"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

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hot Thought Forms

What are your hot thought forms? Here are some:
  • jealousy
  • rage
  • envy
  • hatred
  • fear
  • worry
  • anxiety
Why are they hot? Initially because of the way you feel when you have them. And the way they spiral into even hotter thoughts (pain body) if you continue having them.

But the second reason - and potentially even more important one - why they are hot thought forms, is because of the effect they have on our cells. Negative thoughts, especially when they keep coming up from the past, over past hurts and pains, harm the health of our very cells, over and over and over again, if we allow this unfinished business from the past to continue to affect us in the present.

Read more about this in the August 2008 newsletter titled "Cellular Responsibility: Getting Your Power Back". If you do not yet receive the monthly newsletter, please click here to subscribe.

Photos: Europe's largest megalithic dolmens in El Torcal, Antequera, Spain

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Are You Living the Pleasant Life, the Good Life, or the Meaningful Life?

The video below from TED is a talk given by Dr. Martin Seligmann about positive psychology.

Martin Seligman founded the field of positive psychology in 2000, and has devoted his career since then to furthering the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions. It's a fascinating field of study that had few empirical, scientific measures -- traditional clinical psychology focusing more on the repair of unhappy states than the propagation and nurturing of happy ones. In his pioneering work, Seligman directs the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, developing clinical tools and training the next generation of positive psychologists.

His earlier work focused on perhaps the opposite state: learned helplessness, in which a person feels he or she is powerless to change a situation that is, in fact, changeable. Seligman is an often-cited authority in this field as well -- in fact, his is the 13th most likely name to pop up in a general psych textbook. He was the leading consultant on a Consumer Reports study on long-term psychotherapy, and has developed several common pre-employment tests, including the Seligman Attributional Style Questionnaire (SASQ).

Here is the gist of the talk, but the video (23 minutes) is well worth watching.

The Pleasant Life
  • having as many pleasures as possible
  • amplying these pleasures with your skills
  • 50% of this is heritable and not very modifiable
  • positive emotion habituates

The Good Life

  • the three great avenues of life: work, play, love
  • pleasure is raw, something you feel
  • flow (as opposed to pleasure): you are one with the activity
  • identify with your signature strengths (http://www.authentichappiness.org/)
  • using that knowledge, recraft your work, play and love to make it conform more to flow

The Meaningful Life

  • knowing your highest strengths
  • using them for something larger than you
  • participating/forming positive institutions

Should you have any difficulty viewing the video here on the blog, click here to see it at TED

Monday, July 28, 2008

Raw Food

In the two videos that follow you will find much information about going raw. It's a subject I often write about and have personally experienced many benefits from it. These videos are full of ideas. The dairy and osteoporosis correlation is good to hear again. So is the ideal weight loss that occurs on a raw food intake. Raw food helps with three main arenas: health, aging, and energy. (There are dozens and dozens of videos and websites out there that can give you much information about this ... the two here are simply a very small selection).

If by any chance you are unable to view this, click here to go to the source at google video. This is a show that lasts just over one hour, but you can also see it in 9 minute sections at Youtube.

And if you have trouble with this one, click here to go to the source. (This one is 1 hr 17 min long)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Radio Program August 2008

Once a month I will be posting the current list of topics for my weekly radio show.

This is what the August 2008 schedule looks like:

August 6 Healthy Boundaries
August 13 Dealing With the End of a Relationship (When You Are the One Who Got Left)
August 20 The Absolutely Best Way You Can Help Your Children Grow Into Great Adults
August 27 What is the Cost of Daring to be Yourself?

Click here for radio show archives from 2004-2008 (not all are up, but you'll find more than 100 different radio shows!).

The show airs weekly on Wednesdays from 11 – 12 noon CEDT (Central European Daylight Time) which is 6 hours ahead of New York, one hour ahead of London, the same time as Paris or Berlin (except at the end of October and March, where there tends to be a week of confusion, as not all countries change to daylight saving and back, and those that do, don't always do so on the same day).

See below for equivalent times in other locations.

Ways To Listen

1) LIVE on your radio dial OCI FM 101.6 (Costa del Sol) or FM 94.6 (Costa Blanca)
2) LIVE on the web Onda Cero (Once there, click on “Internacional” on upper right)
3) Listen to over 100 archived audio files on my website

Equivalent Times in Other Locations: (Locally: CEDT: Central European Daylight Time)

or go to http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html to convert from your time zone (some of these times may not be correct at certain times of the year):

11 pm – 12 midnight: Honolulu (locally Tuesday evening)
5-6 am: New York City, Miami, Montreal, Toronto, Nassau, Santo Domingo, Barbados
6-7 am: Rio de Janeiro
9-10 am: Reykjavik, Casablanca
10-11 am: London, Lagos
11-12 noon: (LOCAL) Madrid, Rome, Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, Tripoli, Harare, Cape Town
12-1 pm: Bucharest, Riga, Istanbul, Cairo, Amman, Kuwait City, Addis Ababa, Nairobi
12:30-1:30 pm: Tehran
1-2 pm: Moscow, Dubai, Baghdad, Seychelles
2-3 pm: Islamabad
2:30-3:30 pm: New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai
4-5 pm: Hanoi, Bangkok
5-6 pm: Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Manila, Bali, Taipei, Perth
6-7 pm: Tokyo, Seoul
7-8 pm: Sydney
9-10 pm: Auckland, Fiji Islands

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Benefits of Eating Together

This is not a new topic, and I've posted about it in the past ... I also talk about it on my weekly radio program, but it needs to be stressed again: a family that shares one meal a day is generally a family with fewer problems than one that does not.

Science Daily has posted more research that demonstrates that Frequent Family Meals Might Reduce Teen Substance Use:
"Parents who have regular meals with their adolescent children might help lessen the chances they will start drinking or smoking later in their teen years, according to new research.
Past studies have shown that family meals provide many benefits, including offering a venue for parents to communicate with their adolescents about their daily activities, as well as monitor their moods and whereabouts.

In the new study, researchers noted benefits in families that ate five or more meals together each week, and found that about 60 percent of the participants did so.

“Sixty percent having regular family meals is about what we would expect for middle school students,” said lead author Marla Eisenberg of the Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine at the University of Minnesota. “The percentage is lower among high school students, who are more likely to have afterschool activities or more freedom to spend time away from home.” Read entire article
Photo: Fez, Morocco

Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch

Today, July 25th, 2008, Randy Pausch passed.

In 2007 he gave a memorable "Last Lecture" at Carnegie Mellon University after having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. See it here. And read a previous post about him here.
A book was published with the text of that last lecture.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Five Things You Should Not Expect to Get From Your Relationships (Unless You Already Supply All of Them For Yourself)

  1. Happiness

  2. Fulfilment

  3. Satisfaction

  4. Security

  5. Happy-Ever-After
Why? Because if you expect to get them from your relationship and are not already working yourself towards giving them to yourself, then what happens if your relationship gives them to you to a lesser degree than you want? Or what happens if your supplier of all of these things leaves you? Or dies? Or says that since you aren't supplying him/her with a satisfactory amount of one of them, he/she won't supply you with the amount you want?

Do you see?

This must come from the self for the self. We are not meant to be seeking this from our partners. And thus the relationship will not have to bear this burden. It makes for much better relationships and it also means both parties in the relationship are much more emotionally mature with a much higher degree of emotional intelligence. Their connection to the self is higher, and they are, of course, much more conscious and aware individuals. 

It's a choice ...

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 - coming soon; German NOW available here)


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 JETZT auf Deutsch

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: ist nun Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier) als Taschenbuch weltweit auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhaltbar. (Kindle E-Book vor Ende Juli 2015)

Mis libros en español próximamente

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros en español por todo el mundo próximamente en Amazon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Five Things Relationships Are Good For

  1. Learning

  2. Growth

  3. Understanding yourself better

  4. Working out unresolved issues from your past

  5. Becoming more of what you are capable of being

Monday, July 21, 2008

Are You Lost In The Woods?

As a child, getting lost in the woods is probably the makings of a worst nightmare. Where is mother? Where is the path? Nothing is recognizable. Why is it so dark? The trees loom so menacingly. The silence is terrifying, but it gets even scarier when there are sudden, unfamiliar forest noises that come from sources that become more and more menacing the longer one imagines what they might be.

As adults we feel something like that when we lose our way. Something happens in life (a diagnosis of cancer, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a major financial loss, a life-threatening illness of a child, the loss of a partner to divorce or abandonment, the outbreak of war, a kidnapping, maybe you lost your home to fire, a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake, maybe you are the victim of identity theft, perhaps you just realized that everything you believed about yourself is not true, etc), and suddenly we feel not only that we are in unfamiliar territory, but that we can not, no matter how hard we try, see a clearly delineated pathway. Darkness abounds, and we truly feel not only that we are in a dark night of the soul, but that none of the familiar landmarks that have served us in the past, are available to us now.

Some individuals, under such circumstances, succumb to victim thinking or to depression, become ill themselves, or in some other way allow this to undo them.

Many others, however, choose another path.

Choosing another path literally means that: finding a new path in the darkness, finding a new path to take you through the woods, even if you don't definitively know that it will actually bring you to the edge of the forest and into the light. All you do know, however, is that if you stay put, if you remain stuck in the place in which you are, nothing will change, and you are not doing anything about your predicament.

It is literally a question of using the darkness and the sensation of being lost to find a new path.

That means being willing to think differently than before the calamitous or earth-shattering event. That means being willing and able to embrace out-of-the-box thinking, which literally means being pro-active about the way one looks at each and every one of the problems - and solutions - that are currently on the table.

Being willing to think out of the box requires being pro-active, self-motivated, and above all, aware of what it was - at least in part - that caused the current circumstances. If they were force majeure and totally out of your hands, such as in the case of a hurricane, it may mean looking at what was lost dispassionately and with detachment, rather than from the point of view of the loss. The position you choose to take regarding your loss or problem, will in many ways determine the kind of eventual outcome you will have, and the speed with which it will come.

Being willing to think out of the box also requires being willing to leave your comfort zone. Yes, I know you have already been thrown out of your comfort zone by the calamity, but you may still choose to remain in it as you go about picking up the pieces of your life in order to put your life back together again as closely as possible to the way it was before. That may not be the best alternative. It's as they say: if you have lemons, make lemonade. So in this sense, leaving your comfort zone may mean to re-think your life on totally different and unknown terms. You may be surprised how much better it winds up feeling to you, even though at first it is all very strange. But growth, change, progress, and transformation tends to come about as we venture out into unknown arenas, and above all, defy our fear of risk and failure. (See also my August 2007 Newsletter: Making Fear of the Unknown Work For You).

Being willing to think out of the box also means being prepared to start making use of your intuition, if you have not already done so. (See also my May 2006 Newsletter: Introducing Our Second and Third Brains: We Do Think With Our Heart and Instinct). Your intuition can literally be one of the most potent tools you can use in order to get back on track. Scientists have conclusively proven (see the article cited in this paragraph) that we have billions of neural cells in our heart and gut, the former dealing with a type of emotional intelligence, and the latter with an intuitive intelligence. Both of these "brains" supply the rational brain (the one in our head) with information - frequently the second and third brains process the information before the rational brain does. Is this not proof enough for you to begin to make use of that fount of information you have been neglecting: your intuition? Is it not proof enough for you to want to begin to develop this as much as the intelligence you have originating in your brain?

Being lost in the woods hence becomes - in simple terms - a situation of which you can choose to take advantage in order to discover new avenues of expression, new avenues of understanding, and new avenues of growth.

Related Articles:

Photo: Charles Ebbets photographed the construction of New York City's skyscrapers in the 30's in order to show the lack of safety measures taken for workers.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Competitive Edge & Surprises

Several days ago I posted about David Allen's book Getting Things Done.

Today I heard him say this: Your professional and personal competitive edge is your ability to deal with surprises. If I can get you to over react, I control you ... your kids know that!

The video where he says the above is 7 minutes long.

Photo: Sunset on the Atlantic at Atlanterra, Cadiz, Spain

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Economy Teaches Love

Who would have thought that principles of economy can be applied to the manner in which we choose our partners and how we love?

Certainly when I took my hated economy classes in my first years of university in Madrid over 30 years ago, aching to be studying matters closer to the human psyche, I would never have believed it.

Here are a few examples gleaned from a fascinating article by Ben Stein in the New York Times.
  • the returns in love situations are roughly proportional to the amount of time and devotion invested
  • High-quality bonds consistently yield more return than junk, and so it is with high-quality love
  • Research pays off
  • In every long-term romantic situation, returns are greater when there is a monopoly
  • Realistic expectations are everything

To read more deeply about each of these and other points, click here

Friday, July 18, 2008

David Allen's "Getting Things Done"

I came across this book ... Getting Things Done by David Allen ... the other day and have swallowed it alive. I'm probably more organized than many of the people I know, and yet...oh yes, I need to be better organized as well.

I tend to hold back from books about organization, but I read so much marvelous material about the benefits of this book for each of the people who wrote about it, that I decided to give it a whirl.

And I am thrilled.

To give you an idea of what it is about, watch the video of the author's talk to Google employees...it's about 45 minutes long

If you have any trouble seeing it click here to watch it directly at YouTube.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Detractors of Reason

New Scientist has a thought-provoking article this week: Seven Reasons Why People Hate Reason

From religious fundamentalism to pseudoscience, it seems that forces are attacking the Enlightenment world view – characterised by rational, scientific thinking – from all sides. The debate seems black and white: you’re either with reason, or you’re against it. But is it so simple? In a series of special essays, our contributors look more carefully at some of the most provocative charges against reason. The results suggest that for all the Enlightenment has achieved, we still have a lot of work to do. Read entire article
Photo: Chad

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Compassionate Detachment

A friend recently told me about some deep troubles. This wasn't even a client. It was a friend, and yet, I remained within a mindset that some (especially Buddhists) call compassionate detachment.

Compassionate detachment might be defined as the manner in which we relate to others when we allow them to deal with their own problems and they are therefore free to choose to become responsible for their own issues, while simultaneously we express a loving concern for the nature of their current predicament, and also simultaneously we are not invested in the outcome (this definition is the compilaton of numerous definitions of the expression found on the web).

The operative words here are that we remain detached enough so that we do not step in to attempt to resolve their problem, their pain, their issue for them.

It does not mean we care less for them. It does not mean they - and the outcome - are not important to us.

On the contrary, it means we care so much, that we deliberately step back - much like the anxious parent observing a baby take its first tottering steps will also step back in order to let the baby manage on its own - so that the other person will come to that point where they decide to resolve for themselves.

Clearly - just as in the case of the baby, where we are on the lookout for sharp table corners or dangerous steps, where the baby might hit his head or fall down - we are also lovingly present to help the individual with a problem or an issue.

But not to rescue.

When we get into rescue mode, we are generally working for our own agenda:

  • We may need to feel in control

  • we may need to feel strong and invincible

  • We may need to get the payback of the other person's gratitude for what we did

  • We may need to get the payback of allowing ourselves to feel good about ourselves becasue of what we did (because without it, we find it hard or impossible to feel good about ourselves)

So as rescuer, we are generally not working so much on the other person's issue, as on our own...

Another reason to be compassionately detached is to realize that some persons leach our very life energy out of us ... in their need to discuss their problems, and in their need to be listened to ... over and over and over again ... they become energy vampires. Your will know very quickly when you are with someone like that, because you will feel weak in some fashion after spending some time with them.

So what does that mean?

  1. You are not compassionately detached

  2. You have very poor boundaries because you are willing to listen to something so draining over and over again telling yourself that you are being a good friend, or wife or husband, or mother, etc., while in fact you are enabling the other person's sense of helplessness or of being a victim of life or cirumstances.

You are a much better friend, a much better partner, parent or child, and also - a much better therapist, counselor, healer - if you remain compassionately detached, and in that fashion promote self-responsibility and autonomy of action in the other individual.

Related Posts:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hostages & Family

Much of the world with access to television must have seen the most recent liberation of FARC hostages in Colombia. Ingrid Betancourt was the most publicized, but the three Americans, Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves, and Thomas Howes - all defence contractors - were recently interviewed on an international news channel and adamantly and insistently reiterated one single point:

Family is more important than everything else.

If you saw the photographs of Ingrid Betancourt greeting first her mother, and then her children, you will agree that she clearly feels the same way.

Interestingly, the day after I viewed the above interview of the three Americans on CNN, I read an article this weekend in Spain's daily El Mundo weekend magazine by Eduardo Punset, a Spanish lawyer and economist who has written for The Economist.

The article referred to the fact that MRI scans and neuro-imaging have given us the possibility of measuring emotional processes. Before we had that, we did not know what went on inside with regards to our emotions. We did not know, for example, he writes, that if we have no sensation of having any control over anything in our lives, it is impossible for us to be happy. And neuro-scientists such as Antonio Damasio or psychologists such as Daniel Gilbert (also see Why We Are Happy and Why We Are Not) have now been able to demonstrate conclusively that much more than money - at least once we have enough for survival - our love relationships are what make us happy.

Family, love, relatedness. Let us not forget as we go about our busy daily lives. Family, love, relatedness.

Related Posts

Photo: Guipuzcoa - pronounced we-poohth-co-ah (Basque Country) Spain

Monday, July 14, 2008

Making Life Easier By Deciding To Do So

Life truly is difficult.

Things tend to go wrong for me.

I'm just not so lucky.

Nobody every got anywhere without very hard work.

Do you recognize some of these thoughts? If not exactly the same, then other, similar ones? Are you convinced that life is hard?

Try to imagine the number of times a day you tell yourself that. The number of times a day, as you go about whatever it is you do, that you figuratively nod your head, thinking: yep, this is just another thing that proves how tough things are for me.

Or maybe you try to escape from those awful thoughts, and go about your day, your week, your year by pretending it is not so, only to fall into a hole because you forgot to watch out for those deep, black holes that life prepares for us and because of that you started remembering once again how hard things are.

Either way ... life keeps showing you over and over again that things are hard.

But I posit that there is another way. And by taking me up on my suggestions, the actual events of your life won't change - at least not at first - but what will change is how you see those same events. And then, because you take a new stance, bit by bit, other things will begin to change, and then perhaps, you will begin to notice that life is not so hard after all.

Let's take, for example, a morning that started badly. Your alarm clock didn't work (it's electric, and the electricity went off during the night for 45 minutes). Then, as you raced out the door with no breakfast and a shower that might not have been one, you bang your knee on the door jam, and it's the same knee that started giving you trouble several weeks ago when you slipped and fell on the freshly waxed floor at work. As you get into the car, you realize you told yourself last night while driving home, that you would get gas this morning, that you would get up 15 minutes earlier to have time to do so, but you forgot. So now you need to waste more time doing that, and have not a hope in hell to get to work on time.

Doesn't that prove that life is hard?

OK...so let's take another look. Nothing is different, all you're going to do is decide to look at if from another angle. You are going to find something positive in the events of this day.

Perhaps you will decide that you should have an alarm clock that's not dependent on electricity. (OK, I agree, that's not particularly mind-shattering). Or perhaps you'll decide that you should not leave for tomorrow what you can do today (don't leave the empty tank to be filled tomorrow on the way to work). That one is already a bit more different. In actual fact, if you put that one into action on a consistent basis (not putting off until tomorrow what you can accomplish today, or said in other words, planning more efficiently), you may find that much in your life will change.

Now take it a step further. Make the decision to look at all those things that make life appear to be so hard from the point of view that there is something in there of value for you, something that can take you further down the road to a better, more growth-oriented life. Make the decision that no matter what happens to you, no matter what the circumstance, you will do your utmost to find something in it that can take you a step further, that can move you into a more rich and satisfying life. There is always something new to learn and understand and those events that heretofore you have classified as the proof of life being hard, can now become the events that show you the direction in which you can grow.

Related Posts:

Photo: Bruges, Belgium

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Abraham and "Deliberate Control" in the Law of Attraction

What follows is a quote taken from the Abraham daily quotes to which everyone can subscribe. The reason I find this particular quote so important is because of its second sentence, which I have italicized.

My monthly newsletter article for August 2008 will be about one of the fundamental steps that needs to be taken in order to be able to exercise some of that deliberate control about the signal you offer, because I believe that most who read about the Law of Attraction, have in fact, not the foggiest notion how to go about that. And if that part is not taken care of, Law of Attraction simply can't work.

"When you begin to understand Law of Attraction, and you understand that which is like unto itself is drawn, then it is easier and easier to understand that you are offering a signal, and the entire Universe responds. And when you finally get that, and you begin to exercise some deliberate control about the signal that you offer, then it really begins to be fun, because then you recognize that nothing happens outside of your creative control. There are no things that happen by chance or by circumstance. There is nothing that is happening because of something you vibrated a long time ago or in a past life. It is not about what you were born into. It is only about what you are, right now, in this red hot fresh moment emitting."


Excerpted from the workshop in Seattle, WA on Saturday, June 20th, 1998

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ships in the Harbor are Safe...

John Shedd, an American professor and author, wrote this in his book Salt From My Attic:

A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not why ships are built.

It's not a point that needs to be belaboured, but I believe we can all take a tip from it. Don't stay in your harbor of safety ... go out to explore new worlds, even if you fear a flat world, or dragons that may eat you alive ... if you don't, you'll never know what was really out there, but if you do, you may discover a whole new world.

Image: Caral, Peru, the oldest known city of the Americas

Friday, July 11, 2008

Rania of Jordan & Stereotypes

It warms my heart to see a member of royalty going out to change the world as much as Queen Rania of Jordan does. She is often criticized for her glamorous wardrobe ... what would those same detractors say if she appeared in sackcloth? Isn't it enough ... and absolutely wonderful that she has made it her mission to make a difference in the world. That she uses her position in the international spotlight for this and not to make a name for herself because of her jewels or the social events she attends? And the fact that she does this despite being the mother of four young children, makes it even more laudable.

Here is a brief video in which she speaks out about stereotypes and her desire to eradicate the stereotype of the Arab world, in her wish to help unite the world and make it one.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Aging - Surprise, Surprise - May Lead to Greater Happiness

The Washington Post recently published an article indicating that Older Americans May Be Happier Than Younger Ones.

In recent months, however, several studies have produced a stream of evidence that mostly points in the same direction, and also happens to overturn one of the most stubborn American stereotypes: the belief that this is a land whose gifts, charms and joys flow mostly to young people.

The studies show that when you check on how happy people are at various ages, the elderly generally come out ahead.

Since 1972, researchers have conducted 50,000 detailed interviews with Americans. The questions of the General Social Survey are repeated year after year to enable researchers to detect trends and to make comparisons among groups and to see how the same people changed over time. One asks whether they are very happy, pretty happy or not too happy.

"One important finding was people who were biologically older are happier than younger adults," said Tom W. Smith of the University of Chicago, who is the director of the General Social Survey. read entire article

Photo: Segovia, Spain

Science You Can Use For a Better Life

Science For Life is offering weekly radio programs - live and free of charge here - of a cutting-edge nature in the area of science that can make a difference in your life.
In its inaugural week, the show was a talk with Dr. Bruce Lipton, a cellular biologist, and Rob Williams, a psychotherapist, and the host of the program. The biology and the psychology of change was the name of the show.
In order to listen to the audio file of the show, or to download an MP3 file for listening on iTunes or your iPode, or for burning, and listening to in your car on your way to work, click here and scroll down.
Photo: Fiji

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Why We Are Happy and Why We Are Not

View this 28 minute video found on TED with Daniel Gilbert, psychologist extraordinaire, as he speaks about happiness. The title of the talk is Why are we happy? Why aren't we happy?

If you experience difficulty viewing it, please click here to see it directly at TED.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Gift From Those To Whom We Are Attracted

See this four minute video about John Demartini's take on relationships. Essentially he espouses a classical Jungian position. Those individuals whom we attract into our lives, or those whom we are attracted to, tend to be persons who will eventually be able to show us much about ourselves, and show us how to grapple with our own issues, by mere virtue of the fact that we will - after some time of infatuation - begin to have problems, and that is where we can begin the task of attempting to understand ourselves via our relationship with the partner.

If you have difficulty viewing the video, click here to see it directly on YouTube.

Click here for numerous earlier posts about relationships.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Nurture Wins Out Over Nature Just About Every Time

If you believe in your own growth, you will achieve that.

This is the gist of an interesting article in today's New York Times.

WHY do some people reach their creative potential in business while other equally talented peers don’t?

After three decades of painstaking research, the Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck believes that the answer to the puzzle lies in how people think about intelligence and talent. Those who believe they were born with all the smarts and gifts they’re ever going to have approach life with what she calls a “fixed mind-set.” Those who believe that their own abilities can expand over time, however, live with a “growth mind-set.”

Guess which ones prove to be most innovative over time.

“Society is obsessed with the idea of talent and genius and people who are ‘naturals’ with innate ability,” says Ms. Dweck, who is known for research that crosses the boundaries of personal, social and developmental psychology.

“People who believe in the power of talent tend not to fulfill their potential because they’re so concerned with looking smart and not making mistakes. But people who believe that talent can be developed are the ones who really push, stretch, confront their own mistakes and learn from them.” read more
Photo: Elephant Arch, Chad

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Forgiving and Healing

So much has been said about the need to forgive if you really want to heal. Here is a nine minute video by Caroline Myss, an excerpt from one of her seminars, available as a book (Why People Don't Heal) or as a CD by the same name, about the topic.

If you have trouble seeing it, click here to see the video in YouTube.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Food Can Also Be Part of a Path Towards Growth

We think we must meditate, or get into complicated yoga postures, we must attend mind-expanding and soul-stretching seminars and retreats, and read all the latest books about attracting situations or things into our lives.

But we often forget about food. I don't mean becoming vegetarian. Or going raw. Or anything in pariticular. I actually just mean paying attention to what you eat and observing how it affects you.

As I've written in the past, I've long been a proponent (without the desire to convert anyone) of natural, unprocessed, healthy foods, I've even gone raw for stretches of time, and so I found this quite matter-of-fact article in the New York Times of interest.

Nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden has created several lists of healthful foods people should be eating but aren’t.

But some of his favorites, like purslane, guava and goji berries, aren’t always available at regular grocery stores.

I asked Dr. Bowden, author of “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,” to update his list with some favorite foods that are easy to find but don’t always find their way into our shopping carts. Here’s his advice.

Beets: Think of beets as red spinach, Dr. Bowden said, because they are a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters.

How to eat: Fresh, raw and grated to make a salad. Heating decreases the antioxidant power.

Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes.

How to eat: Asian-style slaw or as a crunchy topping on burgers and sandwiches.

Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes.

How to eat it: Chop and saute in olive oil.

Cinnamon: May help control blood sugar and cholesterol.

How to eat it: Sprinkle on coffee or oatmeal.

Pomegranate juice: Appears to lower blood pressure and loaded with antioxidants.

How to eat: Just drink it.

Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants.

How to eat: Wrapped in prosciutto and baked.

Pumpkin seeds: The most nutritious part of the pumpkin and packed with magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death.

How to eat: Roasted as a snack, or sprinkled on salad.

Sardines: Dr. Bowden calls them “health food in a can.'’ They are high in omega-3’s, contain virtually no mercury and are loaded with calcium. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a full complement of B vitamins.

How to eat: Choose sardines packed in olive or sardine oil. Eat plain, mixed with salad, on toast, or mashed with dijon mustard and onions as a spread.

Turmeric: The “superstar of spices,'’ it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

How to eat: Mix with scrambled eggs or in any vegetable dish.

Frozen blueberries: Even though freezing can degrade some of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables, frozen blueberries are available year-round and don’t spoil; associated with better memory in animal studies.

How to eat: Blended with yogurt or chocolate soy milk and sprinkled with crushed almonds.

Canned pumpkin: A low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A; fills you up on very few calories.

How to eat: Mix with a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg read more
Photo: Palenque, Mayan Site in Mexico

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Why Aren't We All Good Samaritans?

In this 13-minute video, author Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence) speaks of compassion.

If you experience difficulty viewing it, click here to view it at http://www.ted.com/

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Being Faithful

Faithfulness in the modern relationship has come to mean something possibly quite different from that which it meant for our grandparents. A case in point is an internet relationship with an individual whom you have never met in person, but with whom you exchange intimacies. Is that being unfaithful?

More importantly, who decides? On what do we base our modern morality? What is valid? Again, who decides?

Internet pornography is another case in point. I did a radio program about the subject, from the point of view about how it impacts modern marriages. Listen to the audio show here (scroll down the to the Sexuality Section).

USA Today recently published an article about the subject.

We used to know what infidelity was: sex with someone other than your mate.

But the 21st century seems to have blurred those clear-cut lines. Is having lunch every day with an opposite-sex work friend a breach of marital trust? What about a flirtation online? If there's no sex, is it really cheating?

Such questions arise as societal and psychological pressures challenge deep-rooted ideas about the nature of infidelity. "We are as a society finally coming to grips with what it means to be faithful," says Douglas Snyder, a psychologist at Texas A&M University-College Station. "It doesn't just mean to have sex with someone else."

Many psychologists and family experts say that infidelity today is not just about sex but about trust, betrayal and marital disloyalty, even if adultery is not part of the picture. They add that marriages are more vulnerable than they were decades ago: In tough economic times, couples work harder to make ends meet, which often leaves little time or energy to nurture the relationship. Movies and TV seem to glamorize affairs and make marriage appear dull. And the Internet offers a new frontier, with the pseudo-intimacy of cyber-relationships, as well as greater access to pornography.

Added to all this: Research suggests those who have affairs aren't necessarily unhappy with their partners.

"People are getting this incredible message that if you're not hot and having a certain kind of Hollywood-style sex, something is wrong with you," says clinical psychologist Sue Johnson of Ottawa, Canada. read more
Photo: Arch with Pilaster, Libya