WELCOME TO THIS BLOG


"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

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Four Tips For When You’re Hanging at the End of Your Rope


Having hit rock bottom is generally considered to be one of the most difficult moments in a person’s life. It can be for any number of reasons: professional, personal (relationships, family), financial, or health, and frequently several or all of these are intertwined, making it feel like a nightmare from which you are not able to wake. If you have no tools to help you deal with this, obviously the whole thing just gets that much harder, and then you might resort to alcohol, antidepressants, sleeping pills, recreational drugs, or worse.

TIP #1: Take a reality check

In cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) we look at reality vs myth. When you’re hanging at the end of your rope, you might be placing more emphasis on the myth, than on the reality. As an example, in a panic attack someone may not be able to get into an airplane due to the fear that planes crash. We could say that clearly the statistical reality is that the possibility of a plane crashing is much lower than that of getting into a traffic accident. Using this kind of ‘reality’ vs the ‘myth’ that the person has in his mind, is one of the ways of bringing about the inner change over time. In the case of hanging at the end of your rope, you might believe you will never, ever get out of the hole you are in. Check the reality of that vs its myth by reading Tip #2. Or you might believe you are in a situation that simply has no solution. Check the reality of that vs its myth by reading Tip #3. You might believe the goal you have set for yourself is simply too large, and that you will never be able to accomplish it. Check the reality of that vs its myth by reading Tip #4.

TIP #2: Look into past experiences of success

My German compatriots have a wonderful expression – actually it’s just a very long word – Erfolgserlebnis, which means an “experience of success”. And of course the experience must be yours! So search around in your past when you did something at which you succeeded. Did you run that marathon? Did you learn that foreign language? Did you write that paper? Did you give that speech? Did you learn how to cook? Did you learn how to use that specialized software? Whatever it was – and obviously there may be more than just a single experience of success in your past, and even if that experience is unrelated to the current challenge – use the knowledge of it; the knowledge of that particular bit of success in your life, to urge yourself forward. To encourage yourself in the present endeavour. To realize that if you were capable of that, you may also be capable of this.

TIP #3: Find a role model who’s been there, done that, and came out the other end

In my own life, as I have always enjoyed reading biographies and autobiographies, it was generally not necessary to go out there and hunt for someone who was going through my own experience, because I already knew about someone like that from those books. It helped immensely to go back and re-read about how they overcame whatever it was that I was going through. Perhaps their solution was not mine, but it felt as though I had an ally – someone who understood my story, my predicament, my pain. When I was 31, my sons aged eight, six, and five were kidnapped. To put labels on what we all went through would be simplifying what was simply the most painful experience – among numerous others - of our lives. Curiously enough, I had, just a year or so before, read an autobiography of a woman who had undergone a similar experience, and I remember thinking, at the time I read it, why on earth are your reading about something so terrible? I had also recently – serendipitously - befriended a woman who had just months before told me of a similar tragedy in her own life, a daughter who had been kidnapped to another continent two decades earlier, and whom she had never seen again. Basing myself at least in part on their tragedies, I willed up the strength in my own life, in order to deal with it as best I could so that I did not fall off the end of my rope. Looking at others’ experiences that are similar to your own may help you find solutions.

TIP #4: Chunk it down

Overwhelm is one of those things that tends to happen when you’re at the end of your rope. You’re so devastated by what is happening, that you can’t see the forest for the trees. Or you focus on the forest and can’t see any one single tree. And so you freeze. By chunking things down into manageable bits, you will be able to move forward, even if slowly, but you’ll gain momentum shortly. So how do you chunk it down? Think: let me just get through today. In order to do that, what do I need to do? Just until after dinnertime. Or think: what is one small thing I can do right now that will help me move forward? Even if it seems quite tiny and unimportant? Or think: what can I focus on just for now, that will help me calm down? Because the more calm I am, the more I’ll be able to assess what is going on and figure out how to move forward … even if I have no idea right now how to solve the big picture.

What comes after?

Clearly, it makes sense that you do all you can to not find yourself in such a situation again. Not controlling situations that create problems in your life, as you will never have total control over that, but ensuring that you never again find yourself hanging at the end of your rope, no matter what. So, how can you avoid that?

My suggestion is always related to being present and aware and very conscious of yourself at all times. This implies mindfulness, about which I have written a multitude of articles, both via this newsletter, as well as in my blogs, and of course in my books. This is a practice that builds on every single time you do it. It grows exponentially until one day you realize that it fills your entire day, almost as though it were background music in your life. By so doing, you realize that no matter what life throws at you, you are able to remain present and calm, you are able to find a place of peace inside of you in the midst of the storm, and hence never get anywhere near the end of your rope.



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


VIDEO COURSES IN ENGLISH


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




Now Available

"Fatherless Women & Motherless Men"

Click HERE for the rate of US 15


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

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



Now Available

"Freedom From the Torture of Your Thoughts"

Click HERE for the rate of US 15

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

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





  *****************************

CHARLAS EN ESPAÑOL EN YOUTUBE


Vampiros energéticos: Su efecto destructivo en tu vida



En YouTube aquí


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


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 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

After the Honeymoon: Communicating with Soul


The honeymoon might end months, years, or even decades after the commitment you made to each other. And when it does, partnerships or marriages that survive, will have generally learned new ways of communicating in ways that involve the soul of both partners, ways that weren’t necessarily a part of the earlier period of the relationship.

At the beginning, so much is easy due to the love-need-chemistry element present in those early stages. It almost seems as though anything you say to each other is filled with magic. But when you’re no longer in that stage, the need to recognize that more than that exquisite love-need-chemistry element is required for the relationship to prosper, becomes imperative.

So what do you do?

Interestingly, here it becomes clear whether you have already begun to do some work on yourself; whether you have already taken on the task of personal – and inner, or soul - growth. Those who have may find it an easier job of dealing with this new way of communicating with soul. If only one of the two partners has taken on this task, things can become quite tricky.

If you have taught yourself to have good boundaries, to take good care of and love yourself, to not be reactive, and to therefore self-regulate, you are already going to be communicating at another level than someone who has not. This is not about intelligence, culture, or academic degrees, but about the quality of communication, given everything implied in the first sentence of this paragraph. By quality, I mean that the level of your communication is different even when it stoops to arguments and misunderstandings caused by poor boundaries and a lack of self-regulation. So if you find yourself there, the you that has been walking the path of inner or soul growth, recognizes the negative energetic pull of that kind of communication and therefore finds a way to move to an energetically higher level. Carl Gustav Jung said: “where love reigns, there is no will to power, and where the will to power is paramount, love is lacking.”

But there is another element involved with this new soul communication that must set in after the honeymoon, and that brings words such as mystery, depth, awe and wonder into the equation. The near-spiritual quality of those words is precisely what allows a relationship to transition from honeymoon to a communion that Thomas Moore calls “the irrationality of the soul when a relationship is soulful” in his beautiful book Soul Mates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationship.

He writes: “An essential part of becoming marriageable is to be a maker, a person who cultivates a life of beauty, rich texture, and creative work. If we understand marriage only as the commitment of two individuals to each other, then we overlook its soul, but if we see that it also has to do with family, neighbourhood, and the greater community, and with our own work and personal cultivation, then we begin to glimpse the mystery that is marriage.” And he later states: “All intimate relationships require some degree of magic, because magic, not reason and will, accomplishes what the soul needs.”

So we can infer from Moore’s words that without communication at this soul level, the relationship may well remain sterile in those ways that eventually cause the partners to drift apart because there is no longer – or perhaps there never was, except in that honeymoon period – any magic and mystery.

In his Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke writes “The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvellous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.”

This makes it clear that being joined at the hip – as so many people seem to believe is necessary for a relationship to be successful – is, in fact, dangerous to the life of the relationship, and the growth – in particular the soul growth - of the two partners.

Ursula Le Guin wrote that “love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”

And this ‘making new’ tells us that soul (as Moore puts it) and self (as Rilke puts it) must form part of love and the way we communicate with the beloved, even as we are emptying the dishwasher or taking out the garbage. Moore wrote: “As odd as it may sound, a relationship may find its soul more in attention to such things as the way we eat together or paint our bedroom ceiling than in mutual introspection. Soul is not necessarily nourished by what satisfies the mind.”

If we ‘tend’ to it, soul initially comes up in life through the most banal things, whether it is how we meet someone who becomes important to us, our work, that little (or big) accident, or that unexpected bit of luck. What then arises from that and how we develop it, is what becomes the makings of and the growth of the soul. This raw material we chance upon in life – and it can truly be on a daily basis - is what the alchemists called prima materia. Jung wrote in his Alchemical Studies about this: “The prima materia is, as one can so aptly say in English, ‘tantalizing’: it is cheap as dirt and can be had everywhere, only nobody knows it; it is as vague and evasive as the lapis that is to be produced from it; it has a ‘thousand names’. And the worst thing is that without it, the work cannot even be begun … It is the most despised and rejected thing, “thrown out into the street,” “cast on the dunghill,” “found in filth.”

Buddhist thought about this prima materia that “grows” the soul, which in turn allows us to communicate with soul, in the words of Pema Chödron states: “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” And I would add: as can the events of our lives. Continuing along the same line, we have the title of one of Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh’s books: No Mud, No Lotus, which reiterates the identical point.

Our task then, is to hone and polish the jewel – the soul - using the raw materials we are given, just as alchemists spoke of transforming the nigredo or blackness into gold by passing it through the alchemical fire.

A last thought from Moore that spoke to me nearly three decades ago, when I first read his books in the heat of the Mayan sun in the Yucatan Peninsula: “In the final paradox, if we want to light the fires of intimacy we have to honor the soul of the other.” This can only happen if we also honor our own soul, and if we communicate from that foundation.
***************


VIDEO COURSES IN ENGLISH


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




Now Available

"Fatherless Women & Motherless Men"

Click HERE for the rate of US 15


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

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



Now Available

"Freedom From the Torture of Your Thoughts"

Click HERE for the rate of US 15

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

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





  *****************************

CHARLAS EN ESPAÑOL EN YOUTUBE


Vampiros energéticos: Su efecto destructivo en tu vida



En YouTube aquí


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


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 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Reaching Towards What You (Still) Might Become


Have you ever wondered about the you that might have been if you had studied archaeology instead of law? Or if you had married John instead of Richard, or Melanie instead of Liz? Or how about the you that might have been if you had taken up that rather challenging and even frightening opportunity to lead a team of investors of your firm, but it meant moving to India? Or how about the you that might have been if you had never taken that first step down a road of ever-increasing prevarications or even outright lies? Or how about the you that might have been if you had cared more about how your profession made you feel, rather than about the amount of money it put into your bank account?
Such questions generally come later in life rather than earlier. They come as we look back over the trajectory we’ve traversed, and begin asking ourselves how we stand with regards to what we’ve accomplished and what our intrinsic reaction to all of it is. They may not be questions and thoughts we share with many or even anyone at all. And yet they are there, in our hearts, our minds, our souls. And we may grieve that which we did not do, wishing we had taken other decisions, or, at best, wondering how and who we might be, had we done things differently.

My take on this is very optimistic. I firmly believe that it is never too late to make changes that take you down a road you may now wish you had taken earlier. Whether that road represents what you do, how you think, or what you believe, I am convinced that it is totally in your hands to make these changes, no matter in which part of your life your find yourself. Young, middle-aged, old … it is simply never too late.

Why do I say this? I believe that it is not the specificity of what you left out of your life that is as significant as the essence of what that implied. The essence I am referring to, comprises the parts of you – the crucial parts of you - that would be different, had you followed that other road. Or at least, that would be different as far as you are able to determine in hindsight. And of course that most frequently implies an inner orientation, a way of being that would have been influenced by having lived that other life.

Therefore, if you are able to visualize … even if only tenuously … what might have been; that inner orientation, or way of being that would be different … you are, in my way of seeing it, already halfway there. What this means is that you already have the inner capacity to create that inner change, no matter what your choices have been thus far.

In practice, this means – and again, this is my view – that you are able to bring new life into your life by working on your inner world, because that is often the part of you that fell by the wayside due to decisions made earlier on the subjects that you are now pondering. Working on your inner world can be an immensely satisfying and enriching bit of business. Begin taking up – for example – some of the following practices in order to take you in that incalculably valuable direction:
  • The most primordial and life-changing practice you could foment is that of becoming as fully conscious of yourself as you possibly can. The way I generally recommend is to take up mindfulness – a waking meditation that can be practised at any time and at all hours – that is very simple to learn (see Mindfulness: Change Your Life With This 15-Minute Daily Exercise)
  • As you become aware of yourself, you will become aware of your thoughts, feelings, reactions, and actions much more rapidly than you may ever have done. This means you will be able to change your self-dialogue about whatever it is that is happening in your mind, heart, and soul … if you practice doing so.
  • As you change your self-dialogue, you will begin to see yourself in ways that are different in a far-reaching manner as opposed to the you that you were accustomed to seeing.
  • This will lead you to make changes in those near-automatic parts of yourself that you were not paying attention to at another time of your life, in order to become someone you might like to have as a friend
  •  All of this leads to self-love, a crucially necessary ingredient to leading a good life.
  • That again leads to creating healthier boundaries.
  • It also leads to self-regulation management in ways with which you may not be familiar.
  • That in turn leads to inner peace and harmony. 
  • And that in turn leads to loving kindness and compassion.
This is not a fairy tale, nor the unrealistic dream of an overt idealist. This is possible for all of us to achieve. It does require commitment and practice. It’s a gradual process that responds – just as a plant does – to careful tending and gentle nourishing. It also requires a desire to go there, and a realization that it is this kind of work on yourself that could lead you to that evanescent you that you might (still) become.



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


VIDEO COURSES IN ENGLISH


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




Now Available

"Fatherless Women & Motherless Men"

Click HERE for the rate of US 15


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

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



Now Available

"Freedom From the Torture of Your Thoughts"

Click HERE for the rate of US 15

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

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





  *****************************

CHARLAS EN ESPAÑOL EN YOUTUBE


Vampiros energéticos: Su efecto destructivo en tu vida



En YouTube aquí


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


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