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  • New from Bernie Siegel

    Go on a journey of wonder and grace with NY Times bestselling author Bernie Siegel, MD and his grandson, Charlie Siegel. Open your heart as grandfather and grandson weave a conversation of love across the generations, sharing what it means to see beyond the challenges of life to the beauty in life’s lessons. Learn more     Available now in bookstores everywhere. Order your copy online today at:  Sacred Stories Publishing, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.
    Introducing Bernie Siegel's new audio download, Daily Meditations for Optimal Health. Selected for Dr. Bernie Siegel’s Prescriptions for Living best-selling series, these recordings are a combination of guided imagery, auto-hypnosis and meditations that relieve stress, open the heart, and deeply heal your mind, body and spirit. Learn more.     Available now. Order your copy online today at:  Hay House.
    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.
  • The Art of Healing Support Group

    The group meets on the first Friday of every month from 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Eastern Time. You may access the teleconference by dialing into the conferencing service at: 1-857-232-0158. Then enter Conference code 379552 and you will be connected to the group.

    This free phone support group will bring people together who are experiencing health challenges and create a community devoted to emotional, physical and spiritual wellness. With the help of Dr. Bernie Siegel’s sage wisdom, patients can find hope and healing as they embark on their path forward. By participating in this group, you may learn to embrace each and every challenge in your life as an opportunity for self-transformation.

    HOST: Dr. Bernie Siegel is a writer and retired pediatric and general surgeon who writes and teaches about mind-body medicine and the relationship between the patient and the healing process. He is internationally known for his best-selling book, “Love, Medicine and Miracles”. In 1978 he founded Exceptional Cancer Patients, a specific form of individual and group therapy utilizing patient’s drawings, dreams, images and feelings. ECaP helped to facilitate personal lifestyle changes and personal empowerment of the individual’s life. He has been a global pioneer in improving and humanizing medical education and medical care.

    CO HOST: Dr. Tobi Mansfield is a medical psychologist specializing in helping patients with chronic illness and is the author of “When God Talks Back: Madness or Mysticism?”. She is the director of the Miami Wellness Center in Miami, Florida and a member of the Royal Society of Medicine in London, England.

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  • 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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  • A Message From Bernie

    Love is the answer.
    My quotes today is from Dr. Karl Menninger on my calendar and 365 book.
    "Love cures people both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.
    Love is the medicine for the sickness of the world; a prescription often given, too rarely taken."

    Peace, Bernie

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  • Love and Luaghter Hold Our Lives Together

    “This proud picture of human grandeur is unfortunately an illusion only and is counterbalanced by the reality which is very different. In this reality, man is the slave and victim of the machines that have conquered space and time for him.”
    ~ Carl Jung

    Yes, we keep reading about how all these devices are now the rage and what are they doing to our lives when we are more involved with devices than we are with other human beings. I think we should have national holidays where we are only allowed to talk to people or communicate via handwritten letters to them.

    I don’t deny the benefits of devices, and how they may help us educate students, improve our homes, our health and more. But we must remember to focus on the people and not the mechanical devices lest they make us into robots, too.

    As humans, it is love and laughter that we require to build and hold our lives together. For me love makes up the bricks which we build with. 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. It is very hard, if not impossible, to not relate to someone who loves you and gets you laughing. Love and laughter break down the walls which separate us, instead building walls which protect us as we become family.

    I will add if you want to define your life, answer these questions: Who can I love? Who can I hate? What is evil? Who is the enemy? Then compare your answers to those of Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Buddha, and Jesus.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Footsteps

    Hi Everybody,

    In the words of Eknath Easwaran, spiritual teacher and author ~

    “My grandmother, my spiritual teacher, used to tell me that the pain we associate with the great change called death arises from our innumerable selfish attachments. One day she illustrated this in a simple way by asking me to sit in a chair and hold tight to the arms. Then she tried to pull me out of the chair. She tugged and pulled at me, and I held on tight. It was painful. She was a strong person, and even though I held on with all my strength, she pulled me out. Then she told me to sit down again, but this time not to hold on anywhere, just to get up and come to her when she called. With ease I got out of the chair and went to her. This, she told me, is how to overcome the fear and pain of death. When we hold onto things – houses, cars, books, guitars, and our antique silver teapot – we get attached and tied down.”

    I think this relates to life as well as death. When we fear change and letting go we die a little every day. Think of changing jobs, moving, divorce, disabilities, loss and more. Survivors can let and have faith in themselves and not fear change. Learn from those you admire because of their attitude towards life. I am working on my gratitude every morning and instead of getting angry at our children when they need my help I am learning to become grateful for the fact that I am able to help them.

    It is not enough just to put your foot forward and touch it lightly to the ground; you must put your weight on it completely. When we do take that step – by bearing patiently with those around us, or by changing some unhealthy habit – we can be sure that he will run toward us. But we must take the first step.

    I recalled an experience I had in a local cemetery. I was out jogging and ran through this area repeatedly. One day, after a snow storm, I had to struggle to run through the deep snow, but the next day I could use my previous footsteps and it was easier. Then it all froze, due to a temperature change, and I realized I could break my ankle if I didn’t step directly into the previous footprints. So I changed my direction and began a new path to run on. I learned that there are times we can follow the steps others have taken, and times in our life when we need to create our own path. I wrote the following poem about my new-found wisdom.

    FOOTSTEPS

    I trudged through the snow finding my way

    deciding where I will go on this day

    the snow is deep

    the path a struggle

    and then I see

    someone has walked this path before

    I follow his footsteps

    the walk is easier

    I realize god doesn’t have to carry me

    there are many gods who precede me

    and create one set of footprints where many may go

    Peace and Love,
    Bernie

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    Posted in Heart Mind Matters, Self-actualization, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

    Measure Me

    Nobody has ever measured,
    even poets, how much the heart can hold.

    ~ Zelda Fitzgerald

    How do we take the measure of a person and know how big he or she really is? Is it from the tips of the toes to the top of the head? Or is it the waistline or head size? I d o not think any of these simple measurements takes the true measure of a person into consideration.

    I say, measure me by the size of my heart.  Take your tape measure and go around my heart, and include all the things my heart is touched by, and you will know how large I truly am.

    The actions you take that spring from your heart have a far greater effect than those that come only from the mind or body.  Open your heart and allow it to guide you in your actions.

    One can become famous for physical accomplishments, but only the accomplishments of the heart truly fulfill.  When one heart touches another, we have hearts beating in unison with no fear of rejection.  A heart filled with love is eternal and not measurable by our hand.

    Give of your heart without measure.

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    STRESS!!!! Good or Bad?

    This is a guest post by Prudence Sinclair.


    Hello Lovely You.

    When we talk about stress, we tend to talk about only one flavor of it, the bad yucky kind. I mean, how often do you hear someone say, “Gee, I am so stressed right now and I feel amazing!!” Not often. So it’s clear why we all assume there is only the bad kind of stress.

    But there actually is a good kind of stress. And if we listen to it, it can help us avoid the bad kind of stress. But if we don’t listen to it, it can (and generally will) turn into the bad kind of stress. And then we face the possibility of becoming depressed and sick.

    When we feel tired, frustrated or irritated about something going on in our lives, we need to start listening to those emotions. These emotions act as guides and can help us recognize that something is off, not right, or unhealthy for us. This can be a situation at work, at home, or with a neighbor etc.

    I wasn’t always good at listening to my good stress. Before my cancer diagnosis, I often felt like a victim of life. I assumed that I had no control and that I wasn’t responsible for what showed up in my life. Life was crappy sometimes, I told myself, and our job while on the planet was to “just deal with it.

    Boy was I wrong! I now know the importance of listening to my inner emotional voices, whatever they may want to tell me.

    Has Your Life’s Engine Light Gone On?

    You’ve got to think of stress like the sounds your car makes. Some car owners start to hear a weird rattle noise coming from somewhere under the hood on their way to work. The engine light’s not on and the car still drives, so they choose to ignore the rattle.

    The rattle eventually turns into a grinding noise, but they ignore that as well because, hey, the car is still driving.

    Finally, one day, the car won’t start and they think this breakdown came out of nowhere and they throw an absolute fit!! Oh the injustice of this breakdown!!

    Had they brought their car into the shop when it was only making a little rattle noise, they would have been able to fix the problem and prolonged the life and health of their car.

    Good stress is like that little rattle. You’ve got to listen to it so you can avoid the grinding and eventual complete breakdown of your mental and physical health.

    How to Turn Bad Stress into Good Stress or even No Stress

    Many of us have the habit of perceiving our lives in a negative way. Are you guilty of seeing the glass as half empty instead of half full? If so, it’s important to be honest with yourself and work on shifting your perception of the world and events around you.

    The truth is, there will always be heavy traffic and long commutes, noisy neighbors, overbearing bosses and spouses or partners who are toxic and end up NOT having our best interests at heart. The first step is to remove as many of the obvious stressors in your life as you can.

    For the rest of the stress that remains, we must find different ways to think about it. This is really important because if you don’t perceive something as a threat, your body won’t respond by producing and releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. I’ve written about these hormones before – they absolutely wreak havoc on our bodies and our health when we are chronically stressed.

    So how do you shift your perception of stressful situations?

    Let’s chat in our discussion forum over here: https://www.prudencesinclair.com/forum/forum/first…

    Keep your thoughts positive and kind.

    Love you,
    Prue.     https://www.prudencesinclair.com

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    Animals

    Animals are reliable, many full of love,
    true in their affections, predictable
    in their actions, grateful and loyal;
    difficult standards for people to live up to.

    ~ Alfred A. Montapert

    It is very cold outside today.  The ground is covered with snow, and yet as I look out, there are beautiful birds nibbling at my bird feeder. They are just flying about in all their glory, dining on the food I have put out.  People need to act more like animals, to accept what is and find the glory and beauty in it.

    Many emails I receive begin with how awful the weather is and go on talking about all the changes one has to make because of the weather.  I say, God bless the weather and the animals.  Sure, they have accidents in the house, but they weren’t supposed to be kept in houses.  They are animals, so I forgive them.

    Animals accept what is and make the best of it.

    Act like an animal!

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Eternal Truths

    Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.
    ~ Mohandas Gandhi

    The Truth Is, there is nothing to say or learn that those who have preceded us haven’t already said or learned.  Wise people and teachers have always expressed the same things, because life’s difficulties and life’s truths do not change with time.  I prefer to use the term the “wisdom of the sages” to refer to these teachings.

    I do not deny that it is helpful to publish their wisdom in many languages and stories that are modernized and easier to understand.  Each of us knows the truths deep inside; it is our path in life to reconnect with them, thus diminishing our suffering and increasing our joy.

    We tend to rediscover, through our personal fortunes and misfortunes, the eternal truths that have been taught by the prophets of the past.  Whether it is winning the lottery or acquiring a life-threatening disease, every experience holds a lesson to bring us closer to the eternal truths.

    May the day come when we are all aware of and practice these eternal truths.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Is Inner Strength Found or Cultivated?

    This is a guest post by Prudence Sinclair.

    Good morning, lovely you!

    I am in a pretty fantastic mood this morning. Not only am I sipping an absolutely delicious cup of tea that is the perfect temperature but my little ZuZu is lying next to me in a patch of sun. AND, it looks like our country is finally going to open up and we can slowly but surely get back to normal life.

    I know most of us have been going crazy and feeling stress and anxiety for the past month or more. But we are coming out of it now, and while some of us have taken a financial hit, most of us have weathered the storm and are ok.

    And that leads me into the topic I want to talk about today, which is inner strength.

    Is inner strength someone we have inside us already and we simply need to find it during times of crisis, or is inner strength something we cultivate BECAUSE of crisis? I am reminded of that old saying, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”

    As someone who survived stage 4 melanoma and was given only months to live, I can tell you that saying is 1000% true. Now, I had to have had some strength to shun traditional medicine (chemo) and find my own path to healing. But I think even that strength I can connect to having lost my beloved father months before and getting through that whole horrible ordeal.

    I think the very fact that we use the word “strength” suggests that our mental and spiritual strength are not unlike physical strength. To build muscle and become physically stronger, we must first break the muscle down in order to build it back up – better than it was before. That is how strength training works. You don’t get stronger without pushing your muscles to the point where the protein fibers break down so they can build back up.

    It’s much the same with calluses. Our skin, when overburdened, becomes stronger. But it can’t get stronger unless it has been exposed to hard work.

    I have known many people throughout this life of mine. The ones that faced very few, if any, challenges in their early life always had a much more difficult time it seemed facing challenges, like health challenges, later in life. While the people I’ve known who had rocky childhoods and traumatic young adulthoods seemed to have developed humor and resiliency that allowed them to face future challenges head on.

    So, I don’t think inner strength is something innate; something that some of us are born with and others aren’t. I think it is the result of hard work, whether we wished for that hard work or not.

    Now the good news is, you don’t necessarily HAVE to have faced extraordinary, hard, painful, awful, traumatizing experiences to build inner strength. It can be cultivated provided you DO THE WORK.

    Here are some ways you can begin to cultivate more inner strength, so the next time you are faced with any kind of crisis, you can do so with grace and courage:

    Become More Mindful

    Being strong means using every resource available to us. There is no higher resource than God. Spend more time practicing meditation so you can become more present and aware in the moment.

    Be More Observant

    Once you start to live in the moment more, use your power of observation. Don’t judge anything in that moment, simply observe everything you can. Often solutions to problems are right in front of us, we simply aren’t aware of them. Be more observant and accept the help that is all around you. Strength doesn’t require you go it alone, strength gives you the ability to see help and accept it.

    Respond Instead of React

    Inner strength allows us to respond to a situation without emotionally reacting to it. When we are in “fight or flight” mode, blood is directed away from our brain and we cannot make sound, logical decisions. When you cultivate inner strength, you give yourself the ability to calmly react to stressful situations.

    Bring Compassion to the Situation

    What does it mean to be able to bring compassion to an intense situation? It means bringing kindness, patience, understanding and forgiveness to the scene of the crime. It means ultimately thinking of others instead of only yourself.

    Now, how many of us would have got through this lockdown more easily had we developed inner strength? None of us are perfect, but we are all responsible for our own personal development.

    Let’s all take a lesson from Covid-19 and commit to working on developing more inner strength so we can deal with stressful situations and each other with more grace and compassion in the future.

    Prue’s quote of the day: ”

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    Wholeness

    Wholeness is not about your anatomical body but your spiritual life.
    ~ Carmine Birsammato

    What makes you feel whole?  Certainly it is not the parts of your body.  I have met people born with no arms or who have lost body parts because of accidents or diseases, and yet they seemed more whole than others I know with all their parts present and functioning.

    A friend with athetoid cerebral palsy has the courage to type her life story with her nose.  She is tied into a chair so she will be able to sit, and gagged so as not to drool on the typewriter.  She is whole and complete in her own way.

    Whole human beings are immediately recognizable by their integrity, self-awareness, and esteem.  They do not need you to make them whole.  Their wholeness comes from their ability to be creative and to call on their internal independence.

    All of us must rely on others, but how many of us feel whole only in the presence of others?

    Decide what you need to feel whole. Then begin to fill in the holes.

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    Time for Everything

    “Come out of the circle of time, and into the circle of love.”
    - Rumi

    Does time exist?  Is it real? Does a tree know the time? Does the ocean? Who created time? Who said, “You’re late?” Why is it one o’clock? In the Divine, there is time for everything; it is always the right time. You are never too late … and are always on time. Does light or energy concern itself with time?

    Everything in the universe is subject to change and everything is on schedule, or so my bumper sicker says. Love is like that; time is lost in love. Love is a trance state that heals all wounds.  Love is energy, so it knows no time and no physical limitations.

    Show your love for someone and lose track of time.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    4 Ways to RELAX During This Unprecedented Time

    Good morning, lovely YOU!

    Today we are talking about 4 Ways to RELAX during unprecedented times so you can take care YOU and your family.

    I was at the store the other day and so many people looked not only physically tired but soul weary. You could see the sadness in their eyes over their masks.

    Chronic stress is probably the number one killer in the world. It causes all kinds of diseases from hypertension and heart disease to cancer. As we all continue to keep a safe distance from one another and wash our hands, it is equally important to make sure we take time to de-stress and relax.

    So let’s look at some of the best ways you can get your mind and body into a state of relaxation.

    4 Ways to RELAX During Unprecedented Times

    1. Learn How to be Calm

    When you live in a constant state of stress and anxiety, you forget how it even feels to be calm and relaxed. This is why so many people have trouble falling asleep at night – because their minds and bodies cannot remember how to get into a state of relaxation.

    One of the simplest and most effective ways to instantly calm yourself is through your breathing. You will not only feel more relaxed in the moment, but when you continue to practice these techniques, you may also experience a greater immune system and improved sleep.

    2. Release Physical Tension

    Our minds and bodies are connected. When we are mentally and emotionally stressed, our bodies begin to hold the tension in our muscles and other organs. It’s so so so important that we find ways to remove this tension.

    You may find it helpful to try and do tension release exercises at night before you fall asleep. Go through your entire body, starting at your feet, and tense the muscles for a couple of seconds and then release. Do this, slowly working your way up to your face and top of head. You may find you don’t even make it all the way through your body before you fall asleep.

    Exercise is also a fantastic way to release muscle tension. Just be sure to gently stretch after you do it. Not only will your muscles feel better, but you’ll also get a boost of endorphins, which will make your mind and emotions feel better as well.

    3. Visualization

    We’ve talked about how to relax through the breath, how to relax through releasing muscle tension, now let’s talk about how to relax using your mind. I have mentioned many times about how visualization was one of the tools that helped me fight cancer years ago.

    Your imagination is powerful. What you think you become if you do it often enough. So start to imagine scenarios that make you feel calm. Are you at your favorite beach or lake? Maybe you’re at your grandparents’ house where you felt safe and loved. Whatever that place or situation, really put yourself there. Feel the ocean breeze or smell your Nanna’s apple crisp cobbler. Use every bit of your imagination and all of your senses to really experience it.

    And, number 4… ways to RELAX during these unprecedented times.

    4. Spend More Time in Nature

    Now is the perfect time to get outside and feel the sun warm you and experience nature coming back to life. Being with nature can be a form of meditation if you allow it.

    When outside, try and let your thoughts go and focus on the sights and sounds around you. I like to find a comfortable spot to plop myself and close my eyes and just listen to the sounds. Listen to the breeze playing my neighbor’s wind chimes, the birds and insects and children playing. Try and expand your hearing… what else do you hear… and what else?

    Soon you are so intently focused on listening that all other thoughts will stop. When this happens to you for the first time you may find yourself gasp. Unless you have been practicing meditation for a while, experiencing that moment when your thoughts stop… amazing. Of course, thinking about how amazing it was pops you out of it, but that’s okay because now you know EXACTLY how to get back there. Close your eyes and simply listen to the world around you.

    I hope in the coming days and weeks you put these techniques to practice so you can begin to relax more. And once you master these, you can use them no matter what kind of stress presents itself in your life.

    Stay Safe. Stay Strong.

    Sending light and love…

    https://www.prudencesinclair.com

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