Yudit’s approach to conscious living is not for the faint-hearted. It is not for the one who is in a hurry and wants instant betterment, and it began with Yudit asking me, “Who is CC?”

By then, she was not seeking more info about me than she already had. She was prompting me to think more profoundly about myself and to formulate clear answers to the following sorts of questions: Who was ‘in the saddle’ of my life? How much genuine free will did I truly exert? Did I know, really know, who was making the decisions I made moment by moment/day after day and year after year? How connected was I, really, to my authentic self?

What I found most interesting, even in the early years of learning under her wing, was that the mind-shift she was trying to inculcate in me was the best tool with which to face-off every situation one could ever find underfoot.

Eventually, I came to understand how so many ‘pearls’ of her teachings were enabling me to control much better the ripples that, at times flooded my days – well beyond the starting point which was the ailing relationship with my mother that I had been enduring.

At the time I connected with Yudit, having worked here, there and everywhere as a high school teacher, I had already accumulated some 30 years of ‘classroom active duty’. As such, I was very familiar with conflict of the sort that arises when one’s responsibilities include micromanaging others through the application of rules, regulations and penalties for infringement, hotspots do flare up.

Potentially difficult moments can happen with colleagues, too, of course. And Yudit taught me that even beyond the workplace, from the heart is the best place to manage each stressful or hurtful moment, no matter how unfair it seems to us at the time. No matter what our loved ones and friends have to say about it. It is also the best place from which to direct our response to some of the most confronting aspects of current cultural shifts and practices.

Our response of resilience and coherence when faced with health and wealth issues, those affecting any of our loved ones and friends, too, in the fullness of time, need to be micromanaged from the heart.

We, humanity, form an interconnected group which includes all fauna and flora and Earth’s resources, of course. Plants and animals and we, humans, are made up of the same cosmic energies

The less personal, the less national and the less international separation and discord there is, here, there and everywhere, the happier and the safer we, together and separately, could be.

This belief may well go against the grain of the enduring cultural practice of Me and Mine first which, when push-comes-to-shove, often contracts to simply Me, first

We see this mindset in the rising number of single-parent families which, for the most part, are the by-product of one parent choosing to cut loose from the family. We see it in the rhetoric of Border Protection. We see it as a partial explanation for domestic violence and all manner of bullying, and we see it in the planetary devastation we have wreaked to accommodate our collective ever-growing need for ‘more’ at many levels, for ‘less’ at others and mostly for cheaper, better, larger and faster everything.

Regardless of our motivation, the no-brainer evidence is that the longer any discord and resentment have been allowed – are allowed – to proliferate like weeds in an abandoned patch of land, the longer it takes to get it ready for new planting and healthy growth.

That said, regardless of the size of that metaphoric patch of land and regardless of the days, weeks or years that have passed since ‘the roots surfaced’, the persons with a long-term vision of how contentment could look like, feel like, sound like for them will win out.

They are the ones who are resolute about putting the best version of themselves forward – always – no exceptions – to the best of their ability. They understand that contentment will not flow on from flurries of ‘I/Me/Mine and Ours first or by shouting, ‘UNFAIR!’ They are the ones who understand that, beyond a certain point, comfort, practicality and safety, contentment does not come attached to the house of our dreams or to the relationship of our dream or our popularity rating or to greater interest earned by the end of each fiscal year. In their quest for elusive contentment, they are the ones who have the best chance of getting more of what they want most out of life.

Slowly, eventually, I, too have come to terms with the belief that joy and well-being under the umbrella of contentment are the earthly rewards for acing Neshama’s emotion-laden tests and challenges. One at a time. Seemingly insignificant or massive. Amazing or heartbreaking, as each presents itself underfoot over the myriad of moments that align one behind the other to produce our best self in this lifetime.

Neshama gives us only essential instruction which we can call intuition. Up to us to trust and explore freely, taking our chances ‘blind’ in the open world. Up to us to be humble but brave, too. Up to us whether we ever get to do a bit more of our life with our authentic self at the controls.

The only exemption from daily replies I felt I could pursue with integrity was when Myahr and I travelled overseas, and so, one day, I received a different text from Yudit.

Here it is in her own words: Ahoti haketana, as you won’t be in your home for your birthday, I’ll bless you right now. Be awake and aware; Be able to accept unconditionally; Flow without being tempted by outer appearances; Find the code to your heart which would open other hearts as well. Open your arms to accept whoever/whatever is attracted to you. When someone/something annoys you look at it and question yourself. Say, “Hello, ma shlomech, CC? What’s just come up? What is the real message in that?” Also, when someone/something makes you happy, look at that situation, too. Again ask yourself, “Hello, ma shlomech, CC? How did I make that happen? What is the real message?” You need to know that all aspects of the good scripts and also the bad ones that become your moments, including the main actors, the producer, and the director, they are all aspects of your reflection. So be a brave warrior, CC, and unveil your true face. If you’re faithful to your soul, she’ll grant you wisdom and love. And she’ll light up your path even in the darkest nights.

It’s now almost two years to the day since Yudit’s passing and a total of twelve years since that lone woman in Jerusalem, one day, in cyberspace, stumbled upon Silent Goodbyes, one of my ebooks.

Isn’t it weird how she immediately thought that ‘silent goodbyes’ referred to one person’s silent farewell to those of her loved ones who will not accompany her on the Path?

Isn’t it weird how she deconstructed my nom de plume as See-See Saint Clair/Clear which made her curious as, to her, it suggested ‘clear-sightedness.’ If only!

Isn’t it even weirder how this stranger who clicked Send on the Contact Us box on my site to ask what she should do about the failed download of that ebook ended up being the guiding light in my life?

Yudit taught me coherence and determination. She trained me to develop resilience until it almost became second nature.

Without Yudit as my mentor, I would have slammed that proverbial door loudly on my mother, thus risking me, myself and my self-esteem.

Also, knowing that I was still globe-trotting and actively unattached at 43 years of age because, when unchecked, my ego-persona sat squarely in the saddle putting herself in charge of my free will, without Yudit’s ancient wisdom, I would not have had the heart-gumption to finally ‘come of age’. I would not have known how to remain in love with my wonderful Myahr for the past 22 years and counting – happily. Furthermore, tonight, I would not have any personal journey worth sharing.

So, again, I say, “Toda raba, Yudit yekara-soul. Thank you, ahoti hagedola.”