By Jewel Safren, LCSW

I would like to tell you about a different way of looking at the human experience.
“Innate Health” offers a different view of how we experience life, and I have found it to be a very powerful one. The Twerski Wellness Institute is working on bringing this different understanding to the Jewish world. Let me try to explain.
Most coaching techniques deal with problems by delving into separate issues. Innate Health doesn’t look at separate issues. It looks at how you process your own thinking, how you view your world. Innate Health starts with the premise that we are all innately healthy, that we are all connected to the creator and that we can connect to that experience at any moment. The only thing that keeps us from having that experience is all of our anxious thinking.
We have the mistaken belief that our experience of life comes from the circumstances of our life. In truth, we do not really experience the circumstances of our life directly. We experience our thinking about the circumstances. The bottom line is that your experience of life comes from your thinking in the moment. You know how in cartoons what the characters are thinking appears in little bubbles over their heads? Well, it’s like that. You are feeling the results of your thinking in that little bubble. That little bubble is where you live experientially.
When we are lost in our fretful thinking (imagine that bubble filled with all the thoughts that make you miserable), we do not experience our connection to the creative force of the universe. You see, it’s called Innate Health for a reason. You have innate mental health; it’s a built-in part of you. You are not broken or deficient. When your mind is calmer, you naturally fall back into your connected, more relaxed state. When you are fussing and fretting and obsessing, you are totally lost in your world of thought.
Aha! So the 10 million dollar question is, how do I let go of the thinking that is making me feel miserable? Well, when you realize that your feelings come from your thinking and not from the circumstances of your life, it gives you an opportunity to interrupt your thoughts and maybe slow them down or drop them altogether. Instead of thinking and automatically being upset and feeling like you have no control over your thinking—you can recognize a moment of choice.
Let me give you an example. Soon after learning about Innate Health, I was sitting in traffic at rush hour. Of course I started to fuss and fume; how could I not be upset about the traffic? Anybody would be, in my book—only an idiot would not be upset about sitting in traffic for two hours!
Then it hit me. I recognized that my upset was coming from my thinking about the traffic—not from the traffic. I asked myself, “Do I want to do this to myself for the next two hours? Do I want to spend this time all upset and agitated?” I thought about it for a moment, and then realized that the answer was no. I did not want to ruin the next two hours of my life. I put on a CD and was fine for the ride home. That is amazing. Instead of my thoughts just running away like a racehorse out of the gate, I was able to notice that I was creating the upset for myself and I just dropped the thoughts. No effort. Just a different choice.
Can you see how having this understanding can change your life? Maybe you can give it a try. When you realize how much of your suffering you are inflicting upon yourself, you have the power to stop. And that is a life-changing moment.
Jewel Safren MSW, LSW, LCSW has over 35 years of experience in counseling, life coaching and public-speaking coaching. She has worked with people all over the US and in Europe, and runs popular personal growth workshops, webinars and classes. She is recommended by Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz; Rabbi Jonathan Rietti, B.Ed, M.Sci.; Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn and Rabbi Mordechai Becher. She lives in West Orange with her hubby and two kids, and has two married kids and two grandsons living in California. You can contact Jewel at 973-464-8556 or, if you would like to be on her mailing list or for more information, visit jewelsafrenlcsw@gmail.com.