Dear readers,

This past week I found the following e‑mail in my inbox:

Dear Chana,

So the seasons have changed, the winter has turned to spring and spring is turning into summer, and as I evaluate the changing seasons of my own life, I am desperate to change my mindset and move towards a positive path.

I want to fix my ineffective coping strategies. I find myself wanting to flee my circumstances, which bring anxiety, insomnia and the inability to see G‑d’s guiding hand in my life. This is holding me back from getting a healthy outlook and the freedom I am so desperate to gain.

I’ve been watching your classes for almost 3 years now. I have so much admiration and respect for you. Is there anything you can suggest so I can finally break out of my limitations and hasten my personal redemption?

Seeking Freedom

The question made me really stop and think. She wanted and expected an answer.

From me!

And yet, don’t I find myself dealing with the same issue? Don’t we all feel like we wish we had freedom and a renewed perspective that allowed us to have a healthy, happy and positive outlook on life?

And so, before responding, I had to really think about what I could do to create more of that positivity in my own life. Here’s what I came up with:

Dear SF,

Changing a mindset is a huge goal. The problem with huge goals is that they can be so daunting that we become too intimidated to even try.

Instead, how about a small step that might just refresh your frame of mind and set you in the right direction?

When you wake up in the morning—even before you get out of bed—list for yourself five things, big or small, that you should be grateful for. Here’s a few examples: that the sun is shining; being under a warm blanket with a roof protecting you; a pretty shirt that you own; your family; a job (even if it just covers—or doesn’t cover!—the basic expenses); the food in your fridge; your home.

Take a moment to sincerely thank G‑d for these gifts. In the evening before going to bed, do the same.

No matter what is or isn’t going right in your life right now, for those few moments focus on those positive thoughts and feelings of gratitude, as you concentrate on what you have rather than on what is lacking.

Then, during the day, when you catch yourself getting into a negative pattern, take a moment to stop, think and say—and truly mean—“G‑d is running this world and my life. This situation is exactly the circumstance that I am supposed to be dealing with right now. G‑d will give me the strength to handle it.”

I hope this helps a little. Would love to hear back.

So, what do you do when you want a change of mindset?

Chana Weisberg,
Editor, TJW

P.S. This Tuesday evening, in preparation for Gimmel Tammuz, the 20th Yahrtzeit of the Rebbe, TJW brings you a must-watch, live video farbrengen with Mashi Lipskar, veteran shlucha of South Africa. In the less formal setting of a farbrengen, it is sure to inspire you and refresh your frame of mind as Mashi addresses The Rebbe's Marching Orders for Each of Us.