19 Iyar 5779 / Friday, May 24, 2019 | Torah Reading: Bechukotai
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The Peak Start    

The Peak Start

Physical sensations can get us psyched up for joy very quickly. It's a very simple technique, and kids do it all the time. We just need to watch them play…


The more we think positive, the more we feel positive, and vice-versa. Once we understand that thinking and living positive is really up to us, that leads us to some tough questions: do we really want to have a positive relationship with G-d, and to have a tangible, conscious connection with Him 24/7? Do we really want to have a positive relationship with others? Do we really want to change and grow, and to be happy?


For some of us, the true answer may be no - and that's a tragedy. Pain is going to happen anyway. If we refuse to grow from it, if we refuse to reframe it in to positive terms, we'll just be stuck with all the self-inflicted suffering. But if the answer is yes, that brings us to our next question: how do we get there?


To find the answer, we have to go backwards. Let's think back to when we were children, before we got jaded, and we forgot what it meant to have simple, uncomplicated fun. But really, “think” is the wrong verb to use, because if we're going to try and sit down with a piece of paper, to “think” strategically about how we're going to get happy, it's just not going to happen. So there has to be another way of getting happy.


King David says that we have to grab joy, and forcibly bring it into our bodies. King David knew that the body can get us to that state of joy much faster than trying to “think” ourselves happy. How? Think back to when you were swimming in a clear lake in the middle of a baking hot summer; or when you were dancing at your wedding; or when you were running an exhilarating 10k, through breath-taking scenery; or when you could breathe easily again, after you got over the flu; or when you were walking your dog with your daughter; or when you were talking to G-d in the woods. How do you feel, after you've re-accessed that memory? Great!


Physical sensations can get us psyched up for joy very quickly. It's a very simple technique, and kids do it all the time. We just need to watch them play, and learn how they get excited and happy, and then apply the same techniques to ourselves, and our lives.


Rebbe Nachman teaches us that every single one of us can be happy. We can all make or break our patterns of seriousness or heaviness, and click into a happy, vibrant state of mind. How? By being less adult! We need to get out of our ruts, and go and play tennis, or basketball, or golf, or whatever we didn't do for 20 years. If it made you feel good in the past, go and do it again, and you'll get a “peak start” back into a happy frame of mind.


Here’s an alternative way to access a happy state:


Write a positive affirmation on an index card in large clear letters.


Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.


Take three consecutive deep breaths and exhale fully.


Say: “Hashem please let this affirmation I’m about to read become a part of me and live inside me!”


Hold the card in front of you at eye level with one hand.


Read the affirmation out loud or whisper it out loud to yourself repeatedly until you feel that you’ve “got it” within you.


Let go of the card and close your eyes.


Allow the affirmation to “echo” and run through your mind for about 30 seconds or until it “fades” out.


You are finished. Open your eyes


With G-d's help, you'll now have your new peak start that will put you on the road to every blessing and all your heart's wishes, amen!



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We invite you to visit Dr. Zev Ballen's popular daily web journal Spiritual Coaching

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