Inspiration, Tools and Techniques for Living a Joyful Life Now
The Power of Letting Go
In all the years I've worked in the field of psychology and personal growth – there is ONE Truth – One Nugget of Wisdom that I have continually found myself coming back to – and that is the wisdom of “LETTING GO.”
There are many ways to learn to let go – and I will discuss some of them here - But the message that I want to focus on first and foremost, is simply this:
When troubles fill the mind, and life becomes overwhelming, When we feel trapped, stuck and helpless,
When we've lost hope,
When we're afraid of losing everything,
When we're locked into battle with ourselves, or our spouses, or our life,
When we can't overcome our guilt and can't forgive ourselves,
When we're burdened by anger, resentment and frustration,
When we're afraid to make a mistake....
The simple answer is always -- “Let Go.”
The Problem: Holding On
As human beings, we are excellent at holding on; We're great at pushing, and working hard, and striving and reaching for things. We're taught very well how to be attached to things. Most of us learn to hold our feelings in (especially men); We keep our personal thoughts private; We learn to live our lives in reaction to the world we see – in reaction to threats, and to stress, and we try to hold on tighter to what we have so we wont lose it.
But, how many of us are really taught how to LET GO?
And what's wrong with holding on anyway? What's wrong with working hard and getting things?
There's nothing wrong with holding on and using your will to get things, and to keep things in life -- but in the end, we always lose what we get.
The only thing in this world that is certain, is that everything will change, and you will lose things. You will lose relationships; you will lose careers; you will lose belongings; you will lose your pets; you will lose your youth; And the last thing that every happens to you in this life, is that you will lose your physical body! How depressing!
Since loss is inevitable and beyond our control, there is no sense in denying it or avoiding this condition of life. The more we avoid the truth of it, the more painful it will be.
The Answer: Letting GO:
The wonderful thing about letting go, is that it's much much easier than holding on to things. Not only that, but it's much more fun. The greatest adventures happen when we let go and allow the mystery of life to unfold. The more we let go, the more alive we become. The more of ourselves we let go of, the more we experience the authentic, true Self, which has always been present at the core of our being. The true Self is ever-new bliss, love and peace.
"When desires trouble the mind, always remind yourself of this truth: 'When ecstasy comes, everything goes."
What do we hold on to?
Jobs, Relationships, children; houses, cars, old tee shirts, scraps of paper, shoe boxes full of junk in the closet; What else?
Our feelings: Anger, Sadness, Grief, Fear and Worry; Even positive feelings – we try to hold on to them too – joy, peace, love, passion.
Our beliefs – our ideas – our identity – the roles we play – the jobs we do – the style of clothes we wear...
How do you let go of your thoughts? Is it possible? And can you function if you're not thinking?
YES! It's possible and yes – you can function – excellently - if you're not thinking!
We tend to fear emptiness and we mistakenly believe that if we were to really stop thinking, that we'd be unable to function and would be like a vegetable. In fact, it is your "Consciousness" - what some traditions call the Self (with capital S), that is taking care of you, while the intellect - the mental thoughts that we take for granted, are simply practical tools for working out day to day problems - but really are entirely over-used and over-rated - and actually are the source of our misery.
Learning to let go of your attachment and over-valuing of your intellect and all of your mental processes - your beliefs, your ideas, your concepts -- this is what lead to harmony, peace, and bliss.
Life will not stop if your thoughts stop!
Relationships and Letting Go:
Relationships. Where would we be without them? We wouldn't be here at all would we?
I'm a Marriage and Family Therapist. So I talk a lot about relationships. The biggest reason for relationship problems is that people hold on to each other as if their lives depended on the other person.... they hold on out of fear.... jealousy.... insecurity. It's not a guy thing, or a female thing – it's a human thing – the drama of relationships. We have a lot to learn about ourselves from relationships.
Letting go isn't just what you try to do when a relationship breaks up. It's something you can learn to do while you're still in the relationship. Let go. Don't cling. Don't "live for your partner" and beware the belief that your happiness depends on your partner in any way. Enjoy your connection, your friendship, your intimacy, your sexuality - but don't ever forget that the feelings you feel are within your Self. They do not reside in the "other." As long as you fixate on "getting" something from someone else to make yourself feel okay - you have engaged in a sort of addictive process and induced your own state of amnesia - you have forgotten who you are, and you've forgotten the true Source of you happiness and your life.
I say – let go more. Some people object to this. It's easy to forget, but I assure you, the more you let go, the more free BOTH of you become.
In Today's Newsletter:
Before Starting an Antidepressant Medication, know the real facts: The Dangers of Antidepressants.
Book Review and Video Interview: Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.
Bipolar Recovery Coaching and Alternative Bipolar Treatments.
Complimentary 15-minute guided mindfulness meditation available for immediate download,(see the gold buttons below).
Meditation: The HamSa technique (the origin of Mindfulness Meditation).
Ask-the-Therapist Forum. Ask me any question and you may see it posted on the website with my answer (you don't have to give your real name).Ask away!(I'll do my best to give you a helpful and honest answer).
My Program for Natural Treatment of Depression:
Tapping Into Joy: Meridian Tapping and Mindfulness for Depression. This 96-Page eBook covers a wide range of issues and root causes of depression and shows you how to awaken to your natural state of peace and happiness. Program includes more than 3 hours of Audio Book recording, and a One-hour guided meditation. Tapping Into Joy: Meridian Tapping and Mindfulness for Depression - Available Now.
Before Starting an Antidepressant Medication, know the real facts: The Dangers of Antidepressants.
Suspected for years by many, known secretly for years by researchers, drug companies and psychiatrists, and something I've seen firsthand time and time again -- Antidepressants are not only ineffective for most people, but can trigger Mania and set up people for life long Bipolar Disorder - even after the antidepressant is discontinued.
When I worked in psychiatric hospitals, one of the most common things I observed was flouridly manic or psychotic patients coming in after taking an antidepressant. Usually it was the first time they had been given an antidepressant, and often it was given to them unthinkingly, by their family doctor. General practitioners very often indiscriminately give antidepressant prescriptions to their depressed patients - without any careful evaluation - perhaps only within a 10 minute routine visit. Their lack of psychiatric experience actually doesn't account for all of it - since even psychiatrists - knowing the risks involved - still frequently prescribe antidepressants to their clients that may have a predisposition for Bipolar Disorder. Usually a psychiatrist in this case will also give another medication, such as a mood stabilizer (Lithium, Depakote, Lamictal) and/or an antipsychotic/anti-mania (such as Abilify, Risperidol, Zyprexa), thinkng that this will eliminate the risk of being on an antidepressant.
The long range research, however, shows that even in this case, antidepressants can predispose a person to more chronic depressive episodes and greatly increase their risk of evolving into a full blown Bipolar Disorder, with a chronic, life-long course - requiring further medications to try to "manage" the illness.
In medical lingo, this is called "Iatrogenic Illness" - which means medically caused illness.
Iatrogenic causes are the 3rd leading cause of death in America.
Here's the Facts:
Those with a history of "Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity" symptoms by actually have a Bipolar vulnerability and may be triggered by an antidepressant.
Those with a known family history of Bipolar Disorder are at a much higher risk for developing Bipolar Disorder after taking an antidepressant.
Those with a history of regular drug use, including marijuana, are at much higher risk for developing Bipolar Disorder and may be triggered further by an antidepressant.
Many studies now show that for mild to moderate depression, antidepressants are the same as a placebo.
In the long term, those who take antidepressants are more likely to have more mood instability, and more frequent bouts of depression, despite being on the drug, while those who never take an antidepressant are more likely to recover from their depression naturally and have few or no further recurrences of depression in the future.
Antidepressants are one of the most common triggers for Mania at any age, even if no bipolar symptoms had ever been present before. And once triggered, a person may be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and experience chronic, ongoing bipolar symptoms, even when they discontinue the antidepressant.
Bipolar Patients who take antidepressants are more likely to have greater mood instability over time - which means more rapid cycling moods - a phenomenon that was quite rare prior to the widespread use of antidepressant medication since the 1980's.
Your doctor may not be aware of any of this.
Anatomy of an Epidemic: A Must Read for every Therapist, Doctor and Client
This is an amazing and chilling book, telling the undeniable truth about psychiatric drugs and the wide-spread myths and disinformation created by drug companies in order to convince both the public and their doctors, that psychotropic drugs are effective and necessary to treat mental illness.
The old "chemical imbalance" marketing phrase is no longer able to survive under scrutiny. Not only is there little evidence of the therapeutic value of the long-term use of psychiatric drugs, there is faulty evidence of "chronic psychiatric illness" other than those chronic dependencies and neurological imbalances created by the long-term use of the drugs themselves.
Though these ideas may seem radical, this book draws evidence from major, mainstream published studies, including those by the National Institute of Mental Health, and also looks at the skyrocketing rates of psychiatric disability that have literally exploded over the past 30 years.
“Why are so many more people disabled by mental illness than ever before? Why are those so diagnosed dying 10-25 years earlier than others? In Anatomy of an Epidemic investigative reporter Robert Whitaker cuts through flawed science, greed and outright lies to reveal that the drugs hailed as the cure for mental disorders instead worsen them over the long term. But Whitaker’s investigation also offers hope for the future: solid science backs nature’s way of healing our mental ills through time and human relationships. Whitaker tenderly interviews children and adults who bear witness to the ravages of mental illness, and testify to their newly found “aliveness” when freed from the prison of mind-numbing drugs.”
—Daniel Dorman, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine and author of Dante’s Cure: A Journey Out of Madness
“This is the most alarming book I’ve read in years. The approach is neither polemical nor ideologically slanted. Relying on medical evidence and historical documentation, Whitaker builds his case like a prosecuting attorney.”
—Carl Elliott, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota and author of Better than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream
Bipolar Recovery Coaching and Alternative Bipolar Treatments
Bipolar Recovery Coaching is an individualized program to assist in your recovery from the devastating symptoms of Bipolar Illness.
This program is for those who:
Have recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and don't know what type of treatment plan to follow.
Have been taking a cocktail of psychiatric medications and are still experiencing bipolar symptoms and mood episodes.
Are tired of the debilitating side effects of psychiatric medications and are seeking natural and complimentary treatments.
Reject the idea that Bipolar Disorder is a chronic, life-long illness that will require drugs for the rest of their lives.
Are ready to take full control of their lives and their health by learning to live in a disciplined and balanced manner, giving full support to their mind and body.
Want to try a model of recovery, rather than blindly accepting that traditional approaches are the only way.
A Trauma can be created in a matter of seconds, and with Meridian Tapping/EFT it can
heal in the same amount of time. So let go of your ideas about “deeply ingrained
trauma,”.... it's much easier to change than you ever thought possible.
""... I have already benefited greatly from your guided meditations and your book! I never trust anyone (especially someone I don't even know), but as I used your website and free meditation, asked you a question which you promptly answered, and moved on to your book and began regularly practicing EFT/Meridian Tapping, I began believing in your methods as the results were speaking loud and clear--relief and release from mental and emotional behaviors I have lived with my whole life, and thought I would have to live with forever. I am becoming a new person, seeing life in a whole different context, and actually being happy! While I still have a ways to go with some problems, I know that I can, and I will, make it through--thanks to you and your generosity in sharing your methods. Six months ago I was in a hospital on suicide watch; today I am actually happy and optimistic about the future. Proof that it is never to late!!"
You can listen to a sample from the Audio Book Introduction right here:
(The Full 2.5 hour audio book comes as a bonus, along with my full 62-Minute Guided Meditation Audio, when you purchase the eBook)
The basic technique is simple to learn. Coming up with the right words or phrases takes a little more practice. Experiment with it and as they say, "try it on everything." It's the only way to prove to yourself that this is actually a powerful tool worth an absolute fortune.
By learning to use Meridian Tapping/EFT for yourself and your family, you will be saving yourself from pain, poor health, and even expensive medical treatments, just by activating your body's own natural healing abilities. You will have a tool that can overcome virtually any emotional or mental obstacle to your peace, happiness and success in life. It pays to be persistent!
"This may be the biggest breakthrough in Medicine and Psychology in the last century."
Dr. Dawson Church - Author of Genie in your Genes
Variously called "Energy Tapping," "Meridian Tapping Technique," and Emotional Freedom Techniques® or “EFT” - tapping is an amazing Energy Psychology technique that can be easily learned and self-applied for an enormous array of problems. It is excellent for depression, as well as virtually any emotional disturbance, phobia, fear, traumatic memory, negative thought, and even for many physical problems (including some chronic problems that may have been unsuccessfully treated for years using all sort of conventional and alternative methods).
By tapping on these electrochemical activation points, the nervous system is balanced, and the emotional center of the brain (the amygdala) ceases it's reactivity to the disturbing negative thought, image, memory, or whatever the case may be. Studies now show that tapping quickly reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol...
Learn to Meditate: The True Self Is Ever-New Bliss
"The thinking mind is an obstacle to the inflow of higher gnosis and Truth because its analytical and judgmental thought ripples distort the true message of the incoming knowledge. Only consciousness, free from the ripples of thought in the mind's lake, can experience Divinity in all its splendor, all its beauty and all its Truth."
Healing The Apparent Self
Of The Ignorance Of
The True Self Is The Ultimate
Essence Of All Healing"
"Good thoughts keep off bad thoughts. They must themselves disappear before the state of realization."
"Meditation is sticking to one thought. That single thought keeps away other thoughts; distraction of mind is a sign of its weakness; by constant meditation it gains strength."
"The mind of one meditating on a single object becomes one-pointed. And one-pointedness of mind leads to abidance in the self...
Realization is to get rid of the delusion that you have not realized...
Realization is our true nature. It is nothing new to be gained. What is new cannot be eternal. Therefore there is no need to be doubting whether we would gain or lose the self."
-Sri Ramana Maharshi
"Learn to be calm and you will always be happy."
You always have the ability to go within and to surrender to your own Higher Self - your eternal and ever present Consciousness. Here is the source of your true happiness, bliss and contentment. That which you seek in the world is already here, within you Now.
Try my free guided meditation here and now. Just make yourself comfortable, stop what you're doing and take a 15 minute break to feed your soul:
"I went to your website and found your “guided meditation for depression”. The 15 minute one. I laid down... just exhausted from all the inner pain and the “trying” to make is stop... and "trying to fix it"... and I listened to your guided meditation for 15 minutes. The inner pain went away. I was kind of stunned! (I meditate daily)…so I felt as if some kind of “inner demon” was tormenting me or something, and it was simply gone and I could breathe and felt I came back to myself. I felt like my self for the first time in days. The pain wasn’t just “shouting at me” nor was it simply “lurking in the background”... lurking to come back...it was gone."
This guided meditation audio, along with an additional segment is now available for sale on my website. You can listen to part one (the first 15 minute meditation) for free directly on the site, or by clicking the player below. The second link below will allow you to download the 15 minute meditation for your personal use - only available for free through this newsletter.
Tips on Meditation....the Hamsa Technique - The Original "Mindfulness Meditation"
Mindfulness Meditation is quickly gaining popularity and even mainstream influence as a therapeutic technique for improving mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellness. Most people think that Mindfulness Meditation (or Vipassana) comes from the Buddhist traditions - which indeed it does - however, its true source is older than that.
The real source of these techniques originates in India, with the Yogic traditions. The "Hamsa" meditation is a technique of mindful breathing, while mentally repeating the word "Hamsa" divided into two parts - "Ham" (pronouced HUM) on the out-breath, and "Sa" (pronounced SAW), on the in-breath. Hamsa literally means "I AM THAT" or "THAT I AM." In the ancient Nath Sampradaya (sect) of India, this mantra has been taught and practiced for thousands of years and this mantra (repeated sound/vibration) is said to be the natural mantra that is going on subconsciously, from the moment of birth, when the first breath is taken.
Witnessing the breath, passively, while repeating HAM-SA with every in/out breath, gradually calms and stills the mind and leads to a blissful state of natural enlightenment, called Sahaj Samadhi. This simple practice is deceptively powerful, yet easy to learn and practice.
This is part of one of the meditation techniques taught to me by living Kriya Master and Nath Yogi - Yogiraj Siddhanath.
Yogic Breathing Techniques to Supercharge and Balance You
Pranayama – literally “life-force control” – are powerful techniques for shifting your consciousness, purifying mind and body, and raising your energy. Pranayama is a core part of several types of Yoga and is an excellent addition to any meditation practice. Pranayama are dynamic and invigorating and you will feel the benefits immediately.
Kapalabhati – “Skull Shining Breath,” “Frontal Brain Cleansing Breath” – (An excellent practice of pranayama for depression, especially when anxiety is present; good for calming the mind, decreasing thoughts, energizing the mind and body).
Sit upright with closed eyes. Relax. Inhale deeply through both nostrils, expanding the belly without straining, and then exhale forcefully and quickly by contracting the abdominal muscles. Then allow the inhalation to come naturally, passively with no effort. Again, exhale forcefully, and inhale passively. Do this 10 times, and then take several slow deep breathes in and out. Do this for a few rounds. Then sit still and focus on the point between the eyebrows, just being present and relaxed.
Learn Pranayama techniques - Bhastrika, Ujjai, Nadi Shodhana, Surya Bheda and more
My website now offers F*R*E*E answers to your most pressing questions. You can choose to submit them with or without your name, or make up a name. If it's a well written question that I feel our readers can benefit from, I will answer it and post both your question and my answer on it's own special page on my website. Others can comment, or give their own advice too. Where else can you get instant advice from a licensed psychotherapist? Ask Away! I'll do my best to give a helpful answer.
Every life challenge is an opportunity to awaken. There is no situation that is hopeless. Something positive, healing and transformative is possible in all circumstances, even when we can't recognize it at the time. Sometimes we forge ourselves out of the fire of suffering and loss, and it isn't until the end that we realize what a beautiful work of art has emerged within. The glory of waking up can't be experienced if you don't first accept that you are asleep.
May we all find peace. May we all know joy. May we all be liberated from fear, and released from illusions. May we all return to the Truth of our inner Light.
I value your opinions and your feedback. Please let me know if this newsletter was helpful and feel free to ask questions. I update my website regularly, so check the site for new information, and if you like what you see, let others know about it.
Wishing you health and great joy!
Benjamin Schwarcz, MFT is licensed psychotherapist (#mfc35606), meditation teacher, and energy coach with a private practice at 509 7th Street, Santa Rosa, CA, 95401. He can be reached at 707-326-5566.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. As with any drug, not all supplements are safe for all individuals and there may be risks and contraindications for people with certain conditions. Always consult a professional health care provider before before trying to treat a serious condition on your own.
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