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The Guided Life


Penny Cohen, LCSW

What does it mean to have a guided life? It means to feel supported, guided and blessed internally. That happens when we do Divine work. Divine work is the work of love: It’s being open to receiving love, loving yourself, loving others, loving work, loving life and loving God. I think of the word GOD as an acronym for the guiding organizing design of life. So loving God is loving life and life’s design.

I believe there is a system and a plan. How could one not? I recently returned from a safari vacation in the Serengetti. Watching the behavior, pecking order and survival of the fittest of the animals, and the migration based on weather and movement of the stars and planets was startling. In migration, the zebras led the wilderbeasts. We were told that zebras have better memories – and could remember where the water holes were. Yet, the wilderbeasts have better sensory perception and can detect danger more readily. It was fascinating how they worked in unison with the zebras leading the wilderbeasts. And then watching the vulchers and sometimes one not so patiently waiting its turn while a jackel was eating a dead gazelle karkas, and then from across the road a sprinting heina barged through the vulchers, scaring away the jackal, picking up the karkas and running away with it. It was nature at its best system.

So knowing there is a system and a plan and we’re in this system, then there is a plan for our lives. How do we find out what it is? We are guided by the sensations, instincts, intuitions, images, thoughts, and feelings in our brains and bodies as well as the way people treat us and who or what we attract to us. We are born with certain compulsions towards acting a certain way. Our role and goal in life is to transform these compulsions to love. As stated in the bible, when God told Abraham “Lech Lecha,” Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you, we come in with certain compulsions based on the DNA – the land of the fathers. When we free ourselves of these compulsions, we are more open, more loving, more real, and truer to ourselves. When we are in a state of love and follow our intuition we feel supported guided and blessed.

How do we know when we’re not in a state of love? It’s when we’re not in a state of equanimity. Adapted from my book, Personal Kabbalah, there are signals and signs:


Paying attention to the body:
*  Stomach discomfort
*  Heart pounding
*  Anxiety
*  Losing temper

Feeling either superior or inferior to others
*  Judging
*  Criticizing
*  Holding grudges
*  Wanting revenge
*  Blaming others
*  Building cases against people
*  Feeling insecure
*  Not speaking up to others
*  Withdrawing from confrontations

Making demands of others:
*  Telling people what to do
*  Getting the last word in

Watching other peoples’ responses:
*  Other people attacking
*  Other people becoming defensive about their behavior
*  Other people withdrawing from the conversation

Being unforgiving
*  Holding onto anger
*  Carrying resentment
*  Maintaining animosity

Being unproductive or uncreative
*  Feeling lethargic
*  Having no direction or focus
*  Finding no meaning in life
*  Feeling depressed

Being too high
*  Feeling manic
*  Feeling overly excited
*  Blood vessels seemingly ready to burst


I invite you to pay attention to your brain and body, how the people in your life treat you, and what you have in your life now. If it’s not what you desire, then pay attention to the above signals and pray with the intention to free them.

Keeping in touch and in love,


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