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  • New from Bernie Siegel – Love, Animals & Miracles

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

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

  • Ask Bernie a Question

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

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  • Today’s Prescription for the Soul – Prescription #185 – Summer

    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.


    Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.

    ~ Maori Proverb

    Summertime, and the living is easy. Why? Because when you face the light, there are no shadows to be seen. Summer also offers us the opportunity to spend time outdoors among nature’s living things. When we communicate and become one with nature we find wisdom not available to us anywhere else. Nature has the answers.

    So go forth in summer and feel the gift of the warm sun on your skin and observe the elements of nature interacting. Take a summer vacation or summer Sabbath time during which you can learn to be, and not just do. Find the corner of the Universe that brings you peace and then carry it with you in your mind’s eye when you leave. That way you can always go within and find that peace again.

    When nature surrounds you, listen. Listen to its rhythm, and listen to your rhythm. They are both related to creation. Whenever you experience difficult times you can return to this moment of summer and heal yourself.

    Soulution of the Day

    Let your light bring all the elements of summer to others,
    no matter what season it is.

    - Bernie

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  • Q & A with Bernie – July 25, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

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

    Bernie’s Answer:

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

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

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

    Peace, love, & healing,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie:

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

    Bernie’s Answer:

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

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

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

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

    Peace, love, & healing,
    Bernie

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    Living in the Time of Your Lfe

    Dear All,

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

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

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

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

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

    And this from Mother Teresa~

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

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

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

    Peace, Love & Healing,
    Bernie

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

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    Q & A with Bernie – July 11, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

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

    Bernie’s Answer:

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

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

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

    Read my books and learn!

    Peace, Love & Healing,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie:

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

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

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

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

    Bernie’s Answer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Peace,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie:

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

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

    Cheers.

    Bernie’s Answer:

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

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

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

    What you deserve is not to poison yourself.

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

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

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

    Peace, Love, and Healing,
    Bernie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Peace, Love, & Healing,
    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – June 27, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

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

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

    Bernie’s Answer:

    What words describe what you are experiencing?

    Response to Bernie’s Answer:

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

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

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

    Bernie’s Response:

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

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

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

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

    Peace & Healing,
    Bernie


    Question for Bernie:

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

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

    Bernie’s Answer:

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

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

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

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

    Peace & Healing,
    Bernie

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    Lessons from the Killing of Harambe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    - Amelia Kinkade

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    No News and Rules for Being Human

    From:  Mind & Heart Matters By Bernie Siegel, MD

    Dear Everybody,

    First, I apologize for the editors at the Bulletin making an error in judgment. I sent them a very long column which they said they couldn’t fit into the paper and still have room for the news. It is obvious that they could have left out the news and printed my column, so I am asking you all to write or email them and tell them how you feel.  Just kidding, but when people stop me to talk it is always about getting some words of wisdom, not about the news they read in the Bulletin.

    Remember that saying, No news is good news? So why do we spend so much of our lifetime reading about or listening to the news? Stop listening to the news before you go to bed, after you wake up, and during the day, and watch how much healthier you feel (and the free time you have). You’ll hear about any disasters, don’t worry. We also need a good news station you can enjoy, and which will help our children grow up with hope and love versus fear and hatred.

    The only news I want to share with you today is that God loves you and so do I. My prescription is: No news for a week and then evaluate how you, your family, and your life are feeling and doing. Spend the extra time loving one another and you will soon find that you are not missing watching or listening to the news at all. You can assign someone to report significant events to you.

    Next comes a set of rules for being human, but first a quote from Eknath Easwaren: When you realize the Self, you will find you have such security, such energy, such love and respect for everybody, that instead of feeling empty you will feel fulfilled, instead of feeling lonely, you will feel at home wherever you go.

    That statement is so true. I find that even with strangers, I feel at home and at ease. The other night at Katz’s Deli, my wife and I were sitting in a small area with people waiting for booths and I began a conversation. After a few minutes of my having fun one man asked me, “How long have you two been married?” I was impressed that a perfect stranger felt comfortable asking us a personal question. Of course you know my answer, “We’ve had 45 wonderful years of married life. The only problem is they weren’t consecutive.” When we laugh we are family. Don’t ever forget that message of mine.

    Next I will share more from some papers I came across at home. Our house may be a disorganized collection of everything, but it is a great resource for ideas. By the way, the Woodbridge Library is having a public book sale June 3-5. I just took them classic novels and health oriented books. It feels good to make use of things you have had around for decades—and knowing that others can benefit eliminates a lot of guilt.

    The Rules for Being Human

    1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
    2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant or stupid.
    3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error: experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments which ultimately “work.”
    4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
    5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive there are lessons to be learned.
    6. “There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another there that will again look better than here.
    7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
    8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
    9. The answers lie inside you. The answer’s to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.
    10. You will forget this.

    Let me emphasize it is so important to love your life and body if you want to live a long and healthy life. When you see your experiences as lessons, not mistakes or problems, something good comes from every experience, as you become a more complete human being and not just a human doing.

    Learn to always be here, in the present moment, by quieting your mind. It is so true that what you see in others, good or evil, resides within you. So learn about yourself from your reactions to others.

    Take responsibility for your life and who you are. Yes, others participated in creating you through your life experience but you always have the choice to accept or reject their teachings. Remember, the only news I want you to accept is that God loves you and so do I.

    So when you need a tutor while in life’s school, ask us for help and read what we have written.

    Peace, Love & Healing,
    Bernie Siegel, MD

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    Q & A with Bernie – June 13, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    First I want to thank you for responding to my emails so quickly.  It means more than you will ever know.

    My dryness has been off and on for 12 years, sometimes going away for years and then coming back.  Right now it has been getting worse for the past six months where I’m having difficulty eating as my mouth, tongue, and throat are so dry.  Water makes my mouth drier.  My eyes, nose, and skin are getting drier. This disease just continues to get worse, so I feel I have nothing to live for.  For years I always felt I would die a slow, painful death, and it seems this is coming true.

    I have been seeing a person who specializes in homeopathy for 9 years, but now I’m even losing faith in her.  The medical field has done very little to help me.  I feel I am fighting this on my own. Maybe this means I have to look within.  I usually don’t remember my dreams, but I remember a little bit of a dream the other night where a doctor was asking me to help thread a needle.  Could this mean that I have to help with my healing?  Are you aware of anyone who has healed her or himself from an autoimmune disease?

    How can I visualize my immune system stopping the attack on my moisture glands?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I feel I need to address this now before it’s too late.

    Thank you again.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Start by loving your life and your body throughout the day—do that in your mind.

    Water your body as you would a garden, and get rid of the weeds in your life and garden.

    Get the anger out in healthy ways through therapy or writing in a journal.

    Yes, all healing is done by you, so thread the needle.  And, yes I know people who have far exceeded doctor’s expectations.

    A woman I know has had scleroderma for decades, and she told me that “when I let love into my prison, it changed the experiences of my life into something meaningful.”

    Look for more help with supplements, too.  Go to http://www.lifeextension.com/ for their wide range of vitamins and supplements.  You may also be able to contact them at www.lef.org.

    You create what you visualize from your life to your death.  You are to live in order to do something real for another soul like yourself.

    Peace & Healing,
    Bernie

    Response from the same correspondent to Bernie’s last answer:

    Thank you for the advice.  I have already started on loving myself and releasing my anger, two big steps towards healing.

    I’m still having difficulty visualizing being able to stop my immune system from attacking my moisture glands.  When I go to bed, I like to visualize my body healing.  With cancer you can visualize tumors melting or being eaten up, but what do you do for an overactive immune system?

    When my mind starts to think negative thoughts and anxiety starts, I would like to have some visualization mechanism I can turn to.

    Right now my glands are burning and painful—how do I visualize this stopping?

    I apologize for all the questions, but my symptoms are worsening, so I need to address this right away.

    Thank you.

    Question for Bernie:

    I want to thank you for your wonderful work.  I have difficulty with the meditations though – the “visual” part doesn’t seem to work for me.  I even tried finding a “guide” – and he told me I won’t be able to see him.

    I saw you mentioned that for some people it’s harder to visualize, such as musicians (I happen to be a musician).  Do you have any advice for meditation?
    Thank you very much.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Work with sounds and words to fill in for missing images. Your guide can be harmony and rhythm in your mind.  It is also very important to get into a very relaxed state before you begin.

    Look at the meditation and visual imagery CDs on my website.  You may find just the thing that will help you. It is hard for most people when they start meditating to understand that the purpose is to quiet your mind so that there is a relaxed, safe place to let other thoughts in so that you can evaluate them.

    It is really important to be so relaxed that you can simply “let go” and let your guide, “Harmony and Rhythm,” bring your thoughts, words, and sounds to mind.  Visualization isn’t just about “picturing” something—it is about being completely safe and relaxed so that whatever comes into your mind, you just accept and let it go away again if something else comes along for you to let “wash over” you—maybe just a feeling.

    Remember, it’s about symbolism—and everybody resonates with different symbols from their own lives. Visualize how you feel when you are playing music, just as an example.  There is no “right and wrong” to visualization and/or meditation.  Whatever works to let your mind unwind will allow your guide, “Harmony and Rhythm, to bring messages, often via symbols, into your relaxed mind.  Then, after your meditation come up slowly from that deep relaxation by counting slowly from 10 to 1, so you remain relaxed, but are once again fully awake.

    Let me know how you do.

    Peace & Healing,
    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – June 6, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    I have recently been diagnosed with Sjogrens Syndrome.  I’ve been having symptoms off and on for 15 years, and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia earlier, but I knew I didn’t have that. I’ve been saying daily affirmations, meditation, and prayers for years.  I have tried visualization, but I cannot see anything. I must be one of the few who cannot visualize.

    I am a person who doesn’t experience much love or joy. I always felt I was just existing, but not living.  Two years ago I finally felt joy in my life.  I felt life was good. I wasn’t on any medication. I was exercising regularly and entertaining friends. I felt my affirmations and prayers were paying off.  Well shortly after that, my hands and knees started to swell and were inflamed.  At first my blood work was normal, but then all the inflammatory markers rose quickly.  I was put on prednisone, which helped, but they didn’t know what type of autoimmune disease I had. The following year my mouth became dry.  I had experienced this several times before over the years and was tested negative for Sjogrens around 10 years ago.  The symptoms would come and go, sometimes for years at a time, but I have had little relief in over the last six months.

    During the past two years, since I voiced my joy and happiness for the first time, I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, my mother had a stroke, was hospitalized, put in a home (which I visited 3-4 times a week) and who passed away this past January. My mother-in- law passed suddenly from a massive heart attack. I fell and broke my shoulder and because of that developed a yeast infection and cellulitis. I was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis in the spine because of the prednisone use, and now am having joint and muscle pain and extreme dryness.

    I have two questions, first, why after 57 years on this earth, when I finally felt, for the first time, happiness and joy, has my health taken a turn for the worse; and secondly, how do I visualize my immune system stopping its attack on my body, especially my moisture glands? Sorry for the length of the email.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    First, ask yourself what anger, probably about the lack of love and joy, is stored within you that needs to be expressed. Start visualizing loving yourself, and create a life with love for yourself and your body. Sit naked in front of the mirror and love yourself just as you are.

    Create shrines with photos of yourself at all ages, and love that kid. Don’t use disease to get attention.  If you don’t already have a furry pet, and your life allows you to spend a lot of time with one, go to the shelter and find a pet who will love you unconditionally.  If you can’t have a pet of your own, offer to take a friend’s dog for walks.

    Consult a naturopath about various herbs which can be therapeutic like curcumin and boswellia.

    Look on my website (www.berniesiegelmd.com) for CDs which will guide you in how to visualize and heal.

    Stop judging yourself. Ask yourself what being sick feels like to you—make a list of words you might use to describe feeling sick.  For example, one word many people come up with right away is “limiting.” Think about who or what else in your life feels “limiting” to you.  Go through your list of words describing what being sick feels like to you, and then think about whom or what else in your life could be described with the same word or words that describe feeling sick.

    As part of your therapy, eliminate those negative relationships or activities from your life. Take back your power over your health.  You know it is possible to feel good and be happy as you described above, so it can happen again.  If you really want that happiness to stay, then don’t let negative people into your life.  Change your “self-talk” to positive statements about what you CAN do and what you HAVE done in the past that made you happy.

    Start acting like you are seeing the world once again through positive eyes—you must take control of your feelings—and you can.

    Peace be with you,
    Bernie

    Questioner’s Response to Bernie:

    I think I found why I had stored anger—it is from my childhood.  How do I express it so I can let it go once and for all?

    What exactly do you mean when you say “ask yourself what being sick feels like.” Being sick makes me feel dry, doom, and a loser.  I don’t know what in my life fits these words. Can you explain a little more?

    Thanks.

    Bernie’s Response:

    You can scream and yell somewhere where you can be alone with your anger.  You can hammer nails into a board.  Or, use sports as a way of expressing anger and not hurting anyone. Find an exercise buddy—just to walk with every other day or whatever schedule works for the two of you.  Join a group that walks around a mall before it opens for the day.

    What in your life fits the doom and loser feelings?  Find classes in everything from humor to how to write your autobiography.  Find a food bank or hospital that needs volunteers and go through the training to help as often as you can.  You will meet people who know you can’t be a loser if you are a helper—a giver of your time.  Find a literacy class at the library and volunteer to help children and adults become competent readers.  What a gift to give someone.

    If anything negative comes up when you are thinking about changing your life from one of gloom and doom to one of giving hope to people, or getting moving yourself in activities where you will meet people, just dump them out of your vocabulary.  Leave your past behind and start right now to improve your life and the lives of others who you can help.

    Peace,
    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – May 30, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    One of my loved ones received devastating news about the ongoing progression of this terrible disease of ALS. He is young, only 40, with a beautiful wife and two young children. How can I help him?

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Remind him he has the potential to exceed expectations.  He needs to show his body love despite the diagnosis.  If he really does believe he, too, can heal, anything good he does for his body will send the message to it that he intends to LIVE.  He must not live in fear because that is self-destructive.

    I have a friend, Evy McDonald, who recovered from ALS.  She wrote a book, Atilla The Gate Agent: Travel Tales and Life Lessons From A Musical Laf-ologist. In the book, Evy details what she did once she had the devastating diagnosis. One thing she did was to sit in front of a mirror without any clothes on and love every inch of her body.

    Click on the following link for Evy’s own story of her miraculous recovery from ALS.
    http://www.gregtamblyn.com/blog/2010/04/23/six-months-to-live-the-story-of-evy-mcdonald/

    Peace & Healing,
    Bernie


    Question for Bernie:

    My mom suffers from dementia and does not talk and hardly ever opens her eyes. She has been diagnosed with melanoma, and has a very large growth on her face from it. (This is all pretty new). She is showing some signs of pain with facial expressions.  We have her on Tylenol suppository 3x’s a day, but every so often there is still more pain.

    Do you have any recommendations?  This is just so overwhelming.  Anything would be helpful. Thank you so much.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Get a doctor to prescribe stronger medication that you can give to your mother either by injection or in other ways. Play peaceful music, and talk to her with positive words.  Be assured, she hears you no matter whether she looks like she is listening or not.

    Most importantly, many times each day tell her that you love her.   Talk about fun times that she had in the past, and if you have a beloved furry pet that is calm, friendly, and small enough for her to hold in her lap, by all means, let her hold it.

    Look through the CDs on my website and choose one that you think she would enjoy. Remember, people with dementia, who also find themselves coping with a painful disease, cannot usually show “normal” emotion externally, so you must simply assume that she is enjoying the CD, and especially hearing you lovingly tell her how much she means to you and always has—and now you are here for her.

    Being loving, kind, attentive, and thoughtful with your mother, who cannot tell you how she is feeling anymore, is very difficult.  You must learn to deepen what you have already learned about nonverbal ways that your mom can show you how she is feeling. You are caring for a mother who is coping with physical, emotional, and mental pain, but is no longer able to express herself as before.  Keep her reassured about how much you love her and want to make her feel better, and please, get her to a doctor who will give her prescription pain medication.  Tylenol is generally not used alone for the kind of cancer pain your mom is experiencing.

    Peace & Healing,
    Bernie

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    Q & A with Bernie – May 23, 2016

    Question for Bernie:

    It is an honor to “meet” you even though it’s by email.

    Many years ago, my father shared with me insights from your book Love, Medicine & Miracles. Lately, I came across the now “yellowed” book again, and have been reading it. It’s great, profound, and full of insights. I figured that now is the time to reach out to you.

    My father suffered a stroke 5 years ago.  He is now 80 years old. He suffers from aphasia, and possibly some cognitive damage, though it’s unclear how much is due to lack of language. His short-term memory and executive functions have been affected, too. Not to mention total loss of computer skills.

    He can speak fluently, but the words most of the time don’t make sense, and we need to work hard to figure out what he is saying.  He slurs, and doesn’t at times seem to remember certain things, though we go over with him more than once that a fork is not for soup, or how to use soap in the shower. It doesn’t seem to be getting better.

    Before the stroke, he worked a full time job. From what we’ve seen, the stroke came after a few very stressful days at work without enough sleep. I tried to analyze and figure what the message of the stroke is for my father. I think I came up with some answers, but am not sure, and also not sure how to help him heal through it. That is why I am, obviously, approaching you.

    My father, besides his regular work, was a cantor, and for him, singing was a major part of life, and who he was. Due to work and other circumstances, his singing pretty much stopped.  I could see the effect it had, though he hid it well on the outside.

    In addition, he was/is a very creative person—talented and well-educated (PhD in economics and engineering, an MBA, etc.) who moved to another country and things didn’t work the way he hoped for financially. He was working at age 75 because he needed to work. His work didn’t utilize his creativity and his knowledge. He was diligent, and did it because he had to.

    I think that, at the end, his body had enough and said, “You are not singing. You are not doing creative things in your life. You are also under pressure. You are not expressing yourself enough. It is time to cause a change. So now you won’t be able to sing. (He has the voice but the words are not there). You also won’t be able to express yourself. You blocked yourself, so now your body is forcing you to do it, too. You were under pressure to making a living. Well, now the pressure is gone. It’s for others to handle for you. From someone who was working and active to this sudden change that has a huge effect.

    I don’t know how and what to do to help, or whether what I am saying makes sense at all. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Play his music so he can hear it, and help him to find peace. There are many nutritional supplements which can help the brain, too. A company called Life Extension could be a resource for you.  Look for them online.

    Telling him you love him, and remember to hold his hand, gentle touch is always helpful to calm people. Even if your dad doesn’t appear to be in distress or anxious, he could be very upset inside, so just regularly playing his music, holding his hand, seeing if gentle massage to his neck or arms, legs—whatever he seems to like. Closely watch for his response if you try a bit of gentle massage, because he may not like it—don’t force him—just do it if you are absolutely clear that it isn’t making him more uncomfortable.

    You also have to accept that the will to live must come from him and not you, so talk

    to him about that, too.  Respect his wishes, maintain his dignity, and be loving and thoughtful.

    Give him a box of crayons to draw pictures with, let me know what colors he chooses, and then email me the picture, if you can.  I will interpret his drawing as I see things and let you know.

    Peace & Healing,
    Bernie

    Question for Bernie:

    I’m working on me and healing (and believing that I can).  It is certainly a process.

    I received an email from an estranged cousin of mine that her father passed away.  There is a long history there that is largely irrelevant.  Much like your black dot experiment, my cousin and I both see the history differently (and both believe our version is correct).

    Her email was cold and to the point.  I can feel myself wanting to respond in kind.

    Truly, keeping in mind the teachings of Jesus, Leo Buscaglia, and you!! I’m going to write the nicest, kindest response I can honestly draft.  I don’t tell you this for any “look at me” moment or positive reinforcement, but rather to let you know that I’m trying to put some positive and love into the world.  As my dad would say, “It ain’t easy McGee!”

    Bernie’s Answer:

    “It is done unto you as you believe” ~   Jesus

    “What if Jesus was the only normal person who ever lived?” ~ Holmes

    If you believe it isn’t [possible], then you will accomplish what you believe, and [that leads to] not healing.  Or, you can choose to believe it IS possible, then…

    Bernie

    Question (continuation):

    But what if in my heart, healing doesn’t seem possible for me?

    Bernie’s Answer (continuation):

    Let your heart make up your mind.

    What do your anger and fear accomplish?  Nothing but negative outcomes; instead, give your body the positive, upbeat message that you want to LIVE! Visualize your energy going to loving your body and visualizing it healing.

    Let your body teach you what you need to learn.

    Jesus ~ “It is done unto you as you believe.” So, start visualizing and believing in your power for true healing, and stop being negative and causing your immune system to shut down.

    Laugh and Love,

    Bernie

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