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It's Simple Really... I'm Right and You're Wrong

For centuries one side has always believed that they are right, and the other side is wrong. They are good while the other side is bad. Is there a way to fix this once and for all?

It doesn't matter what side you're on spiritually or politically, nor does it matter what color your skin is or where you live. The reality is that for centuries one side has always believed that they are right, and the other side is wrong. They are good while the other side is bad.

The fix?

I have none. I can only speak for myself.

Personally, I have always believed that love is the bridge between the two groups. When I am faced with hard situations, I frequently ask myself “what is the most loving way I can solve this?”

I believe that the answer lies in each one of us individually. While I cannot control what other people do, I can control what I personally do.

I always choose the side of love and grace.

With joy and peace to you all,


Award-Winning Author & the world's leading Concierge and Front Line Staff Trainer/Consultant. To read more, please visit www.KatharineGiovanni.com

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Everything big starts small. Everything on earth today was born out of someone’s small idea who strongly believed they will succeed in developing it.

The airplane was once an idea, the microwave, and the cellular phone. The great life of any successful person is wrapped up around a definite purpose which usually starts as a small idea. Success comes from working on small beginnings with faith and perseverance.

Success involves focus, hard work, determination, pushing beyond your comfort zone and hope in life. Success in small things gives you hope for big things. I like taking selfies. I am a selfie author and speaker. That’s part of my brand. Before I take a selfie, I tell the person or group of people to smile and right away they smile. I use the power of “selfies” to plant beautiful smiles on people’s faces, ignite friendship, promote unity, enhance togetherness and create a sense of cooperation amongst all racial divides. As small as the idea seems, it goes the extra miles of putting beautiful smiles on people’s faces at a time lots of people rarely smile. It started small and has developed into a powerful movement. Now everyone I meet who knows me wants to take a selfie photo.

Focusing on a goal is a great mind development action. But to make that goal realizable you must start with appreciating and celebrating the small things that gets you to the goal. Focusing on a goal creates momentum that propels you to constantly take actions. Every big thing started small. Life’s success is the accumulation of tireless small efforts matched with determination, focus and hope. I don’t believe in the get-rich-quick syndrome. I believe in hard work and using quality productive time to achieve my goals.

When you witness your small acts developing into big things, you feel happy; you build courage, move faster and become more hopeful. When you inject courage into your life, you develop a powerful force that pushes you through fear, and you build confidence to take on any challenge.

Challenges will come, no doubt. Your hope in life will be shaken, that’s okay but you’ll survive it. It’s sad that most people see setbacks as failure. Rather than picking themselves up and forging ahead, they freeze and lose hope. They stop taking actions. That’s totally wrong and a disservice to your personality. I don’t believe in failure. Failure is a simple way that the universe tells us that we have not found the right way to do it. It’s a way it tells us to make new tactical changes on the next plan. Never allow any setback to kill your hope in life. If you do, you are doomed.

Understand this, if you have never had any failures in life, then you are not thinking big. It means you are not taking risks. It means you take the easy route, you do the simple things and you are constantly playing safe.

Most successful people worldwide started their careers with nothing, some with little or no experience. Most have no skills at all, but they started, worked hard, believed in themselves, sometimes failed but never gave up. They constantly put their best foot forward to reach their goals. Why did they succeed? They succeeded because they strongly believed in their power of creativity even with the smallest experience and resources they had at the time.

Failures teach lessons and when we learn, we shake off the disappointments and move right up to the next plan. We learn from mistakes. You don’t learn to play soccer by watching a soccer game. No matter how long you watch the game, you will never learn how to play soccer. The learning process starts once you get into the field of play and practice, kicking the ball, making passes, committing fouls, scoring goals and learning as you go. That’s how you develop skills and learn the rules of the game. The same applies to life. Every dream you think of, feel and imagine and work on can be actualized. So long as it’s something you really want, there is a potential for its actualization if you work on it. Go out there and Live Your Dream.

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 hesitate to announce this beautiful, musical part of me? It’s quite simple: I don’t feel good enough. Even though many people love my singing voice, and I really enjoy singing, there is still a part of me that compares my voice to what I judge as better voices.

I accompany myself on the harmonium, an East Indian keyboard instrument that sounds a bit like an accordion. Again, a part of me compares my playing to more accomplished keyboard artists, even though many people love the simple way I play.

And then there are the songs I write. Nothing fancy. Just what I consider heart-felt messages of love and spirituality. And yes again, people love my songs. And the most important person who is my greatest fan is Joyce. So why is there still a part of me that compares my songs to the elaborate and polished songs of “professional” musicians?

It’s all about not feeling good enough. I have a gift to give, but it’s far from perfect. So I hesitate to give it.

Joyce and I have written eight books and are working on two more. Are they perfect? Absolutely not! Are we polished and professional writers? No. Did we take even one writing course? Again, no. I’ll never forget trying to publish our first book, The Shared Heart. We got rejected by about thirty publishers. Obviously, the message was that our book was not good enough. We felt like giving up. Someone suggested self-publishing. We bought Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual. Aside from the great technical advice in that book, two quotes really helped us. The first compared commercial publishers to birthing a child and then having someone else raise it. And the second went something like this: “There are three kinds of people in this world. There are those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and the third who wonder what happened.”

Those two quotes motivated us to self-publish The Shared Heart in 1984, to give our gift and not be stopped by feelings of not good enough. Still, we had a moment of panic when we sent the first batch of books to reviewers. Then a few days of fear as we waited for the reactions. Finally, a small padded envelope arrived at our mailbox. Inside was a cassette tape, which we hesitatingly inserted into a player. We had no idea what to expect. After a few moments of tense silence, during which both of us were holding our breath, there was the sound of a man crying. Mystified, we listened intently as the crying continued for several minutes. Then the crying stopped and he said, “This is the most beautiful book I have ever read,” and then he began crying again.

To this day, that first response to our first book has been the most important validation of our writing. We couldn’t have gotten any better feedback. The Shared Heart went on to become a best seller, inspiring and helping so many people. And to think, we almost didn’t give this gift to the world because we felt it wasn’t good enough.

One more personal example. Although, after medical school, I primarily studied psychiatry and psychotherapy, I still worked many years as a medical doctor. I saw patients at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Santa Clara, then at the Santa Cruz County Health Center. I kept receiving inner guidance for a deeper gift I wanted to give, to work with people’s souls instead of their bodies. On one of our spiritual pilgrimages to Mount Shasta, my dissatisfaction with my medical job became unbearable and, when I returned home, I quit my job. I felt so happy and relieved, although a bit worried about making enough money to support our growing family.

The physician in charge of the Santa Cruz County Health Center told me he needed a doctor to be the director of the Watsonville Health Center. He offered me a raise in salary, and the freedom to run the clinic any way I chose. I fell for the bait. I took the job, excited about the possibility of having meaningful staff meetings. Watsonville, however, although part of Santa Cruz County, was, especially in the early 1980’s, practically like being in Mexico. The clinic staff was much more interested in preparing tamales than sharing their feelings. I lasted two years before burning out once more and then quitting.

I felt ready to focus all my energy on the real gift I came to earth to give, my purpose in life, working with individuals, couples and groups on a soul-to-soul level, rather than just their bodies.

But yet again, I yielded to temptation. Out of the blue, Jerry, the medical director of the University of California at Santa Cruz, offered me a job in the health center taking care of the college students. If I could have picked the best medical doctor job, it would have been that one. I accepted. I worked there for several years. But alas, it was still medicine, and I was still not living my purpose. The benefits were great. The salary was great. But I became more and more unhappy.

Then came divine intervention! Jerry called me into his office. We had a great relationship. He said, “Barry, I’m going to free you up to do the work you really want to do. I’m letting you go.” Then he added sadly, “I wish there was someone who could do the same for me. I would love to pursue a career in music, rather than directing this health center. But I don’t seem to have the courage to fire myself.”

Jerry and I hugged and shared some tears. I left knowing I would never again work in the medical field. Together with Joyce, we began in earnest to share our deeper gifts with the world, the work we still do today.

About a month later, I was notified that Jerry had a massive heart attack and was found dead in his office. His death has always served as a reminder of how vitally important it is to pursue your dreams, to go for your higher purpose, and give your gifts to life, no matter how imperfect they may be, or how inadequate you may feel.

I’d like to quote part of one of my recent songs:

“Why am I here?

What gift can I give?

Can my path be clear,

Guiding how I live?

Why am I here?

Is there more than strife?

I’ll move beyond fear,

To a fulfilling life.”

Here are a few opportunities to bring more love and growth into your life, at the following longer events led by Barry and Joyce Vissell:

Jul 21-26, 2019 — Shared Heart Summer Retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs, OR

Sep 24-30, 2019 — Assisi Retreat, Italy

Jun 7-14, 2020 — Shared Heart Alaska Cruise

Joyce & Barry Vissell, a nurse/therapist and psychiatrist couple since 1964, are counselors near Santa Cruz, CA, who are widely regarded as among the world's top experts on conscious relationship and personal growth. They are the authors of eight books, including two new books, To Really Love a Woman and To Really Love a Man.

Call 831-684-2299 for further information on counseling sessions by phone or in person, their books, recordings or their schedule of talks and workshops. Visit their web site at SharedHeart.org for their free monthly e-heartletter, their updated schedule, and inspiring past articles on many topics about relationship and living from the heart.

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