Children’s Book Author who shares how to nourish and flourish in your life
Bracha shares with us the meaning to life and how understanding the five levels of nourishing your soul can not only banish addiction but completely transform your world. She shares ancient wisdom that leads to living the most fulfilled life possible.
Bracha Goetz is the author of 38 picture books that help children grow spiritually, inspiring each uniquely beautiful soul to shine. Her books make life’s deepest concepts clear, in a delightfully simple way, as children find big ideas in little words.
[00:00:00] [00:00:00] Jolie] Welcome to Fresh Blood. Today, we are speaking with Bracha Goetz. She is the author of 38 picture books that help children grow spiritually, inspiring each uniquely beautiful soul to shine. Her books make lives deepest concepts clear in a very delightfully simple way as children find big ideas in little words, I'm excited to learn more about your journey to becoming a children's author.
[00:00:37] Please tell us more about your story and how you became the author you are today.
[00:00:43] Bracha: [00:00:43] I started writing when my children were little, I would sit outside and write when they were in the playground playing happily. And actually, this was many years ago. I don't think I had a typewriter. I definitely didn't have a computer. And I hand wrote. My first story, I probably wrote on loose-leaf paper, put it in an envelope and I was living in Israel.
[00:01:09] I sent it to America and six weeks later, I got an answer that my book was accepted. So that's how, yeah, that's how I found out. That's how I realized this is how you write a children's book. So that was the beginning.
[00:01:25] Jolie: [00:01:25] Incredible. That's, that's a story that doesn't always happen. Usually there's a little bit more waiting how exciting that must have been. So you write it down and you're like, what? I'm going to send this in. And that is how you became a children's author.
[00:01:38] Bracha: [00:01:38] yes that, that was the beginning. And it was, it just gave me a lot of confidence that I could do this. So I just kept going. Yeah.
[00:01:47] Jolie: [00:01:47] 38 books is a lot of books. Do you ever have trouble coming up with ideas for your books or do they all come from the interactions that you have with your kids?
[00:01:57] Bracha: I basically write when I have [00:02:00] no choice, but to write something it's, I'm not the kind of person that needs to write a certain number of words a day. I write when I feel there's a message that has to be told in the world. And when I have to get it out of me, it just comes out so that it's I almost sometimes wish someone else would do it.
[00:02:18] If no one else is writing about this, then I've got to do it. That's when I feel strongly about things. Yes.
[00:02:24] Jolie: [00:02:24] I love that. Yeah. Just, I love how you said it just comes out of you. It's like a part of you that has to come out. It sounds like you write about what you just said. Write about things that you feel strongly about. So I'm curious, what's one of the books that you've felt the most strongly about
[00:02:41]Bracha: [00:02:41] One of my books is about healthy eating about how amazing it is, like the way things are made. I'm holding up an orange now. Cause I, I give a lot of presentations to children all around the world and I hold up an orange and I show how beautiful it is, how bright and orange it is. But before it's ripe, it's not.
[00:03:04] Beautiful. It's it only turns the most brightest, most attractive color when it's ripe. As if the oranges are calling we're ripe and everything is made like that in this genius kind of way. An Apple too becomes its brightest color. I'm holding up each thing as I'm telling you about it, or you'll see a potato is a really dark color.
[00:03:27] It's never becomes bright. Why. We're not supposed to eat it right away. We're not supposed to get the pleasure out of just picking it off a tree and eating it. We have to cook it first. So, like these, everything has a message written right on it. Like all these natural things in the world are made that way and a walnut, [00:03:47] nuts. They are not brightly colored because we should not bite right into them. We have to crack them open first with a Nutcracker. It's amazing. When we look at all the messages in the [00:04:00] world, like another book I have is remarkable park. It's about how nature speaks to us. I am very interested in that, cause I'm a person that loves science so much.
[00:04:10] So I love seeing all the spiritual messages that are in nature. That's something that, and it's something that children can relate to. I feel if we can nourish children's souls, right from the beginning, that's the way to make their whole lives. They will always have. The nourishment for their soul so that their souls can shine throughout their lives.
[00:04:34] So that's what I try to do. Try to write the books that I wished I had as a child. Really didn't have a spiritual basis in my life and it's something I was craving. And when I finally got the spiritual nourishment that I wanted I love being able to share it with children in a very simple and concrete way.
[00:04:52] Another book is called the invisible book. It's about the many things that we believe in that are invisible. Cause many people find it hard to believe in God because God is invisible. We talk about gravity. Gravity. We believe in gravity. We believe in time. We believe in feelings. [00:05:11] We believe in thoughts, electromagnetism, how can a magnet pick up a paperclip? There's all these invisible things that are so powerful. We see the effects, but we never see them. They're invisible. Powerful forces in our lives just as our souls are, which again we, our souls are invisible and yet I show through all these concrete ways why it makes sense to believe in invisible things as we do.
[00:05:41] Jolie: [00:05:41] Oh, that's beautiful. I love all of that. And it's obvious just listening to you that you have that talent for being able to speak to children in a way that they understand and are interested in hearing, because I was very interested in hearing about everything you just had to say there. Actually, brought up a couple of things [00:06:00] that I hadn’t thought about as far as the potato, I never thought about why the color of the potato is that color.
[00:06:07] Bracha: [00:06:07] and I like other things I teach about, one is about ‘let's appreciate everyone’, it’s about teaching to have sensitivity to children with disabilities because children with disabilities are usually the most lonely children around. They don't get invited to play dates or [00:06:26] parties with other children. They don't exactly know how to approach a child with a disability. In this book I teach basic techniques. So that a child feels more comfortable making a friendship with a child that has a disability like basic things.
[00:06:50]If someone's in a wheelchair, Don't stand up, sit down next to them. So, you're on the same level, like really basic things. If a person is blind make sure that you introduce yourself when you come close. Cause you, you're not aware of these things. And when you leave, make sure you say goodbye and don't just walk away.
[00:07:09] There's all kinds of basic things that we just are never taught about how to connect with people with disabilities. So these are all things that help children's souls to shine. That's what they're, that's what they all have in common.
[00:07:24] Jolie: [00:07:24] I love it. It's just beautiful. And what has it been like for you on this path? As a children's author, you have successfully written and sold all of these books. Is there anything that you would give advice to someone who was looking to try to do something similar?
[00:07:44] Bracha: [00:07:44] yes. Really important advice is that when your book is published, that's only the beginning and this refers to. So far, my books have all been published by traditional publishers, but if I decide to self [00:08:00] publish, you should know that when your book is published, it's only the beginning, whether it's published traditionally or it's self-published because marketing is so important and here's the thing a person can spend their entire lives, marketing their book, but You have to do what you love, or you will get burnt out really quickly trying to market your book.
[00:08:24] So instead just do what you love. I only do what I love too, and I don't call it marketing. I call it revealing and sharing and revealing and sharing what I've brought into the world. So basically, I only do the things that I enjoy doing. So, I'm never working at it to me, it's a total joy. As you can see, this is one of the things I do.
[00:08:50] I love to give podcasts about my books and let people know about it. And every person might like to do a different thing. Whatever you love to do, just know that publishing your book is the first step. Then you can, then you get to bring it out into the world and share it with everybody.
[00:09:09] Jolie: [00:09:09] Oh, it's perfect. And I love the reveal and share. That's really, that is so key to people who are successful. To them, they're there, they're bringing forth something that is helping their audience and it is, it's a reveal and share. I think that's wonderful. And. How, what do you think has been key to your continued success throughout this.
[00:09:32] Bracha: [00:09:32] I just, I just find it a joy. So like I said, I really, I'm never working at this. It's something I love to do and I'm empowered. Bye. When I help others souls to shine, that gets my soul shining. So one thing feeds off of another each person that enjoys my books and benefits from it. It nourishes my soul and encourages me to keep going.
[00:09:58] Jolie: [00:09:58] Oh, that's fantastic. [00:10:00] Now, have you had any challenges? What would have been your greater obstacles that you've had in life?
[00:10:05] bracha-take-three_recording-1_2021-01-12--t09-08-46pm--bracha: [00:10:05] Yeah, challenge was I wrote, there were two books I've written about helping children to teach them about preventing abuse specifically about sexual abuse. And I did have some political hurdles that I had to overcome to get these books published. So yeah, it was at the time. It wasn't yet. How could I say acceptable to be teaching about that when I was doing it?
[00:10:31] Really feel they were breakthrough books. They were groundbreaking, groundbreaking game changers. And it was exciting to be a part of helping that to unfold in the world and help so many children. Yeah, I remember the struggles involved and I remember getting many rejections from my manuscripts, I'm very grateful that I could keep going and see what happens when you really believe in something.
[00:10:55] And it, eventually your efforts are fruitful.
[00:10:59] Jolie: [00:10:59] Oh, that's wonderful. It's such an important, being able to have open communications about these difficult topics. It is what is missing for most children. So that's amazing. Now have you ever experienced ageism yourself?
[00:11:14]Bracha: [00:11:14] I don't think I have, I, the thing about me is that I'm. I have kept my sense of wonder from childhood. And I feel a ton of energy in life. I'll be turning 65 this month. And I feel like there are so many adventures ahead. I feel extremely grateful for everything that all the blessings that have happened in my life.
[00:11:39] And whatever I can continue to accomplish. I'm really excited about, so we'll see where we're headed and what's coming next. I'm always, there always seem to be new ideas coming my way or people ask me to write about something and I don't take every idea on, but I get very [00:12:00] motivated by certain ideas and then I want to do it.
[00:12:02] Yeah, I don't think age is a problem for me. I have a lot of energy and desire to keep doing good things. Hopefully.
[00:12:12] bracha-take-three_recording-1_2021-01-12--t09-07-35pm--joliedowns: [00:12:12] Fantastic. I love that. And I love that you have so many things on the horizon. Is there anything that you are working on right now?
[00:12:19] bracha-take-three_recording-1_2021-01-12--t09-08-46pm--bracha: [00:12:19] Yes. Right now I'm working on a new book about how to be healthy. Let's stay healthy, which I think is really apropos to the times right now. How can children stay healthy? And so I'm going into many different things, way beyond just keeping our hands clean, it's all about because children really don't realize how important it is to eat healthy foods from early on.
[00:12:45]I already have one book just showing about the wonders of fruits and vegetables, like I told you about, but this book is more focused on how. How eating very processed foods that are processed away from their natural state how disastrous it is for our bodies, because children really don't realize it.
[00:13:08] They enjoy sugar, enjoy food coloring and, actually putting dyes into their body and they're they, because it, it doesn't hit until later in life. How these things are clogging up our veins and arteries and what they're doing. So I'm really into this book, believe it or not. I have managed to describe it in a positive light, as negative as I'm sounding right now, so that children really will feel motivated [00:13:38] to be healthy throughout their lives, starting from early on. And it's been a joy, I just finished writing this book and now we're working on getting it published. Yeah.
[00:13:50] Jolie: [00:13:50] That's fantastic. And every topic that you've given for your books, I just, I wish I had Known about, I wish that they'd been around. If I'm not sure how long they've been [00:14:00] around, they knew that my kids were younger because these are topics that were struggles for me, these weren't typical topics that I was finding in children's books at the time.
[00:14:10]Bracha: [00:14:10] Exactly. And from a spiritual point of view, to see, like I was, an undergraduate at Harvard, but even when I was an undergraduate, I was taking courses at the Harvard school of public health. Because I was always interested in public health. I was actually a pre-med student as an undergrad, but I was fascinated by public health.
[00:14:30] And I realized these books combine my two interests in spirituality with public health in India. That's really what I'm doing. I like to spread it in a public way by being, because we're really spiritual beings in physical bodies and we need both to be functioning at a high level to really thrive in life.
[00:14:52] Jolie: [00:14:52] I agree and so many of us ignore the spiritual side on, unfortunately. So you got in touch with your spiritual side right? Is there any suggestion that you would have for people to help in touch with that themselves?
[00:15:03] Bracha: [00:15:03] Yeah, I do. I learned this amazing thing, which I am enjoying sharing. I, first of all, my memoir is searching for God in the garbage it's the story of how I became. More into a more spiritual person. Cause I really, I wasn't brought up that way. My parents were wonderful people, but they were not into spirituality.
[00:15:26] And I developed a food addictions, which I connect to the fact that I was spiritually starving. That's how I relate to because I was a person that really had everything I had. It was a really sweet home. And everything was good, but there was still something missing. And I didn't know what it was. It was a spiritual framework.
[00:15:49] I, I basically didn't know that I had a soul and I didn't know that it needed to be nourished. And once I finally found the nourishment that I was craving, there was [00:16:00] no longer a need for the addictions, which I found fascinating, like what did one thing have to do with the other? So that's what I wrote this book about.
[00:16:09] How finding the spiritual nourishment made it so that it was no longer a need for the addictions. And this is what I'm enjoying spreading with people. It's the only book that I wrote for adults. All my other books are for children, but it's basically, it's based on my letters and diaries kept with the use of the person.
[00:16:26] You can actually see it as a case study. How did the Food addictions develop? And then how did I heal from them? And it's basically about one thing I learned from really ancient, mystical wisdom is that there are five levels to the human soul and there are five levels of pleasure in life. So if we feed, if we feed these five levels of pleasure, then we will feed these levels of our soul.
[00:16:55] And that's why. That's how we nourish our souls. And I could briefly tell you if you want, what
[00:17:01] Jolie: [00:17:01] I love this. Yes, please share with us.
[00:17:04] Bracha: [00:17:04] So the basic level, the lowest level are the physical pleasures. Again, this is like how the food that we have was meant to be a pleasure. In other words, it could have been designed that we just took a pill every day [00:17:17] and that was how we got the fuel that we needed, or maybe we didn't even need any type of fuel. But the food was designed to be the ultimate pleasurable way it could be for us, with an aroma, with to look beautiful and bright and beautiful colors and to taste delicious. So it, everything in life was really designed on the natural for our ultimate pleasure.
[00:17:42] And what happens is people, addictions develop, people get stuck. On a certain thing on the physical level, if they don't have enough other pleasures in their life. So the idea of the pleasure ladder is that as we go up the rungs of the pleasure letter, [00:18:00] we can get unstuck from addictions by recognizing that there's no scarcity of pleasure in life.
[00:18:07] There's really an abundance that we can we can bring into our lives at any given moment. We. It's an empowering concept where it's not dependent on any other people we ourselves can bring into our lives. Any pleasure that's available in the natural world. So for instance, if a person is overeating, they can ask themselves [00:18:31] this one question - Is it my body that's hungry or my soul? And they will know right away if they're overeating and they've already had a good meal, they're trying to fill their soul. And so they'll never ever have enough. By continuing to eat. It's never going to fill the emptiness inside and what will fill it, believe it or not [00:18:54} is bringing more joy into one's life. People think they need to restrict themselves, but no, in order to lose weight, it's really about bringing more joy and abundance of joy into one's life because that's, what's missing. So like a person can, if they feel like overeating, and on the lowest physical level, they can turn on music, start dancing and movement, feel movement in the body.
[00:19:20] This is another physical pleasure, or they could go outside experience, nature, feel the sunshine, feel the breeze, do all these things. If they do that suddenly they won't feel like finishing the bag of potato chips. They, they will be bringing a different pleasure into their lives.
[00:19:36] So that's just. Physical level. And if you move up to the second rung love is on the second rung. Connecting with A person; and love does not depend, believe it or not, on any other people. How can a person bring it into their lives at any moment? By focusing on the virtues of another. That is how we bring love into our lives.
[00:19:58] Just by [00:20:00] thinking about a person that you appreciate, this is how you bring love into your life at any given moment.
And the third level up is meaning, doing something meaningful. It could be reaching out to another person calling somebody lonely, texting someone lonely, doing whatever brings, meaning, adds more goodness to the world.
[00:20:25] All of these things will stop a person from overeating. Why? Because they're bringing more pleasure into their life. And then.
The fourth level is creativity. Each of these is a more lasting and greater pleasure as we go up the ladder and each one brings more connection into one's life. On the lowest level, we're connecting with an object, a physical object in the natural world on the second level with another being.
[00:20:51] And the third level of meaning we're connecting to the world, at the fourth level of creativity. We're actually adding something. We are tapping into the creative flow of the universe and bringing a part of ourselves into the world. When a person is being creative, they don't feel like eating or sleeping even. They are just in a totally pleasurable zone like that.
[00:21:11] And the highest level is transcendence, which is seeing how everybody is everyone. Everything is connected, how we're all connected with each other. It's a feeling of awe and bliss that, that we can stay on. For, we can't sustain that level of pleasure, but it's, we can have the glimpses that we get of that level of pleasure in this world [00:21:36] Keep us, stay with us forever. They bring us lasting pleasure. Whenever we tap into that sense of awe and bliss that we've all experienced at one moment or another, like under a starry sky at night. And we feel a sense of the awesomeness of the universe. So I wanted to explain. All these levels of pleasure that are available to us at [00:22:00] any moment even a prison in jail.
[00:22:02] So in other words, it's all within our mind within our being, we can access this pleasure at any time.
[00:22:11] Jolie: [00:22:11] That's so beautiful. I love everything you just said. And there was so much in there that is just the truth of life. It's the source of life. If you ask me it's it was perfect. And. And I don't know if I've ever heard it put in a better way that to, to deal with your addictions to deal with when you're, when you feel like you are restricting yourself.
[00:22:38]It's not, you don't need to restrict yourself. You just need to add joy and you're so right. You just need to add joy and you just listed all the different ways that we can add joy. And I love this because I have been reading that the key to addiction is Not what we've always thought, but it's actually connection.
[00:22:56] It's a lack of connection. And the things that I've read it talks about this in the abstract, but it really has not gone in depth as to how to remedy that connection.
[00:23:07] Bracha: [00:23:07] Exactly. Exactly. And this is not coming from the top of my head. This is ancient, mystical wisdom from the Kabbalah. It's this is like the deepest, most ancient wisdom. And it's always been there ready for us to access. And now, it's so important to bring it into our world, which needs this information so much.
[00:23:27] Jolie: [00:23:27] Oh, you're so right now, how would you suggest people implementing this into their life?
[00:23:34] Bracha: [00:23:34] Oh, just as I said, you just, once you become aware of the abundance of pleasures and what is. What the hierarchy is of this pleasure ladder. Then you can integrate that in, within your being and recognize it. So when you become self-aware that you're just involved in any type of addiction that you feel stuck in a certain way, [00:24:00] then you can make your life more fluid.
[00:24:02] By trying other pleasures bringing more and more pleasures into your life. And the more natural they are, the more they have, the more vitality they have in them. The same with natural foods. Then the natural food that is more connected to source has more energy, more vitality, more things that are good for us to nourish us.
[00:24:22] So all those things will be helpful.
[00:24:25] Jolie: [00:24:25] That's great. Now you said this is all in your memoir.
[00:24:28] Bracha: [00:24:28] It's not totally because a lot of what I'm sharing I've learned even since the memoir was published. So the memoir is the beginning of this recognition and journey, but actually I've learned, I learned a lot more since just actually by giving these talks and interacting with people like this. I love it.
[00:24:49] I've been speaking to people all over the world. And people are asking me questions, which helped me to refine my understanding and go back to the sources and help to, and help myself to understand it even more clearly to give it over. So you'll find some of this in my memoir, but a lot of it I've been learning since, and people can go back to the original sources even to learn all this wonderful material.
[00:25:18] Jolie: [00:25:18] I mean there's so much to talk about within that, within what you said, but really it was packaged so succinctly and perfectly. I'm curious what for you is brought the most peace in your life.
[00:25:32] Bracha: [00:25:32] what has brought the most peace? Everything, I, I. I really feel so blessed in my life. I'm so grateful for how my life went and that I was able to find out that I am a spiritual being clothed in a body. That was a great awakening. And then, it was in my early twenties that I met this rabbi in Israel who really helped me to understand what was the most [00:26:00] mind blowing concept, mind expanding concept.
[00:26:02] He said to me that the purpose of life is to experience the greatest pleasure possible. I was always searching for what is the purpose to life. That was my search. And to find out that it was to experience the greatest pleasure possible. Totally opened my mind to something I'd never heard before.
[00:26:21] And to understand that the way to experience the greatest pleasure possible is to nourish our souls. So that's what I've been doing ever since. And it's been just amazing.
[00:26:34] Jolie: [00:26:34] It's so wonderful. Are there any specific habits that you've adopted over your life that you would feel you feel have given you that, that fulfilled life?
[00:26:44]Bracha: [00:26:44] I would say, and this still comes up even if it doesn't happen often, because now generally I eat when I'm physically hungry. I don't eat because I'm feeling stressed or lonely or bored, which is the reason why I used to eat for all kinds of reasons. Now I eat when I'm hungry and if I feel like if I noticed that I’m Overeating then I realize, Oh, you want pleasure to continue? [00:27:09] Okay, let's do something else that's pleasurable. And that awareness is just so liberating. That's what it is. It's a liberating awareness. And it applies to every type of addiction, whatever prison. It's just very obvious with food because food is a clear, it's filling, nourishing us, but there are many, there are some addictions where a person can avoid it completely like with drugs or alcohol in order for them to get over it.
[00:27:39] But with food, you can't avoid it. It's something you're going to be interacting with the rest of your life and you have to know how can I bring more joy into my life; that's really what it's about and what brings lasting pleasure. And I feel that knowledge is so freeing for people to have.
[00:28:01] [00:28:00] Jolie: [00:28:01] It is and we have to get in touch with what that is for us personally,
[00:28:06] Bracha: [00:28:06] yes. Each person uniquely. Exactly.
[00:28:09] Jolie: [00:28:09] So I, I'm wondering, do you use these methods to push through your own personal difficult times? Not only for addiction, but just through tough times in general.
[00:28:23] Bracha: [00:28:23] Yeah for sure. I, if I understand that the purpose of life is to experience the greatest pleasure possible, then I don't spend much time being miserable, because I really understand that's what we here for. Like what, what does a parent want for their child?
[00:28:43] A parent wants for their child to experience the greatest pleasure possible in life. And, the idea of believing in God, I was brought up that it was like a fairytale to believe in God. I, it wasn't something I was brought up to understand, but so just think about source. What does source want?
[00:29:02] What would source want by creating us? It's for us to experience the greatest pleasure possible here. And we've gone so far off track from that, so to come back to that is, is just so it's a wonderful feeling and this is so important. I forgot to mention this. What gets us from one rung to another on this ladder?
[00:29:25] What brings us pleasure is gratitude because as you will notice, at each level, we have to be appreciating. A person might feel, Oh, I feel deprived. I'm not experiencing pleasure. Guess what all you have to do is feel gratitude in that moment and you'll be experiencing pleasure.
[00:29:47] So it's totally within our minds to accomplish this. We, at any moment, We had the opportunity to be experiencing great pleasure by focusing our minds on all the [00:30:00] gifts in our life at this moment. There's a great story, about a person that was on the top of a roof about to jump and a person across the way they see him about to jump.
[00:30:12] And they say, don't jump. I have something to tell you, what could she tell him not to jump? What could you possibly say? She says to him, What if somebody said to you, what if you were blind your whole life and you suddenly got vision in this moment, would you still want to jump? And the man says, of course not.
[00:30:32} She says, guess what? You can suddenly have vision. This moment, you're in a lot of pain. You must be in a lot of pain because you want to give up your life right now, but open your eyes. You must have some blessings in your life. Count those blessings. Notice what gifts you have and then you won't be wanting to jump. Everybody has something that they could be grateful for. If they're still breathing, just the gift of life, the gift of breath. It's something so valuable. And as we breathe we are breathing out to all the vegetation in the world.
[00:31:09] The vegetation is breathing into us. It's a symbiotic relationship that we have. We are all connected. And the more connection that we feel, the more pleasure we will have in life.
[00:31:22] Jolie: [00:31:22] Yes, it makes my heart sing. It is very true. The more connection we feel, the more connection with life. And as soon as you have that transcendence and are able to see, to feel that connection, it does, it changes everything and it just brings a richness to life that you were shocked you didn't see before. So yeah, I think that's very beautiful. I have loved this.
Before we wrap up, there's so many different struggles on different levels that are happening. Is there any one piece of advice that, that you would give someone to help them get closer to their own purpose, to their own success, to their own fulfillment?
[00:32:23] Bracha: [00:32:23] yes. You know what? I'm going to speak to, I'll speak to the topic of age. When a person who's getting older looks in the mirror and they see the wrinkles coming and they feel what they feel, it is a disconnect. Why do they feel a disconnect? Because our bodies are aging, but guess what? Our souls are timeless.
[00:32:46] Our souls are never aging they're as vital now as they were when you were born. And if you're here, there's a message. I have on my fridge here there is a test to find out if your mission in life is complete, if you're alive, it isn't, there's a reason you're here. Yeah. There's a reason for you being here and your soul is as vital as ever, even though our bodies are aging.
[00:33:16] Our souls are alive and full of vitality. So nourish you soul, and I hope that everybody listening is blessed with a more pleasurable life than they've ever experienced before.
[00:33:31] Jolie: [00:33:31] Yes. Oh, that's so perfect. It makes me think of a speech that I just watched and she was saying, when you're complaining about your feelings or how you're feeling, and you don't want it, you don’t want to feel, you just want them to go away. Then you have the ambition of a dead person. We are here to be feeling individuals, to be growing, expanding, learning, and.
[00:33:58] Bracha: [00:33:58] Yes. And I want to [00:34:00] say that there are challenges in life. I don't want to say that everything's hunky Dory on this pleasure letter because challenge is part of pleasure. Giving birth is painful, but it leads to the greatest creativity. And when we challenge ourselves, that leads to great pleasure.
[00:34:17] So there are challenges, but one thing the opposite this rabbi is the opposite of pleasure is comfort. Comfort makes us comfort as addiction. Comfort makes us not strive for the greatest pleasure. But pain can be involved in reaching pleasure. Yeah, like you were saying ups and downs. If the line was straight, we're not alive.
[00:34:38] Exactly. So that's what we want. Life is full of challenges, but you can still extract the pleasure from it at every point. Yes.
[00:34:49] Jolie: [00:34:49] Bracha, I thank you so much for sharing all of this. It's been incredibly inspiring. Is there anything that I didn't ask you that you'd like to mention or need to bring up before we sign off?
[00:35:02] Bracha: [00:35:02] That's it. And if everybody, anyone wants to look, all of my books are in one spot on my Amazon author page my one book for adults and all my books for children. Yeah. Okay.
[00:35:12] Jolie: [00:35:12] I'll add that link to the show notes, to make it easy for anyone to go ahead and click on and be able to purchase your books. I am grateful for you spending time with us today on fresh blood. I am grateful for the books that you've written. They sound absolutely amazing. The exact kind of conversations that we all need to be having with our children.
[00:35:33] So I appreciate you. Thanks, Bracha.
[00:35:36] Bracha: [00:35:36] Oh, my pleasure. Thank you, Jolie. Thank you.
[00:36:00] Jolie: I love Bracha’s story. She found herself writing while being with her kids, she thought it was worth something and she sent it in – and it worked! She’s been writing ever since. How many people out there have had an idea for a book? Perhaps even started to write one, but ended up talking themselves out of even trying. Never even sending it for review. I love that Bracha took that step, sent it in and she found a life long career that has brought her joy ever since.
Bracha’s story proves it’s always worth trying. What is that something that is inside of you? Take that step towards fulfilling that desire. You never know what might happen. Not making the effort is the only way to know exactly what will happen – which will be absolutely nothing.
Bracha shares that while marketing is incredibly important to the success of any product, she believes in doing what you love – so she focuses her marketing efforts on the things she enjoys, liking doing podcasts. Everyone has different avenues that appeal to them – it could be developing content, social media, conferences, speaking engagements, podcasts, advertising – whatever speaks to you and feels more like joy than work is the way to finding personal marketing success.
I love that Bracha called this Revealing and Sharing – she doesn’t call what she needs to do marketing – she calls it revealing and sharing because that is what she is doing with what she brought into this world – she is sharing with everyone. Everyone has something to bring forth in this world and knowing this about yourself and being ready to share, this is the mindset that brings forth success and a fulfilled life.
Ask yourself, what is inside of me? What am I wanting to bring forth into this world? And then pick the ways that are most joyful to you to promote it. As Bracha points out – when your soul shines, it gets other souls around you shining and seeing other souls shine helps you shine even brighter – this is the cycle we should all be striving towards.
I loved Bracha’s whole mindset on life – you can feel her energy and vibrancy through her voice – she knows she has many wonderful adventures ahead of her and she has an excitement about life, ready for the new things that will be coming her way. This. This is what they call youthful exuberance, but this feeling is not reserved only for the youth! Exuberance of spirit is what we should all be aiming for – a zest and desire to keep doing new things and experiencing the amazing gifts that life has to offer – at all ages and stages.
Bracha sharing how she overcame her food addiction was so incredibly powerful. What she learned to help heal herself is something we all need to be paying attention to. The five level of the human soul and the five levels of pleasure in life – the secret that by nourishing the human soul with these five levels of pleasure, we can heal ourselves of our addictions – of which, let’s be honest, there are many.
This entire explanation by Bracha made my soul sing. I want to make this information into a poster and put it in my kid’s bedrooms and on my office wall. I LOVE this. We are covering it one more time, it’s too important not to be repeated.
We can get unstuck from addictions by realizing there is no scarcity of pleasure in life, there is actually an abundance of which we can bring into our lives at any time. We can bring ourselves any pleasure that is available in the natural world. When facing your need for addiction, ask yourself – is it my body that is hungry for this food/substance/item or is it my soul? When you turn to your addiction, what you are really trying to do is fill your soul. The only thing that will finally fill you is to bring more joy into your life.
At the lowest level, there are physical pleasures. Connecting with an object. You can turn on music, start dancing, feel movement in the body, do your favorite physical activity, go outside, feel the sunshine on your face, feel the breeze, be with nature – move and connect with a different kind of joy until you feel the need dissipate.
At the second level, there is love. Connecting with another being. Bracha reminds us, that love does not depend on other people. You can bring love into your life by simple thinking of another person you appreciate – you can bring love into your heart at any moment but feeling gratitude for any other human being.
At the third level there is Meaning, doing something meaningful. Connecting with the world. Reaching out to someone or some group to bring meaning or goodness, bringing pleasure into other people’s lives in some way.
At the fourth level, there is Creativity. Connecting to adding something new to the world. When you are creative you find yourself in that pleasurable zone and don’t feel that addiction need.
Finally, at the fifth level, there is transcendence – Understanding how we are all connected with each other – a feeling of awe and bliss – the glimpses we get into that sense of awesomeness, that amazing and total connectedness in the universe, is what sustains and helps bring everlasting pleasure. It’s a knowing that once seen, cannot be shaken.
Now that you’re aware of the abundance of pleasures and the hierarchy of the pleasure ladder, if you ever feel stuck, you can use these tools to make your life more fluid. Bracha shared that learning the purpose of life is to experience the greatest pleasure possible and that the way to experience the greatest pleasure possible is to nourish the soul, changed her life completely. Now yours can to. Next time you have that urge, bring awareness to it and realize, oh, you want to experience pleasure, okay, let’s do something else that’s pleasurable.
It’s time to free ourselves from the ties that bind. This sounds like the absolute best way I’ve ever heard to do it.
Bracha shared that because of her understanding of this purpose of life, that we are to experience the greatest pleasure possible, that she doesn’t spend much time being miserable. She spends her time focused on gratitude and appreciation. Anytime feelings are negative, it is possible to change them by feeling gratitude in that moment and by doing so, you will experience pleasure. It’s in our control, at any moment we can focus our minds on what we have to appreciate. Life is a gift. Every breath is a gift.
I’m going to leave you with Bracha’s final parting thought. She said, while our bodies may age, our souls are timeless – they are as vital now as they were when you were born. If you are alive, your mission is not complete. There is a reason you are here. If your soul has filled dulled, it’s time to light that fire for your soul is waiting for you, vital as ever. Wishing everyone a blessed and more pleasure filled life than they have ever experience before.
Until next time