WELCOME TO THIS BLOG


"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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Pages of Our Lives


When I was five my family moved to Canada. I quickly made friends with another little girl in the neighbourhood, and my mother always said I learned how to speak English in three weeks. Three weeks or not, that fall I attended first grade and learned how to read. What a world opened up to me. And the day I realized that I could apply the same rules that formed part of reading in English to my German books of fairy tales, I was in heaven.

About three years later when I was eight, I realized that books not only offered delightful hours of entertainment - often lying in the grass under an apple tree in those long summer holidays - but also that they offered something that made me feel better about things. My short life had already offered up on that bountiful tray of circumstances and events from which so many of us receive gifts, much sadness, pain, and difficulty. And so I realized, as I started reading certain books, that some of them made a difference in the way I felt.

A few years later I recognized the kind of phrases in certain books that did that for me, and although they did not always come from non-fiction books, they did in their majority, and I began copying them into a notebook. There began my collection of quotations - now numbering well over 10,000 - some of them filling an entire page, some only one sentence.

And as I look around the bookcases in the rooms of my home that house about 4,000 volumes, I can see this one (which I may not have opened in several decades), and yet I know what it was in that book that set me afire, or that one, which is still quite new, and which contains another series of gems that so touched inner spaces of my being. As a child and teen, and also later, books sustained me in ways that for someone else a beloved grandparent, or aunt, or uncle might have done, but back in the dark ages of no whatsapp, no texting, no Skype or Facetime, what kept me going were my friends the books.

The pages of our lives are sometimes literally pages in beloved books that have the capacity to make us believe we can be strong enough to go on without giving up.

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


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

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.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

You Stretched, Your Partner Hasn't: Now What?


We don't all grow (emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually) with the same rhythm, or at the same time. Even when you were in pre-school and those early grades that followed, some of the other kids learned to form beautifully shaped letters on their paper, while you sweated with your pencil, and left dark streaks in your notebook from your damp hands, and yet you understood about three plus three equaling six long before they did.

So when you're at another stage in your life and the learning and growing and stretching has to do with very different things, it makes sense that the same principle applies. Perhaps you've become emotionally independent (meaning, among other things, not that you don't want other people in your life, but that you have learned to love yourself, to take good care of yourself, and hence you've arrived at a place of well-being inside of you that is OK, whether you are in a relationship or not, and when you are in one, your inner well-being does not increase or decrease depending on the moods of your partner, or depending on how much attention and time you are getting from your partner).

Perhaps you've taken on responsibility for yourself (which closely ties in with the previous point), where you know that whatever happens in your life, you choose to be responsible for how you feel about it, how you think about it, what you say, in a word: you choose to be in charge of all your reactions to your inner and outer circumstances.

So the above two examples take me to the core idea of this post. Assuming you've stretched yourself in one (or both) of the above directions (or perhaps also others along similar lines), because you wanted to. Or because you became aware of aspects of yourself that were holding you back personally, professionally, socially, academically, etc., and so you decided some changes were needed. Or perhaps you met someone who was already at the place you are at now, and you wanted to get there as well. So you read some books, attended some seminars or retreats, or you had some therapy (or coaching), and now you are at this new place in your life where you have stretched far beyond the place you were at before.

But your partner has not stretched. So now what?

This is a tricky situation which could be the beginning of a whole new level of partnership, where you relate to each other in ways you could not even have dreamed possible before - or - it could be the slow demise of your relationship.

Can you influence how it turns out? Yes and no. If your partner views the changes in you as positive, perhaps even wishes to emulate some (or all) of them, then things are looking quite good. But if your partner sees your stretching, your changing, your growth beyond your previous thresholds as threatening, and wants you to return to the status quo of whatever - however - you were when you met, then things are looking less good. Much of it will depend on the level of communication you can now maintain about all that has changed in you, and how much of it you are able to share in ways that come across, not as pretentious, or preaching, or wanting to change your partner, but as joy and amazement at the new world you now inhabit. Much will also depend on your compassion for the fact that your partner simply didn't get on that particular bandwagon at the same time as you did, and so may need some patience from you, some time to readjust, and perhaps then feel the desire to also stretch. Perhaps the best advice for a situation of this nature is for you to observe, make no judgements, wait, and practice kindness and compassion. You will know when continuing to wait is fruitless, but if your waiting brings about the desired results, then your reward will be enormous.

Image: Valley of Flowers, West Himalayas, India

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


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

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.

Friday, August 22, 2014

10 Keys For a Good Life


It's always encouraging to see that some things don't really ever change. Some truths have been truths for millennia. Reading an article about dharma this morning, I decided to refresh my memory about what its basic tenets are.

We could describe dharma (which forms an integral part of Hindu & Buddhist thought) as doing that which you are meant to do. Another way to describe it, in the words of David Simon, is: We know we are in dharma when we cannot think of anything else we would rather be doing with our life.

These are its tenets:
  1. Patience
  2. Forgiveness
  3. Self control
  4. Honesty
  5. Sanctity
  6. Control of senses
  7. Reason
  8. Knowledge or learning
  9. Truthfulness
  10. Absence of anger
It is not only a purely spiritual concept whose purpose is to unite the soul with the supreme reality, but also a more mundane concept that encourages a code of conduct which aims at the achievement of worldly joys and supreme happiness. Could you ask for more?

Is this not a philosophy on which to build your life - no matter what your spiritual inclination? Are these ten tenets not pathways, a tao, of sorts, where each leads - ultimately - to ever-growing and greater inner peace and well-being? Imagine working on any for a given month, starting today. And then on one of the others, while still incorporating your practice of whichever one you had already chosen to work on, and so on, such that in the space of a calendar year, you would have taken on the challenge of these tenets and made them an integral part of your life. Does that mean you would have conquered them? No. But they would form an essential part of the tapestry of your daily practice. They would be in your awareness at all times. Going to the gym every day is healthy and recommendable, practicing the guitar every day - should you wish to play it more competently is also wonderful and offers the possibility of magnificent results on many levels. So do these tenets, with perhaps one difference: the potential results they offer are farther reaching than perhaps anything else you can do for yourself, your community, and the world. Begin these changes in you and you begin to also change the world.

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


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

In the Heat of the Argument


Arguments come about - evidently - because you disagree with another person or several persons or many others. You want to demonstrate that you are right. Needing to be right is the ego trying to make you lose sight of peace, love and truth. Giving Up the Need to Be Right is an entire article about this subject. 

But in today's post, I simply want to prevail on you to keep your eyes on truth. In a marriage or love relationship - or any kind of relationship at all - if you are not aware of yourself as the heat of an argument escalates, or simply as opposing points of view threaten to destroy your inner equanimity, it will be impossible to keep your eyes on anything other than your need to be right. Needing to be right is all you focus on - if you are not remaining aware and conscious. This means - simply put - that your chances for resolving in a spirit of peace, love, and truth are low, as opposed to the very high chances you have to achieve that if you remain aware.

Publius Syrius very rightly said: In a heated argument we are apt to lose sight of the truth, but if he had added that by remaining aware this has excellent chances of not occurring, he would have been even more correct.

I choose to assume that you are very interested in maintaining a high level of peace, love and truth in your relationships. In that case, how much practice are you putting into remaining aware - and mindful - at all times?

Related Posts:
Image: Mt. Hood, Washington, by Scott Smorra

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


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

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.

Monday, August 18, 2014

What Do You Think Others Think of You?


Sometimes people come to see me and tell me very sad stories of strife in their family. And the blame for the strife often is rooted in what one person thinks the others think of him or her. This is a delicate situation for several reasons:
  • The one who thinks others think certain negative things about him/her and is letting this upset him, is generally a person who has not yet become aware of him or herself because if they were, they would understand and go about this process very differently, in a much healthier way, implying they had already learned to be aware of the self, love and take very good care of the self, and take on full responsibility for the self. Therefore, to begin with, something like 'so-and-so thinks such-and-such about me', would - if it happened at all - simply pass by like a cloud that you observe in the sky. 
  • So - back to the person who thinks this: it may be a projection of a part of themselves, what Jung would have called the shadow. Perhaps there is an element of a part of themselves they do not yet see (i.e., it's the shadow and hence they are blind to it), in this thing they say that others are thinking about them.
  • Or it may also be based on an inner fear of actually being whatever it is that this person thinks others are thinking about him/her, due to low self-esteem, self-confidence, self-love, self-approbation, etc.
  • Due to all of the above, and especially if you are in a close relationship with such a person, it becomes very, very difficult to bring up any of these points, because they tend to create an immediate defensive - and even offensive - response, as opposed to shedding light on the issue for the person.
So what can be done? If you love or care for this person, you might gently begin to teach them about self-love, and how self-love impinges positively on all those parts of this person that would cause him/her to be so affected by what they think others think of him/her; i.e., self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth. self-respect, self-acceptance, self-approval, etc. (My book The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self is precisely about this subject).

I'd also try to help this person understand that their thoughts - that are causing them such inner turmoil - are something that they could learn to be in charge of, as opposed to being driven hither and thither by said thoughts, creating an endless array of negative feelings, which in turn lead to a vicious circle of more negative thoughts and more negative feelings. That would imply learning how to become fully aware and mindful, and to accept self-responsibility, not only for all his/her thoughts, but also for all their feelings, words, acts, and all their reactions in the face of any kind of circumstance. (My book Rewiring the Soul is precisely about this subject).

Finally, some other things you can do for this person are to show them kindness, compassion, understanding, and love. Oh. And if it is you that they think is thinking these things about him/her, you can also forgive. Doing this begins to show them what is possible.

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


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

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.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Choosing Wellness


Every thought you have, every conversation you maintain, every book you read, every film or clip you see, every cocktail, BBQ, or dinner party you attend, every emotion that flits through - or remains in - your body, mind, and soul, all have an effect on your wellness. Every reaction you choose to have to all and everything that occurs in your life from the tiniest to the most gigantic events, all have an effect on your wellness. Every food you eat - and the company in which you eat it (or what you do while you eat, should you be eating alone), as well as the conversation and emotions that accompany this eating - every movement you make with your physical body - including the thoughts you entertain while making those movements, whether at the gym, on a bicycle path, or swimming in a lake, as well as the emotions that surge through you as you make these movements - all have an effect on your wellness.

So choosing wellness means choosing how all of the above (and so much more) forms part of your life in such a way that it leads you closer to wellness than not. And that essentially signifies that you choose to become aware of all of your choices all day long, and you choose to do so every day.

Easier said than done.

But let me give you some encouragement. All you really need to do is start. Perhaps today you'll only remember to make good food choices. And perhaps tomorrow you'll forget about that because it's your best friend's birthday and the food at the party is not necessarily the most healthy, but you're enjoying yourself so much that you simply forget - but - you do remember to move gently away with a murmured excuse from the person who is venting most negatively about something going on in their life, or from the person who is dishing on someone else; gossiping, criticizing, judging. And perhaps the day after that, you remember about the food choices again, forget about not choosing to have negative people in your life, but you remember to make a better choice of what you view on television. Then you forget about gratitude but remember about being kind, or on another day you forget about being kind or compassionate (or find you simply cannot be that due to the situation in question, and so make a mental note that this requires further honing and polishing), but are able to remember not to judge. And so it goes.

This becoming aware process, that so much influences the state of your wellness on all levels, doesn't just come about overnight. It has to be practiced, and it has to be internalized. At some point much of it becomes second nature, and you make the higher vibrational choices without too much need for contemplation. And of course at that point - while not necessarily in a perfect place - the state of your wellness will have evolved greatly. One of the things that happens when this occurs, is that you become accustomed to this better state of greater wellness, or greater inner energetic frequency, and so you notice very quickly when it is off, just as I might notice when an air mattress no longer has enough buoyancy and requires a boost from the pump. So then, of course, you will in all likelihood - assuming you wish to return to that higher state of wellness - immediately undertake something to bring the state of your wellness back to a good place.

It's been said many times, and I've certainly repeated it often here on my blogs and in my books: when you start doing some conscious work on one part of your being, other parts generally quickly follow suit, and improve as well. The parts influence the whole and the whole influences the parts. Choose wellness.

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


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

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.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

When It's Just Too Much


I'm thinking of Robin Williams today - and so many others in the past who also seemingly felt it was too much, too hard, too terrible to go on. While I have no answers - and certainly don't presume to know what happened in this case of an actor I have admired enormously over the decades - nevertheless I do have some thoughts for all of us when the going gets rough. For some that is a lifetime place they are very familiar with, for others it's just some rough patches (even very bad, very rough patches) that come and go. Depression, demons, fear, loathing, craving, need, emptiness, and pain are just some of the descriptors for those rough patches.

But perhaps there are some lessons here for all of us:
  • the inner life needs to be in a place of high priority
  • self-love is one of the major components of this inner life, and self-love can be mindfully practiced every day by showing yourself that you take good care of yourself (see Loving Yourself: A Roadmap)
  • remaining conscious throughout your waking hours (being 'aware') and being 'present' in as much as possible in our daily activities is something else that needs to be in a place of high priority. This allows you to deal with errant, deceptive, and down-spiraling thoughts that lead to even lower emotions. (see Consciousness is a Full-time Job)
With just these three pillars in place, much can be achieved. 

And of course, without a willingness to do so, none of the above can happen.

May we all use the sadness this day has evoked to help guide our own lives to a better, more loving (including self-loving), and peaceful place. May this gifted man's passing not be in vain, but a clarion call to us to give at least as much importance to that which will sustain us, as opposed to all that which does not. May we recognize that we are magnificent creatures with great abilities to nurture our inner world. May we all find inner peace and may we all be blessed.

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


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

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.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Importance of Being You


Funny question. How important is it to be you?

Being you is a frightening concept to many people. They may define themselves by their professional situation, their academic prestige, their social position or family background, their finances and material well-being, their political party or religious convictions, they may define themselves by the people they know, the places they frequent, they may even define themselves by their looks and their physical attributes.

While all of the above is in fact, part of who we are, it does not necessarily define us. If a man is given professional recognition as a lawyer and is part of a conservative party due to his family's leaning over generations, and it is expected that he follow that political line, we might say that he is living an authentic life if we don't scratch beneath the surface. What if this man is gay? How much of his mode of living can be true to himself if he needs to hide or is afraid to show that most important aspect of his being? Or what if he is a closet liberal, politically speaking? What if he is a lawyer because it was expected, or because it would give him a good income, but at heart he wanted to write or paint? Or be a travel journalist?

You clearly see what I am driving at. Not being you implies potential tragedy. Not being you implies a life half lived. Not being you may erode your health...physiological, psychological or spiritual.
There is another important facet to not being you. Many of us simply don't know who we are. Not necessarily our fault, you know. Schools teach us so much: reading, writing, mathematics, history, geography, etc., but when are we ever taught about ourselves, and how important it is to get to know ourselves...this person with whom we will live all our lives? When are we shown the importance of taking the journey within?

This is a topic I would like to explore at greater length - perhaps in one of my newsletter articles, because we tend to gloss over it - not because we are necessarily shallow materialists, but because it is not emphasized to the degree that it could be done, if we as a society placed as much importance on the inner quest as on the outer search for excellence.

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

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

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.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Do You Manage Your Emotions or Do Your Emotions Manage You?


Managing your emotions is something many people have difficulty learning how to do, other than sternly or stoically suppressing them, which is clearly not a great solution, because as you probably know, what you suppress comes out to haunt you in another, totally unexpected place. Therefore we might say that for a great number of people, emotions manage them, as opposed to the alternative where they are the ones who manage the emotions.

When your emotions manage you, you are at their mercy - never a particularly brilliant state of affairs. Your inner state shifts back and forth like a leaf moves in the wind, with little - if any - will of its own.

So clearly, it behooves you to learn how to manage your emotions. In order to do this, it is a good idea to begin with a practice of mindfulness that will show you the volatility and 'willy-nilly-ness' of your thoughts that arise unbidden in your mind. Your thoughts about something bring about most of your emotions. 
  • upon receiving a diagnosis of cancer, your thoughts may turn to the difficulty and problems inherent in chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation therapy, as well as the potential of dying. Those thoughts are what bring about the emotion of fear.
  • upon receiving poor examination results, your thoughts may turn to the fact that you might not get your degree, or pass the bar exam, etc. Those thoughts are what bring about emotions.
  • upon hearing a song on the radio that reminds you of an ill-fated love affair, your thoughts turn nostalgic and you remember events that you wish still formed part of your life. Those thoughts are what bring about the emotion of pain.
Learning to manage your thoughts come before learning how to manage your emotions, and it requires being present in order to be aware of what is going on in your mind and in order to be able to choose those thoughts in ways that are beneficial to you. Hence mindfulness.

Click on the labels under this post for other posts about this. 

Image: Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

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.