As per karmic decree, there are times when ‘life’ pushes, pricks and prods us until the balance between Ego and Soul is just that – balanced.

Anyone of these moments provides us with yet another opportunity to finally ‘come of age’ and develop a much happier persona through an altered, expansive mindset.

Many of us are familiar with the line that states that what fails to break us make us stronger. Actually, it might be more appropriate to update the statement to What we don’t allow to break us does make us stronger. The requirement is the mental readiness to pursue progression through changed, substantive practice, not merely to label and explain away our difficult circumstances.

Some twelve years into such a practice, I have eventually come around to interpreting the outcome of any emotional, traumatic rite of passage as a return to our authentic self because ‘authentic’, as in pure bliss and awareness, was our original state of being.

And, yes, I am now very grateful for the karmic challenge given to me in this lifetime via my mother’s reactive and combative personality. I am grateful for the motivation to move beyond feeling crushed, insecure, pushed down and resentful, once enough of Yudit’s teachings and energy had permeated my psyche.

My rite of passage challenges have, indeed, given me a new purpose, new energy not only in the calibre of my interaction with my mother but also with Myarh, my partner of 22 years – my enabler-extraordinaire – and also with our friends and with my relatives overseas.

A further unexpected bonus has been brought about by the day-to-day grind of that protracted rite of passage. Year after year, it opened up a bounty of stimulating ideas, research, practices and mind-meanders that have cumulated in writing about holistic, modern philosophy of life – under Soul’s constant tutelage, of course. Her whispers are my inspiration.

Sure, Dickens was correct in saying, We forge the chains we wear in life,’ and it is only fair to assume that by the time we are in our forties, any attempt at un-chaining ourselves will demand time, effort and draw bucket-loads of emotion-induced ‘sweat’.

Thoughts fleet to a line from St Exupery’s The Little Prince: ‘You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.’ So, to make sure I tame only what was mine to tame, I try to heed the advice found in Deuteronomy 16:18: ‘You shall appoint judges and police for yourself in all your gates.’

Still, how to know for sure that the judge is coherent and the police at the gate are objective when it comes to gauging the authenticity of my efforts and the clarity of my thoughts?

Apropos of a different topic, but tangentially applicable to this mind-meander and the emotional struggle experienced throughout any rite of passage, here is what my mentor, Yudit once wrote: ‘The worst thing is the illusion that the forces of progress, money and people projecting an image of themselves wherever they go, are more effective in the pursuit of happiness than the force released by the astral realm once we succeed at Teshuvah.’                                                                                                              

By Teshuvah, Orthodox Jews mean a return to God because, according to Judaism, all humanity comes from God. However, Yudit meant it merely as a spiritual return to godliness.

Why a ‘return’?

Because we originate from a state of purity. Born pure.  Born accepting. Born forgiving.

Born with a soul that was pure and that, by its nature, cannot ever be anything but pure.

Again, there is no such thing as a ‘lost’ or ‘jealous’ or ‘lonely’ or ‘dark’ or ‘bad’ soul for souls are ‘energy’. These epithets are applicable only to the 3-D persona of humans.

Consequently, to me, Teshuvah has come to mean getting closer to recovering my inner self. It means edging closer and closer to developing an absolute faith in Soul as the captain of my life – Emunah tamid – as, many years ago, I had printed on the back of my business cards long before I had internalised the full scope of what has since come to be my personal mantra.

Back in those days, translating her thoughts from her native Hebrew, Yudit had added, ‘The sign of humanity’s weakness is that, always, men and women have allowed their urges for personal positioning and power to cloud their thinking, which has turned their physical selves into puppets manipulated by the low end of their ego-personas. It’s been that way since the beginning of the world. Always, people compromise their right to real free will. What we do to ourselves is what men who hack into our computers do for fun, just to disturb and create chaos for us. The result is the same in the human psyche.’            

Indeed, how much more than sentient robots can we be, as long as we deprive ourselves of the ability to deal coherently with our moments and, to some extent, to co-create our lives through clear-minded intentions and actions?

Thing is, anytime we have human beings focussed on their appearance and some sort of self-imposed challenges that revolve around physical beauty, endurance or strength, there will always be the release of energies generated by envy, untruths, evasiveness, along with physical and psychic wounding. Equally, every time there is an opportunity to gain something by cutting corners, blindsiding personal ethics and the law, there will be corruption.

There will always be the self-generated hacking of our core, of our true self.

Still, it’s not all bad news. Currently, more people give more money to charity, and more people spend more time volunteering for worthy causes than ever before. Each day, more of us become aware that the life force energy, the subtle energies, that flows through each of our body’s systems impact on our mental and physical health. We willingly hop on to the path to liberation from the reactive end of our ego-persona. We better understand that forgiveness is the only way to make peace with the past instead of being held hostage by it.

Yes, it takes a steady practice of emotional push-ups to also feel compassion, first for ourselves, and then for others – particularly for those who hurt us directly or indirectly not just because they can but because they are hurting so much themselves. Genuinely happy people are kind to themselves and to others.

People who hurt inside, hurt themselves as easily as they hurt others. Fact of life.

Developing a grateful appreciation, if only for three or four ‘things’ that are humming nicely in our body, in our life and in that of our loved ones is better understood these days because it does not require much imagination to know how quickly and terribly any change for the worse in these areas would affect our day-to-day.

Seriously, it is no longer a well-kept secret that gratitude helps bring about a higher degree of happiness. However infinitesimal it might feel at first, like a seedling it grows through time and effort of the right sort.

The impetus to finally ‘come of age’ by developing our inner core, our spiritual self, has never been so strong and, thanks to the internet, inspirational guidance from experts in their fields has never been so readily available, often free of charge, at least up to a point.

Certainly, there are enough offers of free registrations to workshops, live podcasts, summits, master classes, free meditations, yoga practices – and free eBooks. So many, that I almost forgot to mention the always growing plethora of genial and charismatic TED talk presenters. Because all this free, stimulating, quality subject matter is marketing promo material from internationally recognised visionaries, trainers, healers and spiritual activists, it contains enough high quality content to get anyone who feels ‘that way moved’ by Soul’s whispers to start on the path of a creative, substantive practice with minimal fuss and, initially, with zero dollars spent.