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Penny Cohen, LCSW

Years ago, before becoming a spiritually oriented psychotherapist I took a workshop on relationships.  An exercise we did was to pair off with someone we didn’t know and share a secret.  The woman I partnered with said, “I’ve been ill and I have a belief that the ultimate healing is death.  I think subconsciously because I have this belief I’m not taking good enough care of myself and in some way I’m even killing myself.”


Automatically out of my mouth came, “Is there any way you can consider healing into life?”  I didn’t see her again until the close of the workshop when she came over to me to thank me for a new way of thinking about healing and a healthier life.


Over the years I thought about my own remark, “Healing into life.”  What did I really mean by that?  And what is it that we want to heal?


Many years thereafter having studied esoteric philosophy, Buddhism, Shamanism. Kabbalah and writing a book, Personal Kabbalah:  32 Paths To Inner Peace And Life Purpose, I’ve come to believe that healing into life is healing into our own life force; our higher Self; our soul. It’s the part of ourselves that allows us to feel vital, whole, confident, and secure. It’s the innate loving, creative part of ourselves.  And furthermore, all sickness is home sickness.  We want to return home to our True Self.


In Kabbalah it is taught that the highest part of our soul, the “Yechida,” is out of body within oneness and source; our life force.  It is the innate all knowing, all loving, all powerful, abundant part of ourselves; our Higher True Self, the essence of who we are.  Along with that there’s an inner self; the spark of divinity within the body seeking to open to and receive more of our True Self.  When we’re not connected to this greater part of ourselves we feel alone, lonely, discontent, out of balance and eventually become physically ill. 


Whenever there are negative thought forms, repressed feelings and dysfunctional acting out behaviors we close off from our Higher True Self (soul).  In Shamanism it is taught that a part of the soul leaves the body to avoid the pain.  In psychology this is called disassociation.  Furthermore, when the soul leaves the body it makes room for spiritual intrusions or uninvited guests.  We feel out of sorts – or out of source – out of spirit.  The void is often filled with addictive behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, shopping, gambling, etc.  Or it can also be filled by internal disturbances of anger, depression, compulsions, fear, guilt and even physical manifestations of tumors, cancers and other uninvited physical ailments.  For healing, our goal is to fill the void with our Higher Self, our Soul, our life force.  It’s allowing this life force back in.


Kabbalists formulated a blueprint of creation called the Tree Of Life.  This is a map of creation delineating the forces of nature as well as our own personal relationship with these forces and the journey of our souls.  From a personal perspective it shows the steps to healing the parts of ourselves which may have disconnected from our life force.  It offers ways and means to reconnect through meditation and prayer.  Integrating psychology into the equation gives us not only internal tools but helps us see the obstacles to living these attributes and the practical steps to healing ourselves and our lives, curing our afflictions and even going beyond to Self Realization and Self Actualization.  Below is a chart with the ten Divine attributes, the obstacles to living them and the steps of repair.




Divine Attributes

Obstacles To Healing

   Steps To Repair




1.  Inner Peace & Hope       

        Obstacle:  Poor Self Care               

             Healing Step:  Choose Life and Self Care                 

                     To feel peaceful and hopeful take care of yourself physically with

                     good nutrition and exercies.  To reach inside and experience your

                     essence, meditate.  


2.  Self Love And Self Trust    

         Obstacle:  Poor Self Esteem And Self Image               

              Healing Step:  Become Self-ish                        

                    To feel good about yourself, and develop a strong inner

                    foundation, acknowledge and believe in your Higher Self, commit

                    to becoming the best Self (aka soul) you can be and make healthy

                    and righteous choices.


3.  Gratefulness       

        Obstacle:  Negative Thoughts and Self-defeating Beliefs               

               Healing Step:  Change your attitude to gratitude.                 

                    To feel grateful from the inside out you need to understand cause

                    and effect – that what goes on inside in thoughts and beliefs

                    transmits out and comes back.  It shows that we each are the

                    cause based on our thoughts and we receive lessons on what

                    thoughts and beliefs we need to transform for our souls to evolve.

                    Acknowledging the lesson gives an inner sense of gratitude.  It

                    also helps to keep a gratitude journal.


4.  Faith       

        Obstacle:  Repressed Feelings           

                Healing Step:  Let go And Let Love                 

                    When you hold onto emotions it feels like you’re in control when

                    in fact your emotions are controlling you.  To experience faith from

                    the inside out, master your emotions by identifying and releasing

                    them, opening to love, asking for the highest and best good, and

                    letting the universe take care of the rest. 


5.  Beauty and Truth       

        Obstacle:  We See Things Not As They Are But As We Are               

                Healing Step:  God is in the details

                    When we observe detailed facts rather than seeing things

                    through perceptions, assumptions, beliefs or expectations

                    we get to the essence and beauty of what is.


  1. 6. Justice and Empowerment      

        Obstacle:  Giving Into Harmful Inclinations:  Judgments, Criticisms,


                Healing Step:  Self-Discipline              

                    Judge not others, but yourself.  What you judge in others is

                    something you’re judging in yourself. Justice emerges when you

                    uncover the unresolved issues within yourself and experience

                    acceptance. Empowerment emerges with the willingness to say

                    what you mean without being mean which comes from disciplined

                    “right” speech. 


7.  Grace       

        Obstacle:  Being Unkind And Unmerciful              

                Healing Step:  Heartfelt Forgiveness, Unconditional Love And


                    Grace comes with forgiveness. Forgiveness is for-giving up

                    the forbidding  parts of yourself and for-giving love. When you

                    forgive from the heart, not just the head, there’s a feeling of

                    unconditional love and spontaneous actions of loving-kindness.


8.  Vision/Understanding (understanding your role in the universe)       

        Obstacle:  Wandering Aimlessly:  Having No Vision, Direction, Focus        

                Healing Step: Follow your bliss              

                    Vision comes when you determine what you love to do and start

                    doing it. If you don’t know what that is ponder what you think

                    people need that you can offer, learn it for yourself and offer it.


9.  Wisdom       

        Obstacle:  Self-sabotage: Feeling Unworthy Of Your Own Greatness

                Healing Step:  Feel entitled to have it all             

                    For wisdom to emerge allow yourself to receive the goodness in

                    the universe.  Your role is to reach your highest potential and live

                    life to the fullest.  Since you and everyone else are in the image of

                    the divine, then like divinity, you have the ability to live your

                    highest potential and reap the rewards of abundance.


  1. 10.Oneness and Will (Presence)       

        Obstacle: Regretting The Past, Worrying About The Future.

                Healing Step: Be humble, live in the present, dare to dream

                    Being humble comes with surrendering your compulsions to the

                    Divine.  Living in the present means accepting what is and what

                    you have right now and being open to excellence – your own

                    excellence.  When you live in the present you experience the

                    presence of the Divine and oneness.  When you set an intention,

                    you co-create with the divine and anything is possible.  Dare to

                    dream and set the intention to manifest it with love.                 




           Live these ten principles and see what transpires.



Staying In Touch And In Love,


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