Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: November 18, 2017

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. " ~ Joseph Campbell

It takes the average baby 1000 hours of practice before they can walk. Some learn to scoot first. Some love to crawl. Others like to get right to taking their first steps. But what is the same across the board is the practice and the many, many times of falling down just to get up and try again. I mention this because this week's energy supports us in going out of our comfort zone and choosing to find that next level. And whenever we do that, we are bound to be met with challenges. Just like the baby struggles before he walks, so too do we go through tests to bring us into who we are meant to become.

This week's portion, Vayetze, means, "and he left." There is so much that unfolds in this story that it could probably be a great script for 2 or 3 fantastic full-length films. We see Jacob...

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: November 11, 2017

The power of kindness, compassion, and love sometimes find our hearts in the darkest nights. While hard to accept in the throes of challenge, the truth is: Without challenge, there is no growth. Without darkness, there is no Light.

Take, for example, the portion of Toldot, in which Rivka, the wife of Isaac, finds herself miraculously pregnant with twin boys, Jacob and Esau. Even in the womb, she can feel their contrasting energies as harsh pregnancy pains, so she inquires of God as to what is happening within her. God says, "In your womb you have two nations." As it turned out Jacob became a man of study and spirit, and Esau being completely the opposite – the epitome of the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone - selfishness and ego.

We may ask, as Rashi did, how these two very elevated souls like Isaac and Rebecca could bring a soul like Esau into the world. The answer is clear when we consider the idea that Light doesn't come from light. Light comes from darkness....

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: November 04, 2017

"When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves," said Victor Frankl... and how true it is. Yet, the power to change ourselves does not only exist in those constrictive times when we are pushed up against a wall in impossible circumstances at the end of our rope. As we grow our consciousness to experience reality from a more spiritual vantage point, we realize that everything – the good, the bad, the ups, the downs, and each singular challenge we face – are all there so that we can progress into something more than we are today. We are tested in life, because it is through those tests that we reveal who we are – to "show 'em what we're made of," as they say.

This idea is something that Abraham the Patriarch knew very well. Abraham went through ten distinct trials, enduring what we would think to be the most painful of situations, and yet at no point did he fall into ‘victim’ consciousness. He could have easily said, "Hey...

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Posted In: Kabbalistic Concepts Posted On: October 28, 2017

Human experience reveals that where there is belief and a willingness to do what it takes, people have created incredible realities. Consider the story of the 94-year old woman who just completed a half marathon in June (her first full marathon was at 76), or the incredible feats of mothers who in an instant become powerful enough to lift a car in order to save their child trapped beneath? What this tells us is that we all can achieve miracles in our lives, so long as we have the consciousness to create them. Our reality can only change according to what our mind will allow.

So first off, if I want a miracle in my life, I have to really believe it can happen. Because if I don't believe it can happen, then it simply never can. I have always felt that the Biblical portion of Vayera illustrates this idea perfectly. In this story, Sarah had to create the space for a miracle to occur. Avraham and Sarah were close to 100 years old, and well aware that children were not a part of...

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: October 21, 2017

Have you ever thought to yourself that it's too late to change? Maybe you are well into the second half of your life, and a new career, relationship, or opportunity seems overwhelming or pointless. Or maybe you resist change because you fear the unknown. Like the old phrase goes, "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't." Perhaps you are just comfortable where you are at and you've worked hard to get there; you've established certain routines, ways of doing things and habits, so that you are at a point where your life kind of runs itself. The problem with these fixed positions is that they are usually anchored in doubt, fear, or our comfort zone – and as such, they inhibit our soul, which only wants to grow closer to its Source, and shine brighter through you into this world.

This week, there is an energy permeating the cosmos which can assist us in becoming more open to reaching our next level. By “next level,” I mean an elevated way of living...

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Posted In: Well Being Posted On: October 14, 2017

This week happens to be the week of my birthday, and so naturally I have always felt an affinity with this week’s portion of Noach the story of Noah and the ark. There is endless wisdom contained within this portion, and each year that I study from it, I find new things. This year, I’d like to share with you three important lessons from which I think all of us could benefit. I hope they resonate with you, as they have resonated with me.

It is my birthday wish that each of you are able to take at least one thing from these teachings and internalize it this week, that your life should be made better by it, and that the world is made better as a result.

1. Develop empathy for all of humanity.

Although Noah was certainly diligent in carrying out the Creator's instructions to build the Ark and gather the animals, he did not plead to God for the rest of the people in the world to be saved (as Moses did, for example). What a powerful...

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Posted In: Personal Transformation Posted On: October 07, 2017

"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning." - T.S. Eliot

According to the Kabbalistic calendar, this is the week where we start again at the beginning of the Torah. With it, we are warmly greeted by a wave of fresh energy for renewal, rejuvenation and change.

And yet in the midst of the newness, let us remember that the nature of Life is complete connection – like the infinity sign, or a circle. In our finite bodies we experience definite edges, endings and new starts, ups and downs; but the reality is that it is all a continuum of energy. As the third law of thermodynamics tells us, energy cannot be destroyed, it simply changes form. The world and everything in it may be totally different today that than it was twenty years ago or ten years ago or how it will be twenty years or thirty years from now, but nevertheless that singular Life Force...

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Posted In: Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: September 30, 2017

I've always loved Victor Hugo's Les Miserables because in it, the story's hero is redeemed and restored by one powerful, transformative act of kindness.

The main character in the book is Jean Valjean, a convict who was unjustly imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to give to his starving sister. 

In the opening scene, Valjean, recently paroled and dubbed as an outcast by society, is taken in by Bishop Myriel, a generous and hospitable host about whom the narrator writes --

 "The sadness which reigned everywhere was but an excuse for unfailing kindness." 

Valjean, who is fearful, bitter, and pretty much hopeless about life, steals silver from the kind Bishop before taking off into the night. Soon enough he is caught by the police who bring him back to the Bishop to return the stolen goods. But when the police tell the Bishop they have found the silver in Valjean's bag, the Bishop tells the police that he had...

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Posted In: Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: September 23, 2017

"No one can become fully aware of the essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized, but ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities." - Victor Frankl

Can you imagine how you would treat someone close to you were you to know that tomorrow they would not be here in human form? Most likely you would connect to them on a level that is beyond the physical – beyond beauty, beyond wealth, beyond approval, or any of the other things that tend to distract us from the truth of our being. You might grant them pardon for their perceived shortcomings, find the healing power of forgiveness and love, and see them in the highest light. Most likely you would be able to accept them fully as they are...

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Posted In: Holidays & Time Zones Posted On: September 16, 2017

This week we gather together for Rosh Hashanah, the 6th day of Creation, the day that Adam was "born." The kabbalists explain that on one's birthday there is a renewal of the soul that occurs, the individual is strengthened in their purpose in the world. Rav Berg used to say that Rosh Hashanah is all of our birthdays, since in truth we are all One. The only reason we may have a different birthday from our neighbor is because we have been coming back to this earthly plane so often; but at the seed level, there is no fragmentation and Adam comprised all human consciousness just as a seed can hold all the future emanations of a full grown tree with all of its leaves, branches and fruits.

With that in mind, as gather on Rosh Hashanah, and we have people from all walks of life, it is an indication that we are going back to that Source, to the root. Because it is only in that root, in that unity of spirit, that we can find the peace, the non-aggression, non-separation. We all...

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Karen BergYOUR 7 DAY SPIRITUAL COMPASS by Karen Berg

Karen Berg, Spiritual Leader of The Kabbalah Centre, has committed her life to introducing the teachings of Kabbalah to the world and to expanding the role of women in spirituality and in the global community.  Read Karen's Bio

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