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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

Friday, January 30, 2015

Compassion As An Antidote to Unhappiness


There is a wonderful story told about the Buddha that goes like this: 

The Buddha explained to skeptics how he was able to maintain his compassion. One day Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. "You have no right teaching others," he shouted. "You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake."

Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man "Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?"

The man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, "It would belong to me, because I bought the gift."

The Buddha smiled and said, "That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.

"If you want to stop hurting yourself, you must get rid of your anger and become loving instead. When you hate others, you yourself become unhappy. But when you love others, everyone is happy."

So the moral of this story is ... when others insult or malign you, or when others lie about you, or wish you ill ... remember to be compassionate. It's their own unhappiness that is speaking, and by choosing to not react to what is being thrown at you, you can practice compassion.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch


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.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Works in Progress


Someone close to me remarked the other day that they found it hard to understand that I could behave a certain way (something that this person disagreed with) bearing in mind that I post such spiritual things on the internet (e.g. my blogs, on social media, etc.) all the time. Slightly taken aback, I replied that I had never considered myself perfect, and that certainly, what I post is the ideal towards which I strive, but acknowledging that I am nowhere near that ideal. Just like so many others, I am merely a work in progress and that includes snafus, mistakes, and steps in the wrong direction, as well as, of course, learning - or attempting to learn - from them.

But that gave me pause to think about the very matter. When one speaks publicly (as I do), and when one writes publicly (as I do with books, newsletter articles, and blog posts), and when one facilitates groups and workshops (as I do) about topics related to personal growth and spirituality, it appears that some then hold you to a standard and accountable in ways that other mortals need not attain. It's as though by speaking about it, you must be like that.

Which is, I suppose, as absurd as expecting doctors to be the picture of perfect health, lawyers to be fully law-abiding citizens, just because of their profession, as opposed to their sense of ethics or morals, or as absurd as expecting school teachers to know everything about their subject of choice, economists to have their finances in tip-top shape, or plumbers to never have a dripping faucet. In short, it's as unrealistic as many fairy tales are, while simultaneously having what seems to be an intransigent black/white element about it

But the issue at hand is not to point out potential misconceptions of others, but to propose that as we are all works in progress - at least we are, if we assume that we are all trying to improve ourselves, or some aspects of ourselves - that in this process, one of the conditions we might agree to is that we all need kindness, understanding, patience, love, and compassion. It was Plato who said: never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch


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.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram

Monday, January 26, 2015

Holding Pain in Your Hands


Sometimes people think - when you talk to them about positive thinking and choosing your thoughts, and focusing on the good as opposed to the bad, and so on - that it means never feeling pain, or that it means artificially removing pain from your life. Not so.

Pain is a bit like grief and needs to be lived through and time is perhaps one of its prime elements. But what these ways of dealing with pain do mean is that you choose how to think about the pain, and you choose how to react to the pain, and how you choose to deal with your feelings that this pain involves (which is another way of saying how you choose to think about the pain), and you choose how to live your life during the period of time that this pain forms part of your life.

So choosing a distraction such as a substance, or working at all hours, or frantic socializing or shopping, etc., is certainly not the answer. Pain, as said, needs to be lived through.

Holding your pain in your hands and honoring your feelings is one way. The key word is honoring. You don't yet know if this pain has a purpose or not. And perhaps it does not. Perhaps it's simply random fate that you are living through this pain. But, you may find - years hence - that in hindsight it served a very important purpose in your life's plan, but just now you're not there yet, because all you can feel is the pain.

If you have practiced mindfulness as I so often encourage you to do in these posts, then you may already have a measure of the necessary tools in your kit to set you on your path to be able to hold the pain so that you are able to carry on with a modicum of peace in your life despite the pain. Mindfulness allows you to choose how to think about the pain, and there is a great difference between thinking, for example Oh my God, how will I ever get through this? It's so painful; it hurts so much; I can't bear it; what will I ever do?, to thinking, for example: I don't know how to bear it, so I'm going to find a way to feel a bit better right now, just for a moment or two. I'm going to care for myself due to this pain, as if I were my own child, to give myself a small respite - just for a moment - and I'm going to try to get through just today, in order to be able to carry on. I believe I'll grow from this although i have no idea how just yet, but as I hold the pain inside of me and feel it, I'll care for myself just now, just for this moment.

Both ways of thinking revolve around the pain, but in one of the ways, you choose how to think about the pain, and react to the pain, and you choose how to live your life during this period.

The important part of making that second choice is that it takes away that feeling of insurmountable impotence with which pain can often burden us. By choosing how to think, react, and live, despite the pain, you have a say in the matter, so to speak. Nothing about living your pain in this manner trivializes the pain, but it does make you a participant in how you deal with it.Therein lies part of the cure. Therein lie occasional moments of peace.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch


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.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Where Do You Go When You're Not Here?


When you're not here, you're obviously somewhere else, but if I qualify the 'here' and ask where do you go if you're not here in your mind or thoughts, we have a very different kettle of fish, don't we?

So where do you go?
  • Are you in a place of past pain? Was that when you were 5 or 12 or 29 or 48?
  • Are you remembering the conversation you had last night with your partner and what you were arguing about?
  • Are you mulling over what the other kid at school said (23 years ago) that made you feel so humiliated?
  • Are you thinking about that idiot that almost caused you to have an accident five minutes ago?
  • Are you worrying about paying the bills?
  • Are you stressing about the paper you have to present, or the report you have to finish, or the talk you have to give before the board?
  • Are you thinking about those extra pounds you put on over the holidays?
  • Are you wondering if that person you had a date with last weekend is as interested in you as he/she made out to be?
  • Are you thinking about your next vacation ... four months from now?
  • Are you worrying whether the clothes you've decided to wear to that dinner next Friday are appropriate?
  • Are you having anxious thoughts about that wisdom tooth extraction tomorrow afternoon?
As you can see, absolutely all of this refers to mental or thought places you take yourself to when you are not here. So that means that a huge portion of your now time takes place in past or future time. Almost like a science fiction movie depicting time travel except that because it's about your life, it's not exciting to do this kind of travel, but rather sad. And of course the reason it's sad is because you are throwing your life away.

Become aware of this time traveling element of your thoughts. Become aware of your role in it. Become aware of your capacity to choose differently; to choose to remain here as opposed to going there. Become aware of the priceless value of your life ... if you manage to live it now rather than then. You choose.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch


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.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Year to Leave Useless Impediments Behind


Removing some of the dead weight from your life clearly means that you will be able to move forward more quickly. Progress can happen in a more efficient, orderly, and above all, a more transformative manner if detritus isn't continually cluttering your path. Shifting what you focus on - in order that what you focus on may be of use to you - is also much easier when useless impediments are left behind.

Think of a road through verdant green fields framed by flowering bushes. Then imagine the entire landscape cluttered with billboards and signs that make it very difficult for you to appreciate the beauty around you. Obviously, if a law were passed removing those screaming billboards, you could see what was truly there.

In life it's not very different. Let's examine some of the billboards that scream at us and clutter the scenery so that we simply can't see what is there:
  • negative emotions: hating, feeling jealousy or envy, impatience
  • deciding you are unable to forgive (see previous posts under the label 'forgive')
  • choosing not to learn how to love yourself (see posts under the label 'self-love')
  • being critical and judgemental
  • needing to be right (see posts about 'being right')
  • distracting yourself from inner pain by focusing almost exclusively on external trappings (money, position, outer appearance, etc.)
  • carrying the weight (that has created much of the inner pain referred to in the previous point) around with you, when you know that you could make other choices (if you don't believe this is true, read some of the previous posts under the label 'making choices')
  • choosing not to live in the now (see posts about 'mindfulness')
There are many more we could touch on, but I'd like you to recognize that just as when you learned how to form your first letters with that rather clumsy hand when you were being taught how to write, somehow - almost as if by magic - that early learning led to being able to read your childhood books that heretofore had been read to you by your parents, as did it lead to being able to read all manner of books, even in other languages, if you were being raised speaking more than one; and so does the very early beginning of leaving behind some of the useless impediments listed above - even if you do it very slowly at first, just as you fashioned those letters with your little hand very slowly at the beginning - lead you to be able to leave the others behind bit by bit because abandoning one of them changes just enough inside of you to have an effect on all the others. 

Dead weight, detritus, and impediments: don't let them litter your life any more! Make a choice that benefits you and allows your life to transform.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch


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.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy