VIDEOS

This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and insights to assist you in making the best use of current energies. This column is not intended as...

Immune health is all about balance – an immunologist explains why both too strong and too weak an immune response can lead to illness

In 1998, a group of researchers at the Department of Internal Medicine at the Medical University of Innsbruck (Austria) observed that high vinegar consumption can have three main harmful effects:

The Daily Inspiration is a short message to help set the tone for the day. It is linked to a longer article for additional insights and inspiration.

It’s beginning to look a lot like burnout. How to take care of yourself before the holidays start 

Do you really need antibiotics? Curbing our use helps fight drug-resistant bacteria

Since it was first produced at the start of the 20th century, synthetic plastic – and especially plastic packaging – has been an ever-present fixture in everyday life. Yet all the convenience...

The relationship between the US and China is the most important in the world, and it has been unstable and sometimes under extreme stress in recent years.

Barry Vissell
I have gradually learned to listen to Joyce's intuitive feelings. Sometimes I don't like them, because they go against my desires.
We had recently had our first rain of the year, after months of no rain. Being new to California, we didn't realize what that first rain did to dirt roads in the mountains.
People have over the years urged us to remove this tree, fearing the possibility that it might fall on our house. This particular giant was clearly leaning away from our buildings.
Coronaphobia is a real word. Researchers coined this term in December 2020. It's the fear of Covid infection, sometimes to the point of crippling a person, interfering with their lives.
Perhaps I am just a bit, crazy and reckless, but I crave solitude in the wilderness, nature's divine temple.
We all know the expression, "You're as old as you think or feel." Too many people give up on activities just because of age. The real danger here is the giving up on life...
All of us like to be right. We all have egos, some of us stronger than others. Of course, sometimes we are clearly right, and it may be important to stand up for what we know to be true. But other tim...
We may hurt someone through miscommunication or lack of understanding. Sometimes we hurt someone intentionally, like when we are angry. In either case, we need to apologize in order to...
Albert Einstein famously said, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle ." I slightly disagree...
Albert Einstein famously said, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle ." I slightly disagree...
What really works is for me to accept my powerlessness, my helplessness, that I really have very little control in this situation. I pray for Spirit to guide me safely through...
What really works is for me to accept my powerlessness, my helplessness, that I really have very little control in this situation. I pray for Spirit to guide me safely through...
This month (May 2021), both Joyce and I turned 75. When I was younger, 75 years old seemed ancient. They say you are only as old as you think. In some ways, Joyce and I are still...
This month (May 2021), both Joyce and I turned 75. When I was younger, 75 years old seemed ancient. They say you are only as old as you think. In some ways, Joyce and I are still...
I recently finished leading an online men's retreat. Every one of us got deeply vulnerable and, because of this, shared a profound love and brotherhood. There emerged a kind of kaleidoscope of men's i...
There are many important things we do here in this life, like loving and being loved by others, or finding meaningful ways to help people and the planet. But the most important thing is our spiritual...
Two broken hearts... and mending ten years later! This true story shows how the heart can be healed, no matter how much time has gone by.
What is guilt? Most people know the answer. It's the feeling of responsibility for doing something wrong, or having done something wrong in the past. I would say we all have this feeling of guilt. It'...
Day after day, I sink deeper into peace, absorbing all the many gifts nature has to offer. I sing more than ever. I write in my journal, sometimes composing songs. I talk with God and the angels, and...
There has been a lot of emphasis on physical survival, which of course is important. The following points will help you survive emotionally and spiritually, but more importantly, to thrive, both as an...
Perception is a tricky thing. What we think we see is not necessarily what is really there. We have to be very careful about the judgments we make due to faulty perception.
We all have parts of ourselves that we prefer to remain hidden. We are all ashamed of certain things we have done or were done to us, or even feelings or thoughts we have had. We imagine that if peopl...
Endings may not be so easy, but they are not optional in this life. There comes a time when a certain activity must be let go. Or a time when a relationship truly needs to end or, at least, change for...
If we simply pay attention to all that happens to us throughout the day, we will be astounded by the love and care given to us every moment. But if we don’t pay attention, we can easily miss the somet...
As we write in The Shared Heart , "The real soulmate is a state of consciousness, not a person." That being said, there can also be an outer soulmate, or life partner, an ancient connection with anoth...
I'm officially coming out of the closet! Here goes: I, Barry Vissell, besides being a counselor, author, doctor, and workshop leader, am also a musician! There, that wasn't so hard. So what makes me h...
Before smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices, people used to work hard at their jobs, but then come home to relax. Workaholism has always existed, but now in the communication age, people c...
Probably since I was an older child, I prided myself in all the things I could do, in my illusion of independence. But it didn’t stop with physical things. In my pseudo-independence, I ventured into e...
Real appreciation is a gift of love straight from the heart, an acknowledgement of another’s greatness and beauty, and a way of showing your partner that you really care. Many women need specific kind...
One morning, all of us in the group revisited our childhoods to more closely examine those things that still have power over us. We did this in small groups of four persons and, when it was my turn, I...
A successful relationship has two very important components: learning to love yourself first, and then learning to love another person. Too many people ignore the first part, then wonder why it’s so h...
Taking time apart from a loved one is often thought of as the end of the relationship. But after 53 years together, and helping to guide thousands of couples, Joyce and I view separation as a sometime...
As it happened, our current litter was born yesterday, Sunday, on the last day of our mentorship retreat! If I could have planned the worst possible time for our Gracie to give birth, it would have be...
Sometimes our perceptions can get us into trouble. What appears so clearly to be our reality may not be real at all. Or it may be partially correct, but not the whole picture. We humans have a tendenc...
To be vulnerable with a woman is to allow yourself to be seen and known in your entirety, not just your powerful, independent, secure, loving and capable self. To be vulnerable is to show her your fea...
For someone so inspired by the poverty and simplicity of St. Francis, it’s embarrassing for me to admit how dependent I am upon my smartphone. I have loads of apps for just about everything. It used t...
A few weeks ago, Joyce and I got to experience the total eclipse high in the mountains of Idaho, in the exact center of the “zone of totality.” It was, for us, the experience of a lifetime. In our sev...
What does it mean to be fully committed in a monogamous relationship? The traditional meaning has to do with focusing your romantic energies only upon your partner. You are not committed if you have “...
REALationship. Okay, it’s a cute word. But what does it mean to have a real relationship, a relationship with substance? What does it take to have a relationship that not only lasts, but also thrives...
Do you ever feel unworthy to receive good things in your life? It’s not an easy question to answer. Some of you are in touch with your feelings of not deserving. Some of you are not. I dare say that f...
You just never know when that little inner prompting will come… and how important it is to listen to it when it comes. You might call it the inner voice, intuition, divine guidance, or anything else,...
There are popular feelings: joy, happiness, love and affection, to name a few. And then there are unpopular feelings: anger, sadness, grief, hurt, and fear, among others. Most of us tend to hide the u...
What if Joyce dies before me? This is one of my greatest vulnerabilities. Sure, I could die first. Statistically, women live longer than men. Even though we’re both healthy in the important ways, we a...
I have to admit. I have a hard time asking for help. I have that “false pride” thing about being able to do it myself, that if I have to ask for help, it means I’m helpless. It makes me think about th...
Joyce and I have written before about the importance of listening to those sometimes subtle promptings that can change our lives. If it were up to our minds, we might never take these risks. If we wan...
Becoming vulnerable with a woman teaches you all about trust. I often hear, “I’ll be more vulnerable with her when I trust her more.” This attitude doesn’t work. Your vulnerability opens the door to t...
I am realizing for myself that there are ultimately only two spiritual paths. And both are equally important! “We are human beings on a spiritual journey, and we are spiritual beings on a human journe...
These two core issues (or negative messages from childhood) often meet and interact with one another, sometimes in disastrous ways. Usually the carriers of these issues are more or less unaware of the...
I closed my eyes, preparing to list off my offenses. Within minutes, I felt complete forgiveness for all my actions! My first thought was, “Wait. This was too easy! I haven’t worked and sweated hard e...
In the 2000 movie, Where the Heart Is , seventeen year old Novalee Nation (played by Natalie Portman), while crossing the country in search of a new life, is abandoned by her loser boyfriend at a smal...
I am not afraid to make a fool of myself. And why do I deliberately do this? Quite simply, it feels good to me. It lets me be unpredictable, unconventional, spontaneous and completely in the moment. I...
Trust. Not trust. Trust. Not trust. The human free will tries to insert its dominion. Trust in a higher power is the most difficult thing to sustain, and the most important thing to sustain. I can’t s...
We all carry some degree of self-blame, ways we accuse or condemn ourselves. Often these feelings come from our childhood, where we were blamed for mistakes we made. It’s sad how other people’s blame...
Sometimes Joyce and I laugh about the possibility of our future grown-up grandchildren being paid by our children to accompany me on a river trip... Then one of my grandchildren will approach me and e...
Three days before her 95 th birthday, my mother transitioned out of her body while she was sleeping. Right at the time of her death, I had a dream about my mother, after not dreaming about her in year...
Can we look deeper at the meaning of availability? On the surface, it means accessible to another person, or readiness to love and be loved in return. On the very surface, it means single or unmarried...
When we were in our twenties, Joyce and I were criticized for being too close. Some people even quoted Kahlil Gibran from The Prophet , “…and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shad...
Many men admit that the physical act of sex helps them to open their hearts to connect with their partners. Whereas many women need heart connection first so they can be open to sex. Many couples, the...
“Tell me how you lie to her.” “Well, there are several ways. Rather than telling her the truth, I tell her what I think she wants to hear. The other way is just by withholding important things from he...
Independence allows us to choose our lives, live them however we want, decide who we marry, what kind of work we do, if we want to have children, and the religion or spiritual path we follow. Independ...
No one gets through childhood without some degree of wounding. If we stay blind to these wounds, they have a way of unconsciously ruling us. Our inner child is the full complement of childhood feeling...
Women as well as men often receive strong indoctrination against showing love. It’s too often viewed as a sign of weakness. I have to admit, I fell into this category when I was eighteen and newly in...
Can men and women really understand each other? Sometimes it seems like the wall between the sexes is impenetrable. At my annual men’s retreat last month, the difficulty understanding women became a c...
White Eagle urges us to always be prepared in our hearts for the call to service, for we never know when we will be needed to help another. Currently, it is one of my most important prayers to ask tha...
Too many people are afraid of being alone, afraid of discovering something dreadful about themselves. We see people constantly surrounded by a group of friends, postponing the inevitable confrontation...
From time to time, Joyce and I hear people refer to their partner, male as well as female, as high maintenance, meaning the relationship takes too much work. Naturally, there is an undercurrent of unf...
When it comes to living together or marrying, both partners must equally choose, or the relationship is being built on a faulty foundation. The “chooser” is somewhat like a parent, while the chosen on...
Most of us know the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It works fine in many circumstances. The problem is, however, that the Golden Rule often does not work with close re...
Here’s what I’ve learned so far from “Mother River”: Go with the flow! Most times the main current will bring you through tricky areas without any struggle on your part. But how often do we fight agai...
The only real hope for intimacy is through vulnerability. The only real hope of having a loving, fulfilling, dynamic relationship is through showing all of you – not just your strength.
by Barry Vissell. Everywhere we look, there are signs of economic challenge: companies going out of business, houses not selling, rising unemployment, more and more people complaining about less and l...
Over the last four decades, Joyce and I have counseled many couples who are suffering with their sexual relationship. Most of these couples also feel disconnected from each other. They think they can...
Why do we hold back from telling our loved ones that we love them? Why do we procrastinate, waiting for the "right" time... later... when it may be too late? But life goes by in a heartbeat and, bef...
I glanced out the bathroom window and saw to my horror that the trees seemed to be moving to the left. Then I realized that the trees were not moving... the house was moving to the right. Built on th...
There is an indicator of a deep and true love, no matter how old you are. It is imagining growing old with the one you love.
I recently finished leading an online men's retreat. Every one of us got deeply vulnerable and, because of this, shared a profound love and brotherhood. There emerged a kind of kaleidoscope of men's i...