"Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to human existence"
Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving.
Hello lovely people! I'm Tovah.
After becoming majorly inspired by the wisdom and traditions of alchemy and also by the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles (ACIM), I've decided to create A Course in Alchemy. According to ACIM, ideas become stronger when they are shared and weaker if kept to oneself. This course will serve as a platform to share my experiences, thoughts and ideas.
We all deal with struggles to some degree. ACIM reveals that our struggles are a result of the internal mind--the ego--projecting itself onto our human experience. The wisdom of alchemy helps us to notice that the obstacles we encounter are pointing to areas of our lives where we did not choose love but had given in to fear. Through the alchemical process we can transform our belief system by choosing LOVE over FEAR.
Where do we start? We start with ourselves. That’s EASY! Right?! I mean, Once we get THAT part squared away, making choices based on "What would someone who loved themselves do?" will be a piece of cake--and I fucking love cake. It's kinda like those inflight safety videos nobody watches; blah blah blah, "Put your oxygen mask on first, then help others." Blah, blah, blah, “Love yourself first, then love others.”
So how can I love myself? I’ve personally spent years trying to figure that out--and am still trying! It's a process. In my experience, the root of self-love is self-expression- freedom to express - knowing the self.
"A Course in Alchemy" is what I perceive to be my "Had I known then what I know now" manual. Life is too short to learn all the lessons through experience, I hope my vulnerability and intense desire to share these stories will somehow help others on their path.
So how did this whole thing start? Growing up I never felt as if I could express my true nature. I grew up in a Modern Orthodox Jewish household. I understand not everyone knows what that means so let me break it down for you. Although extremely family, education and tradition oriented, this structure in particular was very confining for me. My upbringing was full of rules and laws to abide by and I never felt like I fit into this framework. I knew what teachings resonated with me but that there must be something deeper for me to understand that also allowed me to express myself.
As I marched on through life the obstacles I faced were overwhelming and sometimes crippling. I didn't know how I would get out of financial scarcity. What was I supposed do with my life? Would I ever find a relationship that fulfilled my needs? I could go on... These fearful questions plagued me. Amongst this litany of fears I eventually found small pockets of contentment. I was introduced to Yoga and the Alexander Technique. These Mind/Body modalities pricked my curiosity and led me to other forms of healing and metaphysics. Down the rabbit hole I went! I couldn't get enough. I found the world of metaphysics, alternative healing, eastern cultures, and the theories of Alchemical Transformation incredible and fascinating.
I finally started to embody my body. I began to know myself and to love myself--and I became aware of the miraculous. I began to hear the wise voice which had been trying to catch my attention for years. It was always whispering that everything would work out but the volume of fear was so high that faith and love were all but drowned out.
Trust me. Believing that things would be okay was really difficult during those times! Honestly--comical! When I look back, these were my circumstances: I had an unbalanced work-life, horrible living situations, I was constantly moving, there seemed to be no stability in any area of life--don't even get me started on the New York City cost of living! Even during the worst of these circumstances the quiet voice was always JUST loud enough. "You will be okay. I will be okay."
Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way here to announce that my life is suddenly perfect. I'm on the journey just like everybody else. At times, I still question my work, my finances, and my relationships. Through the Alchemy of Transformation I now understand that those area's of life and moments of uncertainty and difficulty are the exact areas where I chose fear and did not choose love. I am now an alchemist.