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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.
  • 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 #241 – Tree of Life

    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.

    Stand Tall & Proud
    Remember your Roots!
    Be Content with Your Natural Beauty
    Drink Plenty of Water
    Enjoy the View!

    If we are busily performing deeds, but never stop to reach up for knowledge and wisdom, our Tree of Life will have no branches and many roots. Without branches, how can it move and respond with the winds of life? Or if we accumulate great knowledge but perform no deeds, then we are like a tree with many branches but no roots, and we will be blown over by the winds of fortune.

    We must see that our Tree of Life contains both wisdom and deeds. Then our branches will spread and our deep roots will provide support and nourishment. We will be able to survive the storms and droughts that life presents to us.

    Soulution of the Day

    Is your Tree of Life blossoming and secure,
    or do you need to put down more roots or grow more branches?

    - Bernie

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  • Q & A with Bernie – July 27, 2015

    Question for Bernie

    Hello Dr. Siegel,

    I thought to contact you and ask for any wisdom and advice you may have. I received awful news last week.  My Dad has metastatic cancer. We were on a big family trip in Europe and cut it short, he was so ill.

    He is a 69-year-old incredibly healthy, fit long distance runner who has no medical history at all. He is a non-smoker, a non-drinker vegetarian. Last year he developed some weird reactive arthritis post-flu and this year it continued.

    Overseas on this long cruise he became progressively unwell, with dizziness and headaches. Also, he lost significant weight. We flew home and CT showed cerebellar, lung, and liver lesions.  He is in hospital now. He had an emergency craniotomy two nights ago for cerebellar metastasis. They think the primary is the lung; pathology back today or tomorrow.

    Our family is shattered. We are totally devastated by such a massive shock. There has been a lot of fighting and anger in the family for some years, and now we are deeply regretful and guilty about things said in the past.  Mum even wanted a divorce after 50 years of marriage, which he was deeply sad about.

    We need your advice and wisdom to help us get through this. I am giving him your books to read for a start.

    Hope you are well and thank you. Kind regards.

    Bernie’s Answer

    Yes, the books can help your father as well as other members of the family.

    Ask him what he is experiencing with his illness and make note of the words he uses to describe those feelings.  Then, see what else in his life fits the negative words he uses. Whether people or situations (other than his illness) could be described using the negative words he uses about his illness, he needs to eliminate them, or severely restrict contact or involvement in order to feel better about his life.

    Verbalize your love for him, and tell him to love his life and his body.  Your role is to be a love warrior, telling him you love him at every opportunity.  Even if he is being difficult, tell him you love him, and don’t engage in arguments or negative reactions to his behavior. Let him decide what he wants to do about his life.

    Help him to heal by encouraging him to save his energy for healing, not for fighting a war.  His body is not the enemy.  It will respond to loving, healing thoughts.  The immune system is strengthened by taking a loving approach to illness in the body by visualizing living a positive life and living that visualization.

    Listen to him so he opens up and hears himself.  When he hears the words he uses, he will be able to tell you and others supporting him what he needs to help him heal.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Response to Bernie’s Answer

    Thank you so much. Yes, he is a very negative and critical man and there has been much family stress and tension. He wants to change now, and is being more positive. We are all together and have expressed forgiveness and much love for each other. Mum has told him they are staying together, and we will get through this together. I will get him to do a picture and send it to you. Thanks again with love and blessings from our family.

    Bernie’s Response

    Remember, all colors are available for drawing.

    Question for Bernie (second question from person who submitted today’s first question)

    Here are my Dad’s pictures. His own father died when he was 12 and it greatly hurt him, which he always mentions. He never got on with his brother and always fought with his mother until she died almost two years ago.

    Our immediate family is Mum, Dad, and me. I have no brothers or sisters.

    I think your suggestions are very interesting.  Thanks for your help and support and advice, sent with blessings and love.

    Bernie’s Answer

    #1 Looks good – all are touching inside the same heart and have all the parts they need.

    You can ask your dad why he is behind them rather than in line with them, and what it means to him. Purple is a spiritual color, and the eight little lines in the drawing signify a new beginning.

    #2 “George” – nice color and energy around he and your dad, but others are in black, separated, and all standing in puddles. Black is for brother and mom.

    #3 “My family” – shows four hearts, with two pierced by arrows.  Resembles family separation in other drawing; appears that messenger is carrying letter.

    #4 “Disease” – is neatly wrapped in a box with the sun shining.  Count the rays and see if the number means anything to your dad.  I get a good feeling about it being in box with lovely ribbon tied around it.  It is important, though, not to have your dad make it into a gift so he gets more attention for being sick.  Help him get love in a healthy way.

    #5 “House” – looks nice and warm with heat coming out.  The four birds probably symbolize the family. Count flowers and other things in the drawing to see if those numbers have meaning to him. He is probably the tree and looks healthy with the green line going up.

    Share these interpretations and see how he reacts.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Response to Bernie’s answer

    Your interpretations are very, very interesting. Thank you so much for this, and I will show my Dad your e-mail. He is very grateful for your help and advice, too.

    We are all terribly grateful for your time and understanding, and send our blessings to   you and your family.

    Question for Bernie (third question from person who submitted today’s first question)

    We are trying to stay positive and are doing our prayers and meditations, but are becoming increasingly scared, sad and troubled.

    We just bought some of your CDs on meditation for Dad. He is getting depressed and down dealing with the debilitating arthropathy associated with the lung cancer (HPO). We also got him your Faith, Hope and Healing book.

    I am having a fair bit of trouble, as is Mum, with all of this. We are not sleeping well and are living in constant stress, fear, and sadness in what seems like a 24/7 time frame.

    I was wondering if you had some advice/guidance for Mum and me.  We would greatly appreciate it.

    Bernie’s Answer

    You and your mother should also meditate and listen to the CDs. It is very important for both of you to interrupt your day with time for yourselves individually or together.

    All three of you can ask yourselves what you are supposed to learn from your father’s illness.  If you are getting along with one another now, this question could be one you could discuss as a family, or you can choose not to share the answers you each come up with when you ask yourselves the question.  There are no “right or wrong” answers to the question of what you are to learn from what you, your father, and your mother are experiencing with regard to your dad’s illness.  You each may have very different answers, but all will be valid.

    The wisdom is in you.  Compassion is the element we all need, so care for yourself and find what nourishes you emotionally, just as food nourishes your body physically.   I hope these suggestions help.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Response to Bernie’s Answer

    Yes, this is definitely huge help. Dad is reading your books and is much happier.
    Thanks again, and our blessings and love to you and your family.


    Question for Bernie

    Dear Bernie,
    I have been trying to find a boyfriend for the past four years, but meeting a guy is very hard.  My relationship with my father has not been great since I was young.  I think the problem with meeting someone is due to my relationship with him which has made me believe that I could not get a man who loves me. When I meet someone new, I find myself rushing to have a relationship with the man.  That makes me look needy when actually I am a very independent person.

    The last few nights, after all the bustling events at work, I drew a picture of how my boyfriend and I would be. I have not met this man, but I guess this is how he would look, although my fortune teller said that a “fat husband” would bring me comfort and good luck.

    Please guide me from this drawing.

    Bernie’s Answer

    What I see in your drawing is that you are both stuck with no feet.  His eyes scare me.  Neither of you have hands to reach out with, or to touch each other with.  The two clouds and house in the drawing could symbolize the two of you in the future, but there are clouds and no sunshine there.

    There are nine stars and three birds.  What do those numbers mean to you?

    You have a smile and he has little one.

    Think about how to connect your hearts in some way.  If you have the time to care for a dog and will not have to leave it alone all day while you work, consider getting one.  If you only have limited time, volunteer as a dog walker at a vet’s practice or at the animal shelter.  Walking a dog in the park or path where others walk their dogs is often a very good way to meet people who have compassionate, loving hearts.

    In your drawing even the tree looks like it is you, and you are reaching out.  Look for ways to bring love and joy into the lives of others, and it will all happen for you as it should.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Thoughts from Bernie – July 20, 2015

    At workshops I frequently ask people if they would like to be free of all pain; emotional and physical. However, I tell those who sign up for what they think will be a gift to take my phone number with them so when they experience the problems associated with feeling no pain they can call and cancel the supposed gift.

    Think about lepers and diabetics with peripheral neuropathy who are losing their limbs because they cannot feel infections or injuries. Then think about our feelings and emotions and how important it is to respond to them. I grew up with a mother whose advice about every problem was always the same, “Do what will make you happy.” She taught me to deal with feelings so today I have happy depressions. When I am hungry I seek nourishment and when I feel gnawing unrest or other painful emotions I seek the changes in my life which will resolve the unhealthy and painful feelings. Mondays we have more heart attacks, suicides, strokes and illnesses. Perhaps if we responded to our feelings and changed our lives or attitudes Monday would not threaten our health.

    I experience pain but I do not suffer. To me pain is a necessity, if I am going to define myself and my life, but suffering is an option. Suffering relates to the emotional needs of the individual which are not being met. When the pain has no meaning and does not lead to healing of the person’s life the individual suffers greatly. We have to realize that life is a labor pain of self birthing. When the pain is something we choose to experience to help us grow it hurts far less than the meaningless pain imposed upon us by others, including health care provider’s treatments and prescriptions.

    I work with people’s drawings, and two people draw may the same treatment, with one showing it as hell and the other as heaven. If surgery is a mutilation and the drawing of the operating room shows a black box with a patient in it but no one caring for them, versus a life saving gift from God showing flowers and the surgeon caring for the patient, the post-operative recovery will demonstrate the difference. I have done major surgery upon people who awaken and say, “I have no pain. I am a little sore.” I explained to the nurses to please stop writing, “Patient refuses pain medication” in their chart and write that the patient had no pain.

    Studies reveal that when you put your hand in a bucket of ice and keep it there as long as possible you will keep it in the ice longer if loved ones are standing by your side then if you are alone; and probably even longer if your dog is there. In one study women who were given loving care during child birth had half the number of Cesarean Sections and a fraction of the need for epidurals than women given good technical care but shown no compassion during labor.

    I also know from personal experience with a back injury that when I was operating, or painting a portrait, two activities where I lost track of time and was being loving and creative I was not aware of my pain. When I stopped either activity I needed to lie down due to the pain I was now aware of. I think any activity which makes you lose track of time is the healthiest state one can ever be in.

    A few years ago I was visiting a neurologist friend’s office. In a darkened examining room was a woman who had a severe migraine headache and was awaiting transportation to the hospital. I went in to talk to her and asked her, “How would you describe the pain you are feeling?” She answered, “It’s a burden, like pressure.” If she were my patient I would have asked, “What else in your life fits those words and is a burden causing you pressure?” Instead I did some guided imagery with her to alleviate the burden and pressure in her life.

    I then left her in the dark to rest. A few minutes later the office nurse came in to tell me the woman’s headache was gone and she was headed home. “And by the way the burden is her marriage.” I have had others answer with words like draining, sucking, failure, road block and say, “Thank you” and walk off with a smile of enlightenment on their face.

    It is also important to realize people hear you in coma, under anesthesia and while asleep. As my patients awakened after surgery I would say, “You will wake up comfortable, thirsty and hungry.” It worked so well many of them gained weight after surgery because they were always hungry.

    Major abdominal surgery can be done under hypnosis and even acupuncture. To me this simply reveals the power of the mind to control pain and how personal a sensation it can be.

    I do not blame the patient or deny the many painful syndromes that require medications and various anesthetic therapies but I am saying that one cannot separate the sensation from the individual and their life and beliefs. Two people with the same affliction do not necessarily experience and suffer the same degree of pain.

    As I said earlier when we see life as a labor pain of self birthing the pain becomes meaningful and at that time is no longer seen as a curse, and for some it becomes a blessing because of how it redirects their life to find nourishment for their body and soul.

    But when we are experiencing pain because of a prescribed treatment or a family telling us what we must go through to not die we are in big trouble. We need to keep our power and find meaning in what we choose to do. I find support groups are very helpful because the natives are able to share with each other and not be told what to do by the tourists.

    Let me again close with a poem I received several years ago:

    Nine months seems like a long time
    I watch my body change
    Tired I sit staring out at life
    Books and music transport me beyond my body
    Nine months finally passI give birth to my child
    All the discomfort and pain is now justified

    Chemotherapy and radiation
    Twelve months seems like a long time
    I watch my body change
    Tired I sit staring out at life
    Books and music transport me beyond my body
    Twelve months finally pass
    I give birth to myself
    All the discomfort and pain is now justified

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Thoughts from Bernie – July 13, 2015

    The key to life in all its forms is its ability to communicate. This includes the ability of complex organisms like ourselves to communicate with each other but more importantly within ourselves, our individual organs and cells. How do animals communicate without words? Studies show they can count and make intelligent choices when given options yet we do not know how they are able to reason and communicate without using words.

    Life began with one celled organisms who learned how to communicate by altering the chemistry of their environment. In times of danger they would secrete substances which led them to come together into a balls of cells which would survive adverse living conditions like droughts or temperature fluctuations. Today these same methods of communication go on within us but problems arise when we do not pay attention to these messages of danger because of our level of consciousness. Notice I didn’t say intelligence. If we were intelligent we would pay attention to the messages we are giving our bodies and they are giving us so that the intracellular signals would be life enhancing and not disease inducing.

    Think of the simple fact that Monday has a higher mortality and suicide rate then other days of the week and you begin to see why we are not the wisest of creatures. Bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics by intelligent alterations in their genetic mechanisms and survive. We can’t even get through the week without succumbing to adverse conditions.

    I also marvel at the intelligence within a seed. Did you ever notice how seeds will sprout and grow through pavement to survive. How do they know which way is up without sensing warmth? There is a sense of gravity within a seed and they don’t give in to adversity when they run into obstacles. They push forward or find new ways to reach the light. What signals them to keep going and not succumb?

    The method of communication has to be chemical signals within the cell directing its behavior but how a protein molecule thinks and knows what to do is beyond me and probably science’s understanding. It is awesome to think of one cell developing into a human being and differentiating into all the components we are made of and getting them to develop in the right places too. Think of the endless number of signals which must be given to each intracellular component to do this.

    Now think of the signals this organism receives after it is formed. What does a touch, hug or caress say to it about living? What do unexpressed fears, despair and depression tell it about the desire to live. Every cell in our bodies is aware of our will to live and our desires and intentions. The emotional and the physical are one. Mind and matter are not separate entities. Just as one celled organisms reacted to their environment our cells react to both our physical and emotional environments because there is a chemistry to both.

    The question is what messages are you giving your body so that the signals created are life enhancing and not life threatening. I think the key words and signals are inspiration and expiration. We use the latter when things are ending. When someone dies we say he expired. The breath of life has left.

    Inspiration is a word that fills us with the joy of living and our desire and intention to survive. Inspiration means breathing in but it also speaks of being inspired to create life and survive hardships. When I meet an inspired individual who is living a meaningful life I know they will live longer in the face of adversity then others with the same afflictions or problems. I believe this is why some people overcome so called incurable diseases. They find new meaning in life and signal their bodies that their desire and intention and determination is to live. They are not ready to expire because they are inspired to live, love and serve.

    Their bodies get the message and changes occur which lead to their healing and curing themselves and their bodies. Now we are getting somewhere. Like the bacteria we are living with a sense of our mission here and role in creation and respond to adversity with a will to live. We see this idea supported by research being done today. Join a support group or simply keep a journal of your feelings and you slow the progression of your disease, reduce the number of symptoms, lower the recurrence and death rates. It doesn’t matter what the disease is. The will to live is physiologic and communicated to every cell in your body.

    Remember the song, “Eat an apple every day. Go to bed by three. Take good care of yourself. You belong to me. Be careful crossing streets. Don’t eat meats ‘cause you’ll get a pain and ruin your tum, tum.” You don’t know how lucky you are reading this and not having me sing it to you. The latter might create some negative signals to your body.

    The message is clear. Give your body messages and signals related to your inspiration and will to live. Your body will do the best it can to sustain you when you do so. Exercise produces neuropeptides which protect the cardiovascular system. Massage enhances growth and immune function. The beneficial effects of love are not an accident. So find your reason for living now and get going. Then you will never be working and Mondays won’t be a threat to your health.

    One last word of advice. This is not written to help you avoid disease and death but to help you enjoy life. In Heaven the grumpiest people are the vegetarian, meditating, joggers who despite eating only vegetables, meditating regularly and getting up early every day to jog died anyway. So do what feels right because that is how those chemical messages from your body are communicated, through feelings and not what is thought. The body signals us too. The mind matters and feelings matter and when we live right they are the healthiest unit they can be. Consciousness and matter unify and become one through the inspirational signals we provide. So get in touch with your body.

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    Q & A with Bernie – July 6, 2015

    Question for Bernie:

    Hello Bernie,

    Many years ago you helped me with some anxiety over being abandoned, regarding my mother, when I was an infant.  Thank you for that.

    I’m 62 and my husband died a year ago. He either had a heart attack or stroke at the wheel of his car. About three months ago, I started getting scared and full of anxiety.  Up until then I was okay.  Now I think of physical symptoms and I’m twitching all over, so I think I have bad neurology disease.  Then I looked up stuff on Google and really scared myself.  I miss my husband so much.

    Why am I concentrating so much on My body?  I thought you might have some thoughts.  I have been sober for 34 years.  I went to the doctor and he gave me Ativan, but I won’t take it.  I heard it is addictive.  I wish I could calm down and forget myself.  Thanks for listening.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Your husband’s spirit is still with you.  Be observant and look for signs of his presence. Ask for his help, and quiet your mind.

    I have a little book, Buddy’s Candle. I highly recommend that you get it and read it. You can order through my website www.berniesiegelmd.com.  Scroll down the Home Page and look at the right-hand column for our Wisdom of the Ages bookstore, click, and order through them.

    Think of your mind as a pond.
    When the water is still, the truth is seen by reflection.
    When the water is turbulent, the truth isn’t visible.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Thoughts from Bernie – June 29, 2015

    With summer here, many people are in a more playful mood because this is the season most associated with vacations.  Vacations refresh us by giving us permission to let go of our daily routine along with the associated “have to” mindset that we have when we are not taking a vacation break.  So I wanted to highlight one of my articles that will encourage you to let go of negative thoughts and negative influences in your life that you can eliminate.  Enjoy your life, whether you are on vacation or not, by resolving to laugh several times every day.  Your body will respond to the love you give it when you incorporate humor into your daily life.

    Read on…Bernie

    He Who Laughs Lasts

    Love and laughter are required to build and hold our lives together. For me love makes up the bricks which we build out of. Ask yourself what you are capable of loving and you will know what your life is about. But what holds that life and the bricks together? We need mortar and the mortar of life is humor. For me this represents childlike humor that isn’t offensive and doesn’t hurt or upset anyone. Humor of this type heals lives.

    One of the things that convinced me of the value of humor occurred one evening when my wife and I were out lecturing. My wife Bobbie does stand up one-liner comedy as part of our presentation so people can feel the benefit of laughter and not just hear a lecture about how it alters our physiology. On this particular evening I did not take her seat in the audience, as I usually do, because of the set-up of the stage. I sat behind her and watched the audience. The change in their physical appearance after laughing for 15-20 minutes was striking and made me a firm believer in the benefits of humor. Two of her straight lines are, “He who laughs, lasts” and “Laughter is contagious—be a carrier.” I agree.

    On a personal level, what I mean by childlike humor is about seeing the world through a child’s eyes. On airline flights I would come out of the lavatory looking worried and say, “I may have damaged the plane.” Attendants would hurry over and I’d say, “I dropped something from Italy in the toilet and then I saw the sign, Don’t throw foreign objects in the toilet.” Now all the planes have signs that say, Don’t throw solid objects in the toilet because of crazy people like me.

    Many years ago, I fell off our roof when a ladder I was climbing broke.  I landed on my feet, which seemed physically impossible considering the angle of the ladder, etc.  I shared the story with the audience for one of my talks when we got to the topic of having a guardian angel.  I said that I thought I must have an angel, given my lucky escape from injury when I fell off the ladder.

    A man came up at the end of my talk and said, “You do have an angel, and I know his name.”

    I said, “How do you know?”

    The man asked me, “What did you say when the ladder broke?”

    I remembered saying, “Oh Shit!”

    The man said, “That’s your angel’s name.”

    I laughed, but didn’t realize what a gift he gave me. Now, whenever I get into difficult situations and blurt out, “Oh Shit,” I start laughing because I know help is on the way. Feel free to make use of my angel when you are in need.

    One other example of childlike behavior and humor is in the instructions you either read or hear from people. When it says, sign in upon entering, write down “upon entering.” When it says, print your name, print “YOUR NAME.” When the sign says, “Nobody Allowed Here,” go on in, and when they shout at you, just tell them you’re “a nobody.” Most of the time they let you go, thinking that if you’re that stupid, you pose no danger. One guard stepped in front of me and said, “I’m making you somebody and you have to leave now.” Another child appears and I gave him a hug.

    The last point I would make is that the world is filled with pain. Why add to it? Why not help heal it? The majority of people feel the world is unfair. It isn’t. It is just difficult. So make it easier for yourself and others. When people ask me, “How are you feeling today?” I say, “Depressed. Out of my antidepressant and my doctor is away so I can’t renew my prescription.” Three quarters say, “I know how you feel and tell me their troubles and offer me some of their antidepressant.” I am not kidding when I tell you this. The others embrace me and help heal me because they have been loved and have joy in their lives.

    Be a healer and spread joy through humor and laughter. The world is a human comedy if we but see it that way. Yes, it is a tragic comedy at times but he who laughs lasts. Remember it is not healthy to be serious and normal. Trying to be normal is only for those who feel inadequate. So be a carrier and spread joy and healing. If you embarrass your children regularly they will thank you later in their life. Our children come home and say, “Thanks Dad.” When I ask why they are thanking me they say they either did something crazy at work or school and instead of their being criticized they heard people say, “Well you know who his father is.”

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    Q & A with Bernie – June 22, 2015

    Question for Bernie:

    My wife and I are now in a town called Bokeelia, Fl – outside Ft Myers – where we were so lucky to find a woman almost giving away a mobile home in a sailing, kayaking, fishing, and especially RELAXING setting, surrounded by water and peaceful happy people.  Many super rich people in trailers because of the neighbors.

    In the book I am reading now, Anti- Cancer, A New Way of Life – they always included stress reduction as a key part of the nutrition and exercise changes that are curing people. Here is the quote for you (actually for your herd)–

    In Chinese, the notion of “crisis” is written as a combination of the two characters “danger” and “opportunity”.   The author is introducing how his illness changed his life for the better in ways he could have never imagine when diagnosed.

    The other book, Never Fear Cancer Again, changed my life almost as much as your book as it somehow got me motivated to make these changes – by UNDERSTANDING WHY AND HOW these activities work. WHY omega 3s are important, WHY grains are bad.  I finally dumped dairy and my stomach problems vanished (if it’s the placebo effect, that’s fine)

    And you must enjoy seeing that just lifestyle/relaxation changes have been seen to have significant positive effects on patients’ DNA.

    Finally the community you left has caught up with you!

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Yes, like the age-old message of “When going through hell ask yourself,

    “What am I to learn from this experience?”

    And, I’ll add the message of like hunger leads you to food, let the answer you find lead you to nourish your life and self.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – June 15, 2015

    Question for Bernie:

    Keeping in touch…

    Yesterday my husband kept saying, “I am suffering and want to go to hospice…or the hospital.”

    When the visiting nurse came, he agreed to go to hospice which I arranged. The day before he did not leave the bed and was extremely uncomfortable even with the oxycodone and oxycontin.

    After spending 10 hours at the hospice, when I was ready to leave he asked if I could take him with me because he wanted to go home. I feel heartbroken.

    He is on lots of pain meds, and I hope the brain cancer has something to do with the confusion.

    He cannot focus well or even write a note.  I want to make the right decision…is the right one to be pain free?

    I feel so guilty about making the right or wrong decision. I want him home, but I also want him safe. I am just thinking out loud to you because, again, I know you have the words of wisdom that help me think about it in the correct manner.

    With love, and thanks.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    I think he is ready to go and be free of the pain, but yes, he would still like to be with you.  I think that you can share with him that being at home won’t be the best thing for him due to his intractable pain.  It can be much better managed in hospice care.

    Talk about the good times you have shared, and remind him that those times can be relived through memory.  They are still with him, so encourage him to think about those good times when he wants to be home—he can be “home in his mind” by thinking of those good memories.

    Think about those times yourself and bring them up with him.  Tell him stories of the past, especially humorous ones you shared together.  You can lift his spirits while hospice helps get his pain under better control.

    Remember that feeling guilty about making a life-changing decision like the one you are facing now is a barrier to both his and your own peace of mind.  Banish the idea of “guilt” from your decision-making, and know that your caring, loving heart is now leading the way.  You know that keeping him as pain free and safe as possible means hospice care.  Then, instead of wasting precious energy on a feeling like guilt, that is not any part of the picture at all, you will have that energy to make the remaining time warm, loving, and positive for both of you.

    Peace and love,
    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – June 8, 2015

    Question for Bernie:

    I have an appointment and I welcome prayer support:

    “That my doctor will be divinely guided to extract the roots of my lower left molar safely, easily and quickly and that I tolerate the procedure with ease and gratitude.”

    Thanks!

    Bernie’s Answer:

    What you visualize and believe will happen.  Your body experiences what your mind conceives.

    You don’t need God unless you are in premature labor and can’t handle what is occurring.  But we have been blessed with a mind over which you have dominion.  When you learn to rely on the power of your mind, and practice giving it positive affirmations with the certain knowledge that it will act upon those affirmations, you will be in the driver’s seat.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie:

    Good morning Bernie,

    It has been many months since I have written.  I am the teacher who has come to you for friendship and advice in the past.  My mother passed in Germany last March peacefully from her Alzheimer’s disease.

    My husband has not had an easy time of it.  During the last several years he has had operations, chemo, immune therapy, and lastly gamma knife treatment. His bladder cancer has metastasized to the brain, liver, lungs, and rectum.  He is in pain most of the time and is on a great deal of pain medication.

    When does one really KNOW when to involve hospice?  He is at home and recently it was suggested that hospice home care be involved.  I understand that to mean that once they are involved, you no longer have the option of ever going to a hospital again.  Is it kinder to have only hospice care rather than going to an ER ever again?  I would like to have him get help at home since he does get disoriented with things like getting dressed and clearly making his needs known so they can be met.  Yesterday when the hospice coordinator talked to me, she said we could put him in a hospice facility as early as this week. I am looking for a home health care person.

    But how does one know…does God or the person give us a sign that the decision is correct.  We are alone here, and after all this time, you are the only person I feel knows how to think about this problem.  It is not that I feel it is giving up, but more like allowing the ultimate plan to be followed, and yet to make the decision all by oneself is more than difficult.

    You have dealt with sickness, cancer, caring for a loved one, and seen people go through this dilemma. What should I focus on, and how do I do the right thing?

    Please forgive me for burdening you with this problem and my thoughts about it. You provided the children in my class and me with a philosophy of living, and you seem at peace with health, sickness, and death more than anyone I know.  I ask for your help in this decision.

    Love and peace.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    I will never forget you.  Here are some things to help you as you and your husband make this decision:

    Ask him how he would feel in a totally white room with no windows or decorations.  If he says he would like it, he is ready to move on and find peace and rest. If it bores him or he wants to leave, he still has some life energy.

    As my dad said, “I need to get out of here,” meaning his body, and he died a few days later when we gathered as a family. He died laughing as my mom told stories of their early dates and meeting, so talk about the good times, and then ask him if he is ready to move on and become perfect again—free of the pain and problems.

    Often when people enter hospice care, they actually improve because the stress of treatment and feelings of being a burden to loved ones goes away. Sometimes hospice care leads to “graduations” or “drop outs” by helping people feel better and go on living.  Most importantly, good hospice care brings compassion, and that is what is needed for you both.

    If you have any other thoughts or questions, just let me know.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – June 1, 2015

    Question for Bernie

    Hi Bernie,

    I wrote you a while ago about buying your book, A Book of Miracles. I have also heard many of your interviews and am truly amazed—how in heaven’s name do you deal with some people who let you down when you give so much? With such a big, big heart, you continuously give loving advice and fatherly guidance to people.

    Like you, I care about people, but I express that by providing laughter as a comedian to those who come to see me.  I have brought laughter to many, many people during my career.

    But I feel that I have been struck down with health problems at age 62.  I had to have two stents placed for my heart. I have Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy. And finally, now I have tremors, and cry at the drop of a hat.

    I have two loving boys, 26 and 28, but if I don’t go to them, I never see them. Could you please guide me? I have spent time and lots of money on people who I believed to be doctors, healers, naturopaths, etc. to heal myself. I’m a single male living alone and I am very lonely and sad. I am a 1st generation Holocaust, only child.

    Sent with much love and respect to a man who gives so much unconditional love. You MUST be the reincarnation of some Holy Mystic. God bless you.

    Bernie’s Answer

    I do have an angel mystic who guides me.  His name is George and people have seen him standing before me when I lecture.

    Loneliness causes all of the problems by lowering immune function and raising stress hormone levels.  You can heal yourself by doing any or all of the following

    • Get a dog if you can spend time with your dog.  Studies have shown that people who love animals and have pets with them as much as possible live longer.
    • Find a group of people you can relate to—sit down and write the things you are interested in (you might have three headings, like “Most Interested In” and “Moderately Interested In” and “Not Very Interested In” and check with your
      library about groups that meet there or that the librarian is aware of in any of
      your three categories on your list of things that interest you.  You can also go
      on the internet for schedules of meetings or presentations in any of your areas
      of interest.  Maybe you can put on Laughter Workshops, which I often suggest
      as a powerful healing activity.
    • Crying is okay—you have a heart
    • Become a love warrior

    Love is your weapon—start by calling your kids or e-mailing them each day for 90 days    saying you just wanted to say “I love you,” then skip a day and see what they do.

    • Meditate and say prayers or mantras every morning
    • Laugh for no reason every few hours.  As a comedian, coming up with “laugh out loud” thoughts shouldn’t be a problem!
    • Be grateful for life. You are here to give love in the way you decide to give it.
    • Your childhood is also part of being grateful for having life. Put up pictures of yourself as a child and love that child every time you look at the pictures.

    That should get you started.  When you choose life enhancing behavior, miracles happen.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie

    Hi Bernie,

    Who do I turn to when I am stuck and unhappy with myself? You see, I need to kick myself into gear somehow, I guess, but the truth is that I am so full of sorrow which seems impossible to overcome. I know you read my post about having to put my autistic daughter in part-time residential care. God, my heart is ripped apart.

    What hurt me most was it took me until she was aged eight to get her out of diapers. Now she is 12 and has again become fully incontinent.  But now she is not alerting me when she is home, or the staff at the part-time residential care home when she is there, at the time it happens, choosing to sit for hours after needing to be attended to.  This behavior was the final straw. I just broke down and swore at God and autism, saying how much I hate how cruel God and autism are!

    She attacks me violently, and I have to take Xanax because I’m so frightened of her. The faces of my sons are so sad each day when they are leaving the house for school as she is smashing the house and screeching.  She is in puberty, so I know the world is confusing enough at this time in a young girl’s life, but the autism is a powder keg.

    I just feel helpless and hopeless. The shrink just wants to give me antidepressants, but I don’t agree with taking them because they won’t help—there is no pill for a broken heart. This morning I dressed her to go to the play center, and I said to her, “Oh, Raven you look so lovely.   Pretty girl, look at your lovely hair.” She turned and growled and spat at me. I burst into tears.

    We don’t know why she does these behaviors. I find myself feeling resentful towards her. I know it not her, but the autism.  I am truly burned out and have explored every avenue of help. Somehow I need to be bigger than the autism, but I cry as I type, admitting that I feel beaten.  …and if I was Lassie I would run away.

    I feel I have indeed lost my spirit, and I need to call it back. My dad is dead, and I know you adopt people. Please adopt me, for my daughter does not know how to show love towards me and it breaking my heart.

    My apologies for just blurting it all out, but I just feel lost and like a failure. I know you must have so many troubles of your own that people forget to ask about you. Well, I think of you all the time and use your words to guide me.  Shrinks throw pills at me, but it’s not pills I need. Any book advice would be of great help, and thank you for listening.  Thank you just for being you!

    Bernie’s Answer

    Go to the bookstore or library and ask for the section dealing with autism. Everyone is writing books about their problems, so find books with stories about parenting an autistic child.  The only answer is to learn from this experience. If you approach your problems with the question, “What am I to learn from this?” then you will already be in a positive, activist frame of mind.

    Ask the librarian or bookstore staff to help you find absolutely everything they have, particularly about parenting an autistic child going through puberty.  Ask for suggestions on just parenting children going through puberty, even if they are not autistic, so you can better discern between what may be from the hormonal changes and what may be from autism.

    Take care of your needs.  Placing your autistic child in a part-time residential home for care is a positive example of taking care of yourself, not a negative example of parenting failure for which you continue to punish yourself.  Stop the negative tapes about how mothers should be.  You are unique as is your daughter.  You are blessed with other children, and as a mother to them, you can give them the gifts of learning about autism and of developing compassion from this major challenge in your family’s life.  Model for them how to be compassionate, even in the face of what seems like purposefully bad behavior on your daughter’s part.

    Be a love warrior, using only love to “win” against the negatives. When your daughter spits at you, say “I love you” to her, and that’s it.  Even if she can’t show you love now, you can certainly show her that you love her by keeping it simple, non-confrontational, and true.  You will begin to feel very positive about accepting the situation as it is right now, and being able to respond to the point possible like the loving mother you are.  Someday, you may be able to see changes in her behavior that you know stem from what you did as a love warrior.

    You have a choice.  Choose life.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – May 25, 2015

    Question for Bernie

    I was recently diagnosed with Stage 1A multiple myeloma.  I suspect that there is a strong existential component to this death threat in my body.  After my husband died nearly 4 years ago, I pretty much gave up on wanting to live and progressed well through the challenges of healing.

    I have someone in my life to love now, but have been sensing how I hold back.  I seem afraid to grab life wholeheartedly.  This seems similar to how the myeloma threatens me at the core of my being (in my blood and bone marrow). Can you suggest any thoughts that can help me regain my relationship with life?

    Bernie’s Answer

    Yes, I can suggest that you embrace the belief that you, along with the rest of us, need to create a life you can love and a body you can love.  Don’t make your body the enemy. If you love your body unconditionally, it will respond as a whole system that is much more than just the sum of its parts.

    That response of acceptance for your body just as it is right now will strengthen your immune system.  This part of the healing picture must be there in order to make other things you are doing to heal more effective. Quiet your mind with meditation or visualization or your preferred way to give your mind a break from chaotic thinking, worrying, and projecting.  When you do this each day, the truth will appear.

    I would also suggest reading my books which are listed here on the website—look under Quick Links at the top of the home page.  For help with cancer, start with Love, Medicine & Miracles and The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing.

    For help with life, get 365 Prescriptions for the Soul and A Book of Miracles. Life is a spiritual journey, and it is also a school, so get your degree as a Love Warrior.  Let your life coaches help you with your studies.

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie

    Good afternoon Bernie, I am reading your book, Love, Medicine & Miracles. First I discovered Peace, Love and Healing two months ago in a library, and I started to read it, then I put it back on the shelf. I went back to the library for a second day and continued to read it. On the third day, more and less, I decided to borrow it, but there was a problem, so I couldn’t borrow it that day. As soon as I could, I went back to the library to borrow it, but it wasn’t on the shelf.  I could see someone reading it, so I decided to borrow the other title, Love, Medicine & Miracles.

    I finally have them both, but I am going to finish reading Love, Medicine & Miracles right now. I want to thank you because it is helping me through my change in my life. In January 2015, I started to have some problems with my belly, and I have been visiting doctors. I was very worried about my health.

    Since October 2014, I’ve been anxious because I was 27 years old, I didn’t have a job in my degree field (I was studying Business and Actuarial Science, for a Master’s degree so I could be an Economics Teacher), and I thought I had to get a job before 2015. Also, I knew I needed to change, but I didn’t know how to start my change. Now, through reading your book and understanding your words very well, I am feeling once again that hope is always alive—if you think you can you are right, at the same time if you think you can´t you are right, too. It is your choice.

    When I felt anxious and sad, and thought that I was useless person, and I began to ask myself “why am I living?” I felt so bad. Now I feel ashamed of that feeling, I love life, and always have. But during those months when I was very worried, fearful, and had no confidence, I really needed to find some help.  I found your books. And your book and my little illness helped me to see that I do love life and intend to LIVE!

    I want to tell you about a book that I was reading in a hospital when my father was being operated on 8 years ago.  The title of the book was “Two old Women” by Velma Wallis. It is one of the best books I´ve ever read in my life. If you don’t know it, maybe you can read it, and advise ECAP group to read it.

    Sorry if I have some mistakes, I am not an English speaker. I am from Valencia, Spain, but I am learning English, and it is good to practice writing.  I think I have said to you everything for today. I hope you have a very nice day, and I send you a big hug.

    Bernie’s Answer

    Bless you.  Remember, you can and must create a life you can love. And love your body, too.

    Fear comes from what was said to you as a child and as you grew up.  Free yourself from fear by abandoning the past and give yourself the gift of “rebirth” as a new self.  See all of these past problems as the labor pains you had to experience to give birth to a new self.365 Prescriptions for the Soul and A Book of Miracles will both help you with inspiration.

    Let your heart make up your mind and everything will work out.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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