Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Mindfulness Coach Ora Nadrich portrait
How trauma led her to ask a simple question, one that changed her life forever.
By Arlene Michlin Bronstein for The National Business Post
Ora Nadrich, the Founder and President of The Institute for Transformational Thinking, has spent much of her professional life teaching Mindfulness.
She describes Mindfulness as “living in the present moment with total awareness.” Upon meeting her, she is a woman who has a warm, welcoming and peaceful demeanor. One might describe her as having an “old soul” that conveys the wisdom of the ages in a modern world. Ora’s outward calm has been an asset and has helped build a successful practice as a “thought coach” authoring two books: “Says Who: How One simple Question Can Change the Way You Think Forever,” and Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity. Today, Ora’s unique concept of “thought counseling” has helped her expand the practice of “life coaching.”
“Our minds can be re-set to create personal transformation and healing,” says Ora. “Unfortunately, it was my own personal trauma and painful experience that led me to understand the concept of Mindfulness, and that is why I feel so passionate about helping others not suffer for as long as I did before…I discovered the tools that helped me so profoundly.”
Early on in her life, Ora felt that she had the innate ability to be inspirational, intuitive and compassionate. But these attributes were severely tested when she was a teenager.
“I was the youngest of 4 children. When I was not quite 15 years old, I had an older sister, Esther, who I just idolized. She had a nervous breakdown when she was about to turn 20 and it was devastating. It was so shocking to me that my adored older sister could suddenly be in such a state of deep crisis. Watching this happen to her and the effects it had on my family caused me to experience a severe state of anxiety and fear.”
After a long struggle with mental illness, her sister passed away, and it was the second loss of a sibling after Ora’s brother passed away several years prior. Ora interred these life-changing events deep within her soul, but began feeling what she calls in her book, Says Who? the “symptoms or side effects of thoughts that are buried and not properly tended to.” It was the thought: “Oh my God, what happened to my sister could happen to me” that she buried in her subconscious, and unbeknownst to Ora, it became the direct cause of her anxiety.
The anxiety worsened over time, so much so, that when Ora became an actress, and her career was starting to take off, her anxiety impeded it to the point that she knew she needed help to continue on. She embarked on a two-decade psycho-spiritual journey, which was life changing, and fortunately discovered Jungian Analysis, which is based on the theories of Carl Jung, who established the field of analytical psychology. It required her to confront her fears, and explore what Jung called the “shadow”, which is “the unconscious parts of ourselves that we bury very deeply.”
Ora discussed how this tragedy led her on the path of deep self-discovery, and realized through her analysis that “if we don’t do our own shadow work, we begin to project this darkness onto others,” which she believes “is the greatest obstacle facing humanity today, with an alarming increase in hate and prejudice.”
As Carl Jung stated: “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams: who looks inside, awakens.” Ora followed, and considers the inner work she did over the years on her extensive psycho-spiritual journey a gift, as painful as it was. She began to reassess and acknowledge the extent to which her own family’s tragedy had on her life, and on her psyche. “I had to come out of the shadows of this tragedy and into the light,” she says, “and now this is the bases of my work: transformation.”
Ora says that it was through her studies of Jungian Analysis and other cognitive therapies, along with the study of Kabbalah, the esoteric interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures, that she was then able to awaken to a new sense of purpose—a brighter, new positive way of living.
“Not working through our pain, wounds, or trauma is what keeps us stuck in deep despair and suffering”, Ora says. “And trauma doesn’t have to occur in extreme situations like combat or a military environment. Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder (PTSD) could come from physical or mental abuse, addiction, witnessing a murder, hiding a sexual identity, or watching a loved one suffer or die. People suffer tremendously from distressing or disturbing experiences, and if it not dealt with properly, healing or transformation cannot take place, which is why I feel my work can help those that are ready to begin the healing process to ameliorate their suffering.”
Ora asks each of her clients to take the first courageous step, as she once did, to face their pain, and be truthful, rather than hiding traumatic life experiences, which only causes more despair and suffering.
Ora—who considers herself a “seeker of truth”—went on to study Buddhism, which resonated with her leanings towards Mindfulness, and began incorporating meditation and Mindfulness into her life and work. She is very happy to see that Mindfulness has seeped into the mainstream, and recently taught it at New Roads School in Los Angeles. She has also written several articles on Mindfulness in the workplace, and stresses how important it is to integrate it in the work environment—especially after the World Health Organization has just declared “workplace burnout” a disease.
Ora’s organization, The Institute for Transformational Thinking (IFTT) consults with businesses so that Mindfulness can be implemented in the workplace. “Mindfulness,” Ora says, “is a game changer, and anyone who is practicing it, or valuing it in the workplace, is ahead of the curve.” Today, Ora’s own Mindfulness practice continues to fuel her work, and all that she does. She radiates happiness, goodness of spirit, and a compassionate heart.
After being a life coach over 10 years, and teaching the “Says Who? Method” to thousands of people, Ora came up with a new niche of coaching and developed an on-line Thought Coach Certification Program, which has over 60 graduates from all over the world.
She is a valued contributor to top magazines including the Huffington Post, Psychology Today and NBC News. She also contributes daily affirmations, as well as mindfulness tips and tools, on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. With all these contributions, she encourages her readers and followers to be unafraid to explore their deepest fears, so that they can find out “who they really are,” and in turn—“Live True”—as her new book is titled.
Who says you can’t find a way to transform your thoughts? Ora Nadrich teaches you to LIVE TRUE! Then when the storm clouds gather, and the darkness creeps in, you will know how to pull out the umbrella of your Authentic Self and enjoy dancing in the rain.
Copyright © 2019. The National Business Post. All rights reserved.
Arlene Michlin Bronstein is a writer and the author of several books: Beautiful Buffets, Beautiful Buffets II, Carlos: Contemporary French Cuisine and My Word is my Bond: Voice’s Inside the Chicago Board of Trade. She was the executive producer of My Word Is My Bond, a PBS special based on her book. Her most recent book, How did Nonnie Get to Heaven? is a children’s book about loss. She is fascinated by the life-events that make each human being a unique storyteller. Arlene lives in Scottsdale Arizona.