Prism Thinking – Design Your Mind

Posts tagged ‘generations’

Exodus, Freedom and Transcending What Enslaves Us

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 200 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?

Here are a few steps to help identify and guide you through your own journey towards true freedom.

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.

  1. Do you feel you are a slave to something? Whom or what do you believe is keeping you there?
  2. 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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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!

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Is the “Family Curse” Nothing More Than an Unhealthy Belief Pattern?

I’ve often heard folks talk about habitual events, occurrences and other strange phenomena that run within families as a “family curse”.  From infertility to financial predicaments there are those who believe they are in the state they are because it runs in the family.  There is deep rooted belief that the “sins of the father” are attributed to a kind of family karma that now plagues the descendants as generational curses.  Parents and other family members even share in great detail about why certain things within their family are the way they are, and what can be expected in the future with great vindication.  While it is apparent that events may seem a certain way, do they stem from something supernaturally inexplicable, or are they self-fulfilling prophesies? What if these were merely beliefs that were held so strongly, they were passed down to generations as inevitable truths?

Depending upon the belief or “curse”, statements such as “…money doesn’t grow on trees; our family has always struggled” and “all her husbands died untimely deaths, she must be jinxed” to “cancer or heart disease is hereditary in our family” can have strong holds and powerful effects on those being handed this legacy.  Do we really grow up believing the doom and gloom inevitability and then fulfill them? What about inspirational stories we read and hear about someone rising above and against all odds and changed the path of their supposed destiny? That is a belief too. There is actually something to be said about polarity responders who are in the habit of reversing suggestions that seem forced upon them– “Our family is destined for mediocrity??? Not ME! I’ll show THEM!

When someone puts a suggestion into the mind of a youngster, they do grow up believing it.  People stuck in a negative belief will make decisions that are desperate and fear-based.  And while the repercussions of these decisions may seem random, adopting behaviors of our role-models merely continue the pattern, thus “running it within the family”.  When a child is told with equal conviction, “you can be anything you want” they usually grow up fulfilling their dreams.  There is this lovely lady who apparently is constantly winning prizes and lotteries and she believes she is extremely lucky.  Why is this? When she was a child she was constantly told what a lucky little girl she was because her parents were Holocaust survivors. So then good fortune also runs in families as “blessings” from healthy beliefs handed down in patterns – the antithesis of the “curse’.

So then, understanding this, why live our lives around the negative and damaging beliefs? Knowing that we not only change the odds through our actions, that we also can change them through personal belief and intention, breaking a destructive pattern could be as easy as believing that some ritual performed has broken a long-time curse.  Believing that things have now changed, we begin thinking and doing things differently because we believe the outcomes can now be to our favor. Very different from, “what’s the point? It’s only going to be the same anyway!” Changing a belief from negative to positive may be a bit more challenging without certain validation, but it can be done, usually with readiness, willingness and unequivocal intent.

When we begin to look at a situation or series of events which originally happened with someone other than ourselves and realize that we are not them and that we don’t have to adopt the same patterns, mentalities and attitudes we can begin to focus on who we are and what will make us happy, and then how to go about getting there.  Having a wish list doesn’t have to be mere fantasy that we believe we can never really achieve, it could be a to-do list for our goals in bringing about our true desires when we believe we can do them. We don’t have to feel like we’re bound to someone else’s version about how their lives took shape.  Each of us is a blank canvas just waiting for us to create the life we want.

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Our Parents Seemed Old-Fashioned, So What About Us?

I look around, perceiving the changes I have witnessed and experienced over the near 50-year span of my life and I realize that some I have embraced, some to which I have been a catalyst, some of which I have been critical, some to which I am indifferent.  I look back and I think of myself, my sisters, cousins, friends at the time I was in my childhood youth and I remember us thinking and saying to my parents things like, “You’re so old-fashioned!”

Now looking back through the 60’s and 70’s which were my decades growing up in Singapore, while both my parents were really people of innovative minds, embraced new music trends, loved the ingenuity and advancements in electronics, and my mother with fashion and beauty trends, they also introduced us to much of what were their classics in the movie, music and literary industries, while of course never hesitating to make fun of what they perceived as ridiculous in some modern concepts of my youth.

Yet even in the balance, we managed to find some instances to focus on the generational gaps and situations in which to let them know we thought of them as old-fashioned in certain aspects of social mentalities, cultural traditions and even moral values.

So what is it that makes the youth label the older generation as old-fashioned or just plain old? I mean those of us now in our 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s—do we even feel old? Do we feel the same in age when we connect with our younger adult friends? Do we feel like no time has passed or do we feel the actual span of time?

Even today when I listen to or watch some “classics” from my childhood all the way growing up, I can perceive the “old-fashioned” element in having moved along with the times and wonder what we were thinking! Have we just seen too much? Been through too much? Heard too much? Have we just grown up? Grown old? Well that would be a limited view to come so simplistically to this conclusion.  And yet, the times in which I feel even marginally “old-fashioned” is when I see and hear what is considered acceptable today; views expressed, beliefs embraced, values warped, morals and ethics askew to what I had been taught and to what steers my own internal GPS.

But after I retort in indignation, just short of the “…back in my day…” bit, I pause, reflect and smile at the cosmic humor of life at its best and think back to my parents’ generation and realize, this is what they felt too.  It was never about being old-fashioned, it was always about having lived so much longer than our younger counterparts, seen all the changes that had taken place through our own generation, remember in fondness how we enjoyed the highlights -“back in the day”, what we believed in, what we had learned, and then realizing that they too will experience this moment all in their own good time.

The beauty of it all, whatever the results that the winds of change may bring along with them, the good and the bad, the highs and the lows—is to really stand in the moment and behold this irony in amusement.  It’s the cosmic flow of our life-cycles—maybe what was then was then and what will be will be, but time is circular and everything will eventually come back in full circle. Events may be different, circumstances and experiences will differ too, but we always will get to realize something vitally significant to us to link back to our generations past and connect with them on some profound level. Keep your perspectives open, appreciate the ironies in humor—it makes the ride a lot more fun!

**Note: These are just a few perspectives. I have more, as should we all.

Some of my "classics" growing up in Singapore (circa 1970s). Clockwise from top left: Much frequented Orchard Road; Singapore Hilton and Ming Court hotels; poster at many civil buildings during the male "long hair" ban; traditional classic dish Nasi Lemak.

More of my classics (circa 1970s). Clockwise from top left: Popular local celebrity artist Anita Sarawak; view of Change Alley, popular shopping area (named after the many money changers preferred foreign exchange rates); harbor view of downtown Collyer Quay; govt. campaign poster on family planning.

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