"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, October 16, 2012

Changing Your Fate

Role models and examples do help us. We can gather courage from them. We can tell ourselves: if they could, so can I. And so today I will mention a few note-worthy individuals who were unable to change their fate, and yet who not only survived, but became, I venture to say, better people for it. because of the fact that they changed their attitude in the face of their 'fate'.

Nelson Mandela: you know his story, and I have certainly mentioned him often enough, but I always glean courage from his situation. What for many is a lifetime - 27 years - in prison in a tiny island is only a portion of what he endured. Hard labor. No privileges. Poor treatment. No perspectives for a good outcome. His mother and eldest son died while he was there and permission was not granted for him to attend their funerals. And yet he persevered inside of himself because of the attitude he chose. He wanted to be prepared should his future hold the possibility of him getting out of there. And ... the rest is history.

Victor Frankl: the author of (among others) Man's Search For Meaning, who lived hopeless and helpless years in Auschwitz. All family members but one sister were lost to the gas chambers. And yet he too persevered inside of himself because of the attitude he chose. He wanted to be prepared should his future hold the possibility of him getting out of there.

Christopher Reeve: one time Superman of the cinematic skies, imprisoned in a wheelchair after falling from a horse, quadriplegic and utterly dependent on others in a nigh hopeless situation. After a period of dark adjustment, which we imagine the others - in their own way - also went through, he persevered inside of himself because of the attitude he chose. He wanted to be prepared should his future hold the possibility of him getting out of that wheelchair.

Sabriye Tenberken: author of My Path Leads to Tibet, lost her sight at age 12 due to a retinal disease. She went on to learn braille and took courses in Tibetan Studies at university in Germany. Upon realizing that braille did not exist in the Tibetan language and that blind children (and adults) were often ostracized in that society, she invented braille for that language, and went on to open schools for the blind in Tibet (remember, she was blind and German, and she did all of this there, in Tibet, despite that). Clearly, she persevered inside of herself because of the attitude she chose. She prepared herself for a future that was not at all what one would have expected knowing her 'fate'.

Many people have written wonderful statements about fate and attitude, but today I like one from Amy Tan:
If you can't change your fate, change your attitude.

For much more information about your attitudes and thoughts and the choices you make in order to live a conscious life, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self, available at Amazon as paperback or e-book for Kindle.

Click here to download the first chapter.
A Review (From Amazon):

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, Director, Center for Sacred Theatre, Ashland, Oregon; author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

Excerpt from an Interview:

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.

Are there many exercises in the book? Not at all. This book does not mean hard work, or spending a lot of time doing specific things. It simply means that as you read - if you so desire - you begin to incorporate small changes into your daily life. And so it begins. And the quality of your life changes...

How did you come to write this book? For years the essential content of Rewiring the Soul was like a small, recurring voice in my head; it was always there, and simply would not leave me alone. I had dozens of excuses for not writing it: I was working on my Ph.D. in psychology, I was teaching at a state university, I had three sons, later I was occupied with moving back to Spain, I was setting up my private practice, I had a monthly newsletter to write in English and Spanish, I had a weekly one-hour radio show to broadcast, I had a daily blog post to write, I facilitated numerous workshops and gave frequent speeches, and apart from all of this busy activity and work, sometimes I even had a life. In short, I told myself the book would simply have to wait. But just as a splinter under your skin eventually needs to be seen to, I ultimately realized that the only way I was going to be able to honor the more and more loudly clamoring voice in my head - and heart - was to sit down and write the book.

And you know, that goes to meaning. We all need meaning in our lives, and although I had many things that gave much significance to my life already, the inner urging and excitement I felt each time I thought about Rewiring the Soul compelled me to write the book. Rumi puts it beautifully: "When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy".

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