13 Tamuz 5779 / Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | Torah Reading: Pinchas
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Squeezed For Time    

Squeezed For Time

50% of Americans feel they don't have enough time in the day. It's a big stress when we feel we have to multi-task from morning till night...


Recently, there were a number of studies in psychology journals about a recent Gallup poll that showed that 50% of Americans feel they don't have enough time in the day. It's a big stress when we feel we have to brush our teeth, answer the phone, eat breakfast and get the kids out to school, all in the same two minutes.
In this 'squeezed for time' study, they gave the time-stressed participants three choices, of how to use their available 'free time'. The participants could either: 'waste' time on themselves; or they could 'waste' time doing something, anything; or they could 'waste' their time by doing something for other people who they loved.
The study showed that when people gave more of their time to others they love, they themselves switched from feeling squeezed for time, to feeling time-rich. All of a sudden, they had more time. This seems counter-intuitive, illogical, even. But in it's own way, this scientific study is proving a spiritual principle that when we do what we're meant to be doing, G-d steps in and solves our 'problems' in miraculous, completely unexpected ways.
What are you being 'squeezed' about, right now? Health? Income? Your marriage? Your kids? Whatever it is, a person has to have the focus that 'I don't know how it's going to happen, but I'm going to proceed with emuna, with faith.' Rebbe Nachman teaches us that emuna is the basis of everything.
The Emuna Model
We can't say it often enough: we are living in a world of uncertainty! We can't do anything to change that, it doesn't matter how many vitamins we take, how much insurance we buy, how much effort we put into pre-planning. The world is an uncertain place. If we internalize that, and we find a way of happily dealing with the uncertainty in our lives, and making emuna our script and narrative - then we'll have a match between our actual lives and our mental model of how things should be.
When we've switched over to the emuna model, we take everything that happens to us on faith. Again, most of us aren't there yet, but it's a great level to get to and to aim for. In the meantime, we need to go from moment to moment, and to keep reassuring ourselves that even though we don't know what the future holds, we still believe it will be good. Even if we end up having to take a detour, or there's pain or persecution, our emuna model still works, and we can still be true to ourselves, and stay present in our lives, whatever is happening to us.
A person that lives their emuna in this way will have a soul that's lit up so brightly, especially in the hard times. But again, this doesn't come by simply thinking or meditating. The only way to internalize our emuna like this is with repetition.
Peak state of emuna
Emuna is the 'peak state' of all 'peak states - because it's not just positive psychology, that even with all the pumping up and the psyching up, doesn't last very long and doesn't last at all if things stop going our way. The peak state of emuna can be a permanent peak state, because if the focus is on living from moment to moment with emuna, we are always ready, whatever life throws at us. With emuna, we have our strong connection to ourselves, and our strong connection to G-d, and we believe in both. We believe that whatever life throws at us, we can deal with it, because G-d is going to help us.
The promise to ourselves
One of the things I've taken from Rav Arush is that once I've ascertained what it is I actually want, what I'm inspired to go after and to shoot for, I make myself and Hashem a promise, to stay upright, and to keep certain things that are going to bring me closer to achieving my goal.
It's like an oath, and whatever it is I'm trying to deal with, or improve or attain, like my marriage, or my health, or my ideal weight, I stick to the things that I've promised to myself and to G-d. We should be important enough to ourselves, to make ourselves promises for improving our lives, and not just to make 'new year's resolutions' that people make, and then 10 minutes later, they forget all about them, because it's 'too hard' to maintain, or because we slipped up, or couldn't live up to our own expectations.
You're important! Make yourself a lasting promise, that 'this is what I'm going to be'; or, 'this is the way I'm going to work'. If you really feel you can't do this by yourself, get in touch and we'll help you. We have the methodology, the system, the program, based on the absolute truth of torah, and Rav Arush's teachings, to help you believe that you are important enough to make promises to - and important enough to keep them.
* * *
Dr. Zev Ballen, Psy.D. has been a practicing psychotherapist for more than 30 years. He is the founder and developer of Emuna Therapy, a faith-based method of counseling based exclusively on the teachings of Rabbi Shalom Arush. Dr. Zev has the endorsements of Gadolei Yisrael such as the Nikolsburger Rebba, Rabbi Yitzchok Fagelstock, Rabbi Shalom Arush, and Rabbi Lazer Brody. You can see Dr. Zev's live video broadcast every Wednesday at 5pm Israel time here on breslev.co.il. You can write in with questions to Dr. Zev at: zevballen@yahoo.com. You can call him at: 845-362-8600 (US) or 054-840-9499 (Israel). Dr. Zev resides in Jerusalem, with his family, where he learns in Rav Arush’s Kollel and maintains a part-time private practice. You're also welcome to visit Dr. Zev's personal blog, Emuna Therapy.

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