The following cases are examples of different issues people have faced before experiencing Hishtalmoot meditation. After just one session, these people experienced increased insight into their challenges and felt better prepared to process and overcome them in a more effective and relaxed way. Since we respect the confidentiality of all our clients, all the names below are fictional.
Aaron came to me with issues regarding assertiveness. Aaron friend close to him had told him that his mannerisms reminded him of a “dog that had been beaten once” which continued to cower.
A described multiple instances in which he had been figuratively trodden on by other people but did not feel comfortable defending himself or sticking to his own opinions. He often felt like he was “imposing himself on others” and would avoid such experiences whenever he could.
During his meditation sessions, Aaron explored some of these specific memories, in which he felt very self-conscious and timid. By first getting in touch with his unique positive character traits, he was able to re-experience the situations from a completely different mindset. He was able to get in touch with the emotions and motivations behind his actions and from that place of insight, to practice more constructive and self-affirming dialogue.
A turning point in his process occurred during his third meeting where he spontaneously said to an imagined adversary: “I don’t care what you think. I know what I believe in and what I am good at, if that doesn’t suit you, that is your problem, not mine”.
Brett was a medical school student who had burnt out after several years of study. He no longer connected emotionally to his initial motivation to become a doctor, and as a result was finding his studies tedious and uninspiring. He was finding that other people’s expectations and hopes for him were clouding his own independent and drive: although they supported his plans, their motivations were not the same as his.
In just one session, Brett was able to reconnect to his deep drive to help other people, and to see himself fulfilling that role. He emerged from the session refreshed and realigned with his innermost goals, and was able to resume studies with renewed commitment.
Guilt is a recurring theme amongst many clients, two specific instances come to mind because of their similarity: Carl and Danny both discovered during a session that they were being held back in life by an inner voice that told them they were not good enough because of things they had done in their past.
“Look at your past! you are a total bum,” said Carl’s inner voice. “and there is no reason or way in the world that you can just move on and build yourself a successful future!”. Self-sabotaging thoughts like these played through their minds continuously.
During their separate sessions, Carl and Danny were introduced to the Jewish concept of Teshuva, repentance. They were able to experience on an emotional level the idea that one can move on and effectively change his past by making a decision to live a different future. Through deeply experiencing this idea, Carl and Danny were able to disconnect from the unsavory choices they had made in their past and relieve themselves of the negative emotions that had been holding them back.
Elizabeth was a vivacious and happy young woman with a dark past. Her father had verbally abused her for years, culminating in her running away from home during her teens. Behind her cheerful personality lay a lot of mistrust, fear, and a deep need for affirmation from other people which inhibited her own independence.
During her sessions, Elizabeth created her own inner “safe places”; mindsets where she was able to reconnect to positive emotions and feelings of safety. From there, she practiced experiencing increasingly challenging situations while still maintaining inner calm.
Fred used to experience continuous anxiety. Even when speaking with him, one got a sense that he was always on edge, suspicious and tense. This made it difficult for him to focus on his studies and made transitions into new environments very difficult.
During his sessions, Fred practiced relaxation techniques and visualized himself calming down in stressful situations. He professed that the exercises were helping him become more relaxed; and after several sessions he moved to a new location and got a job, the thought of which he had previously found “terrifying”.
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