By Leslie Ihde
In January of this year, I made a shift in the focus of my work. Having worked as a psychotherapist since 1984, I made the decision to use the next years of my life to help others on their spiritual journey through spiritual self-inquiry.
What do I mean by spiritual self-inquiry and how is it different from psychotherapy? Self-inquiry encourages the growth of the spirit through rich self-exploration. The foundation of this practice is the search for truth as found in your own experience. This search also reveals the untruth of your assumptions. It requires honesty and fortitude: honesty because without it, no discovery can be made; and fortitude, because it can be painful to face the truth. Spiritual development is concerned with the attainment of freedom of the spirit, which is freedom that transcends but may also satisfy the ego.
Psychotherapy and spiritual self-inquiry overlap. The goal of psychotherapy is psychic health, defined as the ability to honestly face the challenges and negativity that arise in life. At the root of spiritual self-inquiry is the hunger for spiritual freedom. Perhaps a simple distinction between the two disciplines lies in the depth and intensity of the pursuit.
Ultimately, the goal of spiritual self-inquiry is "letting go." In other words, self-inquiry helps you wake up. A Hindu might say that what you wake up from is illusion. I suggest that you can wake up from assumptions that shape your experience of life. Will waking up from these assumptions yield a mystical level of awareness? Perhaps.
In my practice, I offer several forms of guided spiritual self-inquiry. One form is private talk, one-on-one conversation that fosters spiritual development. The initial meetings may seem indistinguishable from psychotherapy appointments. As you develop your practice, however, the difference becomes clearer. No matter what is done — psychotherapy or spiritual self-inquiry — we begin where you are. We work to understand your frustrations, dissatisfactions, and suffering. Together, we discover the ways in which that suffering is related to how you see yourself and life.
By Jaclyn Borza Maher, D.C.
The expectations we hold of ourselves can sometimes seem endless. Our to-do lists never seem to get any shorter and it's easy to feel overcommitted and stressed. Our busy lives can take a toll on our health and leave us feeling eternally rushed, drained, and just plain tired. Before you gear up to tackle a new project or fill another time-slot in your calendar, stop and take a step back to ask yourself, "Why do I feel so tired all the time?"
Chronic Stress, Fatigue, and Your Adrenal Glands
We can't talk about stress and exhaustion without a little lesson about adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands are hormone powerhouses that sit just on top of your kidneys and help your body respond to stress. The hormones produced by the adrenals are in a delicate balance with each other to allow you to respond to everyday stressors in a healthy and flexible way.
When you're under chronic stress, your adrenals have to work overtime. Since your adrenals don't know the difference between an emergency and typical daily stressors, they respond the same either way. Your stressors might be internal pressures, such as expectations that you have of yourself or you think others have of you. They might come from external sources, such as work, relationships, chronic aches and pains, or other health issues. Whatever the stress, no matter how big or small, the adrenal glands produce hormones that signal your body to enter into a state of heightened awareness, a "fight or flight" response. This response is normal, but a problem arises when the intensity or the frequency of the stressors becomes excessive and your body remains in this state of emergency without rest.
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By Kristie Snyder,
Tompkins County is famous for its cloudiness. And it's quickly becoming famous for something else — renewable energy. Despite all those clouds, there's plenty of sun and wind, and more and more Tompkins residents are figuring out how to curb their fossil fuel consumption with a variety of sustainable energy approaches, from the tried-and-true to the purely experim...