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THE KABBALAH CENTRE- ROSH HASHANAH WELCOME WE WILL BEGIN SHORTLY It’s my pleasure to introduce Monica Berg. Before she starts, we are going to show a little video of what Monica has been up to this year, but please join me in wishing Monica a very Happy Birthday! It’s her English birthday. [MONICA BERG] [THE KABBALAH CENTRE] [MONICA BERG] [ROSH HASHANAH 2018] My son Joshua was born with Down’s syndrome. I found out on the day Joshua was born what his limitation was or could be, but I had a lifetime to find out - his beauty and his gifts. - That’s right! And, I think, for other people, they live their lives in a different way. They live in a way where over time we get disappointed by things or we see how we’re limited or other people are limited, or relationships are limited. So, I choose to embrace him - He is 15 now, right? - He is now 15. We live in a self-made prison. It is one that we have created that is the one thing that stops us from meeting our potential; it literally paralyses us. Somebody asked me what do I do when I am afraid, if fear comes up? The first thing I do is tell myself fear is not an option. It does nothing to change a situation; it just feeds the chaos. I love that! The premise of my book, really, is how to eliminate fear, so the first step in doing that is identifying the different kinds. There is healthy fear, which is necessary, right? it keeps us safe. We know not to put our hand over a hot flame - we’ll get burnt; not to go too close to a ledge. There is real fear like death, sickness, things that actually do happen. The interesting thing about real fear is to be able to take that fear and transform that energy into living your best life, right? So, if we have a fear of death, then we should spend every day doing the things that we love, living the life that we’re meant to live, spending time with the people we love. It’s about making small changes every single day and conquering fear in little ways every day, so when the big things happen, we have the energy and the certainty and the belief that we can actually stand up and be true and authentic to ourselves, because fear is the only thing that stops us from living, really, our best life. Fear Is Not An Option. It’s beautifully written and very practical. - Thank you so much. - So nice to meet you, by the way! [presenting Monica Berg] Watching that up there, that was all last year. And, it excites me actually to see it because what we are going to talk about tonight is very much about reaching your potential and doing things you don’t think you are capable of doing and pushing yourself beyond the limits that you think are your maximum. So, in life, it has been said that great people don’t start out their lives that way, right? We look at people that we think have achieved greatness and we think they were born that way, but nobody starts their life out great. It’s something you decide and it’s something you work towards, and it’s something that you ... have a destiny to fulfill. But if we look at our life, if we’re being honest, and since it is the new year and it’s the start of the new year, I assume and hope that you are all going to be honest with yourselves tonight and with the person that you will be sharing your innermost secrets with. If we are honest with ourselves, if we look at the things in our lives that we think we need to change, we think that about 95% is acceptable and 5% maybe warrants change. And, usually that 5% is the thing that is the most uncomfortable for us. It’s where we’ve reached our limit in life. It’s the part that creates so much discomfort and sadness; that’s the 5% that warrants change. It might be our relationship; it might be a dull job that we have; it might be living in a city that you don’t like. Whatever it is, that’s the 5%, and if that 5% were fixed, well then I’d have it all. But if that’s where your consciousness is at, we have it all backwards. The idea here is we want to look at our lives and we want to completely transform it. When we look at ourselves, we want to ask this one question. “Am I pushing myself beyond my limit? Am I pushing myself beyond what I think my abilities are? Am I pushing myself to reach my full potential?” And, I’ll give you this example. Those of you who know me, I’m a fitness addict, I love to work out. And, when I go to the gym, and like all of us, right? if we go there and we want results, we’re going to push ourselves so that our heart rate goes up a little bit, so our muscles are burning a little bit - if you are me, a lot - and you keep going there even though you are tired and you don’t feel like it or you were out late the night before, you go and you push yourself because that’s the only way you’re going to get results. Now, if you take it a step further, which is what I do mentally, when I push myself to where it hurts, I push myself to where it hurts more. When I push myself to when I want to give up, I tell myself, ‘You can do anything for 10 minutes’, if that’s what’s left of the workout, or if it’s 20 or 30 minutes. I tell myself that. I did that also when I gave birth to all my children. You can do anything for 10 more minutes. But do we view that - do we have that idea when we look at our spiritual work? When we look at our growth, at our transformation, at our development, do we push ourselves beyond what we think our limit is, or do we just say 5% warrants change or attention? Rav Ashlag talks about this idea that – you know, and today is Rosh Hashanah, so it’s the day that this world came into existence. And, before anything comes into existence, there is a thought of perfection that precedes it. So, Rav Ashlag gives this analogy. Let’s say you have an architect and he’s going to build a beautiful house. He wouldn’t lay down the brick before he had a thought, a thought about what the house would look like; where the best view would be at breakfast, and that’s where the big window would be so you could overlook the ocean; and a bathtub would be here, and so and so; a perfect idea of what that home would look like. He also would not lay the foundation before he had a plan. And, even if, in that plan, it takes 5 more years than it should to build the house, or the pitch in the ceiling isn’t exactly right, or its over time, takes too much time, and the money is over what it was budgeted, still that thought of perfection preceded it. It’s the same thing with our lives, with our spirituality. We need to view our perfected self. Now, I didn’t say perfect because I hate that word; there is no such thing as perfect. But perfected. What is that? When you view yourself - and that’s why I got a little emotional when I watched that video - I never thought that I would go on National Television, or I would go push myself beyond my comfort zone in that way. But when you start to visualize yourself, what your potential is, what you can become, that perfected idea of all that you can be, because each one of us comes into this world with a different purpose. What I can do, only I can do. What you can do, only you can do; what you’re meant to do, only you’re meant to do. We all have this perfected self that we need to actualize in this lifetime. That is our purpose. So, when I ask you here tonight, ’Do you have a view of your perfected self? What does that look like? Have you even thought about that?’ And, Rav Ashlag says that of 1,000 people who start their spiritual process in life, only one makes it. Think about it. 1,000 people who go on a journey of spirituality, one makes it. Why is that? Hands – why is that? Somebody yell out. “It’s hard!” “Desire”, “Unhappiness”, “Expectation blockages”, “Fear” – well, not if you read my book! But why is it? It’s because we don’t believe that our perfected self is possible. We don’t believe that we can actually become better and transform and change and keep changing and keep growing. And, what happens then? If you don’t believe that perfected self is possible, how can something come into fruition if you doubt that it actually exists? So, the first thing here, now, tonight, at the start of this new year, is to start thinking about what your perfected self looks like and taking steps revealing that. And, that means in your day, each day that comes on, where are your thoughts? Is it about the reactivity of what happened that day or what beckons your attention, or what you have to do to survive? Or, is it living out that perfected self of yourself? What does that` look like? How does that manifest? What does that person do day-to-day? How does that person react in situations? And, if you live life with that consciousness daily, you will be the one in 1,000 that will make it. So, we are going to take a moment here and we are going to look up, there’s a few questions I want you just to think about. The first question is, “Are You Aware Of Your Potential?” -- Still see me? Oh there it is -- And, if you aren’t aware of your potential, how do you think that lack of clarity will impact your year? So, now, I just want you to turn to the person next to you for a few minutes and share that. Again, ‘Are you aware of your potential?’ And, don’t be shy because we all have dreams we’re even afraid to say. And, I remember oddly enough a year ago, I was in a workshop and I said, ‘I actually want to be on National Television’, and I was afraid to even say it out loud, and it manifested. Your words are powerful, your thoughts are powerful. So again, are you aware of your potential, and if you are not aware of your potential, what does your year look like? Go ahead. [THE KABBALAH CENTRE] [if you aren't aware of your potential,] [how do you think this lack of clarity] [is going to impact your year?] Okay, for the sake of time, we are going to move on. Sorry to interrupt. Shhh! We’ll have – we have a few more that we’re going to share together. So, as the proverb goes, ’If you don’t know where you are going, you are never going to get there!’ So, I think it’s time to know thyself completely; thyself in the now, thyself in the future. And, I want you all to read this next screen with me because when you say things, they are more possible to manifest and you actually cement them. So, let’s read this together, “There is no other time in the year when we can connect so powerfully to that best version of ourselves. Our work isn’t to just erase past mistakes or strive to be a better (less-flawed) person, but in fact, to completely transform ourselves into our perfected self.” Remember that every day of the coming year. So, in these next two days, today and tomorrow, we are setting up our own entire year, which means that everything you want to have manifested in the next year, you need to ask for today and tomorrow, which is a daunting thought. How do you know what you are going to need? How do you know what assistance or lack you’re going to have in the coming year and what extra support you need? It’s scary, right? So, if you ask yourself this question, which I ask all the time, is - with anything I do - ‘Why are you here today? Why did you come to Rosh Hashanah? Why are you here? WHY ARE YOU HERE TODAY? “Change the environment.” ”Build a vessel” – well, you got a cliff note from earlier! Okay. Someone else? “Renewals” Wait, what? “Markus for the food!” Somebody else? “Get my best selfie!” Well, I have come here, I will share mine with you, I have come here because I want more. I want more love, I want more joy, I want more happiness, I want more sustenance, I want more fulfillment, I want more health, I want more of everything. So, this year, and honestly, we have a 48 hour window, you can ask for anything and you’re going to have an assistance, and a clear easy assistance like you will never have at any time of the year. So, tonight, tomorrow, again, all the things we’re going to talk about while we’re together tonight, have this consciousness, if you want something, now you can ask for the assistance that’s going to carry you in your best self, in your happiest, most fulfilled sense in the next year. And, your soul knows what you need, so when you connect, when you pray, when you have that consciousness, your soul is going to absolutely ask for what should be. But there is one caveat, and that is you have to have a true and burning desire for this assistance. It can’t be, like, “Oh, you know, yeah, I’d like a little more love. You know, my relationship is – it’s good, it’s better than my friends’, you know.” “My job, it’s not great, but at least I have a job. There are so many unemployed people.” This is not the conversation we are having. The conversation we are having is you want more of the best of everything. And, Rav Ashlag gives this example - if you see a homeless person walking in the street and he comes up to you and he says, “You know, I need $3,000 for a fur coat!” Are you going to give the homeless man a fur coat? It’s like, $3,000 - you don’t even have food to eat, let alone you haven’t taken a shower– I’m not going to give you $3,000. Because the way of our world is we don’t give because somebody would like the little extra; we give based on necessity. But if he came over and said, “You know, I could use $15 for a meal”, you would probably give $30 or $40 – you would give the money. It’s the same thing here. On Rosh Hashanah, we are not going to get what would be a nice addition to our life. We are going to get what we think that we need; what we have a burning desire for. So, think about it, “Why are you here? What is it that you want? What does your perfected self look like and how do you want your year to evolve?” Because that will affect the rest of your life. Now, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and also in the month of Elul, we talked about this idea of Teshuva – right? Raise your hand if you’ve heard this concept. So, it’s an idea of deep cleansing, deep looking within and seeing the things that we want to change about ourselves. And, this process usually looks something like this – “I wish that I hadn’t spoken to that person the way that I did’ or ‘I wish I had taken that opportunity’, or ‘I wish I hadn’t said that thing’. Do you hear a theme here when I say those three sentences? The word “I” – “Me, mine, I.” Teshuva can actually be quite a selfish process if it’s all about what “I” didn’t do, what “I” need to do better, what “I” wish “I” had done. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s is an important process, but I think there is another step to that that’s even more important. And, that is, “How have I viewed other people on the past year?” Because now it takes it out of self, right? It’s still us, but how is that we view the people around us. How is it that we view the world? And, one of my favourite parables is the story of this simple farmer. You can call him stupid, we will get to that. So, it’s a simple farmer and he has a wagon full of wheat that he has collected from a year of crops and he is trying to take it into his barn to save it for the year. And, he gets to the opening of his barn and he can only get the beginning of the cart inside. The horses make it through but the wagon is wider with all the wheat on it, all the bundles are overflowing, and he can’t make it through. So, he is whipping the horses and he is beating them, and to no avail, they’re not going through because they can’t fit. So, this prankster walks by, he sees the problems that he’s having and how hard it is, and he says, “What are you doing?” He’s like, “I can’t get it in.” He says, “You know what, I have the solution. I have these binoculars. If you buy them from me, you look at the opening of the door and you’ll see it gets wider. It’s magical!” So, the simple farmer takes them and he says, “Wow, you’re right! The door, it opens!” He pays him the money and the prankster starts to walk away. He gets back on the carriage and he goes, and he’s whipping the horses again and he can’t fit through. And, he yells out to the prankster, “Wait, wait. This doesn’t work.” He says, “No, no, of course it doesn’t work. When you look at the opening of the barn, you look at the wide end. But now, turn it the other way and look at your crops. Look, they are smaller now!” And, he looks and of course, “Wow. You are right. Of course, now they're going to fit. That’s so big and the crops, they’re so small; it’s going to go through easily.” So, of course, now the prankster runs as fast as he can because he knows that soon he’s going to figure it out. So, he gets back on and he’s whipping the horses and he just can’t understand what’s happened. Along comes a wiser man and he says, “What’s going on?” So, the farmer explains to him what’s happened. He says, “You fool. Binoculars just can’t change the reality of what is. What you need to do is to take the crops off the wagon, put your wagon through, and then take the crops in.” So, he goes and he does exactly that, and, of course, it works. Now, you know, we might think, how can somebody be so stupid? But in reality, why am I telling you this story? Because we are the simple farmer. We are the ones that when we look at the actions that we have done in the past year, what do we do? Our actions, we turn the small side, we minimize the things that we did - ’Oh, you know, I said that, but it wasn’t so bad after all, you know what they did? You know what they did to me?’ Or, we minimize everything we’ve done and what we do is when we look at people around us who have hurt us, or who should have done better to us, we turn it the other way with the wide end. So, what they have done is now magnified and what we have done is minimized. That doesn’t help us. And, also, this idea of what you look at - so, if I look at somebody and I see the goodness in them, I awaken that goodness in myself. If I look at somebody’s darkness, what is pushing that? My negativity is pushing to see the other person’s negativity. It’s a two-way street. What you see is what is. If I, in my view, see something as negative, I am connecting to my own negativity. So, in this year, to go forward again, how do you want to view your world - your world, your reality, your exchanges? So, Kabbalah is different than other spiritual studies, and I assume that you know that or you probably wouldn’t be here. It’s all about change. Kabbalah is a verb, it’s about transformation. And, it’s not just about having a checklist of what you’d like to do better or be different; it’s absolutely changing at your very core. It’s becoming like the creator. And, you might ask, ‘Well, how would I do that?’ ‘How do I actually become more of where we came from?’ Because it’s not about little adjustments; again, it’s not about that 5%; it’s about complete and utter transformation. So, every year, year after year, you don’t recognize yourself because you’re so utterly and completely changed. That’s why we’re here, that’s why we study Kabbalah. It’s complete and radical transformation. And, it comes to one word. If you can live this one word, you can be like the creator. One word. And, I think once you hear it, a lot of you are going to be like, “Yeah, you know, I have that characteristic, pretty much!” What do you think the word is? You are all afraid to answer, I know. Who? Who said that? Stand up. You got it! Bingo! “Kindness!” Kindness is the word. Kindness is everything. And, the Kabbalists say that if you actualize this word, if you actually live it, you can have everything that you want. Complete and utter fulfillment, if you live this word in its entirety. It doesn’t mean being nice. It doesn’t mean being polite. It means giving when you don’t want to give. It means absolutely being nice when you don’t have to. And, it’s hard enough if we’re honest, and we are because we are starting with a new year. We’d like to think that we’re kind, but more often than not, when we have opportunities to just give for no reason, to be kind for no reason, we don’t. And then, if you add on to that, what about if somebody hurts you or you judge the person? Where does kindness exist in that reality? There is this experience that I had with my babysitter a few years ago. I love this story because I think it really sums up this whole idea. And, it was a winter’s night and it was really cold and she’s getting ready to leave my house, and she’s, kind of, huffing and puffing, and she’s putting on one glove and making a whole fit. And, I’m curious by nature, so I said, “What’s going on?” She says, “You know earlier, on my way here I was on the subway and I put my gloves on the platform, and one fell and I went to bend down to get it, and this grimy hand snatched it. And, it was this homeless man sleeping in a sleeping bag and he took my glove. And, I said to him, “Hey, that’s my glove!” And, he said, “No, it’s not. I found it.” And then, she said, “You couldn’t have found it because I didn’t lose it. It’s my glove and I want it.” Now, he looked at her like, “Yeah, okay”, kept the glove, and of course, she was very upset. And, I looked at her and I said, “Well, why didn’t you just give him the other glove?” Like, it made no sense to me. And, she said, “I’m not going to condone that behavior. I want to teach him a lesson.” So, again, we’re going to be honest, raise your hand - would you have given the other glove? Not a lot. And, honestly, I have talked about this in other places around the world in the past few years, and more often than not, most people said they would not give the other glove. But I ask you, what does one glove do anybody? I mean, she’s going to buy another pair. She’s not going to walk around with one glove, and he doesn’t have anything, so one glove is better than what he had. So, when we have the opportunity to be kind and we don’t take it, that does affect our years. And, I think about this a lot with parenting, because often, and it happens a lot, we choose to teach people a lesson, show them how they were wrong, what they could have done better or differently, instead of being kind. And, when it comes to parenting, and a lot of parents can relate, I’m sure, that we want to teach our kids a lesson. They do something, we’re so angry, and we yell at them. Do you think we’re teaching them - what are we teaching them? You’re teaching them a lesson or you're teaching them to be angry? Because children are very good at imitating; not so great at listening but great at imitating. Kindness is something we all have the opportunity and the responsibility to do every day. So, we’re going to have another opportunity now for a workshop. If you look at the screens, “When is a time you withheld care? - kindness. How did it feel afterwards? And, did regret ever set in?” Go ahead and share, break up into groups of two or three. [When is a time you withheld care?] [How did you feel afterwards?] [Did regret ever set in?] Okay, for the sake of time, we’re going to move on. Sorry. Shhh. So, when we find ourselves especially reactive or defensive, that situation requires greater kindness than ever. Remember that. And, I want to share this story because if we look around, again, we may think that we’re kind for the most part, but there are opportunities to go above and beyond every day. Those opportunities are endless and we just need to be aware of them and look for them. And, many years ago, I was - it was right before Rosh Hashanah, actually, and it was many, many years ago and I was in deep thought, and I was, really at that time, in deep thought a lot, which actually, you know, it’s good to think about things but not too seriously, and I think that sometimes that alienates other people. And, it bothered me that I was always so heavy in thought, so I worked really hard to change that and be present. But at this time in my life, it was one of those times and I took my daughter Miriam who was 8 at that time, and we went to Whole Foods. And, we were in line and, you know, I was trying to be present with her and - but every now and again I’d go back into my deep thought. So, we were in line, and I remember the line was taking longer than it should have. And, the cashier and the person in front of me were having some kind of dialogue. And, I was aware, kind of, but I was thinking about the day, it was a very difficult day. And, I even remember her items, she had, like, 5 or 7 items and she had a green juice, and she had just made a salad bar. And, the next thing I know it was my turn and I see him throwing the salad bar away. So, she didn’t have enough money to pay, and instead of being kind, which, that’s why it got my attention, he threw away her food, right - better to throw it away than to give it to her because she couldn’t pay for it. And, in that moment, it was as if I had been shaken awake out of my ‘Me’, right - my thoughts, my heaviness, my reality. And, I did something a little irresponsible. I turned to Miriam and said, “Stay here, I will be right back”. And, I ran out to the parking lot and I chased this person, and she was getting on her bicycle. And, I said, “Here, you know, take this money”. And, she said, “I can’t. I can’t accept your money.” And, I said, “No, please, please, really”. So, I gave her $20. “Pay for your dinner, pay for your things” – 5 things, 7 things. And, she said, “Why are you doing this? How can I repay you?” And, I said, “Just pay it forward. Next time, you have the opportunity to be kind, now you have the obligation to do so”. And, again, if we look at life and we look in our day, there are endless and countless opportunities where you can be kind for absolutely no reason. But it’s all of our destinies. And, again, like our friend said earlier, if we live with kindness, that is the one thing that will bring us all the blessings that we desire and that we deserve. So, the Rav talks about this, and I’m going to leave you with this one idea tonight: That how is Kabbalah different that other systems? It’s the one system that talks about change, about transformation, at our very core, at our very being. And, that’s the law of life, as JFK said, “We’re either growing forward or going backwards.” Change is the law of life. You get to decide in which direction you’re growing; that’s up to you. Our single focus this Rosh Hashanah should be, and ask yourself this daily, hourly, by the minute, ‘Am I Living My Potential?’ ‘What more am I capable of being, of doing, of becoming?’ ‘How can I be of service?’ ‘How can I help other people?’ ‘How can I connect with others?’ We’re all the same at the end of the day. Our issues might be in a different bucket, one might be relationships, one might be finances, one might be health; we are all here and the struggle is real. But if we come together, if we unite, we connect, we are kind, we’re considerate, we are all from the same place, we come from the same place, and we leave the world in the same way. What we have in common is so much greater than what our differences are. And, this year, really, every day, ask yourself, ‘How can I be a being of sharing, of kindness?’ And, not just in the sense of hearing the words and saying the words - in action, in actuality. This is your life. And, I say this a lot, and you know what, I’m going to say this every time I get up to speak, I will say these words, ‘It’s your life and you alone are responsible for the beauty of it, for the experience’. Do what you love. If you don’t love what you do, don’t do it. If you don’t know what you love, find out. It’s your life. And, we all affect one another. If I behave in hatred and anger, it affects you, and so forth. We’re all in the same ship together. Let’s connect, let’s unite. And, how do we do that? We do that by being beings of change. And, I call myself a ‘change junkie.’ Why? Change is hard, change is uncomfortable. We like the idea of change. I’m sure everybody in this room has an idea of what they would like in their life to change. We like it in this idea, but in actuality, change is hard. Change is uncomfortable. But radical change is necessary. And, when you become addicted to change, you become a change junkie because you realize it’s inevitable. It’s going to happen. Chase it. Change your reality and change your world in the way that you want to. To choose change over comfort, you know what that requires? It requires courage, it requires resilience, it requires self-care. And, when we do take this initiative upon ourselves and we make small change, little, every day, we affect one another. This is one of my favorite quotes I want to share with you. I don’t know his name, sorry. “I would encourage people to look around them in their community and find an organization that’s doing something that they believe in, even if that organization has only 5 people, or 10 people, or 20 people, or 100 people. And, to look at history and understand that when change takes place, it takes place as a result of a large, large number of people doing little things unbeknownst to one another. We are that group – we are that. Yes! And, that history is very important for people not to get discouraged. History is instructive, and what it suggests to people is that even though they do little things, if they walk on the picket line, if they join a vigil, if they write a letter to their local newspaper, anything they do, however small, becomes part of a much, much larger sort of flow of energy. And, when enough people do enough things, however small they are, then change takes place.” That is what we have the ability to do. Do not underestimate your power for greatness. You are all great. Now is the time you identify your greatness, you live it. You make it a reality, you manifest it. And, we join together unified with one another, helping each other with support, with love and kindness. That is our destiny and that is why we are here. And, it is my birthday, don’t clap – I want, my one wish, because you do get a wish for your birthday, is that we do this this year - we do it together, we do it unified, and we do it in one. No more separation. There is so much separation out there in the world with people who don’t have consciousness. You have everything at your fingertips. This is the time; this is the year of change. Evening Connection - Rosh Hashana 2018

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Posted by: asamsky on Oct 12, 2018

monica_berg_RoshHoshanahDay2Evening_UNEDITED_20180911_ENG

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