Each time you go to Uman, it's a whole different experience. I went with a group headed up by Rav Ofer Erez, and the Rav explained that each time you come to Uman, Rebbe Nachman is working to open up new paths in your heart, in your soul, and in your life.
When I first heard this idea (on trip number 6, last year) - I actually didn't so believe it. I've had trips where I've gone and come back, and apparently, not much really changed tangibly- at least, that I could obviously see and experience.
But the last two trips have proven me completely wrong, and Rav Erez completely right.
After trip number 6, this is (a partial list…) of what happened to me:
- I broke my foot
- I got really ill and thought I was dying
- I made a whole load of teshuva (as a result of 2, above), which meant making peace with people I swore I was never going to speak to again
- I moved to Jerusalem
- I moved again, within Jerusalem, four months later
- I opened a new business in the Old City, with my husband
- I closed the new business in the Old City, as it flopped spectacularly
- I had massive tests of emuna, and thought I was turning into a heretic G-d forbid
- I quit my eight year long stint of writing for Breslev world
- I encouraged my husband to get his smicha, and become a real rabbi
- I realised I didn't (actually, couldn't) be chareidi
- I started a new blog (emunaroma)
- I retrained as an aromatherapist, and then retrained again as a energy tracker, and then retrained again, in energy psychology
- I tried to be an official emuna coach
- I stopped trying to be an official emuna coach
I'm leaving out a lot of big stuff that's too personal to write, even for me, but you can see that a lot of earth-shaking stuff happened in the last ten months.
It's the day after I came back from trip number 7, but I can already tell you that my whole life has changed around again, and is on a completely new track. How do I know? Isn't it too soon to tell?
Not really, because this time I realised that all the massive challenges I've had the last few years were all actually only good. They were all designed to break my heart of stone, and to help me break a massive, and massively negative internal pattern that has been governing my life since childhood.
The short version of this trip to Uman is that I spent a whole day literally crying my heart out, and then felt so much better, happier and lighter. G-d, Rebbe Nachman, restored my faith in Tzadikim; restored my faith in G-d's goodness, kindness and justice; and filled me up with hope and emuna again that my 'real life' is going to be amazingly good again.
How that's actually going to play out in my life, my career, my family life, my bank account, I have no idea. But one thing I can tell you: I didn't 'do' anything this trip to Uman. I just sat there, and got fixed, finally.
I came with a whole bunch of anger, resentment, heresy (probably) and despair, and I left with hope. And if that isn't an open miracle, then I don't what is.