In the next week as we Jewish people everywhere prepare for the Passover holiday, it reminds us that it is not just a holiday of traditional ritual services. Although regional traditions were handed down from generation to generation stemming from the Torah commandments, what we are constantly reminded is the primal message we received from the very Event that started this whole thing – which was the Exodus from Egypt and imposed slavery on our ancestors. And the message is one of perspective and of prism-thinking itself.
While we were given Divine instruction to hurry up and leave our enslaved existence of over 400 years as a people, along with whatever personal belongings we could gather within a very confined window of time, what we didn’t know at the time was that we were about to embark on a 40-year journey in the wilderness before we could get to where we were going. Metaphorically, does that seem to sound familiar?
Time and time again we argued, we complained, we feared, we rebelled, all the while being told to just trust and have faith. Well yes, wouldn’t you know – some did and some didn’t! In the meantime, we journeyed, we grew, we were nourished, we won battles along the way and were provided all sorts of clues and messages and yes, blatantly affirmative laws, explicit instruction on how-to everything!
So why then did the Israelites take 40 years to get to their destination? And why did it coincide with an entire generation dying out before we were awarded entry into the land of Israel? Symbolically and physically, the land of Israel represented a new mindset, that of freedom, responsibility, accountability, growth and development, all the attributes that come with being your own person. One cannot enter this state without a synchronous mentality. One cannot maintain such a state with the lingering mentality of slavery and bondage.
Likewise as we prepare to clean our homes of the unleavened, we prepare to shift our perspectives and renew our mental states towards freedom. As we remove our physical environment of all “chametz” (literal translation: leavened; root word: to ferment/sour); we also seek to remove our minds of emotional and spiritual chametz. During our 7-day exodus commemorative journey we endeavor to transcend from the restraints of whatever holds us in bondage.
This is something my husband Jeff and I have been working on for quite a while. As we are developing the Freedom Thought Project™, through our coaching work of helping many overcome their limitations, we have come to realize that while we live in a so-called free society, many do not even fathom what it means to be free or what true freedom feels like. And it all stems within the constraints of our own minds! What are you a slave to? Fear? Anxiety? Financial problems? Addictions? Uncertainty? A Cause? What is it you had started out with the intention of having a result of happiness and fulfillment, that has all of a sudden, left you feeling confused, powerless and hopeless?
The Path from Enslavement to Freedom!
Enslavement holds a lifestyle racked between fear and danger of being physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually hurt. Even those who physically live within some form of bondage may be spiritually, emotionally and mentally free. Leave behind the victim mentality of how you deserve a current lifestyle. This moment is nothing more than a moment in time. Anything may happen in the next moment when you conduct yourself with flexibility.
- Do you feel you are a slave to something? Whom or what do you believe is keeping you there?
- A slave mentality holds many characteristics of remaining a victim. Answer the following questions to identity if you are living in emotional or physical bondage:
a) Do you often have recurring thoughts of despair or hopelessness?
b) Do you often find yourself thinking the worst in situations?
c) Do you tend to blame others?
d) Do you habitually blame yourself for your lot in life?
e) Do you normally tend to feel you have the ability and resources to change your situation?
f) Do you find yourself feeling stuck focusing on what others have and what you may not?
- When you become aware of your experience, without the specific ‘drama’ or ‘story’ of what you are going through, pay specific attention to the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of your experience.
- Notice how these recurring sensations begin. Is it voices you hear, images you see or sensations you feel? These are recurring patterns you may have created.
a) If these are recurring voices, are they that of your own or somebody else?
b) Do they still say those things or are they from the past?
c) Change them to something more pleasant. Example: Whenever you hear these negative words, engage some of your favorite music that inspires you.
d) In your mind, turn up the music, then turn down the voices.
a) Begin to collect images that best resonate your sensations of freedom .
b) Clip them from magazines and create a wish or dream scrap-book.
c) Recreate this scrap-book in your mind where you may never lose it and conjure them up when you need reminding
a) When you notice the feelings, get up and move!
b) By going for a walk, a drive and by shifting your scenery and immediate environment, you will automatically shift your thoughts, images and feelings into something more useful.
Each or these steps will allow yourself to open a gap between your stuck thoughts of despair or victimhood. Within this gap or thought-space, allow feelings of possibilities, hope and even joy. The more you do this, the more these gaps will override your less useful thoughts that keep you stuck.
(Courtesy of Freedom Thought Project™)
So with that, I close with a wish to all of you: That may your journey to peace, happiness and fulfillment rise above the enslavement of hopelessness and despair; may you truly have freedom in your life and may you have the wisdom, courage and determination to know the difference!