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"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

"Eloquent 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: 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

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Giving Birth to Yourself


See sculpture credit below article

Erich Fromm, psychoanalyst and author of The Art of Loving among many other books, wrote: A person's main task in life is to give birth to oneself.

Giving birth to yourself can happen at any age. You could be in your 70's, you could be a teenager, you might be in your mid-thirties: it makes no difference, you can make this exhilarating change in your life at any time. Why is it exhilarating? It has to do with you finding the real you...the one that was meant to be...the one that senses a true meaning and purpose in his or her life...and the one that will bring you to greater levels of joy, fulfillment, and happiness than any other aspect of you, barring none.

When we begin to look at our lives (and again, let me insist that this is not a question of age), from the point of view of growth and purpose; when we realize that we are here for more than the accumulation of honor, prestige, money, and things, much as those are all perfectly valid elements of a good life, then we begin to know that there is another way of looking at how we can continue to develop, that has much more to do with the eternal validity of our souls than with anything else.



The Inner Life

We begin to become interested in our own inner life - not in a selfish fashion, not born of our ego - because this inner life is precisely what can most clearly point the way towards our own birth. The fact that our intuition is hugely involved in this process, should surprise no one. You may have heard of the fact that scientists now refer to our second and third brains with regards to the billions of neural cells they now know we have in our gut (intestine) and heart, respectively. These neural cells offer intelligent information of another kind to our being, so that in conjunction with the logical information we receive via the neural cells in our brain, we also receive intuitive and emotional information from the neural cells in our gut and heart respectively. Together, the three types of information - if we will but use them in conjunction - allow us to make choices that are much more informed than those that originate merely from our rational brain.


Intuitive Intelligence

Our intuitive intelligence has much to offer us. It can speak to us in the language of our innermost self ... of that part of us that is not only the part that is visible to the naked eye, the part that others can see, but also of that innermost part of us that has always existed, and that will always be. To understand its language is to understand how we can give birth to ourselves. Hence, learning to listen to our intuition is of utmost importance, and one of the best ways to do so, is to begin to allow our hunches to lead us.

Listening to our intuition can be fomented by spending some time alone, by meditating, by taking solitary walks, but above all, also by allowing the little voice inside of you, when it comes up and nudges you about something, to be heard. In other words, don't just ignore it, don't just tell yourself that whatever it was that you just thought had no value, and that therefore you will not pay any attention. Do something about it. Or notice if right after, something happens, as in: I just thought of Aunt Mabel and two minutes later she rings me. While this type of example is minimally important, it does allow you to begin the process of better understanding the role of intuition in your life.

Listening to our intuition also has a lot to do with our self esteem. If we have not got a good sense of self esteem, we will not esteem that inner voice and give it validity. Hence, understanding that our self esteem is one of the most important parts of our own self that needs to be enhanced by a process of self love, is high on the list of priorities towards the goal of giving birth to yourself. It is precisely from this intuitive sector of your being that you will get the greatest amount of vital information about where to go and what to do in order to expedite your birth.

How do we find meaning in our lives? One of the easiest ways is to listen with your inner ear to your bodily reactions to anything. Notice especially a sense of excitement in your solar plexus, an increased rhythm of breathing, heightened facial color and body temperature, as you hear a conversation, listen to something on the radio, watch a documentary on TV, because your body is giving you information about the importance of the particular subject in question to you and your true purpose in life. This inner listening is totally connected to your intuition and your emotional self, and it is another way of strengthening the inner dialogue in order to give birth to yourself. 

Here are some further ideas about how you can go about this important process of change:


The Life You Don't Lead

Oscar Wilde said: One's real life is often the life that one does not lead.

Why would that be one's real life? Think for a moment how frequently you get side-tracked by what others think. You have a plan or a desire or an idea, and then, because of censure you feel you might receive from others or because someone says something to you that is critical or derisory about what you are planning, you set your own ideas aside.

So therefore your own ideas have been annihilated. And you can't really blame the other person - they merely stated their opinion. The problem is that you listened, and let it affect you to the point that you buried your own thoughts and are now living life - at least in this respect - according to what the other person has said...and where is your own life?



The Unexamined Life

It was Socrates who in 399 BCE said the unexamined life is not worth living.

Most of us live unexamined lives. Why? Because that is how our world - generally speaking - is. We may examine our outer circumstances: our profession, our homes, our standing in society, our finances, etc., but we tend not to examine our inner lives.

History - world history - has shown us that there are certain cycles that repeat with some regularity, and that we can learn from in order to avoid mistakes of the past, and potentiate other, stronger, and more positive aspects.

Interestingly, humanistic astrology also focuses on cycles in the human life span, and uses, for example, the planet Saturn to determine when those cycles take place in the life of an individual. Once determined, and especially if the individual is no longer a young person, by virtue of past cycles, the current and future cycles can be much better understood (not predicted...this is not about fortune telling, but about understanding). However, even with these tools, past cycles can only be understood if the individual has made an effort at examining the events - inner and outer - of his or her life.

Economic and business cycles also study the fluctuations of the market and the changes in any given economy or society. 
Therefore, it would seem that examining one's life is also truly important, if one has any interest whatsoever in understanding it and oneself.
Examining one's own life is not tremendously difficult, but it does pose some awkwardness for those not versed in this kind of activity, as it involves time with oneself. I have found that for some people journaling is a good activity, as it allows them to bring out inner feelings and thoughts that they may not be so very much aware of in ordinary everyday life. More than journaling, however, I also recommend that a sheet of paper be taken for every year of the life. Then, simply write down those things that you know: residence, which family members (and pets) lived with you, school, friends, etc., progressing to further education, jobs, partners, cities of residence, and so on. As you fill in obvious bits, you begin to remember others. Jot them down in bullet fashion, in order to flesh out your own forgotten and unexamined life. This is the beginning to greater understanding. You may see how decisions you took at age 22 led you to expansion and growth at age 29, that in turn led you to other avenues at 36. Or you may see the reverse. You may notice that whenever you had one type of calamity, your reactions were of a given type, that led, some time in the future, to another version of the same calamity. Now you are in the middle of facing another one. Perhaps - due to this examination of your life - you may now decide to react differently. However you do it, examining the life is always of great value. You may even find it fascinating!

Inauthentic Lives

Many well-known and respected speakers refer to people who live inauthentic lives. The sense I get from them, is not that they are criticizing these people, but that they are suggesting that living an inauthentic life may lie at the root of much unhappiness and desperation that is often covered up with sex, eating, drinking, drugs, shopping, non-stop deadening of the senses with television and mass media, an incessant social life, and so on.

Inauthentic is defined as "false, not genuine", and what is false and not genuine about an inauthentic life, is the fact that the person living it is not in connection with his or her true self.

That is to say, this individual is generally living a life that he or she feels should be lived, a life perhaps that the parents expected, or a life that the partner or spouse expects, or simply that this individual feels should be the life to be lived in order to live up to someone else’s expectations. It’s often also a life in which much greater importance and value are given to the outer search for material abundance and social and professional prestige (all of which are very worthwhile aims), than to the inner search for purpose and meaning and for connection to the self and others.

In an authentic life both the inner and the outer quest are given importance, a balance is sought, and the person soon recognizes that what most motivates him or her, and what most gives satisfying meaning and significance to the lifetime, is something that literally comes from within; something that emanates from the deepest inner self, and which creates a true connection to the self.



The Main Task in Life

Back to Fromm who tells us that our main task in life is to give birth to ourselves. In his article Selfishness and Self-Love, published in 1939, he damns modern culture, Calvin, Kant and others due to a pervasive taboo of selfishness. This ideology teaches “that to be selfish is sinful and that to love others is virtuous. Selfishness, as it is commonly used in these ideologies, is more or less synonymous with self-love. The alternatives are either to love others which is a virtue or to love oneself which is a sin."

Fromm becomes even more damning as he continues his assault on our societal mores concerning self-love: "The doctrine that selfishness is the arch-evil that one has to avoid and that to love oneself excludes loving others is by no means restricted to theology and philosophy. It is one of the stock patterns used currently in home, school, church, movies, literature, and all the other instruments of social suggestion. „Don't be selfish“ is a sentence which has been impressed upon millions of children, generation after generation. It is hard to define what exactly it means. Consciously, most parents connect with it the meaning not to be egotistical, inconsiderate, without concern for others. Factually, they generally mean more than that. „Not to be selfish“ implies not to do what one wishes, to give up one's own wishes for the sake of those in authority; i.e., the parents, and later the authorities of society."

And Fromm continues: "„Don't be selfish,“ in the last analysis, has the same ambiguity that we have seen in Calvinism. Aside from its obvious implication, it means, „don't love yourself,“ „don't be yourself,“ but submit your life to something more important than yourself, be it an outside power or the internalization of that power as „duty.“ „Don't be selfish“  becomes one of the most powerful ideological weapons in suppressing spontaneity and the free development of personality. Under the pressure of this slogan one is asked for every sacrifice and for complete submission: only those aims are „unselfish“ which do not serve the individual for his own sake but for the sake of somebody or something outside of him." (italics mine)

In that sense Fromm made a magnificent statement: "Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either."

In Man For Himself  Fromm wrote: "selfishness and self-love, far from being identical, are actually opposites.

Fromm is encouraging us to love ourselves in the sense that we can be ourselves, and in the sense that we can find ourselves, in the sense that we give birth to ourselves, by loving ourselves enough to walk this path.


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Image: "Metamorphose", sculpture by Maria-Luise Bodirsky. http://www.arsmundi.com/en/artwork/metamorphose-maria-luise-bodirsky-745980.html 

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See the preview (click here) to my new online on-demand video course
NOW available¨



"Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin"

***************

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 available 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)


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
  


Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... AHORA en todo el mundo en Amazon (versión bolsillo y Kindle)



Note: My other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. I generally post in each of these two blogs once a week. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Also visit my Spanish & German blogs by clicking on the language links above in the MENU.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Problems & Their Gifts


There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. Richard Bach

Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity to heal. A Course in Miracles

These quotes, both of which I've used occasionally to illustrate my writing, are so illuminating if we but take the time to think about them. And of course the more we think about them, the more we are able to put their wisdom to use in our lives in the way we perceive our problems or challenges.

Think back: what have you learned from the major problems in your life? My parents split up when I was six. My mother, brother, and I lived in Canada; my father in Switzerland. And so began a life of having one part of my heart in one continent, and a second part of my heart in another. That continues to this day, as parts of my closest family have always lived far away. What did I learn at that age of six? That life was not easy. That love hurt. But that I was able to manage. I was too young to really take it all in, and see it with perspective, but I do realize - in hindsight - that much of this made me very pensive, thoughtful, determined to understand things that hurt my heart so very much.

I lost my mother at the age of 19, long before I was anywhere near being prepared - if one ever is - for such an event. Furthermore it happened while I was traveling abroad and she was there one moment, and gone the next when the phone call came. What did I learn? To make every moment count. To use such a devastating situation to grow and understand more about life so that her death would not be in vain. I became so much more of a self-responsible human being due to that. I also learned how important it was to never neglect an opportunity to tell those that we love, that we do indeed love them.

Then my only brother died when I was 23. I went to his funeral with my eldest son of barely three weeks in my arms. More devastation. He too, just as my mother, had died of cancer. What did I learn? The above lesson was reinforced. I learned about the fragility of life and the need to live it at its fullest as long as you have it. I grew a few more inches.

Scarcely 18 months later when my second son was less than one month old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the end it was a false alarm, but until I knew that - nearly six months later - it had caused me to take a look at my own mortality. What did I learn? That my own mortality scared me much less than the well-being of my children. That I knew I could deal with this. It showed me another portion of my strength.

About two years later, my third son, then nine months old, was found at the bottom of the pool. It appeared he had drowned and for several very frightening and long drawn-out minutes, it appeared he had died. What did I learn? That I was able to keep my head in an emergency. That I did what was necessary to manage a situation that was totally out of control. It showed me a portion of my strength. 

Only a little later, with those three very small boys of 6, 4 and 2, I went through a very contentious and acrimonious separation and custody battle. It was everything but pretty. I was alone, without my family of origin (they were mainly dead), not in my country, and with very few friends other than those that had befriended me via my spouse. I had never worked. I had no money. And even though I was the one that left, I was deeply, terribly alone. And frightened. So what did I learn? That I was very strong, that I was a survivor, that I was flexible in ways I had never even imagined - a flexibility that allowed me to turn my life around, and above all, I learned to see through other people's eyes and I learned to forgive. The lesson of forgiving, when based on a desire to clear the past of its hold on you, is perhaps one of the most important lessons we can learn in life.

After that there were many more lessons to learn, many more difficult moments. Perhaps one of the most significant was in 2006 when I was diagnosed with cancer again. This time it was the real deal. No false alarm. In the end all was well, but not before going through a very difficult inner process. What did I learn? That the mind is at least as important as the body in a process of healing. That my inner strength was serving me very well. That love is crucial to the process.

Obviously your problems will be different from mine. Better or worse is not a comparison that is germane to this post, because problems are what we make of them. Perhaps what for me was horrendous at some point of my path, for someone else would have been easier, or vice versa, what I was able to bear with relative inner ease, for others would be insurmountable. Problems and challenges are subjective, but we can all look for the gifts in our problems. Because, as Bach says, we have them because we need their gifts.


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See the preview (click here) to my new online on-demand video course
NOW available


"Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin"

***************

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 available 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)


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
  


Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... AHORA en todo el mundo en Amazon (versión bolsillo y Kindle)



Note: My other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. I generally post in each of these two blogs once a week. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Also visit my Spanish & German blogs by clicking on the language links above in the MENU.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Nostalgia: The Aroma of Coffee


Emptying the grains of a packet of aromatic dark Costa Rican coffee into an airtight container earlier today, in my mind's eye I suddenly saw my maternal grandmother standing in front of me making the same motions of cutting open a packet and emptying the coffee grains into a container (the very same one I was using) so many times, so many years ago. That memory then took me to the next one of that sunlit living room where she, my aunt, and I would sit drinking that coffee at breakfast in delicate Meissen cups (whenever I was visiting) at a Biedermeier-like table that stood gracefully on a pale blue Persian rug, all of which were left to me when the two departed. Lush green ferns, large floor vases, multiple photographs of the living and dead in silver frames, and overstuffed heavy bookcases gave the room its character, much as similar plants, vases, photographs, and book cases are found in mine, so many years later.

The memory brought the hot gush of tears to my eyes. Suddenly. For no particular reason. I loved my grandmother, but I have no particular sadness connected to her death, when I was already in my 30's, mother of three children. She died of old age. Her life had been a good one, albeit with many difficult chapters. She and my aunt brought great joy to me - especially to my younger self - and the memories I have of them both from that period of my own life are rich and joyful, with an element of lushness and mystery. 

My other grandmother, while very loving and sweet, simply could not be compared because we never communicated at that level, despite living closer to me geographically for a time, and further, she died when I was only 13, so the memories were less fixed.

But this grandmother, who wafted into my thoughts this morning thanks to that aromatic dark coffee - still in its packet - had a significant impact on my life. She introduced me to new ideas; I might say to ideas that were not the ideas that were discussed in my parents' home (which was quite eclectic). While my parents spoke of ideas and read books that dealt with so many of life's mysteries, and that fascinated me - and continue to fascinate me - endlessly, my grandmother showed me the rich world of mundane life. The stories she shared with me of her own pre-World War II history in Prussia were the stuff Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy books are made of - except, of course, what she related, had really happened to her. 

She - my grandmother - as well as my aunt added an element of historical opulence, or sumptuous thinking - none of which really had anything to do with material wealth - to my psychological inner world that I might not have seen and appreciated had I not been able to enjoy this close contact with them, despite living in different continents in pre-digital days. They weren't even good letter writers. And yet, we forged this connection. I write this in gratitude.

Image: My grandmother is the far left in the front row. My aunt is at her knee. My mother is the dark haired little girl in the front row at my great-aunt's knee.

***************

See the preview (click here) to my new online on-demand video course
NOW available

"Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin"

***************

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 available 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)


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
  


Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... AHORA en todo el mundo en Amazon (versión bolsillo y Kindle)



Note: My other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. I generally post in each of these two blogs once a week. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Also visit my Spanish & German blogs by clicking on the language links above in the MENU.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Do This Instead of Reliving Your Pain & Making it Worse


What can you say after a bad divorce, cancer diagnosis or any difficult news? When life gets really hard, when things happen that could throw you off your course, and when your mind keeps going over and over the thing that is happening to you, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that you aren’t going to be in a place of great well-being. Probably you are feeling quite awful, and it just keeps getting worse.

Here are three ideas you might consider before you continue on the path you are currently following. Each of these ideas may change your life … not just now, at this difficult moment … but forever because of the difference it will cause in the way you think about life.

Analysis, Explanation, Defense & Regurgitation

This is what we do instinctively. We analyze ad nauseam. We explain ad infinitum to all those willing to listen. We often forget that some listeners are listening for their own vicarious thrills, whether it’s because what we are telling is verging on the scandalous or on the morbid. Conversely, many who listen do so with love, but if we speak indiscriminately, we’ll never be able to tell the difference. And we defend our actions – sometimes to whoever is willing to listen. What we are not aware of is that in the telling, in the regurgitating of whatever it is that is happening to us, we relive it over and over again.

·         Analyzing exactly why something happened the way it did may be of value once or twice, but especially when relationships break up, people will often do this dozens, if not hundreds of times. By so doing they remain connected to that moment in time – even when years or decades have passed (see also Cellular Responsibility).

·         Continually explaining to others what has happened to us weakens us. It keeps us at that moment in time energetically (also see Emotional and Energetic Vampires).

·         Defending what has happened or what we have done or decided also weakens us because in the defending we are tacitly buying into the idea that because something about it is not right, we need to defend it.

Press Release

I have friends who send out a newsletter at Christmas. I know that some people find this less than personal, and yet I find it wonderful, because I know that a lot of thought went into it, because the sender only has to do it once, as opposed to thinking how to write a personal Christmas card to everyone on their list. If they’re trying to inject a personal note, they’ll add a few special words to each individual, but the main newsletter is the same for one and all. Sort of like a press release. And that is a little bit like what I have recommended in the past for people who need to inform friends and family that they are getting divorced, or that they have been diagnosed with cancer, or any other piece of difficult news.

Why? Because in all instances, if an individual attempts to tell each and every person they wish to communicate this to personally, not only will they relive – over and over again – whatever it is that they need to tell, but they will also have to deal with – over and over again – with all of the reactions that the list of people will give them. And that, in fact, may be even worse than the simple recounting of the event or decision or diagnosis.

You see, especially when people you love and who love you, react to something difficult that is happening to you, they may unwittingly leach your strength. They will commiserate, they will worry, they may cry, they may agree with you that your ex spouse was indeed a louse, or that the last person on earth who deserves such a diagnosis is you, and while all of that is understood in our culture as someone showing you that they care about you, and that they support you, what they are doing, in fact, is that they are not supporting you because what you truly need under those circumstances is for people to treat you – lovingly – but with strength, showing you strength, as opposed to taking your strength.

And so if you send out a missive of sorts to one and all, explaining that you are doing so in order to save yourself the re-living of the event in the multiple telling of said event, and that while you know they all love you and care for you, what you would really ask of them, is that they be strong for you. Ask them when they speak to you to discuss the subject in question if you show yourself to be so inclined, and if not, to offer their strength to you by treating you the way they always had, before this event. This will keep you on a much more even keel – on all levels – than continually discussing something that weakens you. And to reiterate, so that there are no misunderstandings: I am not condoning pretending something is not happening, but I am encouraging individuals to focus on their life in the NOW, as opposed to focusing on their divorce or their health diagnosis.

Inner Dialogue

Keep close tabs on your inner dialogue. It is here that you decide everything, but only if you are aware of it. If the inner dialogue or self-talk is mindless, it means you have not yet woken up to yourself, you have not yet become conscious. If you are reading this and do not know what I am referring to, ask yourself what thoughts you have had over the past hour, and how they have affected the state of your inner well-being, and how that has affected the outcome of the activities in which you were involved over that period of time. (Also see Consciousness is a Full-time Job).

In order for you to play a role in deciding what the inner dialogue will be, you must be conscious, and you will need to take the decision to remain conscious for the rest of your life. The pot of gold at the end of this particular quest is your inner peace and freedom.

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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 available 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)


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
  


Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... AHORA en todo el mundo en Amazon (versión bolsillo y Kindle)



Note: My other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. I generally post in each of these two blogs once a week. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Also visit my Spanish & German blogs by clicking on the language links above in the MENU.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Not Minding What Happens


For a very large portion of my life, I've been intent on - and very conscious of - the desire to improve myself. Oh, I don't mean studying or learning more, or taking tennis or piano lessons, although all of that is also very much part of my life. What I mean with improving myself has to do with 'making myself a better person', or at least trying to. Becoming more patient, being less critical, dealing with my temper, being more loving, and so on. The list is long. Just like most people, I was born with (or learned to be like this as I grew) many faults and imperfections.

So of course this entailed much work, because long ingrained habits are not lost in a week. It meant I had to learn how to be very conscious of myself at all times. That was not so very hard - at least for me - as I had started this (albeit in small ways) already as a child barely into puberty. Later - much later - I incorporated a daily practice of mindfulness to my life. I also had to learn how to love myself and all that self-love entails. That was much harder, and continues to be an ongoing process.

But of course, the longer this continued, and the more I did it, the easier life became. There was less and less of anything that had the power to have an effect on me, and that meant it was easier to remain in a state of harmony and inner peace - or simply in a state of equilibrium - more of the time. Or conversely, perhaps precisely because I was in that state of inner peace, less and less of anything had the power to have an effect on me.

I began to clearly see that when something happened in my outer world, I was simply not particularly bothered. So if a flight was delayed and I lost my connection, I observed the facts, and I observed myself, noting if I still needed some self-dialogue to go back to that inner peace. If someone was rude or hurtful to me, I observed the facts, and I observed myself, again noting if self-dialogue was necessary to return to inner peace. If the internet was on the fritz; if the restaurant was out of the one thing I really wanted to order; if the appliance repair man didn't show up; if there was an unexpected traffic jam making me late for an important appointment; if I lost my keys; if someone had blocked my parked car, etc., etc., I noticed that I observed the facts and I observed myself, noting, as above, if I still needed self-dialogue to find my inner peace again.

It became very clear that life had become so much easier, so much more pleasurable - and I say this even in the midst of what sometimes were very trying outer circumstances.

It brought to mind something I had read in the late 90's about Jiddu Krishnamurti giving a series of talks in California in the 60's. He had many devoted followers who came to his lectures. One day he announced that on that evening he would reveal the secret to his happiness, as he felt that most of his followers, despite coming to many of his lectures, had not understood - had missed the point. Of course many of those people came to that revelatory lecture, hoping to finally find some inspiration. Krishnamurti then said: the secret to my happiness is not minding what happens.

I puzzled over this. At first it sounded as though he was lauding apathy. Then I thought no, he simply no longer has an attachment to the outcome of any given thing. And then I realized, as I underwent the process I have described in this post, that what this meant (or so I believe) was that he was simply able to observe events, people, facts, without getting caught in the sway of emotions that we normally attach to anything. There is that word 'attach' again. If you can observe what happens, if you can remain in that space of inner peace, good or bad, positive or negative emotions need not arise. And hence you don't mind what happens.

Does that mean you don't try to do something about it? Perhaps you are observing world hunger, or inequality, or human trafficking, or perhaps you are observing something difficult in your own immediate, or even personal environment. Of course you try to do something about it. But you do this in very different ways than you would if negative emotions were attached to it all.

Is this path easy? No. It is do-able? Absolutely yes. It - as so much else - is a choice for each and every one of us.

***************

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 available 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)
See links in left side-bar


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich
  


Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... AHORA en todo el mundo en Amazon (versión bolsillo y Kindle)




Note: My other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. I generally post in each of these two blogs once a week. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Also visit my Spanish & German blogs by clicking on the language links above in the MENU.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Imagine Life with no Bitterness or Resentment


I've often wondered if those people whose lives are filled with bitterness and resentment could just see for a moment in time what their lives would - could - be like without the bitterness and the resentment (and the ensuing pain), whether they would then take the step towards making the choice of putting the bitterness and resentment behind them.

Because that is really what it's all about ... making a different choice.

It's not so much about being compassionate towards the person (or institution) who did whatever it was to you; it's also not so much about letting by-gones be by-gones. Much more than that it's about recognizing that you can continue to identify with whatever it was that threw your life out of balance at some point in the past (yesterday, nine months, or a quarter of a century ago), and that caused much pain then, which is why the bitterness and resentment arose, or you can decide that you simply are no longer that person. That you choose to be a person without bitterness and resentment for you. For your own good. For your own inner freedom and growth. And particularly in order to make space inside of you. As you choose to turn your back on the bitterness and resentment, you no longer need to use up energy - psychic energy - (psychological energy) to keep up those feelings. So now your energy can be channeled towards totally different - life-giving - endeavours.

A wonderful example of this is demonstrated in the movie A Mighty Heart, the true-life drama about the kidnapping and eventual beheading, in 2002, of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, starring Angelina Jolie as Pearl's widow Mariane, and produced by Brad Pitt. The movie, based on Mariane Pearl's very powerful book by the same title, allows the viewer to experience first-hand how a person who has gone through such a tremendously traumatic and painful experience - one that most of us will never have to endure - has managed to not carry a heavy weight of bitterness and hatred.

How can you do this? As said, you can choose it. It is really that simple. A choice that you make. Of course, because you have long ingrained habits, at the beginning you will need to practice choosing this. The subject that has created the bitterness and resentment in you will arise over and over again in your head and you will need to make a different choice about where your thoughts go as soon as you become aware of the fact that you are thinking about this issue yet again. You don't shove it under the carpet. You simply say to yourself: ah, here I am again. I don't really like this place, so although I'm not yet sure how this whole thing is going to get resolved, just for now - just for today - I choose to focus elsewhere. Perhaps on nature. Perhaps you'll do some physical exercise. Perhaps on something inspirational. But if in the moment of the recognition of those familiar thoughts you have no time to do anything, you can simply look around for something of beauty, perhaps in the room where you find yourself, or look out the window and see the sky, a tree, etc. Focus on its beauty, feel gratitude for its presence in your life. This is enough to shift your inner state. And when the thoughts arise again, do the same again. over and over, and after some time the habit will have lost so much of its strength that you hardly think of it anymore. And when you do, it will be a simply case of refocusing - which by now you will have become an expert at - in order to move elsewhere with you thoughts and feelings. This is a choice. Start today.

***************

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 available 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)


Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhältlich 
  


Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... AHORA en todo el mundo en Amazon (versión bolsillo y Kindle)



Note: My other blog is Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. I generally post in each of these two blogs once a week. 

My blog posts are also featured on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest & you can find me on Instagram 

Also visit my Spanish & German blogs by clicking on the language links above in the MENU.