True Abundance Is Found In The Heart
No matter what we buy or how much material wealth we achieve, we'll keep feeling empty if we donft find fulfillment from within. External measures of success only fulfill us if they are a product of the expressions of our heart's essence. Celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Whitney Houston, and Michael Jackson provide classic illustrations of this. They had beauty, fame, money and talent, but didn't sufficiently love themselves and couldn't fill their emptiness, even with all the adulation, fame, and wealth at their disposal.
January can be a very difficult month for many people. The holiday season may have been filled with parties, good food, and lots of fun things to do. However, in January there tends to be a post holiday blue due to the cold weather, darkness, and bills that need to be paid. In this article we will focus on the top five tips to make January a great month.
For this month, I am excited to share an interview I conducted with a dear and longtime friend, Penelope Young Andrade. Penelope is a masterful and gifted psychotherapist, whose fantastic book, "Emotional Medicine Rx" details the importance of restoring the ability to experience all of one's emotions for complete health in both body and mind. She describes how symptoms such as depression and anxiety, as well as psychosomatic illnesses, are rooted in unfelt emotions that have been suppressed from past traumas. She also illustrates how problematic physical, mental and emotional symptoms can be overcome in practical steps that not only eliminate symptoms, but facilitate peace, equanimity and wellbeing.
Stress, anxiety and depression are major factors in the lives of many of us. An estimated 9.1 percent of the population of the U.S. suffers from depression every year, which translates to approximately 28 million Americans suffering from depression for at least two weeks with significant symptoms each year. This figure does not include greater or lesser degrees of apathy. Major depression claims 4.1 percent of the population, which is to say, from 12 to 13 million sufferers.1
Even those who are not depressed according to the textbook definition often are not home free. All too often individuals find themselves on a “seesaw” in which they swing from frenetic activity to lethargy and back. Living habits, choices of foods and beverages, the lack of physical exercise and other everyday factors can play a big role in mood swings, but it can be hard to get back into balance once equilibrium is lost. Fortunately, the proper use of nutrients and herbs can go a long way towards helping us to “beat the blues” naturally without resorting to Prozac and other drugs, most of which have numerous and unpleasant side effects.
This isn’t some newfangled health idea; they teach it at Stanford University! A Stanford professor is teaching his students about the mind-body connection and the relationship between stress* and disease. The head of the Psychiatry Department at Stanford said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her female friends.
Whether you battle with it daily or it hits you only when your stress levels spill over the brim, anxiety is one of the worst feelings in the world. A constant, reoccurring feeling of fear, often undefined and its source unknown, can be frustrating to both the sufferer and surrounding family and friends. While there is no cure for anxiety, there are many things you can do to take the edge off, naturally.
Author’s Note: I write a monthly column for Total Health focusing on Eidetic Image Psychology. But for the current issue, I decided to interview my husband, Richard Sussman, a psychotherapist and social worker who specializes in healing marriages and relationships scarred by infidelity. As we spoke, I became increasingly conscious of the difficult web of emotional and psychological factors that each partner faces when dealing with an affair. Based upon years of experience working with couples, his perspective encompasses a much more complex understanding than the conventional wisdom might suggest, moving beyond a framework of guilt and blame toward mutual compassion, understanding and trust. I hope that his insights will not only help couples currently struggling with the pain of infidelity, but will inspire everyone interested in strengthening the bonds of love.
Someone makes you an offer they think you can’t refuse—they offer you a cigarette—but they get a Tony Soprano reply— “Fuhgeddaboutit!”—This is just how it has to be if you want to be a born-again nonsmoker!
Smoking addiction is a way of life that cloaks many complexities—it is orchestrated by the interaction of genetic, neurobiological, environmental and developmental factors. It is the principal preventable cause of death in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking in the U.S. accounts for close to half a million deaths each year.
One barrier to quitting is the fact that most smokers perceive themselves as being addicted for life, and it is this cerebral electric fence that can be the difference between staying addicted and breaking free.
|"A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."¨
All of the worlds’ spiritual and wisdom traditions instruct us to live in accordance with our soul’s deepest intentions in order to live a fulfilled life. These “soul intentions” come to us in the midst of our busy lives when we do something that elevates our spirit. For example, we might take a moment to feel gratitude for the things we have in our life, rather than only focusing on what we want or lack. We might suddenly be moved to give money to a homeless person on the street, or we might donate our seat to an elderly person on a train. We might be the first to end a fight with someone we love by taking responsibility for our part in the misunderstanding. In business, we might make a deal that is a win-win for everyone involved instead of striving for our own personal gain. In all these interactions, our hearts open, our spirits surge, and we feel good about ourselves and the world around us. We might not realize, however, that these soulful actions are just as good for our physical health as they are for our spirits.