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  • New from Bernie Siegel – The Art of Healing

    Introducing Bernie Siegel's new title, The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing. This long-awaited follow-up to his bestseller Love, Medicine & Miracles updates Dr. Siegel’s insights into the healing power of drawing, dreams, and intuition. The use of drawing in Bernie’s practice has helped patients discover the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of healing and guided them toward the best choices and options for their particular situation. Learn more     Available now in bookstores everywhere. Order your copy online today at:  Wisdom of the Ages, Barnes & NobleAmazon or New World Library.
  • Bernie’s Video of the Week

    Watch a free video today! Learn more about art therapy. The free video will be available for viewing in the next weeks free of charge. Please share it with your friends. http://lumenznetworks.com/siegel/watch/positive-experience/
  • Ask Bernie a Question

    Have a question you would like to ask Bernie? Use the message box below, and be sure to include your e-mail address. Bernie will answer questions each Monday on his blog (see below). Thank you for sharing your question!

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  • Today’s Prescription for the Soul – Prescription #223 – Love Blindness

    I hope that my “365 Prescriptions for the Soul,” will be a welcome and healing addition to your day. The prescriptions I ask you to fill are designed for your total well-being. They come from hard-earned wisdom and experience with the difficulties of life. They are dispensed “as written” with love. At the end of each prescription is my “Soulution” to help you develop healthy self-love, self-esteem, and self-worth. Please take the prescription I have written for you here and fill it right away.

    Love isn’t blind; it just only sees what matters.

    - William Curry

    What makes a lover blind? What is it a lover can’t see? Is blindness always a bad thing?

    What do you see when you start the day and step into your living room? Is the first thing you see the mess from the night before and what has to be done, or the potential for the day ahead?

    Wake up to life and start looking at what is before you. You can select what you are blind to. Loving life and being blind to its faults and problems does not mean you are not aware of them. It does not prohibit you from trying to change things for the better. But it does mean you are not controlled by them and made bitter and resentful by them.

    When you are in the slowest line at the checkout counter and the clerk stops to page the manager after you have already emptied your cart onto the belt, and you are ready to scream, use your love blindness. See through loving eyes and watch what happens to your sight.

    Soulution of the Day

    Spread the affliction of love blindness
    and hope that people don’t find a cure.

    - Bernie

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  • Q & A with Bernie – March 2, 2015

    Question for Bernie:

    My surgery date is February 20th.  I’ve read Peace, Love and Healing, and I listen to many of your meditations. I’ve done some research and will ask for the open procedure because I’ve learned that surgical clips can dislodge and migrate.  I’m also allergic to nickel.

    My surgeon did listen to me and will do the procedure that I choose. Can you see any problem with the open procedure?

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Not if it is your choice.  Using crayons, draw yourself having both procedures, and then look at them the next day. You will know what is right for you.  If you send them to me via e-mail, I can help you, too.

    Also, I recommend that every few hours you visualize going to the hospital, having surgery, and experiencing a rapid recovery.  Ask to have music in OR and that your surgeon speak some positive messages to you while you are undergoing the procedure.

    Finish your positive visualization with seeing yourself waking up feeling comfortable, and thirsty and hungry at the end of the procedure.

    Peace and Healing,
    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – February 23, 2015

    Question for Bernie

    I read your article today. I love what you wrote. When I met you I was very angry, and full of self-pity. I thought that you were from a different world. I thought that you didn’t know much about the world of abuse.  Well, today after many, many years, I call you my CD, or Chosen Dad.  My whole family chose not to live leaving me alone.

    I have been living with a serious autoimmune disease all my life.  I have learned how to see the Light through the Darkness.  You cared, and I was born again.

    Bernie’s Answer

    God bless you—and we have been teaching each other ever since.  You are truly an exceptional human being who chose the difficult path to healing versus the one which blames everyone and does nothing.

    You are loved,
    Bernie,  Your CD

    Question for Bernie

    If someone was very nice to you and then very mean to you, and ignored you after you thought you had a nice relationship with him/her, it wouldn’t upset you at all?

    Bernie’s Answer

    It might for the moment, but then I let go, understand, and forgive. I do not judge as you are doing.

    Being a love warrior is my ideal.  You demonstrate caring behavior by practicing it all the time—consistently.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie

    I’m always considered the healthy one in the family.  I love to exercise, eat healthy, and follow a healthy lifestyle, but I’m always the one who is sick.  In the past year I’ve had teeth removed and am waiting for the implants,  and I have been diagnosed with an unknown connective tissue disease which maybe Sjogren’s syndrome  (I’m currently experiencing mouth and eye dryness); then I had the flu and fell, breaking my arm three days ago.

    During this time my mother had a stroke and had to enter a home, which she didn’t want to do, and my mother-in-law had a major heart attack and died suddenly.  I feel like there are a lot of negative things happening to me.

    I meditate and say affirmations, but it doesn’t seem like anything is working for me; starting to feel pretty down. Every time I feel things are getting better something else happens. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Why is all this happening to me?

    Bernie’s Answer

    It is called life. To live is to suffer. Viktor Frankl put it this way—“To survive is to find meaning in the suffering.” Read his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Ask what you are to learn from events in your life.

    Enjoy the day and don’t live in a worrisome future.  Find a way to love your life and your body.  Learning to diminish looking mostly at what you see as negative in your life will boost your immune system.

    Life is not easy, but it is filled with choices that each of us can make for ourselves—one of the most important being whether we are going to accept and understand that we can direct our lives by keeping our powerful Mind-Body-Spirit connection intact by using it.

    Keep up the positive mantras, and keep some of those laugh-out-loud moments you have experienced at any time in your life as your daily tonic.  Your body will get the message that you intend to LIVE and find happiness and value in all the gifts of our world.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie

    My father is struggling with two types of cancer and is beginning a new treatment for each. I feel good about the attention to his condition he is getting from his doctors, but I know that underneath this immediate struggle he is feeling isolated, lonely, and under a lot of stress from his life in general in addition to the stress of the cancers.

    I want to help him in any way that I can to become a survivor and to embrace what only he can bring out of himself to choose life. I don’t want to tell him what he should do, and I don’t want to impose on him what I would do, but I have to say something to help him.

    Can you suggest an immediate action I can take that can help a loved one make a sure step towards being a survivor, towards switching away from passivity?
    Thank you for your help.

    Bernie’s Answer

    Give your dad some of my books like Love, Medicine & Miracles, The Art of Healing, and Faith, Hope & Healing. Also, browse through my CDs to help your father with treatment, like the title Getting Ready and others for quieting his fears.

    You are letting him know you care and can coach him. What is within him is the issue.  The best coach needs people to show up for practice, so his reaction to what you give him will tell you where he is at in terms of responding to you as his coach. Remind him of his potential, and keep up hope by helping your dad, as well as yourself, see this as an opportunity to learn from his experience and teach others how to deal with life’s difficulties.  This is survivor behavior.

    When you come back to my website to browse through the CDs, go to the Quick Links menu at the top and select the “Immune Competent Personality Test.”  Share it with your dad as a way to get him thinking about being a survivor.  Keep loving him and get energy from being the supportive, sensitive person you clearly are.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    The Color Orange

    Dear Everybody,

    Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.
    ~ John Wesley

    This quote by John Wesley touched my heart.  If everyone lived that message what a world this would be. When you think about living following his advice, you don’t need religions or a God or beliefs because you are living the message they all are based on.  You wouldn’t be pointing out any differences between us which cause conflict and separation. My surgical experience revealed clearly to me that we are all the same color inside and made of the same thing.

    The reason John Wesley’s words had an impact upon me is because of a personal event which happened the same day I came across this quote. A family member, with family, physical and emotional difficulties, who I try to help by helping her as a doctor with medical help and also as a source of love and finances, said over the phone, “You are the only person who has ever helped me without my asking.” That really hit home and I felt rewarded by her statement. I think her story and that of others who have been helped without asking would make an interesting book. Think about people in your life who have made a difference and never asked for anything in return. Besides writing your story, thank them by sending them a copy of it and what their actions meant and did for you.

    I can think of other people I have helped who really have become part of my family, and for me when you are family, the relationship is not about who did what for whom or who owes you something, but about caring and the gift which comes from knowing you have done something to help someone else. Come to think of it, the quote sounds like the Bible’s message to love your neighbor as yourself and do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

    One of my return gifts was from a nursing student who, after hearing me speak the message, called me and asked me to help her by paying her tuition in nursing school. She said, “You tell people that they can say no to what you do not want to do, so I am not afraid to ask you.” Well I admired her conviction and courage and said yes. A year or more later she called me to say she graduated and had a job and could pay me back OR we could use the money to start a scholarship for other students. You know damn well what I was thrilled to do! It’s the message of the quote I started with. And I like to try to live the sermon and the result then is repayment with interest.

    Again the message of life is that we are here to live and love; the purpose of life is to give us the opportunities to display our love. How you do it is your choice, but the end result should be the same for us all—to be remembered for our love and the kindness we displayed.

    The hard part is that if you don’t grow up being treated in this way and feeling loved, then the likelihood of your doing something for someone else is close to zero. There ain’t no God when you grow up with the opposite of love; indifference, rejection, and abuse. You read the same newspaper headlines I do and the people you read about, from police to mass murderers, have no reverence for life because no one ever displayed a reverence for their life. Thus they are more interested in revenge then they are in helping others.

    You all have the potential to change the world by reparenting people and helping them to feel loved and build self-worth and self-esteem. It is easier if you are a teacher, doctor, or a member of the clergy because you are working with and for people. I was enlightened by many self-destructive patients who, because of my concern for them, began to realize they were worth something.  At that point, they then started caring for themselves. For me it was summed up in the statement of a suicidal teenager I was working with, “You are my CD.” I asked her what did she mean by telling me that I was her CD?  She touched my heart with her answer—“You are my Chosen Dad.”

    So get out there and help all the people you can, as long as you ever can, by becoming their CD or CM.

    Peace, Love & Healing,
    Bernie

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    More Teachers (Part Three) – Mind and Heart Matters

    Dear Everybody,

    Life is a labor pain of self-birth. Sometimes God responds to your prayers when you are not able to complete the birthing process, and sometimes God steps back when it is time for you to take responsibility and deliver.  The following is the third edited excerpt from an article written by Danny Verbov.  The first installment was posted here on January 12, 2015, and the second on January 26, 2015.  To view his book, go to:

    http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/When-Your-Child-has-Cancer.html

    When I use the term more teachers in the titles for these articles, it makes me think that when I say life is a school, I’m also saying that the rest of the world are my teachers.  What a faculty! The key is for all of us to show up for class and be willing to learn from all those we meet, no matter how they look or how many degrees they do or don’t have. If life is the teacher, you are attending class everyday just by opening all your senses to full awareness of what you are experiencing.

    So many of us spend our lives trying to avoid what life has to offer when we seek numbness, distractions, and ways of escaping the experience of life. The brave stand up to life, confront it and turn the charcoal into a diamond. Whether you believe it or not, if you are willing to learn then you can turn a curse into a blessing because of what it teaches you. And when you start learning from the pain, it does not hurt as much for you.  It hurts far more for those who try and eliminate the painful learning experience by running from life and never experiencing it. What the Hell is the point of living if you are not going to stand up to life despite the pain and difficulties which will always be there until we reclassify them into our teachers. When you realize Hell has much to teach us, it no longer seems to be Hell.

    At times, when I am having a difficult day, I find I feel better by looking up at a blue sky or at a pretty flower or feel the love some other creature is willing to share with me. I may add that when in the hospital, or ground floor inner city apartment, which has no view of nature but just brick walls you will experience more pain and depression than those who can view nature either through their window or photographs and paintings on the walls of their rooms.

    We hear and see this message from many people who have experienced their Hell and learned from it. Viktor Frankl’s concentration camp experience; “To live is to suffer. To survive is to find meaning in the suffering.” Now that I have you all depressed please cheer up because things could be worse. I remember the last time I thought that way I lived the sermon and cheered up and sure enough things got worse.

    Remember we all have the potential to do amazing things. It is built into us. It is very instructive that the Hebrew word for miracle, nes, is at the root of the word nisayon, which means test. It is the same word that appears when God tested Abraham. Miracles are nothing less than tests of our Divine potential. It is when human beings pass Divine challenges with honor and distinction, and I would add due to our faith in the Lord, that we are witness to what is worthy of being proclaimed a true miracle. So be sure your faith is in the true Lord and live up to your potential. I have seen it happen. The hardest part is having faith and not questioning or debating other options, including death, when the Lord hands you a difficult situation to face and live with.

    One way to ease your pain is to help those going through the pain also. For each of us it is a different experience but also has some common themes which can teach us and help us to help others. Rabbi Noah Weinberg shares, “When someone is in pain, show compassion. Make an effort to spare someone financial loss. Visit someone who is sick, and help care for his needs.  Don’t embarrass anyone – especially in public. Don’t gossip about others. Don’t take revenge or bear a grudge. Smile – your happiness affects others. Show respect to the elderly. Find a poor person in your community that you undertake to assist.

    Why is “Loving Humanity” a Way to Wisdom? In order to realize your own potential, you have to love humanity. Their success is your success, too. The more you have love in your life, the happier and more efficient you’ll be. If you don’t appreciate the phenomenon of human beings, you’re missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures. Loving others connects you to the world, to all facets of creation. Love helps you get out of the confines of “me” and into the expansive “we.” Prioritize your love. Appreciate the relative value of each virtue. Realize that all human beings are God’s children.

    Peace, Love & Healing,
    Bernie Siegel, MD

    Imagine having never seen a human being before. What a fantastic gadget!
    - Rabbi Noah Weinberg

    We can’t fix or cure every affliction but we can love everyone experiencing it.
    - Bernie Siegel, MD

    We currently have a cancer support group the second and fourth Tuesday evenings of the month at Coachman’s Square at 21 Bradley Road, Woodbridge. If interested contact Lucille Ranciato lranciato2@yahoo.com 203 288 2839; or myself bugsyssiegel@sbcglobal.net

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    Q & A with Bernie – February 2, 2015

    Question for Bernie

    Sorry to bother you, but I have a question—not about the diagnosis but about how to deal with news of this kind.  My throat has hurt on and off for a few months.  I went to an ENT today.  He said he thinks it is stomach acid so we are working on that.

    He also said I have one tonsil that is inflamed so he has a concern (remote) that it could be cancer.  He looked down my throat and said things looked good except for redness by the stomach; he felt the tonsil and it felt soft, which I understand is a good thing.

    My question is how do I focus away from the remote chance that it is a cancer and focus my energy on the other expected condition.

    I am, as mentioned in our prior conversations, trying to heal my life, but this one has sort of knocked me off kilter.  I’m 43 and have never personally had a major health issue.

    Thanks for listening.

    Bernie’s Answer

    Go to this link for Life Enhancement.com and order gum mastic for the stomach problem

    http://www.life-enhancement.com/ingredient.aspx?name=Mastic%20Gum

    Go to the many resources on my website.  Browse through my CDs for visual imagery, meditation, getting ready for surgery, and other things that can help you on your healing journey.

    Create a positive mantra and repeat it several times a day.  Take short meditation breaks (3-5 minutes) and use your mantra as you focus on breathing in and out of your nose.  Recent studies show that the short meditations of between five and ten minutes done several times per day works much better at calming anxieties and helping redirect worry than setting up lengthy meditation sessions and failing to follow through.

    Humor is absolutely essential to help the body and spirit heal.  Think of some funny things that have happened to you, friends, or other family members over the years and pick out the ones that make you laugh out loud.  Thinking of these LOL moments a few times each day will also strengthen your immune system.  Resolve that you will practice laughing several times a day and between those times and the short meditations using your mantra you do throughout the day, you will crowd out worry which is a waste of the valuable time we have in our lives.

    You do not know your future, but you can be confidant that but you are creating it with the choices you make in your unconscious mind.  By training your body and mind to relax quickly for short periods of time, you are making time for your subconscious to choose.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie

    Thanks again for responding to me.  I listened again to an interview you did with Tony Robbins.  It is one of my favorites because you covered so much.  One of the things you said is to look at what has gone on in your life leading up to an illness. I know that a lot of things are not right for me and I’m trying to heal them.

    I’m also trying not to worry, but wow, that is close to impossible for me.  I keep trying.  For a couple hours I feel great and then bam! I’m worried about the potential diagnosis, potential treatments, and stress to my family (especially my kids – that hurts the most). Then I cry.  Then I feel like I am weak.  Then I try to come back to the present… and hope.

    I’m also trying to contribute and send love out into the world.

    You quoted Viktor Frankl who said, life is full of pain and the trick is to find meaning in it.  I’m sure I will be able to, but right now it just hurts.

    Thank you for being you and for listening.  My wife thinks I’m crazy to e-mail you, but I lost my dad about 14 years ago and it is nice that you are here.

    Bernie’s Answer

    When you go bam! ask yourself,  “What do I need to learn from this experience?

    Like hunger, your answer will lead you to ways to nourish your life.

    Worry does nothing, so enjoy the day. I like to cry—it feels good and relieves tension.

    Teach your family to stop worrying about how they are doing.  Be an example and teach them how to live.  Go through the many resources on my website:  www.berniesiegelmd.com

    I can be your CD = Chosen Dad

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie
    I have been in Hong Kong 15 days and am taking herbs twice daily, which are supposed to both detox and strengthen my body so it can handle the cancer.  The doctors have had great results and say I am doing well and that the detox is working.

    In Canada I was on morphine for pain and since here I stopped it.  After the 15 hour plane journey, not sure if it was that, jet lag, fear, the herbs or what but I was completely exhausted and everything seemed like a struggle.  Although there are amazing people here helping me, I am here alone.  My daughter wanted to come with me but I felt it would be like a vision quest for me; me and the Universe versus looking for someone else to fix me.

    I am reading your books here.  Right now, to be truthful I feel scared.  The tumors seem to be growing, and I can feel aches in my lungs which I did not feel before.  That could be the detox working, and I will ask the Dr. today. The detox apparently feels like flu symptoms.  The other evening all I wanted was someone to take me into the hospital and pump me with whatever to build me up again, then I realized I was not being an exceptional patient—in fact; I was going into victim mode again and looking for someone else to fix me instead of taking charge.

    This is by far the hardest journey I have ever taken.  I also think that until I came here where there are no distractions like I have at home and started to focus,  I was in denial about how sick I was/am.   Denial is big for me…I stayed in denial for 20 in my marriage….So back to fear….I am reading many authors who say that it is important to feel our feelings…..What do you think?  If I dismiss the fear is that a good thing?

    The other thing I was thinking about is drawing as you recommend, but what worries me is that I see the disease, but I am afraid to say that it seems like it is gaining strength.  Then I tell myself my body knows how to heal itself, and I need to visualize it as stronger than the disease.  My big fear is that my unconscious believes that I cannot do this.

    As always thanks for reading this and I look forward to any comments you may have.

    Bernie’s Answer

    Have faith and realize that your potential to induce healing exists.  Live today, not in a fearful unknown future.

    Stop judging yourself and start loving your life and body.  Every loving way in which you care for yourself sends the message to your immune system that you intend TO LIVE!

    Visualize what you desire and not what you fear.

    Fear makes it harder for your body to heal because it is for emergencies which threaten you—not for daily repetition.

    Some symptoms can be due to the effects of the treatment and can be a good sign.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    More Teachers (Part Two) – Mind and Heart Matters

    Dear Everybody,

    Life is a labor pain of self-birth. Sometimes God responds to your prayers when you are not able to complete the birthing process, and sometimes God steps back when it is time for you to take responsibility and deliver.  The following is the second edited excerpt from an article written by Danny Verbov.  The first installment was posted here on January 12, 2015.  To view his book go to:
    http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/When-Your-Child-has-Cancer.html

    Lesson #6: Cry. Learn to cry.

    Let the tears flow. Don’t hold back. No one will think you are less macho because of it. I cried a lot throughout our brush with cancer. Tears are a tremendous gift. They remind us we’re human. They remind us we’re not callous brutes. They also help release tension and deep feelings in a way words cannot express and they help us identify with the pain of others. And, like prayer, no tear is ever wasted…

    Takeaway: It’s okay to cry.

    Lesson #7: You are Never Alone.

    During the chemo it was a tremendous comfort and support to receive calls from friends just calling to say, “I’m thinking of you.” My wife and I were at our son’s side 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This gave him tremendous security and confidence during his stay in hospital.

    And even after all the friends have left, or your parents are no longer with you… even when you’re alone awake at two in the morning next to your sick kid’s bed, God is with you at all times. He is our eternal parent, with us every single second, during the good times as well as the bad. You are never alone. We may not be God, but we can certainly call people to tell them we care. Even if they are not experiencing tragedy—even if we don’t need anything from them, every show of sensitive concern showers so much warmth, self-confidence, and happiness on the recipient. And brings much more goodness into the world.

    Takeaway: Call a friend today!

    Lesson #8: Keep Your Worries in Proportion.

    Most things in life are not life and death issues; serious maybe, but not life and death. We saw a lot of life and death in the time we were in the hospital, so we knew we were very ‘lucky.’ Kids born with leukemia going through two years of treatment that might not work, kids with cancer for the second, third or fourth time, endless pain and suffering… and yes, we saw death too. Our priority was getting through this. We didn’t appreciate what ‘aggressive treatment’ meant until we spent almost four consecutive months in the hospital with my wife and I rotating shifts. That was our full-time job.

    Thank God, we had financial help, help with the kids, and help with everything else. Our community was absolutely amazing. Over 50 women cooked meals for us during that time – I’ve never eaten so well in my life! Someone did our shopping every week and people even came in to do laundry and wash the dishes. No worries. Indeed, once we realize the Almighty is taking care of our health, finances, and daily maintenance every second of the day, we have no worries. And since then, whether it was during chemotherapy or any other stressful event, I use this technique to focus on doing what I can do and leaving what I can’t to God.

    Takeaway: Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t have.

    Lesson #9: The Power of Prayer.

    Once my son’s situation became known, people all over the world began to pray for him, recite Psalms, take on commitments not to gossip, and many other things we don’t even know about. A friend set up a Facebook group praying for our son that attracted over 4,000 members, most of whom did not even know us!

    Like the tears we talked about in Lesson #6, prayer is another thing bigger than us. No prayer is wasted. With that realization, everything you do takes on a new dimension. You suddenly take more care and put more effort into every word of prayer, every word you say, every mundane action. You suddenly become acutely aware of the extreme consequences of your every move. God might not answer in the way you want, but that too is for a reason we do not always understand.

    Takeaway: Pray today with all your heart for something you truly desire.

    Lesson #10: People Want to Give.

    In the hospital, we were witness to overflowing goodness and unlimited giving.  Everyone from family and friends came by, and even complete strangers just turned up to be with us or to give our son a word of encouragement. Someone brought us a tub of Ben and Jerry’s at two in the morning… a friend drove four hours just to play Scrabble with me in the hospital, a famous rabbi cried over the phone… and a constant stream of visitors and volunteers throughout the day! One of our greatest tests in life is to know how to receive. Often, people want to give more than you need to receive. Let them. Be prepared to receive any help, whether physical or emotional, direct or indirect; accept simply, with gratitude and a pleasant countenance. Be ready to deal sensitively with people who wanted to help but didn’t know how. Even make up things they can do for you! Not because you need it, but because they do. Know that all this human kindness is just a shimmering reflection of the Almighty’s unbounded, incomprehensible Goodness. He gives. No limits. No conditions.

    Takeaway: If you’re in trouble, let people give to you. If someone else is in need, give something, however small, of yourself.

    Peace, Love & Healing
    Bernie Siegel, MD

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    Q & A with Bernie – January 19, 2015

    Question for Bernie:

    Hi. I am a 55-year-old woman with controlled MS and Dysautonomia. This is a horrible disease and affects every system in your body. I have daily migraines, horrible upper back pain, chest pain, no appetite, nausea, and fatigue beyond belief. I am very limited in what I can do.

    This is my question. How do you feel happy and up when you are not living the life you want to live? I find it very difficult.

    Thanks.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    The answer to how to be happy and feel positive when you are not living the life you want to live is that you work at it. The prominent American philosopher and early practitioner of psychology, William James, said “Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.”  Remember, no one else can make up your mind for you. Your choice to work with the challenges in your life instead of against them is entirely yours to make.  No one else can choose how you bring, or don’t bring, happiness into your life.

    Learn to meditate.  There are different types of meditation, but one of the most popular in Western society has its roots in Asia and is called “mindfulness meditation.”  You can do this kind of meditation either once a day or several short sessions a day, depending on your preference.  You may choose to use a mantra to help you meditate.  The use of a special sound that is called a mantra helps with concentration.  Your particular mantra might be a simple sound or a single word, or even a phrase.

    People often think of mantras being chanted in a group, but they can also be something you “hear” internally. If you use a mantra, you can progress to a point where just thinking of the sound of your mantra will immediately get you into a deeply relaxed state.  It is in that state when meditation is most effective. Your mantra can include several words with a positive message about being grateful for life.

    My wife has lived with MS for 50 years now.  She has been very effective in our workshops and groups for cancer survivors at teaching people the healing power of humor.  Think about situations in your life—whether long ago or just recently—that made you laugh out loud.  Make sure you think of those times often throughout the day and give your immune system the gift of healing laughter.

    Physical and emotional challenges can certainly limit our lives—if we let them.  One way to push negative thinking and behaviors out of our lives is to write down the words that describe your illness, pain, and symptoms.  Then look at the situations and people in your life that could be described using any of the same words on your list describing your illness.  To whatever extent it is possible, you should make every effort to eliminate those negative people and situations from your life.  Resolve to surround yourself with positive people and positive activities. This will really help you heal. Look into healthy supplements with the guidance of a naturopathic doctor and the company called life extension at this link:  www.lef.org.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    More Teachers – Mind and Heart Matters

    Dear Everybody,

    Life is a labor pain of self-birth. Sometimes God responds to your prayers when you are not able to complete the birthing process, and sometimes God steps back when it is time for you to take responsibility and deliver. The following is an edited excerpt from an article written by Danny Verbov. To view his book go to:
    http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/When-Your-Child-has-Cancer.html

    ————————-

    I am sitting in Mount Scopus Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem waiting for the surgeons to remove a golf-ball-size growth from my 12-year-old son’s stomach. A week or so later they tell us it’s malignant. We spent the next four months in the children’s oncology ward at the Hadassah Hospital. The craziest four months of my life. But this is not about cancer, despair, or depression. It’s about life, faith and hope. And how you can transform anything that happens to you into a learning, growing and positive experience.

    When the going gets tough and life serves up those cruel curve balls, we all need a healthy outlook on life, the right perspective, and a proven box of tricks to react and act in the right way. At a click of a mouse, you want to link into happiness, optimism, and hope instead of sadness, depression, and despair. You may not have control over what happens in your life, but you can certainly control how you respond. Thankfully, by my son’s bed, God gave me the opportunity to do just that.

    And now I see how the experience was a blessing (although I don’t know if my son sees it that way yet). In life-threatening situations, it’s easy to reach lofty understandings and life truths because you automatically focus on what is truly important. The big challenge is to translate this wisdom into daily life. And that’s a constant struggle. But that’s what life is all about—growing in small, incremental steps every single day.

    Lesson #1: Discover Truth for Yourself.

    Just because a book has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for months does not mean it’s a good book. Just because someone else thinks a particular career is right for you doesn’t mean it is. It was the same with the cancer. At first, we were completely at the ‘mercy’ of the medical staff, blindly accepting their every word and instruction.

    As time went on though, we became more knowledgeable, more aware, and more involved. We asked more questions (with the encouragement of the doctors) and we were able to check they were giving the right dosages of the right drugs at the right time. It’s your life. Don’t let anyone else live it for you.

    Takeaway: By all means ask for different opinions but make sure the final decision is yours.

    Lesson #2: Always Look for the Positive.

    This does not mean ignore the negative or become numb to the tragedies. It means make an effort to find the positive in every person and in everything that happens in your life. We were witness to tremendous pain and suffering, yet at the same time we saw an unbelievable outpouring of human warmth and kindness. That was our focus and that’s what kept us upbeat and optimistic. It’s all about focus. It can be cold and raining outside but you can feel warm and sunny inside. And if you just look hard enough, you’ll find the positive in everything.

    Takeaway: Think of one person you don’t get on with. Find at least one or two good things about them and focus on those. Focus on your own positive traits too!

    Lesson #3: You Can Adapt to Anything.

    We had to change our lives overnight with new routines, new priorities, and no chance of holding down our jobs. My wife and I took turns spending 24 hours with our son. We had little time for our five other children, and the daily chores were left undone. But because it was so obviously the priority in our life at the time; because our lives (and surely our son’s life) depended on it, we just did it. We had no choice but to adapt. What would you do if your life depended on it? Do it now! Don’t wait for the curve balls to force you into change.

    Takeaway: Go make that change you know you need to make. You can do it!

    Lesson #4: Constantly Ask Yourself “What am I Living For?”

    Perhaps the biggest question of them all is this one. If you’re faced with death, you must become real with life. Any of us could depart this world without prior warning. What guarantee do any of us have that we’re going to wake up tomorrow morning? How do you know that just because you’re reading this sentence, you won’t drop dead before reading the next one?

    In the cancer ward, or at a funeral, the stark realization of my mortality hits me like a ton of bricks. We’re only here for a short time and we don’t even know how short. What’s important to you? What are your goals in life? Prioritize. Don’t just drift through the routines of life. Live for your goals. Live for your dreams. Relish the moment. What are you prepared to live for? Don’t despair if you don’t come up with answers. It can sometimes take years to find your life’s purpose. But never stop asking.

    Takeaway: Don’t drift through life. Ask yourself every day: “What am I here for? What possible reasons could God have had for putting me here right now?”

    Lesson #5: Feel the Pain

    If you want healthy, successful relationships in your life, you must develop sensitivity to the pain of others. And if you can’t feel the pain, at least feel the pain of not being able to feel the pain! We were in a ward with many Arab children. But here at the hospital we were on the same side of the battle. Political, national, and religious differences immediately melt away and you simply see another human being in pain. When we remember all human beings are created in the image of God, and everyone is here for a purpose, it becomes easier to eliminate the prejudices and the differences and focus on the commonalities.

    Takeaway: The next time you see someone in pain, try putting yourself in their shoes.

    Peace, Love & Healing,
    Bernie

    We currently have a cancer support group the second and fourth Tuesday evenings of the month at Coachman’s Square at 21 Bradley Road, Woodbridge. If interested contact Lucille Ranciato lranciato2@yahoo.com 203 288 2839; or myself bugsyssiegel@sbcglobal.net

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    Q & A with Bernie – January 5, 2015

    Question for Bernie

    I am at end of Chapter 3 in the Art of Healing and feeling stuck.  I am a bit worried because today and yesterday I am having to work harder at staying positive.  I just got an appointment with a medical oncologist for this Monday and I think she is going to be all doom and gloom.  I am worried she will tell me I have “so long” to live.  When all this opened up, my GP said I could live 1-2 years with chemo and radiation.  He seemed to think this was a good thing!

    Exercise….My left SI joint and down my left leg is very painful.  I would describe it as like a rubber band that is stretched as far as it can be.  It hurts to walk, sit, and stand.  I cannot think of a relationship where I could use the same words to describe except maybe at times the relationship with myself –maybe today. Today I am impatient with my progress with the disease.  I am so thin, holding my own but not gaining weight.  I am spending 24/7 cooking and eating well, sleeping, resting, reading, staying positive, and doing Vitamin C treatments and acupuncture.  The situation that stresses me is money and when it will run out.  I need to move to cheaper rent, but I thought I had come to peace with that.  In writing this to you, I see I am in my ego and thinking about all the people who are healthy just walking around, and then there is me. I ask myself, “Is this a bad dream?  Am I going to die?”

    So I am not sure what to pinpoint and eliminate.  Any feedback would be great.  Wish I could just have a big chocolate bar and have this all go away.

    Bernie’s Answer

    Yes, find your “chocolate ice cream of life” and start living it. Stop stretching yourself out.

    How long you live is not about statistics but about you and loving your life by doing the things that give your body the message that you intend to LIVE every moment to fullest, however long you have to go.

    Bet your doctors $10,000 that you will live at least twice as long as they predict, and you’ll find out that they won’t bet because they know it is possible. I’ll put up the money for you.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Response to Bernie’s Answer

    Thank you, Bernie.  I love the idea of betting my doctor. Just getting into that mindset brings my ‘Irish” out.  I see I was/am slipping into being a victim and a sheep!  What do you mean about ‘stop stretching yourself out’?

    At the beginning of this, I thought my chocolate ice cream was me winning this, and then going out and coaching others.  (I am a certified coach and I was afraid to go out and sell my coaching because deep down I did not think I had enough to offer, although any clients I had always said they gained tones from our work).    How can I get myself out of this rut???

    I am wondering what my chocolate ice cream of life is.  I have lived my life trying to fix me, (tones of personal growth) and working.  I have spent all my free time on growing but it is like I had/have this ceiling and I never went beyond it.  I have never been satisfied with me.  I was in a 20 year marriage and apart from running after one man, I have been alone.  I have 3 children whom I love, my oldest son just had a baby and they live 2 hours away.  Although I live close to my other son and daughter, they have busy lives so we don’t see each other much.  I take responsibility in that I have also been busy just like they are. I have not yet learned how to relax and make time for friends and family or, in fact, fun.

    I often think it would be nice to live in greenery in a modest rental, where I could have a few clients and then have time to be in Nature and also visit my kids and friends more often.  Nature nourishes my soul.

    Could the bold italic be my chocolate ice cream?   And if so that seems a way down the road when I have this cancer under control?   How can I get my mojo going now???  If I do not get it now, I am headed to die as a victim.

    Bernie when I watch you in the movie you are so motivated and out there.  You have a drive to help people live happy lives.  How can I get some of that right now?  How can I find that drive that you have?

    Bernie’s Answer

    When you live in your heart magic happens.  Let these feelings be like hunger and move you to seek nourishment.

    Keep asking yourself what you are to learn from this experience.  It isn’t just one thing—experiences teach us many things, so acknowledge them all.  Emphasize the positive things you learn about life and yourself through the experiences of each day.

    And definitely “yes” to helping others by listening to them, and listen to yourself and you will find your way. Stop thinking and judging yourself. Find love for yourself and your life and body.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie

    It was a complete shock in November to be diagnosed with angina.  My first reaction was anger and then wanting to cry, but I’m unable to release them (taught no to do such a thing).  My blood pressure is not high, so after much research, am taking only Gingko Biloba and staying on a good vegetarian diet.

    I am increasing exercise, am reading your book, and you suggest using drawing but my mind goes blank and there’s nothing to put on paper. This has happened in the past at workshops, so how can I approach this?

    I do meditation, try to remember dreams, the word “blocked” came to mind and I recalled quite a few times I have been blocked from a heartfelt wish – blockage in the diagonal! I feel I’ve accepted the diagnosis and know that now is the only moment I have to live and try to be in it, but I’m a beginner. Thank you for your book and encouragement in it. Bless you.

    Bernie’s Answer

    Yes, open up your heart and let it make up your mind—and live in your heart.  Love your life and remove its blocks.

    Read books by Dr. Dean Ornish on reversing heart disease.

    Also, take coenzyme q10, d-ribose, hawthorn, and magnesium (nuts are a good source) for your heart muscle’s health.  Meditate and say a positive mantra as you meditate.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – December 29, 2014

    Question for Bernie

    How do you reach a bored and possibly depressed child in your home?

    Bernie’s Answer

    Ask the child what will make him or her happy, and then go do it. Stay with that approach but move the responsibility for doing it to the child; whenever they don’t know what to do, say “Do what makes you happy.”

    Tell the child that when something goes wrong, or they have a problem that is making them very unhappy, worried, or seeing the world through “negativity glasses,” the experience is just “God’s redirection” and something good will come of this.

    Play with the child, and most importantly listen. Children who seem bored and may possibly be depressed are not helped by “directives” such as “Do’s and Don’ts.”  Giving them the “answer” of what to do to fix things isn’t what they need nearly as much as they need a compassionate listener. When a person of any age can hear themselves talk about a perceived problem or difficulty, it helps them arrive at their own solution.  Children may need more help, but by taking the approach above, the child will be able to come to you for specific advice, or feel safe asking you to help them so that they can do what makes them happy.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie

    Hello Bernie,

    I hope you had great holidays!  I have not been in touch for a while, but I have been very positive and busy listening to you, reading you, and watching often “Fight for your life.” Below you will see the email I sent out to my friends, and you will see what I am up to.  Now that I have a plan I am hoping healing might move a little faster.

    I wish I could get more relief from the pain in my left leg and hip.  Some say it is the cancer and others say it is the sacroiliac joint dysfunction.  Hopefully it will ease up soon.  I really need to earn at least a little money to help pay some medical bills, and I was hoping that maybe I could do a few hours from home.  Also, I am requesting that the Universe manifest a place for me to live where I can pay ½ the rent I pay here.  I am taking charge.

    Bernie, soon I will meet with a chemotherapy oncologist who will suggest treatment.  Of course I will listen to what he has to say, but so many people absolutely abhor chemo and see no good in it.  I think I heard you say that it could also come from God.  I would love to hear your views as to when and if it works.  I would definitely prefer not to have it. Have you seen where it did save a life?  And I know that if I do not believe in it, I could be blocking its value myself.

    And last, but not least, I would LOVE some words of wisdom from you.  I am nurturing myself—spending 100% of my time on me, still working on the self-love, and tuning in with my Spirit guides (new for me).  I understand that there is a part of me, my higher self, who loves me—I would love to be more connected to that.

    Hope this email not too long and I look forward to hearing from you. I send this message to you with love and appreciation.

    Bernie’s Answer

    Whatever treatment you have, see it as a gift—and visualize doing well with no side effects.  Your mind prepares your body for the experience.

    Let your heart help you decide and work at healing your life.  When we do work on healing our lives, the body gets the message loud and clear that you intend to LIVE that life.  This is a message of love to your body, acknowledging to it that you are going to do what is absolutely best for it to heal.

    Be active and stay away from sugar—it energizes cancer cells.  You would benefit from reading my latest book, The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing.

    It will help you to understand that you have the potential to heal.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Here is the message this reader sent to all of her friends, and wanted to share.

    Hello my dear friends,

    Many of you have called and emailed me good wishes for a restoration of my health. In reply, because of time, I am sending this email to bring all of you up-to-date.  You all know how private a person I am, so sharing this is a big deal!  LOL!  I sincerely appreciate all of your care and concern for me.  Hopefully, along the road, I will contact you personally.

    I was given a diagnosis of cancer, and I am spending 100% of my time looking after me, researching, etc., and now have a plan to follow.  There is a fabulous movie called “Fight for your Life.”  In it there is a woman who explains how she cured herself, and the biggest part of that was spending every single minute of her time on her.  She says she did not have one second to give to anyone else, even her family.  She said it enabled her to be in a position now to offer her gifts to the world.  She is my inspiration and that is where I am now.  Interesting she says she was what people call “selfish.”

    I have had five radiation treatments and have back/hip pain which I am working with; hopefully the pain will be sorted soon.

    Other than that, I am working on all aspects of life….spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, and of course, energy.  Working with the regular medical docs, a naturopathic doctor, master herbalist, and having alternative Vitamin C intravenous with a Western/Eastern doctor who also gives me acupuncture has resulted in having a very positive attitude which is very helpful.

    Actually, I amaze myself with my attitude!  LoL—would not have chosen this path, but it has also brought with it a lot of gifts.  Self-love, caring and nurturing me, and I have met so many wonderful and kind people recently.  Obviously, they were always here in the world, but I was so caught up in my “busy-ness” that I missed them.  It is wonderful to see this part of the world now.  My heart and body feel open and I feel more at peace than I ever have in my life.

    How life and my value system have changed!! Things that seemed so big before no longer matter.   I am also definitely not ready to die, and I will not give my power to cancer.  I notice once people hear the word cancer they think death. They feel their own fear of death and project that fear onto others.  I am staying away from those people. I learnt that from a couple of experiences.  Maybe I will die, and I am not afraid of death, but it is not my wish right now. Many people heal themselves from cancer, and I plan to be one of them.  And if the Universe has other plans, then so be it.

    As you can imagine with the regimen I have set up, I am busy, busy, and busier. I use the other time to rest, eat, meditate, and listen to motivational and inspiring DVDs. The VERY LAST thing I want is for ANYONE to feel sorry for me, and I must, will, and do keep away from people who express themselves in those ways.

    So please do not worry about me. I am doing great! Instead, my wish for all is that each learn to look after and love you.  I feel very grateful as I have great relationships with my family and friends. And now that I am organized with a plan, I hope to have more time with everyone.

    The only thing that would be helpful (but only if it is comfortable for you) is that you visualize me as healthy, energetic, strong, and vibrant.  If that works for you, then awesome, and if not, no worries. But I especially ask that you not visualize me as ill, or give me ANY energy of illness.

    Lots and lots of love to you all. Have a fabulous holiday, and I wish all of you the best year ever!!!!  And, of course, most of all love and nurture you!

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