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  • New from Bernie Siegel – Love, Animals & Miracles

    Introducing Bernie Siegel's new title, Love, Animals & Miracles: Inspiring True Stories Celebrating the Healing Bond . The stories in this new book offer funny and heart-touching, true-life experiences that convey loving connections, amazing rescues, and healing with (and by) animals — both wild and domestic. Learn more     Available now in bookstores everywhere. Order your copy online today at:  Wisdom of the Ages, Barnes & NobleAmazon or New World Library.
  • Amelia’s Ark Angel Society

    Please support my friend Amelia Kinkade with her new charity, ARK ANGEL, which enables her to go into schools in rural Africa and educate children about wildlife conservation so that they don’t grow up to be poachers.

  • 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 #178 – Lifesaving Time

    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.

    Yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.

    ~ Kahlil Gibran

    I sit and look at a photograph of one of our sons and think about how much it looks like his son, our grandchild. I hope my son is spending time with his son. Unlike me, I hope he will not look at his son’s picture thirty years later and wish he could turn back and spend more time together.

    It is not fair that we cannot go back to earlier times after we become wise enough to know how we should have used the time. I want to go back and enjoy my children more. I want to be able to just sit with them and love them in ways I wasn’t wise enough to do years ago. It is not fair that we have to learn from experience.

    That is why I will send these words to you so you will not waste your life, but instead set your clock to lifesaving time and let it apply all year round. Then years from now you will pick up a photograph and smile recalling wonderful moments and the good feelings you are left with rather than the desire to go back and try again to get it right.

    Soulution of the Day

    Never mind daylight savings time; institute lifesaving time now.

    - Bernie

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  • Q & A with Bernie – August 29, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    Hello Bernie,

    I am reading Love, Medicine & Miracles for the first time. I am struck by how necessary your words are in the realm of medical practices today, and how far medicine has skewed from the path of a true doctor/patient relationship toward true healing.

    As a mother of a child recovered from autism, I have often had to justify and defend against the prognosis of “no hope, no cure, so don’t bother.” When you mentioned the 2 out of 10 patients who are exceptional, just know we see that same dynamic play out in the parents of children with autism. There are those who, like me, chose to not accept the prognosis and instead did research, implemented dietary changes, and challenged the status quo.

    There are thousands of kids recovering from autism, and yet the general public is still unaware this is happening. I wrote a book to describe what it takes to be the parent who chooses to hold on to hope instead of despair. It’s called Victory over Autism. I plan to write a blog on the lessons in your book that are more relevant today than ever before. Just wanted you to know how it parlays to this generation of children, and the effort to heal them too.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Absolutely—and the preferred term is self-induced healing rather than spontaneous remission.

    Medicine, as it is practiced in the U.S., treats the result and not the cause. And the progress of change is very slow.

    Keep telling your story. Stories affect people. I could put your book on my website, too.

    Peace, Love, & Healing

    Questioner’s Response to Bernie’s First Answer:

    Absolutely feel free to include my book on your website. It is available in bookstores, Amazon and online.  My website is www.maryromaniec.com. Chapter 9 discusses the myriad of ways families have chosen to overcome the impact of autism, in the child and in the rest of the family members.  I write about how they go through grief, adopt certain characteristics and mantras, overcome guilt, and become resilient.

    I have quite a few friends who have similar stories as mine and have also gone on to write books.  One friend, Kathleen DiChiara, shares her story in her book entitled The Hidden Connection, which is about how she was given a grim prognosis for herself and her entire family, as they battled 21 severe disorders and syndromes.  Instead of accepting the predisposed outcome, she got educated on the idea of using food as medicine.  Today her family is entirely healed, and she became the main subject of a documentary called Secret Ingredients.

    Another friend started a large autism organization geared to helping other families find their answers (similar to eCaP).  That group’s name is Talk about Curing Autism (www.tacanow.org) and is now in 31 states. It has served over 50,000 families.

    Not to bog down your email further, but I just thought you would like to know that we are using your words from 30 years ago in a whole new paradigm.  We are the next generation of those changing the understanding of medicine, and healing!  Thanks again, Bernie.

    Bernie’s Response to Questioner’s Comment:

    I always say that parenting is the number one health issue. Growing up with love makes all the difference. My contribution to the growing library of parenting books is Love, Magic & Mudpies. You might enjoy reading it.

    Peace, Love, & Healing,

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    Q & A with Bernie – August 22, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    I heard a tape of yours years ago, I think from an interview by Tony Robbins.  You said everyone gets sick eventually, so why wait until that happens, do it now. I’m 57 and healthy, yet I don’t really know what I want to do, any suggestions on who to speak with to find out a path to take?

    Bernie’s Answer:

    I said everyone dies, so don’t try not to die.  Instead, try to enjoy life by letting your heart make up your mind.

    Stop thinking and doing, and start feeling and caring.  Find your “chocolate ice cream.”

    If you can love and take care of one, get a pet and do something real for another loving, living being.  Find an organization you support and be a volunteer.

    Focus on giving and you will enjoy the best of life.

    Peace, Love, & Healing,

    Question for Bernie:

    I have had vitiligo since the age of 10 and practically all my life (I’m 31 now). I’ve been trying to find a way to heal my skin. I have changed my diet and am learning about integrative nutrition because I do believe that food is healing. However, I think for me particularly, my condition is not very much related to my food since I cannot see any difference regarding my vitiligo.

    I would love to have your input regarding this, and if you could help advise me, it would be really great—sending you much love, and my best.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    I have very little experience with vitiligo. Ask yourself what negative words express (or describe) how you feel living with vitiligo.  Then, think about what else in your life fits those words, too, and then eliminate those situations, people, or other stressors from your life.

    Look in the mirror many times each day.  As you do, tell your body that you love it.  Your body will respond to your loving care and attention.

    Use healthy supplements with diet to be sure your body is not lacking anything. Highest Quality Vitamins And Supplements – Life Extension is a good resource.

    Read the article below and remember—when you give love, you are beautiful!

    Mind & Heart Matters – “I Hate You”

    by Bernie Siegel, MD

    Dear Everybody,

    Many years ago, while still practicing surgery, I was paged to the ER where I met and examined a young woman who everyone thought had appendicitis. However, I did not and so observed her rather than rush her to the OR, which everyone wanted me to do. Lo and behold, she recovered and was diagnosed as having a ruptured ovarian cyst. A year or so after that event, her younger sister, right before the Christmas Holidays, stumbled and fell into their fireplace. She put her hands and arms out to stop the fall and suffered severe burns on her hands, forearms, and neck. Because of my experience with her older sister, the family called me to come to the ER to see her.

    I admitted her to the hospital and every day visited her to care for her burn wounds. She was also a musician, and having her hands and fingers affected was a real blow to her life. There was no way I could stop all the pain she experienced when I was cleansing and debriding her wounds. I tried my best to distract her with my crazy childlike behavior, but nothing worked. She began yelling at me every day, “I hate you! I hate you!” I would leave her room thinking that this is not what I had hoped to experience as a physician. I wanted to help people and fix things—not be the object of hatred. Her mother told me that she observed me saying to her daughter, “maybe someday you will love me.” I do not remember saying that, but I know from my behavior, it sounds like something I would do.

    After she left the hospital I continued to see her in my office. One summer day when the temperature was in the nineties, Madeline showed up in my office wearing a turtle neck sweater with long sleeves. I asked her what she was doing wearing a sweater on a day like this. She said she felt ugly and scarred and was trying to hide her scars and ugliness from everyone. I tried to get the point across to her that she was not ugly, and that her scars were not what she and her life were now about. She didn’t agree with what I said. She told me that she was looking for a job the following summer and wondered if I could help her find something or knew of something she could apply for. An idea immediately came to my mind. I knew a local nursing home that needed some aides, so I called them to tell them Madeline’s story—and ask them to hire her even though she had no training. They agreed.

    The reason I hoped this would happen is that I knew their aides had to wear a specific uniform to identify them and it would reveal Madeline’s scars due to their short sleeves and open neck. I did not tell Madeline about that—just that I had found her a job. She was so happy to have a job that she didn’t ask me any questions. She had matured, and didn’t hate me anymore.

    A month later, in came Madeline for her routine follow up visit. After going over things, I asked her how her summer job was going. She said, “No one even noticed or asked about my scars.” I said, “Madeline when you are giving love you are beautiful.” The experience and my words did change her feelings about herself, and her life improved from that time on. With time, Madeline did not need more surgical care, so our relationship ended for several years until the evening I received this phone call from Madeline.

    “Doctor Siegel, my father died a year ago and I am getting married this summer. I was wondering if you would be my father at my wedding.”

    “Yes, Madeline. I would be honored to be your father.”

    Wow what a gift that was for my heart and how her request healed our past and said I love you to me. That summer I walked down the aisle with Madeline and after the ceremony we danced together to a song she selected by Kenny Rogers. The lyrics say it all: “Through the years you never let me down. You turned my life around.” Yes, I felt one of the most meaningful moments in my life.

    And Madeline became a nurse to continue loving and caring for the world. So go out and make a difference for yourself and others by being a love warrior.

    Peace, Love & Healing,

    Response to Bernie’s Answer:

    Thanks Bernie. I’m so grateful for you getting back to me.

    I actually see myself as being unique and different from other people, although sometimes it makes me feel limited, for instance, I cannot wear clothes that I would love to wear because I don’t want my skin to be exposed or for people to stare.

    Thanks again.

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    Q & A with Bernie – August 15, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    In 1988, I was diagnosed and treated for lung cancer.  I joined a support group and learned of you.  We were encouraged to get your book, Love, Medicine and Miracles. I did and we went to see you at Loyola University I think it was.

    I carried your book with me to my chemo treatments and live by your book.  I have given one to each person I have met who has cancer. Now my son has esophageal cancer and I have ordered one for him.

    God Bless you, Dr. Siegel. You gave me so much encouragement, and I pray that it helps my son as well.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    I can be the coach, but the other part of the equation is that people have to show up for practice.

    Men think too much, and they can lose the desire to live when they can’t work or do something.

    Get him into relationships of some kind with living things—these can be pets or plants—but something to be responsible for and to care for.

    Also, have him read another of my books—The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing. It will help him to connect mind-body interaction, and there are 60 drawings by people to help explain it all.

    Remind him of his potential, and to visualize what he desires.

    Peace, love, and healing,

    Question for Bernie:

    I have a very close friend struggling with deep depression. He had an aneurysm in May and almost died. He has given up on life.

    I’m trying to help him. He’s such a great person and deserves so much better. Funny, he’s always had a lot of anger. Now there’s nothing but hopelessness.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Ask him what he would want to do if he had 15 minutes to live. Best answer would be to buy a quart of chocolate ice cream and eat it, instead of calling people to say goodbye.

    So, ask him, “What is your chocolate ice cream?” I have so many stories about people who were ready to die but didn’t.

    What people chose to do varied depending on what they defined as their version of chocolate ice cream, but in each case, seemed to result in giving that person a second chance at life. One person moved to Colorado in order to “die in the mountains,” but started to recover.  Another bought a house on the ocean to sit and meditate until the “end,” but also began to see his health improve. Others bought a dog and/or made sure to build a lot of laughter into their lives.

    The common denominator was eliminating enough stress to recharge their bodies, minds, and souls with renewed interest in living life to the fullest.

    Peace, love, and healing,

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    Q & A with Bernie – August 8, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    In 1990 I became very sick, and subsequently became bedridden for three years of my life. My Mother was my primary caregiver. She purchased your books for me and took me to attend one of your lectures here in San Antonio, TX. She encouraged me to have hope and never give up. Eventually, with her help and some changes in my life, I started to feel better, although I still had residual symptoms from my illness. In my 30′s I was able to go back to school and get married. Six years ago I had a relapse, and my Mother became my primary caregiver again.

    This past May my parents took a trip to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. On the trip my Mother presented with the first symptom of her illness. When she got back from the trip, I knew she was sick; we had no idea what was causing her illness. I made the decision that I would do everything in my power to help her, and that I would hold her hand throughout the entire process.

    After numerous tests, the doctor diagnosed her with glioblastoma multiforme. She is very brave and a pillar of grace and strength. She asked the doctor what the treatment would entail. She never once asked “why me” or complained. Her doctor encouraged us to take her to MD Anderson for a consultation, only to find out that the surgery and treatment would greatly diminish her quality of life. She is now in hospice care, and I brought her home to my house so I can take care of her. I’m now her primary caregiver and consider it an honor and a privilege to try to give back to her all that she has done for me. I’m an only child and have no children. My father is disabled and unable to care for her.

    She is the matriarch of the family and has given so much to so many. She has been a surrogate Mother and Grandmother to numerous people in our family. What advice would you give to me during this very difficult situation? Blessings.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Let her know that she has been your teacher and that her love will always be with you.

    Tell her to love her body and life because the potential for healing is always there.  She can visualize her tumor melting like ice would when exposed to God’s light. Telling humorous stories about your childhood will help your mother, too, because laughter is restorative for the immune system.

    If the day arrives when your mother says she is ready to go, tell her to turn off the switch. Gently remind her that only love is immortal, and because it is immortal, it will connect you to each other forever.

    Peace, Love, & Healing,

    Question for Bernie:

    You have been a part of my world in reading and listening for many years. When I was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma, you were a calming and reassuring friend who was there night or day whenever I needed you.  You made me believe miracles do happen.

    The library had your books that I did not already own. Every CD was literally a life line.
    I had the melanoma spot on my leg removed and I said thy will be doneno chemo or radiation.

    Then my doctor told me I must start treatments! But a new PET scan shows lungs and body clear!!  It was gone! Spontaneous remission! I said please put that in writing. They did not want to know what I did. They said, “Keep it up, but it probably will come back.” No never!!

    I just want to send you a heartfelt THANK YOU. Sure, there were other things, but you were the human factor that has no comparison. Hugs to you and yours. You are a blessing to more people than you will ever know.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    God bless you.  I wish I could give you a hug right now.

    The potential is there when you don’t fear failure and choose life. What you experienced is called self-induced healing rather than a spontaneous remission.

    You did it, kid.  You made my day and helped me to heal.

    Love you,

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    Q & A with Bernie – August 1, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    As requested I attach my picture of me receiving the bone marrow transplant.  I had to use pencils and felt pens as we don’t have any crayons in our house.

    I am currently reading your book, Love, Medicine and Miracles, and my friend has also purchased The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing for me, so I am looking forward to reading that too.

    Your work is such a blessing.  I have only read 60 pages of Love, Medicine and Miracles, and it has helped me to get back on an even keel mentally and emotionally after receiving the confronting letter from my specialist.

    I look forward to your response.

    Also, what are your thoughts about the 3 week period following the actual transplant? Do you have any advice?

    With sincere thanks.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    I get a good feeling looking at it.  You are all there, meaning no parts are missing from your body.  I would like to see your doctors and family in the picture; so make sure they are there for you.

    Count the hearts in the transplant and see if the number has meaning for you. Purple is a spiritual and healing color, but it can also represent dying and becoming a spirit.  I don’t get that sense from your smiling face, but I want you to be spiritual on your journey and see God as a resource for you.  Use the energy and love of creation.

    I am attaching two drawings of bone marrow transplants. One looks like a prison scene. In the other, she is in God’s hands, and her doctor, family, and life are all there for her.  Even the chair in her room is filled with colors.

    So, create the picture you want to happen and visualize it several times a day.  You are a survivor, kid.

    Peace, Love, & Healing,

    Question for Bernie:

    This is more of an observation and a validation of how you advise and see things in patients who have cancer.  In 2013 I was diagnosed with Stage 2 bladder cancer.  I went through the appointments with the oncologist and urologist and we developed a plan.  Chemo, a radical cystectomy, and a right nephrectomy were in that plan.

    The first thing my urologist said demonstratively to me upon the cusp of treatment was, “You’re going to be just fine.” My oncologist’s first words were, “I’m treating you for one thing and one thing only—a cure.”  A great start to it all.

    The first thing I thought of was the possibility of dying, no fear of it though.  When undergoing chemo, I’d walk out back in of our six acre property and sit on my bench, just listening to Nature.  I felt its rhythm and saw myself as part of it.  I also visualized being in my daughter’s yard and doing landscape work “by her Dad” a year from that time.

    I said to myself, while sitting/observing, “This is an interesting learning experience, an experience heretofore only observed, not lived.”  It is now three years out; I was pronounced cured last September at two years out.  I am strong and active, and I always tell my immune system to keep me strong and to be vigilant for me.

    For me this worked.  Why? It was partly because I attended some of your lectures almost 30 years ago and learned what our bodies are capable of, given an optimistic attitude.  I’ve never forgotten those lectures, and I tell friends of my experience then and of three years ago.  Now, as a Golf Professional, if only I could be consistently under par—in golf, not life.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    You are my therapist today. As a kid, I gave up on golf because no matter how hard I tried, I could never get that darned golf ball into the hole.  It never seemed to go where I wanted it to go.

    Now I understand how to play the game, though I am not a golfer.  But I firmly believe that we all have the potential to make a hole in one with our lives.

    Bless you,

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    Q & A with Bernie – July 25, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    I heard you speak years ago in Boston; loved hearing you in this summit.  Do you know of anyone who has had success with glioblastomas?  I am receiving traditional treatment now but would love to look for alternatives.  Thank you.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Yes, I know of several people. It is an all-inclusive thing, from loving your life and body to imagery and faith.  Read one of my latest books, The Art of Healing—Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing, and I also recommend my book entitled Faith, Hope & Healing. Browse through the list of CDs I have available on my website, too, at http://www.berniesiegelmd.com/ I would also suggest that you find a naturopathic physician to add to your team for guidance with diet changes, supplements, etc.

    For those seeking more information on customized cancer care and research programs go to these reliable sources:

    Remember, you have the potential. One of the people who was told he would die in a year was a med student who got mad at his textbooks and doctors and changed his life. He cured his colitis while curing his glioblastoma.

    Peace, love, & healing,

    Question for Bernie:

    How do I better handle living with a husband that is not physically engaged and slightly emotionally engaged and so full of his own wrong assumptions he doesn’t hear what I say?

    Bernie’s Answer:

    If you want to live with him say no to what you do not want to do.

    Listen to him and don’t say anything—just make a quiet, background sound like hmmmm.”

    He needs to hear himself before he can listen to you.

    Say “I love you” to him every time he gets angry.  Say “you are so handsome when you are angry” to him and observe his reaction.  This is how you can be a “Love Warrior” if you stay with him, or you can leave.

    Peace, love, & healing,

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    Living in the Time of Your Lfe

    Dear All,

    The following comes from a man I love, William Saroyan. His words go straight to your heart and your mind. The following comes from a foreword he wrote to his play In the Time of Your Life. Like I do, he loves finding pennies. And I can’t recommend his book, The Human Comedy, enough.

    Please devote yourself to living this and you will save the world as we know it:

    “In the time of your life, live—so that in that good time, there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.

    Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart.

    Be the inferior of no man, or of any men be superior. Remember that every man is a variation of you. No man’s guilt is not yours, nor is any man’s innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand: Have no shame in being kindly and gentle. In the time of your life, live—so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.” (In the Time of Your Life, by William Saroyan)

    And this from Mother Teresa~

    Spread love everywhere you go
    First of all, spread love within your own house.

    Give love to your children,
    To your wife or husband,
    To a next door neighbor

    Let no one ever come to you without leaving
    Better or happier.
    Be the living expression
    Of God’s kindness,
    Kindness in your face,
    Kindness in your eyes,
    Kindness in your smile,
    Kindness in your warm greeting.

    Peace, Love & Healing,

    PS: One on my former associates died and the message I received from him via my mystic friend was: “You think you could get rid of me this easy.” and “It’s better here than I expected.”

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    Q & A with Bernie – July 11, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    When first diagnosed with metastatic cancer and feeling lost, what is the first thing one should do?

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Ask for help as you are right now.  Read the Immune Competent Personality list on my website www.berniesiegelmd.com.

    Create a life you love, and love your body.  You have the potential to survive and are not a statistic.

    Find doctors and other health care professionals (like naturopathic physicians) who you feel good seeing, and who have excellent communication skills to explain everything to you as they guide and treat you.

    Read my books and learn!

    Peace, Love & Healing,

    Question for Bernie:

    I have been diagnosed with an invasive bladder cancer. It is recommended that I have surgery by August 1st to have the bladder and all girl parts removed, then getting an external device to get rid of urine. This is life changing and the surgeon says if I do it soon, it will preserve a long life expectancy. I am very healthy and strong, but now this.

    I have no history or family history of cancer, so this all comes as a great shock. Not sure what advice I am seeking. It is all going quite fast. I am seeing an oncologist next week to see if there are other options, but it is not expected that there are, unless there is something new.

    I am working to get my head and heart around a changed life and loving myself with this unfamiliar and difficult process ahead of me.

    Do you have advice that can help me be spiritually grounded, and find peace with this so difficult a situation?  Thank you.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Read my books, Love, Medicine & Miracles and The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing, to help coach you.

    It is your life and body, and you can do what is right for you. Or, you could decide to put all your effort in trying not to die and do what all the doctors tell you to do.

    You can argue with God and get him going, or realize God is with you and can help you heal.

    Your intuitive wisdom knows what is right, so listen to your heart and not your head as you make decisions.

    Drawings of your treatment options can help you get in touch with your intuitive self, and so can writing down the details you remember about your dreams.

    Make a list of the negative words that you would use to describe how you are feeling physically and emotionally.  With that list, look for any place else in your life where those negative words are applicable.  Whether you use them to describe people in your life or situations, take steps to eliminate them from your life. This can go a long way in helping you heal.

    For example, why your bladder? Are you pissed off about something? Look for symbols that can help.  Giving up your bladder is not the issue. Your self-esteem and self-worth are.

    I hope this helps.  I know people who have made changes, left their troubles to God, and had their incurable cancers disappear. You always have the potential for self-induced healing.


    Question for Bernie:

    I’ve messaged you before. I’m not sure what’s happening to me in my life.  I’m allegedly a very intelligent guy but I keep [messing] up.

    I need a miracle to stop me smoking and drinking.  I want to love myself and fall in love, but I’m afraid I don’t know how to.  I know you care about people and about me.  I hope you can help me.


    Bernie’s Answer:

    It is the result of having a childhood that was lacking love.  Without parental love and attention, children feel that their parents are simply indifferent to them, or have rejected them entirely.  Your inability to love yourself could also be the result of physical abuse that occurred along with emotional abuse. Either one, or both, are very often at the root of problems in adulthood that seem insoluble.  BUT you CAN solve them and give yourself the gift of a whole, happy life.

    Stop seeking what you want by behaving as an addict who has run out of drugs and alcohol.  Quiet your mind and be intentional about wanting to heal.

    Become addicted to your well being. And be proud when you say “no” to a cigarette or drink.

    What you deserve is not to poison yourself.

    Put up your childhood pictures around your home, and every time you see one of them, say to that kid in the picture, “I love you!”   You can re-parent yourself and fill the emotional hole left by feeling unloved during your childhood.

    I will be your CD (Chosen Dad) and re-parent you.  You are loved, although I don’t like some of your behaviors.

    Read the article about being a Chosen Dad (CD) below.

    Peace, Love, and Healing,

    by Bernie Siegel, MD,
    New Haven, Connecticut
    July 11, 2016 Bernie Q&A Addendum

    Before I begin my Chosen Dad story I want to say that Dr. Norman Vincent Peake, and his wife Ruth, were friends and teachers of mine. I participated in many of their conferences and church services in New York. Three messages I would leave with you from them are: Norman’s Mom would say to him: Norman if God slams one door further down the corridor another will be open. When I said to him that after growing up in New York I couldn’t stand the crowds and noise anymore and that I loved the quiet country he said, Bernie it is not the quiet or the noise it is the rhythm that counts. If New York is your rhythm and in harmony with your life it is the right place and provides energy for you to be creative. So find your rhythm and harmony. I have learned the truth in his messages. I also loved it when Ruth would appear on stage at conferences to introduce Norman with everyone expecting an extended and detailed description of all his wonderful works and deeds. But she would simply say, “Here’s Norman.” The audience would all laugh as Norman came up on the stage. It was a wonderful way of revealing his humble nature and making us all feel like someone, too—and now to my story.

    Several decades ago I attended a conference to empower cancer patients and help them to heal, given by Dr. Carl Simonton, who had just written the book Getting Well Again. I was there to try and learn ways to help cancer patients live with their experience by looking for the cause not by the diagnosis. I felt ill-prepared by my traditional medical training to care for people as a whole being, and not just treat their diagnosis. Being a doctor can be a painful experience. At the conference one of my patients sat next to me. She turned to me and said, “You’re a nice guy and I feel better when I am in the office with you, but I can’t take you home with me. So I need to know how to live between office visits.”

    Her words redirected my life. I went back to my office and began running support groups for cancer patients. It was called ECaP, or Exceptional Cancer Patients, exceptional because of how few patients chose to participate in a group designed to help them to heal for fear of failing.  I began to realize the power our experience as children has upon our lives and health. In one study almost 100% of people who said, “My parents didn’t love me,” had experienced a serious illness by middle age, while only 25% of those who said, “I felt loved as a child,” did.

    So I continue my support groups, and I continue my efforts to re-parent people by letting them know that I love them. One day, a suicidal teenager I was counseling in my office said to me, “You’re my CD.”

    I said, “What are you talking about—I’m a CD?”

    “You’re my Chosen Dad,” she replied. Those words touched my heart and showed me how powerful our love for one another can be. I must add, it didn’t mean I liked everything the people I loved were doing, but that I loved them.

    After she said that to me, I began telling people who had wounded childhoods, including my patients and others in need, that no matter what age they were, I would be their Chosen Dad (CD). I could see the benefits that this offer created, as they began to realize that they were no longer being rejected, but were hearing and seeing me demonstrate that they were worth loving. And then they started caring for themselves.

    The love makes all the difference for your biological as well as your Chosen Children.      Several years after the event, I came home from the office one day to find a message on my answering machine. I turned it on and heard, “Doctor Siegel, can you provide me with Jack Kevorkian’s phone number. I want to be dead. I have been sexually abused, I have a brain tumor, and I want him to help me end my life.” She then provided her call back number for my response.

    I, of course, did not have Dr. Kevorkian’s number. I help people to die with dignity when they are ready, but I do not help them commit suicide. I have even said to one man who called me, “If you commit suicide, I’ll never talk to you again.” He showed up in my office furious over my insensitivity until I pointed out that my words had worked. He was still alive, and we went on to become close friends.

    I called the number left on my answering machine and when she answered learned her name was Becky. I told Becky she was a child of God and that I loved her, and asked if she would send me two drawings done with crayons so I could help her. One was to be an outdoor scene and the other, a drawing of herself. Becky agreed to do so and in short order the two drawings arrived. Please understand I do a great deal of work with patients’ drawings, which can reveal unconscious information similar to a dream, and also help them make decisions about factors in their lives, ranging from family to treatments. My book, The Art of Healing, makes their value and information available to everyone.

    In the drawing, Becky drew a tree with a large black knothole filling a portion of the trunk of the tree; in the drawing of herself, her face was covered all over with innumerable dots. After calling her to discuss the drawings, I knew the tree represented Becky and realized the dark knothole was related to the years of her abuse. In other words, if I know her age today, and the tree is Becky, then I can measure the length to represent the years of her life, and thus know how old she was when the black covers her life and body. After we talked I knew my interpretation was true.

    I then asked her, “Why all the spots on your face?” I can still hear her say, “That’s how many times he did it.” That hit home for me. We continued to talk, and I let her know that she was a good soul, deserving of love and not the emotional and physical problems related to her family and brain tumors. Then I offered to be her CD or Chosen Dad, and thank God she took me up on it. I told her to give herself a new name and begin a new life free of the wounds from the past. “Lo and behold,” she said, “Rosie1” I told her it was no coincidence that my mother’s name was Rose. I truly felt it was all meant to be.

    Becky and I have met when I visited her home state on my lecture tour. We really are family and bonded to each other. I know I can count on getting a Father’s Day card from Becky before I get one from one of our five kids. I am not complaining about our kids. I’m complaining about what causes someone to need a CD or CM (and Chosen Moms, too).  They need us because their past has been one of parental or guardian indifference, rejection, and emotional abuse, with or without physical abuse—not about love.

    The following was sent to us one year ago by one of our adult children who has had his share of troubled times, too.  We had our hands full raising and learning from him and his siblings.

    “Dad, I just wanted you to know that all my life you have been my hero. From the time I was a little boy throughout my whole life. All the times you came to school for show and tell and brought my pets in and all the classes you visited with body parts that fascinated and put in awe the entire school. All the pets you let me have and all the understanding and love you gave me no matter what. All the people you put back together when they were broken. I was always so proud to be your son and I always will be. I don’t think there is anyone else in the world that will ever know what it means to have a father like you and a mother like mom. I just wanted you to know this, so if the day comes when I can’t tell you how much you both mean to me, you will know because I put it into words way before that day came. Love, Jeff”

    A few years ago Becky sent me gift subscription to Guideposts, and recently one of the articles had me in tears, so I sent her an email telling her how grateful I was to have her in our family, and to thank her for being my Chosen Daughter.

    In closing here is the message from Rosie’s card. “A smile ran across my face today because you ran across my mind. Funny how often that happens.” Her note read: “I think of you every day. You are an angel in my life.” At the top of the card: “All my love, Becky” and at the bottom: “Love Ya, Rosie!”

    Peace, Love, & Healing,

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    Q & A with Bernie – June 27, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    Symptoms continue to worsen even though I’m visualizing, praying, and loving myself every day. I can’t eat a lot of foods, drink coffee, alcohol, and even water dries my mouth.  I have bad breath due to the dryness.

    I’m not socializing anymore. My glands are so painful. I can’t go on living like this.  Thank you for trying to help me.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    What words describe what you are experiencing?

    Response to Bernie’s Answer:

    I feel like my life is over—hopelessness, alone, doom, nothing to look forward to. Once the salivary glands stop working completely they cannot start working again.  I saw the specialist yesterday and all my blood work is good.  I don’t have any of the markers for Sjogrens, but he believes I do have an autoimmune disease and is just waiting for the blood work to change.

    There are cases of Sjogrens, though rare, without any of the markers.  He is now testing me for Lyme but doesn’t believe I have it.

    Could I be bringing these symptoms on myself subconsciously?  If so, why would I do this to myself?  I just don’t know what or who to believe anymore.

    Bernie’s Response:

    “I feel like my life is over—hopelessness, alone, doom, nothing to look forward to.” That describes your problem, in your own words.  The message from your body is that you need to change things in your life in order to lift your spirits and heal.

    Learn from these words what you need to change.  Find a volunteer group you support and join it.  Actively helping others is a powerful antidote to being alone with nothing to look forward to. You are worth the effort, and your body will finally get the positive message it needs to receive—that you intend to LIVE.

    Find a laughter workshop, or think back on some very funny things that happened to you and others in your life—laughing at least every two or three hours each day will instantly give you a break from feeling emotionally down.  When we laugh, we cannot maintain a morose outlook at the same time.

    If you can, go find a furry pet to love, and that will love you back, unconditionally.  If you can’t keep a pet right now, offer to walk a neighbor’s dog and observe how to “live in the moment” as dogs do.  Go to the park and watch little children and/or people with their pets to practice focusing on “being in the moment.”  It will stop when you are involved with others, and there are many, many organizations and people who would welcome you into their lives.

    Peace & Healing,

    Question for Bernie:

    I have a friend who needs to have a bone marrow transplant and blood transfusions.  She thinks it is going to be strange receiving tissue from another person, and I thought your books may help her visualize her body receiving the bone marrow as a positive thing.

    You have written many books. Which book would be the best for me to buy for her? She has been told she has a 30% chance of bone marrow transplant working, so I think she is going to need all the help she can get.  Thank you.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    The first books of mine I would recommend for your friend are Love, Medicine & Miracles and The Art of Healing—Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing.  Also, my CD entitled, “Getting Ready,” could be of great help with visualizing.  You can browse through my books and CDs on my website. Talk with her about what she thinks would help her the most.

    Your friend needs to visualize the success she desires.  Remember that her body will believe what her mind visualizes, so it is important that she really work on positive visualization of healing.

    Suggest that she accept the marrow as family for her body. She must NOT visualize the problem or accept any negative comments doctors may make to her.  She has the potential to heal, and she must keep remembering that she is NOT a statistic—she is a unique individual with her own potential to overcome “the odds.”

    With my Art of Healing book, she can draw herself receiving the transplant and erase from her mind any negative images.

    Peace & Healing,

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    Lessons from the Killing of Harambe

    Please help me make sure this doesn’t happen again!

    There have been a lot of people wanting me to make a public statement about the murder of Harambe in the Cincinatti Zoo. I agree with and commend the courage of the Mirror Magazine in the U.K., who put the caption under this photo, “Harambe was shot dead while trying to protect three-year-old Isaiah.”

    In 29 days, I will be THIS close to a WILD Silverback and I’ll be bumbling around HIS infant children, but he won’t try to hurt ME.

    Gorillas are gentle, family-oriented animals who are only violent in self-defense of themselves or the family they love. Harambe was not a WILD gorilla. Harambe was a 17-year-old public celebrity who had already sacrificed his entire life to entertaining and educating humans–primarily human children. Now I admit, when Harambe dragged the child through the water, it looked a little scary, but he was just trying to get the child out of the water and to safety. He showed no indication whatsoever that he wanted to harm Isaiah, and the keepers at the zoo who supposedy knew Harambe–and hopefully even loved him–could easily have seen this.

    I wish to God I had been in the zoo that day because this is what I would have done: I would have calmly climbed into his enclosure, comforted him and sent him love, and handed him a bunch of bananas or grapes in exchange for the toddler. I would have apologized for the disruption that obviously scared and confused him, especially with all the humans in a panic screaming from above. I would have thanked him for protecting the toddler and for handling the situation so beautifully. Then I would have given Harambe the fruit as a reward, taken the toddler by the hand, and delivered him back to his mother.

    This would have been the sane thing to do, and I don’t even know that gorilla. Because I was not there, this would have been the job of his keeper, a keeper who hopefully would have understood that Harambe was not just some wild unpredictable animal that the keeper didn’t KNOW, but a treasured member of this zoo family. The keeper should have had a trusted relationship with Harambe and even consider him a “friend.” I don’t know these keepers, and I don’t mean to make villians out of them, nor am I anti-zoo because I work with many zoos around the world and some are doing stellar work. I only wish I had had the opportunity to educate the staff at the Cincinatti Zoo, and I would truly love to have that honor someday. As Animal Communication becomes more mainstream, I pray some of the mistreatment of “dangerous” animals will begin to fade away. My new book, Whispers From the Wild, will be published by New World Library in October 2016, to this aim.

    A lot of criticism online followed the public outrage over Harambe senseless murder because many armchair critics complained that the public should be more concerned with the crisis of our human immigrants, not “just” a gorilla. As an activist, I try to encourage you to do what you CAN do and help where you CAN– be that with the immigrants, or the trauma victims in Florida, or our veterans coming back from the war, or whatever crisis touches your heart and needs your skill-set. There are enough crises to go around. I’ve noticed it is often these armchair critics who are doing the least to help. The people who attack those of us who are trying to make a difference in this world are usually doing nothing themselves to help. There is only one weapon that can really work and it’s all I’ve got to give: education!

    I’m trying to help. And I can give YOU a way to help. Can you help me? In 28 days I will be meeting up to 500 orphans in Rwanda to educate them about their neighbors, the gorilla with whom they share the Volcanoes National Park. Then I will be meeting the Silverback of my favorite group so that I can personally apologize for what happened to Harambe. And I will apologize for the fact that Harambe was in a zoo at all. Most of our gorillas in zoos are orphans confiscated when their parents get poached in Rwanda. In honor of Father’s Day, I want to honor the Silverback Daddys because they are some of the best fathers I’ve ever seen. There are only about 850 Mountain Gorilla in existence on this Earth and I want to keep them here.

    This is a problem I CAN do something about. But I can’t do it without YOUR help. Please donate now to ARK ANGEL

    ARK ANGEL is  flying to Rwanda on July 13th.  I’ll be visiting Pastor Leonidas’s church in the village of Nyamirambo outside of Kigali.  We will draw gorilla, dance as gorilla, and improvise theater about gorillas and poaching so that these children don’t grow up to be poachers.  I will explain that gorilla are not food, that they have feelings the same as humans, and that when a mother gorilla is killed, an orphan is left behind…just like these orphans who also need understanding and love.

    - Amelia Kinkade

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