WELCOME TO THIS BLOG
"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe
"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre
"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself
Friday, September 30, 2011
Is this really something you want?
I imagine you are already shaking your head, because who would want something of this nature? Who would want to be tortured like this, and who would want to be held in the continual thrall of thoughts that are not ones that you would voluntarily have?
What can you do? Distracting yourself, or soothing yourself with addictions of any kind, ranging from drugs, alcohol and indiscriminate sex to rampant shopping, gambling, under- or over-eating, work-aholism or frantic socializing, are clearly not the answer, and yet, that is precisely what many people choose to do. And of course the result is never positive. It merely drags them down further.
Conversely, others seek spiritual answers, or meditate, or read many wonderful books, or go to numerous inspiring workshops. And yet, many of these people also find that this is not the answer. At least not if they are not consciously changing their lives by adopting some of the teachings they find in the books or workshops.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Something extraordinary is happening today, and I believe in my heart that you will not want to miss it ... it’s all about LOVE.
Today, September 28th, I've come together with numerous other leading authors, teachers and experts for one special reason: to give YOU the power and the tools you need to transform your life by learning how to love.
By joining forces we have brought together a special collection of life-altering secrets, including one that – if applied to your life – means that you will never be the same again: Find Lasting Inner Well-Being, Joy, Peace & Freedom NOW!
And we are giving them all away for one day.
You can go here NOW to get all the details:
My new book Rewiring The Soul: Finding The Possible Self is now available globally in over 100 countries. This book can be vital in helping you make the positive changes you want in your life — and I'm so fortunate to have so many respected peers — that these authors and experts are joining me to spread the word. It's that important!
If it's your wish to walk through this world with a heart filled with love – not only for others, but specifically for yourself, in the knowledge that love for yourself is the first step in attaining your own higher possibilities — this is your chance to learn EXACTLY how, and to get numerous valuable BONUS GIFTS to boot.
Now is the time to take the first step into a whole new you! Go here now to find out more:
My warmest wishes for a loving and love-filled life,
Photos: Chinese Character for LOVE & Cover of Rewiring the Soul
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
How do we normally recognize love? People tell us that they love us. They do lovely things for us. They make us feel good. They are kind, considerate; in short, they are loving. And you are probably thinking: I sure did not need to read this post in order to find that out!
Bear with me. You know that someone loves you, i.e., you recognize the love because what they do resonates with what you consider to be loving. However, when they don't do this, or no longer do this, then you tend to consider that they do not love you.
But in the instance of them not doing things that resonate with what you consider to be loving, could it not be that the two of you simply speak different languages of what love is? And how love is represented? And how love shows its face? Take, for instance, an adult daughter who does not hug her parents very much, nor does she express her feelings for them continually, but she is constantly bringing them dishes she cooks for their freezer, so that they no longer need to cook their own meals. Or take, as another example, a friend who is always late for appointments with you, but is, in fact, the only one of your friends you can really trust to tell you the truth about yourself. What about the husband who finds it enormously hard to publicly express any kind of affection for you, and yet is always doing all in his power to ensure your comfort and material ease?
Examples abound, and the point I particularly want to get across, is the fact that our expectations of love do not necessarily coincide with the love we receive, and yet, if we are open to it, that does not mean that we are not receiving love, simply that we must learn to recognize it in this other format.
When you learn the English word for butter, and I am German, in which case the word is Butter, I easily recognize it. But then if another person learns the word in Spanish where it is mantequilla or in French where it is buerre, it may be harder to recognize for what it is. Analogically, a similar thing happens in our differing conceptions of how to show love. So let's learn to recognize that another may show as much love as we do, but in ways that are not our ways. That does not make it less worthy, nor does it mean we are loved in a less valuable way.
How are you reognizing love in your life today?
Monday, September 26, 2011
- I had never really seen that beautiful tree at the end of my street
- I had never really noticed how lovely the road I take to my job every day actually is
- I had never really paid any attention to the views I get when I turn the corner into the parking lot
What does this tell us? The person in question - and it applies to so many of us - is not being conscious and aware of what he/she is seeing. By not being aware, it is simply not seen.
Why does this happen? Because we tend to get lost in our thoughts. The mind chatter that takes over, like an out-of-control remote control that continually zaps and surfs from channel to channel occupies our awareness. Better said, it prevents our awareness from surfacing.
How many times have you driven a familiar route, one that you know very well, and that requires little direct attention, other than if another driver becomes careless or reckless? And how many times have you said to yourself, when you reach your destination: hmm, already here? I never noticed passing by the shopping mall, the university complex, or the park. And of course, you were not consciously aware of any of those because you were literally lost in thought.
Being lost in thought doesn't happen if you are conscious. You may be concentrating on thinking about something specific, but you remain conscious and aware. You do not lose yourself.
So when your eyes are open, what do you see? Do you see the beauty that is around you (no matter where you live), or do you pass it by, on automatic, and lose all sense of being in the present moment? Because when you are lost in thought in the way desacribed above, that is exactly what happens: you lose your present moments, which means that you lose bits of your life.
What are you seeing today?
Thursday, September 22, 2011
John (not his real name, all names in this article have been changed) was recently told he has a tumor. Malignant or benign, he will not know for about three weeks, after a series of tests and the results that they offer. Marguerite was taking her husband’s suits to the cleaners and found a hand-written note – not his handwriting - in the breast pocket of one of the jackets: Your love makes life worth living. Matthew and Lily have just been notified by their bank that unless they pay the overdue mortgage on their home, it will be repossessed by the end of the month. Jennifer had a call from the police this morning. Her son David is in jail for possession of cocaine. Michael got fired yesterday. And William was robbed. Burglars broke into his home while he was away on a brief trip and managed to open the safe where he had six months’ worth of emergency funds and his wife’s jewellery. None of it was insured. Finally, Mariel, a horse trainer, had a car accident, and not only is her car totaled, but because of injuries she sustained, she can not work for at least six weeks and her job only allows her six sick days per annum.
When Life Gets Hard
Such a list of bad luck and hard situations doesn’t exactly make for fun reading. But here is why this is the subject of today’s article: when life serves up the hard bits, the companions we have chosen up to that point in our lives, will shape – at least in part – the manner in which we are able to deal with the problems. They will sustain us and they will help us get through that dark forest to the clearing on the other side. Or not.
Here are some of the companions we habitually choose – we spend our precious time with these companions - and because they are habitual, and because we generally choose them long before any of the hard bits in our lives have appeared, they impact our thoughts and behavior in ways that are detrimental instead of uplifting when the more difficult times show up, just as sugar and chemicals in food are detrimental to our bodies and creep up on us until finally one day we realize the body that we have is no longer healthy:
- Endless television shows that we watch simply because we happened on them, either while channel surfing, or because they were there when we turned on the TV
- Junk books
- TV and radio commercials and print advertising, not to mention billboards that encroach on our time and thinking as we drive through the streets (similar to what mindlessly eating sugary treats or salty chips while we watch TV or read, does to our body)
- Fashion, gossip, and sports magazines
- Irate political, sports, and religious commentators on radio or television
- Conversations consisting to a degree of gossip, or discussion of other people’s lives
- Conversations consisting to a degree of complaining about something in our lives which we expect the other person to listen to, and vice versa, listening to others complaining about their lives (see also Do Your Relationship Boundaries Contribute to Your Well-Being?)
- See also Emotional and Energetic Vampires
- See also Finding it Hard to Love Yourself? Check Out Your Boundaries
- Spending time in thought on endless worrying about problems (see also Controlling Ourselves, Our Lives, and the People in ThemSpending time in thought on endlessly going over and over what someone did to you that you simply can not forgive (see also Can You Forgive?)
- Spending time in thought about how bored we are, or participating in some of the above activities simply because we are bored (see also Finding a Meaning for Your Life )
- Socializing with a great amount of alcohol or some other type of substance, meaning that the actual interaction with other individuals is probably not on a level that serves us
- Socializing with people we are addicted to because of the power they have (see also What Are Your Addictions?)
- Shopping until we drop (even if our credit cards are already groaning under a weight of debt)
There’s nothing wrong with all of the above in moderation, but if you were to make a list of all the hours you spend on all of the above activities that apply to you, you might find that when you need another kind of inner back-up, you don’t have it. When life throws us the curve balls, when the floor falls away from under out feet, when unexpected setbacks arrive, frequently what we most have going for us is what we carry around inside with us. What we have nourished ourselves with. Think of a young woman about to get pregnant. It’s logical, we all understand that if she is eating a healthy diet, the body that will become a vessel for the baby will be able to nourish that growing fetus in a much better fashion, than a body that is filling itself with junk food or substances. So it is with us as we prepare ourselves for those moments in life when the going gets rough.
Resilience is required for difficult times. Inner strength is required. Wisdom, trust and faith (not necessarily religious) are required. Belief in yourself is required. Knowing that you can survive will take you a long way. Emulation of others you may admire who have gone through tough times is helpful. Learn about them. Read about them. Be inspired by them. And above all, love yourself (see also Love Yourself First).
Think of this: how much joy have you stored up in your life to get you through difficulties? (see also Do You Dance?) Have you figured out how to live a joyful life no matter what? (See also You are Here to be Happy). How much understanding have you stored? Have you filled yourself with ideas that will see you through? What would you do – inside your head - if you were stranded on a desert island, or if you were placed into solitary confinement? Obviously those things are highly unlikely to happen to the great majority of us. But that – feeling that we are all alone - is how we sometimes feel when we are going through tough times because there is nothing there to sustain us.
Keeping Your Energy High
I’m an inveterate reader and have been ever since I discovered the public library with a spectacular children’s section in the city where I lived in Canada as a child. I took my bicycle there once a week, filled the basket with books and read those books over the course of the week. Evidently most of those books were novels, children’s books, and so on, but I quickly realized that there were certain books or certain pieces of information in some of the books that spoke to me in other ways than the rest. Hence I avidly searched for more of those books or for more books with passages of that nature. They nourished me. As I grew older, I began to acquire books with the goal in mind that I wanted material that nourished me, and then, even at the age of 15, realized that some of those had become faithful companions when life got hard. I was able to find solace in them, greater understanding of how I might continue on, and certainly, they encouraged me in my darker hours.
But it need not be books. It just needs to be a habit – once you understand this process – of finding daily quality nourishment that will sustain you (see also Keeping Your Energy High), because it has served to grow a being (you) that carries inner strength and conviction, a being that knows it can survive, no matter what is thrown at it. Such inner nourishment can come in many guises, but you will know it because of how it raises your inner energy, your inner sense of well-being and helps you grow towards the goal of truly loving yourself. Begin to make the pursuit of such energy-raising nourishment a habit. It will serve you well and lead you closer to inner peace, well-being and freedom.
From the reviews on Amazon:
"The instruction manual on rewiring the soul. An in-depth guide on life, love, spiritual evolution & our integration within the universe."
Michael Habernig & April Hannah; Producers: The Path- The Afterlife & The Path 11 Documentaries
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
In the past I've spent some time commenting on the fact that if we look too much to the past: either to its pain or its perceived happiness and glory, we risk becoming caught in a loop that will not allow us to live fully in the present. By going through an experience that somehow resonates with something similar in the past, in particular if the past one was painful, the present one will tend to pull us fully back there and literally keep parts of us in the past, meaning that those parts of us are simply not available for us in the present.
However, despite that caveat, there is much to be said for examining our past, for being familiar with its crests and troughs, and in particular, with its patterns. However, in order to be able to recognize all of this, we need to thoroughly know our past, and in order to do that, it needs to have been examined. It needs thinking about, in other words.
One of the easiest ways I know of doing precisely that is by following this simple system - A Life Timeline Exercise:
- take one sheet of paper for each year of your life, including year '0', when you were born
- on the top of each sheet write the year and your age
- write - as most of us know this - your city of residence, and perhaps the actual street address
- write who lived in the household with you, including parents, siblings, grandparents or other relatives, household staff and any pets
- if you are old enough to be in kindergarten, write that, or else school, college, etc
- your first job
- any birthdays you remember and why, ditto Christmases and vacations
- best friends
- your first set of roller skates or bike
- sports activities
- clubs, etc.
Slowly, you will begin to form a picture of your past that goes far beyond just the painful or happy memories and this picture, just as surely as a puzzle coming together, will help you understand not only your past, but more importantly, what you can learn from it in order to make your future better.
How are you improving your future today?
To read more about bringing greater well-being into your life, greater inner peace, happiness, harmony and joy, get a copy of my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon in paperback or e-book for Kindle format. Click here to download the first chapter.
From the Reviews on Amazon:
A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom & joy but illuminates the way to true human potential. Dr. Kortsch is a spiritual master for our time.
Paul Rademacher, Exec Dir, The Monroe Institute; author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
It's a choice, right? The way your day unfolds is a choice. Obviously not what happens on the outside - that's not always and not totally under your control. But what happens on the inside is under your control. And if you make a consistent choice of it, it is always under your control.
So making your day exceptional is something that can happen no matter what. It is the way you decide to allow it to unfold on that inner level at each and every step of the way. Your choice. Your awareness of how you react to that outer stuff is paramount to the process. If you're not aware, you won't be in a position to choose your reactions.
At this point you may be saying that I'm always writing about awareness and choice and responsibility for the self, and you are absolutely right. Without those elements in your life - freely chosen by you as a kind of benchmark or barometer by which you can live your life - you will never have exceptional days, unless the outer part of your day is exceptional. But with them, you can have exceptional days no matter what.
What are your barometers? Are you having an exceptional day?
Photo: Iguazu Falls, Argentina
Friday, September 9, 2011
When you are in love - or believe yourself to be in love - and love walks out the door, you are not only justifiably devastated, but you may be devastated to the point of paralysis, palpitations, pain that can associate with physical nausea, and above all, a sensation of not being able to continue with this deep, bottomless pit that has formed at the center of your being. The yawning Hades, whose blackness spreads before you, is only known by those who have been there.
Those whose lives have recently been ripped asunder in the fashion described, those whose love has walked out the door, are particularly vulnerable on special days such as Christmas, New Year’s or Valentine’s Day, on weekends, on vacations, on special anniversaries and birthdays.
Ideas of some of the things you can do to help yourself back to the road of equanimity, if not inner peace and contentment, or even happiness, follow:
1. As you examine the relationship that has just ended - as most people tend to do ad nauseam, to the point of sorely trying their friends' patience, because of the desire to understand why it ended, or what you did that was wrong, or what you could have done differently - ask yourself what truly positive thing you could learn from this most painful experience. This questioning process that almost always takes place on an inner level can lead you to the beginning of the road to recovery. Perhaps you could learn that this is not the way to allow yourself to be treated. Perhaps the learning has to do with always telling the truth, or always being transparent with your own beliefs, likes, and dislikes, and not hiding them in order to be liked or loved. Perhaps you could learn that simply loving another human being does not guarantee love in return - or at least not everlasting love. (This is akin to living at the symbolic level of power, referred to by Caroline Myss in her audio CD Three Levels of Power and How to Use Them).
2. Ask yourself if the love you felt for this person who has just abandoned you, was a love that made you feel free, or a love that made you feel anxious and dependent. If it was the latter, ask yourself if you truly think it is a positive thing to feel that way, when you are supposed to be in love and therefore in the best place any of us can be. Is it possible that something so good can make you feel so miserable? I refer to how you felt while the other person was still your partner, was still with you, not how you feel now, that the other person has left. And if you agree that this is not the way one should - ideally - feel when one is in love, then ask yourself what is wrong with your scenario. In other words, why did you feel so anxious and dependent? The answer is quite simple: anxious and dependent love has its roots in neediness, and we are needy when we have not yet begun to love the self. So we love others in the hope (unconscious) of being able to love ourselves as we see the reflection of their love for us in their eyes. I have explained this in greater length in the first of the Related Articles below). Understanding this inner neediness takes you another big step on the road not only to recovery from the painful loss of the relationship, but also to finding yourself.
3. Ask yourself if there is anything in your life that truly gives it meaning. In other words, do you feel a passion for something? Does something that you do, give you a sense of purpose, or mission, or fill you with excitement. If so, a big part of your problem is already solved, because by dedicating yourself to that, you will be able to get over the worst of your feeling of being bereft. Such a sense of purpose and meaning in life is as fundamentally important as breathing. Therefore, if you have no such sense, or if you would like to have it, but don't know what it might be, please read the second article below in order to learn how to implement something like this into your life. Having a sense of purpose and meaning in life canot be stressed highly enough. If you resolve this one, you will have come a long way.
4. Ask yourself how well you know yourself. How comfortable you are with yourself. Because if you do not know yourself, or if you are not comfortable with yourself, you will find great difficulty maintaining a viable and healthy relationship, and you will tend to attract to you partners who are on the same wave-length of not being very aware of themselves. Make an effort to walk down this road a little bit every day, in order to change - to broaden - this aspect of yourself, so that future relationships can be very different. Also read the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth articles below.
5. Ask yourself how much of what is going through your head right now is blame. If you are blaming the other person for how terrible or awful he/she is for doing this to you, after all you did for him/her, please know that this blaming will take you no where. It may very well be true that you have been treated badly, but what must be learned from this is that for some reason you have allowed it. The other person is not in your control, but you are. To begin to walk down this road, read articles 7, 8, and 9 below.
6. Ask yourself what choices you have today. That's right. What can you choose today to make things better for yourself? Understand that everything you do and think, and that how you act and react is your choice. This is a long topic, there are many things to be said about it, and so I simply want to leave you with this thought: you always have a choice. Even when you are in pain. You can choose how you think about your pain, you can choose to remain immobilized, or you can choose to do something about it, such as, for example, right now, read some of the related articles below, to begin the process of bringing yourself to another level. Not of suppressing the pain, but of beginning to understand how you don't really have to be here, and of implementing some of the tools that will help you leave this place inside of you, to one where the sun shines every day ... I encourage you to look at articles 10 - 14 below.
1. I Need You...I Need You Not: Does Love Imply Needing?
2. Finding a Meaning For Your Life
3. Tending Your Inner Garden
4. Do You Like The Person You Are Alone With?
5. The Unexamined Life
6. Giving Birth To Yourself
7. Choosing To Wallow in Relationship Pain?
8. Anonymous Reader and Relationship Woes
9. Relationship Pain
10. Book Review 2 - Happiness Is A Choice
11. The Greatest Quality in Life
12. All You Have Is Now
13. No One Can Control Your Emotions
14. Taking the State of Your Energy into Your Own Hands
15. Losing the Connection: You Still Love Each Other, But No Longer Connect
16. Your Parents, Your Children, and the Marital Bed
17. The Mirror of Relationships
18. Transparency in Relationships
19. Are You in Love or Do You Love?
20. Emotional Unavailability: An Introduction
21. Committed Relationships: Use Them to Grow Towards Understanding and Real Love
22. Marriage in the 21st Century: Could Cutting-Edge Spiritual Psychology Make it Viable Again?
23. Finding it Hard to Love Yourself? Check Out Your Boundaries
Realize this, if nothing else: you and you alone are responsible for your happiness and well-being. The sooner you apply this knowledge to your life, the more quickly you will find it possible, by virtue of awareness and making appropriate and healthy choices, to build a strong inner core that will see you through these dark nights. It is impossible to control others, but you can do something about yourself.
For much more information about your inner state, your relationships, your pain, and what to do about it all in such a way that it will lead to peace, freedom, harmony and joy, get my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available as a paperback or e-book for Kindle. Click here to download the first chapter.
Reviews From the Back Cover:
"This meticulously researched and crafted book is clearly the masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul, one who thinks deeply, feels deeply, and cares deeply about the well-being of the world and its humankind. Reading it will change your life; beginning to live actively any of its ideas, principles, and suggestions will transform your life. And bring you safely and joyfully home to your true self, your soul. I found it dazzling, challenging, and wondrously useful."
PEGGY RUBIN, Director, Center for Sacred Theatre, Ashland, Oregon; author, To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre
"The Soul doesn't get sick but it does need nourishment; if not it seems as if our life starves to death. This wonderful book by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch is definitely healthy "Soul food". It becomes clear that as the personality endeavors to "rewire" the Soul, it is its own energy or conscious awareness that is elevated to that higher level where the invisible becomes visible and experienced as peace, joy, love and freedom. A treat to enjoy and celebrate."
ERIC ROLF; author, Soul Medicine: The Heart of Healing
Thursday, September 8, 2011
I've borrowed the title for today's post from Henry Miller's book by the same name Remember to Remember, although the resemblance ends there.
If you are trying to change something about yourself, it's clear that if you don't remember to do whatever it is you have decided on that will create the change, then nothing will change. So if you want to create firm triceps, or improve your accent in a foreign language, if you don't remember to do the exercises that either of those goals entails, you will not see any results.
When you work on changing inner facets of yourself - such as becoming less impatient, critical or judgmental, as I posted about a few days ago in Cultivating Patience, or other inner changes that I posted about in Changing the World: One Person At A Time, and in Intention - what you are undertaking, as a matter of fact, is remembering to remember to do these things.
Perhaps you think this is overly obvious. Why bother to state anything that is so obvious? And yet, what I see time and time again, with individuals from many different walks of life, is the fact that for all their good intentions, they fail to remember to remember to do the simple little exercises that will help them attain the desired goals. And especially when we are working on our inside, psychological and spiritual self, as opposed to our outer, physical self, or our intellectual self, we seem to have greater difficulty in remembering to remember.
For this reason I recommend something utterly simple: put up some post-its in your house, perhaps in your bedroom on the mirror, in your bathroom on the mirror, in your kitchen on the refrigerator, and on your laptop monitor, and write something on them that will help you to remember. What you write is less important than knowing that it means you are to remember to remember.
Creating a new and better, more balanced inner state is of prime importance for your inner well-being. Remembering that you want to remember to do the exercises or implement the new knowing, mode of behavior, or reaction each time such-and-such occurs, will be the first step to take you to your ultimate goal. What steps are you taking to improve your inner well-being today?
For more information about remembering, inner well-being, loving the self, creating healthy boundaries, and self-love, get my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available both in paperback and e-book for Kindle. Click here to download the first chapter.
Ask anyone, whatever their circumstances, if their life is vibrant, fulfilling, harmonious and happy. An honest reply is likely to be 'no', because to answer a truthful 'yes' is no mean feat. Only to grow psychologically and emotionally is not enough. And only to grow spiritually is not enough either. All three dimensions need to be developed in order to realize your full potential. If you are willing to assume total responsibility for the self and to start what is an on-going journey, you will quickly begin to glimpse the first fruits of the ultimate goal: inner well-being, freedom, peace, harmony and joy. This book sets out the pathway to self-mastery and self-discovery and walking that pathway will be the most exciting adventure of your life.
Photo: Pre-Columbian site (precursor to the Incan sites) of Tiahuanaco, Bolivia
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
This subject warrants repetition until absolutely everyone has understood and effectively puts it into practice. My voice is merely one of thousands, perhaps millions that says roughly the same as the others do.
If you do not practice awareness or mindfulness about your thoughts and your feelings, you have not a hope in hell of living a reasonably decent life - at least - without the use of self-soothing mechanisms to keep the demons at bay. By practicing awareness, or by becoming conscious of yourself in every waking moment, so that you catch those thoughts and those feelings that are pulling you down into an abyss, even if it is a very familiar abyss, you can literally turn your life around. To say that this will influence all other areas of your life as well, is putting it mildly!
Once you catch those thoughts and feelings because you are living consciously, you are in a position to choose to do something about them. You are not in this position of choice - not ever - if you do not live consciously. Your reactions to your thoughts and feelings (that come out of nowhere, and that are not in any way under your conscious control), when you are not living an aware life, will be blind. They will be reactions that come just as unbidden as the thoughts and feelings themselves. They will be push-button reactions, reactive (as opposed to conscious) reactions, and they will generally simply lead to more pain or misery.
Becoming conscious is not so hard. Choosing to become conscious is very hard.
What are you choosing today?
For much more about living consciously, about being aware of your thoughts and feelings, and about choosing to seek your inner well-being above all, in order that you may have a ripple effect on all those who come in contact with you, get my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon as a paperback or e-book for Kindle and all Kindle applications. Click here to download the first chapter.
A Review From the Back Cover:
"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. Read it and Soul is no longer just a dogma, nor hypothesis, it is made real and as much a part of your being as your toes. We usually shut off our inner voice, yet by recognizing this aspect of ourselves we begin to discover our essential nature, our intuitive truth, and that becomes our loving guide. The author illustrates the limitations of living only as the mind's Ego, and demonstrates in practical terms how we can transcend this by awakening a conscious viewpoint, following the path of our intuition and feelings, no longer separated from our body and the reality around us, and integrating at last our Soul's inner guidance and wellspring of love. The implications are profound."
PETER SHEPHERD; Founder Trans4mind - www.trans4mind.com; author, Daring To Be Yourself
Photo: Menton, Côte d'Azur, France
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Having admitted publicly that I tend to go through fashion and gossip magazines when sitting in the hair salon, or I may do a bit of the same on my smart phone if I'm having a coffee somewhere, I'd like to give voice to something that I think each time I do so. While I may be fascinated (or horrified) by the latest fashions, or read with curiosity about the relationship meandering of this or that celebrity, I am incensed when I see articles and photographs addressing the following in a critical, finger-pointing fashion, and using well-known public figures to make the point:
- laugh lines
- wrinkled knees
- sagging bottoms
- extra weight
- sparse hair growth
- grey hairs
- fashion gaffes
- large thighs
- sagging necklines
As you will have guessed, my issue; my concern has to do with self-esteem in a population of individuals that already has problems with that, more than with the ethics of this particular brand of gutter class journalism. And evidently I am less concerned with the self-esteem of the celebrities who are used as lynchpins by the authors of these pieces, than with the self-esteem of the young people (and often the not so young people) who read this, and who already feel 'less than perfect' as opposed to celebrities or models they see in the press, and now, with this kind of overt and vicious criticism, feel even more damaged.
Our society places enormous weight on physical perfection, and while I am the first who may admire such physical perfection wherever it exists, I am also aware of the fact that I had to buy my freedom from such self-esteem robbing material back in the 80's when I made the concerted and deliberately conscious decision to stop buying fashion and gossip magazines because I recognized the effect they had on me and how I felt about myself. You might say I did this because my love for myself was greater than my desire to continue perusing these magazines.
Please: if any of what I have written in this brief post hit home, stop buying and reading this kind of press. Understand that it has power over you simply because your sense of self-esteem and self-love has not yet had a chance to grow to the place where such messages would no longer resonate with you.
For much more on self-love and living consciously in such a way that your inner sense of well-being, harmony, freedom and joy lies in your own hands, and not at the mercy of external sources, get my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon as a paperback or e-book for Kindle and all Kindle applications. Click here to download the first chapter.
From the Author's Page on Amazon:
Who is the book written for?
Rewiring the Soul is written for anybody who suffers and I guess that means just about all of us! It is written for anybody who has not yet experienced enduring happiness and inner well-being; anybody who is reaching for inner peace; anybody whose life is not as they would wish it to be.
What can a reader expect to gain by reading this book? What makes it different from most other transformational or self-help books out there?
So many wonderful teachers tell us about working on our spiritual selves. So many other wonderful teachers show us how to work on our psycho-emotional selves. But very few actually integrate the two. And Rewiring the Soul is my response to that challenge. Rewiring the Soul brings together the need to take your daily life in hand with the need to put your spiritual life in order as well. By daily life I mean your personal life, your professional life, the way you do or do not love yourself and all that such an attitude entails: conscious awareness, healthy boundaries, meaning in your life, recognizing you always have a choice, and taking responsibility for all your choices, etc., and by spiritual life I mean the inner connection to your eternal self.
If you have learned how to meditate, or do yoga, or whatever it is that you do, have you also learned how to observe yourself in the middle of an argument with your rebellious teenage son or your angry partner and hence choose to react differently because you have learned to love yourself enough to do so? If you have learned how to communicate more effectively with your children, spouse, friends, colleagues or employees, have you also learned how to be mindful and connect to yourself in meaningful ways to achieve that spiritual balance in your life?
While Rewiring the Soul is about so much more than that, those previous examples give an idea of what my book is about and how it does so in such a way that our psychological and spiritual selves nurture each other.
In a nutshell: neither the spiritual nor the psychological or emotional dimensions of your life will work if you neglect:
- your inner connection to the eternal self while you seek happiness in the outer world
- your happiness in the outer world while you seek the connection to the inner eternal self
Monday, September 5, 2011
Communicating with the people who are important in your life is something most of us do without thinking. We talk about our day at work, our colleagues, our activities, how long we had to wait in line at the supermarket, about the fact that it's time to re-negotiate the mortgage with the bank, the kids need new school uniforms, which movie shall we go see on the weekend, where shall we take our vacation, can we afford a vacation, June invited us to a party at her house on Saturday, my exercise class got canceled, I'm reading a super book by Gabriella Kortsch, etc. etc.
All of that is indeed communication, but there is very little soul in it. Well wait, you say, we also talked about my mother who needs in-home care due to her Alzheimers, and we discussed the fact that Sinead, our middle daughter Ashley's best friend was caught taking drugs, and we're worried about Ashley running in the wrong crowd, and we discussed the fact that I'm rather concerned about getting downsized at work.
Agreed, that is also communication, but I still contend that there is very little soul in it. All these matters are important, and clearly need to be discussed in a partnership or marriage, but most of them are, you might say, practical matters.
So what do I mean about the soul of communication? Perhaps we discuss how I feel about mother needing in-home care. It's brought up memories of guilt I thought I had long buried about not being a good daughter, and now the fact that a stranger might be taking care of her, has made them resurface with a vengeance. Perhaps we discuss our worries about our daughter in the light of how we lived ourselves as teens and young adults, partaking freely in recreational drugs, even though we stopped it long ago, and are now realizing the fears our parents must have had about us, and perhaps in this conversation we realize we need to have an open talk with our daughter about the topic, and we begin to discuss how best to go about it, and how we want to deal with her from now on, perhaps in a more open way, where we are prepared for her to see that we made mistakes of the kind we fear she is now making, and where we risk that she may view us with new eyes on receiving this information from us. Perhaps we discuss my feelings of impotence and fear about being downsized, and perhaps that takes us to a conversation about my dreams, my aspirations, that I had never shared with you before, that have to do with making a living doing something totally unrelated to what I've been doing up to now. Perhaps in this conversation I realize that you are willing to take that risk with me, for me to re-engineer my career because you care so much about me dedicating my life to something that means a lot to me.
What has been so different about these conversations from the earlier examples in the post? In part it has to do with our mutual opening up to our feelings, feelings that might leave us more exposed and vulnerable to our partner, but in part it has to do with the fact that precisely those feelings create a greater soul connection between us as we talk. And it is this soul connection that gives us a firm foundation upon which to base our relationship when the going gets rough (as it does in most partnerships), without which we might not get over the hurdles.
Communicating with soul can be cast aside, waylaid, or forgotten about so easily, as we get caught up with the practical dimension of our lives, and further, by not practising it, we are not particularly good at it. So making the effort to speak with soul, to find the soul in our communication, we are creating a depth of relationship and understanding that is not possible to achieve the other way. Oh, and there is an added benefit: when soul is strong in relationship, sex tends to get better and better, as opposed to getting boring and so frequently eventually becoming non-existent.
For more information about relationships and the soul, and about creating inner depth, get my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available from Amazon as a paperback and e-book for Kindle. To read the first chapter, click here.
From a Reader's review on Amazon:
I was enthralled by Chapter 6, Boundaries, Path to Empowerment. How refreshing to be reminded that it is in my body where my innate wisdom resides and how to listen to it; above all, what to do about it.
Gabriella Kortsch provides us with a literary, in-depth masterpiece to the human psyche, behavior and ultimate transformation.
I love the content. This book is exquisitely written and beautifully executed.
Alejandra Rodríguez "Ali", Ormond Beach, Florida
Photo: Monument Valley, Arizona
Friday, September 2, 2011
What a way to think about some of the people in our lives! Most of us have been conditioned to regard vampires as the very substance of our most dreaded nightmares. The absolute epitome of horror. And yet … many of us lead lives with more than just a nodding acquaintance with one or more emotional and energetic vampires.
Perhaps the most daunting aspect of this – if we wish to do something about it - is that a good number of people with this type of personality often appear to be anything but emotional or energetic vampires. They appear to be kind, generous, considerate, and hospitable. And certainly, in many ways – at least on the surface – that is exactly what they are. So why do you feel so awful when you are with them? Weakened, drained, exhausted, sapped. Your energy is gone. Your vitality is gone. Your good mood is gone. You’ve been sucked dry in the truest sense of the word.
How to Recognize When You Are in the Presence of These People
(Use Your Feelings as a Gauge)
Feel a tightening in your gut? A restriction in your chest? A queasiness? An uneasiness? These body sensations, as well as what follows, which is taken from the way we feel, gives you a hint that you might be in the presence of an emotional or energetic vampire. Remember: the way your body feels when you spend time with someone, and your feelings in the emotional sense of the word, are always indicators of something going on that you want to investigate. It may not always mean you are faced with a person of the type I have been describing, but it certainly warrants some careful consideration.
- Guilty (we feel guilty as we ask ourselves how we can possibly be feeling some of the things we are feeling, if this person is being so good to us or so helpful and hospitable.)
- Drained and sapped
- Tired and weak
- Unenthusiastic (or if we were enthusiastic earlier in the day, after a bit of time in their presence, our enthusiasm is gone)
- Pushed and pulled in directions you don’t want to go (ever heard of subliminal manipulation?)
- You may even feel befuddled, less clear in your head, as if you had been mildly drugged
Who Are They?
They can be anywhere and everywhere. Or not. What I mean is this: if you have someone like this in your life, that person, or those persons, could be in any sector of your life. Very close to you. Or more distanced. But if they are emotional or energetic vampires, you will know it because of the way you feel when you are with them for more than a few moments.
Some Typical Scenarios
- The “nothing you do or say is ever valued” vampire
- This type never is happy for you if something good happens. Or, rather than showing happiness when you tell them about something good, or something you are proud of, they find a reason to put it down, or to show you how it could go wrong, or why it will never work. If, after many of these situations, you finally say something about it, there is a good chance that they may defend themselves by telling you: well someone has to be realistic. If you mention that they never seem to be happy for you when something goes well, they may seem puzzled and ask: but what do you mean? Of course I’m happy for you. If you don’t catch on, you won’t see the connection between your low feelings after being with them, and their lack of joy about your good news. Or you may find yourself striving to do something really spectacular, just to get a favorable reaction from them. And when it does not come, the circle repeats itself, with your vitality and enthusiasm going lower and lower each subsequent time.
- The “I know it better than you do” vampire
- This vampire is not a vampire because they actually do know something better than you do. I mean when they talk about those areas where they truly have expertise, you do not feel drained or empty. What happens here is something different. You tell them about something. You are enthusiastic. It could be something you did, or experienced or heard about or read. And immediately they have some kind of one-up-man-ship. It could be that they heard about it long before you. They were dong this when you were still a baby. Or they know all about feeling that way (if you had been describing feelings), but now they are well launched into their own description of their experience of this type of thing. Whatever it is, they have been there, done that, or know about it. You begin to feel flattened, drained, sucked dry whenever you speak to them.
- The “victim” vampire
- This one can actually be putting on a very brave face, interlaced however, with much possible sighing, and a soft, suffering voice. Here there has been a great injustice done to the vampire, perhaps it is the family that has let the person down, perhaps it was a spouse, or friends, occasionally this vampire may even blame him or herself for some events, but nevertheless, because they view themselves as victim, albeit brave and all-suffering, you are put into the untenable role of someone who is expected to help this person, generally at the expense of your own well-being. Your help may come in the guise of marathon talk sessions, ideas, something you physically do for the other to help them get stronger or better, but whatever it is, it drains you. And of course, if you stop accepting the role of helper, builder-upper of strength (the other’s), you feel guilty for being such a bad friend (or relative, or partner).
- The “monologue” vampire who never lets you get a word in edgewise
- This one isn’t just talking endlessly about what is not going well in his/her life; the endless talking can also be about potentially interesting subjects, but there is simply no interest whatsoever in what you might have to say about it. So the monologue goes on and on. And since this particular vampire has never done anything to offend you, you feel you would be rude or discourteous by complaining. And so you continue to listen as your life blood (your energy) drains out of you. This can go on for decades.
- The “I just want to be like you and do everything you do” vampire
- This one suffocates you by their desire to emulate you to the nth degree. They may begin by dressing like you, going to the same tailor or designer, using your salon, picking up your discards when you no longer date someone (or after you’ve divorced someone). Later they may actually try to date them even when you are still with someone. They want to go everywhere you go, participate in all your activities, they may decide to sign up at your gym or your yoga class, they may show up unbidden at restaurants when you are dining out with other friends. But basically, because all they are really doing is trying to be like you – which we often take as something complimentary – you may not notice how much you are being suffocated until it has reached a point of strong frustration. And then, if you want to keep your head over water, you may need to disappear from their life.
- The “please take care of me” vampire
- This one is another type of victim vampire, but comes dressed in new clothing. This vampire comes right out and says he/she needs your help, needs you to take on responsibility for some portion of their existence. And for some reason, you fall right into the role. It could be because at the beginning it makes you feel good, or strong, or valuable. Or perhaps they admire you as go about whatever it is that you do for them. But eventually it suffocates you. Because you are now in the strait-jacket of having to be responsible for the other. And to remove the strait-jacket, to stop being suffocated, you may need to take drastic measures, never an easy step. To begin with, it will probably make you feel highly guilty to refuse to continue in the role. But if you do continue in the role, you may feel, apart from suffocated, very resentful, low in energy and enthusiasm, because life just is no longer very good. How can it be, if your life blood runs through their veins? Don’t forget, that in some fashion, vampires are parasites.
- The “I can’t live without you” vampire
- This is a cousin of the please take care of me vampire, i.e., another type of victim vampire, but this one is bigger and stronger. This one may even get the kids to help reel you back into the fold in order to re-establish the status quo. This one may have been feeding off you for an entire marriage. Or as your sibling an entire lifetime. Or your parent, or even your child. You know that you feel drained and empty, perhaps even hopeless in their presence (hopeless because you just don’t know how to stop it). So finally you take the big step and give them an ultimatum – or, even more drastic - remove them from your life. Now they use strategic tactics to undermine your recently-found strength. They pull at your heart-strings by sending you the children (possibly adult children) to let you know how they are not able to live without you. Or they send you your parent (in the case of a sibling) to pass on the same message. The result? You feel so guilty, so terrible about your own selfish behaviour (for wanting to be out of their presence), you feel so responsible for their well-being, that you may capitulate. Don’t. It’s your life that is at stake. You are responsible for you. They are responsible for themselves. They need to learn how to exist without feeding off you, and it is not your role to teach them how.
- The “I need to know everything about your life” vampire
- This one really suffocates as well, but here the suffocation has nothing to do with imitating you or behaving like a victim who needs you to be responsible for them or who can’t live without you. Here we’re talking about someone whom you have become used to giving blow-by-blow accounts of the details of your life. You may be friends and talk on the phone every day and all the fine points are gone over in minute detail. Or you may be colleagues with a similar scenario. At the beginning it just happened. If someone asked you how it came about, you might say that you aren’t really certain. It felt good, and it was lovely to be able to share with someone in such intimate fashion. At some point however, it started to become an obligation. Perhaps a moral obligation. You felt guilty if you didn’t share all. You sometimes began holding some bits back, noticed it, and then felt resentful if the other pried, or prodded you into saying more. In time, you started feeling drained as you recounted your daily life to the vampire. But by now – at least on the surface – you are so close, that it seems to make no sense that you want out, or that you have any negative feelings, so guilt builds up on more guilt. And you feel more drained.
Note: This listing is not meant to be definitive. There are many, many other versions of emotional and energetic vampires. Some, who appear in the workplace as your superiors, have not even been touched upon here, and they can make life a living hell. Others can appear in your bedroom. That will eventually also turn into a living nightmare.
What Does it Mean?
- There is high degree of manipulation in the art of being a vampire – manipulation directed at you in order that you will offer your neck (and your life blood) willingly
- In the early stages of the relationship, you may have a feeling of being worthy, of having value, but when you begin to feel drained and robbed of energy, you know that those feelings were merely part of the unresolved issues in you that need work
- The vampire:
- Does not have to take care of the self
- Does not have to work on being responsible for the self
- Feels alive by draining others
- Feels powerful by draining others
- There is something very needy about the vampire – why else would they be draining you of your life blood? However, this kind of neediness is highly dangerous for you, if you decide to “help” them with it. Where they are needy, they are dysfunctional. And that is totally their own responsibility. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t be a supporting friend or partner, should they decide to do something about it. But as long as they expect to get their blood from you, and you comply, you are both highly dysfunctional.
What Can You Do About It?
Try talking openly. Maybe you can salvage the relationship, although I don’t think it’s very likely (in order for this to happen, the other person will have had to do some growing of their own, and more often than not growth takes place at different time in individuals’ lives). Try explaining. If none of that works, keep as much distance as you can, both physically and emotionally. Examine everything that is being said and done, and remember that whatever it is that is being said and done has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the other person. Consciously choose to hear it and observe it, but to not let it affect you the way it has up to now. Leave the presence of the other person as soon as you can. But in some cases you may need to walk away … perhaps in a definitive way, by ending the relationship.
Why Do You Have Someone Like That in Your Life?
Let’s start with the premise that the reasons I enumerate are in line with the spiritual philosophy of psychology I’ve been offering in these blog posts and newsletters over the past five years There are numerous possibilities. However, I just want to touch on one of the most obvious and frequent reasons that pertain to inner growth regarding the reason why people have emotional and energetic vampires in their lives.
Having emotional and energetic vampires in your life eventually teaches you about boundaries … about the fact that you have poor boundaries …about the fact that you have now (as you truly become aware of this in your life) developed a real allergy to this ... to people who do not respect you. In either calling them to order, or in ridding your life of them, you become much more aware and conscious about yourself. Due to this you are now in a position to move to a whole new level in your life because of this new awareness and your conscious decision not to let individuals of this type continue to be an influence in your life.
This reorganization of your inner self and the subsequent move to a whole new level is immensely important. It means you become responsible for your entire self, not just for your physical well-being, for example. By so doing, you ensure that your environment – in this case the type of persons that people your world – are healthy for you. This means you are beginning to show yourself you love yourself. Another magnificent step to inner freedom.
For more information about boundaries, loving the self, and growing towards a place of inner well-being, harmony, freedom and joy, get my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon as a paperback and e-book for Kindle and all Kindle applications. Download the first chapter by clicking here.
"In Rewiring the Soul, Gabriella Kortsch shows us in very practical ways how to lead a soul-guided, soul-infused life. With the wisdom of one who has traveled far and learned much, Dr. Kortsch blazes a path for all who have the courage to follow. The rewards for walking that path are great: an understanding of why we are here; an expanded awareness of who we really are; a new or heightened sense of purpose and meaning; and a deeper appreciation of life's many blessings. Highly recommended."
ROBERT SCHWARTZ, author, Your Soul's Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born (yoursoulsplan.com)
Photo: Tarifa, Spain (and the white beaches of Bolonia) from the west, with a view to the Rif Mountains of Africa