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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, May 29, 2015

Vanquishing Doubt


Today I'd like to share my thoughts about living with doubt. If you have mastered being able to do that - being able to live with doubt - you will have removed one of the greatest impediments from your daily well-being. What a blessed and hopeful way to live!

Isn't it true that when you doubt, you suffer? Think of doubting that you will be able to keep your job, or be able to bring your marriage back to a viable position, or that your health will improve, or that your child will get into that school you have your heart set on because of the academic advantages it offers.

All of these doubts - and as you see I've attempted to choose from a wide panoply - attack your well-being. But they're understandable doubts, and of course you can think of dozens - even hundreds - more.

So what can you do? Doubt leads to stress, to worry, to fear, pain and suffering. Doubt is most definitely not your friend. Further, doubt eats at your well-being, bringing in its wake depression, lethargy, anxiety, panic, not to mention all the physiological consequences of such negative emotions: high blood pressure, acidic body, headaches or other pains in the body, chest pain, stomach problems, or digestive issues, etc.

First, please understand that doubt is composed of thoughts. Thoughts create doubt that then may lead to other negative emotions. As you have read on many occasions in these newsletters and in my blog articles, it is entirely possible to take charge of your thoughts. Reiterating, taking care of your thoughts does not mean shoving them under the carpet, pretending the problem no longer exists, but being able to manage them by choosing where (and how long) to focus your attention. (For further information, please read Get a Grip on Your Thoughts & Get a Grip on Your Life!  from my Nov. 2011 newsletter or How Your Thoughts Change Your Body from my March 2008 newsletter). For instance, if your thoughts are about your health and a worrisome diagnosis you have just received from the doctor, choosing where to focus your attention would imply that you would be very consciously aware of how long or how often you are entertaining the specific thoughts that create doubt. You would also be aware of the feeling state such thoughts and such potentially lengthy dwelling on precisely those thoughts and the circuitous thinking (going around and around the same issue over and over again, like a hamster caught on his treadmill) this would provoke. Hence, you would, assuming you are aware of yourself in the healthy ways we have discussed over and over again, be able to focus your attention elsewhere by utilizing simple mindfulness exercises that move you into the present moment as opposed to finding yourself in the past or the future (for further information on this, also see from my blog, for example, Your Choice of Reaction to Stress).

The moment you find yourself fully in the present, you are no longer suffering, and no longer entertaining doubts because in the present there is only the present, and thoughts of past and future (doubt, fear, worry, suffering are always involved in the past and/or future, never  in the present) pass by your mind in a way that allows you to remain unaffected by their potential emotional weight. There is a caveat however: this 'moving consciously into the present' needs to be practiced. You can't expect this to work simply by doing it once, moving into the present moment, and then noticing that seconds later your thoughts have moved back to doubt, worry, or fear. As always, this can be compared to muscle building or body toning - it simply doesn't work if you only go to the gym once.

And there are such endlessly marvelous benefits: living a major part of your life in the present moment by consciously taking charge of your thoughts implies:
  • greater well-being
    • emotional
    • physical
    • psychological
    • spiritual
  • greater peace
  • greater continuous state of conscious awareness - simply being present implies this (just as being awake means not sleeping)
  • greater inner harmony and equanimity which leads to greater ease in choosing your reactions in any situation and circumstance you can imagine
  • grater connection to your own self (among other reasons because you are not seeking to distract yourself or to find ways to feel better due to those nagging doubts)
  • greater ease in finding in within yourself to be
    • kind
    • compassionate
    • loving
    • patient
    • caring
  • greater ease in seeing the connectedness of all beings
MOVING INTO YOUR OWN SKIN

We might say, therefore, that vanquishing doubt, learning how to take charge of your thoughts, remaining consciously aware, and living mindfully in the present, all allow you to move into your own skin. Although I will write another article about this in the future, I'd just like to say that this - moving into your own skin - is the closest that I have been able to come to understand the true meaning of Joseph Campbell's famous follow your own bliss, seen from the position that it implies inner contentment because you are involved in a life purpose and it implies being involved in a life purpose because you have inner contentment, which again, can be laid to rest at the door of vanquishing your doubts by being in charge of your thoughts and living consciously and mindfully.


Using these ideas as your own personal Leitmotif promises you greater riches than any you will find in your portfolio, and certainly greater satisfaction than any you may find in professional, academic, or social success. All these mundane and more material matters form part and parcel of our lives, and so they should, but if the underpinnings to the delight and joy those outer successes may bring us are not based on the principles this article espouses, then the satisfaction and contentment the outer success brings will never last. But the inner connection, living life in your own skin, following your bliss, and finding peace, harmony and joy there, offers you the possibility of enduring well-being.

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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 latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is 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 (English)


Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming Spring 2015)

 

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.

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

Meine Bücher auf Deutsch ab Frühjahr 2015 
Mis libros en español a partir de la primavera de 2015

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher weltweit auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros globalmente en Amazon en español a partir de la primavera de 2015.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Importance of Being You


Funny question. How important is it to be you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is 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 (English)


Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming Spring 2015)

 

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.

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

Meine Bücher auf Deutsch ab Frühjahr 2015 
Mis libros en español a partir de la primavera de 2015

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher weltweit auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros globalmente en Amazon en español a partir de la primavera de 2015.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Applying What You Already Know to Your Life


You've been to so many workshops, retreats and seminars. You've read many of the books. Each time you attend another seminar, especially those that last a whole weekend, or even a week, they get you all pumped up, and you know that now finally things are going to change in your life ... but nothing changes. Same old, same old.

You know so much, so that when you read that new book, or listen to another seminar, you find that they are telling you fewer and fewer new things. You've already heard so much about it all. But nothing has changed in your life. Things are not getting much better.

So what's going on?

If you don't apply what you know on a daily basis, 24/7, nothing will change. The excitement and stimulation and hope and yearning that you feel when you read that new book or go to that new workshop, is only going to last as long as the book or workshop lasts unless you begin to apply the knowledge. And that will depend exclusively on you. On your choices. On all that you think, feel, say and do 24/7.

The best part is that at least at the beginning it doesn't make much difference which path you choose to move forward. All paths eventually lead to Rome. Once you've already moved some distance down that path of growing and changing, you might want to take another look and perhaps you'll decide on a different way to do it at that point. But right now - when you're still at the initial stages of the path and haven't yet actually begun to move, don't let yourself booked down by the decision-making process, secon-guessing yourself, trying to decide which path is the best. They all have merit. Simply pick one that resonates and start. Now. It's a choice.

Read also these other posts:
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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 latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is 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 (English)


Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming Spring 2015)

 

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.

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

Meine Bücher auf Deutsch ab Frühjahr 2015 
Mis libros en español a partir de la primavera de 2015

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher weltweit auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros globalmente en Amazon en español a partir de la primavera de 2015.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Nose Breathing Vs Mouth Breathing: Huge Benefits


Lest you think this is about yoga - it is not, although there are extensive references to this in yoga. How do you breathe when you walk, sit, or basically do most activities? Do you get much of your oxygen through your nose or do you get it through your mouth? If you're not sure, just observe yourself for several moments.

It turns out that about 80% of those of us who live in the Western world breathe through the mouth. The lungs are a primary source of our energy level. They extract oxygen from the air we breathe primarily on the exhale. Because the nostrils are smaller then the mouth, air exhaled through the nose creates back pressure when one exhales. It slows the air escape so the lungs have more time to extract oxygen from them. When there is proper oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange, the blood will maintain a balanced pH. If carbon dioxide is lost too quickly, as in mouth breathing, oxygen absorption is decreased (1). Our nasal passages are created to humidify, clean and warm the incoming flow of air due to the layers of protective mucus. This thin layer of mucus can trap about 98-99% of bacteria, viruses, dust particles, and other airborne objects (4).

FACTS:
  • Your nose is the only organ able to properly prepare the air you breathe; mouth breathing leads to over-breathing, chronic hyperventilation, depleted carbon dioxide levels, reduced blood circulation, buildup of toxins and narrowing of the airways.
  • Mouth breathing and resultant over-breathing elevates your blood pressure and heart rate and worsens asthma, allergies, rhinitis, sleep apnea, and deprives your heart, brain and other organs of optimal oxygenation
  • Overbreathing and hyperventilation during exercise can lead to reduced performance, and can also cause vasoconstriction, which increases your risk for arrhythmias and heart problems, even if you have none of the usual cardiac risk factors 
  • Some researchers believe that mouth breathing and associated hyperventilation causes or exacerbates asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease
  • Nose breathing 24 hours a day is extremely important for those who desire the longest and most healthy life. (1)
  • Nasal breathing is inherently slower than mouth breathing and will help reduce stress and hypertension. (2)
  • Nasal breathing promotes good oral health. Mouth breathing causes a drying out of the gums, increases the acidity in the mouth encouraging both cavities and gum disease (3)
EXERCISE:

Nasal breathing is more efficient than mouth breathing in terms of supplying oxygen to the body. When performing cardiovascular exercise it is therefore preferable to inhale and exhale through the nose. If you are exercising and become out of breath, it is faster to exhale through the mouth than the nose, but this will reduce the amount of oxygen extracted from each exhalation. Additionally, the nostrils and sinuses play a part in filtering and warming the air that is inhaled into the lungs. This filtering effect is helpful in keeping bacteria and particles out of your body. When exercising in chilly weather, breathing through the nose prevents cold air from going straight to your lungs and causing chest and throat pain. (2)

SOME CONDITIONS HELPED WITH NASAL BREATHING (3):
  • Asthma
  • Sinusitis
  • Allergies including hayfever
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder)
  • ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
  • Anxiety & panic attacks
BLOCKED NOSE:

Almost all the sources listed here have information for those of you who find nasal breathing challenging due to a blocked nose, deviated septum, etc.

MY EXPERIENCE:

I have been a chronic mouth breather (during exercise) for some time, although during exercise I would often try to consciously inhale nasally and exhale through the mouth. Once I read the article (5) below, and watched the videos in it about the Buteyko Breathing Method, I became aware of all of the issues discussed in this post, and decided I would change, and began to do so during my daily exercise which consists of about 45 minutes walking in the sand on the beach, and also progressively incorporate it to the rest of the day. Note: not on the sand, but in the sand, which is considerably more strenuous than walking on packed dirt, grass or cement. The first days I had great difficulty maintaining my mouth shut for more than a minute or so. It almost felt as though I would suffocate. However, with each progressive day, I noticed how much easier it became, and how much longer I was able to do it (although I had to think about it all the time; i.e., I had to be mindful, because if not, I would revert to mouth breathing, even when I wasn't having a hard time). Finally, after about eight days, I was able to nose breathe the entire time, opening my mouth only to drink water. 

Sources:
  1. http://www.breathing.com/articles/nose-breathing.htm 
  2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/255298-mouth-breathing-vs-nasal-breathing/
  3. http://www.breathingremedies.co.uk/2014/01/29/nasal-breathing/
  4. http://www.normalbreathing.com/index-nasal.php
  5. Learn normal breathing: http://www.normalbreathing.com/learn.php
  6. http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/04/24/breathing-techniques.aspx 
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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 latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is 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 (English)


Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming Spring 2015)

 

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.

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

Meine Bücher auf Deutsch ab Frühjahr 2015 
Mis libros en español a partir de la primavera de 2015

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher weltweit auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros globalmente en Amazon en español a partir de la primavera de 2015.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Your Brain on Walking


Exactly what happens to your brain when you walk? Just walk. Wonderful changes take place. Allow yourself to be informed, because your brain on walking - such a simple little way of exercising - achieves magnificent things:
  • your memory is improved. One study of nearly 19,000 nurses showed that those who walked about six hours per week (aged 70-81) were 20% less likely to show cognitive impairment than those who did not exercise (Source)
  • In a study at UBC, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise (e.g., walking), the kind that gets your heart and sweat glands pumping, boosts the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning, Resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results. (Source)
  • Another study showed that the optimal exercise for cognitive health benefits was to walk 6-9 miles each week (1.5 miles per day, six days per week) in order to cut in half the risk of developing memory problems (Source)
  • Exercise helps memory and thinking through both direct and indirect means. The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors - chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells. (Source)
  • Peter Snyder of Brown's University Alpert Medical School who studies the effects of aging on the brain recently told National Public Radio that "what we're finding is that of all of these noninvasive ways of intervening, it is exercise that seems to have the most efficacy at this point - more so than nutritional supplements, vitamins, and cognitive interventions. (Source)
  • Even moderate walking (more than two hours a week) helps stave off further deterioration among elderly people in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. (Source)
  • More walking results in greater brain volume.
And walking has been shown time after time to be one of the best activities - as long as it is done on a regular basis to boost all of the above. It's so very easy. And can be very pleasurable. So what's stopping you? It's another one of those choices you can make.

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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 latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is 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 (English)


Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming Spring 2015)

 

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.

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

Meine Bücher auf Deutsch ab Frühjahr 2015 
Mis libros en español a partir de la primavera de 2015

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher weltweit auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros globalmente en Amazon en español a partir de la primavera de 2015.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Coming to Morning Through the Shadows


Life is often not easy. Frequently many of the people I see privately are in great pain, not only about emotional and psychological issues, but about the circumstances of their lives. Whether it's a quesrtion of cause and effect, because we have taken paths that led us to where we are now, or whether it is bad luck, or terrible external geo-political and economic situations, the point is that it is often very hard to figure out how to continue.

Nevertheless, it is precisely when it is darkest, and when you seem to have lost all hope, that you most need to remember that life can change in a heartbeat. Or that you can make things change - even if only in your head and the way you view them. Or how you react to them - most particularly, how you choose to react to them.

It is at times like that when it is so very important to recognize that you need something that keeps you going on. You may have a collection of quotations or poetry that mean something to you; that inspire and motivate you; that allow you to feel hope. Or perhaps you have collected books or videos (of films or seminars with motivational or inspirational speakers) that again, mean something to you; that inspire and motivate you; that allow you to feel hope. Or perhaps you have cultivated a practice of some kind, such as mindfulness, that allows you to be in charge of your thoughts, in order that they are not able to torture you with the circumstances in which you find yourself. Or perhaps you have already found meaning in your life. Something that gives you a feeling of purpose. That, in and of itself, is one of the best ways to find inner strength during great darkness. Having a meaning in your life can give you such conviction that you are able to carry on, that it will be very hard to keep you down.

So back to the darkness. Back to the shadows that are holding the light away from your life. If you already have some of the above ways of managing the dark parts of your life in your pocket, so to speak, you will know what to do. If you have not, this is the best time to start. Now.

It was Tolkien who said: you can only come to the morning through the shadows.

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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 latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is 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 (English)


Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming Spring 2015)

 


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.

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

Meine Bücher auf deutsch ab Frühjahr 2015 
Mis libros en español a partir de la primavera de 2015

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher weltweit auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros globalmente en Amazon en español a partir de la primavera de 2015.