Opening doors to the next level of success

Shar_Tzion

1/19/2016

Opening doors to the next level of success

“Fear builds walls to bar the light”
-The Baal Shem Tov

 

Many of us wanted to stay in Egypt. Even as we witnessed the most incredible miracles of all time, we couldn’t help but think about the food we were leaving as we marched into the dessert of unknown. We missed the routine of Egypt. The small joys that we were accustomed to.

Even while witnessing grand miracles, the thought of walking into the unknown and leaving behind the certainty of the small joys of material slavery seemed frightening. It would require exertion and change. We’d rather put a hard day’s work in and enjoy the nightly meal. We’ve trained ourselves to survive in this limited sphere of enslavement. Maybe freedom would continuously require that we meet these moments of tests of our free will, walking blindly into the future with some expected satisfactory result. Many of us were not up for the challenge. And many of us still aren’t today.

There’s a moment that we all keep bumping into. A moment that will repeat itself over and over again through a recreation of the setup of circumstances in our lives. A moment whose purpose is to test our true will. How ready are we to make the space in our lives for increased blessing and success. Without expanding our vessel, we simply do not have the space for this increase – but through expanding it, we make room for unlimited light.

This choice of vessel expansion is what these moments of tests are all about. They require overcoming the adversarial force within us so that we can earn the blessing and success that’s right behind it.

These moments require a meeting of our higher wisdom and our physical action.

Rebbe Nachman teaches that we must force ourself to put all our strength into our prayers. That true devotion is binding our thoughts to our words of prayer – and this is how our inner power will enter our prayers, automatically. That all of our unlimited inner power waits for the moment when it is drawn into the physical words of holiness.

Success needs to be earned in order for it to last.

Kabalistically, manifesting success in every field of our life is the ability to access the potential that exists with us already.

The question is, why is this energy of success concealed and how do we bring it from potential to actual?

A fundamental universal law of success according to the Zohar is that there are 2 major forces within us – the soul and the adversary. The Soul connects to the big picture – it knows that everything that happens in life is to help me grow. That I’m responsible for my own destiny. That I need to shift something to create the space for success.

The adversary is the force inside that makes me jump to the consciousness of temporary success, routine and small joys – to become reactive – every time I face that moment of challenge to react with fear, worry, uncertainty, hurt, blame.

The soul knows that everything is opportunity in my life. A chance to grow closer to that force within myself – the adversary looks to cause chaos in my life – makes me reactive, impulsive, basing my judgment on how I feel this second – my subjective perception of reality.

The Source is the infinite energy of love, fulfillment and success, and each one of us is accessing only an aspect of that success – our potential is not tapped. Our real purpose is to expand our vessel to reveal our next level of success, fulfillment, love and accomplishment in every area of our life. We are all deep inside striving for that next level.

Sometimes we get what we want but we feel empty. Or, when we get it something else, another part of life is taken away from us – this is only because I didn’t really tap into the energy of success. Therefore I have not truly acquired it.

The kabalistic law of success is that the energy of success must be lasting in my life – and in the process of acquiring it, I need to overcome the adversarial force (selfishness, fear, ego, impulsive nature) within – I need to overcome the guard at the door to the next level.

Every time I overcome it I am actually igniting the sense of true fulfillment – becoming the co creator of that fulfillment – opening the door to acquire the room to house increased blessing in my life. The proper consciousness is we are here to expand our potential – go to the next level in every area of life.

Every time we face a challenge our base nature is to become reactive, to worry, to anger – especially when unfair things happen. At that moment, we must pause, restrict, observe – as tough as that challenge is – and recognize that this is really the opportunity to overcome the adversarial force within – because the Source sent me that challenge and the Source also gave me the ability to overcome that challenge.

So instead of focusing on that external opponent that is disturbing me so much, that I have a rage towards – let go! Shift focus on overcoming the internal opponent – the guard at that next level of success. This challenge was given to me in order to expand my ability to access success and blessing. A shift in how I look at things. From the mindset of losing and suffering to one of certainty that it’s for the sake of expanding.

As a result, from an unexpected place, things will improve – the light will reveal itself as we shift our reaction from external negativity to the battle within, and then deal with the situation with a different perception – opening doors to the next level of success revealing itself to us.

It’s not about not dealing with the problems in life, it’s about first pausing and letting go of the reactivity and then dealing with the issue from a place of positivity and clarity.

Between me and the next level of success there is a door that I need to cross and at that door I need to overcome the adversary who is not external – it is internal. The guard at the door manifests itself as fear, uncertainty, anger, entitlement.

Real success and long term blessing will be achieved according to the Zohar every time I am able to overcome the adversary within.

Our sole purpose in this world is to come close to our Source. This is where unlimited joy shines from. The adversarial force’s sole purpose is not to distract us from coming closer to the Source, but to help us grow. It’s entire existence is one of illusion, a coach who pushes us to the extreme to help us attain higher levels of success. At that next moment of test that we face, when the adversarial force is raging within us pushing us to fall, what it really is saying to us is – let me see you withstand my challenge and become great.

Blessings,

Etan

Opening doors to the next level of success

The Power of Restriction in Self Transformation

light-bulb

7/9/2015

The Power of Restriction in Self Transformation

Building restriction was like working out – difficult at first, and required a lot of exertion, but once I got into the habit I started to experience the benefits of it – the high – the energy – the strength – the joy. I can’t live without it. I get stronger as I practice.

When something presents itself in front of me that I know will bring me darkness by actualizing – this is when to exercise restriction.

When I restrict from external dark forces, I illuminate what is internal and when I restrict from internal dark forces, I illuminate my external countenance.

By restricting from coveting another’s possessions, I show respect and appreciation for mine. By restricting from succumbing to anger, I strengthen my ability to rise above emotional reactivity. By not being as concerned about how others judge me, I can love myself more freely.

Restriction is a key component to my self transformation.

There’s a deep kabbalistic lesson in restriction hidden inside the light bulb – which works by housing negatively charged electricity and positively charged electricity, combining to make light. But this can only happen with a filament in the middle. Without it there is darkness.

The universe, and our interaction with it work in the same way.

tzim

Negative energy is represented on the tree of life as left column energy. Left column represents receiving energy.

Positive energy flows through the right side representing the desire to share – but without filament in the middle – the middle column of the tree of life – the light bulb doesn’t work.

The filament represents restriction or balance or transformation. When I restrict my selfish receiving desire and transform into a desire to share – that’s called restriction – and that’s what produces light – internally and collectively.

The three column system manifests itself throughout the universe in every detail of creation. I cannot escape it. The reminders are everywhere and in every thing – literally.

Negative (-) energy on the left, positive (+) energy on the right – and the energy of restriction in the middle for balance. The building blocks of every megapixel of physicality – the atom – when broken down, contains these three energies – the neutron, proton (+) and electron (-).

Restriction is a key component to creating harmony between masculine and feminine energy, within and collectively – to create the light of my home, the light of Shabbos, the light of intimacy and connection.

I’ve found that I am happier, more at ease, and feel more aligned with Source when I am exercising restriction.

Restriction is unlimited. I can always work at it – grow in it. And to the extent I do, I am able to ground more positivity and light into my experience.

Blessings,

Etan

The Power of Restriction in Self Transformation

Light from Darkness | The Blessing of a Point of View

israel 7/3/2015

Light from Darkness | The Blessing of a Point of View

The evil Balaam climbed the mountains to find the best vantage point of the Jewish camp to ascertain their weakness and thereby curse them, God forbid.

And a miracle occurred.

Everything was upended – the accuser became an advocate – in place of curses amazing blessings came out of his mouth.

There are times in life when it is revealed that what we had thought to be curses and negative events turned out to be the exact opposite – even beneficial – even blessings.

It’s all a matter of perspective – how we perceive things, what point of view we choose. To reach the light, we must traverse the darkness. It is a law of nature – like walking through a sun drenched field carrying a lantern – one who does not pass through darkness cannot see the great light.

The Source deals with us in this way so that at the end of our days we have borne enough darkness to have earned the ability to appreciate the great light. That is what the Source wants: that we see the light – but it can only be revealed from the midst of darkness.

We must view darkness from a new angle.

Precisely from the most difficult periods in our lives do the greatest salivations sprout.

We endure challenging times so as to reveal that Hashem is eternally found with us. When we have complete emunah (an innate conviction, a perception of truth that transcends, rather than evades, reason) that the Source is all-compassionate – all of the questions disappear.

This emunah fills a person with calm and grants her the fortitude to withstand all challenges. We must remember that the One Who is preventing our salvation is Hashem Himself, Who loves us immeasurably and only He knows what is best for us. We must never despair because we never know what the next moment holds for us. We must never let go of the desires and longings. This must be our point of view.

“He perceived no iniquity in Jacob, and saw no perversity in Israel” (Numbers 23:21)

A generous outlook is a formidable power – it leads us to a pleasant, happy and content life. It is so enjoyable to see only the good in others. If there is something negative – we look away. Primarily, a generous outlook requires us to look at ourselves favorably – for if we can’t see ourselves approvingly, we will constantly look for flaws in others to soothe ourselves.

Because of the kind eye of the nation of Israel, the evil eye of the wicked Bilaam could not hurt them. When a person has a positive outlook – no evil eye can harm him. He came to curse and he ended up blessing.

Sometimes in life, what appears to be a curse is really an incredible blessing – it depends on our point of view.

*The above words are drawn from Harav Menachem Azolai’s “Ohr Ha’Emuna”, and graciously translated by Dov Elias.

Shabbat shalom.

Blessings,

Etan

Light from Darkness | The Blessing of a Point of View

Greetings from the psych ward | A message of hope

IMG_6310

5/27/2015

Greetings from the psych ward | A message of hope

From my nephew, Shmuel:

“So last night I had the most intense raw spiritual connection with God – something I have not experienced for years and completely lost hope in – I finally decided to put on my tefillin for the first time in years – the experience brought me to tears – I was in my room in a psych ward having a heart to heart conversation with God – I was telling Him, asking, begging to please give me the hope and strength to carry on – because I completely lost hope in my self, all humanity, and life in general – I never thought that things would get this bad for me, but for the first time in my life I had a suicide attempt – something that should have killed me – and it is a miracle that I am still in this world, which goes to show that I’m here for a greater purpose than my self and my mental illness.

I was hoping and praying that one day I could really touch the lives of other people in this world struggling like I am – I am in a constant battle with shame and depression – I am in a constant cycle of excruciating pain which I never see myself overcoming – what brought me to tears last night was my hope that God can show me something, anything that can bring me some level of hope – whether that was some kind of sign or purpose in this world.

I want everyone from all walks of life to hear my experience because although not everybody will understand, everybody can understand pain and has their ups and downs – and what I want to express to others is no matter how hard or how tough the experiences you are dealing with are, just know that we are all walking along our own narrow bridge through this world – and through sharing our own struggles and demons we encounter, we can come out of the shadows and break free from the mental and emotional battles that we face every day – break the chains that bind us.

No matter how stagnant you feel and how long you’ve been going through your struggles don’t give up – one day you can really come out of it and make something of your life even though you might not know now what exactly your mission or purpose is.

I look forward to sharing more of my journey with you  – and if these words can reach anyone out there and help in any way then I feel accomplished and inspired to share more.

I almost took my life so I can relate to your pain and struggles. We must all walk this crazy bridge which we call life – be there for each other, help each other through life’s ups and downs – help guide each other through that dark tunnel. What you will come to recognize is that through helping another being you are helping yourself more than you will ever know. Together let’s push through the darkness as one. This is something I’ve come to realize. If there is anyone who can relate to pain and is struggling in their life, if there is any one person I could help, then I feel this blog was worth writing and it was worth sharing my story.”

“The whole world is a narrow bridge, the key is not to be afraid”

-Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Blessings,

Shmuel and Etan

Greetings from the psych ward | A message of hope