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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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Love: No Matter What


It's so easy to love those close to us, the ones that treat us well, and the ones who cause us no suffering. The matter begins to get complicated when you try to love those who treat you badly, who denigrate you, who let you know in some fashion that they don't care for you, and who make you suffer, not to mention all those who are barely on your radar, but they are there. These are the people you pass on the street, the beggar, the homeless person, the dirty person, the one who sing-songs to him or herself while walking down the street, the bad drivers, the inconsiderate drivers and parkers, the customer service agent at your cable company, the neighbor on the corner who always leaves out his garbage cans for two days after the trucks passed by and makes your street look messy, the other neighbor across the hall whom you've never even properly met, and who plays such awful music so loudly every Saturday and Sunday morning when you're trying to sleep in late, and a long list of etceteras.

How on earth can you love all of these people? 

Let's assume you are interested in spiritual growth. Let's further assume you want to evolve as much as you possibly can. You already participate in many activities that move you in that direction. Perhaps you are a member of some kind of spiritual community that gathers at regular intervals to discuss and meditate. Perhaps you practice mindfulness when you are on your own. Perhaps you spend time reading books on these subjects, listening to seminars, viewing videos, and attending retreats or conferences geared in this direction. So we could truly come to the conclusion that you are doing a great deal with the best of intentions to move your growth in the right direction. But maybe, just maybe, you aren't actually working on the matter of loving everyone.

It's actually a huge matter in your life - my life - everyone's life. It's not a matter that should be shelved for a better day. It's not a matter to be ignored just because - at least initially - it doesn't give you (me) the uplifting vibe that you get by sitting in communion with your fellow seekers. Being conscious about loving all those people described in the first paragraph above, and then setting it into practice, even when your initial reaction is impatience, anger, disgust - that is the hard part. And that is also the part that will never come into being if you don't practice all the time.

So how do you get there? I'm not anywhere near there myself, so all I can tell you is how I go about attempting to strengthen this muscle inside of me. I intend it. So when that idiot does something that almost creates an accident, or when that inconsiderate person left his/her car double-parked locking mine into place and is nowhere to be found, or when that dirty person asks me for money, or when the rude customer service agent from the electricity company interrupts me for the third time, or when a member of my family hurts me, ignores me, or a friend lets me down, and so on, I breathe in, mentally offer a 'bless you', and breathe out, telling myself that while I am not yet quite sure how to love this person, or how to love this person - that I already love due to our relationship - but how to love this person under these specific circumstances, I intend it, and while I am intending it, I will try to send them love - perhaps only love from my rational mind, and not yet my heart, but if I repeat this process day after day, with all the wonderful challenges life offers me in order to be able to firm up that love muscle, I will get there.


Because here's the thing: if you don't do this, if you don't consciously attempt it at each and every turn of the road, every single day, you will never be able to get very far on that road to spiritual enlightenment: to higher consciousness. It's as though - by not doing this, no matter how many other spiritually-connected things you do, or how pious you are, and no matter how much you meditate - you are forever remaining at some kind of kindergarten level in the spiritual arena. Begin by intending and you will get there. Loving all others - no matter what - is, perhaps, our ultimate challenge.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now also 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 (English)

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming spring 2015)

 

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

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


Meine Bücher auf Deutsch Frühjahr 2015 / Mis libros en español primavera 2015

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros en Amazon en español en todo el mundo a partir de la primavera de 2015.



Monday, May 25, 2015

Deciding to Do Exceptional Work


You probably think the title of this post sounds like your mother ... maybe that's true. But here's the point: if you consistently decided to do exceptional work, no matter what you are doing, what difference would it make to your life?

Washing dishes? Do it in an exceptional way ... doesn't take longer, but looks better and above all, makes you feel better about yourself.

Writing an essay or a thesis? Do it in an exceptional way ... this one may take longer, but not only will you feel better about yourself, you might get a much better grade, or even find that the exceptional paper has moved you from one square on the chessboard to a much more advantageous one.

Taking a walk with your 6-year-old? Do it in an exceptional way ... this one may or may not take longer, but here again you will not only feel better about yourself, but you are creating memories for that child of yours that may never fade through all the years of his/her life, memories that may be recounted to your future grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Just three little examples. Where has each of them taken you, as opposed to where you would have gone had you not done the activity in an exceptional way? It has taken you into the present moment because you have been paying acute attention to all that you were doing during the undertaking of said activity. That is precisely one of the biggest ways of deciding to do something in an exceptional way. BEING PRESENT. You can give your 'all' when you are being present. You certainly can not do that when you are not totally present, and hence it is almost impossible to do something in an exceptional way when you are not present.

It was Robin Sharma who wrote: You can do exceptional work or you can make excuses. but you can't do both.

Image: Desert stone wall sculpture "Sweet Sonora Night" by Paddi Moyer

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now also 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 (English)

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming spring 2015)

 

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

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


Meine Bücher auf Deutsch Frühjahr 2015 / Mis libros en español primavera 2015

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros en Amazon en español en todo el mundo a partir de la primavera de 2015.



Monday, May 11, 2015

Finding Hope Despite Despair


There is much to be said about how you use choice in your life. Most particularly, the way you choose to react and behave, and where you choose to find hope in the midst of despair, may well make the difference between a life of frequent pain and one of inner well-being and harmony despite outer events.

Choice comes into it in many ways, but one of the most immediate and important, is choosing to remain aware. You can't possibly make choices that are good for you if you are not aware of the fact - in a situation of despair, pain, or fear - that your thoughts are running away on you; indeed, that it is precisely your thoughts that are causing much of the turmoil that is going on inside of you.

Next on the list of how choice comes into it is choosing to actively do something about those thoughts that are running away on you. By being aware of them you can do this (begin to practice doing this), and most particularly, you can choose to first find a place of inner calm and equanimity before you consider what might need to be done out there, on other levels, in order to deal with the event.

So you choose to become aware in general in your life at all possible times, and you choose to intend to be in charge of your thoughts when they race towards places in your mind that do you no good, and you choose to focus elsewhere in order to achieve that inner harmony and equanimity. Note that this is not a question of running away from a problem, or pretending it doesn't exist, but rather, a question of deciding you will first take charge of yourself, your inner state of being by taking charge of your thoughts. In order to do so, you will help yourself greatly by choosing where to focus. The more you focus on the event and the emotions it has created, the more you increase the weight of the thoughts that do you no good. And so you choose to focus elsewhere. You can focus on beauty, as I so often recommend here.

Focusing on beauty in nature is a simple method that allows you to be present. Being present (or mindful) allows you to leave that dark space in the past or future where your thoughts had taken you - the thoughts that fill you with trepidation, pain, worry, stress, or fear. Being present allows you to access inner calm. And being in a space of inner calm, allows you to choose your thoughts. Choosing your thoughts implies you can choose hope (and if you don't believe me, or if you think your particular situation is so much worse than anything I could imagine and hence does not apply to this post, take a look at the lives of Viktor Frankl, Nelson Mandela, or Christopher Reeve, and the books they wrote from their deepest despair. They chose to choose hope).

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now also 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 (English)

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming spring 2015)

 

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

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


Meine Bücher auf Deutsch Frühjahr 2015 / Mis libros en español primavera 2015

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros en Amazon en español en todo el mundo a partir de la primavera de 2015.



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Self-Soothing


You've seen small children holding their blanket, or a favorite teddy bear, or perhaps even sucking on a thumb. We all understand what it means - the language is universal, the child is soothing itself after an event that has upset it in some fashion. As the child grows older, it learns other ways of soothing itself - or not. Much of this depends on the example it sees from its parents and other adults or older children in its surroundings. If those other adults have not learned healthy self-soothing mechanisms, then of course it will be difficult for the small child to emulate them in constructive way. Much of it also depends on how much perceived safety there is for the child in its immediate physical, personal, and psychological environment.

Fast forward: the child is now an adult. When he/she gets upset, he goes to the refrigerator for a snack. Or grabs a beer, or glass of wine, or a whiskey. Or perhaps he/she goes out to find some excitement: some adrenaline-raising activity that will keep his mind off whatever it was that upset him. Or perhaps he/she will resort to more addictive substances. Or to anger, or depression, or moodiness, or sadness. When self-soothing takes a wrong turn, it can go down many different roads, none of which are helpful, and most of which simply - in the long run - make matters worse.

So what can you do if you find that you fit into one or more of the above descriptions?

You start by becoming aware of your inner state at all times. Then you proceed to monitor your thoughts, because the stories you tell yourself about whatever it is that is upsetting you determine to a large degree how you feel about it (yes - you can choose how you feel), and you begin to tell yourself different stories. In other words you change your self-dialogue and part of that change is to tell yourself that you have a choice about how you feel about the event, and furthermore, that you have a choice about how you react.

Self-soothing - in its most primordial state - is all about self-love. However much you love yourself, is how well you will take care of yourself when you are going through a difficult situation. Click on any of the labels below this post in order to find further information about these topics, or see my books.

Image: Golden Eye Resort, Jamaica
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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now also 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 (English)

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming spring 2015)

 

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

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


Meine Bücher auf Deutsch Frühjahr 2015 / Mis libros en español primavera 2015

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros en Amazon en español en todo el mundo a partir de la primavera de 2015.



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Returning to the Spirit of the Child


A child's capacity for total concentration on a task at hand (building a sand castle, making a fort with chairs and blankets, observing ants marching into their colony loaded with bits of a crumb), and then finding overwhelming joy in it, is something we tend to lose as we grow older.

I believe (from personal experience) that a good portion of this is simply a lack of attention, or, better said, a lack of conscious mindfulness - not to mention our society's constant quest for the outer, the material, and all that which does not emanate from within.

Being conscious implies being aware of everything about yourself and everything that surrounds you. If you are conscious of your thoughts, but not of your surroundings, your state of awareness is not complete. You might very consciously be thinking about your problems and how best to solve them, but not see the natural beauty that surrounds you. You might very consciously be thinking about those same problems, but not be aware of the fact that your solar plexus is twisting in discomfort (as it always may do when you think about that particular problem).

And of course being mindful implies being present. Being here and now. Being in this moment.

Therefore, we might say that conscious mindfulness implies being consciously aware of the here and now and using that state of being conscious to maintain yourself in the here and now.

Children might not be able to explain - cognitively - that they are doing precisely this, but that is what allows them their capacity for concentration and joy. It was Aldous Huxley who said: the secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.

Does your spirit still know how to be a child? If not, go somewhere, do something today that may not be useful, but does bring you joy. Perhaps you could take a walk where leaves have fallen from trees and collect some, just to revel in their colors and shapes. Perhaps you could walk on a beach and examine the intricacies of shells. Perhaps you could study snowflakes as they cling to the outside of your living room window, and marvel in the fact that none is the same as any other. Perhaps you could make yourself a delicious dish you have never tried to cook before. Perhaps you could buy a 1000-piece puzzle and put it together. Perhaps you could join an art class, a writing class, a photography class, in order to take up something you had forgotten you loved so long ago. Perhaps you could converse deeply with your pet, or plant new flowers, build a snowman, or skip and dance about your house in tune to your inner music (or if you have not yet remembered what it was, do the dancing in tune to music you can find on your CD player, radio, TV, or laptop/tablet. The possibilities are endless, and if you can't think of any, please just talk to a child, and ask it for suggestions!

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now also 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 (English)

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming spring 2015)

 

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

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


Meine Bücher auf Deutsch Frühjahr 2015 / Mis libros en español primavera 2015

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros en Amazon en español en todo el mundo a partir de la primavera de 2015.



Friday, May 1, 2015

Nourishing the Soul


We go to inspiring seminars seeking to connect to our soul. We attend retreats, go to church, to mass, to temple, or to an ashram, we practice yoga, pray, or chant mantras, meditate, become mindful, and read books by those who profess to move us in the direction of our soul.

And then we walk down the street and see the Eastern European woman holding out her hand (in our Western European country) for money. or we see the South or Central American illegal immigrant working surreptitiously in the garden or house of our neighbour. Or we run into the colleague at work who always has the knack of annoying us. Or we are faced with a recalcitrant teen who happens to live under our roof. Or we have yet another call from our aging parent who once again repeats the same story that we've heard so many times before. Or we are greeted by an out-of-sorts spouse as we arrive at home.

And what do we do? Amazingly, all those inspiring seminars, retreats, church sermons, ashrams, yoga practices, prayers, mantras, meditations, mindfulness, and books fly out of our mind, and we lose our patience. Or we raise our eyebrows and make a face. Or we think thoughts of criticism, judgement, moral superiority, or even anger.

These moments - these situations we run across almost on a daily basis (these or others that are similar) - are our greatest opportunities to nourish and move closer to the soul. Why? Because at these moments we can remember to be kind and then practice it just one more time. As King Solomon put it: your own soul is nourished when you are kind.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now also 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 (English)

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Spanish & German - coming spring 2015)

 

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

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


Meine Bücher auf Deutsch Frühjahr 2015 / Mis libros en español primavera 2015

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du (Blog hier), werden meine Bücher auf Amazon ab Frühjahr 2015 erhaltbar sein.

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros en Amazon en español en todo el mundo a partir de la primavera de 2015.