Kabbalah By Heart

Allison Gilbert, LMFT, Certified Kabbalah Coach


Overcoming Overwhelm

Posted on February 8, 2023 at 5:05 PM

This week I hit the wall of overwhelm. I saw a pattern of getting anxious and then adding more and more onto my plate to avoid the anxiety. So instead of dealing with the things that are really bothering me, I will get really busy and have to deal with overwhelm! Do you do that too?


Body Symptoms

My body has always given me signs. It comes up with many symptoms to get me to change my ways. Migraines, insomnia, a sore shoulder, a stuffy nose, breast cancer! Etc. I have learned to use meds to deal with lots of my symptoms and would be suffering incredibly without them! This is because I was taught to believe I am too sensitive, so I don't listen to my inner voice that will tell me to slow down. Luckily I have learned to get lots of help for this and am a person who constantly learns from my difficulties.


But underlying these body symptoms are the habits I acquired from being the oldest daughter of highly ambitious, first-generation American Jewish parents. I seemed to have taken on the belief that if I just work harder and push myself, everything will turn out ok.


Bottomline, it's February and I am anxious about the decision I made to stop talking to private clients by the end of the month. Of course, I am anxious, it's a huge change in my life!


I started working MORE during my cancer treatment. And I barely cut back on working when I was caring for Geoff. I stopped for less than a month after he died! When I was grieving that first year, I took on more clients, thinking that would help me.


This week I saw that taking on 2 emails a week for this month and having a gathering of women at my house for a Tu B'Shvat seder was another one of those things - a distraction, an escape and another way of feeling safe about taking a step down from doing what I have been doing. Yes, I need to know I can still be creative and have purpose after this month. And that's the bottom-line anxiety. I am RETIRING er, creating the new life that's going to allow me the freedom to do and pursue things I really want to have in my life!


What's the Kabbalah card that explains this? I would really love to create another deck containing more of the psycho-spiritual things I learned from the Tarot. Still, I do think of the Kabbalah card for the Tree of Life when thinking about the issue of overwhelm because it's really helpful to see where you are going to the extreme with one sefirah over another. I would say I have a tendency toward the negative side of Netzach because it gets extreme when detached from all of the other sefirot.



I am grateful for my body slowing me down so that I can live a happier, more joy-filled and magical life. When I can learn to make my life better, I feel in the flow. How about you? Can you allow your body to give you reminders? But please G-d, no more wake-up calls like cancer! One of our prayers from the Jewish prayerbook - the one before retiring at night says, "The sins I have committed, erase in Your abounding mercies, but not through suffering or severe illnesses." I so love that prayer!!


Please don't read "sin" like you are NOT a Jew because the word means something so much different from the prevailing American religious (faulty) interpretation of the "Old Testament". Instead, think of it as a misstep, missing the "bullseye" or goal - which is the Jewish way of understanding the Hebrew word for sin. And notice - we have the belief that our missteps can be erased through the suffering that we go through. No, the messiah doesn't erase that for us (In the Jewish interpretation of what a messiah is supposed to do!)


Learn from your missteps and you will get to the original goal. Yay! I pray I will not have to go through any missteps but the great thing is that when I do, I can correct them and in doing that, I change myself and make this corner of the world a bit better.


Take good care,




Aptos, CA 95003

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