise that by March 2007 amazon.com included in its top 15 bestselling books four items about the intention of thought, as did the New York Times. Further, the Canadian and the UK affiliate of Amazon also included from one to three of the same items in their own top 15 lists.

Emerson said, it, Thoreau said it, Christ said it, James Allen said it (you may request your copy of his As A Man Thinketh in e-book format from me)…they all said that your thoughts become your reality, but now, in the 21st century, it is not only philosophers, metaphysicians, religious figures and other esoteric thinkers who say this, but also quantum physicists, biologists, and a host of other empirical thinkers and researchers. So there can no longer be any doubt…check out the many resources mentioned in this article. And then, if you still don’t believe it, you might consider that perhaps you belong to the same group of people who wanted Copernicus arrested and jailed for proclaiming that the earth revolves around the sun instead of the other way around!

Some Simple Suggestions

Ok, so now for those of you still reading this, let me say this: understanding the concept behind the very simple words that thoughts have power, can change the very foundations of your life. Let’s look at an everyday example. Suppose you and your partner or spouse are continually bickering. When you met, fell in love, and got married, you were ecstatically in love, and couldn’t wait to be with one another. Now…well, let’s just say that things are different.

Remember: our goal is to understand the power of thoughts. So now I’d like you to try an exercise for the next week. Make a list of about 10 qualities or aspects or characteristics about your partner that your really enjoy and appreciate (even if lately they seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle). Look at that list on a daily basis. Think about the items on the list, remember some of the times when they were in evidence on a regular basis. Whenever you find yourself thinking about the unpleasant aspects of your partner, or what he or she said or did (or didn’t say or do) last week, the other day, or this morning, deliberately change your thoughts towards your list, and think about the good things about your partner, rather than about the negative ones. Focus on the good traits. Refuse to think about the negative ones. Just for one week.

Practice Makes Perfect

I would love to hear some of the results of this little experiment, but my guess is that a good number of those who try it, will be somewhat surprised to realize that things went better than usual. They may even say that it was just one of those weeks that was less difficult that others. Hmm. Could it be possible that it had something to do with the thoughts that were being focused on; the positive aspects of the partner rather than the negative? Could it be possible that the more you think about something … anything … the more precisely that will appear in your life? This is, after all, what all the afore-mentioned thinkers and researchers have said. Focus on the negative aspects of your partner, and your life will be filled with them. Focus on the positive ones and note the difference in what happens.

I invite you to try similar experiments about whatever it is that plagues you. Do I hear someone saying that this is impossible? A pipe dream, because thoughts creep unbidden into the mind and one can’t control them? Did I say this is easy? How did you learn how to use your computer? How did you grow nearly non-existent bicep muscles into a hard, firm, well-toned upper arm? How did you learn that foreign language? How did you learn how to play tennis? Was it not with some practice and discipline? Of course. And so it is with this.

Realize that in order to grapple with your thoughts; in order to find some measure of control over your thoughts in such a way that they speak the language that most approximates whatever it is that you wish to see or realize in your life, you must practice changing the thoughts that do not lead you in that direction into other thoughts. (See also my article: The Energy Barometer, Make Your Mind Body Connection Work For You).

And this is only possible with practice. Just because we are talking about your thoughts and not muscles or the grammatical structure of a new language, does not mean you do not have to be disciplined about it. For a time, particularly at the beginning of your journey down this wonderful pathway, you will need to spend a good portion of your leisure time practicing this endeavour. Reminding yourself of it. Recognizing over and over again, that once again you forgot, and then, just like a child who is learning how to walk, and falls, and gets up, and falls again, and gets up again, and again, and again, and again, you also, will get up as often as is necessary, in order to come to a point, where this new way of thinking becomes a well-ingrained habit.

Choose Your Thoughts, Choose Your Conversations, Your Reading & Viewing Material: Make Good Choices at Every Moment of Every Day

Although there are times in life when thoughts are necessarily dark, when people one loves have died, when difficulties visit one in unexpected ways, there are, nevertheless, ways of dealing with these times that continue to be positive. You might ask: what can be learned from this? How can I use this experience to become a better, more all-rounded person? Read books such as those written by Victor Frankl, Nelson Mandela, or Alexander Solzhenitsyn in order to better understand this philosophy, as evinced by individuals who survived despite horrendous pain and suffering – and who survived without bitterness and hatred in their hearts.

And during less difficult times choose to think only those thoughts that lead you in your desired direction. (See also my February 2006 Newsletter: Making Choices: Taking Responsibility For Our Lives). Think only those thoughts that raise your energy. Think only those thoughts that cause you to feel even better. This is not easy. At least not at the beginning. Keep reminding yourself. Remember the little child that continues to get up even after falling down twenty times. Read books (see the complimentary e-books I offer with most of my newsletters; some are about these topics) from authors such as those mentioned in this article, listen to CD’s about the topic (many are available by those same authors), see movies with related topics, scatter reminders to yourself about thinking this way about your house and office, and remember, this is just as easy or just as hard as it was to build the muscle or learn the vocabulary of a new language. The difference is that this doesn’t just give you a better looking body or a way of communicating in another country, but a way to change your entire life. Go for it!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Following Your Dream

Paulo Coelho, probably best-known as the world-renowned author of The Alchemist, was interviewed recently on Al Jazeera, and it caught my attention due to the subject matter of a portion of the interview.

Coelho said the greatest challenge he had faced in his life was when he thought his dream was impossible. At such a time (when you believe the dream is not possible), he stated, one believes in one's dream. But then there are other moments when one believes that one's dreams are possible. Then one is scared, because when one thinks one can fulfill one's dream, or at least that one can get committed to one's dream, one has no one else to blame, one has to be responsible for one's own destiny.

So when he realized that although he had accomplished many other things, he was not daring to fulfill his dream of being a writer, he told himself that it was probably better to postpone it, because it is easier to blame your boss, your family, your children, your parents for not fulfilling a dream. But when he said to himself I am going to do this, he realized from that point on, that he was the only one responsible for his life. If things did not work out, he could not blame anyone but himself.

And of course, one could be defeated, so one is a little bit scared. But he felt that was the turning point of his life. After a pilgrimage through France and down into Spain to Santiago de Compostela, he said to himself: OK, I'm going for it, whether I succeed or I don't, it is irrelevant, because this is the meaning of my life.

This is similar in essence to a quotation often ascribed to Goethe, the German literary giant:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

And Thoreau wrote this:

If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
All of these ideas speak to one simple truth: if you have a dream, you must follow it, and as you do, doors will open.

The portion of the interview with Coelho that speaks to this topic can be viewed here (11 minutes):


Friday, April 25, 2008

Our Beauty and Conscious Aging

Of the 11.8 million cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. in 2007, less than 10 percent were done on men (source). So women feel - continue to feel - the pressure to look young much more than men.

Years ago when Naomi Wolf wrote The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women she argued "that women's insecurities are heightened by these images, then exploited by the diet, cosmetic, and plastic surgery industries.

Every day new products are introduced to "correct" inherently female "flaws," drawing women into an obsessive and hopeless cycle built around the attempt to reach an impossible standard of beauty. " (source)

"Women are victims of an impossible standard. The pressure, according to Miss Wolf, has become relentless during the past decade, as women have begun competing head-on with men in the professional sphere.

For Naomi Wolf, the beauty business isn't just a ploy by Madison Avenue to make a buck. What truly powers the $33-billion-a-year diet industry, the $20-billion cosmetics industry, the $300-million cosmetic-surgery industry, and the $7-billion pornography industry, she argues, is a far more insidious and destructive agenda. It is a political tool to keep women down: "The beauty myth is not about women at all. It is about men's institutions and institutional power." (source)

"The author notes the historical roots of this problem. The modem beauty myth can be traced to the social upheaval following industrialization, around 1830, when a new class of literate, idle women was suddenly in a position to challenge male dominance. The upshot, she concludes, is that Women are mere beauties' in men's culture so that culture can be kept male."

The beauty myth-in Miss Wolf's view-transforms women into self-destructive, fearful, even paranoid creatures who have a love-hate addiction to food, a negative body image, poor self-esteem, and tenuous relationships with the men in their lives. They frequently become anorexic or undergo dangerous cosmetic surgery to achieve the perfect body. They pursue this fruitless quest with the zealotry of religious fanatics, and yet they are doomed to fail because they are pursuing a chimera.

The author cites a raft of data to prove her point. She notes that cosmetic surgery is the fastest-growing medical specialty in America, and she claims 10 per cent of women are afflicted by eating disorders-a marked rise during the last decade. And many of these women are among the best educated in American society. Miss Wolf rails against the frauds perpetrated by the cosmetics industry, and roundly criticizes women's magazines for their docile collusion in this fraud." (source)

Yesterday, the New York Times published an article titled Celebrity Plastic Surgery: What Not To Do, asking "Do cosmetic procedures make us look younger? Or just weirder?" Read the entire article here and view the slide show "How Celebrities Are Aging” here.

Conscious aging implies loving ourselves - not hating ourselves for wrinkles and then scurrying to eradicate them. The day we figure out how to keep the clock at the height of our physical youth, strength and beauty, I'll climb on the bandwagon too, but this ... this is a mockery of that.

Quite apart from the sensationalistic nature of the slide show (above), we must ask ourselves (not just we women, but all of us, because our men, our fathers, brothers, and sons are also part of us), why we are walking down this road of slavery and servitude. Why have we fallen into this trap? Why are we buying into this false youthfulness rather than into our brilliantly evolving being? We are truly beautiful at all ages and at all times, but we don't appear to be capable of seeing it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why People Don't Heal & Forgiving



Caroline Myss, an author I frequently mention in my blogs, wrote a book some time ago called Why People Don't Heal which also came out as an audio CD and a DVD.

In it, being able to forgive figures heavily as being part of the healing process, as well as explaining why - those who are unable, or don't want to forgive - don't heal.

She states: We are more afraid of the speed of change than we are of forgiving somebody. We're afraid to forgive because we know in our gut that our life will move faster, that we will have more change than we know how to handle. One of the reasons, if not the strongest reason that we hold on to the painful past is because it's a way of stopping pain from the future from coming toward us.


An excerpt from the DVD can be found here (under 10 minutes):





Related Posts:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Radio Program May 2008

Once a month I will be posting the current list of topics for my weekly radio show.

This is what the May 2008 schedule looks like:

May 7: Do You Have Symbols in Your Life?
May 14: How Do You Love?
May 21:
I Worry So Much About the Recession
May 28: Are You Paying Attention to Your Intuition?

Click here for radio show archives from 2004-2008 (not all are up, but you'll find more than 100 different radio shows!).

The show airs weekly on Wednesdays from 11 – 12 noon CEDT (Central European Daylight Time) which is 6 hours ahead of New York, one hour ahead of London, the same time as Paris or Berlin (except at the end of October and March, where there tends to be a week of confusion, as not all countries change to daylight saving and back, and those that do, don't always do so on the same day).

See below for equivalent times in other locations.

Ways To Listen

1) LIVE on your radio dial OCI FM 101.6 (Costa del Sol) or FM 94.6 (Costa Blanca)
2) LIVE on the web Onda Cero (Once there, click on “Internacional” on upper right)
3) Listen to over 100 archived audio files on my website

Equivalent Times in Other Locations: (Locally: CEDT: Central European Daylight Time)

or go to http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html to convert from your time zone (some of these times may not be correct at certain times of the year):

11 pm – 12 midnight: Honolulu (locally Tuesday evening)
5-6 am: New York City, Miami, Montreal, Toronto, Nassau, Santo Domingo, Barbados
6-7 am: Rio de Janeiro
9-10 am: Reykjavik, Casablanca
10-11 am: London, Lagos
11-12 noon: (LOCAL) Madrid, Rome, Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, Tripoli, Harare, Cape Town
12-1 pm: Bucharest, Riga, Istanbul, Cairo, Amman, Kuwait City, Addis Ababa, Nairobi
12:30-1:30 pm: Tehran
1-2 pm: Moscow, Dubai, Baghdad, Seychelles
2-3 pm: Islamabad
2:30-3:30 pm: New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai
4-5 pm: Hanoi, Bangkok
5-6 pm: Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Manila, Bali, Taipei, Perth
6-7 pm: Tokyo, Seoul
7-8 pm: Sydney
9-10 pm: Auckland, Fiji Islands

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Have You Recognized the Symbols in Your Life?

The symbolism of a lifetime can be filled with riches, but if you are incapable of seeing it, or if you don't understand what the symbols might be, or what they could mean, not only will your life be that much poorer, but it will lack a meaning and significance it might otherwise weave and stitch together gradually over the years, the same way ancient carpet and tapestry weavers spent a lifetime creating one or two masterpieces.

Symbols in an individual's life speak to a part that goes far beyond the ego. Symbols commune with the eternal self. Symbols are the language of the soul and can show the individual who is open to them and their significance, a richness of purpose and meaning, where another individual, blind to symbolic implications, would only see hardship, pain, and suffering.

While symbols are not only related to hardship and suffering, it is nevertheless true that it is precisely in those sectors where symbols can make the greatest difference to the way an individual is able to perceive the events of a lifetime ... not only in hindsight, but also at the time those events are occurring.

Symbolism is not only an arcane and obscure field of knowledge that went out of fashion in our instant everything world and that is found in fairy tales, fables, religion, and mythology, but symbolism is also the richness and core essence of an inner life well lived that concerns itself with meaning and purpose rather than with actual events.

The tools we can use for this are easily found in a multitude of sources. Joseph Campbell, the renowned mythologist, who was steeped in Jungian symbolism as well, was once asked why there are so many stories of the hero in mythology. He replied: Because that's what's worth writing about. Even in popular novels, the main character is a hero or heroine who has found or done something beyond the normal range of achievement and experience. A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.

Evidently since this applies to anyone's life, not just to Parsifal in The Holy Grail, or other mythic and epic heroes, this tool of knowledge of the symbolism of the hero's journey is useful to the individual interested in understanding what the events of his or her lifetime might symbolize. In that sense, a classic education is highly useful, as it prepares one -should one be so inclined - to this manner of symbolic introspection.

However, education is not necessarily a prerequisite for understanding and recognizing the symbols in one's life. No matter how well educated a person is, if the heart and the inner eye have not been opened to the life that lies beyond the ego, and to the personality that is not the ego, then there will be great difficulty in recognizing any manner of symbolic events taking place in the lifetime. Therefore, an important tool is the opening of that inner eye, or the willingness to listen to the inner voice - intuition - that is so often quelled, or rejected, scorned, or ignored.

Without understanding the symbols of a lifetime, so much is lost. One must even ask the question: in that case, what was the point?

Moving beyond the ego, into that inner space, into the field Rumi refers to is not the easiest thing to do as long as one has not actually experienced the richness it brings:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.
Because of that inherent - human - difficulty to move beyond the ego, to detach in the Buddhist sense of the word, albeit with the caveat that life in the world must continue, and full participation in the world must continue. Else, what was the point?
You see the dilemma. There must be the inner connection to the core, to the eternal self, to the soul. For this to occur, the ego must be seen as a mere vestment. And yet, there must be the outer connection as well. But the outer connection must not call the shots. It is the tool by which all else is honed, and in order for that to happen, the inner connection must remain in control, or at least, the personality must remember to visit it frequently, in order to use its intuitive understanding of symbols to comprehend the events that take place on the outer level.

If you have not been recognizing the symbols in your life, or if you have glimpsed them occasionally and decided not to take a closer look, I encourage you to do so now. To become more acquainted with them, to begin to comprehend the richness with which they can clothe your life, and the depths of understanding they can lend even the smallest, most ordinary quotidian occurrences, in order that your inner core be allowed the opportunity to travel - in knowledge, growth, and evolution - to the place it had always intended.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Finding it Hard to Love Yourself? Check Out Your Boundaries

Judging by much of the self-help literature available today, by the clients that walk through my door, and by typical current events in the news about people and their relationships and their pain, loving oneself appears to be one of the hardest things for most of us to do.

Not a High Priority

Loving oneself is generally just not very high on our list of priorities, nor is it always instilled in us as we grow up (see also How Important Is It To Be You?). Only once we begin to realize that it just might be one of those things that is actually holding us back, and we begin to try to work on it, do we realize how potentially difficult it is to achieve. There are many reasons why we don’t love ourselves, most of which are absolute myths, but which we often firmly believe. What follows represents only a few of these reasons:
  • there's nothing lovable about me

  • I’m a bad person

  • It’s a sin to love oneself

  • It’s selfish to love oneself

  • The Bible says love thy neighbour

  • I’ve spent so much time not loving me, that I don’t know how to begin

  • I’m so ashamed of myself

  • How can I love myself if I don’t like myself?

  • I’m so afraid to love myself

  • It hurts so much to love myself

  • I’m not good enough to love myself

  • My mother/father/partner told me I’m useless/worthless/stupid/clumsy/fill in the blank

  • I’m not worth it

  • I’ll love myself when I get a promotion, lose 20 pounds, make a million dollars, get him/her to love me, etc.
How Did You Get Here?

Let’s backtrack a moment. How did you get to this place where you find yourself unlovable, or afraid to love yourself, and so on? Were you born like this? Look at a baby. It may scream when it wants food or is uncomfortable, but wouldn’t you say that when it does that, it is manifesting its supreme belief in its right to be fed or comforted? And who does that? Only someone who instinctively (we’re not even talking about being rational here, merely instinctual) believes he or she is lovable (for more information on our instincts and the broad neurological base they derive from, see also my May 2006 Newsletter: Introducing Our Second and Third Brains: We Do Think With Our Heart and Instinct). When a toddler comes up to your knee, sticky fingers on your clothes, and looks trustingly into your eyes, he or she believes he has a right to be there and hence believes he or she is lovable.

Healthy Boundaries…What’s That?

But – what happens when the baby is not fed or comforted, and just ignored until it cries itself to sleep? Or the toddler gets yelled at, pushed away, and told in no uncertain terms that he is not wanted there because he is dirty, or disgusting, or bad. You get the picture. I won’t go into the hundreds of scenarios – more or less dysfunctional, because many of them happen in great homes - I could describe, because you’re probably aware of your own, or at least, you’ve heard lots of the scenarios that bring about a lack of self-esteem, a fear of being you, a lack of self-respect and self-confidence, and so on.

Fast forward a few years. You now have a child – youngster – teen – young adult – who finds it hard to say what he or she wants. Or prefers. Or what opinion she has about a particular subject. Or what she’s feeling. And because this person finds it hard to say things of this nature, he allows others to say or do things that are not right, that are unacceptable, maybe just not quite right, but nevertheless, something not right is being allowed. All of that describes behavior by a person with poor boundaries as opposed to healthy boundaries. And before you jump at me, I’m not necessarily talking about hard-core abuse here, it can be much less, it can even just be something the first person perceives. Partially this behavior stems from this person’s assumption that by saying what he wants or prefers, etc. (as opposed to what the other person is saying), he/she will not get what he most wants: love and appreciation…that commodity that somehow was missing part of the time when he was little, so it is better to say nothing, because then he just might get some love…some few crumbs of love… (see also my July 2007 Newsletter: Emotional Unavailability).

So we now have a person with low self-esteem, or a lack of self-love, or respect, and hence we have a person with poor boundaries. And this of course perpetuates into adult life as long as it is not recognized and dealt with as an unresolved issue. And it can do untold damage to the unfolding of the life of the person involved. His or her lack of belief or love in the self is forever perpetuated by the people chosen to participate in the life, because these are precisely the sort of people who are able to enact the kind of behavior that persons with poor boundaries should object to, or speak up about, and yet they do not.

Wounds, Pain, and the Pain Body

Most of us have childhood wounds. Even if we had terrific parents. Something almost always happened. And whatever the wounds were (I could do a whole series of articles just on wounds), they cause pain (see also posts about pain). Often this is not conscious pain. We only feel it when it is triggered again by a person in our adult life. A person who has nothing to do on the surface with the original person who engendered the wound, but this person in our current life somehow triggers the pain, because this person is a good hook for whatever it is that our wound-causing person from childhood did. In other words, the person from the current life situation brings out reactions in us that are similar in nature to how we might have reacted earlier in life when faced with pain. So perhaps we put up with something just to be accepted or loved or approved of, even if putting up with the behavior in question makes us feel awful. It becomes a vicious circle.

And because there is that similarity in the feeling, we are familiar with it. We know it. It pulls us in the direction of the pain, and so we re-live it over and over and over again. Basically what is happening is that our psyche is trying to guide us towards a resolution of the wound, but unless we become aware of what is happening, our chances of resolving it are slim. And so we get pulled by the familiarity of pain we know. Eckhart Tolle calls this the pain body. Chris Griscom calls it the emotional body. (See also my article: Entering the Now Moment by Leaving Unawareness Behind). Both say similar things about it: we wallow in the pain because it seduces us, it sticks to us, we go in its direction, rather than running away from it, because we know it, it’s familiar. Its pull on us is very strong, and so when someone behaves in a way that triggers a childhood reaction due to a wound received then, we tend to go in the direction of the pain, we maintain those unhealthy and dysfunctional boundaries, almost in the way a child cries itself to sleep at night, in pain, but finding some strange measure of comfort in the act of crying.

Note, however, that although I am pointing towards the past in order that you understand where the poor boundaries originated, I am not suggesting that you spend any time whatsoever on determining exactly what happened then. That is not nearly as important – if at all – as it is to change your present behavior in favor of yourself so that you may begin to love and respect yourself.

“Feeling” Your Way to Healthy Boundaries

Clearly, boundaries are an important issue and everyone who has poor ones needs to learn how to establish healthy ones. Some ways this can be done have been discussed in a previous article: Do Your Relationship Boundaries Contribute To Your Well-being?

But there is also another variation on the same theme. Start by gauging how you feel when certain things are said or done to you. You know when you are feeling good and when you are not. The times that you do not feel good pursuant to someone’s behavior or words, are the times that something needs to be done. Use your feelings as a barometer in order to correct as needed (see also The Energy Barometer: Make Your Mind Body Connection Work For You). I’m not talking about correcting the other person’s behavior. Hopefully that will happen. But what I really mean, is for you to correct you own behavior. In other words, begin by speaking up. Begin by indicating that what has just been said or done is not acceptable. Begin by indicating in no uncertain terms (this can be done courteously and calmly), that when you are treated in such a way, or spoken to in that way, you feel hurt, or denigrated, or angry, or sad, or whatever. State clearly that you wish not to be treated that way again, nor spoken to that way again. And decide on a consequence if the behavior is repeated, i.e., if your expressed desire is ignored. It is very important that you choose a consequence that you are capable of carrying out (don’t say you will leave the relationship, if you feel you will not be able to do that), and that will bother you less, or cause less of an upset in your life, than it will bother the other person. This is not a punishment, it is a consequence of someone not respecting your boundaries.

What you are attempting to do by all of this is not only to get the other person to understand that you will no longer tolerate or accept this behavior, but more importantly, you are showing yourself – perhaps for the first time in your life – that you are worth speaking up about. That your respect for you is more important than being accepted, or loved, or approved of, by another – no matter who the other is. I don’t mean to pretend that this is easy. I also don’t mean to pretend that it can happen all at once, or that, even if you manage it once, you will manage it again each time thereafter. It’s a learning curve, like so much else in life. But I promise you this: if you begin to make a practice of this – using your feelings as a barometer – you will begin to feel better about yourself. You will begin to empower yourself. And you will begin to love yourself. And that is worth gold and this takes you another step down the road to inner freedom.

Note: there are many other manifestations of not loving oneself…having poor boundaries is simply one of them. A future article may deal with further ways in which this appears in an individual’s life.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Book Review 9: The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones

I've written frequently about bio-identical hormones, how they differ from synthetic hormones, and how they can help anyone who is in need of hormones, in a way that synthetic hormones do not. Men in andropause, women in menopause, and individuals of all ages who suffer from symptoms that may be hormone-imbalance related (e.g., chronic stress) may benefit from bio-identical hormones. Bio-identical hormones should form part of any intelligent and conscious aging plan of the modern individual.

Dr. Michael Platt, a board-certified internist, bio-identical hormone expert, is the author of the highly-praised The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones, How I Lost My: fatigue, hot flashes, ADHD, ADD, fibromyalgia, PMS, osteoporosis, weight, sexual dysfunction, anger, migraines… .
He defines bio-identical hormones (as do most clinicians and authors) as "Bio-identical hormones are molecularly identical to the hormones the body produces; they are readily recognizable to the body and can reproduce the same functions."

When asked why most doctors do not spend time on bio-identical hormones, and why they don't appear to be interested in learning about them, he answered: "Most doctors appear to be more comfortable with advice provided by drug companies. Since bio-identical hormones are natural and cannot be patented, drug companies have no interest in promoting them for health. As you may or may not be aware, almost everything doctors learn in medical school is based on research done by drug companies. Needless to say, there is no mention of bio-identical hormones. In spite of this, the popularity of Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy (BHT) will continue to grow due to patient demand and successful BHT outcomes with patients."

Read the entire interview on Reader Views with Dr. Platt here.

Wellness colleagues, other book reviewers, and patients in the U.S. and abroad laud Dr. Platt’s The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones for its “reader-friendly exploration” of how natural (non-synthetic) bio-identical hormones can have the power to heal many maladies often considered “incurable.” “This is the most important health book published this year, or any year for that matter. It’s an easy, fascinating, highly-informative, even life-changing read,” states Barbara Morris, compounding pharmacist and author of Put Old On Hold. The book is also considered an excellent primer for compounding pharmacists and others in the wellness community who work with bio-identical hormones.

Related Articles (from my blog):

Bio-identical Hormones

Conscious Aging

Friday, April 18, 2008

Money Buys Happiness After All

Djibouti (Republic of Djibouti in Africa)


In a recent joint study by UBC (University of British Columbia) and HBS (Harvard Business School), researchers found that money does buy happiness. There is a caveat, however. It only buys happiness if you spend the money on someone else.

"Spending as little as $5 a day on someone else could significantly boost happiness, the team at the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School found." Read more here

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wisdom (From Bill Gates)

It might be a good idea to post this in all schools and work places.

Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this!

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault; so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gain Perspective With the World Clock


An amazing way to gain perspective and awareness about the running numbers of births and deaths, suicides, accidents, hectars of forests lost, species that have gone extinct, etc. in the year, the month, the week, or this day, can be seen here with this ingenious World Clock.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Are You “In Love” or Do You Love?

Love is such a vast part of life, whether because it brings sheer joy such as almost nothing else is capable of doing, or because ultimately it may lead to agonizing suffering (more often than not it is a harbinger of a bit of both). It seems quite absurd to ask if you are “in love”, or if you love, since one appears to automatically imply the other.

Or does it?

Being in Love (Is it all just raging hormones?)

Being in love brings to mind that heart-pounding, mind-jolting passion we feel when the person we say we are in love with enters the room, touches us, or unexpectedly smiles or looks at us. It refers to the moments when we feel most alive, when we can not imagine what life would be like without the other, when we most fear being abandoned by the other, when we are capable of surviving on 2 hours’ of sleep, need little food, and no matter what else occurs in our existence, we gaze benignly on life, because we are in love. The sun shines brilliantly in an impossibly azure-blue sky, even in fog, wind, rain, and storms. We pity ordinary mortals who do not share in our sublime experience, and in the rosy haze of our over-powering state of being in love we fail to see those small or large shortcomings in the beloved that are clearly and utterly obvious to others…because we are in love. Being in love – and being reciprocated in the feeling - is nearly unequalled by any other experience in life.

Loving – Freedom - Strength

Loving, on the other hand rarely goes about doing so by wearing rose-colored spectacles. Loving may have begun by the less conscious state of being in love, but loving implies – you guessed it – consciousness and awareness of the reality of the other. That, in turn, implies being very aware of yourself, your thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions. And this self awareness implies an individual who strives to take total responsibility for him or herself, who is not with another person because he or she needs the other person, but because the two people, by loving one another, complement one another from a position of individual freedom and strength. Loving is a state of affairs that is as different from being in love as day is to night. Loving, if it really is loving, is so much more awe-inspiring and endlessly magnificent than being in love.

What is the difference?

Imagine the pleasure you feel as a light summer breeze touches your skin. Now imagine your most mind-blowing orgasm. Imagine the satisfaction you feel after you have tidied up your office or your home after having procrastinated about it for days. Now imagine the satisfaction you feel after having published your first bestseller. Imagine the happiness you feel when a puppy cuddles on your lap. Now imagine the indescribable happiness you feel when you hold your newborn in your arms the first time. I leave it up to you to guess which of each of these extremes in each sentence pair is an analogy for being in love and which is an analogy for loving.

What About Sex?

I can sense some readers squirming uncomfortably in their chairs. What about sex? Being in love makes it sound as though sex is a lot more passionate and fun than the kind of sex you might get when you love. Somehow loving seems more laid back, less erotic, less ardent, these readers seem to be saying. Nothing could be further from the truth. The consciousness factor; in other words, being aware not only of oneself but of the other in this very conscious way is what makes a relationship of love (as opposed to a relationship of being in love) so extraordinarily more passionate, more erotic, and more sexually stimulating in the long term, rather than the typical short term crazy passion most of us have experienced when we are in love. Truly knowing the other makes the difference. Truly seeing the other makes the difference. Truly loving the other the way he or she really is rather than the way you want them to be makes the difference. Obviously this implies being loved back in the same way. Having a loving relationship between two people who know themselves as they truly are makes the difference. And truly not needing the other for one’s own well-being, and therefore being with the other out of pure love and complementarity rather than need makes the difference. Being in love implies dependence on the other for sustenance; in loving there is independence and freedom, and yet the desire to be and share with the other.

How is it possible to move from being in love to loving?

So how do we get there? Clearly almost everyone starts on the “being in love” side of the coin. Hardly anyone is conscious in the way described above, at the beginning of a relationship. Getting to the other side of the coin basically requires an understanding that the two kinds of love do exist, that the one implies dependence and the other freedom, and above all, it requires a desire to become aware and conscious of the self and of the other. I know, I know…easier said than done. But you see, once you know that this is what it requires, you can never go back to the old way of thinking without deceiving yourself. So now you have a choice to make, and by making it, you have the power to begin to change all your relationships.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Keep Your Eye Beyond the Horizon


Keep your eye beyond the horizon? Why beyond the horizon? That's where your goals are. So why is it necessary to keep your eye beyond that?

Because if your eye is merely on the horizon, when you get there, there will be nothing left to strive for. You will have lost momentum. Call it an anti-climax. But if your eye is beyond the horizon, you will continue moving full speed, with all enthusiasm, even after you have reached your current goal because the next goal, the one that is beyond the horizon, will spur you on.

Posted in Ledbury, Herefordshire, UK


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Compassion: Only For the Hungry, or Also for Those Who Hurt You?

Most people have no problem in understanding how to feel compassion for the poor and hungry from third-world countries, or even those in similar positions in our own wealthier nations. And certainly, most people understand why we would even begin to entertain the idea of feeling compassion for people in such a predicament. It seems the normal, human, charitable thing to feel, doesn’t it? This may even lead a good portion of the people feeling such compassion to actually undertaking something tangible that might ease the burden of those who suffer from poverty, hunger, homelessness, persecution, etc.

Partners Who Hurt, Cheat, Lie

Often when clients walk into my office for the first time, they will expend an inordinate amount of energy telling me, during that first session, how much their partner, companion, or spouse has hurt them, cheated them, lied to them, deceived them, manipulated them, changed on them, or abandoned them, to name only a few. And, of course, I am expected to empathize with their position, and essentially see that the other party is someone who can only be defined in unspeakable terms.

It Takes Two to Tango…

At this point I frequently intervene and offer the opinion that it does take two to tango (so, for example, if he/she did such-and-such to you, why did you let it go on for so long?), and further, that no matter what “relationship crime” the other party has actually “committed”, he/she also deserves some compassion because who knows what has happened in their life up to that point (and particularly in their early life) in order to bring them to behave in such a despicable way.

This will occasionally merit me a baleful glare from my client. But often I also see a glimmer of understanding, or even of agreement. Sometimes I think it’s their way of assuaging their own angry thoughts at themselves for having fallen in love with the other person at all, of justifying to themselves that there was something wonderful there for them at the beginning (as indeed there tends to be…see my article in the April 2006 Newsletter about Committed Relationships), and that therefore it is not necessary to view themselves as total relationship failures for having chosen so badly. Indeed. But there is more to be looked at.

The Why and the How of it All

Why we might feel compassion for someone who has hurt us seems to be easy to understand. They may have become the way they now are; this awful way they are behaving with us, in other words, because of, as mentioned earlier, difficult traumas in their childhood, perhaps painful relationship patterns prior to meeting us, or a myriad number of other plausible reasons that might allow us to get a glimpse into the inner makings of this other person.

But how do we go about feeling this compassion, when what we really would like to do is wring their necks, or never let them see the children again, or take them for what they’re worth and leave them without a penny, or make them pay in some other way that will truly make them realize just how much they have hurt us?

How do we find it in ourselves to bring up any measure of compassion when they obviously are such absolutely awful people? People who have perhaps hurt us more than anyone else. Deliberately. Hatefully. Viciously. A betrayal of this nature, where once there was love, and now there is only blackness, is perhaps more difficult to deal with than any other kind of betrayal because we see it from the position of deliberateness on the part of the other person. They wanted to hurt us. They did so knowingly.

Finding the Way to Compassion in the Mirror of our Self-Image

While major religions spend a great deal of time preaching compassion, religion is by no means the only method to find your way to compassion. Rather, I would venture to say, the first step might be by taking a look at yourself. By seeing what is inside of you. By getting to know yourself, your intentions, your desires, your needs, your fears, your vanities, your pride, your ego, your priorities, your patience, and your degree of self-awareness.

Self Awareness and Responsibility

Self-awareness is such a tricky thing. If you don’t have it, you generally don’t know that you don’t have it, and when you begin to acquire it, you keep forgetting about it until you make a discipline of it, of forcing yourself to be self-aware at as many moments as possible in your life. Only then does it have a chance of becoming second nature, and thus of you being self aware at almost all times. This implies that you begin to take responsibility for everything you feel, think, and do (see my February 2006 Newsletter: Taking Responsibility For Our Lives), and as you take on responsibility for all that, you begin to understand that what another person has done to you is his/her responsibility, his/her problem, his/her issue to be resolved, and that no matter how much you may rant and rave or crave revenge, you will never be able to change the other. You can only change yourself. As we absorb the truth of this statement, we begin to understand that what others do unto us is truly only interesting and important from the point of view of how we react to their words or acts.

And how we react depends in large measure on our degree of self-awareness. It is at this point that the possibility for compassion enters the picture. The more self-aware you are, the more you know you have choices and alternatives at every turn of the road. Therefore you begin to understand that someone who has hurt you (hurting others generally implies, among other things, fear in the one who hurts; fear of feeling insecure, fear of chaos, fear of loss of control, etc., but that is a topic for another article) has done so from a position of blindness, of a lack of self awareness.

Careful now, I am not suggesting we simply excuse all these people and say, “oh, they didn’t know what they were doing, so it’s ok”. Of course it’s not ok. But because you are now capable of understanding where they are coming from; in other words, from blindness, you are now able to feel compassion. How they resolve their own issues that cause this behavior on their part, is their problem. Perhaps you will want to be supportive in helping them shed light on it, perhaps not. But in the meantime, you have resolved an enormous issue of your own, by looking at yourself, by resolving to become self-aware, and by choosing the path of compassion rather than the path of hatred, anger, self-pity, or revenge (For more about Destructive Emotions, see the collaboration in book format between Western psychologists, neuroscientists, philosophers and Buddhist scholars, narrated by Daniel Goleman).

Compassion for others does have a ripple effect. Try it and observe what happens…not only with others, but most particularly, inside of you.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Entering the Now Moment by Leaving Unawareness Behind

If you could enter a state of instant peace whenever you feel anxious, worried, angry, or afraid, would you not want to go there? Would you not want someone to tell you how to get there? And what the procedure to walk down that road would be?

Body - Mind - Spirit

The process of getting there is always based on the same premise – whether you are worried about your finances, a life-threatening illness, the impending demise of an important relationship, or about your teenaged daughter who is on drugs, whether you fear you will never get the promotion at work, or you fear standing up to face the Board of Directors for the first time in order to present the annual budget, or whether you fear telling your partner that you will no longer accept his or her emotional abuse. This process of getting to a state of instant peace moves you from your body to your mind and emotions, and finally to your spirit.

You Always Have a Choice

As you contemplate the dilemma or fear that is plaguing you, bring this thought into your mind, and surround yourself with all of its latent possibilities: You always have a choice. (See my February 2006 Newsletter: Making Choices: Taking Responsibility for your Life”). So this means, of course, that if you are steadfastly convinced that you will bungle the presentation because of your fear of speaking in public, you begin to realize that your belief about this is a choice you have made. And in the same way you made one choice, you can make another, such as choosing to believe that you will be able to speak well, and make a successful presentation.

What if you believe that you will not be able to live if your partner deserts you, or because your partner is having an affair with someone else? Again…the belief you hold is your choice. (See also my article “I Need You…I Need You Not”). So you could potentially choose to believe that you will get on with your life, and that this difficult emotional situation will make you stronger. Or you could choose to believe that if someone wishes to desert you, or has been unfaithful to you, it means that you are better off without that person in your life. Or you could choose to believe that a frustration of such proportions is in your life in order for you to learn something about yourself (see also my article “Committed Relationships: Use Them to Grow Towards Self-Understanding and Real Love”).

Body

Now breathe gently to relax. Even if the thought or worry or fear continues to make you hyperventilate or break out in a sweat, just breathe gently to relax. Watch your breath for a moment or two, and continue breathing gently. Now observe your body for a few moments. Is your stomach clenched? Your breathing shallow? Your heart pounding? Your temples throbbing? Continue to breathe gently and slowly, and just for a few moments observe your breath. In and out. In and out. Gently. Continue observing your body in order to notice how it gently slows down and begins to release its frantic hold on your nerves. Breathe gently. In and out. In and out. Gently.

Mind & Emotions

Now allow yourself to become aware of your self-talk and your emotions related to the thought, worry, or fear. Self-talk is often sabotaging and harmful bringing about further negative emotions, and sometimes, conversely, negative emotions bring about sabotaging self-talk. It’s a two-way street whose provenance neuroscientists, biologists, and psychologists have not yet determined. Do emotions cause thoughts or vice versa? Antonio Damasio (The Feeling of What Happens) and Candace Pert (Your Body is Your Sub-conscious Mind), among others, have researched this subject extensively.

So now you are breathing gently, aware of your body, and immersed in your self-talk. Grounding yourself is a wonderful way to cut the vicious cycle of sabotaging self-talk. If you just tell yourself that thinking that way is of no use, it’s my bet that your thoughts will continue to course about the hated or dreaded subject. So ground yourself. An easy exercise while you are driving is this: look at the license plate on the car in front of you. Sum its digits. If you come up with a two-digit number as a result, sum up those numbers as well. So GRZ 9482 adds up to 23, which adds up to 5. Do this with several cars until you notice that the thoughts have gone. You notice this because you are actually thinking about something totally different or nothing at all. Another exercise, should this one not have worked for you due to its ease, or because you are not driving, is this: think of any two or three-digit number and multiply it by another two or three-digit number in your head. This will be certain to ground you and get your thoughts away from your self-talk, because it is so difficult – for most – to do, and requires much concentration.

In this new state of mind you now find yourself, with no – at least just now – negative emotions or thoughts spilling over – create substitutes for your previous self-talk and infuse these with positive emotion. So for example, you might think of yourself as speaking with ease at the Board Meeting and giving a successful presentation, at the same time as you imagine how good you would feel afterwards. This positive feeling about the intended results is very important. Any type of new self-talk or imagining should always contain within it strong positive feelings about the intended result. This intentional focusing (also see my March 2006 Newsletter: “Intentional Focus: Your Happiness, Your Success, & the Law of Attractioni”) on what it is you would like to create or bring about in your life, is an important ingredient in getting to the state of instant peace referred to at the beginning of this article.

Pain Body – Emotional Body

So at this point you have focused – with feeling and intentionality – on positive substitutes for your previous negative self-talk, and you now need to become aware of another hugely important ingredient of the process. Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) refers to this as the pain body and Chris Griscom (The Healing of Emotions and Ecstasy is a New Frequency) refers to it as the emotional body.

Essentially both refer to that part of us that likes to wallow in our pain. What, you say? Why on earth would I want to wallow in something painful? The answer becomes obvious. Because it is a place you know. Because you feel at home there. In other words, we have been there so often before, in this place of pain, that when faced with a choice of doing something new and unknown, or wallowing, it is much easier to fall back to the well-trodden path and wallow. We don’t really even think about it. We just go there, because it is familiar. And then we feel comfort in the familiarity of the pain. Recognize this? Have you been there? And are you tempted right now, despite what you have read to this point, to go back to your painful thoughts? Does that just feel so much easier?

The Observer – The Witness

So as you become aware of your attachment to pain, also observe your compulsion to talk and think about it. Observe how you automatically go to this place of pain. And in so observing, begin to realize that you can make conscious choices in your thoughts, actions, reactions, and feelings, in order to leave this well-known place where you have been keeping yourself prisoner.

As you observe yourself automatically wanting to go to this place of pain, you notice that there is a difference between the “you” that observes and the “you” that wants to go to the place of pain. The observer, or the witness to your thoughts and feelings is separate from the one who wants to go to the place of pain. Tolle says: “Be at least as interested in your reactions [thoughts and feelings] as in the situation or person that causes you to react”. And he adds: “Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it”. As you do this, as you become the watcher, the observer, the witness of your own mind, you bring yourself to the present moment. You are no longer in that fitful, needy, hurtful, distressing past or future, because your observation of the part of you that is in those places, has brought you to the present in order to be able to observe, watch and witness.

Spirit

In doing this, you also become aware of your eternal self - the part of you that watches is not the part that will wither and die - the part that watches is eternal, and will forever exist. From the vantage point of your eternal self (imagine looking at your eternal existence from a high mountain, overlooking valleys too numerous to count, where your “current you” is one of those valleys), your “current you” and its pressing problems loses some of this urgency. As you access that part of you, as you recognize your eternal essence, you enter the Now moment, and you gift yourself with peace.

This entire process takes much longer to describe than to put into practice, and once you begin practicing it, you will find it easier and easier to access each time you do so. It gives you immeasurable relief from stress and anxiety, fear and worry, pain and distress. The more you do it, the more you become the observer of your thoughts and feelings, the more you give your awareness to your eternal self and remain in the Now, the less time you will be spending in wallowing in the pain body or the emotional body. As you eliminate your ties to those connections, your life will begin to change automatically because of the new focus you are giving it.

Remember: observe your feelings, thoughts, or reactions. Identifying with the observer brings you to consciousness. Remember that your “observer self” is eternal. As you remember, you leave the painful place in your thoughts, feelings, or reactions that causes you such anguish, because by observing, you place yourself in the Now moment in which there is no room for past or future. The Now contains only the Now. Focusing on it means you are unable to focus on pain because pain comes from elsewhere. And that brings you to the beginning of the state of peace. Always.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Book Review 8: The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief

Gregg Braden, about whom I have written in the past, has published a number of books. Of those, I have found his The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief of great interest.

Here is amazon's take on it: Between 1993 and 2000, a series of groundbreaking experiments revealed dramatic evidence of a web of energy that connects everything in our lives and our world—the Divine Matrix. From the healing of our bodies, to the success of our careers, relationships, and the peace between nations, this new evidence demonstrates that we each hold the power to speak directly to the force that links all of creation. What would it mean to discover that the power to create joy, to heal suffering, and bring peace to nations lives inside of you? How differently would you live if you knew how to use this power each day of your life? Join Gregg Braden on this extraordinary journey bridging science, spirituality and miracles through the language of The Divine Matrix.

But what I really wanted to share with you is the YouTube transmission of an interview Coast-2-Coast did with Gregg Braden in 2007. There are numerous parts, but the ones I found of particular interest (even if you have already read the book), are the first eight. Each part is about ten minutes long.

If you have trouble connecting to the videos via the blog, click here to go directly to YouTube for the first segment, and then you will be able to find the others on that same page.

Part I:




Part II:




Part III:




Part IV:




Part V:




Part VI:




Part VII:




Part VIII:


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Our Cells, Activities, Thoughts & Feelings

Cleve Backster, about whom I wrote in another post titled Plants, Bio-communication, & Creation, is featured in several interviews I just ran across.

He is the scientist who showed the world back in the 60's that plants hooked up to polygraphs, react to human thought (the thoughts of the lab scientist), at the time the scientist is thinking the thought, long before the thought passes to action. What greater proof do we need to accept the fact that our thoughts affect others and their thoughts affect us? What greater proof do we need to accept the fact that we are all intertwined molecules, entangled, as quantum physicists would have us believe? And - if we are indeed all intertwined molecules - as I have often written, does it not mean we are all one? And that what one does affects all?

That experiment by Backster in itself was fascinating enough, but other elements of his research took him into the arena of human cells. He extracted leukocytes (human white cells) from the mouth of a donor who then went anywhere from 20 - 300 miles away, and undertook various activities, recording them all, as well as the reactions to those activities, and the time at which they took place. When there was stress for the donor, the white cells - wired to an EEG - also reacted at the same time.

What greater proof do we want for the fact that all that we do, feel, and think impacts on our physiology, on our body? And what greater proof do we want for the fact that it behooves us to take very good care of the manner in which we do all of these: actions and reactions, feelings and thoughts? In this process - for which we are wholy responsible - lies our good health and inner state of well being.

To read more about Cleve Backster and his research, read these two interviews from 2004 and 2003 here.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Controlling Ourselves, Our Lives, and the People in Them


Many of us fall into the fallacy of believing that we can control our environment and the persons who people it. Therefore, we steadfastly cling to the mistaken belief that:
  • if only we could make our spouse more emotionally available

  • if only we could make our parents less intrusive

  • if only we could make our boss more approachable

  • if only we could make our teenage offspring more manageable

  • if only we could make our neighbours less noisy

  • if only we could do any of these of any number of other things, life would be wonderful
And we spend our time working on devising ways of changing these people, driven by the conviction that this would be the solution to all or most of our problems. The truth of the matter is that the only one we actually can control is our self.

We rarely look at this other side of the coin…the fact that if we want to achieve any kind of change in our lives, it has to begin with our self. Frequently change that we bring about in our own person will motivate change in others, almost like a ripple effect that can be observed in a pond when you throw a pebble into the water, but this change in others, or in the environment should not be the stimulus to your own change. That should be sought for itself, in order that you can become more of what you really are, and are capable of being; in other words, in order that you grow into yourself. (See previous posts related to comfort zone).

Evidently the eternal question is: how do you change or control yourself? What is the magic formula? Is there a silver bullet? And the simple answer is choice. Knowing that no matter what you feel, think, say, or do, you always have choices and alternatives, is one of the most enriching and liberating thoughts there is. When you are reacting to a given event, brought upon by your own thoughts, a nostalgic song on the radio, another person, a difficult financial situation, or even a cataclysmic global incident, always ask yourself whether there are alternatives to your current way of reacting. Then ask yourself whether any of those alternatives are feasible, and whether they would make a positive difference as compared to the initial mode of reacting you had intended. By consciously choosing to react differently, you are not only controlling yourself by self-awareness, but you are also changing yourself because your reaction is no longer unconscious, and thus you are offering yourself one of the greatest gifts of all - freedom from that blindness.

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


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