Saturday, August 23, 2014


If we are not invested in our partner on an emotional level, we are not making love. To make love is to be connected on these two levels – emotional and physical. Staying connected only on a single level is to just have sex. Sometimes couples do not even realize that this is causing a problem in their relationship. Partners just know that something does not feel right. A true partnership functions as a union. This means that when you partner is depressed, stressed and discontent with something in his or her life that you find the time to attend to his or her needs. You do not just go to bed, have sex and fall asleep and then wake up and go on with the next day. When your partner’s experiences become your own concern, you will know what a true partnership is. Only then, you will find true intimacy and a fulfilling relationship. Find time to help with chores around the house. Do not read your newspaper or watch TV during dinner. Do not answer phone calls during times when the two of you are spending quality time. Find time to compliment each other. Do not neglect your appearance just because you’ve already found someone to be with. Take risks and try out new things together. Start paying closer attention to your partner’s emotional state. Break the monotony of your relationship by breaking off from your usual routine. Do not plan on being physically intimate only on weekends when you’re off. Make your partner feel desired through the week. Sex does not per se equate intimacy. For example, you may want to take your partner out to dinner on Wednesday and perhaps on Friday share physical intimacy. Try to keep things like this in your relationship unpredictable. This will take the pressure from both of you. Your partner will feel attended to and you will have less pressure to perform. Do not set a routine because as you know routines become boring. Routines are also influenced by the events in our life and we do not always have control of the external situations in life.
Use the following activity to brain storm some ideas of how to enhance your intimacy.
1. How can I become more attentive to my partner on an emotional level?

2. What do I need to do to show my partner that I really care about their emotionality?
3. How can I show more emotional affection to my partner?

Excerpt from: Couple's Communiation Made Easy (audio book)

Spiritual Abundance

Different spiritual and religious theories raise the question of the nature of man and his journey through life. Whatever the theory, there is an in agreement that a person is more than mere bones, brain, and flesh. Based on your personal understanding and faith, you probably often wonder the same question as everyone else. What else is there in life? In the face of suffering, despair, and depression this question pops up in our minds habitually. Life is not a cup of instant coffee and neither is self-discovery and inner growth. It requires work. Just as a gardener tends to his garden, a person must tend to his soul – with care, patience and anticipation for his fruits. 

My grandparents used to always say to me during my childhood that: “life has big teeth and it bites.” When I was a child, I did not really understand what this meant, nor did I think much about it. I went on with my childhood carefree. Later, in our adulthood we actually comprehend the meaning of this. Yes, life is full of struggles, disappointments and heartbreaks. 

Eastern religions view life as a constantly turning wheel of birth after birth, pain after pain with some brief moments of laughter and peace. Others believe that this is our only life here on earth and that afterwards we move to another plane of existence such as heaven or hell. Sometimes I think that these are only technicalities. Whatever the case is, we are here Now. 

None of us are immune to the pains of life. Then again, we are also able to savor sweet moments basking in the sun, getting kisses from our dogs, smelling the salty ocean air just because we are here and alive. It is natural for all beings to strive towards pleasure and the escape of pain. This is when the art of living comes into play. We are all alive, but some of us move through life as though we are in a spiritual limbo. That is when depression, disappointment, and hopelessness set in. 

Hinduism identifies three problems to suffering. The first one is the desire for wealth, fame, and power. As we acquire each of these, we realize that we cannot hold on to material wealth forever because everything has its limitations. The second is the drive for success that plunges us into overworking ourselves and missing the little pleasures of everyday life such as quiet walks, beautiful sunsets or the scent of flowers. Our drive to succeed washes away our objectivity and we become enslaved by our desires. The more power we place on worldly possessions, the more hungry and dissatisfied we are. We become discontent and want more and more. One car or a decent income is no longer enough. We crave to have more of what we think we do not possess. This leads to the last problem identified by Hinduism – the issue of hedonism. The more we busy ourselves with seeking pleasures and avoiding struggles to meet deadlines, escaping traffic jams, pleasing bosses and corporations, the less we please our inner spiritual self and the less energy we have to give genuinely to other beings. In the Essene Gospel of Peace Book I, we read: “And Jesus answered: Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead. I tell you truly, Moses received not his laws from God in writing, but through the living word.” The law refers to our lifestyle and relations with other sentient beings. The living word refers to the life source present in us and all around us. The further we get away from acknowledging our inner self, the unhappier we become. Even when we have things in abundance, we feel spiritually poor. When we feel that we are swimming up the stream in our life, we are most likely out of balance with the Tao or the ever-present God within.

Excerpt from: Guru in Jeans: Inward Journey to Psychospiritual Awakening.

Do no harm!

Christianity – “All things whatsoever you would that man should do to you, do you so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” Mathew 7, (12)
Buddhism – “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” (Udana-Varga 5, 8)
Confucianism – “Is there no maxim which ought to be acted upon throughout one’s whole life? Surely, it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.” (Analects 15, 23)
Hinduism – “This is the sum of duty: do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.” (Mahabharata 5, 1517)
Islam – “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.” (Sunnah)
Judaism – “What is hateful to you; do not to your fellowman. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.” (Talmud, Shabbat 3 id)
Taoism – “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” (Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien)
Zoroastrianism – “That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good itself.” (Dadisten-I-dink, 94, 5)
Treating others the way we want to be treated ensures that this can help our soul to reach spiritual maturity. We must teat the other sentient being as though we are that being. What treatment can you expect from a worm you are about to step on, or a tree that is about to be cut down? Instead, view that other being as though you are it, and then treat it the way you expect to be treated from that standpoint. We lay out the events along our own journey to spiritual completeness through the practice of our humanness. 
More and more, especially in the Western world, people are becoming dependant on others for one or another thing. A person may blame his therapist for the lack of progress, another may blame his lawmakers for the way their decisions have affected his life directly or indirectly. Another may blame his childhood and his parents by seeing them as the contributors to the flaws in his character today. A criminal may blame the justice system for not providing enough comfort while in prison; the list goes on. In fact, we are responsible for all of our emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Yes, we do not live an isolated life and come in contact with others all of the time, but eventually we are the ones that are fully responsible for our own moral and spiritual attitude. In the New Testament, we read that Jesus healed a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. After he was healed, Jesus instructed him “Listen, you are well now; so stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” John 5-14. This example shows us that we ourselves can hurt our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being through the nature of our actions. 
A person that is spiritually mature realizes that no one is to blame for the unpleasant events in his life. Such a person acknowledges that everything in nature is connected and that sooner or later as the popular layman’s saying goes: “What goes around comes around.” The law of cause and affect does not apply only to our actions towards others, but it holds true regarding our thoughts, feelings, and behavior in general. 

Excerpt from: Guru in Jeans: Inward Journey to Psychospiritual Awakening.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Norman Doidge on the brain and neuroplasticity

Some Causes for Depression

 Rossi Davis, Psy.D
Depression may be triggered by different things not only psychological but things such as- allergies, hormonal changes, sensitivity to certain foods, low levels of B and D vitamins, a sleep disorder, thyroid or adrenaline gland dysfunction, neurotoxins, etc. 

It may be useful to see a neurologist who conducts sleep studies. They can rule out sleep disorders as the main cause for the depression. A blood test can also look at hormonal levels and vitamin deficiency. Some studies show that depressed individuals have increased levels of inflammation in the body.

Suggested reading-

Natural Prozac: Learning to Release Your Body's Own Anti-Depressants by Joel C. Robertson (Paperback)

Why Am I So Tired? Is Your Thyroid Making You Ill? by Martin Budd(Paperback)

Low Libido in Women

Rossi Davis, Psy.D

There are multiple causes both psychological and physiological.  Your physician can administer a hormonal panel test.  It is a blood test where the levels of your hormones are tested. Changes in hormones can affect your libido and whether you can orgasm.

After a woman has a baby, the level of prolactin in the body changes. That can affect sexual desire.

Besides medical intervention, there are other natural options used by women. Women also produce testosterone which affects the libido.  Natural supplements that can be used are Tribulus, Macuna Pruriens and Maca. Ssupplementing with oxytocin can also be helpful as well as introduce some novelty in one's sexual life. 

Other factors that can influence one's libido are depression, certain medications, anxiety and painful intercourse.