Mastering one’s thoughts

The passuk (Mishlei 19:21) states, “Many thoughts are in man’s heart, but only Hashem’s counsel will prevail.” All us think numerous thoughts, yet we have the ability to cause “only Hashem’s counsel to prevail.” This means that if we choose pure, wholesome, positive thoughts that are favourable in Hashem’s Eyes, we can cause those thoughts to fulfill themselves, to come true in a constructive way.

It’s all in your mind (Sara Yosef).


Creating new worlds

A person can create new worlds with his imagination; he can influence the entire universe. That man is created in ‘G-d’s image’ is reflected in this aspect of human potential. Chazal refer to man’s inner world-the world of his mind-as ‘a miniature world,’ because man is actually a partner with Hashem in the creation of the world, and with his power of imagination he can himself be a creator of realities (Malbim, Bereshit 2:7). It’s all in your mind (Sara Yosef).

Practically speaking how can we bring this down into something achievable. Once you have imagined this ‘new world’ break it down into bit-sized goals. Slowly we will feel our situation changing for the better, and we will see how our aspirations are fulfilled before our very eyes.

Purim is great

The significance of Purim is so great that our sages found allusions to other festivals contained within it. Thus:

Purim is like Pesach – on both we emerged from bondage to freedom.

Purim is like Shavuot – we accepted the Torah again on Purim

Purim is like Rosh Hashanah – the book of the living and the dead were open

Purim is like Yom Kippur – the generation of Purim then expiated their sins

Purim is like Sukkot – just as Sukkot commemorates the protection accorded us by the divine cloud of glory in the wilderness, likewise did many non-Jews enter under the protecting wings of the Shechinah during Purim. (The reference to many gentiles who converted to Judaism)

Taken from The Book of our Heritage (Eliyahu Kitov)

The Power of Imagination

Dr Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist who survived the Auschwitz death camp, explains that his lifeline, which kept him sane during the dark days of suffering during the Holocaust, was the thought of re-uniting with his wife. At every possible opportunity he would imagine this reunion.

We have the ability to modify our circumstances, or at least to mitigate the sour feelings that result from a negative situation in which we find ourselves enmeshed. Our imagination can blow a breath of hope into an otherwise hopeless state of affairs, and that can change our entire outlook.

From It’s all in Your Mind (by Sara Yosef)

More on thoughts and angels…

The Gemara (Makkot10b) says, “The way a person wants to go is the way in which he is lead.” Who are leading him? The Maharsha explains, “with every word, thought and deed a person creates an angel (that is a spiritual force) that is either good or bad”. That is why the Gemara tells us that a person is led in the way he wants to go; it means that those angels a person created by his desires and intentions are the forces that led him in the direction he has chosen.

The Power of Thought

Rabbi Yosef Karo, while he was in the process of writing his monumental work, the Shulchan Aruch, often fasted in an effort to gain Hashem’s favour in resolving unresolved questions related to his book. On a regular basis, after a day of fasting an angel would visit him at night and answer his questions. One day Rabbi Karo the day after an angel had answered one of his questions, went into a study hall and found two students learning Torah. To his surprise, one of them asked the question Rabbi Karo couldn’t find an answer for, and then later the same student came up with the answer. Rabbi Karo, though initially despondent about this, was comforted by the angel the following night who explained: ‘Until yesterday, this respo0nse did not exist in the world. Once I provided the knowledge, it became possible for anyone to arrive at the same conclusion.’

The power of thought is so great taht someone else whom he had never met could consequently speak knowledge that no one had ever known previously, but was in the mind of one person.

From Its all in Your Mind (by Sara Yosef)

Fake it until you make it!

Believe it or not Rambam says something very similar to this. He actually says: “Act the way you wish to be and you will become that way.”

Speak and act as if you are joyful (kinder, serene etc…) and over time you will become more joyful etc… Some people need to act as if for longer periods of time before it becomes automatic and spontaneous. Then they integrate this way of thinking,speaking, and acting.

The reality is that as soon as you can act as if you have this positive quality, you really and truly have the ability to do it. This behaviour pattern is now stored in your brain, and your brain is always with you.

From ‘Building your self-image and the self-image of others (Rabbi Pliskin)’

What defines my self-image

When teaching self-discipline, I like to focus on four factors: Goals, Traits, Emotional States, and Self-Image.

Goals are all the many things that you wish to do and accomplish in your life. You have major life goals and minor ones. When you have a positive self-image your goals will be higher and you will be more likely to reach them.

Your traits are your patterns of thinking, feeling, speaking and acting that create the positive qulaities of happiness, kindness,courage, patience, serenity, enthusiasm, harmony with others, and gratitude.

Your emotional states are your feelings at a given moment. Your states are not the totality of who you are; your states are how you feel. Even if you feel miserable you are not a miserable person. You have intrinsic value of immense proportions regardless of how you happen to feel.

Your self-image is your sense of identity, the way you describe yourself. It’s the way you answer ‘Who am I?’ Your feelings about yourself might vary depending on the emotional state you are experiencing, but your basic view of yourself  can constantly be, ‘I am a valuable human being, and its up to me to live my life in a way that brings out the best in myself.’

When you think about your self-image in the context of these four factors, it makes it easier to realize that your emotional feelings may rise and fall or be high and low; you will feel good at times and bad at others, but your self-image is in a different category. It is the category of states that changes, not your self-image. The category of self-image is a statement of your mindset about your basic value and worth. Remember that your value and worth are always high.

From ‘Building your self-image and the self-image of others (Rabbi Pliskin)’

Words have power, often in unimaginable ways

People attach more importance to actions than words, mainly because it usually takes longer for speech to have an effect. But words have power too.

Dr Masaru Emoto conducted an astounding experiment examining the effects of prayer, sounds and words on the quality of water. Dr Emoto gathered groups of people and he placed bottles of plain tap water in front of them. In front of some of the bottles people said positive, encouraging words, and in front of other people said negative, discouraging words. Afterwards, Dr Emoto froze the water in bottles and examined the ice crystals under a microscope. He discovered that when people spoke positive words, the water in their vicinity produced beautifully shaped crystals, while when people spoke negative words the water near them produced rather grotesque crystalline forms.

This experiment demonstrate that indeed our words affect our surroundings. If one’s speech can influence inert matter, you can be sure that they can affect human beings. Our words have an impact on everyone us, often in unimaginable ways.

From Its all in Your Mind (by Sara Yosef)





Tribute to Jonny Chippeck – from his nephew, Sam Chippeck

It has not been a moment without forgetting this man! I wish I could have just spent more time with him as I had so many things I could have told him. Every week just visiting this man without even being able to touch him from his hospital bed was the hardest thing to cope with and I hope that no nephew would ever have to suffer this kind of painful relationship! The last thing he told me (a week before he passed away) was to succeed my a-levels and that is what I am going to do. Not just for me but for him too!! RIP