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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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tending Your Inner Garden


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

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

Why is this important?

Marrying Someone You Fear

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

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

Conjunctio…Are You Interested in Yourself?

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

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

Individuation and Becoming What You Can Truly Be

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

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

Joseph Campbell said we should follow our bliss.

Being Bored with the Self

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

Fear of Being Alone with the Self

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

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

Being Uncomfortable with the Self

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

Tending the Inner Garden

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

Enriching the Soil

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

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

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

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

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch:
 
Rewiring the Soul

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

Reviews From the Back Cover:

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

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

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

The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

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

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

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


The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self 


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

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


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

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