Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Grateful People



Wishing you every blessing,
Dr. Zev Ballen



















































































































































Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Hidden Master



Wishing you every blessing, 
Dr. Zev Ballen




























































































Dr. Zev Ballen

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Breath in Hashem


Learning this simple mediation and you'll be doing it on your own...




Wishing you every blessing,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Friday, May 15, 2015

Finding Your Own Way

What is it that nobody can teach you?



Wishing you every blessing,
Dr. Zev Ballen









































































































Dr. Zev Ballen

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Making Lasting Change



Wishing you every blessing,
Dr. Zev Ballen









































What makes the difference between people who make temporary change and those who make change that is lasting?



Wishing you every blessing,
Dr. Zev Ballen














Dr. Zev Ballen

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Power of Truth

Donny has a marriage where his wife already has one foot out of the door. She's already made a number of visits to the Judge of the rabbinical court to discuss initiating a divorce. She loves and cherishes her husband, but he's just been so hard to live with, that she doesn't know what to do with herself anymore. She's by no means perfect, but her husband has really made some big mistakes.

One of his main mistakes is that he doesn't communicate properly with his wife. He bought a new business, and he put everything he had into it, but unfortunately it just hasn’t gone well financially. And, instead of talking about what’s happening, Donny is responding to the stress by hiding from everyone - his vendors, his creditors, his customers, and his WIFE - he's stonewalling them all. His wife emails him and texts him and calls him, and he simply doesn’t respond. He justifies his behavior by telling himself that his wife doesn't understand all the pressure he's under. How is she going to help him, if she doesn't even know what's happening in the business, and why he's so stressed in the first place? Better that he should not waste time trying to explain everything to his wife and just keep his nose to the grindstone.

But Donny’s been stonewalling his wife for a while now, and trying to avoid discussions about their finances, and at the same time Donny has been scaling down the amount he gives her to spend. This is when things really blew up and caused open warfare. He's reached the end of his options. He and his wife have already done the rounds of marital therapists; his wife even left once already so he knows it could happen again, any day.

Donny knows that if his wife leaves, this time it could be for good, and if she gets remarried, and his kids end up being raised by another man, he doesn’t know if he could live himself. But he doesn't know what to do to prevent this from happening, so he's completely desperate, and that blessed desperation is what brought him to my door.

At this stage in the game, there is no time to lose. I had to give him the unvarnished truth: "the Torah says that a husband has to provide for his wife and kids. Donny, you agreed to that condition when you signed your marriage contract! Even if she wants a lot of money every month, and you say: “we don't have it! I have bills to pay, and you're going to make us go bankrupt!” If she insists that she needs the money to pay for clothes and toys and lessons for the kids, you have to find a way to meet her needs."

He tells me: “She's doing me in! She has no idea of the value of money. They want to close my business down, and my wife is still asking me for huge sums of money?” Continue here...


Wishing you every blessing,
Dr. Zev Ballen
































































































































Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dealing with Negative Thoughts


We all know that negative thoughts are extremely unhelpful to us, but what can we do to stop them? The first thing to do, as soon as the discouraging or negative thought comes into your mind, is to immediately derail it. Tell yourself: "This thought is not from G-d! G-d, please lead me on Your path, and show me what's true. I want to go in Your way, G-d so please have mercy on me and help me to break free from these discouraging, depressing thoughts once and for all. Master of the Universe, I’m begging You, please give me the tools to free myself, when I get stuck!"

All of us meet forks in the road, and come up against situations where we simply have no clue what is best for us. Whether to take that new job, or not to? Whether to move to a different community, or to rebuild where you are? Whether to marry a certain person, or not to?  Whenever you get to a fork on your own personal road, G-d is more than happy to tell you which direction to take. You just need to ask Him.

This is a great tool you can use for overcoming negative thoughts...continue right here...

Wishing you every blessing,
Dr. Zev Ballen






































































































































Dr. Zev Ballen

Monday, May 11, 2015

Fixing Shattered People

I've been a psychotherapist for 35 years, and I can literally count on one hand the number of people I've met who I would really call an “adult” in the complete sense of the word. Adults have self-control, they don't just react to external stimuli the way children do. 

But most people are not in control of their emotions and therefore claim that they have a right to fly off the handle and attack others and force them to go along with their way of thinking.

Where does the anger come from? Most people believe that anger just somehow mysteriously enters into them.

But the opposite is really true. They are actively seeking out the anger and other negative emotions that they are experiencing and they have any number of unconscious “strategies” to engineer situations andjustifications to enable them to spew their anger and impatience on other innocent people.  OK, maybe it's not a conscious decision, but you’re unconscious is still part of you and you are responsible for learning how to tame it.

Spiritually, when you hurt somebody, you’ve just broken something so precious; not just the trust of that person, but that person’s very soul. Rabbi Arush teaches that we can break someone when we use violent speech or actions. So now the question is: can we actually fix what we’ve broken?

I heard a beautiful example that illustrates this from Rabbi Elgrad: In the physical world if we break an expensive vase, it's gone. It's simply impossible to pick up all of the shattered pieces and to put the vase back together again. When we yell at other people, we are literally breaking the souls, spirits and hearts of the people we supposedly love the most! From a psychological perspective, it isn’t possible to completely heal the shattered parts of that person so that they feel towards you and towards themselves like they did before they were broken. But from a spiritual perspective there is a way to fix the mess that you’ve made. It's called: repentance.

What does it really mean to repent? Very simply, it just means that you come back to G-d. G-d doesn't want your self-persecution and self-affliction, and He doesn’t expect you to be perfect either. He just wants to see that you are ready to move in a better direction, and to chart a new path for yourself, even if it's only a millimeter or two… Many people have trouble believing that small gestures and movements towards improving themselves, can really have any value. But if you talk to any golfer, they'll tell you that a millimeter or two when they are teeing off can make all the difference between hitting the hole-in-one or landing in the water.

If you’ve broken someone, you have to say “I’m sorry” - and you have to say it like you mean it, with passion and love, and not just say the words by rote. You have to say sorry to anyone that you’ve hurt, and in particular, you must say you are sorry to your children and spouses. 

G-d gave each and every one of us the ability to have healthy, normal, loving relationships. How do I know that? Because G-d simply wouldn’t send us down here, with all the challenges we face every day, and all the challenging people and difficult personalities we have to deal with, without the wisdom to know how to handle all of this.

Heaven is watching and recording every little thing we do, and we're all going to be held responsible for every single second of our lives. One of the areas that is constantly being looked at in Heaven is how we are doing in our interpersonal relationships. “Upstairs”, there are no “justifications” and no “excuses”: Heaven has already given us all the tools we need to create healthy, better relationships, where people can grow together, and where all the conflicts disappear. It's our job to seek this knowledge out, and to actively incorporate it into our relationships.

So how can we do this? How can we get rid of all the strife, and all the anger, and all the arguments and disagreements? It's really very simple: we just need to acknowledge that all those conflicts were never real in the first place. They were just the circular crazy pattern that the Evil One got us sucked into. Continue here...


Wishing you every blessing,
Dr. Zev Ballen




















































































































































Dr. Zev Ballen