"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, December 10, 2012

How Much are You Influenced by What Others Think?

That's a loaded question because most of us don't care to admit that our actions and beliefs and thought patterns are frequently swayed by what others think. Fashion is a great example. Many of my friends (and myself included too at times ... don't conclude that I think that I'm so perfect!) who of course - like myself - are no longer in the spring chicken stage of their lives, will make remarks about elements of current fashion on young girls. I would never have worn something like that, they will say. In my time we were more decent. I look them sternly in the eye and go: so did you change from pointed high heels to round-toed chunky heeled shoes in the early 70's? Or did you go from the knee-high dresses to minis to midis all through the 70's and 80's? What about shoulder pads? They glare at me and tell me that that was very different. After all, they say, I didn't bare my mid-riff, or show off the top of my "behind" in my jeans. And I continue in my lecture mode: what about those strappy FM stiletto heels that came back in the late 70's? Did you ever buy any of those???

The point here is not the morality or esthetics of the article of clothing, as much as the fact that we almost all go along with fashion trends. How many women were there - when I was a kid - who were grandmothers and who did not have white or grey hair? Very few, unless they were genetically lucky. Practically none of them dyed their hair, or if they did, and this was more common in the US than here in Europe, you had "blue-silvery" hair. Now, very few whose hair has gone grey or white at the roots will allow those roots to be seen. Why? Because of what others will think, or because of how we will be perceived by others, which amounts to the same thing.

When three-button jackets for men came out, when ties become more narrow, or wider again, when shirt collars change, what percentage of males does not go along with the trend? When overcoats travel above the knee, or when designers decide to make them sink below it again, how many resist the pull of what is being worn out there by most?

Botox, plastic surgery, hair styles, car models, type and color scheme of furnishings in a home, for crying out loud! And I haven't even started on politically correct opinions or ways of voicing things.

Again, my point is that we are so swayed by our environment, whether it's the very close one, such as family and friends, slightly more distanced one, such as work colleagues and neighbours, or simply mass media and above all, mass advertising. Why are there so many individuals - including more and more males - with eating disorders, or at least with poor body image and subsequent psychological stress due to finding their bodies "wrong" in some way, because of an impossible ideal shown to us day after day out there on TV and in movies and magazines? It's very clear ... we are swayed and we need to become more conscious of it.

Look at how easily we are convinced to eat or drink (or decades ago - to smoke) this or that, just because we are swayed by the advertising. How many times have we now heard how much was already known back then - about smoking, for example - with regards to how noxious it is for our health, and since then, we've heard similar horror stories about additives in food, sweeteners, MSG, corn starch, etc. And yet we continue to be swayed.

In my early 30's I very deliberately stopped buying fashion magazines because I saw the effect they had on me. I won't watch commercials if I happen to be on a television station that still is allowed to have them in the middle of a presentation. No matter how much I like a product, if I remember to read the ingredients on it, and if they are not healthy, or if there are several of them that make no sense or are only numbers or chemical words, I won't buy the product. And so on. But this has to be a conscious choice.

And only you can make it...

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 my new book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

For more about being aware and making conscious choices that will enhance your life and promote greater inner peace and freedom, have a look at my book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self (paperback or Kindle).

To download the first chapter, click here
See Table of Contents here

From the Description on Amazon:

Ask anyone, whatever their circumstances, if their life is vibrant, fulfilling, harmonious and happy. An honest reply is likely to be 'no', because to answer a truthful 'yes' is no mean feat. Only to grow psychologically and emotionally is not enough. And only to grow spiritually is not enough either. All three dimensions need to be developed in order to realize your full potential. If you are willing to assume total responsibility for the self and to start what is an on-going journey, you will quickly begin to glimpse the first fruits of the ultimate goal: inner well-being, freedom, peace, harmony and joy. This book sets out the pathway to self-mastery and self-discovery and walking that pathway will be the most exciting adventure of your life.

My new book The Tao of Spiritual Partnership is now also available in print and Kindle formats.

To download the first chapter, click here
See Table of Contents here

From the Description on Amazon: More exciting than any other kind of relationship you have ever known, spiritual partnership is a path, a Tao, available to you so that you may transform your life. Spiritual partnership becomes background music to daily life allowing you to enhance the process of your growth and evolution.

This ground-breaking book addresses:

• relationship patterns that hold you back from a truly fulfilled life
• the strong connection between sexuality and spiritual partnership
• communication leading to true connection & lasting transformation of your relationship

It is precisely at the problematic crossroads so often encountered in relationships that we are offered the opportunity to create a new foundation based on mutual complementarity rather than need; a free relationship between two people who want to be together, rather than two people who need to be together. Needing another, we are told, is the measure of love, but for a fully conscious individual nothing could be further from the truth. And therein lies part of the secret and healing power of spiritual partnerships. 

Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership 

“All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come." 
Chris Griscom: Spiritual Leader, Author 

“Eloquently and comprehensive, showing how your primary love relationship may be a sacred vessel that transports you and your partner to a place of mutual healing and expansion.” 
Robert Schwartz: Author of Your Soul’s Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born 

"The Tao of Spiritual Partnership is a unique blend of wit and wisdom; Dr. Kortsch encourages us to take responsibility for our relationships, while recognizing and seizing the opportunities for our own personal spiritual growth." 
William Buhlman, Author of Adventures Beyond the Body 

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