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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall -- It's All About Me, After All!
If you are single, chances are this thought went through your head: Billions of people in the world and thousands of nice Jewish singles in your own city -- so, why are you still single?
Or, if you are attached, but hitting road blocks in your dealings with your significant other, you may be wondering why the person sitting in front of you at the breakfast table as you read this seems like a different person from the one you fell in love with.
We go through great lengths to transform ourselves into a prettier, more successful, thinner version of who we are so we can bring love into our lives. Some people even go as far traveling the world in search of the kind of enlightenment that will attract a like-minded soul mate.
However, even with apparent improvements and a flashier package, you may find yourself no closer to that connectivity than you were before.
As somebody who has practiced for nearly four decades and done her share of world travel, Maryland-based psychologist Dr. Abby Rosen has seen it all -- in her own life and in her patients.
In her new book, Lasting Transformation: A Guide to Navigating Life's Journey, she reveals the shocking truth -- like Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz," everything you need to attain your heart's desire has been with you all along.
"It doesn't have to take a lot of time for somebody to develop good habits that will help them become the person they want to be to attract the right person into their life," advises Rosen. "One simply has to commit him or herself to spending a few minutes a day quieting the mind, perhaps for 10 or 15 minutes every morning, connect to their inner self, which in turn will help them have a better, calmer and more productive day."
Clicking With the Reader
While clicking one's heels together won't get somebody to that better place in the real world, Rosen's thoughtful approach to transpersonal psychology in the book -- through an approachable mix of explanations, definitions, case studies and try-it-at-home exercises -- is intended to make lots of things click within the reader.
Such as? How defense mechanisms picked up from childhood play a role in sabotaging the love and approval they are working toward. Going through the process can also help debunk a lot of the fears we have about "ending up alone" because we are past a certain age or we are so independent we do not know how to be vulnerable.
"Transpersonal psychology is a modality that goes beyond traditional psychology because it incorporates a spiritual element for personal growth," explains Rosen. "Traditional psychology works on the premise that we are our personality, ego or small 'self.' While this is important work, it is not enough just to develop a strong sense of self."
She adds: "Transpersonal psychology goes several steps further by connecting us to the divine in a profound way. From a Jewish perspective, it allows us to attain Hashem (God, or divine connection), and transcend the ego to experience a higher plane of consciousness, also known as the 'inner self.' "
Though one can transform him or herself superficially, what Rosen recommends in practice and in her book requires commitment, but it is the kind of commitment that can be adapted for any lifestyle, faith and personality.
As she sees it, going on that spiritual path to get in touch with the inner self (and land better relationships as a result) involves meditation (anything from traditional sit-down meditation, chanting or even a walking meditation you can do on your lunch break) and tapping into the spiritual aspects you were raised with (in her case, Jewish).
"Accessing the spiritual realm during my year in India, for example, helped me create a foundation" for her spiritual self "that helped me return to Jewish spirituality and embrace those customs in a deeper way," she recalls.
"I knew what I was looking for, which allowed me to come home to Judaism, and study a variety of Jewish teachings and philosophies related to connecting with the higher self. However, learning about Indian and Eastern customs helped make the values I was raised with even more accessible."