Tuesday, 6 October 2009

So, what, I'm Jewish now? Part II

So, the question remains to be answered: how did Kabbalah Rookie go from a light Christianity upbringing to being agnostic to singing Hebrew prayers at Shabbat every weekend? Is a Jewish conversion course on the cards? Will we reach the conclusion in this episode? Will she ever get to the point? Is there such a word as brevity in her vocabulary? Probably not, so just sit back and enjoy the ride....

I'll keep it as short as my garrulous tongue will allow. Or garrulous fingers, in this instance.

When I first left home I was filled with a sense of freedom: no more trying to sleep wearing headphones, no more looking over my shoulder - I could finally start to live. But soon I found that it wasn't that simple. I had little or no belief in my own abilities. I hid in relationships, looking for someone else to just take over my life and make my decisions for me.

What I learned out of this is that when you have no belief in yourself, there are so many people who will agree with you to keep you in your place. And that suited me fine.

It was a new relationship that really started the ball rolling, if I come to think of it. We went travelling for a year, after which I went to University and emerged 4 years later with a first class honours degree and a computing job based in Harlow. But rather than the planned role of computer programmer where I had imagined myself tucked away in a dark corner in the small hours drinking Jolt cola and being logical, it was in a Computing Support role, where I actually had to work with other people. Like, speak to them, and stuff. I felt way out of my depth, but slowly I started to grow.

Two years in, and my sister persuaded me to attend a MindStore for Life workshop. Here I was introduced to the concept that Thoughts Become Things and Kineseology. I started writing affirmations, programming my day, visualising my future, using positive words. And it was great.....for all of two weeks.

Using only positive words is not the easiest task in the world. Think about it. Give it a go. Notice how limited your vocabulary becomes as a result! The brain ignores the word 'not', so the following translations apply:
"Not bad" (in response to "Hi, how are you?") Brain computes: Bad. New response: "Marvellous, thanks!"
"It's not hard" Brain computes: It's hard. New response: "It's simple"
"It's not funny" Brain computes: It's funny. (Ever wondered why giggles turn in to hoots at your expense?) New response: Punch unsympathetic person in the face and see if they find that funny.

I was very surprised that after two weeks of reframing every single sentence before I opened my mouth, and using the other techniques, my energy was through the roof. But my brain was totally frazzled - it was like taking myself off AA batteries and plugging myself in to the mains. So I slowed down with the practice... and by that I mean that I stopped.

I still kept my interest and bought a few books - The Power of Now, The Celestine Prophecy, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, The Work We Were Born To Do - to name a few. But even if I finished them, I still didn't take action.

I listened to a bit of Tony Robbins, but he sounded too aggressive. I read a couple of books by Dr. Phil and he too wanted me to take action, said that if I wasn't happy then instead of sitting around moaning about it, I ought to do something about it.

During this time I also learned about the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). EFT is a method of tapping on meridian points on the face and body which removes the connection between bad memories or situations and emotional stress reactions. I shared the method with a colleague at work and he successfully used it to remove the anxiety he felt during high-pressured tele-conferences.

But still there seemed to be so much to address. I was still so angry at my past. If there was any particular quote that I could identify with, it was one of Jack Nicholson's lines in As Good As It Gets, where his character Melvyn Udall says "What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you're that pissed that so many others had it good". And I was really pissed. I imagined that life was so much easier for other people because they'd had it good. I felt that everything I had been through was unappreciated and had been forgotten. I still wanted to know "Why me?"

Fast forward to the start of 2007 when I knew that I needed to leave my job, and wanted to finally move on. As luck would have it, I found a counsellor living nearby who practised EFT and booked him for a few sessions.

I didn't find the relief that I hoped for, but it was a start. In retrospect it was the beginning of the beginning. During the course of therapy he recommended several books, and the final one he mentioned was Conversations with God by Neall Donald Walsch... Ah, now we're getting there...

Nope, still not singing in Hebrew... perhaps you will have to wait until the next update.
Oh, sorry, did I wake you?

1 comment:

  1. Your story is quite compelling, and no, I did not doze while reading! Perhaps we'll talk again soon.