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Produced by Dr. Barbara Becker
Welcome to the mid-month publication of The Enchanted Self's e-newsletter! Each month I will focus on (and respond to) a question about enchantment and/or a reader's ideas on enchantment.
Question of the Month
Are there ways to grow even further by just observing my own life and my reactions to situations?
Absolutely. Some of my most powerful moments of personal growth have come when I realized that I was being deeply affected by a situation I was in. A story that I wrote for The Enchanted Self newsletter several years ago and then rewrote for my second book came to mind. In that story I share some very deep realizations that I had at two different times in my life. The first insight happened when I was 20 or so. I probably didn't fully process it--we seldom do at that age. However, when again I was moved by a situation that happened many years later, it just deepened the wisdom I was able to take from both.
So, I hope you enjoy this story. This version is from the newsletter, rather than my book, RECIPES FOR ENCHANTMENT. I have put it into two installments. It ties into Passover, which is coming up for many people. Certainly, whatever our faith, we all can relate to the story of Exodus and the personal knowledge that in many ways we spend parts of our lives leaving our own Eygpts, to get to our own promised land. My insights helped me to move a little closer. Let me know how they affected you!
By Dr. Barbara Becker
From the outside it looked like a decrepit old building, maybe a used furniture store or an old hardware store hidden behind wooden slats. One would not know that so much life. Such hustle and bustle was going on inside. Certainly I was unprepared. When I entered the factory, to the left I saw a room with long tables. Mostly women worked on both sides of the tables with long thin rollers, similar to a rolling pin but three times as long and one third as thick. The women were dressed in house dresses and other forms of simple clothing, such as full skirts and blouses with kerchiefs around their heads, reminiscent of the 'old country'. They were busy making matzo, working quickly with eighteen minutes total preparation and cooking time allowed for Passover matzo.
I found myself energized and moved watching the women, several of whom smiled at me. I yearned to stay with them, to be taken in by them, given a 'rolling pin' and a spot at one of the tables--maybe even a housedress. I did not wish to go back into the street. They were triggering some very old memories and feelings in me that had faded but not died, of being taken in by people and feeling safe. The positive energy level was so palatable that you could taste it. I would like to tell you about one of the memories.
I was with a college friend, Joannie. Joannie lived with her parents in a very small house that looked run down by my ranch house suburban standards. They had a living room with old stuffed furniture, a dining table and chairs squeezed into one end of the living room and a very outdated kitchen. I couldn't even see any appliances.
That night when I went to visit, her mother came to the door in a large print housedress with messy hair, no make up and a voluminous body. Clearly a friendly woman, she gave me a big hug. After we chatted and had snacks, music was put on. Joannie was a violinist and I knew there was a love of music in this family. As the music filled the small rooms, Mrs. R. jumped up and started folk dancing all by herself--turning, bowing and spinning. The house was filled with warmth and energy. I loved watching her and being there. Soon we were all moving and swaying. The rooms seemed to expand to hold our movements. Mrs. R. was a true ballerina of the soul!
When I left and went outside everything seemed cold and empty, almost sterile. I was confused by my reaction, by my joy at being there and my desire to remain. I was confused because in terms of values, at least in external values that I had been taught, her family didn't represent most of them. It was important to have a nice house with a clean new kitchen and big rooms. It was important for one's mother to wear make up, be thin and have stylish clothes. Joannie didn't meet my standards either. She was ordinary looking and didn't wear make up. She was brainy but that was the only attribute where she met the mold. How was I to make sense of my internalized suburban (what I now see as shallow) values jarred by penetrating feelings of a positive connection to a person that didn't fit?
Come back next time to finish reading about my journey into realizing what is really important!
Please give us the pleasure of sharing your responses. They may be posted on the web site or in future issues of the newsletter. You can also chat about this topic or create your own in The Enchanted Self e-group at the following URL: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/encself
Here are some ways to order RECIPES FOR ENCHANTMENT, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! as well as THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy. If you order from my website I can send you autographed copies of my two books. I can also send your free Enchanted Self bookmarks and copies of my paper newsletter, THE ENCHANTED SELF. You can also order the audio edition of my first book, THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy via my web site.
Web Site: www.enchantedself.com/ordering1.htm
Call Toll Free: 1-877-B-JOYFUL
Barnes & Noble: www.bn.com
1stBooks: www.1stbooks.com (RECIPES FOR ENCHANTMENT E-book just $4.95!)
Tip: When shopping online use keywords "recipes for enchantment" and "enchanted self" to locate the books.
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Dr. Barbara Becker
THE ENCHANTED SELF(R)
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