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Healthy And Happy 2021

January 3, 2021

2020, a year not to remember, except for the lessons we hopefully learned.

A continuing and constant thought on this site is that we have no control over what comes our way, we only have control over our response.  2020, with the pandemic, certainly made the point of the “what comes our way” part.  It was an extra challenge for the choosing our response part.  It made it in a commanding and global way.  It came to everyone.  Everyone was/is affected.  Yet, we must remember that we always have a choice in our response.  

You Cannot Lower Your Mountain,  You Can Elevate Yourself!

We are all so grateful that 2020 is over.  We begin 2021, with the hope that the pandemics challenges are at least mostly behind us and we can soon return to normalcy (whatever that was).

So…..

As we begin another new year, another new, another beginning, we look forward to all that we wish for.  The good that we wish for ourselves, is the good that we wish for others and vice-versa.

For this New Year, let’s do more than just wish.  Let’s make this a “Happy New Year”.  Let’s make this the year where our deeds make our wishes reality.  A year where we tap into “all of our possibilities” and potential to become the human we were destined and created to be. A year where we each do our part to make our world a better one.  No matter what the circumstances are.

We have learned once again, that we have no control over what comes our way such as the pandemic.  To make it a happy year, let us focus on that which we do have control of; that which we say and what we do.

We can get there by constantly striving to make all of our actions directed to a purpose higher than just ourselves.

All that we need and the world we all wish for is in our hands.

Many years ago there was this great old wise man, a seer, who was coming to a town to speak.  His reputation preceded him, so that many people waited with great anticipation for his arrival and then went to hear him speak.  Among them, was this one young and skeptical man, who went simply to challenge the wise man.  After the wise man spoke, there was a Q&A. When it was the young mans turn, he put out his cupped hands and asked the wise man what was in his hands. The wise man replied, “two little birds”, which was correct. The young man was impressed, but he was still skeptical, so he asked whether they were dead or alive. The wise man knew that if he replied, “they’re dead”, the young man would open his hands and the birds would fly away. If he replied “they’re alive”, the young man would crush the birds in his hands. The wise man’s reply was simply

“the answer is all in your hands.”

“Each person must see himself as though the entire world were held in balance and any deed he may do could tip the scales.” – Maimonides

May 2021 be your best year ever…so far!!

Healthy and Happy 2021

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

Choose Wisely

 

 

Looking Up

December 23, 2020

As we are coming to the end of an extraordinarily challenging year and preparing for another new year, here is a true story to help keep you looking up.

This is a story of a young boy whose approach to life, even as a young boy, is a lesson for us all.

One day, his Grandfather took him to a playground.  The young boy went to play on a ladder like structure that several other young boys were playing on.  The Grandfather noticed that none of the boys made it to the top, except his Grandson.  The boys would get partially up, hesitate, and then come down.  His Grandson just went straight up with no hesitation.

The Grandfather asked his Grandson, “How come you were the only one of the boys to make it all the way up?”.  The Grandson answered, “When all the other boys were going up, they kept looking down.  When they did, they saw how high they were and got scared.  When I climbed, I kept looking up and saw how low I was and that motivated me to keep climbing”.

Keep climbing your mountain always looking towards the top.  Look up, ahead, and forward

May you have Healthy and Happy Holidays

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

 

You Don’t Have To Be Jewish To Enjoy Latkes *

December 13, 2020

You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy Latkes (potato pancakes fried in oil) and you don’t have to be Jewish to gain from some of Chanukah’s lessons and miracles.

Perhaps this year, as we all continue to feel the darkness of this the pandemic, these lessons are especially important to contemplate and remember.  Doing so may be bring you a little light.

Jews all over the world are now celebrating Chanukah, the celebration of many miracles.  From the victory of a small band of men fighting for the religious freedom of the Jewish people against a very large and well equipped army.  To one days worth of olive oil used to light the Menorah (candelabra) for rededicating the Temple, which then miraculously  lasted for eight days.

 

Here are some of my favorite lessons that apply to all

The miracle of the victory and of the oil burning for eight days represents light overcoming darkness, both literally and figuratively.

At nighttime, Jews place their lit Menorah in doorways or windows to bring light to the dark street and to all who see it.

“A little light will dispel much darkness.” — Tzeda LaDerech

On the Menorah is a head candle called the Shamash, which is used to light all the other candles.  The Shamash lights the other candles without losing any of its own light.  Like the Shamash, each of us can bring our light to all whose lives we come into contact with. We all have that power through acts of goodness, kindness, and charity.  More than like the Shamash, not only do we keep our light when we share it, we actually shine brighter!

“From one burning candle many candles are lit, yet its own light is not diminished.” – The Sages

Here is another powerful and universal message from Chanukah, the miracle of light.

Of all the special qualities of a pretty and delicious olive, its essence is found in its oil when lit, producing light.  In order to get to the olives essence, it must first be crushed to produce the oil.

So too in our lives, we sometimes are, or feel crushed – by pain and suffering, illness, fears, loss, struggle, and disappointment – and just like the olive, it is then that our essence can be revealed.  It is in those moments that you may find your essence and with it bring your light to the world.

As we continue to feel as though we are being Covid crushed, we can come out of this having found our essence.  Each of us can then bring more of our light to the darkness and dispel it.  Not just pandemic darkness but all darkness!

Happy Chanukah

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

*Another updated “Oldie But Goodie”

 

Your Life Is Your Coach*

December 8, 2020

In the last post “The Spinning Rabbi’s Approach To Life”, I laid out a metaphorical approach that hopefully creates a mindset for taking on all the challenges presented to you knowing that they’re ultimately for your benefit.

Here I wish to present another metaphorical approach.  In the hope that one of them inspires you.

Life as Your Coach, or is, or your ultimate personal trainer G-d, will send you tests and struggles (drills and exercises) all designed to help you find the you, you are meant and created to be.  What is sent your way may not be what you want, but what your coach knows you need.  He knows you and knows your strengths and weaknesses.  He will, over time, send you these tests designed to improve upon your strengths and turn your weaknesses into strengths.  Viewed this way, allows you to accept that these tests are for your good.

Let’s use the sport of Boxing as a metaphor again to help explain.

A boxing coach will have you do all sorts of drills and exercises, designed for you, to prepare you to enter the ring.  He knows you and what specifically it takes to get you ready.  He will begin by training you in all the basics and continue to reinforce them.  When ready, he will have you spar or fight many different kinds of opponents.  Each opponent that you face has a different style and therefore you must be prepared for them.  So the training that the coach gives you will be different for each opponent.  All of the experiences and all you learn from these opponents, will make you a better boxer and prepare you to go pro.  The longer it takes you to learn (that’s up to you), the longer it takes before the coach let’s you go pro.

Could you have gotten there without all that the coach put you through?  Would you have chosen to go through the drills on your own?

Try this for an exercise…. Train yourself to think of every challenge as just an opponent trying to defeat you and block you from realizing your dreams and goals.  When you see life’s challenges this way, you will see them as necessary steps and lessons along the way, preparing you to realize your dreams and goals, rather than seeing them as walls.  When you view each opponent as a necessary opportunity to get stronger, healthier,and better, you won’t be fearful and you might even look forward to them.  So remember…Who/whatever enters the ring with you…You are RWAready, willing, and able

With this attitude, make a list of the types of opponents/struggles that you have fought so far.  Review the tapes (in your head) of those fights.  Focus on

1. How you got through to the end of the fight

2. What you could improve on

3. What you learned about yourself

So now, sing along with me, “It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight, rising up to the challenge of our rival”, Survivor – from Rocky 3

“In life, it doesn’t matter how hard you hit, it’s how hard you can get hit and still keep moving forward.”  – Rocky Balboa from Rocky 6

“Experience is the best teacher, and the worst experiences teach the best lessons.” — Unknown

“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.” — Unknown 

 Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

*”Oldie But Goodie” updated

The Spinning Rabbi’s Approach To Life

November 5, 2020

The following is the Spinning Rabbi’s suggested approach to your journey. When you adopt this metaphorical approach you will develop and have a positive attitude. With a positive attitude you will find some good in all that comes your way and become increasingly joyful.

This has been posted here before and now I’m posting it again because it’s always a good reminder.

You Cannot Lower Your Mountain,  You Can Elevate Yourself!

Your mountain is the metaphor for your life’s journey.  The climb indicates the challenges and struggles.  Every challenge, test, or struggle may not be what you want. It is what you need or are needed for, at that moment.

Think of “your mountain” as a series of hill and plateaus. Each hill is the struggle, followed by a plateau where you digest the accomplishment of getting to the top of that hill, and prepare for the next hill.

You were born at the base of your mountain and the human you were destined and created to become is waiting for you at the top of your mountain.  At the top of your mountain is not a pot of gold, but a pot for you to deposit all the nuggets of gold, mined from all of your experiences, you collected along the way.

Every step on your climb has a reason. Every person or event is presented to you for a reason. You may not know the reason. You do know, or should come to know, that it is either for the benefit of others, or to further prepare you for your purpose and mission, or both.

You have free will; therefore you have the choice as to how you respond in all situations.  With free will, know that there will be times when you may make the wrong choice and take the wrong turn. Be confident that there will be signs along the way directing you back as long as you look for them.

You can adopt this “your mountain” attitude, which will then assist you in fulfilling your potential in everything you do. If you always strive to reach your fullest potential available to you at every moment, you will be training yourself to do that in all that you do. You will then realize that you can find joy in all that comes your way once you recognize that it is ultimately for the good.

Knowing that the true you, your ultimate potential, awaits you at the top of “Your Mountain”, should inspire you to continue the climb. Accept that every challenge and struggle on the way up is there to strengthen, teach and prepare you for you.  Accepting that will give you the courage and strength coupled with the excitement to take on all that comes your way. You will learn to relish each challenge as you get stronger and wiser each time you take it on.  Just as an athlete looks forward (not without some degree of fear, hence the adrenaline rush) to the next competition.

The ultimate goal of getting to the top is the goal of discovering you. You will get there by tapping in to the all that’s available to you at every moment in all that you do.  All that you do means just that, in and with everything and everyone that comes your way.  Elevating yourself means constantly tapping into to your other-centric giving you.

This is the pervasive theme of all that you will read on this site.  I invite you to make this your mantra:

I cannot lower my mountain, but I can always elevate myself

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

Your Reality TV Show Episode 3 (A Rerun)

October 26, 2020

On your Reality TV show, giving the power to define you to your audience could also mean you are succumbing to the values and mores of the time, rather than what is right and good throughout time.  When you succumb this way, you will again always be chasing rather than finding happiness.

How can one be happy when they are doing that which they intrinsically know they shouldn’t be doing.  Life is not a popularity contest, although wouldn’t it be nice if doing what is right, simply because it is right, was more popular?

We could use the Biblical Abraham here as a role model. Abraham is often described as gentle, kind, gracious and courageous.  Rabbi Jonathan Sacks goes a little further and describes Abraham as having lived the “heroism of ordinary life, being willing to live by one’s convictions though all the world thinks otherwise, being true to the call of eternity, not the noise of now.”

“What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.” – Albert Einstein

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”  – Thomas Jefferson

“Set your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.” – Omar N. Bradley

Very Important

On your show, always remember to keep a smile on your face

“Always wear a smile. The gift of life will then be yours to give.” — Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

see Episode 1 and 2

Your Reality TV Show (A Rerun)

October 15, 2020

The last post (click here to read) reminded me of an old series I posted starting in 2013 called “Your Reality TV Show”. So I’m reposting some of the series now. Here are Episodes 1 and 2.

Episode 1

With all the popularity of Reality TV shows, imagine for a moment that your life was a reality show.  What and how would you truly want people to see you?  Does that match what they are seeing?  

Let’s go a step further, imagine that you suddenly got amnesia and you are watching the reality show of your life, what would you think of the person (which is you) that you see?  Would you want to watch your show again?  Would you make changes?  What would they be?

Episode 2

If you don’t like what you see on your Reality TV show, ask yourself the following: do you want people to see what you think they want to see, or do you have the courage and conviction of letting them see the true you?

Don’t confuse what you truly want people to see, the real you, with what you think they want to see.  Seeking popularity and fame via your reality show means giving others the power to dictate who you are, or should be.  When you give up that power, you will always be chasing popularity and never find true happiness.  Have the courage to show and be your true self.  You’ll be surprised at how many more tune in.

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – Dale Carnegie

“If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of me.” – Dwight L. Moody

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

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