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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, December 9, 2014

Really Being Alive


Recently I was invited to a celebration and professional recognition on the 25th anniversary of a friend's work in a specific sector of the hospitality industry. The fact that John (not his real name) was being honored thrilled me.

It also caused me to reflect on my own life in those past 25 years. John and I had coincided for a few years in the same profession. In some fashion I had been instrumental in moving him forward but the harvest he was now reaping from that move forward was entirely attributable to his own hard work. Shortly after my small influence on his life I not only left the profession, but also left the country.

And over the course of the next quarter of a century I did many things, faced many challenges, took many risks, had many successes and failures, and of course, I learned a lot. About life. About myself. About what was important to me. About what I was willing to do without and what I was not willing to do without. I refer to the inner life, of course.

And I realized that having taken the risk to leave what was a very prestigious position with excellent future prospects, and the guaranteed pension that would allow me to continue to live well, I had moved myself to another level - for me - of satisfaction and growth. But of course, as said, there was risk. And it was a risk that meant losing a measure of security in my life - at least for a time - and not knowing where I would end up. Very often - I have found in my life - it is in the voluntary (and sometimes even in the involuntary) giving up of security that I have reaped the most.

What did I stand to gain, apart from everything I have already mentioned? Really being alive. Really living my passion. Really following through on what had to that point only been mere inklings of where I wanted to go. What a prize!

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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Patience As Your Daily Practice


Some years ago I decided I needed to eliminate complaints from my life. Obviously it was a process to do so and it didn't happen overnight. I found great pride and eventually even joy in this process and realized that part of that pride and joy had to do with the fact that I was "growing" myself, and that at least in this regard, my growing was fully impulsed by myself and my willingness to choose to regard and accept daily situations as they arose as opportunities to practice not complaining.

Since then I have elected to also work on other aspects of myself that I felt needed improving: criticizing, judging, negative thinking, gossiping, needing to be right, and being impatient, to mention only those that pop into my head as I write this.

You probably already guess what I'm going to state next: this work on myself has not only allowed me to feel increased pride and joy in myself, but it has also shown me how we are all a work in progress. As soon as I felt that one of those heavy and very unattractive bags I had been carrying around with me was getting lighter, I found another bag that I could also work on lightening by beginning to discard the black coals that were inside it.

And clearly something else was going on. It's not that I was ridding the sacks entirely of their load, but enough that it became very easy for me to recognize the moment I took one of them up again. This happened because as long as I did not have that particular sack on my shoulders - for example the criticizing one -  I felt lighter. But if at a given moment I began to criticize, I felt the heaviness. That means that I can quickly - and quite easily - choose to not continue with that particular load and let go of it - I.e., not criticize. But that only happens because I've been consciously working on lightening the load of all those sacks, otherwise I wouldn't have had the sufficient ability to be aware enough to notice the sudden increase in weight when I began criticizing again.

This implies that as you (or I) continue to work on those different aspects of yourself, it's not that you will rid yourself of it all - you may even note that some elements continue popping up over many years - but you will improve those bits enough that you become aware almost immediately when they do pop up. This gives you enormous and ever-increasing freedom to see how much you can be in charge of your inner life.

And thus you make of this - ridding yourself of complaining, or criticizing, or being impatient - a daily practice.

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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Why Do You Think It's Love?


It's so easy to mistake our own needs for love when we find someone who somehow fits nicely into the gap those needs have created in us.

If you're not good at loving yourself, and someone comes along who appears to love you, you will generally (gladly and happily) jump to the nearly foregone conclusion that this is the real thing - this is love in capital letters, in other words, it means that you are in love. If you're hesitant in public situations and someone comes along who appears to be strong in those situations, and furthermore appears to loves you, again, you will generally (gladly and happily) jump to the nearly foregone conclusion that this is the real thing - this is love in capital letters, in other words, it means that you are in love.

If your mother or father was slightly cool or rejecting or simply not good at expressing his/her emotions towards you, and if you missed out on being 'loved' in that more overtly affectionate and warm way you saw other children getting hugs and kisses, then if someone comes along who reminds a part of you (subliminally) of one of them in that slightly cool way, but who is also very attractive in many other ways, and who furthermore appears to be interested in you, then you will generally (gladly and happily) jump to the nearly foregone conclusion that this is the real thing - this is love in capital letters, in other words, it means that you are in love.

This is merely a small selection of the many scenarios that can occur when you fall in love, and particularly when you either repeat patterns (via projections) that originated in earlier parts of your life, or when you go looking for that which you have not yet fulfilled in yourself in the other - in the potential partner.

In all of these cases you assume that your feelings indicate that you are in love - and in some ways, indeed you are! But much of it has to do with having fallen in love with yourself (or with the potential of yourself) through the eyes of the other - because you are not yet capable of seeing yourself in that loving way without the other's reflection to show you to yourself, and so this means that rather than truly loving the other, you are, as said, actually loving yourself in that reflected way, and that may often lead to heartache and pain. When the other leaves you or is no longer in your life for any number of reasons, you will no longer have the mirror and hence will find yourself bereft in ways that can cause great emotional pain, and even physical nausea, and one of the most important reasons is that you are no longer able to love yourself in that way that you could while the other person's love for you allowed you to see yourself in ways you are not capable of on your own ... until you learn how to love yourself.

This is an extensive topic and certainly not one that can be covered in a brief post, but one thing is clear: as long as you are not aware of yourself and of your own unfulfilled needs, and as long as you go about your life looking for what is missing in yourself in the other, you will find it difficult to find lasting relationships filled with harmony and love.

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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Your Inner State, Self-Love & Choice


It's simply impossible to feel good all the time. Too many things happen. People are unfriendly or even angry. Long lines at the bank or supermarket. Congestion on the expressway. Unexpected or unplanned snafus at work. Delays in shipping, meaning that a vital piece you need in order to continue has still not arrived. The recession. Wars. Suicide bombers. Greedy banks. Climate change. Politicians. Major embezzlers that get away with a rap on the knuckles. Your favorite sports team loses. You have a bad hair day. Your life partner is looking anxious and requesting 'space'. Your son was not accepted at his first choice of college. Your daughter is dating a loser. You lost a major client. You can't sleep. You have an ominous looking mole on your cheek. There's a leak on the roof. Truly, looking at it like that, it really is simply impossible to feel reasonably good all the time.

False. You read that right. It's false.

In a world where we're socialized and programmed into believing everything is always the fault of another or of something out there that is happening, we are taught from a very early age that the health of our inner state depends on the outer circumstances being tolerably good, and furthermore, that it depends on how much we are able to control those outer circumstances. And that is simply wrong.

One of the most important things we are not taught (along with a toxic lack of creativity in so many of our schools in so many countries), is to love the self. We are not taught this essential element to basic well-being by our parents (mainly because they themselves don't/didn't know how to love the self), by our churches (who tend to preach that loving the self is selfish), by our schools (how could they, if those who teach there also do not know how to love the self), and certainly not by our culture, our society, that is so determined to make us love outer satisfaction and outer filling of our needs, most specifically by consumption.

You see, when you truly know how to love the self in healthy ways, you will always - without fail - be aware of inner and outer circumstances and events, thoughts and feelings that are not energetically aligned with an inner state of well-being. Please note: it's not so much happiness I am referring to, as inner balance, harmony, equanimity. This implies having access - or being able to return to - an inner state that allows you to feel well despite turmoil, problems, stress, and chaos. To do this is simply not possible if you do not care for and love the self. I go to great lengths to explain this in my book The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self because of the fact that most people simply don't know how.

Imagine you had not been taught to read and write when you were a child. Clearly, if you are now an adult, you would need to practice a great deal in order to master such skills. Having access - or being able to return to - that inner state referred to above that allows you to feel well despite turmoil, problems, stress, and chaos is also a question of practice. One of the simplest ways of doing this is by becoming aware of yourself, your thoughts, and your feelings. Becoming aware can be accomplished by numerous methods, but one in particular that is quite simple - assuming it is practiced diligently - is mindfulness. The same practice also - once it is being done on a regular basis - what lies at the bottom of the potential for that continual state of inner well-being. I have written about this before. 

To refresh your memory, have a look at these:

So now you that you are aware of your own decision-making power in the quality of your inner state, and now that you know the absolute importance of loving yourself, you are faced with a continual choice: how - and how quickly - do you choose to bring your inner state back to a place of balance and harmony?  This lies in your hands. This is something you can learn how to do. It is not even particularly hard. It simply requires the intention to want to apply it over and over again, until it becomes so engrained (because of old neural pathways you will have eradicated and new ones you will have forged), that it almost happens as easily as you breathe. Start today. Care enough about yourself to do so.


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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Friday, November 21, 2014

Choosing to Let Love Be Your Guide


This is a hard one. Choosing to let love be your guide sounds so spiritual, so good, so something that the typical reader of my newsletters might actually be interested in doing, and yet, and yet ... it is not easy.

Choosing to let love be your guide means many things, some of which are:
  • letting go of the need to be right (also read my article by the same title: Letting Go of the Need to be Right)
  • letting go of ego (the part of you that insists so much, and so frequently, and so loudly that it knows better than you)
  • understanding that from here on you will think differently about your thoughts, feelings, and actions when something happens that is not to your liking, and therefore leaving your comfort zone
  • allowing compassion for others to fill you
  • remembering your boundaries, but remembering that to uphold them, you need not insist on being right
  • looking at yourself each time you wish to react in unkind or thoughtless ways
  • remembering the importance of what Tolle has called the pain body, i.e., the blind, unaware reaction to anything that evokes a strong feeling response in you, and then resolving to change that response
  • realizing that letting love guide you does not mean only with regards to others, but also, and very particularly, with regards to yourself
Why is is so hard for us to let love guide us? Doesn't much of it have to do with the fact that we need to be right? Or - in other terminology - we need to win? Where does kindness go in those instances ... those many, many instances?

And here's another thing: we don't practice it, so it never becomes a habit.

How can you acquire a habit if you don't practice? Have you ever tried to rid yourself of complaining? Remember the man who started the 21-day-no-complaint challenge? Well I took him up on it, and although I haven't mastered it to perfection, I now rarely find myself complaining, and because I don't, I've become so much more aware of how much time we humans tends to spend on such a useless activity, that only serves to make us feel less good than we could. Then I started working on judgement and criticism. I'm still working. But of course, in the process, I've become so much more aware of the times that I do it. So although it's still a work in progress, and may continue to be so for a long, long time, it's nevertheless continually at the forefront of my conscious mind, and so it is much easier for me to continually remind myself - if I begin to judge or complain - that I actually don't want to go down that road. So I'm practicing. And it's certainly not always easy. My ego likes to remind me, if I walk down the road of judgement, that after all, because I understand so much more about this and that than others, I am allowed to judge... and of course, that is far, far, far from the truth. So I do battle with my ego. I inform it that it is not in charge. I may strengthen my resolve by reading something that keeps me on the right road, or listen to something that does the same job. In other words, I try to support that part of me that wants to be non-judgemental, by making more and more choices that lead me there.

Choosing to let love be your guide is like that too. First you need to be convinced that this is a muscle you wish to develop. Then you keep reminding yourself that this is on your list, and when you find yourself in a position where you can make the choice, you make it. And if you make a bad choice because you forgot your good intentions, you forgive yourself (love yourself), tell yourself that at least you remembered that you forgot to make the right choice, and resolve to do better next time.

For whom are you doing this? Yes, for others, of course, but remember, you are, in fact, also doing it for yourself  because the more you allow love to guide you, the more you will be filled with love, and the more you are filled with love, the closer you are to that being that you came here to become.


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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just Build Again!


I've often heard people say - especially those who have been burned once or twice - that they are unwilling to invest time in building up a new relationship unless they get some guarantees that it will work out.

As member of a book club that meets once a month for dinner and lively conversation, some time ago during one of my turns to host the dinner, the book I chose was Isabel Allende's Inés of My Soul, a novel about the conquest of Chile carried out in part by Pedro de Valdivia and Inés Suarez, a woman of humble birth from Extremadura in Spain. The grueling difficulties these people and all those at their side went through in order to reach their goal: the colonization of a new world - brought those people I mention above, who are unwilling to spend time on building up a new relationship to mind.

Whether we agree with how the colonization process (by any country) took place or not, is not the issue here. We could take the pioneers in North America as another example. Europeans that decided to conquer and settle in North and South America not only had their work cut out for them in founding cities, building homes, planting fields, and raising livestock, but they had their hearts ripped out of them - figuratively speaking - on the frequent occasions that indigenous populations fought back and destroyed all that they had accomplished.

Again, whether we agree with what Europeans did in the Americas is not the point. What is at issue is the fact that these conquerors and colonizers got up the next day to rebuild and replant. What if they had said - as the people unwilling to invest time in new relationships without solid guarantees - that they would only rebuild and replant if they had guarantees that they would not be under attack again?

And here comes what for me is the most poignant and important aspect of it all - by rebuilding and replanting much was learned by those who ventured out to do it. Their courage allowed them to see things they had already done once - or several times before - in a new way. Perhaps they saw how to build better, more solidly, in order that the churches, homes, and stables could not be pulled down or burned so easily. Perhaps they learned how to better protect their livestock, or perhaps they learned how to create better understanding and cooperation with the indigenous populations in order that there be greater peace.

By extension, we could apply the same principle to our relationships: if we are unwilling to invest time and valor in a new one - especially if we have been burned in the past. If we don't, how will we ever have the opportunity to learn what it means to have a better relationship? Can we not view the process as one of learning instead of assuming it has to be one of being happy and fulfilled? Being that - happy and fulfilled - in your relationships is obviously a goal and hopefully you will achieve it, but isn't the learning process just as important? It was Mother Teresa who said: What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

Image: Restored: (from left) Frauenkirche in 1952 in Dresden, Germany (photograph: SLUB Dresden/AFP/Getty), the restored interior (photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty) and the view from outside as Dresdeners packed the square for the rededication on Oct. 30, 2005 (photograph: Pool/Getty)

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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Monday, November 17, 2014

Discovering Your Fate


Have you ever noticed your relationship patterns? Noticed how you tend to repeat something you already experienced? Or have you had similar supervisors or bosses in different jobs - in other words, a similar kind of situation arose because of some type of issue with each boss? Or perhaps you tend to be very impatient and because of your impatience you tend not to double check certain things you do and hence have landed in a similar kind of mess on various occasions.

Some might call these examples fate. Or bad luck. But our friend C.G. Jung would have said: Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. So that tells you (if you care to really understand it), that as long as you don't connect with the part of yourself that is in the shadow, i.e., the part that isn't easily visible for you to see, and only becomes visible by virtue of the things that happen to you (such as some of the examples noted above), then those very same things will continue to occur again and again, and you may well call it fate or bad luck. 


Again, Jung has something interesting to add: My own understanding is the sole treasure I possess, and the greatest. Though infinitely small and fragile in comparison with the powers of darkness, it is still a light, my only light. So what does it mean that we need to connect with the part of the self that only shows up via that which happens to you? It means that one of the things you can do, is to examine your life on the basis of those events that have occurred - in some fashion - more than once. This gives you a starting point. Jung says: Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.

Becoming conscious - awakening - is ultimately one of the most enriching and most freeing things you can do for yourself and by so doing you may find that your fate is no longer your fate because you will have a much greater hand in shaping it.


Image: The Three Fates from Greek Mythology


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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Choosing to See Beauty


The image on this post is undeniably beautiful. It is of Nerja, on Spain's southeastern coast, with the Sierra Nevada (the mountains around Granada) in the background. So if you read the title of this post, you might be thinking that it's easy for me - who lives in Spain, which is such an incredibly stunning country (for the senses) - to say that you could or should choose to see beauty.

Nevertheless, I've found beauty on a dreary, rain-soaked day in the middle of the gray downtown of a medium-sized city, just as a few clouds allowed a small ray of sunshine to light up one small triangle on the wall of a building I happened to be looking at. I've found beauty sitting in my car during a traffic jam along a road construction area in the middle of horrendous August heat as I happened to look out the window to the rubbish occasioned by the construction, surrounded by dust and dirt, and wouldn't you know it, a wondrous purple flower had grown there ... just to delight my senses ... and to correct my momentarily failing belief in being able to find beauty everywhere.

Sometimes the beauty is auditory, if you happen to hear birds, perhaps the wind, or even an insect hustling to get home. Sometimes it comes through your sense of touch, as you stoop to pet the soft fur of a cat that has decided to wind itself around your legs on the middle of a city sidewalk. Sometimes beauty lies in thick, ominous storm clouds, and sometimes it lies in an inky black sky. And sometimes you are only able to find beauty if you remember to be present.

The point really is that it's not so much about what is out there, but about what you choose. Do you choose to see beauty, or do you choose to tell yourself that there is none? Either of these choices will lead you down a road, but I promise you, those are two very different roads that can make very different things of your life. Choose well. Choose for your inner well-being. Choose because you care for yourself.

Image: Nerja, Spain

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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Tao of Impatience


Waiting while you're stuck in traffic. Waiting for the starting pistol to go off. Waiting for the slow person in front of you at the register to painstakingly count out his change. Waiting for a slow speaker to speak his piece. Waiting for a plant to bloom. Waiting for the moon to rise. Waiting, Waiting Waiting.

Impatience can easily erode your present-moment well-being. It can rob you of minutes and hours and days and weeks of inner peace, unless you decide to make a tao of it in the sense that a tao is a path for learning.

If you were to decide to choose that each time you feel impatient - even just the slightest bit - that you then use that moment to practice patience - or - put another way, to practice feeling good despite whatever it is that is causing you to be impatient, then you will soon find that all that used to make you impatient, is now in fact, the cause of an inner sensation of well-being.

Lest you think I've truly lost it today, let me remind you that how you feel is a choice you make at every moment in time, independent of outer circumstances. Happiness is a choice. Inner well-being is a choice. Inner peace is a choice. And so it stands to reason, that if you have chosen any (or all) of these modalities, then all which used to cause you to be impatient, either no longer has any power over you to make you feel so, or has become immaterial, because you simply no longer recognize the feeling you once knew as impatience. Your tao has had a result that has improved the quality of your life.

Anything we run across in life; anybody we run across in life, are all a possible tao to accept and look in the eye - with interest; with gratitude; and with the knowledge that it can serve a greater purpose for us. We can learn to grow from all situations and people in our lives. It's a choice. And it's yours to make.

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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Reacting in Beneficial Ways


Scenario 1: Much drama. John has just exchanged Mary for a younger model. (Or Natalie has just exchanged Michael for a more socially and professionally powerful model). Mary is - obviously - in pain. But in her pain, she decides to broadcast the situation to her friends and family. The story is repeated countless times, and a few select of these friends and family are treated to daily up-dates of the latest dramatic developments. Mary continues to feel pain - in part because she continues to repeat the story  or parts of the story (and thus relives it again and again) to many others, but she also feels justified in raging about John, simply because it is true that he has caused this pain. At least that is one way of looking at it. Many of those that she speaks to about this, agree with her. (Note that sharing a painful story with one or two very close and trusted others is a different scenario than the one I have just painted).

Scenario 2: Much drama. John has just exchanged Mary for a younger model. (Or Natalie has just exchanged Michael for a more socially and professionally powerful model). As she explores her pain gingerly, much like we might explore a painful molar with our tongue, Mary begins a soothing self-dialogue. The purpose of her dialogue is to not only soothe and calm herself (and certainly not to pretend that what happened didn't just happen), but to bring herself to a place of inner equilibrium or balance. She know that if she achieves that, she will be able to see what just happened with John with very different eyes, than if she remains in the initial place of pain his announcement and imminent departure from their home took her to. She also knows that by so doing she is strengthening the neural pathways in her pre-frontal cortex (that she has begun working on in the past with lesser issues), that connect to the ease with which she can regain a state of inner well-being, no matter what the circumstances. Mary knows that how poorly or how well she manages to get through this place of great pain depend much more on her than on how badly she has been treated.

The second version of Mary has her life in her hands in ways that the first Mary can't even begin to dream about. The second Mary has a high probability of living a good life, simply because she has chosen to focus on her well-being in all ways by assuming responsibility for it at all times. She has chosen one of the roads that self-love opens up to us: the road of caring for the self in healthy ways that lead to inner peace, harmony and eventually joy. She know that what others do to us is truly only interesting and important depending on how we react to their words or acts.

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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Are You Too Distant or Too Intimate?



I remember when I was a young teen in Canada, a group of friends and I decided to play a game of Truth where if you lost, or if it was your turn, you had to tell the others some truth about yourself that you would normally not tell. We all had to be 'it' and tell our truth, but one of the girls present told something so private and of such intimacy that all of us were - much more than shocked - embarrassed to be hearing it. It was one of those things that you can tell a mother, or a very close friend, but not a group of people (especially young teens) playing a game.

In that same game, I remember one of the boys absolutely refusing (in my mind) to participate, because when he was 'it', he told us something inane, something so obviously not a truth about himself that he would normally not share, that I knew he was avoiding it. I obviously didn't know if he was avoiding it simply because he was too embarrassed to share, or if because he was too closed.

But there was no doubt in my mind that the girl was too open. Too intimate. Even back then I recognized it.

What is being too intimate and open?
  • telling someone you've just met (a new colleague at work, a friend of a friend to whom you've just been introduced, your neighbour's sister, etc.) about details of your life that would normally only be told to people you are very close to
  • ditto but with the person you are talking to being someone you have just begun dating
  • sharing intimate information about you or your life openly at a party or other social event where everyone present has obviously been invited by the host or hostess, giving them a sort of trustworthiness credential, but you don't actually know them all
  • ditto on social media
What does it mean if you are too intimate or open? Among other things, it connects to having poor boundaries because in the same way someone with poor boundaries allows another to behave in unacceptable ways, so does the person with poor boundaries let out too much intimacy unacceptably (towards themseves) with people that are not in some kind of inner circle. And of course I don't mean this in a social way, this is not a social rule I'm describing here, but a pattern of behavior that may allow you to understand yourself better.

Why entrust others you don't really know with information about yourself that is so personal? Why open yourself up to that degree of scrutiny by individuals who don't have the whole picture, the way the members of your close circle do? In some fashion it is connected to a need for intimacy that is not being accomplished on other levels and therefore is sought artifically - or in somewhat infantile fashion (only because this is something that children often do with people they do not know well) - this way. The need for intimacy, which is not being addressed in a mature manner, is such a need because the person described has some kind of difficulty with emotional intimacy. This almost always has its roots in early childhood, and while it need not be something horrific, nor does it need to be remembered in order to resolve it, what it means is that your emotional reaction to intimacy is somehow that of a child because the person got stuck back there on that level.

And what does it mean when you are too closed? When you rarely share anything about yourself at all, in this case, even with people you know well? Again, among other things, it is connected to a fear of intimacy, a fear of opening up to potential vulnerability that intimacy brings with it, and a potential fear of rejection. Being too closed, by the way, is not necessarily related to being emotionally inaccessible because the latter may be - under certain circumstances - very intimate, but simply does not engage, whereas the former, the person who is not open, not only does not engage, but also does not share intimacy about him or herself.

So we could say that the person who is too closed shares a difficulty with emotions with the person who is too intimate too soon. Both struggle with emotional expression, both do it in ways that are detrimental to their psycho-emotional health and well-being.

If you have recognized yourself in either of these brief descriptions, or conversely, if you have recognized your partner, and in order to gain a greater understanding of the human psyche, you may wish to have a closer look at my books, in particular "Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin (see below).

Photo: Monastery of Montserrat near Barcelona, Spain

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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Big Picture Vs Small Picture


As you stand back to look at a situation from the distance, or in retrospective, using time as your lens, you often see what you are unable to see if you are sitting in the middle of it all. Nothing new there. But what you do with this knowledge that - as said - is not new, may make all the difference in the quality of your life.

Imagine a quarrel. With a friend, a family member, a colleague, etc. The quarrel involves differences of opinion about something. That means there are two elements at the very least: first the different opinions (I am right - you are wrong, which tends to be an ego issue), and second, whatever the quarrel is about (religion, politics, money, love, honor, respect, etc.). As long as you stand very close to these two elements of the quarrel, you see only that, and therefore you are blinded to further ramifications. What's more, you just might be peripherally aware of them, but because you are standing right in the middle of everything, you don't really care. Basically you want to push your agenda. Period. There is much self-righteousness in that. And a lot of it is ego.

If, however, you stand further away, you see a much bigger picture. You see the potential consequences of pushing your agenda (creating an insurmountable distance between you and the other person; losing a friend or other loved one; even simply knowing that the range of subjects you will be able to choose from for your conversations with this individual is becoming more and more narrow, in order to avoid the hot spots in the future, etc.).

Of course it is true that some of this may involve boundary issues, and it is very clear that these must be respected and upheld. But if both sides were to be open to recognizing the truth of what this post contains, this could be discussed in ways that would eventually lead to harmony and mutual respect.

Differences of opinion do not signify that people can't get along well. They simply need to respect those different opinions. But when other factors enter the picture, such as boundaries that have been trespassed, or a lack of respect and mutual consideration, then - long before the respect and mutual consideration are addressed - and if the big picture is being observed, both parties would ideally first ask themselves: what is my ultimate goal? Do I want to show that I am right, or do I wish to continue in this friendship or relationship?

When questions of that nature form part of the big picture, harmony can be sought, and once re-established, all the other issues can be examined, but from another position that does not involve the two individual egos. Is being right more important than re-establishing peace? And does this not apply to our little interpersonal relationships as well as to all countries in our global community?

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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Adversity: How You Think About It Can Make or Break You


Lives without adversity may exist in fairy tales, but as a matter of fact, it is precisely also in myth and fairy tales where as children we begin to 'deal' with adversity in the guise of the wicked witch, the evil stepmother, the cruel king, the three-eyed cyclopean monster, the fire-breathing dragon, to name just a few of those symbols of adversity that populated our imagination in childhood. Bruno Bettelheim, in his (very Freudian) The Uses of Enchantment, refers us to this 'learning' aspect of fairy tales, and Joseph Campbell, in many of his works, but perhaps more than others, in his The Hero With a Thousand Faces and in the DVD The Hero's Journey, gives voice to the fact that myth and fairy tale are merely analogies for our own heroic journeys throughout our life trajectories.

So let me ask: how do you think about adversity? Is it something to be 'gotten through' and 'overcome'? Is it something from which you have to distract yourself? Is it automatically something that will make you suffer?

Or is it a magnificent learning experience where you are given the opportunity (if you so choose) to be the hero of your own life? You see, the disparity in those two points of view, makes all the difference in how greatly you will suffer during the process. Adversity with a purpose that leads to understanding and growth, and to greater dimensions of the self as a well-rounded human being, and that further leads you to greater connection with yourself, and to caring more for yourself as you go through the adversity, is adversity well-used. The other kind is merely torture of varying degrees. You choose.

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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 new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out 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


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 Rewiring the Soul so named for my first book. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

Find more free articles from my monthly newsletters as well as more information about my work at Advanced Personal Therapy