There is no competition on the spiritual plane. What is rightfully mine is given me under grace.
Landscape picture 003There is no need to ever be envious of anyone else. Everyone is promised what is theirs by Divine Right: Their perfect Love, perfect Home, perfect Wealth and Prosperity, perfect Work and Self-Expression, and their perfect Health. You never need worry when it seems like those around you are getting something you are not, and you feel the need to compete with them to “win.” What is yours, truly yours, will come to you and there will be no need to compete. When you compete, you have the mentality of “there is only one and I need to beat someone to get that one.” And this is an opposing premise to Abundance. The truth is, there is more than enough for everyone, and you must know that if you do not get that one, ie, the job, the person, the position on the team...it just means you have something else or someone else more perfectly suited for you that will bring you true happiness, divinely selected, that is coming to you. Imagine missing out on what you think is the perfect job on a cruise ship, yet what you may not know is that cruise ship is the Titanic. Never be envious….all that is yours is already perfect and will come to you, in perfect timing. Be patient, be thankful…..it will come.  
Spiritual Counseling
In addition to traditional psychiatric practices and pharmacotherapy, I can also provide spiritual counseling. I am not formally licensed as a spiritual counselor in a conventional manner with the endorsement of a specific religious church sect, but I enjoy discussing spiritual topics and offering advice in this regard, in both traditional, non-denominational Christian topics but also non-traditional spiritual studies and readings. If a patient would only like spiritual counseling, and I will not be functioning in the capacity of a Psychiatrist/Medical Doctor [ie, no prescribing, no formal psychiatric diagnostic interview/mental status exam, and no patient/doctor relationship], then I will be happy to move forward in the role of a spiritual advisor. We can also incorporate spiritual counseling as a component of formal psychiatric treatment as a psychiatrist as well; in this instance, the same M.D. rates/terms would apply based on length of session desired.

What do I mean by Spiritual Counseling?

I have had many patients ask me what the difference is between traditional formal psychotherapy and spiritual counseling. At times, they may seem similar in that they both look at the perspective and perception of each individual person and how they view the world, and how that person integrates how they see themselves fitting into this paradigm and how they actually live day to day, how their relationships fit into this paradigm, their goals, their beliefs about their future, etc., and ultimately their belief about their purpose and place in this world.

Spirituality, according to Webster’s dictionary, among other things, is defined as “things of a spiritual, ecclesiastical, or religious nature.” It can be related to attending church, but more so, it is a facet of human nature when someone looks beyond their five tangible senses to issues involving more philosophical, sometimes esoteric natures...i.e., why am I here? What is the purpose of my life? Is there a God, or some force outside of myself guiding and directing me? How do I relate to others….what is the meaning of life in this world? What happens when we die? Do I have a soul, and how does that fit into the mind/body paradigm?

Often religiosity and spirituality go hand in hand, but not always. One can be spiritual and believe in a “higher power” outside oneself, but might not necessarily espouse to a belief in a traditional concept of God. For myself as a practitioner to say that I am a spiritual counselor, I think it is only fair to inform patients of my own personal beliefs as we go into and navigate this often murky and mysterious territory together. My family was Lutheran, as my mother is German and we are from the mid-west….but I did not grow up in a traditional church-driven manner, as my mother worked and most of the time we did not make it to church on Sundays. My family, however, was very strong in their belief in God, so I was always told to “talk” to God, keep Him in my heart, say my prayers and believe I was always being watched over. I did this, from a very young age on, growing up in a very spiritually free manner, i.e., be kind to others, treat others as you wish to be treated, forgive, love…..without any of the traditional sense of “sin,” or “damnation,” or “guilt.” I always saw God as being ever present and loving and available and protecting, never judgmental or harsh or punitive. Then, I attended a Catholic high-school and learned more formal means of prayer, and had a greater sense of how religion interpreted God and separated the concept of God at times, which I thought had to be confusing, especially to a 5 year old who then grows up with a sometimes loving but sometimes fearful sense of God. In the end, I realized it truly is the relationship between this entity that I call God [one can say, “Divine Love,” “Higher Power,” “Infinite Spirit,” “Supreme Intelligence,” whatever is most comfortable to each person] and our own hearts and minds that should be the core of how we experience Divinity. A church is wonderful if it is a sacred place that allows a person to feel closer to God, but I also believe one can reach this same inner space on their couch in their own home. There is no limit to how we can access God, no limit to the ways we can feel “spiritual,” or connected to others…..God is Love, and we can feel Love in a myriad of ways we still are discovering. I believe different religions are all buses traveling to the same place, even if they do not realize it. Most religions converge in their ideals across many arenas, but people can get trapped in the rituals of religious practice and lose a sense of the true meaning of the journey and the power of spirituality that we all possess to transform our lives in amazing ways.
My goal with my patients when I say spiritual counseling is not to act as a psychiatrist, but rather as a guide into the metaphysical world, where we can begin to understand spiritual laws and invisible principles that exist in this Universe and can truly and fundamentally change our lives and our relationships in miraculous ways. I often quote the Bible, Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi, Albert Einstein, and many others who grasped these concepts and practiced them in a way that literally changed the world and continue to touch us thousands of years later. I will offer readings and authors that are inspirational and can interpret difficult spiritual literature and biblical passages in ways that become tangible to us, and this is how we begin to change facets of our lives in previously unimaginable ways, and truly live the life of our dreams and obtain the desires of our hearts, as we move closer to fully understanding ourselves and the Universe we live in.

“Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind……” Romans 12:2.
I look forward to starting this journey with you…..may the force of Love always be with you.
I am Now deluged with the happiness that was planned for me in the Beginning. My barns are Full, my cup flows over with joy.

talk 2

I want to explain about this affirmation, one of the many wonderful ones that can be found on www.florence-scovel-shinn.com. This is speaking of several principles, primarily that God works in the NOW…..NOW is the appointed time, TODAY is the day. To work outside of this means that we are not being mindful….there is only Now, and when we think of our good tomorrow or in the future, it will always be one day ahead of us and we will sit in angst and anticipation but never Feel the actualization of whatever it is we are hoping/praying for. So, be mindful and feel like “TODAY is the day my good comes to me…..this very moment!” Now, the other principles this affirmation encompasses is the idea of Destiny….”before I even called I was answered.” God knows our steps before we take them, and has multitudes of blessings and promises in store for us before we are even aware of them. But this is the entire idea….once we become aware in our consciousness of the blessings and promises, when we begin to even imagine them….this is exactly what moves them toward manifestation in our physical world. My barns are Full implies that our prosperity is abundant, we are ‘stuffed’ with supply and all of our needs are met with divine surplus remaining. My cup flows over with joy again implies that we are filled with expectancy and fulfillment internally with then flows unobstructed into our physical world. Feel prosperous and subsequently be prosperous. This is a wonderful affirmation that begins to imprint upon the mind the idea of never-ending Prosperity and Abundance, of both supply and happiness. Say this many times to yourself over the course of the day, until you feel that ‘your supply is overflowing and plentiful, and your spirit is overwhelmed with joy.’
 
Thoughts on Non-Resistance
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This is such a wonderful principle, once it is understood, and one of the most difficult to intellectually grasp, if that is not an oxymoron since it is really an effect of emotionally 'releasing.' The best analogy I have to offer in imagining non-resistance has to do with a reed in water. If one imagines a tall reed, beautiful, standing out amongst the other reeds, one can see the strength, the power, the might in this lone reed, strong as the currents flow around it's sturdy base. But once the river begins to swell, and the water starts rushing faster and faster, it will not be long before this mighty reed, brittle and unable to bend as it stands Against the current, snaps in two and is washed away. Now, in sharp contrast, think of seaweed, a reed of sorts but with one fundamental difference. Seaweed sways with the current of the water, is drawn to it and ebbs from it in a fluidity of exchange, yet always in unison with the tides. And the ocean swells are mighty indeed, currents reaching over a hundred miles an hour. Yet, seaweed withstands, endures, perseveres.....because it is in sync with the environment in which it lives and breathes. It is a dynamic part of the ocean, just as we are a dynamic part of this Universe. Seaweed becomes one with the ebbs and flows, swept from side to side in complete harmony with the swirling waters surrounding it. It does not fear, it does not stand pridefully in its wake, it does not run.....it just FLOWS. Even dances. And because it flows, it Flourishes....The Chinese see Water itself as the strongest element on the earth because it is completely non-resistant. Try to hold water in your hand. It is almost impossible because its fluid nature simply pours out over your palm, your wrist, through your fingers. It resists nothing and hence it cannot be stopped. Now, of course we have devised multiple ways to try to contain water, and they can certainly work for a period of time, but water can wear away wood, stone, metal, and basically any other container that tries to hold it over time. It becomes one with its environment and eventually everything gives way to it, and when it is released, it simply flows and molds itself to whatever path presents itself....the path of least resistance. Ultimately, water Knows No Bounds, and its complete ability to flow in unison with the paths that present themselves, regardless of form, before it are what gives it its incredible, unstoppable power.So, as such, this is the same principle conveyed with Non-Resistance, also known as Detachment. Think of power moving through an object, such as a powersaw. The powersaw is electrically designed to provide the least resistance to the electrical current flowing through it, which then provides the maximum amount of power. When the powersaw is dropped, it now has an injury which impedes the flow of electricity, and we would call that Resistance, and consequently the saw loses its power. It may still work, but not like it was designed to, and it would definitely not reach its full 'power' potential.What we need to imagine is seeing ourselves as powersaws, and God as the electricity. When we are non-resistant, and we trust that whatever we are facing, as evidenced by the external circumstances around us, is somehow a link in the chain of our good, we then give Infinite Wisdom a chance to move, or Power, through us and bring about the divine selections in our lives which ultimately leads to the desires of our heart. We do not trust what we see with our eyes, but rather close them and see solely through the eyes of Faith, through the adverse conditions, knowing it is but an instant. We become as Moses did before the Red Sea....believing in the impossible as he “saw” the waters part with his Faith, and subsequently the waters moved. As we are Unmoved by external circumstances, external circumstances Move because our Faith allows God-power to Move through us. Hence, the World of the Wondrous, where everything is permanently perfect, swings into visible manifestation by our belief in it and knowing that everything....Everything...placed before us is a link in the chain of our good and brings us to our ultimate destiny. See God in every face, and in every circumstance, and you become the Master of all Conditions.

Oh, if but it could be this easy! The reasoning mind steps in and the .....the “but's,” the “what if's,” the “wait...should I's,” the “how's,” the “if only's,” etc., etc., start sweeping over us....clogging the engine and shutting down the electrical current which would bring us to our Promised Land. We have to trust this incredible force with all our hearts, against our reasoning minds, against the logic of conventional wisdom, and against the 'doubting Thomas's,' which we all have in our lives. This is what will allow you to do what everyone else says is “crazy, impossible, unbelievable!” Yet, when we stop resisting and Trust....God makes a way where there is no way. Believe...and all things are possible.

What makes us resist? Fear, doubt, reasoning, not understanding, wanting to know the plan, needing to direct the channels, to direct the way. We become so strangled by our own internal conflicts that we in effect paralyze Infinite Spirit that could flow through us and bring about our desires in an instant if we just Allowed. I can think of a million analogies. A young woman wants desperately to become a ballerina. She's praying and praying for her big break. She works, in the meantime, in an insurance office, and hears constant bickering between her co-workers and an unpopular female supervisor with whom no one likes and everyone avoids. So, this young lady likewise avoids this woman like the plague, and takes pains so that their paths never cross. She has even refused when this supervisor invites her to lunch, making any excuse not to spend time with her based on her fears and assumptions. The more this woman asks, the more the young lady avoids her, and her co-workers become suspicious of her being “chummy” with the boss. She finally ends up quitting and finding another job she becomes so overwhelmed by the situation. What she does not know, and could not know based on her own knowledge, is that this woman is actually very kind, but in an unpopular position based on difficult decisions she has to make on behalf of the company, and hence becomes an easy target for her co-workers to make fun of and socially 'shun,' as this is the only power they in turn hold over the supervisor. What she also does not know, and could not know, is that this woman's husband, whom this young lady would have met at the lunch she was invited to, was the director of the Julliard School of Dance, and God had placed this wondrous juxstaposition before her in answer to her prayers.....but because she leaned on her own understanding and did not simply Trust and Not Resist, she lost this golden opportunity that would have been a bee-line to her dreams coming true.

Another example. A man goes into a restaurant, and has a craving for a fish stew which he loves and has not had in months. It had been a long, hard day, and as he leaves the office, he is so relieved and revitalized by the very thought of this stew. He has thought about it all day, and as he sits waiting at his table, a warm glow replaces the weariness of his forlorn soul. Meanwhile, he could not know that as the stew is swirling on the stove, a new, young chef accidentally bumps the wall behind the stove, and unbeknownst to this chef, because he is facing the other direction, a container of rat poison on a shelf above the stove falls over on its side and pours half its contents into the soup. The other chef, coming back from the front line, has no idea and stirs the soup, further spreading the poison. He then gets a great big bowl, and pours the entire hearty portion into it, and the waiter, knowing this man is so excited for this stew, begins bringing it to him as he sits hungrily at his table. God, in His infinite wisdom, sees all and quickly puts forth a cascade of events which begins with an older woman spilling her drink and an ice cube from this drink falling in the path of this waiter who then slips and falls and the soup is....well, everywhere but in no one's stomach! The man is heart-broken.....and he sees this event, what was really Divine Intervention that saved his very life, as yet another awful event in his dreary and brow-beaten day. Oh if he only knew! If he only trusted! EVERYTHING, even seemingly 'bad' or 'unfortunate' events, are all Links in the Chain of our Good!

God knows the way.....always, forever. If His timeline is different than ours, it is because He is bringing together circumstances, people, events, to somehow bring you to EXACTLY where you are supposed to be, in a myriad of ways we cannot even being to Fathom, such that all conditions are permanently Perfect. There is a Divine Timing to Everything, and what we fail to do when we Trust that “I will bring it to pass...” is prevent all the wonderful good that is coming, that is surely coming, for before you called, you were answered. But we want to know the way, we want to know the events, the people, the circumstances...even dictate the way, the events, the people, the circumstances, and that is where He halts us and says “have the Faith of a child.” This means to trust Entirely without needing to understand the 'How's' and the 'Why's' and the 'What's.' When a small child asks for a toy at Christmas, he does not want to know where it was manufactured, and in what truck it was shipped in, and to what store it was brought to and for how much it was purchased...etc, etc. He only wants the toy, and he has Full Faith, when he is in that Wondrous, Miracle-minded state of mind, that when he goes to sleep on Christmas Eve, he will wake up and his toy will 'magically' be under the tree. It's as simple as that....he need know nothing else, and he is wide-eyed at the Wonder and Magic of it all. Santa Clause is God in manifestation....God works in Wondrous ways, His Miracles to perform, for that is the magic....the real magic, in Life. As we become adults, we still need to see the world through the innocent and enchanted eyes of a child....and the magic we see is oh, so much more complex which makes it oh, so much more mystical and beautiful and enchanting and wondrous and miraculous and amazing and impossible! Yet, it is possible, and it is before us....and God proves His majesty yet again when we can see with the eyes of Faith and Believe in our hearts and entertain no doubt that our 'toy,' the desire of our heart....will indeed be placed before us in all His glory. The real beauty is that He gives us everything that satisfies the desires of our hearts.... “and more....” than we can ever possibly imagine.
Before we begin…
Before we begin, I just want to make it very clear that I enjoy working with all my patients, who have many diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, and are from various religious backgrounds and belief systems. My goal is never to convert anyone to my belief system or religious beliefs, but rather to work with everyone in aligning them in a harmonious way with the world around us all, with our loved ones and neighbors, and ultimately with ourselves. I encourage everyone to embrace who they are and help them to synchronize in ways that make sense to them, whatever their belief system, and never want anyone to misunderstand when I speak of God or the Universe, that I am imposing my belief system on them. I see God in a very unique way, Metaphysical to be precise, and when I speak about God, I am both speaking about the Judeo-Christian God that many of us grew up to understand, but I am also eclectically speaking about God in the sense of a Higher Power, or Supreme Intelligence, or Mother Nature, or a mass of Energy or Love, like the Sun, that shines on us all. I encourage each person to foster whatever they accept and feel comfortable with, in traditional or non-traditional ways, but more importantly to understand and work with this Principle outside of ourselves that weaves its way through each person and unites us all….I call this entity God but please know, it is a unique perception and relationship for everyone, throughout all religions and belief systems, and I think the most important aspect is to accept whatever version of this Divine entity fits and feels good to think about and believe in. Ultimately, spiritual enlightenment will only work if it is believable to each of us in our own ways.

 

Greeting Letter to Patient
Dear New Patient:
We would like to welcome you to Awakenings, an online clinical telepsychiatry practice.  We have designed a unique and convenient new format to perform face to face psychiatric evaluations in real time, via computer Skyping, an online application that allows for us to communicate via computers in our own private settings, eliminating the need to travel to a physical location. 

Read more: Greeting Letter to Patient

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