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Author's Foreword

Just a little over two years ago, this was me: Ido – a former Outstanding CombatOfficer in the IDF, a Computer Science Student with a job at Intel, a relationship with a beautiful, extraordinary young woman, a loving family, good friends and a bright future. My face was serious, my shoulders set firm, my will "to succeed" (to make a lot of money) was great , and I was ready to work very hard for this success. And despite it all, or perhaps because of it all, questions began popping into my head – questions like "Why am I sometimes sad and sometimes happy? Why can't I always be happy? Could it be, that all my life, my mood will depend on outside things? And what am I really here for?

The more I pondered these questions, the more I came to realize that the source of anything holding me back was I myself. With time, I began to separate certain situations in my life from my thoughts about them, because I understood that the source of all my thoughts was me and not objective reality. I disconnected thoughts like "I earn a big salary, I'm part of a leading company, I will be rich and successful" from the situations I was in, and what was left was the basic sense of "I'm not really happy here". I decided to devote some time to a study of the different slices that made up the cake I called "life", and simply to cut out what wasn't good for me. Soon I was no longer working at Intel, I had ended my relationship (and moved back in with my parents), broken off some of my social connections, and decided to do the very minimum necessary to finish my degree, because it no longer interested me. Surprisingly, despite the fact that each of these break-offs was quite frightening, it was accompanied by a strong feeling that I was doing the right thing, and each brought a feeling of great relief.

After I completed my degree in Computer Science, I thought it was time to refresh myself a bit before starting my "real life", and went to India ("real life" meaning, that from that moment and for the rest of my life I would have to work hardtop maintain four walls and a bed to serve me from one unbearable day of work till the next). I was lucky to meet an amazing, precious individual in India, who managed to change my life in one conversation. I have never given, and probably never will give, the full details of this conversation, but here are its results: Ido, an earnest, practical man, former combat officer, with his serious look and set shoulders – died. A new person was born in that body, and has been constantly evolving – a writer (the book will be available for download once it has been translated into English), a violinist, a meditation teacher, a writer of awareness workshops, an independent student of design and a practitioner of yoga. His shoulders are relaxed, his concerned expression gone. What is left is a smile that almost never fades - and lots of laughter.

And this change gave rise to a new meaning. One morning I awoke to discover that a strong will had arisen in me, one I could not quite identify. After three days which I devoted to it, with repeated sessions of meditation-violin-intuitive writing, it came out, black on A4 yellow – "I want to build a virtual fantasy world, into which every person can dive in order to study and observe his life from the outside. I want to show people that what stands between them and the realization of their potential is fear." And after eight months of work, this workshop was born.

Many people have already told me that they were happy and satisfied with their lives. They are probably right, because we all have much to be thankful for, but our lives could also be a lot better. All of us, for example, are not sufficiently aware of how much time we spend worrying about tomorrow and agonizing over yesterday. We often are sad about going to work or studies in the morning, and in the evening, we count the minutes till the day is over and we can go home. We find ourselves in relationships (not only as couples) that have long since stopped serving us and that continue out of habit or out of the fear of change. We pursue too many things, for too many years, and if (the "if' is rarely fulfilled) we actually get them, we soon begin pursuing new things. We seem to be living on a Ferris wheel – a wheel of "I'm OK – I'm not OK", a wheel whose engine is the sum total of our world views. We don’t have the courage to do what we want to do, to be who we are and see it through. And these things are so important. They are the most important. And to fulfill them, there is one thing we must do – look deep inside and see what is in us that keeps us from getting there. And when we do get the courage to look into that place, everything begins to change….

At the end of the workshop, you will not be prettier, richer, more successful and immortal. No one of these will ever bring you satisfaction. You know that. The workshop will teach you to view your life objectively. To identify what hinders you as coming from within, and thus to free you of enslavement to outside, changeable factors, the ones you let your mood depend on. To find the source of all your reactions – anger, worry and insecurity - and to highlight them in a conscious and accurate way which will eventually let you release them. As a little bonus, at the end it will teach you how to approach the sources of happiness within you, happiness that is unconditional. The workshop will require you to put aside your ego and the way you view the world, simply because your thoughts are only thoughts – electrical currents running through your head and obscuring objective reality, just as clouds obscure the sky. It will require you to summon the courage to face your fears and not to give up even when it is unpleasant, because our fears are not pleasant things. You must be willing to undergo 20 difficult days, when your mood may swing up and down and your patience and acceptance will wear thin. You must also be ready to do all the tasks given you seriously (the tasks are not many but they are all important).

As I see it, you have two choices. You can say "It's not for me" and move on. You can get up tomorrow morning and go back to your routine life, the one in which something often seems to be missing. To the days when you sometimes feel on edge, sometimes worried, sometimes insecure. The "sometimeses" will always be there. The second choice is to take a deep breath and dive in, to find out what lies beneath all those "sometimeses". To discover, that the potential within you, that will begin to emerge before your very eyes, is boundless. To take that first step on a path whose end you will never see, because there is no end to good, to wisdom, to happiness and love that the path encompasses.

With much love, Ido.

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The workshop was written in order to help people. It might change some people's life - some might be close to you. By sharing this website, you can be a part of this change. This can be done on one of the "Tweet" or "Like" buttons in the upper menu.
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