"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, March 30, 2009

Making Everyone Independent ... So They Know What They Need to Know to be Well

The statement that comprises the title of today's post comes from one of the videos below from the Hippocrates Institute in West Palm Beach Florida.

At the Institute health care has been undertaken in ways that most of us would not recognize. Serious diseases have receded and often disappeared. The institute has been around for over 50 years, and it essentially addresses ill health and aging with a three-pronged method: nutrition (living food), physical exercise, and psycho-emotional and spiritual well-being. Note the absence of medication. Note the absence of surgery. Note the absence of anything that creates dependence. Health-seekers are re-educated in such a way that they are independent to continue a healthy and life-promoting anti-aging life-style autonomously.

View these brief videos or visit the website for much more information.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

ADHD Drugs Again! We Have to Take Notice...

The Washington Post recently published another article about the ongoing ADHD drug debate. Are the drugs useful at all? Are we doing the best for our children when we allow them to be given those drugs?

Debate Over Drugs For ADHD Reignites

New data from a large federal study have reignited a debate over the effectiveness of long-term drug treatment of children with hyperactivity or attention-deficit disorder, and have drawn accusations that some members of the research team have sought to play down evidence that medications do little good beyond 24 months.

The study also indicated that long-term use of the drugs can stunt children's growth.
The latest data paint a very different picture than the study's positive initial results, reported in 1999.

One principal scientist in the study, psychologist William Pelham, said that the most obvious interpretation of the data is that the medications are useful in the short term but ineffective over longer periods but added that his colleagues had repeatedly sought to explain away evidence that challenged the long-term usefulness of medication. When their explanations failed to hold up, they reached for new ones, Pelham said. Read the entire article here.

Photo: National Glacier Park, Argentina

Thursday, March 26, 2009

State of the World Forum

This arrived in my INBOX today:

Nov. 12th - 14th, 2009
Washington, DC Hilton
The Real Crisis of Climate Change:
Truth is not enough
JOIN the free SOWF online group and offer your perspective on climate change

Dear friends,

You are invited to join us for State of the World Forum 2009!

In the spirit of John F. Kennedy’s call for a ten year mission to put a man on the moon, the Forum and key partners around the globe are calling for world leaders and concerned citizens everywhere to engage in a ten year "Global Transition Initiative" to green the global economy and develop an integral lifestyle. This is an ambitious yet critical undertaking, one in which all of us need to be engaged.

This Initiative calls for a new form of moral leadership that transcends the narrow self-interests that have so badly damaged our economies and prevented serious efforts to mitigate the escalating effects of climate change. The Forum will be about action, creating the conditions for cross-sector collaboration to enable each one of us to take the personal as well as collective actions required to change our lives and build a positive future.

What makes this effort distinctive is that it recognizes that truth is not enough to unwind the seemingly intractable knot of climate and economy, values and behavior. Louder and more forceful declarations of facts are ignored by most when we don't account for how people interpret what they hear through the value systems they live by. Informed by the Integral framework, this effort will ensure that we engage all dimensions of humanity needed to succeed - including our personal beliefs, the cultural values we share, what we can do through individual action, and what we must do through our governments, organizations and networks.

Please join us for this groundbreaking event November 12 - 14, 2009 in Washington, D.C., which will launch a process that convenes a State of the World Forum in a different major city throughout the world every year for the next 10 years. Climate change affects all people everywhere and only a global and integral effort will meet the challenge of understanding and addressing the complexity of the crisis. This event is not to be missed.

We welcome your energy, intellect and contribution.

Warm regards,

Jim Garrison Robb Smith

Featured Speakers

Rajenda Pachauri, Nobel Laureate, IPCC

Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute

Jerome Ringo, Apollo Alliance

Bill Becker, Pres. Climate Action Project

James Hansen, NASA, Columbia University

Karen O'Brien, University of Oslo

Paul Ray, Sociologist, Author

Ken Wilber, Philosopher, Author

Jean Houston, Mythologist

Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism Solutions

Herman Sheer, Eurosolar

Caroline Myss, Author

Mary Otto-Chang, United Nations

Ray Anderson, Interface, Inc.

Herman Wijffels

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Investing in Cemeteries

It's not something you're likely to do any time in the near future, is it? Who wants to invest in cemeteries? Sure, we use them a lot, but invest in them?

So here's what you do in fact do: you spend a lot of time in your dead history. That's like investing in cemeteries. You live in those moments of your past that caused you pain of some kind, because you are still invested in them. For some reason you still feel you get a payback by going to those past events, and particularly by going to those past painful emotions. In some sense, you have fashioned your identity by building on the pain that was created in you during those past events. You are still invested in them.

Would you not prefer to invest in the present, in order to create a better future? You can do so by deliberately choosing to leave the past behind. What makes it so difficult for so many people is not leaving the past behind, but choosing to do so.

Make that choice today. For yourself, for your family, and above all, for the future that will arise from this choice as opposed to the future that would have arisen if you did not make that choice.

Tomorrow is built on today and if your present moments are filled with investments whose dividends arise from painful memories, that cause pain right into the present, then your future will be painted in those colors.

Decide to choose differently.

Related Articles:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Who Pushes Your Buttons?

This is one of my radio shows about a topic that we all brush up against in our daily lives, when we get our buttons pushed, and the absence of which - when we have dealt with it - makes our lives much better. Who Pushes Your Buttons? is about how we can work out the kinks and live an easier life.

If you have difficulty listening to it here on the blog, click here to listen directly at the radio show website.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Growing Your Own Air with TED

Growing your own air ... or ... said in others words, listen to how researcher Kamal Meattle tells us how the simple use of common household plants in your home or business can measurably change the quality of the fresh air you breathe. This brief video is from TED, the website that brings us so many continuously stimulating videos and ideas.

Ted writes this about Kamal Meattle: "Kamal Meattle has a vision to reshape commercial building in India using principles of green architecture and sustainable upkeep (including an air-cleaning system that involves massive banks of plants instead of massive banks of HVAC equipment). He started the Paharpur Business Centre and Software Technology Incubator Park (PBC-STIP), in New Delhi, in 1990 to provide "instant office" space to technology companies. PBC-STIP's website publishes its air quality index every day, and tracks its compliance to the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact, a corporate-citizenship initiative.

Meattle has long been a environmental activist in India. In the 1980s he helped India's apple industry develop less-wasteful packaging to help save acres of trees. He then began a campaign to help India's millions of scooter drivers use less oil. His next plan is to develop a larger version of PBC-STIP, making a green office accessible to more businesses in New Delhi and serving as an example of low-cost, low-energy office life. "

If you experience difficulty in viewing the video, click here to view it directly at TED.

These are the plants recommended in the video:

Areca Palm: four shoulder high plants. Clean the leaves frequently and take the plant outside every four months.

Mother-in-law's tongue: 6-8 waist-high plants per person

Money Plant

This is good for our health.
This is good for our psychological energy.
This is good for our emotional energy.
This is good for our spiritual energy.
This is good for our physical energy.
This is good for global green energy.

Friday, March 20, 2009

You've Got Mail ... It's From Your Body

Our bodies offer us information all the time. Like I stubbed my toe (walk more carefully), or I burned my finger (light the candles with a longer match), or I'm out of breath (walk a bit more slowly), or my head hurts (put on those sunglasses), or I've got a toothache (go to the dentist and stop eating so many sweets).

We all know those messages from our body, and tend to pay attention to them, because a direct physical consequence - something that is making us uncomfortable - results if we don't take care of the message.

And yet, our bodies, in their infinite wisdom, send us so many more messages that are potentially far more important, with potentially much further-reaching consequences, that we frequently pay little attention to.

Check out these examples (the words in parentheses are merely possibilities ... under no circumstances am I saying that these are always underlying the symptom):
  • stiff neck (tension, anger, inflexibility)
  • aching lower back (stress, worry, fear)
  • headache (stress, worry, heart pain, fear)
  • burning sensation in the gut (anger, stress)
  • high blood pressure (stress, tension, underlying overwork)
  • constipation (unhealthy life style - on many levels, inflexibility)
  • lack of enthusiasm, lack of physical energy (unhealthy life style - on many levels)
  • insomnia (worry, stress, emotional pain, anger, etc.)

In all of these examples (and many more I have not enumerated), of course we tend to do something about the symptom, such as go to a doctor, or chiropractor, or physiotherapist, etc., but we tend not to do anything about the underlying causes.

We pay no attention to the email we've just received from our body. And the email we receive from our body in this way, is similar to the first letter the bank writes you, when you are late in paying the mortgage. They are encouraging you to look for a solution. But if you pay no attention, more letters will follow, each one with a nastier underlying message, until finally, if you are still not doing anything about it, you lose your house.

Our bodies are wise ... sometimes I think they are so much wiser than we are despite all of the use we give our so-called rational brain (and if you are interested in the brain, look at my article about the other brains we have in our bodies ... scientists have determined this ... fascinating information for us to make good use of ... see Introducing Our Second and Third Brains: We Do Think With Our Heart and Instinct). So the wisdom of our bodies sends us these little messages that we are meant to pay attention to. Our bodies are giving us information in plenty of time, so that we can change something about the way we go about our lives, so that we can change something about the way we deal with our emotions, in order that we can catch the problem long before it becomes dangerous.

But what do we do? We tend to try to fix the outer symptom, without looking at the underlying causes. If there is a crack in a major holding wall in my house, it is possible that the problem is only in the wall. But it is also possible that the problem is structural in a much more important way than the mere observation of the crack might tell us.

And so it is with our bodies. Think of the number of times you have heard of studies that indicate the people who have died of heart problems had problems of love in their lives. Perhaps a difficult situation with the family, with the children, and so on. Or how about the number of times we have all read about the fact that cancer begins with stress. Hello? Stress? Yes ... just look at some of the studies that psycho-neuroimmunology (PNI) has come up with about this subject ... and remember that emotional pain of the type that causes bitterness and resentment also has been shown to bring on cancer.

See these articles about the general topic of letting the past go and dealing with painful emotions:

So back to our bodies:

Can you imagine that heart burn might not only have to do with having eaten something that does not agree with you, but also have to do with anger or emotional pain? And that if you don't decide to look at the underlying causes, and only treat the outer symptoms, it might lead you to a place where more important aspects of your health might be involved?

And heartburn is only one example. I could refer to many others, such as nausea (you might be nauseous because you spend time with a person who continually transgresses your boundaries (check out some previous posts about boundaries), or someone who frequently hurts you emotionally, perhaps by being emotionally unavailable (see Emotional Unavailability: An Introduction). If these situations are not dealt with by you ... perhaps by looking at yourself to figure our why you allow such behavior ... you may need to deal with them in a very physical way some years hence ... so the little email from your body in the guise of nausea is hugely valuable.

Check your mail frequently ... regard it as a gift, as you would regard mail from someone you love very much. Think of it in that way, and start paying attention to the messages.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Radio Program "Re-Wiring the Soul" April 2009

Once a month I post the current list of topics for my weekly radio show, live every Wednesday at Rewiring the Soul.

This is what the April 2009 schedule looks like:

  • April 1: Willem Lammers & Logosynthesis, an innovative and comprehensive system for personal development. Willem Lammers is a clinical and social psychologist, a licensed psychotherapist, and a consultant to people and organizations. Founder of the Institute for the Application of the Social Sciences, it is now one of the leading training institutes for coaches and counselors in Switzerland. In 2001, he sponsored the first Energy Psychology conference in Europe. He has written many articles in the field of coaching and energy psychology as well as several books. Logosynthesis is a beautiful, elegant and efficient system for guided change – coaching, counseling and psychotherapy. This system contains elements from many models in the field: energy psychology, transactional analysis, psychoanalysis, self-psychology and hypnotherapy, in a new and effective combination. As one of very few models, Logosynthesis also creates a unique space for the spiritual dimension of guided change: It helps to understand personal growth and development as a quality of our deepest human nature. Click here for Willem Lammers’ website. Click here for a direct link to the show.

  • April 8: Dr. David Berceli, Founder of TRE: Trauma Releasing Exercises. David Berceli Ph.D. and Riccardo Cassiani Ingoni, Ph.D. join us from Scottsdale, Arizona, and Rome, Italy respectively in order to speak about TRE: a revolutionary program for Trauma Releasing Exercises. David and Riccardo offer workshops and training all over the globe to institutions as varied as the military, emergency services personnel, NGO's and embassies. Join us to learn more about this cutting-edge technique that merges the worlds of energy and science. Click here for their website. Click here for a direct link to the show. Click here to listen to portions of David Berceli’s book online (The Revolutionary Trauma Release Process: Transcend Your Life).

  • April 22: Silvia Gudofsky: Teaching Yoga in the Straits of Gibraltar . Silvia Gudofsky came from Vienna to live in Tarifa, at Spain's southernmost tip that almost touches Africa, in order to teach yoga and live in unspoiled nature. She will be chatting with me about her experiences with cancer four years ago, about her belief in our own healing power, the medicine of the next century, about how yoga is related to developing more intuition, responsibility and empowerment, and how she works with clients affected by serious illnesses with yoga, visualization, and meditation. She'll be talking about how yoga can change and heal the world, and about her first charity program in South Africa. Click here for her website. Click here for a direct link to the show.

  • April 29: Toni Petrinovich: Guide to Your Own Soul and the Creative Source. Toni Petrinovich was born with the innate ability to see beyond the physical realm and uses her gifts to bring people more in tune with their own soul and the Creative Source. She states: "I know that we are made of energy and that energy has a consciousness. I know that the total consciousness of all of the energy that exists is so much bigger and expansive than we can realize that we are overwhelmed by the prospect. I know that many people want to worship that consciousness and find a place to submit hopes and expectations as well as find something to obey so they will not have to be responsible for who and what they are. These people call this consciousness God and they love it, fear it, and do not know that they are one with it." Her recent ebook is titled: "You, A Field Guide: Finding an End to Seeking". Click here and here for her websites. Click here for a direct link to the show.

    Ways To Listen:
  1. LIVE on the web here
  2. Past episodes here (these episodes only include shows since Januray 14th, 2009. For prior shows see the next point). These clips are for listening when the show is no longer live, for downloading, etc.)
  3. Listen to over 150 archived audio files on my website (in the past it has always taken some time for me to get new shows up on my website due to logistical problems. Now, with the new program Re-Wiring the Soul, new clips will be up in a matter of minutes, for re-listening or downloading ... for adding to ITunes or your IPod)
  4. You can also listen to past episodes on my blog ... scroll down on the right sidebar to just below the photo of myself wearing earphones

Show Time & Equivalent Times in Other Locations:

(Locally: 12 noon CET: Central European Time) or go to http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html to convert from your time zone

- 12 noon (European Central Time) Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Rome (local: Marbella, Spain)
- 1 am Hawaii
- 6 am New York City
- 7 am Mexico City
- 1 pm Cape Town
- 2 pm Moscow
- 3 pm Dubai
- 4 pm Mumbai
- 7 pm Hong Kong
- 8 pm Tokyo
- 10 pm Sydney

Participating in the Show:

If you want to call in during the show, call this US number (646) 727-1281. You can also - at the show's website - "click to talk" online, with no need to make a phone call.

Alternatively, you can chat with me and other listeners online during the show by signing in once you are at the site of that day's episode (see above as listed at the end of each show's description).

Information About This New Show

Many changes have taken place at the local studio where I had been broadcasting for the past five years from 2003 - 2008, and they finally closed their doors to the international section of their station.

Hence, I am continuing to broadcast via another medium and under the name Re-wiring the Soul.

After five years of broadcasting a conventional radio show in Southern Spain about topics in the broad (and frequently eclectic) fields of integral psychotherapy and positive psychology, I wanted to venture further abroad. Thanks to my incredible interlocutor at the station, Brenda Padilla, we managed to produce 150 audio clips from that show and they are all available via my website or blog.

Re-wiring the Soul is the result of my desire for a change. Psychology per se is good, but we need to reach much further in our quest to create the balanced human being. The mission statement for this show might be “using all tools available via nutrition, fitness, psychology, cutting-edge empirical research, holistic therapies, spirituality, neuro-science, etc. to further the growth of the soul.”

This call-in talk show welcomes and interviews guests from all walks of life, although occasionally I will be speaking alone. Those of you who have listened to my past programs know that the main message I have always woven through the shows has consisted of the need for becoming aware and then making good choices from this position of awareness. On this show that will be our guiding dictum.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Regeneration of Cells: CBS Cutting Edge Science

A man's fingertip is regrown ... skin cells are sprayed on a burned arm, in order to let the cells there know not to form burn tissue and scars, but to regenerate healthy skin.

Look where cutting edge science is taking us now by watching this 8 minute video from a CBS production.

If you have any trouble viewing it, please click here to see it directly at YouTube.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sex, Lies & Photoshop at NY Times

An opinion piece in the NY Times today - in video version - addresses the topic of how retouched our reality is. We believe the constant and consistent beauty we see all around us in the mass media, and compare ourselves unfavorably. Not good. Not good for us adults, and not good for our kids.

Watch this short 4 minute segment.

Sex, Lies and Photoshop - Video Library - The New York Times

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Making a Killing: Psychotropic Drugs

Finally someone has made a movie about what so many of us have been saying for a long time ... psychotropic drugs are prescribed indiscriminately to the population at large, and by so doing, feed into an industry whose business model is to make money ...

The people who have put it together are the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), and I first heard about the video via Fight For Kids where you can see the preview of the movie, and then the site gives you a link to purchase the movie here.

Because I wanted to embed the trailer here in the blog, and I was not able to get the code from that website, I went to YouTube looking for the trailer, but instead, found the entire film there in segments of 10 minutes. Here is the first one:

Then I started worrying that it's not legal to show the movie on YouYube, and that it would be removed from there any time soon, and so I went hunting some more, and then eventually found that CCHR shows you the entire film here

If you have been given a prescription for psychotropic medication, or someone in your family has, or a dear friend has, please watch this.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

You Are Here to be Happy!

If the title of this post has caught you by surprise, I am going to assume that you thought otherwise ... that you thought that you are not necessarily here to be happy ... or at least, if that is part of the deal, it comes way down on the list, and not at the top.

We've all been told about the Puritan work ethic (see also The Puritan Work Ethic, Wu-Wei, and Is Life Really Meant to be a Struggle?, many of us were raised within the confines of institutional religion, where we are generally taught to not think of ourselves, but of others (and therefore, by deduction, our happiness (see also Intentional Focus, Your Happiness, Your Success and the Law of Attraction) does not come very near the top of the list), most of us have been socialized over the course of our tender years into learning that being selfless is desirable.

But there is a huge difference between being selfish and loving the self enough in order to want to be in a good place inside, to be happy, to have a high energetic frequency, so that life is good, or better said, so that, even when things are not good, one is in a place where one can choose to deal with the stuff that is not so good, or even very bad (see Victor Frankl's "Man's Search For Meaning") in a way that allows one to maintain an inner equilibrium which, while it may not be happiness, is, nevertheless, a place where one can live in peace, despite those outer circumstances.

So this subject of selfishness and love of self is very important for us to understand. I've written quite a bit about it in the past:
This is so important to understand because the better off you are inside yourself, which in a sense is tantamount to saying that the better - even the happier - you feel inside yourself, by choice, and not only because today happens to be a good day, and that inner choice that you make has a lot to do with your inner strength and your belief in yourself and your capacity to stand strong and be well no matter what - so the better off you are inside yourself, the better you are for all those who surround you.

I write a lot about the ripple effect of your life on the life of those who surround you, and I do so because that is precisely the reason why being filled with self love is totally contrary to being selfish. Those who truly love themselves are capable of much greater giving, and can have a much greater positive influence on others, than those who selflessly give and give but who leave their own well-being out of the equation, or at best, it comes way down there somewhere on the list of priorities.

Self love is healthy. And being healthy emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and physically brings you closer to happiness - and much more quickly - than anything I am aware of. You are here to be happy.