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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.
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  • Today’s Prescription for the Soul – Prescription #122 – Getting to Know You

    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.

    The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.

    ~ Thomas Carlyle, 1795-1881, Scottish Historian and Essayist

    Getting to know yourself better takes courage. It is far easier to hide behind a mask than to see yourself as you really are. There are many who think they are perfect and need not change, who think they’re the center of the universe, and they have a problem.

    If you wish to know yourself and change for the better, you need to accept your inadequacies, fears, weaknesses, mistakes, and more. If you need others present constantly to entertain and distract you, then you are afraid to be still and know yourself.

    So spend some time being totally alone and see how you feel. If you are comfortable, then I would say you are in the process of knowing yourself. Knowing yourself means being willing to be with yourself. Once you can do that, the frantic search for distraction and escape will stop ruling your life and you can choose to fill your life with the things that bring you joy.

    Soulution of the Day

    Even if it feels uncomfortable, go away with yourself
    and spend some time together getting to know yourself.
    You may find that you are great company.

    - Bernie

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  • Living with Humor

    Life is difficult but it can become intolerable when the child in you dies. When that child dies, so does your sense of humor, and your ability to laugh at life. I know from experience how easy it is to focus on what is troubling you versus what heals and sustains you. We must be willing to make the effort to see through the darkness and find the light. As Helen Keller said, “If you face the sunshine you do not see the shadows.”

    Many years ago, when I was in pain trying to deal the many emotional aspects of being a physician that we are not trained to handle, I began to write about my painful experiences every night before going to bed. It was before I knew this was therapeutic. It was just something I felt compelled to do to help me deal with the events of the day and not just bury them within me. I kept it hidden from the family because it was not a pleasant thing for anyone to read. One night when I was very tired I forgot to hide it and my wife Bobbie, found it. The next morning she said, “There’s nothing funny in your journal.”

    “My life isn’t funny.”

    “You have us laughing at dinner every night.” Then she went on to tell me stories I had told her and the children that had me laughing but that never got into my journal. From then on I made notes not just about the painful events in my life but also about the humorous and healing events. In this way what is stored within is not just the pain but the joyful events too.

    When I am out in the world I sense it through the eyes and ears of a child. I follow directions exactly as they are given. So sign here gets me to write, here, on the slip. Sign in at the doctor’s office, gets an in from me.

    Let me share a few comments from children about the Bible. A Christian should have only one spouse. This is called monotony. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption. Moses died before he reached Canada and David was the Hebrew king who was skilled at playing the liar. Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night. I could go on but I think you get the message.

    I will conclude with a word from our son Jeff, “Life sucks. Most people suck and if you wake up one day and the world is beautiful and everyone loves one another, you’re dead.” I think there are other options too.

    It takes courage to be a clown. One must have self-esteem and not worry about what others think of you. Simple examples in my life are a mail box at the bottom of our driveway that is twelve feet in the air and painted on the side it says, AIR MAIL. Everyone knows our house at the post office.

    When people ask, “How do you deal with stress?” I answer, “Drugs and alcohol.” Most people know I’m kidding. The truth is I learned to handle stress by not leaving anything unfinished. The other day before leaving home I finished the Kahlua, red and white wine, Valium and Prozac. I can tell you I haven’t felt so freakin’ good in a long time.

    When you act like a clown you will meet other clowns and children of all ages.  Especially when you enter an area that says, “Nobody allowed here,” and tell the guard you are “a nobody.” One guard earned my respect and a hug by telling me he was making me somebody and so I had to leave.

    I have embarrassed our five children for years and it has saved me a lot of money. When we dined out and the waiter asked, “How’s everything?” I would answer, “Why are you upsetting me in the middle of dinner. If you read the papers you would know what a mess the world is. So please let me eat in peace.”

    At an Italian restaurant I would order Chinese food to confuse the waitress who was never quite sure if I was kidding, confused or retarded. The last time I went to pick up a pizza my wife had called to order they had three containers of Chinese food waiting for me on the counter. And the whole place had a good laugh. We all became kids again.

    The greatest benefit our children now realize. When they do something a bit bizarre they hear people say, “Do you know who his father is?” And they are off the hook.

    The other day I called our oldest son, Jonathan at his office. He is an attorney. I told his secretary I was an FBI agent who had to discuss an investigation with Jon. She interrupted his meeting to insist he answer the phone. He said, “It’s my father.” The secretary argued with him that it was an FBI agent. He said, “Okay, hand me the phone.” He then said, “Yes Dad, what is it?” His secretary now knows better.

    The ultimate benefit of all this I observed at my father’s death. If I asked you what would you have your family talk about when you were ready to die so you could die laughing what would you answer? The right answer is for them to tell stories about you and hopefully you will give them enough material so you can die laughing as my father did.

    The first story my mother told ended with the fact that my dad he lost a coin toss and therefore, had to take her out. From then on things got worse and I have no idea why my mom kept dating him but those events let him go looking joyful and free of fear. It was a gift to everyone in the room.

    Here is how to add the power of humor to your life:

    1. Keep a journal of whatever makes you smile for the next week, from emails too events. Reread it every evening at bedtime.

    2. Act like a child today and perform or ask questions just like a preschoolers would. Sex is a good topic if you are at a loss as to what to do.

    3. Embarrass someone you know today by your actions. Example: If you are invited to a black tie only event wear only a black tie.

    4. Dress like a clown today and act as if you do not notice anyone’s reaction and as if you are normal as you point out any problems apparent on them.

    5. It’s never too early to prepare to die laughing. So start accumulating material and giving your family things to talk about that will make you laugh. Start asking them to share memories now.

    Just remember—when you laugh you lose an awareness of the physical aspects of life and transcend your troubles.


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    When I was four years old, I was home in bed with one of my frequent ear infections. I took a toy telephone I was playing with and unscrewed the dial and put all the pieces in my mouth as I had seen carpenters do with nails, which they then pulled out to use. The problem was that I aspirated the pieces and went into laryngospasm. I can still feel my intercostal muscles and diaphragm contracting forcefully, trying to get some air into my lungs, but nothing worked and I was unable to make any sounds to attract help. I had no sense of the time, but suddenly realized I was not struggling anymore. I was now at the head of the bed watching myself dying.

    I found it fascinating to be free of my body— and a blessing. I never stopped to think about how I could still see while out of my body. I was feeling sorry my mother, who was in the kitchen, would find me dead, but I thought it over and found my new state preferable and intellectually chose death over life.

    Then for no apparent reason, the boy on the bed vomited and all the pieces came flying out. He began to breathe again, and I was very angry as I returned to my body against my will. I can still remember yelling, “Who did that?” My thought as a four year old was that there was a God who had a schedule, and on that schedule, I wasn’t supposed to die yet. So, the way I would describe it today is that an angel apparently did a Heimlich maneuver on me.

    Because of experiences I continue to have as an adult, I really do believe there is a schedule that we create unconsciously. Twice I have had my car totaled by people driving through red lights, and once I fell off our roof when the top rung on my wooden ladder snapped off. In none of these incidents did any significant injury occur to my body. A friend told me it was because I had an angel watching over me, and he knew the angel’s name. I asked what the angel’s name was, and my friend asked, “What did you say when the ladder broke?”

    “I said, Oh Shit!”

    He said, “That’s his name!” I will add that this angel always shows up when I call him in an impassioned way.

    My next experience was with the healer Olga Worrall. I had injured my leg training for a marathon. It was very painful and not responding to rest or therapy. At an American Holistic Medical Association conference Olga was a guest speaker. My wife told me to ask her to heal me. I was embarrassed to ask and very frankly a non-believer. Never the less my wife pushed me forward and Olga sat me down in a chair and placed her two hands on my leg. The heat from her hands was incredible. I remember putting my hands on the opposite leg to compare the heat sensation. There was no sense of warmth from my hands coming through the dungarees. When Olga was done I stood up and was completely healed. The pain was gone and I could walk normally.

    Another time Olga and I spoke at the funeral of a mutual friend. After the ceremony we were standing in a deserted hallway when she asked, “Are you Jewish?”

    “Why are you asking?”

    “…. because there are two rabbis standing next to you,” she responded.

    She went on to tell me their names and describe their garments, which included their prayer shawls and caps. Her description of them was exactly what I saw in my meditation and imagery sessions when I had met these figures while walking on my path.

    Another evening after I gave a lecture, which strangely felt like someone else was giving it and I was simply verbalizing it for them, a woman came up to me and said, “Standing in front of you for the entire lecture was a man and I drew his picture for you.” Again, I was stunned as she drew exactly the face and features of my inner guide. I still have the picture hanging in our home.

    My next experience came when I was telling a friend about how busy I was and she said, “Why are you living this life?” Her intention was to get me to slow down and travel less, but her question sent me into a trance in which I immediately saw myself with a sword in my hand killing people. My first thought was that I had become a surgeon in this life to use a knife to heal and not kill.

    I spontaneously went into a trance again a few days later, and I saw myself living the life of a knight who killed because he feared what his lord would do to him if he didn’t carry out his commands. As the knight in my trance, I killed my wife and her dog, and I was devastated by the experience. But the real message that this trance revealed to me was why my wife’s face has always had a hypnotic effect upon me, and why I am so involved in rescuing animals. Ultimately it taught me about having faith in the true Lord, and like Abraham, Jesus, Moses, Noah, and others, to understand that what our Lord asks of us is for the greater good, and that if I had said “yes” I would have not been asked to kill anyone.

    Most recently one of our cats disappeared when a door was left open. After several weeks with no sign of her, I was sure she was killed by a predator. A friend of mine, Amelia Kinkade, is an animal intuitive who lives in Los Angeles. We live in Connecticut and Amelia has never been to our home or near it. I pestered her to tell me where the cat was and one day I received an email from Amelia. Without even sending Amelia a picture of the cat, her email detailed the house, yard, other animals, and people who were involved in the cat’s life. The next day I went out and found the cat exactly where Amelia said it was hiding.

    She told me in the email, “The cat is alive because I can see through its eyes.”

    If that amazing experience didn’t make me a believer, nothing will. I totally believe that consciousness is non-local and not limited to the body. I also have experienced this through the drawings and dreams of patients I have cared for, which allows them to know their diagnosis and what the future holds for them. As Jung said, “The future is unconsciously prepared long in advance and therefore can be guessed by clairvoyants.”

    I believe it is this unconscious awareness which we each bring with us when we are born. So I do not believe we literally live many lives, but that we bring with us the experience of previous lives. Thus, the wiser we get, the better the future will be for those who follow us.

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    Which Way

    “Life is like that.  If you can’t reach your destination by one road, try another.”
    ~ Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973)

    How do we know which road to take?  Taking the easy path is not always the appropriate choice.  The key is to have an open mind and not judge the path you end up on as right or wrong, but to wait to see where it takes you.  Also, never admit defeat but look at other ways of getting to the point you hope to reach.  When you keep your mind open, things can happen that were not planned but that end up being to your benefit.  You may find that what you thought was the wrong place introduces you to things and people that make it the right place.

    Do not fear deviating from the normal way and being open to unusual paths.  If you go a certain way because of what others recommend, you may find yourself on the wrong path.  Do not let others tell you where to go and how to get there.  Follow your own path.

    No matter which way you chose to go, ultimately it will always be the right way.

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    Look to This Day

    “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
    ~ Thomas Carlyle

    When we spend our time always focused ahead, it is hard to live in the moment.  Yes, you can plan for tomorrow, but you don’t start living it until today. How you get through life is the same way sand gets through an hourglass—grain by grain.  So it is with the day and your difficulties.  If you deal with what needs to be done one grain at a time, eventually your hourglass of problems will empty itself.

    How would you finish the sentence, “When I get___________________, then I will be alright”?  It is not in the “when I get” that you must live, but in the now. The Indian writer Kalidasa wrote, “Today well-lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”

    Remember to shut the doors to the past and the future. Live and look well to this day.

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    “To exist is to change; to change is to mature; to mature is to create oneself endlessly.”
    ~ Henri Bergson, French Philosopher (1859-1941)

    We plant a seed.  It grows through the summer until harvest time arrives, and then we cut down what has grown.  The roots remain, and the next spring the plant sprouts again.  So it is with life. Death cuts us all down at some point.  For some, the growing season is longer and we create ourselves many times over, but inevitably harvest time comes for all of us.

    However, if we have established healthy roots firmly in the earth, we are immortal.  I see this when our family gets together and four generations seat themselves in the same room.  It is an incredible feeling to realize that everyone in the room is connected to my parents through their children and their children’s children.  The roots have spread deep and wide over the earth and will forever sprout as long as life exists on this planet.

    Your roots do not have to be related to the act of giving birth to a child, but to the active process of helping others to grow and thrive throughout the seasons of their life.  You can be the farmer who provides the field and the sustenance so that others are able to put down their roots in your field of dreams.

    Prepare your crop well so that at harvest time it will be ready to be cut down and you will know the roots are strong and will continue to grow.

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    Sell It

    “Herman Grimhoffer was stuck in an elevator for four hours.  Upon his release he had sold the elevator operator a new Cadillac.”
    ~ Matty Simmons

    When I first began to speak about my experience with cancer patients, I encountered anger and opposition from the medical profession.  When I was interviewed on all the well-known talk shows, I was constantly being challenged for my beliefs.  Trying to sell my ideas made me an object of everyone’s anger.  My beliefs did not fit the establishment’s beliefs.

    I learned to tell stories so that my ideas would not confront others’ belief systems too intensely.  I also learned to listen to others’ anecdotes and stories as they told about their ideas and experiences.  I learned to ask and not tell.  I found the best way to sell my ideas was to let another person share his or her experience of my techniques and how they worked for that person.

    When I told other doctors how to help patients, I encountered a lot of disagreement.  But when I asked them if they wanted to help patients, the answer was always yes.  It is much easier to sell new ideas when you are both in agreement on the basic premise.

    I am not trying to sell material things, but I am trying to sell humanistic medical care.  I still have my moments when I forget to share my ideas in a non-confrontational way.  I still have some work to do in getting all medical professionals to stop dealing with patients and start caring for them.

    If your goals are admirable and beneficial, then learn how to sell them to others and become a traveling salesperson.


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    God’s Lifelines

    “To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise; I never knew but one, and here he lies.”
    ~ Lord Byron

    The above quote is inscribed on a monument erected to Lord Byron’s dog, Boatswain.  The epitaph describes the one whose remains lie nearby.  He possessed “Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices.”

    I am a lover of animals and children; we always had a house full of both.  Adults, I have problems with sometimes.  I try to remember they were children once, too. A book of poetry I am reading basically says the same thing.  A poem about a cat finishes with, “For the name of the kitten was love.”  I wish as humans we could have such unconditional love between us as we do with our pets.

    The Bible tells us to learn from the animals, but when will the day come that we become better students?

    Remember: Dog is God spelled backward, and lifeline is three-fourths feline.  Get the message?


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    Question for Bernie:

    Dear Bernie,

    I just returned from New York after my mastectomy.  They took 14 lymph nodes out; 3 were affected. The pathology came back OK a couple weeks later.

    My host in New York had your book Love, Medicine & Miracles delivered for me when I came back from hospital.

    I worked on your suggestion, and my friends waiting during surgery mentioned that when the surgeon came out to speak to them after surgery, he said surgery went well and “……there was very little blood loss.”

    Your advice stayed in my mind and conscience and my body listened.

    I am now refusing chemo and radiation and heal naturally. I have made nutritional changes and am trying to detox my body.

    How can I help program my body rid itself of any remaining cancer cells?

    Your last suggestion about imagining blood rushing away from surgery area worked so well.

    Thank you so much. Many regards.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    Thanks for sending your drawing to me.  You look a bit ragged, but are all there and the light is a nice healing sign.  Surgeons don’t look whole and have no arms to work with, so make sure you develop a human relationship with them and others at the hospital.

    And get help from your family, too. None of them are in your drawing waiting for you.

    Also, add some color to the picture to bring it to life.


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    Q & A with Bernie – May 21, 2018

    Question for Bernie:

    Hi Dr. Siegel,

    One of my employees has had 3 miscarriages…the last one was twins at 23weeks (one week shy of being able to save them). She is now 22 weeks and started cramping so is at the doctor.

    What would your advice be to her mentally … as she is soooo in her head with worry?

    Thanks as always.

    Bernie’s Answer

    I stopped a miscarriage in one of my patients taking the following steps: What I did first was get all the negative people out of her room. Be sure you do that, too.

    And then I had her meditate and communicate with her uterus. I guided her through visualizing getting her uterus to relax and not contract, and to feel a sense of serene, inner peace. Her labor stopped and a miscarriage was averted.  She went on to have a healthy baby who she named after me.

    So, as I say above, begin by eliminating all the negative people from the room; gently put hands on her tummy and guide her in visualizing labor slowing and then stopping. Help her visualize sending energy and healing to the fetus, safe within a calm uterus.  Help her visualize getting strong and carrying her baby to term, then celebrating the birth of a beautiful child (who she can name after me per tradition mentioned above).

    Tell your employee that eliminating as much of any negative energy swirling around her as possible will boost her immune system and overall health in support of a healthy pregnancy. This can mean at least temporarily banning certain friends and family members who think they are helping but, because they don’t realize how harmful their own extremely negative views are to her overall well being, will keep right on “trying to help” and introducing unnecessary stress into her life.

    Fear is destructive, but love and laughter heal.  She should surround herself with other adults who are truly happy in their lives and do not pollute the space with negative energy.  This is your employee’s personal experience—it is her experience and is like no other’s—perhaps you could help her by explaining that to some of the people who she might be afraid to ask to stay away, but should.


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    Q & A with Bernie – May 14, 2018

    Question for Bernie:

    Dear Bernie – I first heard about you on Erin Lay’s Cancer telesummit.  I have multiple myeloma. Diagnosed in October of 2013 as a result of what I thought was a sports injury. It turned out that the cancer had eaten away my L3 vertebrae. I had a fusion and then started chemo.  Had a stem cell transplant in 2014; After that went into remission for about a year and then through several more chemo cocktails. Currently on an immunotherapy regimen which has been working great but now my markers seem to be going back up.

    I am an attorney, a shareholder in a woman-owned law firm. Luckily I have been able to dial back work. I participated in the woman of the year fund raiser for LLS in 2017 and am the current Rocky Mountain Region WOY as Team Mary Jo raised over $239,000 and broke the existing record by $50,000.

    I am a Christian. I also am a skier, mountain biker, windsurfer and grandmother. We have two lovely grandchildren.  I have three stepchildren and a wonderful loving supportive husband.  I also do yoga and am trying to meditate more.

    I feel fortunate that I am able to live my life to the fullest but am worried because the treatments do not last long and at some point I will run out of options. My doctors at University of Colorado are fantastic. They also embrace the spiritual side which is comforting.

    Are there any ECAP teams in Colorado?  I didn’t see any on the website.  I also go to Boston to see Dr. Richardson at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  If possible I would love to come and see you at the same time.

    I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

    Bernie’s Answer:

    One problem is being a lawyer—as one said, “While learning to think, I almost forgot how to feel.”  So pay attention to your heart and not just your head when choices come up.

    Read my books starting with these two—Love, Medicine & Miracles and The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-healing.

    Also, having true faith in God as your ally can do amazing things; you have to believe and your body will respond.

    ECAP is no longer an entity so I am not sure about where groups may still exist.

    Ask around about any existing groups in the Colorado.  Look for groups that discourage complaining and encourage sharing inspirational experiences.

    Next time you are in Boston let me know.  We run groups here on the second and fourth Tuesday afternoons every month.

    As you read The Art of Healing, you can also do some drawings and email them to me for comments to help you make decisions.  Picture in your mind what you desire to happen and believe that it will happen, and your body will respond. I keep it up because I know what can happen.

    Create harmony in your life through transformation and rebirth.


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