"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 6, 2011

Beauty, Self-Esteem & the Ubiquitous Press

Having admitted publicly that I tend to go through fashion and gossip magazines when sitting in the hair salon, or I may do a bit of the same on my smart phone if I'm having a coffee somewhere, I'd like to give voice to something that I think each time I do so. While I may be fascinated (or horrified) by the latest fashions, or read with curiosity about the relationship meandering of this or that celebrity, I am incensed when I see articles and photographs addressing the following in a critical, finger-pointing fashion, and using well-known public figures to make the point:
  • laugh lines
  • wrinkled knees
  • sagging bottoms
  • extra weight
  • sparse hair growth
  • grey hairs
  • fashion gaffes
  • large thighs
  • sagging necklines
I think you get the point. Unfortunately this not only happens in the tabloid-style press, but happens as well in much 'better' press, and while it is focused mainly on women, it is also beginning to focus on men (lack of biceps, biceps that are too large, receding hair line, nose hairs, belly, love handles, etc.).

As you will have guessed, my issue; my concern has to do with self-esteem in a population of individuals that already has problems with that, more than with the ethics of this particular brand of gutter class journalism. And evidently I am less concerned with the self-esteem of the celebrities who are used as lynchpins by the authors of these pieces, than with the self-esteem of the young people (and often the not so young people) who read this, and who already feel 'less than perfect' as opposed to celebrities or models they see in the press, and now, with this kind of overt and vicious criticism, feel even more damaged.

Our society places enormous weight on physical perfection, and while I am the first who may admire such physical perfection wherever it exists, I am also aware of the fact that I had to buy my freedom from such self-esteem robbing material back in the 80's when I made the concerted and deliberately conscious decision to stop buying fashion and gossip magazines because I recognized the effect they had on me and how I felt about myself. You might say I did this because my love for myself was greater than my desire to continue perusing these magazines.

Please: if any of what I have written in this brief post hit home, stop buying and reading this kind of press. Understand that it has power over you simply because your sense of self-esteem and self-love has not yet had a chance to grow to the place where such messages would no longer resonate with you.

For much more on self-love and living consciously in such a way that your inner sense of well-being, harmony, freedom and joy lies in your own hands, and not at the mercy of external sources, get my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon as a paperback or e-book for Kindle and all Kindle applications. Click here to download the first chapter.

From the Author's Page on Amazon:

Who is the book written for?

Rewiring the Soul is written for anybody who suffers and I guess that means just about all of us! It is written for anybody who has not yet experienced enduring happiness and inner well-being; anybody who is reaching for inner peace; anybody whose life is not as they would wish it to be.

What can a reader expect to gain by reading this book? What makes it different from most other transformational or self-help books out there?

So many wonderful teachers tell us about working on our spiritual selves. So many other wonderful teachers show us how to work on our psycho-emotional selves. But very few actually integrate the two. And Rewiring the Soul is my response to that challenge. Rewiring the Soul brings together the need to take your daily life in hand with the need to put your spiritual life in order as well. By daily life I mean your personal life, your professional life, the way you do or do not love yourself and all that such an attitude entails: conscious awareness, healthy boundaries, meaning in your life, recognizing you always have a choice, and taking responsibility for all your choices, etc., and by spiritual life I mean the inner connection to your eternal self.

If you have learned how to meditate, or do yoga, or whatever it is that you do, have you also learned how to observe yourself in the middle of an argument with your rebellious teenage son or your angry partner and hence choose to react differently because you have learned to love yourself enough to do so? If you have learned how to communicate more effectively with your children, spouse, friends, colleagues or employees, have you also learned how to be mindful and connect to yourself in meaningful ways to achieve that spiritual balance in your life?

While Rewiring the Soul is about so much more than that, those previous examples give an idea of what my book is about and how it does so in such a way that our psychological and spiritual selves nurture each other.

In a nutshell: neither the spiritual nor the psychological or emotional dimensions of your life will work if you neglect:

  • your inner connection to the eternal self while you seek happiness in the outer world
  • your happiness in the outer world while you seek the connection to the inner eternal self
It was Goethe who said "If everyone will sweep in front of their own door, soon the entire world will be clean". In Rewiring the Soul 'sweeping in front of your own door' means bringing yourself to the utmost point of inner and outer growth, creating progress in body, mind, and soul. This literally means that you have already begun to change the world because of how you are changing yourself.

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