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Prescriptions for the Soul

by Dr. Bernie Siegel


Bestselling author Dr. Bernie Siegel is a well-known proponent of alternative approaches to healing not just for the body, but the mind and soul as well. In 365 Prescriptions for the Soul: Daily Words for Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit he prescribes daily doses of inspiration, hope and love designed to help us navigate whatever challenges life throws our way. Here’s a sampling of the guidance and wisdom he lovingly offers:

Prescription #12: Black Holes of Renewal

When we need to ?nd our energy and source, the place to look is in the darkness. It is in the black holes that the energy of creation lives. Whether we are speaking of the universe or of an individual, darkness is the source of life.

When facing emotional despair, hopelessness, or physical anguish, going into the darkness helps us to ?nd our self and renew our life. It is in the nothingness that we can stop and ?nd peace and answers. When we see our true potential, we can then create ourselves anew. We can become like a blank canvas and begin the act of creation out of the darkness.

When I lecture, I hold up a piece of paper with a black dot on it and then ask people to describe what they see. Many say a black dot, while others answer correctly and say a piece of paper with a dot on it. You can decide to focus on the darkness or use it to appreciate that your life contains light too. You would never appreciate the light if you didn’t have the darkness.

Don’t be afraid of the darkness. Let the Director show you the way! Go inside, discover your own black hole, and emerge with new energy and the true light of awareness. Let the tomb become a womb.

Prescription #23: Have No Regrets

You don’t want to live in such a way that when your life is over you are left thinking more about what you didn’t do than what you did do. Think about how you would feel on your deathbed

if you were wishing you had done that one special thing or taken that chance that you let pass by.

From that perspective, examine your life today. Think about some risks you have been unwilling to take — perhaps changing careers, following a dream, opening your heart to another person, or being all you can be. You can do nothing to change the decisions you made in your past, but the future holds many opportunities.

I remember a college football player diagnosed with cancer who said to me, “Before I got cancer there were games where I could have given more of myself.” He regretted that he had held back. From his battle with cancer, he learned to not leave anything in the locker room but to bring it all with him out on the ?eld. We all need to “bring it all out on the ?eld” of our lives. It is the only way not to have regrets. Let there be no “if only’s” or “I wish I had’s” in your life.

Prescription #35: A Best Friend

Who is the most important person in your life? Reflect on that question for a moment. The answer is you. No one can replace you. You need to be for yourself what we all need: a best friend, someone who can put up with your craziness and inadequacies but still accept you and be there for you.

Stop tearing yourself to pieces when others don’t like something you’ve done. Even if what you did was wrong, dangerous, or stupid, it is the act, not you, that is the problem.

So do not let others destroy the relationship you have with the most important person in your life—you! Accept your uniqueness and free others to be themselves too.

Prescription #115: Fail Successfully

You can see failure as a reason to stop what you are doing, or you can ask yourself why you failed and then learn from your mistakes. Mistakes can be a valuable part of life’s curriculum.

You would do well to fail frequently so you can learn a great deal more than someone who is afraid to fail and therefore takes little risk. If you have passion for what you are doing and aim high, good things will happen even if it takes a lot of failing to accomplish them.

Accidents, failures, and mistakes can often lead us to our greatest successes and open us to our true interests. For instance, say you have a project you want to complete but you need more knowledge of the subject. So you take an evening course at a local college. You walk into the wrong class and become so interested in the subject that it changes your life.

# # #

Dr. Bernie Siegel’s multi-million best-selling first book, Love, Medicine & Miracles, was published in 1986. He is the author of many other books including 101 Excercises for the Soul, Peace, Love & Healing.

Excerpted with permission from 365 Prescriptions for the Soul: Daily Words for Healing Body, Mind & Spirit © 2009 Dr. Bernie Siegel. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com <http://www.newworldlibrary.com/> or 800-972-6657 ext. 52.


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