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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

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Gift of Solitude

The thought of solitude tends to make us a slightly nervous.



Who wants to be alone?

What's good about being alone?
All that silence...
What would I do?
It would mean no one wants to be with me
I'd feel lonely

And yet, if we do not allow ourselves some moments of solitude on a daily basis, we become stuck...or you might like to call it we can no longer see clearly.

Dr. Walter Dresel, a Uruguayan MD whose work I am unable to find in English, has written an enlightening book about today's topic of solitude called Toma un café contigo mismo (Have a coffee with yourself).

It is an invitation to begin an internal dialogue leading towards a greater self awareness about how one's expectations and self-image tend to become violated by the kind of experiences that society and human narrow-mindedness define as failures.

Whether you have the coffee the title of his book encourages you to, or whether you take a solitary walk, or simply sit somewhere in contemplative silence, is not as important as the fact that you do indeed take the time to do this.

When I was still in the corporate world, and at a point where I had reached the glass ceiling of that particular area of the company, I sat in my private office with a view and luxuriated in the silence, the solitude, and the luxury of being able to think. To really think. In that instance, of course, what I was thinking about was the future of the strategy I was to pursue within my particular area of expertise, what made sense, what did not, how to continue, what to lay aside. But in doing this, I simply sat quietly in my comfortable director's chair, behind my out-sized desk, and thought. I specifically requested no interruptions for a period of 30 minutes on each of the occasions I did this, and I often had a cup of coffee at the same time.

Doing this gave me insight in a way I could never have had in the midst of frantic busy-ness. The time to sit back and think is a luxury, but a necessary luxury and of course, not only for business strategy, but also for one's life, one's hopes, aspirations, dreams, and goals, one's sense of self and self-esteem, and so much more.

 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Pain of Abandonment, of Loneliness and Fear
































When you feel the pain of abandonment, the pain of loneliness, the pain of fear, or any kind of pain, there's no doubt that you feel your life isn't worth much. You can't imagine being out of the pain, and you feel you can't go much more into the blackness.

All that is true and understandable, but there are other ways of looking at it, no matter what the reason for your pain is.

I taped a TV show today about happiness, a topic I talk and write about a lot. Doesn't have much to do with what today's topic here for this post is.

But it does.

The reason the pain and the happiness are connected, is because you have a way of going from the former to the latter. You can create a bridge that can take you from pain ...if not to happiness, then at least to a place where you can see you life as a good one again.

How?

Some writers call it pivoting, or swiveling. Remember how you used to stand on your heels as a child? And then you would pivot about 180 degrees, so that at the end of the movement, you were facing a totally different direction? First you were looking at your house, then you pivoted, and then you were looking at the street.

This is the kind of inner movement that can take place when you need to put yourself in a place where you aren't hurting so much. Let's not pretend that there aren't times where you need to go through pain in order to get through to the other side. But in the same way a quadri-plegic is not always a quadri-plegic, when you are in pain, there is no reason for you to be in pain all the time.

(The reason a quadri-plegic is not always one, is because there are times when he is laughing, and has forgotten about his state, when he is eating and is not thinking about it, when he is conversing, or watching a movie, etc., and not consciously a quadri-plegic. Likewise, a person with terminal cancer, is not always a person with terminal cancer, because there are moments when other thoughts and activities take over the mind and feelings, despite the inevitability of the impending end.)

So what I'm suggesting here is that you begin to learn how to swivel. When something is not good, go from that place in your mind and feelings to another place. That might be imagining something that gives you pleasure or joy, or it might be remembering something that once gave you pleasure or joy. However you do it, it will change - for a time - your energetic frequency. And in the place of your new-found frequency, you can feel better.

Is that disloyalty? Disloyalty to your worries, your problem, your sense of abandonment, even your sense of eternal loss in the case of someone's death? Of course not. Are you being disloyal to your wound when you dress it, when you put salve on it, when you set the broken bones, when you stitch the cut flesh?

Comparisons of this nature offend some people. That's why I suggest you might want to consider some out-of-the-box thinking about this. It may be a challenge to do so, it may stretch you, but do you truly believe it is wrong to try to make yourself feel better when something is causing you pain or problems?

One final thought: don't you believe that once you feel better, you will find it just a bit harder to go back to the deep place of pain? And is that not good? Doesn't that mean the bone is knitting, the wound is healing?


Image: Karoo National Park near Beaufort West, South Africa

Monday, June 25, 2012

Challenges Foment Growth



When you consider a problem in your life, you possibly feel weighted down with the onerous task of solving it. Your shoulders sag under the figurative weight of whatever it is that has gone wrong. You sigh deeply within yourself, square your shoulders, and step manfully up to the plate in order to get on with it.

Recognizing that such an attitude will indeed, in all likelihood, help you solve the problem, does not mean that it is the best attitude.

For starters, look at the problem as if it were a challenge. Same situation, different word.

Doesn't it look different already?

Almost akin to thinking out of the box, isn't it?

Now begin to consider that each of the challenges (problems in your former vocabulary) you have had in the past, caused you to grow in one area or another.

Isn't that sort of a good reason to look at challenges in a whole new light? Embrace them, even welcome them, because now you know, that as you resolve whatever it is, you grow at the same time.

I remember when my mother died unexpectedly when I was 19. I was not even on the same continent as she was. But I knew immediately, even in the midst of my blackest pain, that rather than dwelling on the pain, I was to dwell on what I could learn from this - for me - devastating event. And what I learned, how I grew, was that I recognized with great clarity that when challenges enter an individual's life, there is always something to learn, always a way to grow, always something that can enrich you. My mother's so very early death was devastating, but it was enriching. Her legacy to me was this knowledge, and for that I am eternally grateful.


Image: Engadin Valley, Switzerland

Friday, June 22, 2012

No Greater Regret



 
Imagine, I read when I was much younger, sitting on a rocker when you're quite old, thinking about all the things you never did and about all the people you never loved. I remember my blood ran cold at the image. Imagine, it went on, regretting not having done so many of the things you would have liked to have done, but that you didn't because they scared you, or because you didn't know the outcome, or because you thought there was a chance you might fail, or that others would look at you in pity because you had not been successful. I felt lead in the pit of my stomach as I read that.

Imagine, I read, sitting on that rocker and going over all the things you never did because you told yourself that you had no time, or that they were silly for someone of your age or station in life, or whatever, to do. I shivered. Imagine, I read, sitting in that rocker and feeling all that regret.
And now I ask you, who read this: imagine not only that - because at least in that scenario you are sitting in a rocker and physically comfortable despite your inner pain - but imagine that you are lying in bed, your body riddled with a terminal disease that will not let you go, or sitting in a wheelchair, quadriplegic, with no more possibility of movement, and you have those same regrets.

Don't let that happen. Don't die regretting everything you did not do. Wayne Dyer wrote: "don't die with your music still in you." So venture now. Make the most of this life that you have to live. Love now. Dare now. Live now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Disconnecting From the Stream
























A wonderful quote from Abraham came across my path today (understand stream as that which impels you forward on an energetic level, i.e. when you are feeling low or depressed, you would be going against the stream, or you would be disconnected from the stream):

If you decide to make someone the enemy and you're pushing very hard against them, you don't affect them at all, but you disconnect yourself from the Stream. If someone cheats you, they cannot diminish your experience. They only diminish their experience. You cannot be diminished by someone cheating you unless you get all upset about being cheated and push against them and use that as your excuse to disconnect from the Stream.


Image: Togo (Togolese Republic in West Africa)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Don't Allow Anyone to Take Your Dream From You



On one occasion I spoke on my radio show about the topic of life dreams - those dreams that you have about how you would like something (whatever) to be in your life at some point, and about not letting others take your dream from you.

Dreams of this type are so infinitely important to the quality of our lives...whether we become aware of them when we are 12, or whether we do so when we are 60, or whether we dust them off at any stage of our lives, remembering how blissfully we used to dream about fulfilling those dreams, and then just forgot about them. So now, for whatever reason, we are at another point in our lives, and have the opportunity to revisit those dreams, and to do something concrete about accomplishing them. What a blast!

Dreams should not be ignored, and particularly, you should never let anyone talk you out of your dreams.

Due to the response I received to the show, I would just like to reiterate some of the points made in the show:

1. What your dream is:
  • something that gives meaning to your life
  • something that gives you a buzz, a sense of excitement, high energy, butterflies (of the good kind) in your solar plexus
  • something that tells you - as opposed to so many others - that you actually already know what you want, so you are blessed!
2. What your dream is not:
  • something crazy
  • something childish
  • something that you should ignore
  • something that will lead you to failure
3. What others may say to you about your dream:
  • it's totally unrealistic
  • it will never work
  • it's childish
  • it's crazy
  • it's too hard
  • don't you realize that something so easy could never be of any value?
  • it's too risky
  • no one else has ever done it before
  • no one will like it
  • no one will want it
  • no one will believe it
  • no one will accept it
  • it's a sure road to failure
  • it's nonsense
  • it's not serious
  • it's not what a grown man (woman) should do
  • it's ridiculous
  • do you realize what people will say about you if you do that?
  • why do you think you might succeed where so many others have tried and failed?
Realize that the same buzz", the same special energy you feel whenever you think about whatever it is that your dream is all about, is something so special, something so important, that this very feeling is what can most move you in the direction of your goals, your dream, but only if you hold on to that feeling, that energy.

Even when your dreams change direction slightly, you will know you are on the right track, as long as you continue to have the feeling, the buzz, the energy. It's a direct inner connection to your inner self, that voice inside of you that warns you just before a car comes racing around the corner at the second you were about to step out into its path, that voice (or feeling) inside of you that warns you about that person you just met at the dinner party, who at first glance seems so wonderful, just what you were looking for, and yet, there may be something you need to look at more closely, and thanks to listening to that voice, you do so, before jumping off the precipice, and you find out why your inner voice communicated with you. Call it intuition, call it buzz, call it energy, there is a spark that we feel when that inner communication comes out and speaks to us.

If you feel this, if you are familiar with this, then it is paramount that you hang on to it. Don't think that just because others aren't doing it, or aren't paying conscious attention to it, that it isn't real. Count yourself very lucky - blessed - to have it in your life in such a clear way. You've connected to your inner source, in this case, your passion, and that is something you should welcome and nourish.

As Wayne Dyer put it: Don't die with your music still inside you.

Image: Cinque Terre, Italy

Friday, June 15, 2012

A 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 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 insitution) who did whatever it was to them; 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 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, on February 1, 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 of 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.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Thoughts We Reject


How often have you not thought of something, maybe just as a fleeting thought or intuition that you paid little attention to, telling yourself that it was nonsense, or that it would never work, that the risk was too high, or that you would, in all likelihood fail, or that if you were the one to think of it, it meant that it was not important, otherwise someone would have already done something like that, and so on?

In other words, you've had thoughts that for one reason or another you rejected ... and then, sometime later, perhaps only days, or perhaps decades, you see that someone else not only had the same thought, but they acted upon that thought, and did something about it, and the results of that thought were now something tangible or plausible that others could see, or touch, or hear, or smell, or in some way become aware of.

What happens at that moment; that moment of your own realization that your thought - your rejected thought - has been made reality by someone else, who, rather than rejecting it, took it, used it, made something of it?

Isn't that painful? Doesn't it make you feel all manner of negative things about yourself? Now you might even have to make up excuses for yourself for not undertaking action when you first had the thought. That's kind of like cheating at solitaire ... the only one who is betrayed is yourself.

There's a wonderful quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: In every work of genius, we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.

So what can you really do when you stumble across one of your rejected thoughts made reality by someone else the next time? You can learn from it. Learn that your thoughts and intuitions come from a well-spring of creativity inside of you that you should not necessarily reject, that you might want to pay greater attention to. Learn that there may be great value in what you are rejecting and condemning to failure or brushing off as the silly meanderings of wandering mind. Give greater value to your inner inclinations and indications. Try them out. Then, instead of betraying yourself, you may find that you bring something to life that in fact gives you greater life.

 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Choosing Laughter Every Day



An apple a day...keeps the doctor away. How about a belly laugh a day makes life wonderful? Do you even remember the last time you had yourself a real belly laugh? The kind that made the muscles around your stomach ache? The kind that brought tears to your eyes? The kind that had you whooping? Maybe even snorting?

I find that many of the belly laughs I have are actually directed at myself or at something I have done or thought or said. I used to tell the story of a business trip I took to Rio de Janeiro in the 90's. My hotel was close to Copacabana, and from the balcony of my room you could indeed see the beach, so I was out there right after arriving from the airport, taking photos, and breathing in Rio.

As I looked around, I realized that the building across the street from the hotel was an apartment building, and that there was a man in shorts out on his own balcony, looking at me, and kind of making signs. I guess he thought perhaps I found his belly attractive...

I looked at him scornfully and studiously ignored him as I took more photos. He kept on making signs, but he didn't seem to understand that I just wasn't interested. Not even to smile, or wave, or acknowledge his presence.

This continued for several minutes, and he finally appeared to tire of my lack of interest, and so went back into the interior of his apartment. I, on the other hand, supremely superior to this mere mortal's fruitless signalling, slowly finished taking my photos and turned to go back into my hotel room through the French doors.

But they had locked. From the inside. I could no longer get into my room. I was on the sixth floor of the hotel on a noisy street. I looked around, but realized, no matter how loudly I might shout, I would never be heard by anyone down on the street. I looked longingly into my room at the phone on the bedside table.

I gritted my teeth. I had no choice but to throw myself on the mercy of Mr. Big Belly whom I had been ignoring.

I looked across the street to his balcony. He wasn't there. I continued looking at it fixedly. He was my only hope. I had to get back to my room. I had appointments, needed to shower, change, and get going. If he didn't rescue me, I might be out there until the maid came the next morning to clean the room.

I looked across again. He still wasn't there. What would I do if he decided to exact revenge on my petty behavior? There he was! He had just come out. I jumped up and down. I waved. I felt like an absolute idiot. I had to get his attention. Finally he saw me. I gestured. I pleaded forgiveness with my hands. I mimed opening my door, and not getting in. I mimed a phone call, gesturing at him and down to the entrance of my hotel on the street level.

He nodded. He went into his apartment. He came back out after an eon. He made a V for victory. I thanked him with my hands. And several minutes later the Housekeeper came into my room and opened the balcony door to let me in.

I waved at the man in the shorts across the street and blew him a kiss.

I've gotten a lot of mileage from this story. Most of the time when I tell it, I laugh so much at myself and my arrogance that day, that whoever is listening to it, laughs with me.

Your belly laughs don't have to all be directed at you, but try and have one every day. It's great for your immune system, your blood pressure, your looks, your state of mind, it gives your body a great massage, and according to laughter therapists, it's just about one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Friday, June 8, 2012

All the Bad Things That Don't Happen


Isn't it awful to have to worry? Worry is terribly debilitating. Furthermore, scientists have demonstrated that worry, as many other negative emotions, lower not only our immune system, but also the general state of our health and well-being. Wouldn't you rather spend your time doing something different?
What happens to make you worry? Obivously, many things that are causing a problem in your life. Relationships, profession, family, children, money, health, etc.
And what happens when we worry? We feel worse and worse, or angrier and angrier. Worry in and of itself solves nothing,. Wayne Dyer has offered to teach workshops on worrying, if anyone can prove that worrying will make the problem less problematic, or make it disappear. I join him in that offer.
Clearly, worrying is of no use. Problem-solving or brain-storming, done for limited periods of time, can be of use, but the magic word here is limited, because if the time used is not limited, more worrying will probably ensue.
So why do we worry? Why do we paint all these worst-case scenarios in our head? We continue to believe either that:
a) worry will solve or alleviate the problem, or
b) we must worry, because if we have a problem, how can we not worry? This is akin to the Puritan Work Ethic insofar as I am not a responsible human being if I don't worry when there is a problem. How can I laugh or enjoy myself, if there is a problem?
Let me leave you with this thought: think back over all the times you have worried in your life. About all those worst-case scenarios you imagined.
How many of them actually came to be? How many of those problems were solved thanks to the amount of time you spent worrying and the intensity with which you undertook that project?
Isn't it true that you tortured yourself for nothing? Motivate yourself with that knowledge in order to make better choices in the future and make the intention to not worry but to problem-solve and brain-storm for limited periods of time, in order to give yourself a greater measure of inner freedom.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Life, Living, and Love

Life is meant for the living (nothing new there), and living - really living - implies loving. Loving implies showing you love, which we all do in a myriad number of ways, by physical demonstrations, by kindnesses, by gentleness, by nurturing, by giving gifts, by giving help, by caring for someone in times of illness or ill fortune, by saying certain words and making certain gestures, by showing joy when we reunite with people we love whom we don't always see, by doing unexpected loving things for someone who is not always at our side, and so on.

We know all this...so what's the point???

Do it.

That is the point. We know it all and yet we so often neglect to do it simply because we don't have the time, or we're tired, or something else comes in the way. And yet a loving smile or gesture can mean so much to the one who receives it.

Do it. Never stop doing it, Show your love to those you love.

And you know, there is an added benefit...it makes you feel better too, and, according to all the studies I have mentioned in other posts both here, in my other blog Rewiring the Soul and in articles on my website, the mere action of being loving gives you happiness as well.

One final point that you may wish to consider: if you have read posts on my other blog about intertwined molecules, you may have come to realize that we are all indeed one - humanity is not a mass of separate beings (rich, poor, black, white, first world, third world, young, old, good neighbourhood, wrong side of the tracks, and so on), but a mass of intertwined molecules...we have cutting-edge quantum physics to thank for these insights, and that of course, begs the question: why only love those that we love? Could we not conceivably love all?


Image: Jasmine, Hindu symbol of love

For much more about love, about making choices, about inner well-being, about the self-transformational process - both in your outer life in the world, and in your inner life with your connection to your inner, divine self, have a look at my first book Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self (paperback or e-book, published in 2011).

To download the first chapter, click 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.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Being a Victim or Choosing Freedom

  • It's just the way I am.
  • My husband/boyfriend/partner always makes me so sad.
  • My wife/girlfriend/partner always makes me so mad.
  • When it rains I get so depressed.
  • When they play "our" song on the radio, I feel so nostalgic.
  • When my boss gets stressed he yells at me and I resent him so much for it.
  • They cooked my steak too much, but I don't like to make a fuss, so I had to eat this really tough piece of meat for lunch and now I have indigestion.
  • My friend stood me up for dinner the other day because some guy she really likes asked her out in the last minute. I'm really happy for her, but I don't think it's right she left me high and dry with nothing to do on a Saturday evening.
Sound familiar? Recognize any of these tunes?
So if you have been reading some of the posts on this blog or my other blog Rewiring the Soul, you will have realized that in all of the above situations, no matter what the external event, you can choose to see yourself as a victim of circumstance, or you can choose to see other alternatives of action, thought, or feeling, and in so doing, choose freedom. It is freedom, because you no longer have a blind reaction to the external event, but deliberately choose how to react to a given situation.
Choosing to react from a number of different alternatives means you have a choice about the outcome inside of you, and you always have a choice.

See also the following articles from my website regarding making choicess:


Image: Symbol of Yin Yang. Photo Credit

Also see the chapters on boundaries and choice in my earlier book Rewiring the Soul, available on Amazon in print or Kindle format. Or click here to download the first chapter.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happiness Must Be a Priority



How can happiness be a priority if I have to achieve my goal of being junior vice president of the company before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if I have to be engaged to be married before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if fill in the blank has to love me before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if I have to weigh at least fill in the blank pounds/kilos less before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if I have to bench press at least fill in the blank pounds/kilos more before I can be happy? How can happiness be a priority if I have to fill in the blank before I can be happy?

Thinking that way means your happiness depends on something or someone external to you. It means that your happiness will always be conditional on that premise having been fulfilled. And yet, happiness is something that should not depend on anything external to you for it to exist within you.

Happiness is something you are able to bring to birth within yourself by yourself without need for anything external to yourself. It is - as Barry Neil Kaufman so aptly puts it in his marvellous book Happiness is a Choice - something you decide upon, something that you choose to have in your life independently of outer circumstances.

The creation of this inner muscle is no more difficult than the creation of a leg, arm, back, or shoulder muscle...it merely requires constancy, and as you exercise it, you will see how readily you can use it in all situations, at all moments, without external circumstances having the strength to undo or weaken this muscle. Be persistent - this is just like success: those that continue moving towards the goal will achieve it.


Also see the chapter on Happiness in my book Rewiring the Soul published in 2011, or download the first chapter here: