A bit about Yifat before we begin
This week I met Yifat again after not having seen her for 13 years. Yifat has a special place in my heart because she was the one who hired me for my first real job in Israel, a student job student job of sorting incoming resumes at a high-tech company. She opened a door for me and gave me a chance when I was a very new immigrant who barely spoke Hebrew. She continued working in the field of HR until about two years ago when she left everything to devote time to herself and in the last period of time, to others. Yifat lives with her husband and daughter in Tel Aviv. You can find more info on her project on her Facebook Page and her Facebook Group.
Yifat, it is so good to see you. On the train coming here I was just thinking about how long it has been since we saw each other last. It really does not feel that long even though many things have happened since!
I have wanted to thank you for a long time. That you hired me for that job back then, that you gave me a chance even although I almost didn’t have any experience and barely spoke Hebrew. To this day, I really appreciate it!
It’s interesting, I was just thinking about this recently. I worked for many years in human resources and recruited a lot of people in all sorts of positions and had the opportunity to help them move on. I always chose to see the qualities that people have rather than the qualities they don’t! But it is very moving to hear you say that.
The last time I saw you was in 2004. What have you been doing since then?
After you left the company I continued to work there for a while. I was 26 years old. I went through a lot of changes during that period and suddenly I found myself thinking thought like “Who am I”, “what am I”? I quit my job, left everything and went for a 5 month trip New Zealand and Australia. Was an amazing trip, but I returned to my former position without any new revelations. After a short period of time I left the job again and went to work in a start-up company and then on to a company who managed projects mainly in the developing countries. The position was very interesting and challenging, I was in HR and managed a large team. I met some amazing people, very diverse. Everything was great but physically I did not feel well.
I have been suffering from headaches since I was very young and it has just gotten worse with time. About four years ago it got so bad that I had to take painkillers on a daily basis. It got harder and harder to handle and made everything difficult. It affected me in every aspect of my life. I started thinking to myself if this is how I am going to spend the rest of my life?
Eighteen months ago, I went to Congo with work to visit some of our employees there. It was an amazing trip but towards the end I was involved in a car accident, a very traumatic experience. I got a blow to my neck and head which caused the headaches to worsen.
We returned to Israel and I went back to work but the pain was just getting worse. One day in the middle of an interview with a potential candidate I felt like I was going through a kind of stroke, and I knew I couldn’t continue like this and that had no choice but to resign. I was very sad but there was no doubt involved because I just couldn’t anymore. I decided that I have to change and have to start to take care of myself. I left my job and started a long series of tests and treatments: CT, MRI, psychologist, therapist, reflexology, neurology, homeopathy, physiotherapy, acupuncture, injections. Nothing really helped.
The whole situation affected me a lot mentally. Apart from the pain and suffering I was very absorbed in my own situation, in the illness itself. I had a hard time with all relations and began to distance myself from others. I complained and criticized a lot. I was suffering a lot and felt very lonely. I didn’t feel connected to anything. My family really felt it, my husband and my daughter especially, but also my parents. It is really sad for me to think about it now. Today I understand that he (my husband) apparently loves me very much and so does my family!
Last year, sometime between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, almost a year after I had stopped working, I lay on the couch one afternoon. I was alone at home. I thought to myself: “How did I get into this situation?”. I studied psychology, did so many things, I am a smart woman, friendly and loves people. How did I get to this stage? While I was thinking all this it was suddenly as if I had woken up from a dream, although I don’t think I fell asleep at all. It was as everything that happened up until that moment had been just a dream and it was just now that my life began. It was a crazy feeling, powerful but calm, harmonic and happy. I felt as if I woke up with a whole new kind of self-awareness. Something changed in me in that same moment. All of a sudden I had the energy and will to give to others, I could even judge myself and my own behavior.
Everyone around me felt and saw the change, something opened up inside me. The biggest change I saw in my daughter, she just blossomed! It was a real change at home, an amazing feeling!
I decided that I had to find out what happened, because what happened to me was something extreme that changed me in a moment. It was a like a rescue float.
And the pain?
Even the pain started to disappear but I knew that they would eventually totally disappear and that I would know how to balance myself. I stopped all treatments as well as the painkillers….
What did you do then?
I started to read, learn, explore, to ask questions. First of all, I realized that it is possible to do it differently….
I realized that the change comes from within, from taking responsibility. I understood and felt how I as well as my behavior affect my surroundings and environment and not only the people who are closest to me, that the behavior of each and one of us affects those around us. I understood how we are all a part of the nature, the elements, and that we are all small pieces that are part of the bigger picture. I realized that my old attitude of “everyone owes me”, “everyone should understand me”, wasn’t useful for me or my surroundings. The changes were huge, especially regarding my relationships with others. I felt that in a short period of time I managed to create surroundings that where good for me. I saw how I could create a good and healthy reality for myself.
Suddenly I noticed that I was also being influenced by all the things happening around me – the media, commercials and even the things I ate, my nutrition. I am more aware of all these things now, also when it comes to my daughter. We should be more alert and aware of these influences.
I noticed how important interpersonal relationships are and how we could improve everything by fixing and making them better. Today we have so much, abundance, everything is available to us but there is a lack of communication between us. We are used to everything, think that we deserve everything and we are very focused on our own needs and wants instead of those around us. We must learn to let go of the ego.
I believe that an improvement of interpersonal relationships can be a solution for all problems. It can help us achieve a world that is united and perfect. That the world can be harmonious and full of love.
What insights did you gain?
All of a sudden it all connected, everything I did up until now and everything I learned, I can use that today. I realized that what I want to do is to help others! That is my vision.
I started researching the human being, our habits, our influences, the environment, our social relationships and what motivates us. If we focus on these things, I believe that change is possible.
It sounds really grand, I know, but I do believe that if our surroundings are supportive and are encouraging good values and a behavior of giving as well as helping and loving our next and that if also the media, TV and internet, encourage such values then the impact will be even greater and it will be easier for man to change.
And that is the ideas behind the videos you have been posting on social media?
I started a group on Facebook where I upload videos. In these videos I talk about myself, about my experiences because that is the way I believe that my message will be the truest it can be and will have the potential to help the most. When I share my experience, I show that I was in a place like that, but now I know I can do things differently.
Additionally, I have also set up a Facebook page where I post of science-based content, methods of connection, psychology, and other studies related to awareness and relationships between people in an integral world.
Any other thoughts?
Today there is too big of an emphasis on consumerism and an who has more, and people behave accordingly. A lot of people are not happy with the situation they are in but if you ask them they really want, they don’t know precisely. They are so strongly a part of the race that they don’t even have a moment to stop and check. Many say “money”, but how much? We have to set a goal and a target. Otherwise we don’t know how to achieve what we want and will never feel satisfied.
I believe in the goal, that it is important and can evoke change. I want to help others and show them that their reality can be different.
I have always seen you as a very diligent, very professional, and a very hardworking woman. For someone who has always earned her own money and have been moving forward professionally always, how does it feel now that you left all that behind and suddenly even don’t have a guaranteed income anymore?
First of all, I spend much less than I did before. My spending habits have changed because I realized that that is no longer as important to me. Apart from that, there is something inside me that tells me that know that it will be okay. It’s not that I do not need money, but I believe that if you do something you love, that you have passion and purpose, you will give to others, from the heart, you will always get something in return.
I believe in what I am doing, that it is important and has a purpose. I want to help others and let them know that things can be different.
Yifat, thank you very much! It was very interesting to hear what you have experienced and what you’ve learned and I wish you lots of luck with everything. I’m sure you will succeed in everything you do. It will be interesting to see where it all leads you and I hope it will not take another 13 years to see you again 🙂