Brach Goetz is just a cool lady! I had the opportunity to speak to her, about her 39 (soon to be 40) Children's Books that include real-life message in them. She also talked about her memoir: Searching for God in the Garbage, and how she identified what life she wanted--one where she was not searching for achievements, but alignment with her soul.
Bracha's Memoir & Amazon Link, Linkd In, Facebook
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In Good Health!
And welcome to in the rising podcast. My name is Bettina, and this is the platform I've chosen to talk about living a life that's in alignment with your hopes and your dreams and your goals , and walking away from the shame, the blame, the negativity that does nothing for you. I like to start off my podcast by saying, I am not a licensed counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist, but I am a healthcare professional and a life coach. And I really like to figure out what makes us tick and out of that, what can we use to really build the life we want? And I am in an interview season right now, and I have a fantastic guest. Her name is BRACA Goetz , and she is an author of 39 children's books and going strong and publishing and moving on. And I am really excited for you to hear how she went from medical school into authorship. So thank you BRACA for your time today. It is such a pleasure and honor to speak with you.Speaker 3:
My pleasure. Thank you.Speaker 2:
So your bio says that you're not the typical Harvard grad, but you're the author of 39 books that help children grow spiritually. But I wanted to go back to the beginning. What did you even graduate in?Speaker 3:
Um , psychology and social relations. And I was pre-medSpeaker 2:
And I thought, I read that you had gone through a year of medical school.Speaker 3:
You got it right. That's right.Speaker 2:
And so that's, that's the interesting, I mean, all of it's interesting, but you, you really made a shift.Speaker 4:
Yes. Huge. Tell,Speaker 2:
Tell us a little bit more about that shift because that itself is, is a huge thing because a lot of people feel stuck in their pathway with expectations. And so I wanted to go to other things, but this was especially important.Speaker 3:
Yes. I looked like I was very successful and that I was on the road to success, but I didn't feel that way inside, inside I was starving spiritually. And that was becoming increasingly clear through my body. In other words, what was happening was I got, I would say disordered eating food addictions. Like I would fluctuate between anorexic behavior and binge-eating so I didn't really look one thing or the other, but I was doing all kinds of abnormals , bizarre behaviors, and nobody could tell from the outside how, how miserable and how, how lost I felt within. Yeah.Speaker 2:
And I liked that you said this sentence, I looked successful on the outside. Yeah. But that does not mean we feel that way. Right. Disconnect is huge.Speaker 3:
And we never know what's going on inside of anyone. Yeah.Speaker 2:
And you , you went and you became more interested in traditional Judaism, right?Speaker 3:
Yeah. I learned about my heritage, which I really hadn't been educated in any type of deep way about that. So I , I, I, I discovered what had been thrown away basicallySpeaker 2:
When you felt that connection with your heritage, what changed inside of you?Speaker 3:
What , what changed is that? I got the nourishment that my soul was craving. I, I didn't even understand I was studying to be a psychiatrist, but I felt like, I don't know why life is worth living well , how could I help other people? When I, myself don't know what's the purpose of life I kept searching for that for years and at , but by that point, for instance, one of the reasons I went to Harvard, one of the main reasons is that I was searching for wisdom. I wanted to go where I thought was the best wisdom possible, but it didn't fill my soul in the way that I had wanted even reaching the top of where I thought everything was it wasn't there.Speaker 2:
And that is so , um, common.Speaker 3:
Yeah. And many times people don't get to do that. So I consider that a huge blessing. Many times people keep striving to get somewhere and they don't get there and they keep thinking that's where it is, but it isn't. So I, I feel very blessed that as a young adult, I was able to get there , reach this mountain top and find out there's nothing special up there.Speaker 2:
I think a lot of us need to learn that there's not a whole lot of special on that mountain, top . Yeah , exactly. And when you use that feed your soul, like that's, there is a difference between going to work and really doing something that you feel feeds you, even though it may be work, but it feeds your soul. Now you are an author and you've written a memoir as well. How do, how do these feed your soul?Speaker 3:
Yeah . Great question. I call it the books that I write for children. They're all books that help children's souls to shine. I, I try to write the books that I wished I had as a child books that explain spiritual concepts, really deep concepts in a clear and joyful way for very young children. Like one example I'll give is the invisible book. We, we understand that there's invisible gravity. There's invisible time. There's invisible feelings and thoughts. We accept all of that. And even the wind, we , we accept it because we see the powerful effects that these things have in our life. So when people say, you know, I can't believe in God. I can't believe I was so, cause I can't see my soul , but we believe in all these other invisible things. So give it a chance. There is so much invisible things going on in our lives. And , and the more we can recognize that we're invisible, invisible, spiritual beings, that's who we really are. In essence.Speaker 2:
I like the way you frame that. And with the spirituality, you also married a rabbi.Speaker 3:
Yes. He, he became a rabbi while we were married. Yeah. And, and he was a person like me. What's amazing is that we were both born in the same town, a few blocks away from each other. We never met until we met in Jerusalem. And, and by then we had both gone on a similar path in life. He was also searching for his heritage and found it. And I found mine, mine, and we both met in Jerusalem.Speaker 2:
Yeah. That is a beautiful story. Yeah. That is a beautiful story. And you yourself have children as well. How many do you have?Speaker 3:
Yes, we , we have six amazing children and they're all, they're all parents now have amazing children too . Thank God. Yeah. SoSpeaker 2:
With your, when you were reading to your children, were you thinking at some point that there might be a spark where you're an author of books for children?Speaker 3:
Yeah. Well, I was writing the books. I, I began writing when my children were little. I was, I was sitting in the playground in Israel and while they were playing, I brought a notebook and I, I wrote a story. I didn't even type it. I put it in the loose-leaf paper, in an, in a envelope. I mailed it to America and a publisher. A few weeks later I heard back that they accepted the book. So then I knew I could write children's books. So I kept going. Yeah .Speaker 2:
Yeah . I think that's amazing. I only have one child and I, you know, it is hard to do anything and to think that you've had several and that , you know, you are , but you're , you're still taking this time to follow something that is , um, that you're still feeds your soul at that time. Like, you don't put things on hold you didn't.Speaker 3:
Yeah. Well, I'm going to tell you, I think in some ways it's harder to have one child than six. They, they, they interact so much, like they're a group, you know what ISpeaker 2:
Mean? Like, yeah.Speaker 3:
It's , it's, it's it changes the dynamics change when there's a bunch. Yes.Speaker 2:
I'll take your word for it. I believe you. I believe you. And so you, I mean, you, you were on fire. I mean, I barely can get the words out to publish. Is it 38 now? Or is it 39Speaker 3:
And God willing in a few weeks, it'll be 40. Yeah. And, and the most amazing thing has happened. My youngest son and his wife, this newest book that I just wrote, they said, please don't send it to a publisher. We want to become a publishing company. Now we're w we want to publish your books from here on end . So they're , they're taking over this new book is coming out from their new publishing company.Speaker 2:
Oh . So this is wonderful. So you keep it in the family.Speaker 3:
It's going to be God-willing that's what's happening. Yeah.Speaker 2:
Wow. And so I also wanted to talk about one specific book where the title is God in the garbage, oh.Speaker 3:
Searching for God in the garbage, right , right. StartSpeaker 2:
With just the title. That's,Speaker 3:
That's the only book that I wrote for adults. It's a memoir and all my books, all my other books are picture books. So they're very short. I like to write very short things, get to the point. So this book I say, I didn't actually write it. It's a compilation. I put it together. Excerpts from my diaries, my journals, my letters through the years, it covers 20 years from age 12 to 32. And it's, and you see in the book, the pro it's a documentary. That's what I call this memoir, it's you? Because it's actual data that I collected. And I filled in some blanks that weren't there, but it's, you could see the process to me, it's like a case study. You see the process of me gradually developing , um , the food addictions or the disordered eating, whatever you want to call it. And then the healing process. That's what the book is. So , um, and it was the experience of writing. It was therapeutic because when I discovered my all diaries, that's when I saw the thread that was going through my life. And I began to understand why, when I finally got the spiritual nourishment that I was craving, why did my food addictions heal at that time? That's what comes out in the book because, and that's what I'm enjoying sharing now, because I think it's a very important message to the world that addictions are so widespread. And it has to do with the fact that our souls are starving for nourishment. So sir , the title searching for God in the garbage it's, it's both metaphoric and literal because I, I was actually searching through the garbage for, for God. That's what I discovered in the end of the book. I was actually searching through garbage pails, but , um, but it's also metaphoric. That's what I was doing in my life. I was searching for what was thrown away from my heritage. And , um, I finally found it and I searched through all kinds of things. I mean, I tried all types of things to find what I was missing. Cause I didn't know what was missing. I just knew something was missing something important from my lifeSpeaker 2:
With that. There is a great deal of vulnerability to put excerpts from your own diary.Speaker 3:
Yes. Great point. It was extremely embarrassing to first come out with this book. It was embarrassing for the people I knew to read it. Like it wasn't embarrassing for people. I didn't know, reading it. Um, that was wonderful. But in the beginning, just when the book came out, the people I knew were reading it and all the people in my neighborhood all over. And that was difficult for me. I was putting myself that they didn't know me like that. They didn't know my dark past, you know what I mean? And the book is extremely candid, very raw. I like there's binge episodes , bingeing episodes in there, which I've never seen. So graphic any place , you know, I just really explain what it's like to , um, to be experiencing that. And people were shocked and it was embarrassing. And I, I felt it was worth, it , it, this book is to help people. That's my purpose in life. And , and when you expose , uh , there's, I forgot who said this, but you as sick as your, as your darkest secrets, you know? So like now that my secrets are all out, that's great. You know, there's nothing I'm hiding and it's , uh , it began to feel extremely wonderful after the embarrassment went away, it felt like, wow, what a cleansing, everything is out in the open. It is. It's just so freeing. Yeah.Speaker 2:
So when you're describing, you're describing you're bingeing moments and then anorexic and , and how, how wounded basically you were on the inside. Did you feel that? And I know that from your description that, you know, getting your soul in order with alignment and purpose helped the addiction, but did you feel this was just from a soul perspective, your , your , your trauma with the food addiction, or did you feel compelled to be a certain size because of the fashion magazines or people, women in the neighborhood ?Speaker 3:
Definitely the fashion magazines had an in fact, I put that in the book, the confusion, I mean, I, I wrote about how, and this is , this came from my diaries on one page, these magazines, I'm reading about how you should diet diet, diet. And the next page is recipes for strawberry shortcake and things like that. I'm like such a confusion. What am I supposed to be doing? Which one is me? You know, it's like, and all the messages in my life was so confusing. I was being, being encouraged to become a professional. And I was very involved with feminism and doing, doing groundbreaking things in that area. In fact, and I wrote , um, a chapter in a book, a women look at biology, looking at women, which is still used in women's studies courses around the country. And I did great some breakthrough research in the field of why are women becoming anorexic? And, and meanwhile, I'm talking about this, I was giving talks, writing about it, intellectually understanding how diff you know, what, what, how difficult this was. And yet I couldn't get out of it myself. I was getting sicker and sicker. And just showing that intellectually is not an intellectual understanding is not enough. It didn't help. There was something going on. And until I got the spiritual nourishment I needed , I was, I was starving. It , it didn't help. So yes, I believe that there's a spiritual basis to addictions. And I believe that that's not recognized enough. So , um, there were definitely other factors, societal factors influencing , um, how I chose to express that I was starving and it came out in that form, but I believe it comes from , um, a spiritual hunger. Yes.Speaker 2:
And I think that's a very brave way of saying it because , um, you know, as a lot of people with research and I am a researcher, I'm I'm, I did a biochem degree and I love that to me, God was more present in science because they were like, just cannot exist without , um, uh , God. But also, you know, I felt for my own things that having a spiritual connection helped me find a purpose. Do you, do you feel that being a part of something of which whichever way we look at God, it helps us. We're always looking as we're a part of something. Do you feel that is as important?Speaker 3:
Absolutely. By the time I was ready to give up on life before I found this, and that sounds amazing. Harvard graduate medical student, ready to give up on life. And I came from very loving parents, too . I really had everything, everything, but the spiritual piece was missing. That was all that was missing. So I feel like it's kind of like a control and science when you give a person everything else. But that I felt like the control that's really all that was missing in my life. That's amazing that it just felt like such a lack. And I felt at that point, that life felt so random. It felt like a gray world. When I got the spirit to nourishment, the colors came back to nature, to everything. I could see the beauty again. And I was filled with cynicism, surrounded by cynical people. And I began to be began to the people I was with that were learning on the spiritual path. Along with me were idealistic people, kind, people wanting to grow and become better people. It was, it was what I really wanted, you know, and all of that enrich my life so much. And one of the things I think that changed my life tremendously, that that really filled my soul. Um, it has to do with , um , the rabbi that taught me was what is the purpose of life? He explained that it's to experience the greatest pleasure possible. That sounds hedonistic, but, but, but what are the greatest pleasures in life? The greatest pleasures are the spiritual pleasures. Those are the lasting pleasures. And , and, and, and he explained about something called the pleasure ladder. It has five rungs and the five rungs correspond to the five levels of the human soul. So as we increase our pleasure, we uplift our soul and , and the lowest level are all the physical pleasures that were designed to uplift our soul, which is like all the wonderful, nutritious, healthy, natural food, the beautiful music that being in nature, that our bodies can move exercise, dance. These are all physical pleasures that uplift not only our bodies, but they uplift our saw , and that's just the lowest rung. So if we go up, I'll just tell you briefly, it's the next level is love, which the definition of love here is appreciating, focusing on the virtues of another. That that's means it's empowering at each level, each level we can do these things. Even if we were in jail, we could reach these five levels of pleasure because they're completely within our reach and, and they all involve gratitude. So the first level is having gratitude for another object, something else, a natural thing in the , in the world that was created our joy. The second level is if you're having gratitude for another person, another being, or an even an animal too , I mean, love. And then the next level up is meaning doing something meaningful in the world, giving back with gratitude. And then the , the, the, the second highest level is creativity. When we put a part of ourselves into the world and the highest level like you were referring to is it's transcendence. It's there . It's when we, we , um, transcend our limitations and we see how we're all connected. We see that we're all connected to one source and we're all connected to each other. That's those are the five levels of pleasure. I'mSpeaker 2:
Glad you , you said them cause I was going to Google them. Right. Oh , I'm glad that you said them. And I think, you know, when you're talking about your, your spiritual nourishment of, of you overcoming this addiction that you've made, you made the , you made a courageous decision over and over again, to move to another country, which can be fearful , um, to do so many things in , you mentioned in every single one of them gratitude for being in this, this life to experience all of this, how has gratitude kind of, how have you shown that to your children and to your grandchildren? Yeah.Speaker 3:
Gratitude is, and it's all in my book , all about gratitude too . I can teach a very simple technique that I use to teach gratitude. First of all, being Jewish, eh , the word in Hebrew is you who D and the, and the essence of that word, the, the, the root of that word is Hoda , which means gratitude. So that's the essence of what it means to be a Judas , to be grateful. And , and throughout the day, we are making blessings all day before we eat, after we eat, even believe it or not, after going to the bathroom, we dank , we express gratitude that everything's working. Right. We don't take that for granted. And it's , it's a life of gratitude. And so with my children, I had this little technique that I did, which instilled gratitude from their earliest days. Even handing them a sippy cup, a crayon, a piece of paper, anything I wouldn't let go of it until they said, thank you. And I would hold it. They'd hold it. I'm holding it. We're both holding it. And I'm smiling. What's the magic word. I don't even say that. Cause they know. And then they remember, thank you. They learn to express gratitude for the littlest things in life and see them doing it with their children now, too.Speaker 2:
Yeah . Wow. So it's amazing how, what you've done, how generational and how that will create an impact and an impressionSpeaker 3:
I'm so grateful for that.Speaker 2:
Yeah , that is wonderful. I went , I'm going to ask you these last two questions. What, what would you now where you are with your successful books and now your , your children are going to be your publishers. What would you tell yourself if you had to go back when you were 15, 16 years old? What, what would you say as an encouragement to , to that BRACA ?Speaker 3:
Oh, I would say there really are instructions for living. There are an an and we think we were put here without any instructions, but it's not true. That really is ancient, mystical wisdom with clear direction for how to live the most joyful life. So I that's what I'm, that's what I'm doing with my life now, sharing that. Yeah.Speaker 2:
I think that's great. I think that is so great. And then the last question, because my podcast tiles in the rising, right? What, besides your books and all these gifts, the creativity, and that's transcending, like you , you're showing your five rungs of this ladder, how else, or what do you have up your sleeve to continue to produce to the world, to show them all the blessings that you've been given?Speaker 3:
Um, I just really want to keep doing what I'm doing. I love what I'm doing so much. I love giving presentations about this and the next book, the next book coming out is let's stay healthy coming out of the pandemic. We have learned to weave. First of all, it was a huge book push forward, spiritually. We've all learned not to take things for granted. And the other thing that we learned in a practical sense is how important it is to strengthen our immune systems. And, and if we can teach children how to do that early on, in a joyful way, this book, I explain how to do it. Like basic knowledge. Why are these things important? Why is it important to wash your hands? Why is it important not to eat junk food? Like what does it do to our bodies? If we do, I, I, I really want children to understand this as early as possible. Like I have another book has shims candy store, which actually explains about the wonders of the fruit and vegetables and how they were made with infinite intelligence. How, you know, when the fruit don't become, when they become ripe, that's when they become bright and beautiful. They're calling, we're re we're ripe the colors , quote that's from my book. And they're telling, and , and the I'm holding in my hand a little Tangerine. It, it, it has a appeal on it that keeps the juiciness in for months and, and from fruit. This is how we got the idea of manufacturers to make individual packaging. That's how it comes. We'd pick up an apple, a peach, an orange it's all individually packaged for our enjoyment and this stuff. This stuff is nutritious and delicious. Well , the food, the , the junk food is delicious. It's , it's manufactured to be delicious, but it's addictive. It's non nutritious . And so , um, these things made by source are filled with vitality and they fill us with vitality. Yeah.Speaker 2:
I love, I love, I love it. I have so enjoyed this interview with you. You have so much energy. You have a lot of vitality. I'm going to put all of this information together and gosh, bless , you know , bless you for everything you've done. And , uh , you are just an inspiration.Speaker 3:
Thank you, Bettina. You are wonderful. Thank you so much for resonating and you and your show giving me so much encouragement. Thank you so much. You're welcome. You have a great day. You too. Bye bye.Speaker 2:
This was really a phenomenal interview and so much of what she said, struck a chord , trying to achieve your way into happiness. And that for me was especially touching me because I have degrees and certifications. I literally have 20 letters after my name, but the real search for what we're , what we mean is inside. It's not outside. And that is what I wish all of you to find as well. So if you enjoyed this podcast, I encourage you to leave a five-star review. It does so much for the show to put it in the hands and the ears of those that it will benefit. And until next time let's keep building one another. [inaudible] .