Ask A Kabbalist

Planting the Seed for Positivity

Question:

In practice, how can I transform negative emotions into positive ones? What is the attitude I must have in order to attain this transformation? ~AD

Answer:

Dealing with our negative emotions sometimes seems like an impossible task, as if it is just too much to handle. Psychotherapy can help treat a certain aspect of the problem. Depending on the level of the negative emotion, I do sometimes also recommend one see a professional. Yet, seeing a professional does not prevent one from seeking additional help to deal with a problem. You can see a doctor for a cold and take the prescribed medicine and in addition, receive acupuncture.

From a kabbalistic perspective, emotions are the effect and our thoughts are the cause. This might sound trivial, but it is in fact essential in understanding where emotions come from, and as a result, how we can ever transform negative emotions into positive ones? To explain, I need to go a little deeper; you might not fully understand, but I will do my best to keep it simple.

Tree of LifeThe graph to the right represents the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life constitutes everything that comes into being—from the seed (Keter or crown) to its manifestation (Malchut or kingdom). We will focus on the top of the tree, specifically on the two circles (called Sefirot or dimensions), Chochmah (Wisdom) and Binah (knowledge or understanding). According to Kabbalah, all emanation starts from Keter, then goes into Chochmah, then into Binah. Chochmah represents the Right Column energy of mercy, or male positive energy (same as electricity). All thoughts begin in that level of consciousness. Binah represents Left Column energy of judgment, or female negative energy (again, same as electricity). All emotions are born from thoughts emanated from the level above, Chochmah.

Thought is the Beginning of EverythingIn other words, if we follow that evolution, thoughts are the seeds and emotions are the fruit—cause and effect. If I think something positive, inject certainty, or inspire excitement, the effect will have to follow suit. Positive emotions are born from the seeds I planted earlier, five minutes, one hour, a day, a month, etc.

And what if I feel a negative emotion? I’ll start by asking: if you had a grove of orange trees, and one orange tree bares only bitter fruit, what would you do? Likely, the answer would be to uproot the tree and plant a new seed. BINGO! That is exactly what we need to do with our negative emotions. If my emotion is negative, there isn’t much I can do about it; it is bitter, sour, and hurts. The only way I can feel positive again is if I plant new seeds, new positive thoughts.

But how can I plant positive thoughts if I feel negative, judgmental, and angry right now? The answer is: fake it until you’ll make it. Try this for at least a week and see how that works for you. The Kabbalah Centre has many more practical tools, wisdom, and answers for you. For example, the Proactive Formula helps us identify that our negative emotions are our real enemy instead of people or events. The Proactive Formula works like this:

1. Pause. Observe your reactive nature.

2. Become aware that your REACTION is the real enemy.

3. Realize that the situation is actually coming from the Light.

4. Ask the Light for help in finding the best proactive solutions to the situation.

5. Then, take a proactive action.

Every Kabbalah Centre location around the world, as well as the dozens of established study groups, teach these amazing tools. Click here to find a branch near you. I also recommend the book, The Power of Kabbalah by Yehuda Berg as a good option to start with.

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