In Judaism, there is a phenomenon called “if you know alef, teach alef”. Alef is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The saying is basically emphasizing that you can teach a little even if all you know is a little. YOu don’t have to be an expert yet to help someone else out.

That’s where I am today. I’m not an expert yet (in coaching or organizing!) However, I have benefited from some outstanding mentors and have some guidance to pass on from them and from my experience. So here goes:

Counselors and therapists have their place. Go for it, pursue it, I hope these avenues help you in the ways that you need most.

Despite people’s success stories, these sources of assistance were not profoundly life changing for me.

What WAS life changing, was the coaching programs through Dr. John Demartini and the Dina Friedman Academy.

I can go into some more personal experience and advice later. I want to give a little introduction to some basic principles of this philosophy, and hope that even this little tidbit could help someone truly suffering.

As I understood as explained by Dr. Demartini’s work, a major underlying principle is that everyone and life in general is created in balance. Every person has numerous traits and they are all inside that person in balance, traits like honesty, lying, respectful, disrespectful, responsible, irresponsible, kind, mean, stingy, giving, etc. A person contains all the traits in equal proportions in their makeup and personality.

If I am seeing someone (lets call him Bob for example’s sake) as solely and 100% mean, I am blocked in this trait. I am blocked in seeing my own displays of this trait (I don’t think I’m ever mean and can’t see myself as being mean ever) and I am blocked in seeing that Bob has any of the opposite traits – that of kindness. To me, Bob is 100% mean, no bones about it.

Why is this important? How many interactions in your life follow these labels – this coworker is annoying, this boss is demanding, this spouse is irritating, this friend is jealous, etc. Or also positive traits (though for those most of us don’t seek therapy) this friend is beautiful, this coworker is generous, etc. How often do we not see the rounded picture, that each of us has all the elements and factors of a dynamic personality, even if we don’t want to admit it?

If you are seeing one trait dominantly in a person close to you, and it is impacting or even harming your relationship, Dr. Demartini then prescribes some homework:

1. To write down 25 specific instances in which the person (Bob) displayed kindness, for example – Bob helped Jane’s kitty down from the tree yesterday at 2 pm. They have to be specific instances with specific people involved.

2. Write down 25 ways that you displayed that trait so prevalent in Bob (mean in this example) like: I cut in front of the person before me in the supermarket line at Whole Foods today at 12pm, etc. There are more steps to this process in what he trademarked the Demartini Breakthrough Experience, and you can find out all the information on his website or on Dina’s website

What is astounding after doing this work is that you start to see the person in a different light, and even yourself through a different lens. Before, it’s not that my perception was skewed – Bob really is mean! Always! Following this work/the Breakthrough Experience, the self-talk sounds more like “Bob is sometimes mean, and sometimes nice. I’m also sometimes mean, and sometimes nice. Really, I see a lot of things Bob does that are really nice and kind.”

*This method is not suitable for someone dealing with violence/abuse, active addictions, or someone unfaithful in a relationship. For those situations, one must have additional support as well.

This can be a particularly sensitive process and can take time to get started, often once you get a few examples down the rest come rolling out. It is beneficial to do this process under guidance such as at a Demartini or Dina Friedman seminar where facilitators can guide you and help answer questions in the process, especially in painful scenarios or relationships.

I highly suggest anyone who is going through a challenge and feeling stuck with traditional therapists and counselors, to seek out a Demartini or Dina Friedman coach/facilitator/therapist. Even if you feel that there is no hope for you, they are trained to deal with the most extreme situations and can help guide you to be a stronger and more successful you. The choice is always yours in terms of how to continue or even to end a relationship, however even in a situation where one chooses to end a relationship, this work can help you clarify and better solidify your feelings, thoughts, emotions and decisions, enabling you to move forward in any way as a stronger and more balanced version of you.