Ever since the Jews were freed from Egypt over 3000 years ago, we’ve been commemorating these events with the Seder. Much of what we do in the Seder stem from the first ever Seder, when the Jews sat around the table and relived the experience of freedom. They sat like nobility, ate matza and drank wine. There’s only one problem: When was the first Seder? I would think that it was the year after Exodus. Right? On the anniversary. But that’s not when it was. The first Seder was actually the night before they left Egypt! They had the Seder, celebrating their freedom, while they were still slaves in Egypt. What? What were they celebrating? They were still slaves! Was it a dress rehearsal? Could you imagine a team celebrating with the trophy before actually playing the championship game? Why would God have the Jews have a Seder before they left Egypt? It was because He was giving them one of the greatest insights on personal growth. The power of visualization. There is a well-known concept that “Beliefs shape Reality”. We have all heard the advice of dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. Psychologists call this the Pygmalion Effect. The basic concept is that if we can see ourselves as to who we want to be, it will have a powerful effect on us getting there. Our Mind can change Our Reality. But it goes one step further. We think that in order to become the people we want to be, we have to first “do the actions” to “have the things” to “be that person” Do, Have, Be. In reality, that’s not the case. First, we need to decide who we want to be. Once we visualize and see ourselves in that light, our mind will show us the actions we need to take to get us there. It will direct us to the steps that are in front of us, to fulfill our dreams. First Be, then Do and then Have. Why does this work? Because we are each born with a soul that has unlimited potential. We can do incredible things, but first we need to see it. To believe it. God was teaching the Jews in Egypt the first step to freedom: it starts in your mind. Leaving Egypt won’t make you free. Doing and Having won’t make you free. Freedom is a way of life. To be free, you have to see yourself as free and then you can act with passion and energy to make it a reality. The Seder isn’t just some ancient custom about leaving Egypt thousands of years ago. It’s a recipe for freedom that applies to our lives today. You see, Egypt is not just a physical place, it’s a spiritual one. The word Mitzrayim stems from the world Meytzar, which means constricted. Limited. Narrow. Spiritually, Egypt represents those factors that enslaved us. The blocks and limitations, the insecurities and desires that prevent us from being the people we dream of being. And Passover comes to show us how to get out. We sit at a seder and remember that the first time the Jews did this, they were also slaves. They had to see themselves as free. And so too, we have to visualize ourselves leaving our own Egypt even if we are physically there. This year, see yourself as the Parent, Child and Spouse you always knew you could be. How would you act? What would you say? Picture your life as truly happy. Waking up each day full of life. Picture a life filled with meaning and purpose and connection. See the blocks that are stopping you and visualize what you need to do to overcome them. As you envision getting out of your personal Egypt, you’ll be connecting to the lessons God taught our ancestors generations ago. You’ll be connecting to the Seder, and beginning your journey to the Promised Land.