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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

Monday, August 16, 2021

You Cannot Be Happy Tomorrow: A Brief Look at Stress & Trauma


The reason it is impossible to be happy tomorrow as the title implies, is because you never actually manage to “arrive at” tomorrow. You are always “in” today. If you are not aware, and not here now, because you are elsewhere or elsewhen in your mind, then we might speculate that your mind is being run by your subconscious. And if your mind is being run by your subconscious, we can deduce that the subconscious is being run by much of the ‘programming’ that took place when you were a child, whatever that programming might have been. 

As far back as the 16th Century, the Spanish Jesuit St. Ignatius of Loyola already stated: give me a child until he is seven, and I will show you the man. Neuroscientists now know that this is a correct assumption, because what you observe and internalize in those early years will shape you over the course of your life, even if – as is frequently the case – you are quite unaware on a conscious level of what it was that you internalized. Another way of saying this is that the subconscious mind has been programmed - often in a negative, disempowering, and even self-sabotaging way. 

Some of what we internalize in those early years – or the manner in which our subconscious mind has been programmed - is stress-related. And because it comes at that pre-operational stage of our cognitive development, where we are thinking symbolically, as opposed to using cognitive operations, much of what happens, goes into the body. This is important, because if the learning is in the body, it is not conscious and not available to our conscious thoughts or decisions. 

Stress, Psycho-Neuroimmunology (PNI) & the Immune System 

Bruce Lipton illustrates stress beautifully. When you are stressed, and adrenaline and cortisol flood your body, your immune system, which requires a great deal of energy, gets shut off in order to conserve energy. Blood vessels in the gut get constricted and blood (the carrier of energy in your body) gets pushed to the arms and legs. If you had to escape the proverbial tiger seeking to eat you for lunch, that blood in your extremities would help you run and climb a tree. Tigers tend to give up if they can’t reach you, and slink off to find other prey. However, if tigers were chasing you continually, you would be in a constant state of stress, and hence your immune system would not be functioning properly. And that is what happens in our modern society. We have no tigers chasing us, but we have tremendous chronic stress and pressure filling our days and lives. 

There is a final thing that stress hormones do: they restrict blood flow to the prefrontal cortex (behind the forehead), shutting off conscious processing (which takes place there). Blood is being pushed to the hind bran where subconscious programs are stored and in control. Lipton uses the example of a car accident, saying that just as it is about to happen, you don’t consciously think out the steps you will take to avoid it. Rather, an automatic, or subconscious program takes over, because you learned how to drive some time ago. Ditto running away from the tiger. You know how to run. 

Stress is not just a tiger or a potential car accident. Stress is what you see on tv (news or movies/series). Stress is having poor boundaries with people in your life. Stress is lack of self-care on any level you could mention. Stress is the daily grind. Stress comes in thousands of guises and pervades our lives. Stress takes our immune system off-line. Stress brings in subconscious programming – i.e., we “use” reactions that are not conscious in order to deal with situations we confront (great when you’re avoiding the tiger, but not so great when your spouse’s verbal abuse simply serves to bring back how you subconsciously felt when you were a child and one of your parents yelled and frightened you). 

Trauma & Stress 

Numerous highly respected professionals in the field of medicine, psychiatry, and psychology (eg., Drs. Van der Kolk, Maté, Levine, Sapolsky, Rothschild, Porges, Ogden, etc.) have found that trauma is not necessarily something exhibited only by war veterans. Nor can it only be attributed to severe abuse experienced in childhood. 

Research of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) and the discovery of their correlation to numerous negative outcomes, has demonstrated that far more people than anyone had ever suspected, experienced a number of such events, resulting in negative physiological and psychological adult outcomes. Nevertheless, many people who appear to be controlled by some kind of subconscious program that sends them into blind reactivity or negative rumination, insist that their childhood was more normal, not necessarily traumatic – and yet – something is keeping these people from living a full and rich life. 

The examination of multiple diseases, depression, or addiction, and other negative outcomes in the lives of adults, has demonstrated that they are generally found in the lives of those who suffered some kind of trauma as children. What is new in our understanding, is that the trauma was not necessarily, as already stated, of a typically severe kind.

Here are some examples:

  • Birth trauma: emergency c-sections, umbilical cord problems at birth, “planned” birth timing (as opposed to natural timing) in order to suit the attending physician’s schedule.
  • Near drowning, car accidents, or other near-fatal situations, whether at age nine months or three years, or any time at all in those early years of life, and that leave no apparent physiological or cognitive consequences.
  • Medical procedures that may imply the child is restrained on an operating table without the company of a soothing parent.
  • Child custody issues resulting in a child experiencing high drama, conflict, or even kidnapping by the non-custodial parent, possibly resulting in being kept from the other parent for months or years on end.
  • Parental alienation (the custodial parent does his/her utmost to paint the other parent black in the child’s mind).
  • Children whose parents, while not abusive in the conventional sense of the word, are not self-regulated, nor are they emotionally mature or coherent, and hence create frequent traumatic moments (by virtue of their lack of self-awareness and self-regulation) for their children in daily life. 

Any and all of these, along with a long list of others, are potential carriers of great stress in the child. And if the origin of that stress took place during the subconscious period of the early life, the stress was frequently reacted to in the body. And continues to be reacted to on that level even in adulthood – until the subconscious programming is reached and eliminated. And – at least for now – it appears this is not something that is amenable to classical talk therapy. The body must be included. 

The main focus of this article is to explain how we become subconsciously programmed, and how that process is intertwined with stress, and how that stress impacts our lives in such hugely important, and sometimes traumatic ways. Here are, however, a few places you might begin your search for solutions:

  • Somatic Experiencing (Peter Levine)
  • Sensorimotor therapy (Pat Ogden)
  • Sensory integration
  • Neuro-feedback
  • Energy Psychology (Psych-K, EFT, etc.)
  • EMDR
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Yoga
  • Rhythmic dancing & theater


***************


VIDEO COURSES IN ENGLISH


See the preview (click the title below) to my online video course:




"Fatherless Women & Motherless Men"


***************

See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course:




"Freedom From the Torture of Your Thoughts"

**************************************************

See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course  




  *****************************

CHARLAS EN ESPAÑOL EN YOUTUBE

Los enlaces a continuacion no sirven, dado que el canal de YouTube de Mindalia ha sido eliminado. Por tanto, las conferencia mias se pueden ver en mi propio canal de Youtube pinchando en este enlace




Vampiros energéticos: Su efecto destructivo en tu vida



*******************************

"Límites malsanos y autoestima: Tu felicidad y el amor hacia ti mismo"





****************************

"Basta con la tortura de tus pensamientos"



****************************

"Soluciones para personas emocionalmente inaccesibles 
y con dependencia emocional"



****************************

Narcisismo y Psicopatía: Vivir sin Empatía



****************************
Relación espiritual y sexo en pareja



****************************
Elige hábitos para llevar una vida de bienestar



****************************
Morir: Un enfoque espiritual



****************************

Amor sano o disfuncional: ¿Cuál es la diferencia?




*****************************

BOOKS - LIBROS - BÜCHER


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available 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). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle



Note: Also see my other other blog 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 

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Art of Self-Regulation

 


If no one ever showed you how to walk, or if no one ever walked in your presence, you would probably still be able to learn on your own, but it would take much longer. In other words, having a role model or a step-by-step plan makes it infinitely easier to reach your goal.

It’s the same thing with self-regulation, one of the cornerstones of emotional maturity. By knowing how to self-regulate, you are able to calm yourself in a heated or potentially explosive situation, as well as situations that cause you great pain and sorrow. Self-regulation is also something of great value in a situation such as the current global pandemic, because it allows you to calm racing thoughts of panic, stress, and fear. You may have read some of the articles about self-regulation in this newsletter, but today I propose to give you a blueprint that can be adapted to most situations.

Whenever you are reactive, or have knee-jerk reactions to anything at all, or are overwhelmed with pain that buckles you, you display a lack of self-regulation. You are not regulating yourself. In other words, you have no control over yourself. But control is a fraught concept, and what is does not mean is that you keep yourself in a rigid position of no reactions – and no emotions - at all. Rather, control implies that you make healthy choices about how you react, while observing your thoughts and emotions.

Let’s imagine you have just received extremely bad news about your job or financial situation. Or imagine that you have received an unusually hurtful message from a family member, perhaps a parent, a partner, or an adult child. You can feel your heart beginning to pound. Perhaps you feel heat coursing through your upper chest and head.

Here is where the importance of the first step should not be underestimated – a first step which is closely aligned with being conscious and aware about yourself. If this is not yet something you’ve worked on, please see Mindfulness: Change Your Life With This 15-Minute Daily Exercise, because it will be nearly impossible for you to properly take this first step without being aware at least part of the time. And you probably know that being aware at a time of strong emotions is much harder than when you are calm. Therefore, if you have not yet begun to practice becoming aware, those high emotions will keep you from taking the step.

  1. Being aware - the first step - allows you to recognize that not only is there something going on inside of you, and that you are on the verge of reacting, due to whatever the outer circumstance is, but that you have a choice. Having a choice implies having freedom about how you are going to react – or continue reacting.
  2. Next (and realize that this literally takes nano-seconds, much less than it is taking you to read this article), take a deep breath and interrupt the thought flow in your mind, and tell yourself that before you pay attention to any of those thoughts, even though your heart is pounding, and even though you feel heat rising in your body, or tears coursing down your cheeks, you will focus on finding some inner harmony, the beginnings of inner peace. You want to achieve this because by so doing you will be able to choose your reaction.
  3. Third, use your connection to nature (that you are fostering as per the mindfulness exercise above) and deliberately look at something from nature outside your window, or in your home, or wherever you are, that allows you to feel a small sensation of peace. Notice that there is a slight lessening of the reactive feelings and desires, simply because of this connection to nature.
  4. If the occasion is a small thing (you are impatient at a bank because the line is long, and the clerk is slow; your partner is once again late; your seven-year-old has carelessly broken a vase with great sentiment attached to it; your teenaged son has just called you by an epithet), this small step may be enough. In that case, you will have noticed that your accelerated heartbeat, or the heat inside, or the knee-jerk reaction is no longer at the forefront, and that you are able to choose a reaction that serves you better. In other words, a reaction that does not cause further stress and turmoil in you by being aggressive, explosive, rude, or thoughtless.
  5. Furthermore, at this point you will be able to calmly review your inner self-dialogue and understand how and where you could choose to change it by literally changing your thoughts about what just happened. Not – I hasten to add – by pretending the events were different, but by how you describe them to yourself in your head.
  6. If, however, the occasion is more serious, more steps to achieve that first bit of inner equilibrium are called for. If you are in the middle of a situation that requires a timely response or reaction, and you are already able to give it now, do so.
  7. If, however, you cannot yet give such a response from a place of inner balance, then, if at all possible, say that you need some time to reflect and that you will pick the matter up again later, or the next day. And then remove yourself from that place, either by going to another room, if this has taken place in your own home, or by actually leaving the location, if you are not in your home. Requesting time to consider the situation will also work in many professional situations.
  8. Now, still noticing that your inner self has regained a small measure of peace, put on some music that you know typically brings you joy, well-being, and/or peace (if you have no such music, begin preparing a playlist). Do not play anything that causes nostalgic emotions to arise. The music should be emotion-neutral with regards to your past, but that creates joyful emotions in the present. Notice how listening to this music (it might only take a few minutes) further brings you towards harmony and inner well-being.
  9. If you require more processing in order to gain yet more inner calm before choosing your reactions (and remember, not all difficult occasions require an immediate and face-to-face reaction, but rather an inner reaction), then here are some more steps to take:
  10. At this point you have spent about 10-15 minutes processing your inner state in order to self-regulate. Noticing how you are feeling somewhat better, but not yet anywhere near where you might like to be (especially if the incident was particularly volatile), you might now decide to spend 30-60 minutes distracting yourself, in order to give that inner space more time to de-escalate. I don’t often recommend distractions, but if the situation requires more calming, it can form an excellent part of your repertoire. You might choose to read something from your personal library that – just as the music does – helps bring you to a place of well-being. Or you might watch something that has the same effect, or – simply read or watch something that is enjoyable and serves to momentarily distract you.
  11. When you finish, again observe your inner and outer state. Notice the improvement. Remember to not ruminate on the situation. At this point we are less concerned with what actually happened, and with your thoughts about the subject, than we are with this inner calming process. Understand that until you truly feel calm enough to be serene in your appraisal of what just occurred, there is little point in reacting.
  12. If more calming is required, you might choose one person who is close to you (not more, because continually repeating the story simply makes it worse for you) with whom to speak. Try to recount it calmly, try not to blame, try simply to process. Also notice, as you speak, if your inner state remains more or less the way it was before telling the story, or if it accelerates again. If so, you are probably allowing yourself to blame and get angry or hurt in the re-telling, as opposed to trying to remain calm and objective.
  13. If appropriate, time-wise during your day, eat a small amount of something that you find particularly delicious.
  14. If you have been following these steps, by now you will find yourself - if not fully calm and centered - at least much more calm than the way you were when the situation first occurred.
  15. A short mindfulness walk referenced above would be useful now (Mindfulness: Change Your Life With This 15-Minute Daily Exercise)
  16. If you practice meditation, now is a good time to do so.
  17. If it is close to bedtime, go to sleep and visualize a scene from nature that you find calming (I go to my grandmother’s plant-filled solarium that I visited as a child, on the edge of a lake in Germany, and the grounds that surrounded it).
  18. The next morning, run everything that happened through your mind. Notice if your inner state remains calm. If not, repeat some of the earlier steps.
  19. Review your choices. Remember that you now have a greater variety of choices than you did when everything first occurred, before you took these steps.

The more you practice some - or all - of these steps, the more this process will become – if not automatic – then at the very least quite easy. You will be accustomed to observing yourself and all your thoughts and emotions and reactions, and then observing how relatively quickly (in time) you are capable of bringing yourself to a state of inner harmony despite the events. And then you are free to choose your reactions. Self-regulation is now part of your repertoire.

Note: individuals who self-regulate successfully are healthier than those who don’t, and also have a higher positive immune response. 



***************


VIDEO COURSES IN ENGLISH


See the preview (click the title below) to my online video course:




"Fatherless Women & Motherless Men"


***************

See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course:




"Freedom From the Torture of Your Thoughts"

**************************************************

See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course  




  *****************************

CHARLAS EN ESPAÑOL EN YOUTUBE

Los enlaces a continuacion no sirven, dado que el canal de YouTube de Mindalia ha sido eliminado. Por tanto, las conferencia mias se pueden ver en mi propio canal de Youtube pinchando en este enlace




Vampiros energéticos: Su efecto destructivo en tu vida



*******************************

"Límites malsanos y autoestima: Tu felicidad y el amor hacia ti mismo"





****************************

"Basta con la tortura de tus pensamientos"



****************************

"Soluciones para personas emocionalmente inaccesibles 
y con dependencia emocional"



****************************

Narcisismo y Psicopatía: Vivir sin Empatía



****************************
Relación espiritual y sexo en pareja



****************************
Elige hábitos para llevar una vida de bienestar



****************************
Morir: Un enfoque espiritual



****************************

Amor sano o disfuncional: ¿Cuál es la diferencia?




*****************************

BOOKS - LIBROS - BÜCHER


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available 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). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle



Note: Also see my other other blog 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 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Control Dramas & Codependence: Draining Your Life Energy



The topic of drama in our lives – particularly in our closest relationships – is one I touched on several years ago with The Adrenaline Rush of Relationship Drama. Now I’d like to specifically examine control dramas, their impact on our lives, as manifested in many different types of relationships, as well as the manner in which they drain us and therefore steal our energy.

Control and its role in our lives was touched on in great depth in Melody Beattie’s 1987 groundbreaking work Codependence No More. She wrote: If we weren’t trying to control whether a person likes us or his or her reaction to us, what would we do differently? If we weren’t trying to control the course of a relationship, what would we do differently? If we weren’t trying to control another person’s behavior, how would we think, feel, speak, and behave differently that we do now?

Some years later, in 1993, four specific control dramas hit the consciousness of many people after James Redfield elucidated them in his book The Celestine Prophecy. While not a psychologist, his descriptions nevertheless were spot on for so many. Subsequently countless articles and several books expanded on the topic.

Despite the enormous amount of information readily available about control dramas, I nevertheless believe that many people are simply not aware of the insidious manner in which such drama enters their lives – and indeed – may have entered their lives long ago. Without awareness – as always – solutions are nearly impossible to apply.

People who consult with me about their personal lives and issues often bring such matters to the table, without, as said earlier, realizing that drama – a need for drama by one or all people involved - may lie at the base of what is happening, and that they themselves, despite a desire to resolve the matter, may actually be contributing to the drama by the manner in which they engage with the other person.

Understanding the kind of control drama that may form part of one or more of your relationships, is the first step to solving them.

Types of Control Dramas:

  • Intimidators steal energy from others by creating fear or by threats
  • Interrogators steal energy by judging and questioning – by always being critical – their goal is to find fault, and in the process, to make you feel nervous, stressed, scared, judged, and criticized
  • Aloof people attract attention (and energy) to themselves by acting reserved or withdrawing and disengaging from a situation
  • Poor me’s create guilt and try to make you feel responsible for them, which is a kind of energy vampire – also see Emotional & Energetic Vampires

Sample Scenarios of Control Dramas:

Intimidators:

  • Example A: parent to child: “don’t ever let me see you using my mobile without permission. If you do, I will ground you.” The intimidating part is the first sentence. The other sentence is actually quite good, as it establishes a healthy boundary. If instead, the second part were “f you do, I will spank you”, then it would be an outright threat, a further intimidation, as opposed to the establishment of a healthy boundary.
  • Example B: one spouse to another: “don’t ever raise your voice to me.” The intimidation here is clear, no further sentence is required – unless the other spouse argues. An argument will convert the intimidating sentence into a continuation of the control drama and bring about greater escalation. An argument implies engagement in the control drama. The solution never is an argument.

Interrogators:

  • Example: “Did you take out the garbage last night?” Answer: “Yes”. Next question: “Did you remember to put a new bag in the bin?” Answer: “Yes”. Next question: “Did you remember the recycling?” Answer: “Yes.” Next question: “When did you take it out?” Answer: “Just before I went to bed.” Next question: “Why didn’t you take it out right after dinner, like I always tell you to? Don’t you realize that if you leave it until bedtime, you might forget?” By now the person being interrogated may feel resentful, angry, or nervous. If they complain or defend themselves, the interrogation devolves even further into a control drama, bringing about greater escalation. Complaining and defensive words imply engagement in the control drama. The solution never lies in doing that.

Aloof People:

  • Example: You may show a parent or partner or friend something you have accomplished and for which you feel justifiably proud, assuming they will acknowledge what you have done. Not only do they not acknowledge it, but they simply ignore it, or pass over it, and move on to a different and entirely unrelated subject. Deflated, you try again to engage the other in your desire to be praised, approved of, or told how proud he/she is of you, and nothing happens. A total lack of interest, and/or deflection to other topics, or simply silence ensues. The more you push for engagement, the more you enter the control drama, and the more aloof the other becomes. The solution never lies in chasing the other.

Poor Me’s:

  • Example: In the article mentioned above, I addressed the issue of poor me’s or victims: “this one can actually be putting on a very brave face, interlaced however, with much possible sighing, and a soft, suffering voice. Here there has been a great injustice done to the [emotional] vampire, perhaps it is the family that has let the person down, perhaps it was a spouse, or friends, occasionally this vampire may even blame him or herself for some events, but nevertheless, because they view themselves as victim, albeit brave and all-suffering, you are put into the untenable role of someone who is expected to help this person, generally at the expense of your own well-being. Your help may come in the guise of marathon talk sessions, ideas, something you physically do for the other to help them get stronger or better, but whatever it is, it drains you. And of course, if you stop accepting the role of helper, builder-upper of strength (the other’s), you feel guilty for being such a bad friend (or relative, or partner).” You are being controlled by the ‘suffering’ of the other. If you ever suggest solutions, you are given an endless array of excuses for why they would not work, or if you ever dare mention how much you feel drained by this continual litany of woes or drama, you are accused of being a bad spouse, friend, or family member, for wishing to curtail the other of his ‘right’ to endlessly discuss his life. Attempting to address your feelings about this situation – or even attempting to help the other with suggestions pulls you even further into the control drama. The solution never lies in doing that.

Solutions: Frequently solutions depend on you recognizing your own role in such drama. Are you seeking out drama? Do you crave the adrenaline rush? Do you have poor boundaries? Are you lacking in self-love and self-esteem, or self-confidence? All of these points are intimately connected to poor boundaries. A further question to ask yourself is how quickly (if ever), you realize you are in the middle of a control drama, and that you are actively participating in it. Are you allowing your statements concerning clear boundaries to be “derailed” by the other? Do you rush to argue, as opposed to checking your inner state before replying, asking yourself if this is the way you wish to be spoken to, or treated, and if not, what the most emotionally mature and self-regulating manner of response could be – one that respects your boundaries and clearly states your position?

Therefore solutions to control dramas in your life depend on some or all of the following:

  • Become aware of the control drama started by the other person.
  • Become aware of your contribution to it assuming you are reacting to the other person’s words, as opposed to remaining calm and stating a clear boundary violation. Notice – as you react argumentatively, defensively, or with pain in your voice – how the other person may derail your words by accusing you of doing precisely what you are saying is being done to you, or by going into past arguments, and accusing you of incidents from that time (as opposed to staying on track with the matter at hand in the present moment).
  • Examine how capable you are of maintaining or erecting healthy boundaries. If you realize that you have problems doing so, work on this aspect – either on your own, or with guidance – in order to be able to affirm your boundaries in the moment another trespasses them, as evidenced in these control dramas.
  • If you have recognized your boundaries are not yet healthy, also carefully examine your self-love and self-caring; i.e., how well you take care of yourself in difficult situations. If you don’t take good care of yourself (frequently via self-dialogue), you will need to work on self-love, self-care, self-esteem, self-respect, self-confidence, and so on, as any and all of these will be crucial in those moments when you need to clearly express your own healthy boundaries.

Codependence and control dramas can be very insidious. It is up to you to examine where you stand and work on eradicating those parts of you that fall into those categories in order to lead yourself to inner emotional freedom and self-love.


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

A Purpose-Driven Life

 

In this time of great turmoil, with the pandemic, with looming economic problems in every country, increasing hunger, and difficulties in having access to clean water and education, refugees living in desperation and squalor because we of the first world are not doing what is right, not to mention other minor matters such as the ludicrous process of Brexit, the humiliatingly preposterous US election (Supreme Court included), despots in rather too many nations who cling to power, social media that does not generally seem to do the right thing, given the power it holds, conspiracy theory activists who rarely seem to have any real knowledge about what they denounce ipso facto in the nano-second they see a headline, etc. etc., I have found that what most maintains my sanity is to keep holding on to a sense of purpose. In other words, to live a purpose-driven life.

This works if you feel you have a purpose. Do you? Does purpose figure in your life at this time?

If you don’t have a purpose, have you noticed how easy it is for something to derail your sense of inner peace, should you still have one? Have you noticed how easy it is for the condition of the world, your country, your city, your neighbourhood, your building, your friends, or your family, to cause you great inner mayhem?

If you are binging on Netflix or thrillers and romance novels, it may have taken you longer to reach this point, but we are many months into our time of Covid-19, and so I’m going to assume you have noticed a lack of something in your life.

I believe that something is a purpose. A meaning. Something that gives your life a sense of significance. Something that makes you want to get up in the morning in order to move forward just a bit more on whatever it is that gives you that sense of purpose.

Today’s post is not so much to help you find that sense of purpose. I’ve written about that in the past:

·       Giving Birth to Yourself

·       Reaching Towards What You Still Might Become

·       Walking a Bit Further Every Day

·       Your Possible Selves

·       Feeling a River Move In You

·       Finding a Meaning for Your Life

·       Don’t Allow Them to Take Your Dream From You

Rather, this post is about the realization that living a purpose-driven life means that you always have a safe harbour. You always have a place to go to that shelters you from the outer turmoil I described above – not because you make yourself blind to it – but because you are able to live a life of peace despite it.

I used to wonder how on earth Anne Frank was able to live all that time in a small room, hiding from the Nazis, knowing that if they found her, she would surely be sent to a death camp. In the same fashion, I wondered how Nelson Mandela managed all those years doing hard labour on Robben Island, knowing he had been sentenced to life. Christopher Reeve, our first cinematic Superman, once he became a paraplegic, also caught my attention. How did he deal with his situation? Finally, Sabriye Tenberken, a German girl who lost her sight as a teen, has become another individual to observe, in her determination to deal with her situation in a very unusual way.

What these four rather remarkable individuals did in order to deal with their respective predicaments, became their purpose. It allowed them to live a purpose-driven life. Said in another way, it allowed them - or so I believe - a great measure of inner peace thanks to this purpose that gave meaning to their lives. It meant that they could deal with their everyday issues, dramas, difficulties, pain, sorrow, despair, and so much more, simply because they had a purpose.

Let’s return to our situation in 2020 and 2021. And to our own lives, where most of us don’t live the kind of situations Anne Frank, Nelson Mandela, Christopher Reeve, and Sabriye Tenberken went through. But we have the turmoil I described at the beginning. We have headlines screaming at us on a daily basis. Simply turning off the news and going on a total media black-out won’t do it either because we do need to keep ourselves informed.

So here is what I am trying to emphatically underline for you here. Living a purpose-driven life can make absolutely all the difference. If you are not living a life of purpose, you owe it to yourself to figure out what that purpose could be (some of the articles referenced above might give you a few ideas about how to discover that purpose). And once you have even an inkling, start moving in that direction. Who could have thought that writing a diary in Nazi-occupied Holland could give succour, perhaps even relief? Who could have thought that deeply thinking about the future of his nation, while chipping away at stones under the hot sun, could offer succour, perhaps even relief? Working towards stem-cell research from the confines of a wheel chair gave another kind of relief and peace. And devising Tibetan braille, setting up schools and teaching the Tibetan blind how to read, and then starting afresh in India with a university to mentor change-makers - while challenging - must be stimulating to say the very least.

Your purpose and mine may not be as grand as that which kept the four examples I described so very invested in their lives. But whatever it is, if the purpose we give to our life fulfills us, it can do all those things I’ve mentioned here, and more - and ultimately - it can lead us to inner peace and joy, even in the midst of chaos.


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VIDEO COURSES IN ENGLISH


See the preview (click the title below) to my online video course:




"Fatherless Women & Motherless Men"


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See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course:




"Freedom From the Torture of Your Thoughts"

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See the preview (click on the title below) to my online video course  




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CHARLAS EN ESPAÑOL EN YOUTUBE

Los enlaces a continuacion no sirven, dado que el canal de YouTube de Mindalia ha sido eliminado. Por tanto, las conferencia mias se pueden ver en mi propio canal de Youtube pinchando en este enlace




Vampiros energéticos: Su efecto destructivo en tu vida



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"Límites malsanos y autoestima: Tu felicidad y el amor hacia ti mismo"





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"Basta con la tortura de tus pensamientos"



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"Soluciones para personas emocionalmente inaccesibles 
y con dependencia emocional"



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Narcisismo y Psicopatía: Vivir sin Empatía



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Relación espiritual y sexo en pareja



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Elige hábitos para llevar una vida de bienestar



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Morir: Un enfoque espiritual



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Amor sano o disfuncional: ¿Cuál es la diferencia?




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BOOKS - LIBROS - BÜCHER


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books (also in Spanish & German). My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available 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). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
DEINE SEELE UND DU
  

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhältlich als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhältlich sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... ahora en todo el mundo en Amazon en versión bolsillo y Kindle



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