Many people unconsciously fear that they may follow their parents’ footsteps. There are instances where an offspring suffered the same severe symptoms of an illness as did his parent on a particular date. Where a daughter suffered a heart attack at 46, the same age her mother died. Or a son committed suicide at 42, the same age his father did.

 However, medical science is absolutely clear that genes are not time-programmed capsules and biology is not destiny. The instances given above are solely emotional processes – an almost obsessive identification with the parents, an excessive dependence on care-givers. Sometimes, this helplessness experienced more poignantly on an anniversary translates into injury, illness or death.  

 No, no, no, you must never give in to helplessness, this sad state of self-pity. Let wisdom be your guide, not misery, not memory. Stop holding on to what makes you feel helpless. Reach for what makes you feel hardy. A brisk walk with the wind in your face rejuvenates the spirit. The energy you put out with this decisive action is tremendous – it says “I’m determined to reinvent myself, make a new me-plan to create and live a life of joy.” Once you’ve made this decision, no one can stop you.

 Make your daily walk a personal ritual. There is stability in a ritual, it’s a predictable activity around which other possibilities whirl, grow, fructify. Moving breaks the paralysis of helplessness. Momentum sows and powers hardiness.

 Having goals helps. A goal gives direction. The fertile human mind needs a goal like the earth needs a seed. When there’s a goal, there’s less space for confusion and anxiety. Have this one goal of goals that lays the strongest foundation for a good life : “To be happier, healthier, hardier and self-sufficient.”An aside: Feeling helpless, hopeless, victimized, powerless is connected to cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, immune-related diseases like AIDs.

 The fact is: the immune system draws its power from you. It needs you to strongly feel that you are capable of taking care of yourself. To this end, read and write these affirmations several times a day: “I release my fears. I live and move in a safe and secure world. I release the past with ease and trust the process of life. I am ready and willing to see my magnificence. I have the power to make changes.  I am always divinely protected.” For years, I’ve been reading aloud empowering thoughts in class. I feel empowered by them. Yesterday, my student Deedee tells me softly, “All these beautiful thoughts you’ve been putting into us, Shalz, have really helped. I feel life is so much lighter and easier now.” Thank you, Deedee.

 It also helps greatly to meditate. Meditation creates a sweet, still, silent space in you. Here, you can open the prison-doors of guilt and know with a beautiful flash of clarity that it is okay to live longer than your parents, to be in good health and cheer. Here, you softly intone, “I am a peaceful soul soaked in bliss” and allow yourself to relax. Visualize yourself standing in a clear, blue, sun-warmed ocean. The water laps around you gently, protectively. Let go unhealthy attachments and watch them bob away on the sparkling surface on the water until they disappear from sight. Visualize yourself walking into a fresh, fragrant garden. The divine breeze, the divine breath dances in this garden gladdening the flowers. Be full of joy, be full of love. Give thanks for all that you’ve been blessed with.

 Soon, you will find yourself being uncharacteristically poised and peaceful, reflecting thoughtfully instead of brooding uselessly, doing things your way, feeling content about your life. Slowly, subtly, with sublime sweetness, you have liberated yourself.



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