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"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

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

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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Letting Love Guide You


This is a hard one. Letting love guide you sounds so spiritual, so good, so something that the typical reader of my newsletters might actually be interested in doing, and yet, and yet ... it is not easy.

Letting love guide you means many things, some of which are:
  • letting go of being right
  • letting go of ego (the part of you that insists so much, and so frequently, and so loudly that it knows better than you)
  • understanding that from here on you will think differently about your thoughts, feelings, and actions when something happens that is not to your liking, and therefore leaving your comfort zone
  • allowing compassion for others to fill you
  • remembering your boundaries, but remembering that to uphold them, you need not insist on being right
  • looking at yourself each time you wish to react in unkind or thoughtless ways
  • remembering the importance of what Tolle has called the pain body, i.e., the blind, unaware reaction to anything that evokes a strong feeling response in you, and then resolving to change that response
  • realizing that letting love guide you does not mean only with regards to others, but also, and very particularly, with regards to yourself
Why is is so hard for us to let love guide us? Doesn't much of it have to do with the fact that we need to be right? Or - in other terminology - we need to win? Where does kindness go in those instances ... those many, many instances?

And here's another thing: we don't practice it, so it never becomes a habit.


How can you acquire a habit if you don't practice? Have you ever tried to rid yourself of complaining? Remember the man who started the 21-day-no-complaint challenge? Well I took him up on it, and although I haven't mastered it to perfection, I now rarely find myself complaining, and because I don't, I've become so much more aware of how much time we humans tends to spend on such a useless activity, that only serves to make us feel less good than we could. Then I started working on judgement and criticism. I'm still working. But of course, in the process, I've become so much more aware of the times that I do it. So although it's still a work in progress, and may continue to be so for a long, long time, it's nevertheless continually at the forefront of my conscious mind, and so it is much easier for me to continually remind myself - if I begin to judge or complain - that I actually don't want to go down that road. So I'm practicing. And it's certainly not always easy. My ego likes to remind me, if I walk down the road of judgement, that after all, because I understand so much more about this and that than others, I am allowed to judge... and of course, that is far, far, far from the truth. So I do battle with my ego. I inform it that it is not in charge. I may strengthen my resolve by reading something that keeps me on the right road, or listen to something that does the same job. In other words, I try to support that part of me that wants to be non-judgemental, by making more and more choices that lead me there.


Letting love guide you is like that too. First you need to be convinced that this is a muscle you wish to develop. Then you keep reminding yourself that this is on your list, and when you find yourself in a position where you can make the choice, you make it. And if you make a bad choice because you forgot your good intentions, you forgive yourself (love yourself), tell yourself that at least you remembered that you forgot to make the right choice, and resolve to do better next time.

For whom are you doing this? Yes, for others, of course, but remember, you are, in fact, also doing it for yourself  because the more you allow love to guide you, the more you will be filled with love, and the more you are filled with love, the closer you are to that being that you came here to become.


For more information about love and learning how to love the self, about the meaning of your life, about being aware, about doubt and moving forward and the way your thoughts and feelings about those subjects influence you and what to do about it, about inner well-being, inner growth and joy, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon as paperback or e-book for Kindle.


Click here to download the first chapter.

From the Description on Amazon:

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.

Rewiring the Soul' provides a user-friendly roadmap for personal transformation. Using conversational style, it guides the reader to an understanding of life's problems and how they can be resolved, deliberately including the reader's connection to his own soul and spiritual growth. Based on common sense and the author's work as an integral psychotherapist as well as lessons gleaned from teaching and personal experiences, all interwoven with current findings from neuroscience, positive psychology, quantum physics and Buddhism, 'Rewiring the Soul' signposts the path to resolving everyday life and its problems while converging with the inner quest for connection with the soul. This process allows life to take on a revolutionary new meaning: resolving personal and interpersonal issues while keeping the inner connection to the soul in mind leads to unprecedented growth that is simply not possible if psycho-emotional matters and spiritual concerns are not combined.



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Who Decides How You Feel?


The extent to which your feelings are influenced by sources external to yourself is generally not appreciated until you make a decision to become aware of it. Undoubtedly you know that if you watch a horror film, you might feel frightened, causing your adrenalin levels to rise, just as though whatever is happening in the film were happening to you in real life, but you may think of it less obviously for other elements that influence you.
  • when you receive an email from a friend filled with beautiful images of the earth accompanied  by words that make you appreciate the glory of our world, and then the images catapult into others of garbage-strewn shanty towns and slums, or plastic-filled oceans, with the message indicating what we, as the population that fills the earth have done to occasion this, you will feel sad or guilty or ashamed.
  • when you hear about children dying of malnutrition or disease in sub-Saharan Africa, similar feelings may flood you
  • when you watch a sad love story depicted in a movie, such as the famous Love Story, or Bridges of Madison County, you feel sad. In fact, you may even cry.
  • when you see a film such as Temple Grandin (about the life of a woman who overcomes autism - not in the sense that she is no longer autistic, but in the sense that she creates a wonderful life for herself despite being autistic), or a similar film The Horse Boy about a young autistic boy who is taken to Mongolia by his parents to see if shamans there can cure him - you may feel elated at the end of the film
  • when you hear the news anchor recounting yet another massacre in yet another country, or another suicide bomber who has ended the lives of dozens, you probably feel awful, stunned or outraged
  • when you hear that your best friend has been diagnosed with malignant stomach cancer, you feel sad, perhaps angry, fearful and a host of other emotions
If, however, you are truly awake, conscious and aware, you will notice these emotions, and then you will decide what to do about them. And before you call me a loveless cretin, who needs to learn something about compassion, bear with me.

Let's examine the one about your friend who has been diagnosed with malignant stomach cancer. That is, perhaps, one of the biggest on my sample list above of outside sources emotion-influencing because it's closest to you. Of course you will feel one or more of the indicated emotions at first glance. But then you get to choose, if you are aware. And the better you choose, the more you will help your friend. The more you allow emotions to rule your initially negative reactions to the news of the cancer diagnosis, the less you will be able to help your friend. However, should you decide to react with strength and love for your friend, deciding to treat your friend as though he/she continued to be the same as before the diagnosis, in the sense that the diagnosis is not what now labels their existence, but simply one aspect of their existence, that admittedly, needs to be dealt with, but should not define who they are, then your presence in this person's life will be of much greater value, than if you sat at their bedside with a serious demeanour, and held their hand.

Feeling elated at the end of the two movies about autism is obviously a much more positive emotion, and yet, if you think about it, as you palpate it within yourself, under ideal circumstances, you should be able to create such good feelings by yourself. I'm not suggesting you don't watch movies or read things that make you feel good - quite the contrary, I'm a great proponent of doing precisely that (see Keeping Your Energy High and Keeping Your Energy High 2) - but that you begin to train yourself to keep yourself in that good place without necessarily needing other sources (than yourself) or depending on other sources.

Said in a nutshell: neither should external sources cause your emotions to go into a sharp decline, nor should you need to depend on them in order to maintain them in a state of equanimity. This, of course, brings us full circle to what I wrote about in Happiness is Bad?. I quoted:

Happiness: not minding what happens (Krishnamurti)
Happiness: accepting what is (Tolle)
Enlightenment: the quiet acceptance of what is (Dyer)

If you don't mind what is; if you accept what is, then neither negative nor positive emotions will hold sway over you. This is not about giving up, nor is it about apathy. It's about equanimity, and equanimity equals inner well-being.


For more about balance, about happiness, about focusing on what serves your inner well-being, and on reconnecting with your soul, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available in paperback and e-Book for Kindle formats.

Click here to download the first chapter.

Product Description from Amazon

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.





Monday, February 27, 2012

Fighting For Peace


Fight drugs. Fight the war. Fight child labor. Fight human trafficking. Fight poverty. Fight the recession. All around us, we are encouraged to fight something in order to make it better. No wonder that we also believe that we must fight something in ourselves in order to achieve inner peace.

The Dalai Lama said: We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. Part of the meaning of that statement is that all that which we fight on the outside - in the world external to ourselves - will never really bring us to peace -as individuals and as a collective - if we have not achieved peace first on the inside.

Do you think that if we had all achieved inner peace anyone at all would even be considering child labor or going to war or selling or taking drugs and so on? Inner peace would mean that none of that would be viable anymore.

If you think about it, it seems so immensely easy to achieve. All it takes is for each of us to become responsible for our own inner peace and presto! Well ... obviously if it truly were that easy, it would already have happened. The truth of the matter is that there are - still - far too many people on this earth more interested in continuing numerous activities of this nature either for the sake of personal gain, or because they see no other solution.

So what can be done?

Goethe said: Let everyone sweep in front of his own doorstep, and the whole world will be clean. So let us all begin the process in our own selves. Let us seek that peace that can be ours by sweeping first in front of our own door - or at least - sweeping in front of our own door simultaneous to attempting to sweep in front of the door of our causes. Our peace will have a ripple effect on others, and the more we are, the greater the ripple effect.

The more I screech about the injustice of the world, or my country, or community, or neighbourhood, or firm, or family, the less I have a chance at hearing the sound of my own inner peace. Let's make it a priority to find this in our own selves before we try to change the world.


For much more about finding inner peace, having a conscious relationship with yourself and living consciously, about making choices, finding meaning in your life, about being aware of your thoughts and feelings, how you react to others and how you love yourself, as well as 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, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon.

Click here to download the first chapter.

Review From Amazon:

"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

"Rewiring the Soul is a thoughtful guide to the peace and joy that self-government through inner awareness brings. In the words of author Gabriella Kortsch, anyone's ideal 'possible human' becomes their actual reality by following the simple inner steps in this remarkable book."
JIM WAWRO; author, Ask Your Inner Voice

"This book is a gift to humanity, a valuable tool in aiding seekers to accomplish mastery of their own lives. Gabriella Kortsch provides clear steps to help people find peace in a practical and powerful way. She does not ask you to give up anything other then what no longer serves you. Brilliantly written!"
HILLARY RAIMO; Author & Radio Host

"I thought I could pick just one chapter to write a review, but I couldn't .... I was glued to the chair as I read Rewiring the Soul ... a literary, in-depth masterpiece to the human psyche, behavior and ultimate transformation. Exquisitely written, beautifully executed."
ALI R. RODRIGUEZ, Business Coach, co-author, Mastering the Art of Success



Friday, February 24, 2012

Do You Like the Person You Are Alone With?


Funny question, isn't it? Do you like the person you are alone with? If you are alone, there is no one with you ... other than yourself. So what about it? Do you like the person you are alone with? Do you like yourself? Enjoy spending time with yourself? Look forward to being alone with yourself?

Consider yourself good company? Are you comfortable with yourself? Would you choose yourself as a friend, if you were not you?

Or do you, as so many of my clients admit to me, shy away from spending time with yourself? Find yourself looking for any activity at all in order to avoid being alone with yourself? Literally run away from any possibility of being alone with yourself? Some of my clients find themselves experiencing extreme anxiety if they have to be on their own. They will go shopping, they will eat, watch television, go to parties they don't particularly enjoy, go out on dates with people they don't find very interesting, drink, smoke, take drugs, have sex (including indiscriminate, even promiscuous sleeping around*), in short, do anything they can to avoid the ultimate confrontation with the self.

Why does this happen? We could blame it in part on a society that places a much higher value on outer, material, social, and professional accomplishment than on the inner quest, where in reality both should be in balance (see also:
Tending Your Inner Garden
). We could blame it in part on a society that does not further - or help us - to take these looks at ourselves (see also The Unexamined Life).

We could also blame it on a society – and a process of socialization within our family, religious, and educational structures, that does not generally give us appropriate tools to begin the process of self-love. Not egotistical self-love, but healthy, good self-love. The kind that airline personnel refer to, when they are giving the little talk at the beginning of the flight and say that if there should be a drop in pressure, oxygen masks will appear, and if you are traveling with small children, please put yours on first, before attending to your child. You understand that one with no problem, so perhaps you can take another look at the healthy kind of self-love we all need in order to be of use to ourselves and others.

If we do not love the self, we will probably not look forward to spending time with the self. But if we want to love the self, we must also come to know it. In order to know it, we have to look at it. And looking at it means that at first we may find much we don’t like. That’s ok. We can deal with all of it bit by bit. But let’s begin by looking inside. Inside the self.

Amazingly, even psychiatrists, psychotherapists, psychologists, mental health counselors, marriage therapists, family therapists, etc., are generally not required to undergo analysis, or encouraged to delve deeply within ... and as my three sons (well-versed in my opinions on the matter) would say ... Hellooooo?. Hello indeed. How is it possible that those of us who deal with the human psyche are not required to deal with our own? That, however, must be the topic of another future article.

Because we do not find this encouragement to embark on the inner quest, those of us who nevertheless do go ahead with it, find ourselves at odds with the bulk of society, if we are courageous enough to speak about it. We are either not understood, we may be mocked, and we may ultimately find ourselves ignored, or our friends may shake their heads and say or think: well, that's just his/her thing.

But what can the person who has not spent time with him or herself do to make this process easier? How can they walk along the path that will lead them into themselves, rather than consistently looking for something external to fill the unexplored void? We could recommend meditation, solitary walks, and so on, but I find that such practices are often too much for the novice, as they are then thrown into themselves to an overwhelming degree, much as someone used to a regular Western diet and who wishes to eat in a more healthy fashion, may find that going raw (eating only raw foods) is too much. (In a side note, I might add, I have gone totally raw from a regular Western diet over the past month after much reflection and reading about the subject over a number of years ... since the 70's, and find the initial effects of this raw diet - fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouts -
on my body and mind and state of being, as well as on my energy level and quality of sleep, highly illuminating ... more of this in a future post here on my blog).

Here are some transition suggestions:
  • use audio CD's or tapes to spend some time on your own, but initially accompanied by someone (the motivational or inspirational speaker) who fills your mind with thoughts you might not normally get into on your own (see also: Nurture Yourself to Happiness and Success as well as posts on my blog pertaining to energy)
  • start the daily practice of journaling: write down your thoughts during a period of five minutes to begin with and see where it takes you
  • and if you are already journaling, do a gratitude journal as well. Just jot down five things every day you are grateful for...and remember...things can be something ranging from a material thing, to something about your looks, to a sea gull you have just spied, to the sound of the wind through the trees, to your own particular gifts and talents, etc. Being grateful brings us closer to ourselves. We become more humble in view of the greatness that surrounds us. And so we come closer to ourselves as well. (See also these previous posts on gratitude).
  • start recording your dreams (see previous dream posts or listen to my audio clips on dreams) and attempt to interpret them, as this will lead you into the psyche
  • if you enjoy reading, start picking up some books that don't exist merely to entertain, but also to serve as an aid with which you can get to know yourself better (there are numerous books in my extensive Recommended Books Section, and other book suggestions can be found on my blog and in my bookstore)
  • once you've done some of this, you may actually find yourself desirous of trying that solitary walk (I power walk one hour every day on the beach here in southern Spain, which affords me a superb opportunity each and every day to commune with myself, or be internally creative, or practice open-eyed meditation, or be grateful for this blissful part of my day, etc.).
Getting to know the self, becoming enamored of the self, finding the beloved within, is one of the most liberating things you can decide to do for yourself. All it takes is some curiosity (how can you not be curious about yourself??) and desire, and above all, the first step.




For much more about having a conscious relationship with yourself and living consciously, about making choices, finding meaning in your life, about being aware of your thoughts and feelings, how you react to others and how you love yourself, as well as 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, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon.

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


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Living With Doubt


Perhaps you thought that as soon as you took the path you believed you had to be on, the path that would take you to your destiny, the path that is your path, that you would no longer have any doubts.

The Buddha said: There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.
So welcome to the real world. Goethe stated: We know accurately only when we know little, with knowledge, doubt increases. Doubts may assail you at every step of the way. Just because you believe in your path, does not mean doubts will not come knocking at your door. They may even be rather less polite and attempt to tear your door down. Thunderbolts and lightning may be thrown at your door and the rattling and thumping may lead you into fear. However, precisely because these doubts come knocking in an attempt to to throw you off your path, you have the opportunity to renew your vows, so to speak, to re-evaluate and convince yourself anew in the realization that this - whatever it is that you are doing and striving for - is indeed your path, and that no doubts will throw you off.

In this sense, doubts can be your friends. Gibran wrote: Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that fiath is his twin brother. As they arise, examine them dispassionately. Compare them with your dreams and goals. Evaluate and perhaps you may need to alter your bearings slightly. Even a jet on automatic pilot will make adjustments, depending on the wind and storms outside, but it will, weather notwithstanding, reach its final destination. As you can. Use your doubts wisely and you will find that they make you stronger and lead you more firmly towards your goal.

Doubt is the father of invention. Ambrose Bierce

For much more about life meaning, goals, believing in yourself, living consciously, about being aware of your thoughts and feelings, how you react to others and how you love yourself, as well as 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, have a look at 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.

Reviews From the Back Cover:

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, Executive Director, The Monroe Institute; 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, Director, Center for Sacred Theatre, Ashland, Oregon; author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"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

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

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Your Ambition and the Comfort Zone of Others


Ambition and friendly nay-sayers and their comfort zones are all closely related. So is ambition and less friendly nay-sayers and their fear of your success. Mark Twain put it well: Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.

You know how it goes. You have an idea. Or a project. Or a dream. And you tell someone about it. And their reaction is to tell you all the reasons why it will be so very hard. Or why it won't work. Or why you in particular are not the most suitable person to do it. They may - if they are your friends - speak to you in dulcet tones with well-meaning words. They have your best interests at heart. And if they are not your friends they may literally - with a smile on their face - shred your ambitions to pieces from the loftiness of their wisdom, place in life, position, etc. But as they speak, your heart sinks. You lose your impetus and your dream seems to evanesce into the fog of nothingness.

WHAT on earth just happened? There are two possibilities and they may both be combined in some fashion:
  1. Your dream, plan, project was still too weak in your mind and vision, and hence, on speaking of it, it was easy to demolish. It had not yet taken on enough power inside of you and therefore you were not strong enough to maintain the vision in the face of opposition. These people might wish to maintain their comfort zone which may include your place in it, i.e., how "small" you remain, in order that they need not stretch, the way you are threatening to do. It's not that they don't wish you success, but if you achieve it, then how will they look? Or what will they have to do to keep up? Worst of all, they'll have to leave their comfort zone. And so, for them, it's easier if you don't grow and achieve. Or, conversely, others may fear your success more from the position of envy and greed or any other of those horrible emotions that so populate our world.
  2. The other possibility is that you give another's opinion of your dream, plan, or project more validity than your own. Sometimes that is good. If you wish to be a concert pianist and have worked hard for years and are now standing before a jury of respected pianists in their own right and they tell you that while you play magnificently, you will in all likelihood never make it to the place to which you aspire, then you may need to accept that opinion. But if you are at the beginning of your dream, before all the hard work has taken place and a parent or teacher or friend or neighbour shoots the dream down, or tells you how hard it will be and how much you will have to sacrifice, then listen to your heart, as the Quiche Maya say in the Popul Vuh, their sacred book: When you must choose between two different paths, ask yourself which of them comes from the heart. When you choose the path of the heart, you will never be wrong.
What is your dream? Are you allowing someone to take it away from you? Or to give up on it? Or are you brave enough to follow your heart? Follow your bliss, said Joseph Campbell, and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.



For more information about living out your dream, the meaning of your life, about being aware, about doubt and moving forward and the way your thoughts and feelings about those subjects influence you and what to do about it, about inner well-being, inner growth and joy, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon as paperback or e-book for Kindle.

Click here to download the first chapter.

From the Description on Amazon:

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.

Rewiring the Soul' provides a user-friendly roadmap for personal transformation. Using conversational style, it guides the reader to an understanding of life's problems and how they can be resolved, deliberately including the reader's connection to his own soul and spiritual growth. Based on common sense and the author's work as an integral psychotherapist as well as lessons gleaned from teaching and personal experiences, all interwoven with current findings from neuroscience, positive psychology, quantum physics and Buddhism, 'Rewiring the Soul' signposts the path to resolving everyday life and its problems while converging with the inner quest for connection with the soul. This process allows life to take on a revolutionary new meaning: resolving personal and interpersonal issues while keeping the inner connection to the soul in mind leads to unprecedented growth that is simply not possible if psycho-emotional matters and spiritual concerns are not combined.



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making Mistakes & the Comfort Zone




When babies reach about 11-13 months of age they begin to walk. Tentatively at first, then more securely, and finally, of course, they walk perfectly, unless there is a physiological challenge not attributable to their skills. At the beginning, a parent is typically there to help the child, encourage the child, and above all, to watch out for the child's safety.
When pilots learn how to fly, they may practice in simulators in order to be able to gain expertise before actually being up in the air. In the early stages, and prior to earning their license, an instructor accompanies them in their first forays up into the skies, in order to remind the student pilot of procedures, to help in difficult maneuvers, to encourage, and again, to watch out for the student's safety.

When we learn how to write we painstakingly trace shapes with clumsy fingers until at last we manage the skill and progress from pencil to pen ... to this day I remember the pride that overwhelmed me on that day when I was six!

When we learn how to dance salsa, when we fall in love, when we learn how to make bread, when we speak in public, when we learn how to play football, the violin, or paint with oils, we will always first make some kind of mistake. It's part of the learning process, isn't it?

So why do we believe we should not make mistakes later on in life when we do other things? Admittedly, by now we may be adults, we may even be in mid-life or old age, but since there are always things we are doing for the first time, it follows that we'll make some mistakes in the process of learning them. Is our fear of making a mistake mainly based on what others might think? Or on how we look, making such a mistake at our age? Is it based on maintaining an image - even if just in our own eyes, that we have nothing left to learn? Even the most image-conscious would agree with me that such a thought is just plain silly.

So what's it all about? Could it be our ego? Our comfort zone? That when we make mistakes we feel insecure, as opposed to how we feel when we tread on our well-known and by now - deeply-trodden - path? And yet, we all know that leaving the comfort zone is where and when we begin to grow. We left the safety of crawling on our hands and knees to walk. And so we grew. We left the safety of mother's arms to go to kindergarten. And so we grew.

Let's dare make mistakes and rejoice in their teaching rather than sinking in the thought of failure. Failure is never failure unless you don't get back up. Just as the baby who has fallen back on the floor, grins up disarmingly - never once suspecting that once it's older such a fall, figuratively speaking, would make it feel awful - and gets right back up on its feet to try again. Over and over. Until he's got it right. And then, of course, he starts to run.

Let's dare make mistakes and learn what our infant selves knew intuitively: trying over and over again makes perfect. And then, let's run!

For more information about being aware, about doubt and moving forward and the way your thoughts and feelings about those subjects influence you and what to do about it, about inner well-being, inner growth and joy, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon as paperback or e-book for Kindle.

Click here to download the first chapter.

From the Description on Amazon:

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.

Rewiring the Soul' provides a user-friendly roadmap for personal transformation. Using conversational style, it guides the reader to an understanding of life's problems and how they can be resolved, deliberately including the reader's connection to his own soul and spiritual growth. Based on common sense and the author's work as an integral psychotherapist as well as lessons gleaned from teaching and personal experiences, all interwoven with current findings from neuroscience, positive psychology, quantum physics and Buddhism, 'Rewiring the Soul' signposts the path to resolving everyday life and its problems while converging with the inner quest for connection with the soul. This process allows life to take on a revolutionary new meaning: resolving personal and interpersonal issues while keeping the inner connection to the soul in mind leads to unprecedented growth that is simply not possible if psycho-emotional matters and spiritual concerns are not combined.



Monday, February 20, 2012

What If There Is No One To Blame?



Life as a child was great ... I always found someone or something to blame for whatever was going wrong. My older brother had not let me come along to play with his friends, the girl down the street had broken my favorite doll, the weather had spoiled our picnic, my mother had scolded me harshly, I would tearfully tell my father when he returned at night, the 'bad' stove had made me burn my hand, the 'nasty' friend had not let me win the board game. As you can imagine, I had a lot to learn.

And learn I did! But in that learning, and in the realizing that the more you take on full responsibility not only for all you do, but also full responsibility for all you think, feel, say, and above all, for how you react to those things that happen, meant that I began to see life with totally different eyes.

And of course, doing that, means there is no one left to blame. No matter what happens, and no matter what another does.

That is ridiculous, you say.
  • The government and the financial system which it allowed for so many years has messed us up so much, that many of us are living on the brink of poverty. That is clearly the government's fault.
  • Or: my car was totalled in that accident yesterday when someone ran the red light, and that is clearly the other driver's fault.
  • Or: I've been diagnosed with breast cancer, and that is clearly the fault of my genes plus the environmental pollutants.
  • Or: I've been training for national qualification as an equestrian jumper, but my father has been so negative about it all, stressing me every time I go practise, that I didn't make the grade, and that is clearly my father's fault.

We could come up with any number of other examples, but what I wanted to show by using these in particular, is that even in cases where many of us might agree that it is so obviously not my fault, if something of this nature occurs, I would still say: but you must take full responsibility for how you react; for how you choose to react.

Because of course much of this is a question of seeing that there is always a choice. A choice of how much attention I pay to what is happening in the government, first at my community and local level, then provincial or state, and so on, and finally at the federal level. I also have choices about the kind of car insurance I have and what it covers, and while I don't have a choice about the genes I inherit, I do have a choice about how I influence those genes on the basis of much of the information that is coming out of cellular and molecular biology (and it is my choice to read about these things), not to mention what I allow into my 'environment', which includes not only what I breathe, eat and drink, but also how I live, how I manage stress, with whom I am surrounded, and so on. And finally, I always have choices about how I react to others' negativity. I even have choices about how much time I spend with people who are negative - even a father.

But while I stand by the last paragraph, I believe that much more important even than that, is the choice to always assume responsiblity for your own reactions. Find a place within where you gain equanimity and inner balance about whatever it is that is happening, and then, and only then, begin to decide what to do about it. Some things we can change. Others we can't change. But what we can do always, is to love the self so much, that our first priority is the recuperation of this inner balance. That is the first and the most gigantic step in not blaming and in accepting responsibility for yourself.


Take your life in your own hands, and what happens?
A terrible thing: no one to blame.
Erica Jong 

For much more about choosing your own reactions, about loving yourself (the book has an entire chapter dedicated to this subject), about being aware of your thoughts and feelings, as well as 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, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon.

Click here to download the first chapter.

Description of the Book:

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.

From the Reviews:

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



Friday, February 17, 2012

Turning Your Face to the Sun


What brings excitement into your life? What gets you going when you think about it? What makes you sing to an inner tune and want to dance with joy? Are you looking at me with surprise? Could it be that there is no such thing? Or is it perhaps dependent on outer circumstances, such as having sufficient money, being able to undertake certain activities that require either money or specific people, or that require good weather?

It's a grey, rainy day today. The first in many. We've had a magnificent winter, with brilliant blue skies and a sun that blazed with fiery warmth, even in January.

And so this greyness, that I rather enjoy (when it comes around so rarely), has made me think about how we need to be responsible for the sunshine in our lives, as opposed to waiting for it from external sources, how we need to be responsible for bringing excitement and joy into our lives, as opposed to expecting them to come to us from the outside.

It's not enough to find distraction and it's not enough to find comfort or soothing mechanisms. All that is good and valid (assuming your soothing mechanisms are healthy and not addiction-related). Running away from a relationship with yourself is also a tremendous mistake, because it is in that inner process that much of the excitement I'm talking about - and which can make all the difference between a grey, rainy day of the soul and turning your face to the sun - can be found.

Much of this has to do with meaning. If you have found meaning in your life, if you have discovered which way to look when darkness threatens to overwhelm you, then you will find the sun at each step of the way.

Related Articles on this Site:



For much more about meaning, purpose and significance in your life, about living consciously, about being aware of your thoughts and feelings, how you react to others and how you love yourself, as well as 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, have a look at 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.

Description: 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.


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



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happiness is Bad?


Happiness proponents and positive psychology have been getting a slightly murky rap lately- in the press and on some talk shows. There are those who contend that so much emphasis on resilience and living positively on the part of clinicians, therapists and researchers gives people a false view of what is possible. They also contend that if we do not first examine our dark side - or - worse still, if we simply sweep our dark side under the rug, all manner of demons and goblins will appear through the fabric of society and the individual.

Much of the above is - in my opinion - true. A simplistic quest for happiness that does not involve approaching the darker sides of ones psyche with care and awareness, is one that is bound to fail to some degree, if not entirely. You can only keep up appearances for a while, if you don't bother trying to understand where your darkness lies.

I am a disciple of Jung and the neo-Jungians, and have, by the way, only recently received a copy of The Red Book (Jung's autobiographical self-exploration par excellence which he called his “confrontation with the unconscious"), and so I do believe that it is necessary to have such a confrontation if one truly wishes to find a path to inner peace. In other words, to glibly proclaim that by thinking positively one will find deep and lasting happiness, is, of course, a denial of the depth of the psyche and all that lies therein. Without an acquaintance and understanding of that part of us, peace will not come.

However, having said that, I fully support living positively no matter what your circumstances. I take courage from the example of lives such as Mandela, Frankl, Christopher Reeve and many others who demonstrated that living positively in the light of horrific personal circumstances made all the difference in their lives and the quality of their lives during those trying circumstances.

Living positively as a part of our daily routine means that on some level we choose to look at things, whatever they may be from the position of possibility rather than from one of desperation. This - believing in possibility - is in and of itself, already a measure of potential greater well-being (akin to happiness), than focusing on what is wrong. If we set our focus on the shadow and the darkness within, we may lose sight of what is possible. Therein lies, I believe the greatest strength and value of positive psychology: it has allowed us to see the merit of choosing where to focus our eyes. Followed by choosing where to focus our thoughts, followed therefore, by choosing where to focus our feelings.

This is not a subject to be bantered about blithely, but it is a subject where the positivists need some defending - even by one who strongly believes in the importance of examining the dark.

Some thoughts about happiness and enlightenment you may find encouraging:

Happiness: not minding what happens (Krishnamurti)
Happiness: accepting what is (Tolle)
Enlightenment: the quiet acceptance of what is (Dyer)




For more about happiness, focusing on what serves your inner well-being, and on reconnecting with your soul, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available in paperback and e-Book for Kindle formats.

Click here to download the first chapter.

Product Description from Amazon

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.





Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Having a Relationship with an Emotionally Unavailable Partner

Before reading this article, I strongly suggest you read an earlier article I wrote: Emotional Unavailability: An Introduction, which gives much detailed information about how to define emotionally unavailable individuals, as well as how those individuals can do something about changing how they deal with their partners and themselves.
In today’s article, however, I wish to focus in much greater detail on the partner of the emotionally unavailable person, what being that partner tells you about yourself, if you are indeed in a relationship with an emotionally unavailable person, and what you can do about it. I might add, that the reason I wish to focus on the partner is because it is typically the partner of the emotionally unavailable one that comes to see me, as opposed to the reverse. It is the partner who wishes for things to change because of the pain he or she feels. Only rarely is it the emotionally unavailable one who comes into my office.
Defining the Partner of the Emotionally Unavailable Person
·       In all probability there have been issues with cool or rejecting or critical or absent parents on your side
·       This means there may have been unmet or disappointed emotions on your part, leaving you feeling bereft and alone, like an abandoned child
·       Therefore you may have learned a dysfunctional model of love, where love was never freely given, but you accepted that kind of love as the status quo due to your lack of knowledge and understanding as a child.
·       This in turn may have created a deep well of neediness, neediness, neediness, and more neediness (see also I Need You … I Need You Not)
·       The neediness in turn caused you to have a lack of healthy boundaries … basically causing you to accept most types of unacceptable behavior, just as long as you received some form of love or approbation in return (see also the two articles about boundaries listed near the end of this article). Of course, you may have occasionally exploded, when you had enough, but you never actually set the boundaries. You let things go, you accepted what should not have been accepted, you felt resentment, it went on for too long, then you exploded, and then eventually things went back to normal and the cycle would repeat itself.
·       Poor boundaries are implicit in a lack of self-respect, self-worth, and very particularly, self-love (see also the article about loving the self listed near the end of this article).
·       There tends to be a desire to fuse or merge with a new partner almost immediately after the relationship has started.
·       Frequently there is a loss of identity and little differentiation from the partner (you tend to take on their interests, activities, and friends, as opposed to continuing to develop your own).
·       Furthermore, of course, there tends to be addiction to the partner which implies withdrawal symptoms of the worst kind if and when the partner leaves.
·       This process (just as the process on the part of the emotionally unavailable partner) is also unconscious. What the person with this particular aspect of dysfunctionality – the partner of the unavailable one - is aware of, is the pain.
·       But the pain is interpreted as the fault of the partner, the emotionally unavailable partner, because this partner is not behaving the way the one who is feeling the pain would like him/her to behave. Consequently, blame is placed firmly on the shoulders of the emotionally unavailable person by the partner who is not getting what he wants, and feeling all this pain, and hence the partner does not become aware of his or her own need to clear up the issue of neediness and lack of boundaries and lack of real meaning in the life.
Now please read the next sentences carefully. Under no circumstances am I suggesting that the partner who is with the emotionally unavailable person is to blame. All I am saying is that this person has not yet accepted responsibility for their own well-being, which is a huge topic. Without being responsible for your own well-being – no matter what the outer circumstances – you will always be at the mercy of those outer circumstances, including how you react to a partner such as these, who appear to make life miserable, painful, and difficult. See also Claiming Responsibility For the Self and Cellular Responsibility: getting Your Power Back.
Steps To Take If You Are the Partner of an Emotionally Unavailable Person
First of all, please remember that this is not a question of “fixing” the emotionally unavailable partner. He/she will have to do that work, should he so decide, but the partner of the emotionally unavailable person, the one who feels rejected and who feels that the other one is cold and unemotional, needs to take a good look at the reasons why he or she is attracted over and over again into situations of this nature and what might be done about it (see also the Neediness article mentioned above):
·       It may mean, that as you work on yourself in order to resolve these issues within yourself, so that you no longer need to be attracted to these unavailable people, you may need to get out of the relationships, and get out fast! It may just be that unhealthy.
·       At the very least it means you need to immediately take a good hard look at your issues of self-love and poor boundaries and begin to make some deep changes there:    
Please forget about blaming your partner – he/she may have been horrible, but that simply is not the point (See also Grow in Richness: Stop the Blaming). From a psychological perspective you are in this relationship because you have some issues you need to work out and this particular partner brings those issues to the surface. Even if you get out of the relationship, you’ll need to consider those issues because if not, in all likelihood you will repeat the pattern. Someone without those issues would never have started a relationship with this particular partner, their self-love or healthy boundaries would have let them see from the beginning that this was not someone they wanted to get involved with, whereas in your own case you were blind to those early warning signs, that in hindsight you can probably recognize…
What I have sometimes suggested to clients is that if and when they start a new relationship, they do so from a position of very great awareness of their own past patterns, where they are constantly looking at their own reactions to the other person, as well as the other person’s behavior, their own boundaries, their desire to merge with the new partner long before that actually makes sense, the information their body is giving them, for example, did your tummy just scrunch painfully when your new date calls to cancel at the last minute, or when you catch this new person in a lie, albeit a very tiny, white lie, or when you notice that on those initial dates his/her eyes keep wandering around to check out the other people in the place you are at? The scrunching indicates that this is probably something you are familiar with, and may have avoided acknowledging in the past, especially at the beginning of other relationships because of your desire for it to work out. Now, however, with your new awareness you not only need to acknowledge the scrunching feeling, but you will also need to speak about this with your new date. Not in a bad way, but simply to say something along the lines of you not being accustomed to being stood up in the last minute, or lied to (even if it’s only such a tiny thing), or be disrespected by those wandering eyes, and that you would appreciate it; that it’s important to you, that it not happen again. Then, if it does happen again, you already know there is probably a pattern, you may allow another chance, but then, if it happens a third time,  you may decide to get on your horse and gallop out of Dodge.
And here is the most important part of what you’ve just done with that new person: you have shown yourself that you care enough about yourself and love yourself enough to follow through on this and to not see this person again if this is the way they are showing you – so early on in a relationship – that they are going to be treating you.
This brings growth and self-understanding, it brings awareness, and with awareness comes self-responsibility, and with that you are well on the road to inner peace and freedom.
NOTE: As with all my articles, and due to the restrictive nature of an article, there is always only an aspect of a given situation that can be discussed, when we all know that in real life, situations are much broader, more all-encompassing, and much less easy to define or typify. Therefore, please do not take the information in this article to be definitive: in real life, there is always much more to consider. This is merely a signpost helping to point you in a direction you may not have considered.

For more about love, relationships, love for the self, about inner peace, about choice, about self-responsibility, and about the self-transformational process - both in your outer life in the world, and in your inner life with your connection to your inner, divine self, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self

To download the first chapter of the book, click here

From the Description of Rewiring the Soul on Amazon:

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.