The room went quiet; the atmosphere became intimidating. 20 Chabad Shluchim sat anxiously, waiting. Their eyes, blindfolded. Stressed and unable to see, the rabbis struggled to follow the given instructions. Their minds occupied with one question: what will happen next?
Seconds later, their fears became reality. Suddenly, the room filled with terrible screams, resulting in a dramatic increase of anticipation and stress. Next, they were surprised by repeated splashes of cold water.
A loud metallic boom sounded from the center of the room. A few seconds of quiet followed. Then, a whistle blew repeatedly, disabling the Schluchim’s ability to think clearly.
The room went quiet for a moment. Stress level increased further as, unexpectedly, the Shluchim were pushed aggressively and almost fell off their chairs. “What will happen next; when will this torture stop? Why am I unable to think clearly, focus, and follow the instructions?”
The above was not taken from a suspense movie or a horror book. Earlier this month, Shluchim from all around Israel gathered for a special Mind in Control workshop.
Organized by Lubavitch Youth Organization in Israel, the workshop in Ashkelon gave shluchim the oportunity to practice a skilled method of controlling emotional responses to internal and external triggers. Some of these triggers are anger, fear, anxiety, and stress.
The instructor, Dr. Gill Heart, served for over 6 years in a Special Forces Commando unit in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). During his army training and service, he learned to maximize and successfully maintain his performance even under extremely stressful circumstances. Later, as a captain in this special unit, he trained and led other soldiers in special operations.
“Special operations require dealing with stressful circumstances,” Dr. Heart says about his specialty, “being physically fit helps, but falls short of being the solution. Ironically, it is all in your mind.”
Over the past decade and following a PhD in Bio-Medical Engineering, Dr. Heart successfully managed a series of High-Tech, entrepreneurial startup projects in the USA. In addition, he focused on a deep study of Torah and Chassidus.
Today, Dr. Heart combines his military expertise, academic education and business experience with his knowledge of Chassidus. The goal – to improve personal performance thus significantly impact and improve corporate bottom lines. This goal is achieved by teaching how to operate and excel under stressful circumstances using Mind In Control techniques.
The Mind In Control workshop is usually attended by individuals who hold top management positions in private and public companies in the USA. These corporate officers operate in a highly stressed environment and need result-oriented tools to improve and excel their performance under such challenging circumstances. Mind In Control provides immediate and powerful tools and techniques to significantly improve one’s performance under stress.
“All of us are exposed to some level of stress,” says Dr. Heart. “It can take place at work or at home, with friends or family, employer or employees. Stress is often related to finances, health or relationships. You do not have to find yourself in life-threatening situations during IDF’s special operations to learn and practice Mind In Control techniques. These can be practiced by anyone and in practically any situation.”
During the workshop, the Schluchim went through a series of mental, emotional and physical exercises. In one, a Schliach had to make his way through rows of human blockades while blindfolded, not allowing the commotion to discourage him from reaching his destination nor disrupt his thought process. In another, one Schliach stood in front of two others while focusing on a specific, pre-determined thought process. The two then engaged him in full conversation, while he attempted to remain focused on his thoughts yet communicate.
Participating Shluchim were excited during and following the workshop.
“In the past, I participated in many courses and workshops aimed at improving my performance,” said Rabbi Sharon Cohen. “Here, however, for the first time, I felt that the Mind in Control workshop accurately captured the work environment I am in and the stress I experience. It also taught me tangible and useful ways to deal with stress, operate under pressure, and improve my performance.”
Rabbi S. Grozman said: “Immediately following the workshop I decided to adopt and implement the technique I was taught. I operate in a stressful environment and usually am overstretched due to the number of daily tasks. Yet, I am required to perform and deliver on time high quality results. Implementation of the Mind In Control technique already brought change and impacted my work environment positively. I already discussed with Dr. Heart a possible Mind In Control workshop tailored to and suitable for my team’s needs.”
Participants also asked to thank Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lieberman, the Rebbe’s Shliach to Ashkelon, for the initiative.
Dr. Gill Heart offers Mind In Control seminars and workshops to businesses and organizations, across the US, Europe and Israel. For more information, please contact: [email protected]