"All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come." Chris Griscom, Spiritual Leader, Author

"Eloquent and comprehensive, showing how your primary love relationship may be a sacred vessel that transports you and your partner to a place of mutual healing and expansion." Robert Schwartz, Author: Your Soul's Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born

"The Tao of Spiritual Partnership is a unique blend of wit and wisdom; Dr. Kortsch encourages us to take responsibility for our relationships, while recognizing and seizing the opportunities for our own personal spiritual growth." William Buhlman, Author of Adventures Beyond the Body

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Giving Birth to Yourself

See sculpture credit below article

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

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

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

The Inner Life

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

Intuitive Intelligence

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

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

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

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

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

The Life You Don't Lead

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

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

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

The Unexamined Life

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

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

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

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

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

Inauthentic Lives

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

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

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

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

The Main Task in Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English)

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Problems & Their Gifts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English)

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

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

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

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

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