For many of you it is about to be Easter, for those who are Jewish, as I am, Passover is just around the corner! I thought it would be interesting to share with you some thoughts about Passover that are so universal in nature that we can all learn from them!

Passover gives us the chance to relive and tell the story of the Jews when they were slaves in Egypt and how they finally left Egypt to begin the long trek to the promised land.

Many people around the world celebrate Passover even if they're not Jewish . Many others enjoy listening to the story. I think this is because the story of Passover is so universal. It's a story of moving from slavery toward freedom. We all long to fulfill our inner most aspirations, to feel that we have achieved a spiritual rendezvous with freedom.

Actually, that is what THE ENCHANTED SELF is all about. In my first book, THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy, I teach how to exit mentally and sometimes physically from what is less than healthy in our minds or in our lives. As we leave behind the less than wholesome memories or clean up the realities of our daily lives, we give a chance for our own most precious gifts to come through. These are our dreams, our true potential, our talents, our wonderful coping skills, our sense of purpose, and certainly our capacities to experienc a sense of well-being that is truly and deeply part of our authentic selves!

Let's see how THE ENCHANTED SELF, that capacity to live a life of meaning, purpose and joy, connects with the struggles that the Jewish slaves in Egypt felt long ago. Our Jewish Toral scholars tell us that the Jews were able to hold onto their dignity and survive over 200 years of slavery because of three factors. l.They kept their Hebrew names even if they had other names that were forced upon them in public. 2.They kept their own language, the Hebrew language, even if to survive they had to speak another language out side of their homes. 3.They dressed according to their own customs and laws.

Let's start to look as these points, using them as metaphors for our own struggles to come home to our ENCHANTED SELVES, as we each seek to find ways out of our own Egypt. After all, each of us has struggled at one time or another in our lives, feeling oppressed, not understood and hindered by many obstacles.

What does it mean to keep a special name for ourselves? Is this important? Absolutely. As a Positive Psychologitst, I teach that each of us needs to have a way of defining ourselves that makes personal sense. That self-definition also must be so validating that it can boost us up even when we are down.

I can give you an example from one of my clients. She was feeling very, very alone and somewhat sad. She was home with a baby. She had left her teaching profession. Once a week she went out to a baby play group that had mothers and babies. However, she saw herself as being very needy, in fact if I could use needy as a name I would say that she was calling herself emotionally, Miss Needy. She felt ashamed of her neediness, seeing her longing to have friends and be part of a group as making her vulnerable. She perceived the other women as being far more competent emotionally than she was. She convinced herself that she was the only one really lonely, that they were all satisfied and busy in their daily lives. She was so aware of her hungefor more social time that she felt terrible each week when play time ended. She simply wasn't ready to just go home with her baby.

We talked about her past, looking for her earlier talents and skills. It turned out that she had been a high school science teacher for a number of years. We talked about many of the skills she had as a teacher. She had always been good at encouraging her students, helping them to befriend each other, getting them motivated, and facilitating great projects in her classroom. In summary, she was a great teacher. Her name in the past could have been Great Teacher. Now the psychological solution to her current dilemma began to emerge!

We realized that what she needed to do was to find a way to rename herself as Teacher at these baby group meetings. We worked on this concept for a few sessions. I reinforced her talents as a teacher. We mutually came up with some ideas for her when she went to the baby playdates.

Then she was off and running! She decided to go to these baby groups with her Teacher's Hat on! It worked. Now she was no longer Miss Needy. She was a helping, caring Teacher, using facilitating skills! She introduced mothers to each other. She suggested they all go out to lunch afterwards and they did. She began to make friends. The women and babies were all happy, eating together in the luncheonette, chatting, aughing, extending the time together! All of them were eager for more social time. Things were beginning to flow.

My client liked her new self-definition. She liked thinking of herself as a Teacher rather than as a 'needy' person. She was proud of who she was. She had been a teacher and a good one and she was still able to tap into those talents. Her neediness was simply an awareness of real needs that she hadn't been able harness in a way that worked for her yet. Yes, her 'name' mattered! It gave her dignity, purpose and ended up providing pleasant and meaningful time for her and her new found friends! And of course, the babies were happy too! Happy Mothers, Happy Babies!

She was well on her way to freeing herself from what appeared to be a personal Eygpt!

Well, time has flown! I will have to save the next two points to think about metaphorically for my next columns! Meanwhile, why don't you play with some of the notions of what names you have called yourself on and off during your life. Perhaps you can write to me at and we can further discuss the importance of keeping names for ourselves that help us hold on to our dignity, our talents and our true potential as human beings with purpose!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein , originator of THE ENCHANTED SELF®, a method of bringing delight and meaning into everyday living, invites you to view her new line of ENCHANTED WOMAN products, downloadable e-books, and free gifts at Chat with others in Dr. Holstein's e-group, Order her book, THE ENCHANTED SELF: A Positive Therapy, or the CD-rom or tape version and her book RECIPES FOR ENCHANTMENT: The Secret Ingredient is YOU!, or the cd-rom version, at