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  • New from Bernie Siegel – The Art of Healing

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

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

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

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  • Today’s Prescription for the Soul – Prescription #203 – Titantic

    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.

    It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else,
    that prevents us from living freely and nobly.
    - Bertrand Russell

    How hard it is for us to let go of the things we treasure. But how many of these things truly have value, and how many are simply objects we have accumulated?

    If you were on the Titanic and had a life preserver in one hand and a bag of gold in the other, would you sink rather than let go of the gold? If your child didn’t have a life preserver, would you hold the gold or drop it and reach for your loved one? If only one of you could float with the preserver, what would you choose to let go of?

    Sometimes it is the things we hang on to that pull us under and destroy our lives. We need to let go of the backpacks we carry that are full of garbage. When we let go of what is dragging us down, we are free of our burdens and can be lifted into the lifeboat. Why must we face the threat of being pulled under before we awaken to what keeps us afloat and what is significant in life?

    There is more to surviving than indiscriminately hanging on. So define what you truly want to hold onto, and what gives your life meaning, and let go of the rest.

    Soulution of the Day

    Let go of what is pulling you under or draining your energy
    so that you can keep your head above water.

    - Bernie

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  • Q & A with Bernie – April 21, 2014

    Question for Bernie:

    First of all Thank You from my heart for all the life affirming and enhancing words that you share in your books, on your CDs, and in your blog!

    I have an overwhelming sense of loneliness, and lack of meaning, while I am also recently full of contempt for everybody more or less, including myself, and fear.

    My hope of things changing for the better; including physical health, my relationship with a higher power, myself, and others seems to be taken over by the increasingly stronger negativity. It feels like I have tried my utmost for a solution and struggled so hard for such a long time that I am at loss to what to do. I know it is love that I desire to be, have, give, and receive, but I am experiencing less and less of that, and more of the opposite.

    As a result, I am starting to feel disillusioned and bitter and helpless, and  the sense of wonder, awe, and grace I was blessed with having experienced is now seldom found.  I find it increasingly difficult to try to love myself and life, and this makes me feel ashamed, not being able to appreciate the wonder of existence, that which is, no matter what.

    I have no pictures of myself as a baby that I can put up, my health and finances doesn’t allow for a dog, my mental and physical energy and stamina (CFS/ME) is severely limiting the activities I can do, etc. Can you please give me some encouraging words, thoughts, feelings? I would also like you to be my Chosen Dad! Thank you

    Bernie’s Answer:

    You can now say that you have a CD—I am pleased to be your Chosen Dad.
    My first fatherly advice is this—repeat these words throughout the day:

    Thank you for everything.
    I am happy i am healthy.
    I love my life.
    I have no complaints whatsoever.

    Any living thing is good for you to love, from a dog to a hamster to a plant.  Pictures of you at any age are good to put up and give yourself  love anytime you look them.

    As your CD, ask me to help you find mottoes to live by if you are having trouble writing them down to post around your home.  And, of course, you can even put my picture up somewhere as a reminder that you now have your very own CD.

    Remember that everyone is wounded, so share your wounds and help others, too, as you do.  Also read the book  The Human Comedy, a novel by William Saroyan.

    Peace,

    Bernie

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    Life and Love Mind & Heart Matters

    Dear Everybody,

    I am writing this during the week of Passover and want to share something from Rabbi Benjamin Blech; The Five Most Important Things to Know about Passover—our greatest contributions to the world summarized in five words: memory, optimism, faith, family, and responsibility. My comments are woven in, too, so you understand that we all will face crossing life’s desert at some time and the lessons we can learn from the message.

    Jews, who number less than one quarter of one percent of the world, have had such a profound influence on almost every field of human endeavor. What accounts for the remarkable fact that in the 20th century, Jews, more than any other minority, have been recipients of the Nobel Prize?

    Perhaps it all goes back to the birth of our people and the Passover holiday. Passover conveys five major concepts that became our mantras for how to lead successful and productive lives. They are the five most important things to know about Passover, and to incorporate into every day of the rest of the year.

    They can be summarized in five words: memory, optimism, faith, family, and responsibility.

    The Importance of Memory

    The Irish Catholic writer Thomas Cahill was so overwhelmed by how the Jewish people transformed the world that he authored what proved to become an international bestseller, The Gifts of the Jews. One of the major gifts he credits to Jewish genius is the invention of the idea of history.

    “Remember that you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” “Remember that the Lord took you out of the bondage of slavery.” Remember is a biblical mandate that had never seemed important to anyone else before the Jewish people came on the scene. It was the Passover story that initiated a commitment to memory. History is the only way we can learn from the past. History allows us to grow by standing on the shoulders of giants. Make a mistake once, and you’re human. Never learn from what happened before, and you’re brainless. That’s why it’s so important to heed the famous words of George Santayana that “Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    We know how horrible it can be to live without a personal memory of events. Alzheimer’s is a disease we fear perhaps even more than death because it leaves us living corpses. Strangely enough, we don’t have a similar word for the condition that describes ignorance of our collective past. I would add we do have a word: amnesia. Amnesia disconnects you from life, reality and meaning. Knowing what came before is almost as important in an historic sense as it is in a personal one. Only by being aware of our past as a people can our lives become filled with purpose and meaning. Memory links our past to our future. It turns history into destiny. Learning to treasure it was the first step in our climb up the ladder of greatness.

    The Importance of Optimism

    To study the Passover story in depth is to recognize that the most difficult task Moses had to perform was not to get the Jews out of Egypt, but to get Egypt out of the Jews. They had become so habituated to their status as slaves; they lost all hope that they could ever improve their lot. Without hope they would have been lost. I see this with cancer patients too. The true miracle of Passover is the message that with God’s help, no difficulty is insurmountable. The oppressed could break the shackles of their captivity and the incurable cured. Anything is possible, if only we dare to dream the impossible dream.

    In the story of America’s Great Seal, a particularly relevant chapter is the imagery suggested by Benjamin Franklin in August 1776. He chose the dramatic Red Sea scene described in Exodus, where people confronted a tyrant in order to gain their freedom. The motto he suggested, based on the Passover story, inspired George Washington and the founding fathers of the American colonies to rebel against their British oppressors: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”

    It was the biblical record of the Exodus that enabled the spirit of optimism to prevail for the followers of Martin Luther King in their quest for equal rights, because they were stirred by the vision of Moses leading his people to the Promised Land. It was the hope engendered by recalling how God redeemed our ancestors that allowed even Jews incarcerated in Auschwitz to furtively celebrate the Festival of Freedom and believe in the possibility of their own liberation. That optimistic spirit, based on our own miraculous history, is the second great gift we have given to mankind and defines our identity. Let us all have a dream and help it come to life.

    The Importance of Faith

    A pessimist is someone who has no invisible means of support. Jewish optimism is rooted in a firmly held belief that we are blessed with support from above by a caring God. And that faith in a personal God gives us faith in ourselves, in our future and in our ability to help change the world. I have seen cancers disappear when people left their troubles to God and had faith. The God of creation could theoretically have forsaken the world once he completed his task. The God of the Exodus made clear He is constantly involved in our history and has a commitment to our survival. Thomas Cahill credits the Jews not only for monotheism, but for this additional groundbreaking idea of a Divine being with whom we share a personal relationship.

    The Passover story conveys that history follows a Divine master plan. It has a predestined order. “Order” in Hebrew is “Seder” – and that is why the major ritual of Passover is identified by that name. Coincidence is not a Jewish concept. Coincidence is just God’s way of choosing to remain anonymous.

    Faith gives us the certainty that whatever our present-day problems, history moves in the direction of the final messianic redemption. That is what has always motivated us to believe in progress and to participate in tikkun olam, efforts to improve the world.

    The Importance of Family

    Passover taught us the way to perfect the world is to begin with our own families. God built his nation by commanding not a collective gathering but by asking Jews to turn their homes into places of family worship at a Seder devoted primarily to answering the questions of children. It seems all too obvious. Children are our future. They are the ones who most require our attention. The home is where we first form our identities and discover our values. Love the kids is what I said in the first paragraph. It is in our homes that we sow the seeds of the future and ensure our continuity. No wonder then that commentators point out the very first letter of the Torah is a bet, the letter whose meaning is house. The world may mock Jewish parents for their over-protectiveness and their child-centered way of life, but they are the ones chiefly responsible for the extraordinary achievements of their progeny.

    The Importance of Responsibility to Others

    One serious question begs to be asked. We thank God for getting us out, but why did God allow us to become victims of such terrible mistreatment in the first place? We were slaves in Egypt – and so we have to have empathy for the downtrodden in every generation – and so we have to be concerned with the rights of the strangers, the homeless and the impoverished – and so we must understand more than anyone else the pain of the oppressed.

    The tragedy of our encounter with injustice was in no small measure meant to prepare us to serve throughout all future generations as spokesman for those with whose pain we can personally identify. The purpose of our suffering was to turn us into a people committed to righting the wrongs of the world, to become partners with God in making the world worthy of final redemption. And I may add when you find purpose you stop suffering.

    We begin the Seder by inviting the hungry and the homeless to join with us and conclude by opening the door for Elijah. It is our acceptance of responsibility to others that is the key to hastening the arrival of Messiah.

    The following comes from our daughter’s experience with our grandson Jason. Notice how it relates to the experience of the desert we all must cross in our lifetime.

    CONDITION:    Pyruvate carboxylase deficiency – 2nd rarest metabolic disorder in the world. You don’t live past toddler years. My son is 16.

    STRUGGLES: My son spent a good 8 years of his life in the hospital.

    TRIUMPHS: The day we got the diagnosis was a blessing.

    CONCLUSION: Jason is one amazing boy. My father has helped me learn to adapt to many situations especially emergency crises and living with a positive outlook.

    BERNIE HUMOR: If I wasn’t my dad’s daughter he says he would have charged me for the 101 phone calls a day with questions about my son.

    Amen, Peace, Love & Healing,

    Bernie Siegel, MD

    T.S. Eliot wrote ~ “I said to my soul be still, and wait without hope; for hope would be hope of the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith. But the faith, and the love, and the hope are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: so the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”

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    Q & A with Bernie – April 14, 2014

    Question for Bernie:

    I read Love, Medicine and Miracles in 1993, and practiced your techniques on my nonmalignant tumor in my chest. It was gone within a few weeks, so thank you. I studied more healing modalities, treatments, and therapies planning to start my own clinic in Mexico or elsewhere abroad.

    A set of very unfortunate circumstances interfered with those specific plans, but now I’m very interested in putting into practice what I learned through reading your book and the other studying I undertook.

    Surviving my own death experience has taught me how to find within myself great compassion and an understanding for the pain and loss issues that others endure.

    I need some help finding a new direction. I thought maybe you might have some ideas for me. Thank you so much for the wonderful work that you have done, and thank you, too, for taking the time to send me your caring response. God bless!

    Bernie’s Answer:

    You are in the driver’s seat of your life, so the first direction on the road map is the sign you see that says CHOOSE LIFE.  When you follow that road sign, be sure to choose not only what is beneficial for you, but what is beneficial for all living things.

    When you drive down the road of doing things that show people you understand and you care, the rest, in terms of financial and educational help, will follow.

    You are creating the future unconsciously.  Remember, your unconscious mind along with everyone else’s is always busy building the future that is right for you.  The three things that help you the most as your future is created in your unconscious mind is to:

    • Be aware.
    • Meditate.
    • Dream.

    Give your heart the challenge of making up your mind—don’t rely on “thinking” to the exclusion of enhancing your ability to empathize. Love the life you create and your body.  Demonstrate to your body that you love it by following a good nutritional plan, exercise plan, and positive outlook.

    Peace,

    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – April 7, 2014

    Question for Bernie:

    I began reading your new book during my chemotherapy treatment today.   WOW!    It is very powerful!    I found that I was highlighting something on nearly every page and re-reading many of the paragraphs.   Bernie, it is another Love, Medicine, and Miracles and is very much needed!

    I have read all of your books.  As I told you in an earlier e-mail, I bought 18 copies of Love, Medicine, and Miracles for volunteer counselors to use as their number one tool to help cancer patients who call the suicide and crisis hotline where I volunteered as a counselor eight hours a month for 13 years.

    I cannot tell you the number of times I have quoted to others, to save lives then and now, your words on page 43, “Far better to admit that the situation is grave, yet to remind the patient in truth that there is no ‘incurable’ disease from which someone has not recovered, even at the threshold of death.” This is my favorite non-Bible quote.

    I have also bought copies of your other books for myself, my parents, and others.   I am sure that all of your books have touched many, many lives.  This new one, though, touches my life.   I can’t thank you enough for writing it. I have already begun telling others about it.  God has blessed you as an inspirational guide. Thank you for all the marvelous good you put into our world.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    You are a talented performer who consistently “shows up for practice,” and it is a complete pleasure to be your life coach.

    It is inspirational to imagine, even for just a few moments, how many lives you have positively impacted.  I hope each person reading this right now does just that—and realizes how much power each of us has to do good in the world if we make that a priority.

    If I can be of assistance let me know.

    Peace,

    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – March 31, 2014

    Question for Bernie:

    Hi Bernie—I have to share this story with you. I honestly thought that it was you I ran into the other day, while stuck in a small rut at Costco! I had just done a full shop and my trunk was chock full of unbagged goods.

    Needing to fill up on gas, I stopped at the Costco gas pumps. While filling up, I had closed my driver side door to keep my nosy and over-friendly escapist Shih-Tzu named Smokey from running away! And so, at one point, I went to grab my wallet from the front seat when I discovered that I had somehow locked myself out.

    Heart pounding, with about ten cars behind me, I made a dash to the trunk. Thankfully, it was open! Now I remind you of how full the trunk was…here I was in a full lineup of frustrated and hurried gas shoppers, all waiting behind me. I started what felt like, mountain climbing to the front seat- as gingerly as possible, trying not to attract too much attention to myself. Crawling over and through boxes of goods- I finally made my way to the front seat of my van to open my locked door. Suddenly, I was greeted by this lovely bearded gentleman, who had a gentle nature to match. He pulled up beside me in his jeep and said, “Slow down, it’s OK! Nobody’s hurt, take your time. I have a wife and daughter you’re reminding me of. It’s OK. Just take your time!”

    There was such a reassurance and sweetness in that brief encounter. Here was someone in this world who had slowed down enough to help another soul on this hurried journey to remain calm and carry on. It could have gone the other way,  but instead, I left that scenario thinking, either that was Bernie with a beard…(though, I didn’t noticed any bumper stickers)….OR, it was a man who has read your column and learned that it’s ok, to take a breath, slow down and carry on!

    And on a side note, Bernie, I have read most of your wonderful, life-affirming books, and even considered enrolling in the Graduate Institute (mainly to hear you speak)! I recently attended an incredibly soul-filling open house up in Hartford. Unfortunately, with four kids at home and finances playing a fairly significant role, I cannot attend right now.

    I pray I’ll find my niche when the time is right. Up until then, I will soak up every ounce of Bernie in the weekly paper, then go on and gift the world with my new found wisdom :)

    Praying for you and your wife.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    It is especially exciting to hear from someone like you who does find passion in helping our medical system be much, much better, to train doctors in compassion first, and then technical competencies.  Without that person-to-person connection with doctor and patient functioning as a well-oiled team, all the “whiz-bang” gadgets and algorithms, and “pill cams” can’t help us if the doctor has to do some additional research in the medical literature or doesn’t hear everything we say because the clues are almost always there.  Today, computers diagnose using data input sometime earlier.  Do those medical centers that are heavily automated have the money to keep all that online content current? Do they really have the latest and greatest information as they claim?

    Yes, doctors are always busy—but it is the kind of healthy “busy-ness” that comes with moving toward your goal.  Many, many people have shared with me that it was the difficulties along the way of any journey where everything meaningful and memorable occurred.  Getting to the goal was often anticlimactic, so one thing we can start to do to change our negative culture is stop complaining about being so tired.  Rearrange your life to sleep when you are tired and work when you are awake (some play may be okay, but if you’ve been really bad about complaining about how tired you are, no play privileges for now)!

    I am honored that you intend to train, to keep clinically working and gathering research, and that people like you will carry on what started as my cause, but has grown into the cause of millions around the world!

    Question for Bernie:

    I treasure your statement that you wrote below and say it over and over to myself frequently.   I bought your new book and plan to read it during my chemotherapy next Friday. The time will be my special time to learn from you.   Chemotherapy is treating me very well.   After my first treatment, I immediately felt a terrific decrease in pain.  I have had no side effects except being very tired periodically. But, the good part of that is that it’s a wonderful opportunity to do my visualizing.   My blood work is great.    I am looking forward to the next chemotherapy to make me even better.

    It is so clear how much better the Immune System would relate to these messages coming from a patient’s positivity rather than hopelessness, anger, resentment, and refusal to help in the treatment.  On another matter, I listened to you online on a talk show yesterday. You are very inspiring. Thank you!

    I do have a question on behalf of a friend who writes:

    “The drugs from the first four chemo rounds left me feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally fragile. Like the slightest wind would knock me down, but I managed. With the new drug I feel brittle, irritable, angry, manic, and broken. I know a lot of that is the steroids, but for the first time since I began chemo, I want to stop. I want to beg my oncologist not to give me this drug again. I hate, hate, hate this.”

    Bernie, do you have any advice for her?

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Tell your friend that it is her life, and she can follow her heart  and do what feels right for her, as long as dying is not a failure for her.

    She must resolve with a total commitment to heal her life, she must demonstrate daily to her body and soul that she thinks she is well worth living.  Do things that are healthful and good for your body—it will get the message that YOU WANT TO LIVE and love living in a body she loves just as it is right now.

    Her real power will come to her when she visualizes having chemo with no side effects.  With visualization, and she can change many things too, including the visualization she is doing now that is totally negative about a good outcome.  This must stop and be replaced with the wonder, the gratitude, and her own commitment to no matter what anyone else’s opinion may be, your friend can choose to heal her body in miraculous ways.

    I worry about her negative powers of visualization—as an example, right now she visualizes the worst outcome and her body acts it out. Her doctor could give her a placebo and not chemo and she would still have all the side effects.  She needs to reach inside and find all the ways she is grateful for the life she has had so far; she needs to be grateful for her life just as it is and support it unequivocally through treatment.  She should look at any discomfort or pain as labor pains of a new self-birth.

    Peace,

    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – March 24, 2014

    First Question for Bernie:

    I am currently enrolled at IIN and just heard your lecture – it was beautiful!! How do you stay in a higher awareness as you do? Sometimes I find myself being pulled down by negative influences and would like to be able to bounce back a lot quicker.

    Thank you for being you – you are my CD (“Chosen Dad”)  :)

    Second Question for Bernie:

    I hope you may be able to help me.  In you writings and in many books about
    healing, the technique of visualization is presented as an expected “given” for the healing process….I am not able to “see” pictures. I hope it is a skill that can be learned– up until now, I have not found the teacher, who can help me learn or “heal” or aid me in removing the blockage that prevents me from seeing into my inner world.  I pray I will find such a gifted teacher.

    Green blessings from Eschwege,

    Bernie’s Answer:

    It is very unusual, but today I have two letters to me about my recommendations on how to get out of a black hole or just have faith that “This, too, will pass.”  To both of you I say find the authentic you, learn to love it, and enjoy life for as long as it is yours.  Then do the following:

    Find a mantra and meditation, and when down say the following:

    Thank you for everything
    I am happy
    I am healthy
    I love my life and (can add anything here)
    I have no complaint whatsoever

    Peace,

    Bernie

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    Spring is the Perfect Season to Practice the Art of Living in the Moment

    “Spring, an experience in immortality.”
    ~ Henry D. Thoreau

    The quality of the rest of your life and your partner’s life will be what you want it to be—the decisions are yours and your partner’s to make. If you both agree that you want  is “to let the sun shine in” on a shared positive perspective, you will each strengthen your immune systems;  when Life’s inevitable pop quizzes come up, you will both be ready to get an “A.”

    If you are a married couple, at some point along the way, you will hear everyone from your mother-in-law (usually on the eve of your wedding day), to a therapist who is helping you through Couple’s Therapy sometime later in your marriage, say, “…good marriages take a lot of work.” I prefer to say that “…along the way, spouses have chances to grow even closer as they create positive solutions to the challenges that come to us all.”  I don’t want to make being married sound like a 9-to-5 job by describing it as work.

    Here are some suggestions for keeping the romance and heartfelt understanding in your marriage instead of likening marriage to the workplace.

    • Get at least one meditation CD.  If neither of you have learned meditation techniques, get a “CD for Beginners,” and after mastering that, you can then move on to a more advanced meditation CD, if you wish.
    • Get at least one guided imagery CD and use it together. Focus on what each of you loves about life—and then do those things.  For example, if the guide on the CD asks you to think of a place you love and that makes you feel the most relaxed, both of you will want to agree on whether it is at the beach or in the forest.  If you like them both, decide together which one you will use for this CD, then if you decide to try another guided imagery CD (sometimes called “creative visualization” or just “visualization”), you can use the other image.

    • Learn the art of massage using healing aromas; this is even more effective if, while you are massaging each other’s neck, shoulders, legs, and feet, you can also talk about beautiful visions of life that you both share like the waves at an ocean beach, the towering trees of the forest, etc., while you are massaging neck, shoulders, legs, and feet.
    • I believe we sleep to rest and communicate with that part of our brain that is responsible for intuitive wisdom, so make sure your partner’s sleep and your own sleep is restorative. Before sleep of any kind, including naps, or at bedtime, have a ritual of saying some affirmations about gratitude and loving your life together just as it is in the present; you can also say affirmations that any dreams that come during sleep will be beautiful, positive, and/or answers to your questions and concerns.
    • Use affirmations to help you create a quality of life that is loving, positive, and beautiful.

    This week, on Friday, March 21st, Spring arrives bringing with it the timeless symbols of the renewal of life, the awakening of love, and holy spiritual celebrations.

    I wish you all a joyous Springtime.

    ~ Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – March 10, 2014

    Question for Bernie:

    Hi Bernie, can you guide me? I have MS, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, IBS, acne, anemia, and circulation issues. I’m only 44. Do likely causes include parasites, toxins, and mercury amalgams?

    I’ve little support and can’t even depend on myself anymore.

    It’s hard to love such a depleted body and a dull life…all advice welcomed.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    The likely cause of your constellation of problems is lack of love as a child, which you have carried into adulthood by not loving yourself.

    The anger you carry around internally that does not get expressed both causes and makes worse all the things you mention, from Lyme disease to whatever.

    If you are physically able, get a dog for company, especially if you live alone.  Loneliness is very damaging to the immune system.  Having a pet can also bring you into contact with many people you would not ordinarily meet—walking your dog, shopping with your dog at the pet store, going to local pet shows—often lots of fun because they ARE just for fun—not for “best in breed”…. instead, they have categories like “cutest puppy.” Even if you cannot handle a dog of your own, you can still get the benefits of their love and meeting people by volunteering to answer the phone at the local shelter, or going to dog training classes just to watch—talk to the teacher about getting to know people with dogs and more about dogs so even though you can’t have one, you can enjoy them.

    Studies have shown that our body chemistry changes for the better when we laugh, so think back to a time when something really made you laugh out loud—maybe as a child, a teenager, or even recently.  Then bring that to mind several times a day and have a good laugh.  Give your immune system a boost that doesn’t cost a cent, doesn’t make you go to the doctor’s office, and doesn’t even make you have to get up out of your chair!

    And either every morning or every evening—or both, say this affirmation to yourself:

    Thank you for everything.
    I am happy.
    I am healthy.
    I love my life.
    I have no complaints whatsoever.

    See a naturopathic physician—look at getting his or her help as a partner in your care.  Take an active role in healing yourself—don’t be passive.  You can do it if you make up your mind that you can and that you WILL.

    Peace,
    Bernie


    Question for Bernie:

    Thank you very much for your feedback! I’ll give all of this a try.

    You’re so right, loneliness is a killer, especially in the technological, insular world we live in……people are not conscious anymore.

    It’s a hard thing to remedy, though, especially when you’re ill…… I don’t wish to pester you but if you do have any additional thoughts on how to get rid of unexpressed/repressed, deep-rooted anger, and how to heal a lifetime lack of love, please feel free to email back any recommendations.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Here are my recommendations:

    1. Ask for what you need
    2. Tell those who hurt you how they made
      you feel
    3. Be a love warrior and use love as your weapon
    4. Sports and physical activity can help get the feelings out in a healthy way
    5. Send love to your body and repeat positive mantras all through the day
    6. Think of yourself as an actor and rehearse the role you want to play in life until you have it down perfectly.
    7. Think of yourself as a painting and touch up the areas that need
      more color or a better shape
    8. Sit down and make a list of the things you love to do; make another
      list of ways you can make it possible to do any one of those things
      you love to do; then
    9. Do what you love—amazing things happen when you do what you
      love.
    10. You fill this one in yourself—after all, you are in charge of you!

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – March 3, 2014

    Question for Bernie:

    First I want to thank you for two of yours books: Love, Medicine & Miracles, which I read in the 1980s, and 101 Exercises for the Soul, which I’m currently reading, because as always your words are a light in the road.

    I have been diagnosed with a hypernephroma that is occupying two-thirds of the right kidney. They have said that the only solution is surgery to remove the tumor and kidney. But I dread the idea of having only one kidney, because I’m afraid that in the future I could develop a tumor in the remaining kidney.

    In a case like mine is there another solution instead of surgery?  Infinite thanks for your attention.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Your body can do very well with one kidney. And successful transplants are always an option if the need should ever arise.

    You must stop imagining the worst because that will make it more likely to happen.  Your mind is powerful, so use it in a positive way for your health.  It will respond if you send your kidney love, visualize it as healthy, and absolutely protect it from negative thinking and fears.

    Peace,
    Bernie


    Question for Bernie:

    Thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom with all of us.  Each of your messages is so important and I’m appreciative that you put your word out there for all of us to hear.  I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I’m in my mid 40’s, and live in Georgia with my husband.  My mother and hearing-impaired brother live in a small town in southeast Kansas. There are two reasons why I am sending you this message.  The first one is because there are so many women out here taking care of parents from a geographical distance and it’s not always easy.  I’ve taken Gerontology courses and other classes on aging.  Any advice that you could incorporate onto your website for those of us who are taking care of aging parents would be much appreciated.

    The second reason I am writing this letter is to see if you can offer advice for those residing in small towns.  Although my story is long (way over the character limit on the website), I will give you a very condensed version.

    Six to seven years ago my mother was diagnosed with spinocerebellar ataxia.  She’s now 79-years-old and in relatively good health.  She’s a fall risk, which of course, accompanies this disease.  The issue is, at the time that she took a simple blood test to determine if, in fact, she did have spinocerebellar ataxia, Medicare was not paying for the results.  I have been diligent about following up all these years, and in the fall of last year, discovered that Medicare is now paying for the testing. However, there is a significant increase in the cost of the test because they can now determine many more of the 36-genes that can cause this type of ataxia.

    Excited because we could now get more accurate information, I called my mother’s doctor’s office (I am her POA.)  Her doctor is young and I believe this is over her head. She refused to do the blood test saying she was “Content with what the prior neurologist determined.”  The thing is, at the time she was “diagnosed” it was a guess that she has this type of ataxia. Furthermore, there are 36-different genes which could cause different effects.

    The doctor is satisfied but I am not.  My mother deserves to know if, in fact, she does have spinocerebellar ataxia, and if so, which gene, if they can determine it, is causing this.  Mom has already fallen and cracked her pelvis in two places, along with the cup of her hip joint—all in the same fall.

    My mother has also been “seeing and hearing” things for a long time now.  The doctor is aware of this.  She tells my mom it is “in her head” and her doctor even told me that it’s just something we have to deal with.  This is not the quality of life my mother deserves—to be staying up all night and sleeping some in the day because she’s afraid of whatever this is she claims to see and hear.  It’s very real for her.

    This is a small town and there is now no neurologist.  Many of the other doctors are not taking on new Medicare patients, even though my mother has blue cross/blue shield as her secondary insurance company.  I’ve tried to get her to come to Georgia to do testing, but, and this is very understandable, she’s afraid to travel now.

    If you have any suggestions or advice on this subject, whether you are able to answer me directly not, please consider giving your insight and wisdom on your website about these kinds of challenges for adult children taking care of elderly parents.  I have anxiety over this because I feel like I’m not doing enough.  My mother was a single mom and took great care of her children, always putting us first.  We were so blessed with her, and I feel like I’m not able to give back the care she truly deserves now, in her time of need.  She should have the care and unselfish love she gave to us throughout her whole life as our mother.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    It is time to listen to your instinct—to your inner voice and let your heart make up your mind. By following your instinct about what would make you happy and satisfy your need to see that your mother gets the care she deserves, you will end the frustration of trying to accept the “rational” explanations given to you about your mother’s condition.

    Ask yourself what you are supposed to be learning from the hell you are going through as you try to care for an aging parent who lives far from where you live.  Part of you clearly sees that she needs help now like she never did before and she lives in a place where there isn’t a great presence of specialists.  But another part of you has a very hard time accepting that this strong, loving, capable mother you grew up with is so fragile now.  You want to be her advocate for better care, yet you are at some level having a hard time accepting that this amazing woman cannot advocate for herself, as she always did—along with advocating for her children so successfully.

    There are plenty of books out there now about caring for aging parents—it is part of life for the once free spirited Baby Boomers. And it is a hard transition to make, but the good news is that there are great resources out there to help.  Visiting nurse services and local hospices, often affiliated with hospitals and clinical services, have compassionate care programs.  They provide dedicated, trained volunteers to come and do everything from just keeping your mother company to shopping for her to transporting her to medical appointments.  Some are trained specifically to interact with elderly patients who do have some form of dementia related to illness or age.

    Get her one of the many emergency help services that provide patients with an alarm they can wear all the time and just press a button for help, especially if they fall.  Find some of these services and interview them, choosing one that can come up with a care plan you know would keep your mother safe and give you peace of mind.  There are many solutions which worrying won’t fix.  It is time to take action.  Include your mother in your visits to potential caregivers and other services.  Treat her with dignity and not as a child.  She may be physically fragile, and understand that she needs your help, but she is still your mother and in her eyes, you are still her child.

    Learn to be an active listener.  This is a time of life when an elderly person who is struggling with illness often needs to talk—to review their lives—to remember the good times. Learning how to really listen so that she knows you are hearing her words is one of the very best things you can do for her.  Don’t judge; don’t tell her how she should think about things.  And when you talk, fill your conversation with specific memories of what a great mom she was—and still is as you continue to learn from her—and how every time you are with together, you are grateful. You can move her to live with you and your husband, or you can move in with her.  Most importantly, spend your time and energy loving her.

    Peace,
    Bernie


    Question for Bernie:

    I am looking back through my life in order to deal with all the pain and hurt that lies tucked away within. I want to find inner peace and gain better health.  It is time I just got on with life since I have been in survival mode for many years, hiding all the emotions.

    We are supposed to forgive but I just cannot, at this stage of the journey, forgive my ex-husband, who has caused so much pain, hurt, and trauma to me and our children.  I can see why he did the things he did, but I wonder if I can ever forgive him. And what happens to my recovery if I cannot?

    I have several of your books and CDs and am finding them so wonderful and helpful. Thank you.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    When you forgive someone—in this case, your ex-husband—you GIVE yourself the gift of having your time and your life back again.

    It is not about forgetting and trying to GET something.  When you forgive, you release yourself from the shackles of spending precious time ruminating over things you cannot change.

    Be a love warrior and let love be your weapon when dealing with your ex-husband.  Clearly he was wounded as a child.

    Love your kids and give them mottoes to live by so that they see problems in life as chances to learn. Teach them that what seem like problems in life are God’s re-directions from which lessons and goodness will come into their lives.

    Take care of your needs—your mind, body, and spirit.  Learn to say “no” when your heart tells you to do so.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – February 24, 2014

    Question for Bernie:

    How am I supposed to be a love warrior when my dad yells and makes me hate myself?

    I’m sitting here crying, not wanting to live here, and hating everything that he’s ever made me feel—worthless and overweight.

    How do I accept that??

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Move out.  Take action that puts you in control absolutely.  But understand that your father does not make you hate yourself.  You decide to do that.

    And it is your decision, too, to be a love warrior.  Your father’s response to you saying “I love you” to him whenever he criticizes you will take two or three months.  But one day, when you don’t say “I love you” to him, he will notice.  And from what many, many other people who have decided to be love warriors have told me, the response you will get from your father on the day you skip telling him “I love you” will be, “You forgot something.”

    Happiness comes from understanding that we decide what we think, and that nobody else can tell us who we are. When you allow yourself to believe that anyone else can tell you who you are, you give away the power you are born with.

    Ask yourself why you continue to allow your father to decide for you who you are.  The only reason to give away your power to decide what you think is so that you don’t have to take responsibility for who you are. Your father angers you with his criticism because what he says doesn’t acknowledge what you know is true—you know that being a whole person is much more than how anyone looks.

    Taking responsibility is part of accepting the power you have to decide what you think, as well as what you do.  Sometimes, people choose not to leave the people or places that are causing them unhappiness. If that is what you choose, you must take the responsibility for how the outcome affects you.

    Yes, your father may be offering his unwanted opinions about you, but you have the ultimate power to decide if you listen to him or not.  If you believe he is cruel and untruthful about who you are, it is because you know who you are.  You have decided who you are.  It is a waste of your time and energy to try and make your father agree with you. His opinion cannot change who you have decided you are.

    If you choose to stay in his environment, then being a love warrior is a way to make your point without engaging in arguments and creating more distress.  The other way to handle this situation is to take the responsibility of deciding to leave his environment and establish your own.  In your own environment, it will be all that much clearer that you are in complete control of what you think and also what you do.

    Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this unhappy situation with my father?” There can be many answers to this, but one very important thing you are learning is how to take care of your body. That learning alone can ensure a healthy future because our bodies respond in very positive ways when we remove, or greatly diminish, any stress we have in our lives. Your immune system is strengthened and is able to ward off many kinds of diseases and disorders.

    So take the power you are born with and use it to eliminate the stress caused by your father’s criticism. He has no power to decide for you who you are as a person.  You—and you alone—decide who you are.  You will encounter people all throughout your life who will try to tell you who you are.  Even though this lesson seems painful right now, be grateful that you are learning, while you are still young, that nobody, no matter who they are, can tell you who you are.

    What you tell yourself about yourself establishes the self-esteem and confidence you need to go on and live a full life.  Clearly you know that you are far more than anything your father says, or you wouldn’t be so distressed about his criticism.  But now you know that it doesn’t matter what he says, he cannot make you into a person who you do not decide to be. Focus on your inner self to find out who you truly are.  Don’t obsess about your outer self.  When you know who you are deep within and you love the person you are, a light shines outward and attracts people to your positive energy.

    Whether you are thin or not, have perfect features or not, are wealthy or not, have a great education or not, if you give off a negative impression, people will avoid you.  Now is the time to take full charge of yourself, leave the superficial concerns behind, and decide who you truly are. Listen to your own inner voice.  It speaks your truth.

    Peace,

    Bernie


    Question for Bernie:

    I saw you at a seminar in Hagerstown, MD, in the 1990′s when I was going through chemo for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It has been 20 years since my diagnosis and there is no sign of disease!

    The problem I have now regards my wife who recently underwent what we thought would be a routine hysterectomy, and cancer was found (not sure what type yet). Now she needs to become an ECaP.

    I just bought some of your CDs from you son’s store. We need your help here in West Virginia.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Please read at least two of my books.  The ones to read first are Love, Medicine & Miracles, and my newest one which was just published, The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing.

    If your wife wants me to coach her we can do it through drawings and e-mails.  Remind her, if she needs reminding, that you are still here 20 years later—and she can be, too.

    Peace,

    Bernie

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