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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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giving Birth To Yourself

Erich Fromm, psychoanalyst and author of The Art of Loving among many other books, wrote: A person's main task in life is to give birth to oneself.

Giving birth to yourself can happen at any age. You could be in your 70's, you could be a teenager, you might be in your mid-thirties: it makes no difference, you can make this exhilarating change in your life at any time.

Why is it exhilarating? It has to do with you finding the real you...the one that was meant to be...the one that senses a true meaning and purpose in his or her life...and the one that will bring you to greater levels of joy, fulfillment, and happiness than any other aspect of you, barring none.

When we begin to look at our lives (and again, let me insist that this is not a question of age), from the point of view of growth and purpose; when we realize that we are here for more than the accumulation of honor, prestige, money, and things, much as those are all perfectly valid elements of a good life, then we begin to know that there is another way of looking at how we can continue to develop, that has much more to do with the eternal validity of our souls than with anything else.

We begin to become interested in our own inner life - not in a selfish fashion, not born of our ego - because this inner life is precisely what can most clearly point the way towards our own birth. The fact that our intution is hugely involved in this process, should surprise no one. You may have heard of the fact that scientists now refer to our second and third brains (see also my May 2006 Newsletter about this subject), with regards to the billions of neural cells they now know we have in our gut (intestine) and heart, respectively. These neural cells offer intelligent information of another kind to our being, so that in conjunction with the logical information we receive via the neural cells in our brain, we also receive intuitive and emotional information from the neural cells in our gut and heart respectively. Together, the three types of information - if we will but use them in conjunction - allow us to make choices that are much more informed than those that originate merely from our rational brain.

Our intuitive intelligence has much to offer us. It can speak to us in the language of our innermost self ... of that part of us that is not only the part that is visible to the naked eye, the part that others can see, but also of that innermost part of us that has always existed, and that will always be. To understand its language is to understand how we can give birth to ourselves. Hence, learning to listen to our intution is of utmost importance, and one of the best ways to do so, is to begin to allow our hunches to lead us. (Also see the brief post about Gert Gigerenzer's new book about the subject: Intuition Has Great Value After All!).

Listening to our intuition can be fomented by spending some time alone, by meditating, by taking solitary walks, but above all, also by allowing the little voice inside of you, when it comes up and nudges you about something, to be heard. In other words, don't just ignore it, don't just tell yourself that whatever it was that you just thought had no value, and that therefore you will not pay any attention. Do something about it. Or notice if right after, something happens, as in: I just thought of Aunt Mabel and two minutes later she rings me. While this type of example is minimally important, it does allow you to begin the process of better understanding the role of intuition in your life.

Extrapolating that to today's topic of giving birth to yourself, it is precisely from this sector of your being that you will get the greatest amount of vital information about where to go and what to do in order to expedite your birth.

How do we find meaning in our lives? One of the easiest ways is to listen with your inner ear to your bodily reactions to anything. Notice especially a sense of excitement in your solar plexus, an increased rhythm of breathing, heightened facial color and body temperature, as you hear a conversation, listen to something on the radio, watch a documentary on TV, because your body is giving you information about the importance of the particular subject in question to you and your true purpose in life (see also my June 2006 Newsletter: Finding a Meaning For Your Life). This inner listening is totally connected to your intution, and it is another way of strengthening the inner dialogue in order to give birth to yourself.

Here are some further ideas about how you can go about this important process of change:

Giving birth to yourself has something to do with Animating Dormant Lives, with The Life You Don't Lead, as it does with examining The Unexamined Life. If you are living an Inauthentic Life, you may also want to consider this notion of giving birth to yourself, and Finding Flow is another aspect of it, because giving birth to your life, implies giving meaning to your life, as it does realizing that Low Frequency Thoughts Erode the Quality of Your Life and learning how to Keep Your Energy High by Taking the State of Your Energy into Your Own Hands so that you can Have A Good Life.

Recognizing that you can Be a Victim or Choose Freedom, that your Healthy Boundaries and the Choices You Make can make or break it for you, that you may Use Your Emotions to Learn About Yourself, and that if you can but Be Who You Are With the People You Love, your chances will be optimal for giving this birth to yourself. Making Happiness a Priority is an important consideration, as is understanding the concept of Self-Actualizing People. The idea that The Answer to Your Future May Not Lie in Your Past is germane to this, and learning not to Let Anybody Take Your Dream From You! is part of it too.

Asking yourself Whom You Admire, realizing that you need to Grant Yourself the Gift of Solitude, learning that Feeling Sorry for Yourself may not be the swiftest way to growth, and seeing the small within the large, the microcosm within the macrocosm will become apparent if you learn to understand the concept of As Without, So Within .

Shakespeare told us that Our Doubts Are Our Enemies and many authors over the centuries have told us that All You Have Is Now.

Use these ideas to rekindle dying fires in your life, to move yourself to another level in the process of giving birth to yourself.

Photo: El Castillo, Tulum, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
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Monday, November 29, 2010

When the Motivation is Gone

You've been working on a project or goal. You've done all kinds of things to get to that final point, but it just never quite works, so now you've lost your motivation and you're on the verge of giving up.

Losing motivation can be numbing, because it's as though you've lost your way and you no longer know what your next step is. Not knowing what your next step is, stops you in your tracks and it seems you can no longer see the forest for the trees.

So you have several choices:

  • You can either stay in the place your lack of motivation has brought you to
  • or you can figure out how to get your motivation back
If you decide to take that latter alternative, you might first take a look at some notable failures in history, who nevertheless kept going on and on:
  • Thomas Edison who discovered 1000 ways not to make a lightbulb until he finally succeeded
  • Abraham Lincoln, President of the USA, failed over and over and over again to achieve his goals (see also The Difference Between Success and Failure), consistently picked himself up and continued going, believing in himself, his goals, and the reasons why they were important. He said: I never had a policy, I just tried to do my best every day.
  • Gary Cooper, the actor whose career culminated in the classic High Noon, but before he made it big, he was fired and rehired by the studios seven times.
  • Neil Diamond, the singer (Sweet Caroline), dropped out in his senior year to take a songwriting job with a music-publishing company. "It was a chance to step into my career," he explains. The job lasted only four months. Eventually, he was fired by five other music publishers. After eight years of knocking around and bringing songs to publishers and still being basically nowhere, he met two very successful producers and writers who liked the way he sang. And only then did he begin his real climb to fame and success.
  • Dune by Frank Herbert: this epic science-fiction tale was rejected by 13 publishers with comments like "too slow," "confusing and irritating," "too long," and "issues too clear-cut and old fashioned." But the persistence of Herbert and his agent, Lurton Blassingame, finally paid off. Dune won the two highest awards in the science-fiction writing and has sold millions of copies, and the movie rights to the novel.
  • Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded.
So ask yourself: even though I have lost my motivation, is it possible for me - just for today - to do my very best?

Here is a wonderful analogy I read in a book by Tom Venuto, pertaining to flying. Imagine a plane taking off from London. Its destination is New York, and along the way it veers slightly off course, or from its pre-determined flight path, and it does this over and over and over again. Clearly the instruments constantly make minor adjustments and re-adjustments during the flight in order to actually be able to reach New York.

This is such a pertinent analogy for us, as we move along the path towards our goals. We have to realize that when we lose our motivation, it is partially because we have not yet seen our dreams realized. Therefore, and in order to become re-motivated, we need to do the same as the plane - we need to re-adjust (as did Edison each time he invented another of the 1000 lightbulbs that did not work, as did Lincoln each time he was not successful in standing for public office).

And then, we need to keep on re-adjusting as often as necessary.
  • this technique didn't work? Try a different one.
  • that advertising program didn't work? Try a different one.
In order to do this, you may need to re-visit your original goals:
  • what did you write down when you first conceptualized them?
  • maybe you didn't write them down ... do so now!
  • maybe you weren't specific enough ... so do it now!
  • write down your main goals as specifically as possible. Let's say you have a 5-year goal.
  • so now sub-divide it or chunk it down into yearly goals, i.e., where you should be at the 4-year mark, the 3 year, the 2 year, and the 1 year mark
  • from the one year mark, chunk it down, by going back by month
  • the 12-month mark
  • the 11-month mark, etc.
  • and when you get to the 1-month mark, chunk it down by going back by weeks
  • the 4-week mark
  • the 3-week mark
  • and when you are at the 1-week mark, write specifically what you can be doing each and every day this week.
  • think of it a bit like the 12 steps in AA - while you are working on getting your motivation back, take it one day at a time, and do what you've written as your tasks and goals for this day. Paul McKenna calls action the great equalizer.
  • help yourself get back on track by continually reading books or listening to CD's by authors who motivate you, such as Brian Tracy, Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Denis Waitley, Zig Ziglar, Vic Conant, Stephen Covey, Tony Robbins, John deMartini, Napoleon Hill, and many more.
RECESS

When you were in grade school, and you attended a class of spelling and another one of math, what happens?
  • you're tired
  • your fingers are stiff from holding the pencil
  • you're looking longingly out the window at the sky - the blue, blue sky - because you want to be out there playing, rather than working
Wheb you're not motivated, you may need a break. Perhaps a walk, or a visit to the gym, maybe a catnap, o a cup of tea, but more importantly than that, you may need to take stock of your emotions.

You've lost your motivation in the past because what you've been doing - trying to reach your goal - has not yet given you the results you sought.

But the other part of your loss of motivation has to do with the thoughts and feelings you've been having about the subject. They have probably been negative, contrary, with a concentration on failure as their mainstay. Here is where you need to swivel, or pivot, as Abraham calls it.

As a child you may have stood on the heel of one foot and swivelled or pivoted in such a way that you were looking in a totally new direction, you had turned 180 degrees by the act of pivoting. You can do this in your mind when your motivation has gone down the tube. Pivot to something - in your thoughts - that makes you feel good ... whatever that may be. Imagine something that gives you a sense of joy, pleasure, etc., you will notice the tingling inside of you, and use that good feeling to get back on track. In other words, if you first make yourself feel good, you will find it much easier to get back on track and motivate yourself, than if you try doing this from a low place. More about this in future posts.

Photo: Roman Bridge over the Guadalquivir River in Cordoba, Spain




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Friday, November 26, 2010

Judging Others ... Judging Yourself

Have you ever noticed how many people are inconsiderate? How often others just don't seem to be aware of anyone but themselves?

How about the people that think they are worth more than others because their bank account is bigger? Or those that think their opinion is better than others' because they are well-known celebrities, politicians, public figures, or hold a post of some weight?

And have you seen any of those that believe there is something special about them because they frequent a lot of social events, or because they eat at certain exclusive restaurants, or stay at up-market hotels?

What about the person who drinks too much and creates havoc on public roads? Or causes uncomfortable situations in a family's holiday reunion? The list could go on and on.

Judging other people for any of the above and many other things, is a curious phenomenon. As we judge others we are actually judging ourselves. What I mean by that is that if we feel we must judge, we automatically place ourselves in a position of "better" in some way than the other person. Examine that for a moment. Better? Better?

It may be true that others do whatever they do, but where do we come, what place in ourselves to we come from with these judgements?

Much negativity is associated with judging others, beginning with that essence of feeling somehow better or more worthy, or holier, or less materialistic, or more law-abiding, or less vain, etc. than another. So in this comparison of ourselves and the other, we lose any possibility of connection with the other. If we lose that, we lose the most precious aspect of our time here: that of discovering our connection to all of humanity.

Going back to judgement - here is a suggestion: when you find yourself judging, and if you would like to do so less, or stop it all together, simply send the other person peace or love in your mind, and let it go. Let whatever it was that you had been judging leave your mind. You will find that your life becomes both much more simple, and much, much richer. Try it, even if only for a couple of weeks to observe its effect on you.

Photo: Zakynthos, Greece





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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Different Vibrations, Different Results

"If you desire something (material, experiential, whatever), but your beliefs and thoughts all day long are about how impossible it will be for you to get it, and that you are being silly just to imagine that you will get it, then you are "entertaining" two very different vibrations simultaneously that will cancel each other out." Abraham

To put it into other words, whatever it is you wish to achieve, your mindset needs to remain on that thought, and on the belief that you will achieve it. The more you meander about, either on negative thoughts, or fear thoughts, or thoughts that you will not be able to achieve your goal (of whatever type), the more you are drawing yourself away from being able to achieve it.

With this thought we come back to the idea mentioned so often here (and not originally mine, but of many other authors throughout the millenia; something so wonderful to know, because by knowing it, you will be able to go in whichever direction you choose).


This idea is the notion of your own energy, your vibrational frequency. Your own energy is produced by your thoughts and feelings. The best way to maintain your energy high (and of course I am not talking so much about the energy you require to run a marathon, but the energy within you, that allows you to feel good as a whole about yourself and your life circumstances), is by paying close attention to your feelings. And then to correct as needed. It is through a specific good energy, or vibrational frequency that you are able to attract to your life that which you seek).

This vibrational frequency can be equated to a radio transmission. If you are searching for my radio show at the local level, you know that you have to go to a specific radio frequency on your dial. If you do not, you either don't get my program, or you get static, and a fuzzy reception, so you will not be able to understand what is being said.


It's exactly the same with your own vibrational frequency: if it is not on the right dial; if you are in a frame of mind or state of feeling that is not good, then you will only get static when you go after your goals, or you may not get anything at all.

Simple as this analogy sounds, it is so true. Change your feelings, use the energy barometer within you thanks to your state of feeling, and begin to observe how you can fine tune the emission in order to achieve exactly what you are aiming for.

Photo: World's largest arch: Shipton Arch in China





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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Pain of Abandonment, Loneliness, Fear: The Pain of it All ...

When you feel the pain of abandonment, the pain of loneliness, the pain of fear, or any kind of pain, there's no doubt that you feel your life isn't worth much. You can't imagine being out of the pain, and you feel you can't go much more into the blackness.

All that is true and understandable, but there are other ways of looking at it, no matter what the reason for your pain is.

Happiness is a topic I talk and write about a lot. Doesn't have a great deal to do with the topic of today's post ...

But in fact it does.

The reason the pain and the happiness are connected, is because you have a way of going from the former to the latter. You can create a bridge that can take you from pain ...if not to happiness, then at least to a place where you can see you life as a good one again.

How?

Some writers call it pivoting, or swiveling. Remember how you used to stand on your heels as a child? And then you would pivot about 180 degrees, so that at the end of the movement, you were facing a totally different direction? First you were looking at your house, then you pivoted, and then you were looking at the street.

This is the kind of inner movement that can take place when you need to put yourself in a place where you aren't hurting so much. Let's not pretend that there aren't times where you need to go through pain in order to get through to the other side. But in the same way a quadri-plegic is not always a quadri-plegic, when you are in pain, there is no reason for you to be in pain all the time.

(The reason a quadri-plegic is not always one, is because there are times when he is laughing, and has forgotten about his state, when he is eating and is not thinking about it, when he is conversing, or watching a movie, etc., and not consciously a quadri-plegic. Likewise, a person with terminal cancer, is not always a person with terminal cancer, because there are moments when other thoughts and activities take over the mind and feelings, despite the inevitability of the impending end.)


So what I'm suggesting here is that you begin to learn how to swivel. When something is not good, go from that place in your mind and feelings to another place. That might be imagining something that gives you pleasure or joy, or it might be remembering something that once gave you pleasure or joy. However you do it, it will change - for a time - your energetic frequency. And in the place of your new-found frequency, you can feel better.

Is that disloyalty? Disloyalty to your worries, your problem, your sense of abandonment, even your sense of eternal loss in the case of someone's death? Of course not. Are you being disloyal to your wound when you dress it, when you put salve on it, when you set the broken bones, when you stitch the cut flesh?

Comparisons of this nature offend some people. That's why I suggest you might want to consider some out-of-the-box thinking about this. It may be a challenge to do so, it may stretch you, but do you truly believe it is wrong to try to make yourself feel better when something is causing you pain or problems?

One final thought: don't you believe that once you feel better, you will find it just a bit harder to go back to the deep place of pain? And is that not good? Doesn't that mean the bone is knitting, the wound is healing?

Photo: Karoo National Park near Beaufort West, South Africa

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Avoid the Naysayers

You had a really great idea. You told someone about it. They found a really good reason why it would never work. You killed your idea.

But a short while later someone else made your idea work.

You tell a friend about how much you are looking forward to your vacation. He smiles and tells you that you will need to be careful because when he went to the place you are going to, he got mugged, and the hotel overcharged him. Also the mosquitoes ravaged him. Your pleasure has been smudged. You worriedly wonder if you made a bad choice. You are no longer looking forward to your vacation without thinking negative thoughts.

The naysayers, the negative thinkers, who often call themselves realists, nevertheless tend to emanate a negative energy over whatever it is that you are planning, if you listen to them. Understand that your own energy and emotions are affected by the people you associate with, and unless you are very strong within yourself, their negative effect on you may cause you to back out of something you had been very positive about, and that may very well have come to a good conclusion.

Naysayers tend to get their strength by deflating or taking away the strength of others. Not because they are terrible people, but because their modus vivendi feeds on looking at the glass as being half full. It's their habit, their ingrained way of thinking. They could change it if they became aware of what causes it and made the conscious choice to change. Don't let them push you into becoming one of them.

And don't let them cause you to abandon your dream.

Photo: Iceland seen from above

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Is Your Universe Friendly or Hostile ?

Einstein said it.

You get to decide whether you live in a hostile or a friendly universe. You can decide what each of the things that happen every day mean. You get to decide whether your life is good or bad no matter how it may look on the outside...remember what I've said in other posts about Viktor Frankl or Nelson Mandela or other people who have gone through great suffering, and yet have made a choice about how their life is going, and especially how they are going to look at it, think about it, and hence, feel about it, and react to it.

Wayne Dyer says somewhere in one of his books or CD's that the more you look for reasons to believe that things are going against you, and that people don't like you or accept you, the less you will be disappointed in your expectations...

And don't forget that your thoughts - as molecular and cellular biology show us (see these posts on that subject) really do become things, so the manner in which you view your world and think about it is of great importance.

As I've pointed out so frequently: you choose.

You can choose to wake up in the morning and be grateful for the new day and new opportunities. You can choose to remember to be grateful to five people every day about something that happened with them, and to make a habit of this - without fail - in order to help keep your mind on that instead of what you didn't like. You can choose to find something in what you didn't like that is of value to you and your life, even if it is learning how to choose not to react negatively in the face of adversity.

You choose.

So start choosing the way that is of use to you, instead of the way that simply increments the negative.

You choose.

Photo: Arch with pilaster, Libya

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Don't Let Anybody Take Your Dream From You!

One of my radio shows was about the topic of life dreams - those dreams that you have about how you would like something (whatever) to be in your life at some point, and about not letting others take your dream from you.

Dreams of this type are so infinitely important to the quality of our lives...whether we become aware of them when we are 12, or whether we do so when we are 60, or whether we dust them off at any stage of our lives, remembering how blissfully we used to dream about fulfilling those dreams, and then just forgot about them. So now, for whatever reason, we are at another point in our lives, and have the opportunity to revisit those dreams, and to do something concrete about accomplishing them. What a blast!

Dreams should not be ignored, and particularly, you should never let anyone talk you out of your dreams.

Due to the response I received to the show when it aired, I would just like to reiterate some of the points made in the show:

1. What your dream is:
  • something that gives meaning to your life
  • something that gives you a buzz, a sense of excitement, high energy, butterflies (of the good kind) in your solar plexus
  • something that tells you - as opposed to so many others - that you actually already know what you want, so you are blessed!
2. What your dream is not:
  • something crazy
  • something childish
  • something that you should ignore
  • something that will lead you to failure
3. What others may say to you about your dream:
  • it's totally unrealistic
  • it will never work
  • it's childish
  • it's crazy
  • it's too hard
  • don't you realize that something so easy could never be of any value?
  • it's too risky
  • no one else has ever done it before
  • no one will like it
  • no one will want it
  • no one will believe it
  • no one will accept it
  • it's a sure road to failure
  • it's nonsense
  • it's not serious
  • it's not what a grown man (woman) should do
  • it's ridiculous
  • do you realize what people will say about you if you do that?
  • why do you think you might succeed where so many others have tried and failed?
Realize that the same buzz", the same special energy you feel whenever you think about whatever it is that your dream is all about, is something so special, something so important, that this very feeling is what can most move you in the direction of your goals, your dream, but only if you hold on to that feeling, that energy.

Even when your dreams change direction slightly, you will know you are on the right track, as long as you continue to have the feeling, the buzz, the energy. It's a direct inner connection to your inner self, that voice inside of you that warns you just before a car comes racing around the corner at the second you were about to step out into its path, that voice (or feeling) inside of you that warns you about that person you just met at the dinner party, who at first glance seems so wonderful, just what you were looking for, and yet, there may be something you need to look at more closely, and thanks to listening to that voice, you do so, before jumping off the precipice, and you find out why your inner voice communicated with you. Call it intuition, call it buzz, call it energy, there is a spark that we feel when that inner communication comes out and speaks to us.

If you feel this, if you are familiar with this, then it is paramount that you hang on to it. Don't think that just because others aren't doing it, or aren't paying conscious attention to it, that it isn't real. Count yourself very lucky - blessed - to have it in your life in such a clear way. You've connected to your inner source, in this case, your passion, and that is something you should welcome and nourish. As Wayne Dyer put it: Don't die with your music still inside you.


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Whom Do You Admire?

Give this some thought.

Who are the people that you most admire? Pick some that are mainly your own gender. Here are some areas to look at:
  • close family
  • teachers, mentors
  • friends and colleagues
  • public figures in politics
  • business leaders
  • professionals from any walk of life
  • artists (authors, painters, sculptors, musicians, composers, singers, etc.)
  • actors
  • characters from history
  • characters from literature
  • characters from cinema
OK, you get the picture. Choose two or three that you truly admire for some specific qualities.

Now take a sheet of paper and under the name of each of these persons, write what it is that you admire about them (please: no physical characteristics...just qualities of character or behavior).
I assume you have written about some very wonderful people, even if they are unknown to all but you. The qualities you admire about them, are probably also very wonderful. Please stop reading if you have not already written out the qualities you admire. This is important. Only go on reading once that is done.

You may find that you have chosen several people whom you admire for very similar reasons, even though one of them might be someone you know personally, one a public figure, and one someone from a book you once read.

From the psychological point of view, and in Jungian terms the qualities you admire, that you have written down, say this about you: there are elements of your character that you have not yet recognized, that you don't yet accept as actually forming part of yourself. These are the elements that you admire in others of your own gender. The reason you have to admire them out there is because you have not yet recognized them in you.

Use this information to start paying more attention to any clue, however slight, in you that shows you that you do have these qualities in you in nascent form, and start bringing them to life, bit by bit, more and more every day.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Living Without Bitterness and Resentment

Apollo Sunrise. Photo Courtesy Apollo 12 Crew, NASA
I've often wondered if those people whose lives are filled with bitterness and resentment could just see for a moment in time what their lives would be like without the bitterness and the resentment (and the ensuing pain), whether they would then take the step towards making the choice of putting the bitterness and resentment behind them.

Because that is really what it's all about...making a different choice.

It's not so much about being compassionate towards the person (or insitution) who did whatever it was to them; it's also not so much about letting by-gones be by-gones. Much more than that it's about recognizing that you can continue to identify with whatever it was that threw your life out of balance at some point in the past (yesterday or a quarter of a century ago), and that caused much pain then, which is why the bitterness and resentment arose, or you can decide that you simply are no longer that person. That you choose to be a person without bitterness and resentment for you. For your own good. For your own inner freedom and growth. And particularly in order to make space inside of you. As you choose to turn your back on the bitterness and resentment, you no longer need to use up energy - psychic energy - (psychological energy) to keep up those feelings. So now your energy can be channeled towards totally different - life-giving - endeavours.


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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Life, Living, and Love

Jasmine, Hindu symbol of love

Love is a subject I have touched upon in posts here quite frequently, and you can find some of these by clicking on emotions or love.

Life is meant for the living (nothing new there), and living - really living - implies loving. Loving implies showing you love, which we all do in a myriad number of ways, by physical demonstrations, by kindnesses, by gentleness, by nurturing, by giving gifts, by giving help, by caring for someone in times of illness or ill fortune, by saying certain words and making certain gestures, by showing joy when we reunite with people we love whom we don't always see, by doing unexpected loving things for someone who is not always at our side, and so on.

We know all this...so what's the point???

Do it.

That is the point. We know it all and yet we so often neglect to do it simply because we don't have the time, or we're tired, or something else comes in the way. And yet a loving smile or gesture can mean so much to the one who receives it.

Do it. Never stop doing it, Show your love to those you love.

And you know, there is an added benefit...it makes you feel better too, and, according to all the studies I have mentioned in previous posts here and in articles on my website, the mere action of being loving gives you happiness as well.


One final point that you may wish to consider: if you have read previous posts here about intertwined molecules, you may have come to realize that we are all indeed one...humanity is not a mass of separate beings (rich, poor, black, white, first world, third world, young, old, good neighbourhood, wrong side of the tracks, and so on), but a mass of intertwined molecules...we have cutting-edge quantum physics to thank for these insights, and that of course, begs the question: why only love those that we love? Could we not conceivably love all?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Don’t Let An Old Person Move In

The Mirror Labyrinth and Strahov Monastery, Prague
You’re no longer in your 30’s, maybe not even in your 40’s anymore. Or more: So you’re getting older. But think of this: don’t let an old person move in. I heard that the other day on a CD by the perennial Wayne Dyer. What he was saying was this: don’t let your mind-set become that of an old person. Don’t buy into the cliché that says that when you’re older you’re no longer productive, that you no longer have an agile mind, that you no longer function the way you did when you were younger. Above all, don’t let mass thinking cloud your mind and cause you to believe that you have to age.

Now let’s be clear: you will age chronologically. You will also get wrinkles and grey or white hair. You will furthermore notice that people of an age you once considered old, are now younger than you are…but that does not mean you should let an old person move in.

Move in where? Into you. This addresses your whole outlook on aging. Your aging paradigm. The way you think about aging. If you decide that aging means slowing down, no longer producing and functioning in a vital way, well then that is what you will have. If, on the other hand, you greet each passing chronological year as a new challenge to continue growing as a human being, who is constantly learning something new and continuing to contribute to society, or the neighbourhood, or his personal environment, then you do not age.

Much developmental and life-span research has been completed in recent years about what is being called the third and fourth age, those periods of life that comprise somewhere between 65-85 and 85 and upwards respectively, and this is what has been discovered, much to the surprise of Western empirical thought: wisdom in chronologically older persons equals if not outweighs the speed and agility of thought in younger people. In other words, while it is true that people lose some of the swiftness of thought as they grow older, if they remain mentally active, the quality of their thought, called wisdom allows them to perform on a highly functioning level as compared to younger people. Some of their brain cells may no longer be around, but the connections, or dendrites between their existing brain cells are so numerous, that they make up for possible losses. Remember this as you consider your own aging.


Aging consciously is a process that allows you to recognize that while you have lived a great many years, and while you are no longer physically young, you are, however, and continue to be - if this is your choice and you actively follow it - young in your inner self, in your mind and spirit.

This is truly your choice. Decide now, no matter what your current age, that you will not let an old person move in. Decide now that you will always be young in that part of you that is important: your thoughts, your feelings, your soul.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How Important Is It To Be You?


Funny question. How important is it to be you?

And I've mentioned this topic before in these posts:
But it is such an important topic that I can't help but bring it up again. And anyway, just as in marketing, where a message needs to be seen an average of NINE times before the potential consumer will react to it, so also in topics that refer to our inner self, it may be possible that we need to see the message many times before we react and do something about it.

Being you is a frightening concept to many people. They may define themselves by their professional situation, their academic prestige, their social position or family background, their finances and material well-being, their political party or religious convictions, they may define themselves by the people they know, the places they frequent, they may even define themselves by their looks and their physical attributes.

While all of the above is in fact, part of who we are, it does not necessarily define us. If a man is given professional recognition as a lawyer and is part of a conservative party due to his family's leaning over generations, and it is expected that he follow that political line, we might say that he is living an authentic life if we don't scratch beneath the surface. What if this man is gay? How much of his mode of living can be true to himself if he needs to hide or is afraid to show that most important aspect of his being? Or what if he is a closet liberal, politically speaking? What if he is a lawyer because it was expected, or because it would give him a good income, but at heart he wanted to write or paint? Or be a travel journalist?

You clearly see what I am driving at. Not being you implies potential tragedy. Not being you implies a life half lived. Not being you may erode your health...physiological, psychological or spiritual.

There is another important facet to not being you. Many of us simply don't know who we are. Not necessarily our fault, you know. Schools teach us so much: reading, writing, mathematics, history, geography, etc., but when are we ever taught about ourselves, and how important it is to get to know ourselves...this person with whom we will live all our lives? When are we shown the importance of taking the journey within?

This is a topic I will explore at greater length in future because we tend to gloss over it - not because we are necessarily shallow materialists, but because it is not emphasized to the degree that it could be done, if we as a society placed as much importance on the inner quest as on the outer search for excellence.
      

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

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch:


                           

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Answer to Your Future May Not Lie in Your Past

Parthenon, Greece
You know that the person who you are today has evolved from the experiences, events, thoughts, and behaviors of your past. You've read this over and over and over again in psychological literature, philosophy, self-help, and so you look at your past with a microscope, and go over it with a fine-tooth comb in order to try to understand how you got where you are, what you did wrong, and what needs to be corrected in order for you to get to a different place in your future.

Stop right there.

There is nothing wrong with looking at the past in order to learn from mistakes, or blips in the road, but there is much to be said against dwelling there extensively. And there is a lot to be said for focusing on the now.

Whatever happened, has already happened. Whatever you thought, said, or did, already took place, and no matter how much you analyze it, do regressions to it, transform it, and work with it, it will always be the past and it will always be in the past. So logically, the place to look in order to make things change for the future, is in the now. Understand that your thoughts from the past and how you dealt with life in the past is what brought you your then future...which is your now, or your present circumstances. In order to change your future as seen from the perspective of now, it is your thoughts and actions in the now that need changing.

So it's not as important to analyze the past, as it is to do things differently in the present. That means looking carefully at how you are feeling now. What bits of your life bring you happiness and pleasure? Where do you feel good? And in what sectors of your life are you feeling frustration and defeat? With me so far? So look at those areas and ask yourself some questions. How do I react in these current difficult situations? What thoughts go through my head? What choices am I making? Am I making any choices at all, or am I merely reacting blindly? And that is where the crux of the matter lies. In awareness of the present moment and what you do with it. Change that, and your future changes. Do more of the same, i.e. perpetuate past behavior, and you will get more of the same. But change it and your life will change.

Digg!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Making Happiness a Priority

How can happiness be a priority if I have to achieve my goal of being vice president of the company before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if I have to be engaged to be married before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if fill in the blank has to love me before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if I have to weigh at least fill in the blank pounds/kilos less before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if I have to bench press at least fill in the blank pounds/kilos more before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if I have to fill in the blank before I can be happy?

Thinking that way means your happiness depends on something or someone external to you. It means that your happiness will always be conditional on that premise having been fulfilled. And yet, happiness is something that should not depend on anything external to you for it to exist within you.

Happiness is something you are able to bring to birth within yourself by yourself without need for anything external to yourself. It is - as Barry Neil Kaufman so aptly puts it in his marvellous book Happiness is a Choice - something you decide upon, something that you choose to have in your life independently of outer circumstances.

The creation of this inner muscle is no more difficult than the creation of a leg, arm, back, or shoulder muscle...it merely requires constancy, and as you exercise it, you will see how readily you can use it in all situations, at all moments, without external circumstances having the strength to undo or weaken this muscle. Be persistent - this is just like success: those that continue moving towards the goal will achieve it.

Some earlier posts that refer to happiness are:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crossing Thresholds


Just a few words today about change, newness, and the unknown. We tend to fear it. We tend to think that because we are changing to something different (job, challenge, city, country, relationship, environment of any kind), or doing something new, or going to some type of unknown element in our lives as opposed to what we have done to this point, we will have difficulty with it or even fail. The new aspect can even be something such as changing a behavior, exchanging one way of doing something for another, because we have come to recognize that it is better (for example, when people learn to set boundaries (see also Do Your Relationship Boundaries Contribute to Your Well-Being?). So when they do this, people are generally fearful at the beginning of putting this new behavior into practice, because even though they see its great value for their own psychological health (and that of any of their relationships), actually doing what it takes to have healthy boundaries can be daunting when one has not been doing it.


But the real point of today’s post is to discuss the fear.

Fear of the unknown. Fear of the untried. Fear of stepping outside of our comfort zone (see also Leaving Your Comfort Zone: Fear of Emotional Expression.)

What exactly does this fear tell us?

First of all, welcome it. Recognize that it is the hallmark of growth to come. Fear of this type signals that as you cross a new threshold into a new arena, you will be learning something that will move your process of growth up a notch.

Secondly, recognize that you have been in this place many times before, with all the other things you have done or lived through for the first time in your life in the past, and now you are totally at ease and comfortable with them. You passed over the threshold when you did whatever it was for the first time, and now you are in a totally new place. But since you are already comfortable with whatever it was that once caused your fear, you no longer view it as something threatening and fearful. Use that "success" experience (the Germans call it Erfolgserlebniss) to help you cross the new threshold. Use the knowledge that what was once so far outside your comfort zone, has now become your new comfort zone. Recognize that the fear you feel indicates that you are in the process of expanding this comfort zone once again, and that this will bring about new growth.

In other words: fear that is felt before starting something new could in fact be a good sign, because it means you are on the road of growth again. Your life and your world are expanding, and you are vital and vibrant and alive in this process. In such a case, fear could be defined as your friend.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Two Kinds of People


"There are two kinds of people, she once decreed to me emphatically. One kind you can tell by looking at them at what point they congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no surprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keeps moving, changing. They are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life, and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion, they are the only people who are still alive. You must be constantly on your guard against congealing."


Gail Godwin

The Finishing School

Photo: African Coastline at Tangiers as seen from Tarifa, Spain

Friday, November 5, 2010

Your Attention to Bad Things


Here's another great quote from Abraham:

What holds bad things in your life is always your attention to those bad things, always.

This is very simple to comprehend and apply in a meaningful way to your life...if you are worried about something, or if you are in pain about something, you will only bring more of it into your life by remaining in that frame of mind ... or ... expressed, in other words ... by remaining in that vibrational frequency.

Remaining in a specific vibrational frequency refers to not changing how you feel at any given moment, because your feelings are what dictate your inner energy ... the frequency at which your being as a whole is vibrating.

So of course what has to be changed is how you feel, if you want to get to another level of vibrational frequency. And you change how you feel, by moving your thoughts into another direction, another direction where you have a greater chance of feeling better.

This is a topic that a great many of my posts keep hammering on about, because it is so important: if you can learn this, can figure out how to apply it to your life, you will create many important changes to the state of your well being. Think of it as changing direction 180 degrees from the worried or painful place in which you find yourself, to the place of greater good feeling where you could be. You might like to bring up a joyous memory, or you might like to think about something you are trying to bring about in your life, the completion of which would bring a state of good feeling and satisfaction to you, and as you consider this scenario, your feelings of worry and pain subside. From that better vibrational place you will be able to make much better decisions about your worry or your pain, simply because you will be in a better place.

Apply this always and watch the changes.

Photo: Musandam Peninsula, Oman

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Judging Others ... Judging Yourself

Have you ever noticed how many people are inconsiderate? How often others just don't seem to be aware of anyone but themselves?


How about the people that think they are worth more than others because their bank account is bigger? Or those that think their opinion is better than others' because they are well-known celebrities, politicians, public figures, or hold a post of some weight?

And have you seen any of those that believe there is something special about them because they frequent a lot of social events, or because they eat at certain exclusive restaurants, or stay at up-market hotels?

What about the person who drinks too much and creates havoc on public roads? Or causes uncomfortable situations in a family's holiday reunion? The list could go on and on.

Judging other people for any of the above and many other things, is a curious phenomenon. As we judge others we are actually judging ourselves. What I mean by that is that if we feel we must judge, we automatically place ourselves in a position of "better" in some way than the other person. Examine that for a moment. Better? Better?

It may be true that others do whatever they do, but where do we come, what place in ourselves to we come from with these judgements?

Much negativity is associated with judging others, beginning with that essence of feeling somehow better or more worthy, or holier, or less materialistic, or more law-abiding, or less vain, etc. than another. So in this comparison of ourselves and the other, we lose any possibility of connection with the other. If we lose that, we lose the most precious aspect of our time here: that of discovering our connection to all of humanity.

Going back to judgement - here is a suggestion: when you find yourself judging, and if you would like to do so less, or stop it all together, simply send the other person peace or love in your mind, and let it go. Let whatever it was that you had been judging leave your mind. You will find that your life becomes both much more simple, and much, much richer. Try it, even if only for a couple of weeks to observe its effect on you.

Photo: Sohail Castle, Fuengirola, Spain

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Relationship Pain

Who hasn’t been through relationship pain? Who hasn’t curled up into a ball (even if it’s inside your head) with the pain that some element of a relationship has caused? Who hasn’t wished that a portion of the life lived could be erased, could be forgotten, that by magic some form of amnesia would take over the brain, just to not remember whatever it is that is causing the pain?


So what can be done? How does one deal with this?

Alcohol, recreational and prescription drugs, religion, praying, meditating, panic attacks, hyper-ventilating, shopping, gambling, sex, frenzied social activity, numbness sought in movies, books, etc., are some of the methods people use to self-medicate in times of such relationship pain.

None of it really takes you anywhere. None of it is really of any lasting use. Oh, it may get you through the worst of your pain, but it doesn’t really help you deal with whatever the underlying issue may have been. The issue is not so much that there is relationship pain that was apparently caused by the actions of another person, but that you are reacting with such pain (See also my article: I Need You…I Need You Not).

You see, when another person behaves in a way that hurts you, or does something that goes way beyond hurt, and that leaves an indelible mark on you in such a way, that you feel that you will never be the same again, then there is something inside of you – beyond the pain caused by the other – that needs attention. Basically what that means is that a good portion of your pain has to do with bits and pieces of yourself that have not yet been worked on, and that is why the actions of the other hurt so much. (See also my article: Committed Relationships: Use Them to Grow Towards Self-Understanding and Real Love).

One of the things that needs looking at is your awareness of yourself and what it is that brought you to the place you are currently at. Another piece of the puzzle has to do with the choices you make at every step of the way: choices that you make when you act, react, feel, and think. (See also my article: The Mirror of Relationships). Awareness and making choices are two of the most important tools you can have in the quest for your own inner freedom, although there are others, that will be dealt with in other posts on this blog in future, such as keeping healthy boundaries and choosing happiness.

Photo Credit: GKB - La Peña de Zaframagon, Spain

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Using Your Emotions to Learn About Yourself

You're angry. You're sad. You're jealous. You're in a rage. You're frightened. You're worried. You're feeling low. Etc. etc. Substitute whichever emotion you like, and in particular - as I have done here - make use of the negative ones, because when you are in their thrall, however briefly, you have a real opportunity to learn something about yourself, as long as you are willing to do what most of us don't like doing.


Looking at yourself.

That's it.

That's all you have to do in order to begin to make use of one of the most precious built-in psychological tools we have: our own emotions, as long as we use them to look at ourselves, instead of looking out at the other or others or the event.

Imagine you have just met someone at a cocktail or dinner party. Say you are a woman. And the person you met is another woman. Something about her makes you dislike her. You explain it to yourself by telling yourself it is because she is so overbearing. And indeed, she might very well be. But the fact that you are affected by it, tells you more about you and your inner make-up, than about her. If it were not something you need to be looking at, you would actually not be reacting to her. You would notice this characteristic of hers, but you would not pay any undue attention to it, and you would pass on by to the next person. It simply wouldn't affect you.

But if you look at yourself in order to understand this emotion of yours, it might be telling you that this overbearing characteristic of hers is actually also a part of you that you very much dislike, and because you have not yet recognized it in yourself, is why you dislike it in her...it is always easier to see something outside of oneself rather than within. Or, this characteristic of hers and your emotion in view of it, might be telling you that it is triggering something in you that stems from your childhood, when an overbearing person made you feel inferior. And there might be other explanations.

Let's look at another example. Let's say you are furious because your boss promised you a new arena of responsibility, which would eventually and potentially lead to a promotion and an increase in salary. At the last moment he tells you that he is actually handing it to another colleague of yours, and gives no explanation. So you fume. And visualize throttling your boss. And sleep poorly. And have bad dreams. And continue to be very angry. By now even your digestion has been affected.

So what is going on here? Yes, on the outer level, your boss has indeed done something that appears to merit your anger. But what have you done? You got angry. What else? You fumed. What else? You imagined doing all kinds of nefarious things to your boss. What else? Nothing. And that is the problem. What you are truly angry about, is your sense of self respect that you yourself, by not doing anything when you were informed about this new turn of events, did not respect. You may not be able to do a lot. You may, indeed, not be able to change things back to where they were. But you can stand up for your self respect. And that entails having a conversation with your boss. Stating the obvious. Asking about the change in plans, and pointing out why you were the more suitable candidate. You may not get what you want, but I guarantee you will feel much better after you have stood up for your self respect. A good portion of the anger you are experiencing has much more to do with what you neglected to do for yourself, than with your boss' behavior.

You can see by these two examples that looking at yourself in the face of strong negative emotions, will always give you clues into your inner working. Following that path, using those emotions as a guide, making choices about looking within rather than without, you will soon start chasing down some of the problem areas of your life, and in so doing, find a greater measure of self-understanding and inner freedom.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Different Vibrations, Different Results

Another inspiring quote - Abraham again:

"If you desire something (material, experiential, whatever), but your beliefs and thoughts all day long are about how impossible it will be for you to get it, and that you are being silly just to imagine that you will get it, then you are "entertaining" two very different vibrations simultaneously that will cancel each other out."

To put it into other words, whatever it is you wish to achieve, your mindset needs to remain on that thought, and on the belief that you will achieve it. The more you meander about, either on negative thoughts, or fear thoughts, or thoughts that you will not be able to achieve your goal (of whatever type), the more you are drawing yourself away from being able to achieve it.

With this thought we come back to the idea mentioned so often here (and not originally mine, but of many other authors throughout the millenia; something so wonderful to know, because by knowing it, you will be able to go in whichever direction you choose).

This idea is the notion of your own energy, your vibrational frequency. Your own energy is produced by your thoughts and feelings. The best way to maintain your energy high (and of course I am not talking so much about the energy you require to run a marathon, but the energy within you, that allows you to feel good as a whole about yourself and your life circumstances), is by paying close attention to your feelings. And then to correct as needed. It is through a specific good energy, or vibrational frequency that you are able to attract to your life that which you seek).

This vibrational frequency can be equated to a radio transmission. If you are searching for my radio show at the local level, you know that you have to go to a specific radio frequency on your dial. If you do not, you either don't get my program, or you get static, and a fuzzy reception, so you will not be able to understand what is being said.

It's exactly the same with your own vibrational frequency: if it is not on the right dial; if you are in a frame of mind or state of feeling that is not good, then you will only get static when you go after your goals, or you may not get anything at all.

Simple as this analogy sounds, it is so true. Change your feelings, use the energy barometer within you thanks to your state of feeling, and begin to observe how you can fine-tune the emission in order to achieve exactly what you are aiming for.

Click here for earlier posts about the law of attraction.