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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

Don’t Wear A Mask

October 1, 2020

Now that I have your attention – Sorry this is not about protective masks for Covid, as important as that is

It’s thoughts about how we present ourselves to the world.  Whether you show the true you or not.  If it’s not the true you that you let people see, then you are wearing a mask.  If you are wearing that mask, then you’re conscious or unconscious reasons might be protective.  Or you just want to go along to get along.

People that have dogs and dog lovers think every dog and everything a dog does “is soooooo cuuute”!!

Does the dog know it’s cute?  Does the dog do things to be cute?  Or is a dog so cute just because it is just who it is?

Do you do things so that people will think you’re cute and like you?  Is being popular and liked the most important to you?  Like Sally Field said “You like me”.  If you do, you are wearing a mask.

“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” – Herbert Bayard Swope 

How often have you heard someone say they are trying to find themselves?  Unfortunately, they rarely do because they continue to look in the wrong places.  They sometimes look to others to define themselves rather than looking within.  They do what others like and hope that they, themselves will like it, as opposed to doing what they like and hope that others will like it.  Don’t confuse what you truly want people to see, the real you, with what you think they want to see.

Once you have covered morality, ethics, kindness, and empathy, then do what it is that you truly like.  If you are not true to yourself, your soul, you cannot be happy.  So you lose and we all lose. Have the courage to show and be your true self.  Sing along “Who are you, who, who, who, who…” The Who.

I woman I know, once confided in me that in her dating experiences, she was always worried that the man would find out who she really was.  She was afraid that he wouldn’t care for her if he knew her problems and hangups.  I asked her, “Do you want him to fall for you or someone else that looks exactly like you?  What if he does and then finds out you’re not who he fell for?”

In the Spinning classes that I lead, I play certain types of music.  Mostly Oldies.  Some have asked me, “why don’t you play more current music?”  I tell them that I play the music I like and hope you like it.  I don’t play the music you like and hope I like it.  If I didn’t play the music I like, I wouldn’t like being in my own class.

“Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.” – Leonard Cohen

 “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton

“One who desires the attention of others, has not yet found himself.” – Rabbi Shlomo Wolfe

Each of us was created uniquely.  There is no one else just like us…no one.  Each of our paths is like no other.  This is a beautiful thing.  Each of us in our uniqueness adds something to the world that no one else can.

The world could not exist without your unique addition.  Think of yourself as a piece in a jigsaw puzzle.  There is no other piece with the exact shape as yours and the puzzle cannot be completed without your piece.  If you’re wearing that mask, then your piece won’t fit and you are cheating yourself and all the rest of us.

The story is told that the great 15th century Kabbalist, the Ari, could read people’s faces.  When people would pass him on the street,  many would cover their faces because they felt that he saw past the mask and they were ashamed.

“The wisdom of the person shines in the face.” – Ecclesiastes 8:1

Don’t wear a mask!  Let you shine through.  You will be happier and so will we.

More than happy, you will find joy and fulfillment.  When you do, you can continue to climb your mountain, no matter how steep and treacherous it sometimes becomes.

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

Only You*

September 17, 2020

The Jewish people are about to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, generally known as the Jewish New Year.

I wish to share with all of you, one of the many inspiring lessons of this commemoration.  A lesson that can help each of us, whatever our faith, climb our mountain.

Rosh Hashanah doesn’t commemorate the first day of creation, it celebrates the creation of mankind, Adam, which was on the sixth day.

One might ask then, why was Adam created alone rather than one of many?

Adam was created on purpose with a specific purpose and he knew it.  Being only one, only he could accomplish his purpose or mission.  All depended on him.

A Lesson For All

We are all created with a uniquely specific purpose and mission.  If we think of ourselves as an Adam, then we realize that our purpose is also ours alone and all depends on each of us.  We can’t expect someone else to do it for us.  Sing along “Only you can make this world seem right / Only you can make the darkness bright / Only you and you alone!”*  This is a powerfully inspiring thought, that reminds each of us of how valuable our lives are, individually and collectively.

The Creation narrative says “In the beginning the Almighty created. .. . ” to teach us that He only created the beginning. The remainder is left to us.   —   Rebbe Leibele Eiger of Lublin

Or maybe, the reason Adam was created alone was so that he couldn’t kvetch, go to a therapist, and blame his problems on his parents or anyone else!😀

L’Shana Tova A Good And Sweet Year

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

*From the song “Only You” by The Platters

Head Up Look Forward

September 9, 2020

With the Pandemic, storms, wildfires, protests, riots, the election, the challenge to stay positive is more daunting.  It is hard to look forward optimistically when there is so much uncertainty.  That it’s more challenging is why it’s so much more important that you rise up to the challenge and stay positive.

You cannot control that which comes your way.  You can control how you respond.

A Little Perspective

Viktor Frankl* described being in Auschwitz as a “provisional existence”.  He and the others existed with complete uncertainty.  With what they were experiencing, it was easy to very pessimistic and give up. Viktor Frankl survived Auschwitz by thinking of finishing his book, seeing his wife and family again,…..  He chose to only think thoughts that gave him purpose, a reason to stay strong, look forward, and keep going.

Replace negative thoughts of today or tomorrow with positive ones for today or tomorrow.  Like him, think of the things you would like to look forward to.

“Faith is the courage to live with uncertainty” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

A Thought About Keeping Your Head Up

If you saw someone walking down the street with their head down, what would you think their state of mind is?  Is their head just down, or is it reflective of their feeling down?  We know for sure that literally and metaphorically, they are not looking forward.  They are not seeing, or don’t want to see, that which lies ahead.  If they are feeling down, then by looking down, they will never see anything different or better.  This will cause their state of mind or situation to remain the same or get worse.  By looking up and forward, they can and will see something better, even if it’s just one person smiling at them.

Agree?

If so, then pay attention to when you are walking by yourself, and notice whether you are looking down or ahead.  You may not even realize that your mood is down, so if you catch yourself looking down, let it be a reminder to check in with your current state of mind.

We can get two lessons here for the price of one:

1. If you notice that your head is down, then remind yourself to lift it up and look ahead.  Train yourself to do this no matter how heavy your head may feel.

2.Then when walking with your head up, smile at the person coming your way.  Even if they don’t respond, it can/will lift or keep their head up.

Recently, I was on a walk and I noticed a couple coming my way.  It was a man and a woman, both about 85-ish.  They were walking with their arms around each others waist.  They looked so happy, so contented, and so much in love.  What a beautiful and inspiring sight that I wouldn’t have seen if my head was down.

If you are not looking forward now, you will be looking back later 

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

*From “Man’s Search For Meaning” by Dr. Viktor Frankl

Once again if you haven’t read it Do!!!

Covid Is Not A Time Out

September 2, 2020

In thinking about the past several months, I am reminded of this “Oldie But Goodie” post.  So here it is updated and reposted with it’s relevance to the Pandemic in mind.  Perhaps it should have been sent earlier, yet it’s still relevant.*  It’s always relevant because all of us have probably taken a “time out” at sometime, or wish we could.  So it’s a valuable reminder to all, anytime and all of the time.

With all of the restrictions still upon us during this pandemic, we have to be careful not to view it as a time out.  It is easy to turn this into an excuse to “take a break” or a “time out”.  Rather, see it as another opportunity, perhaps disguised, to learn and grow .

No Time Outs

The most important moment of all is Right Now!  That being said, we know that every moment is precious and counts.  Every precious moment counts and goes by whether we choose to participate or not.

 “You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin

“The day will happen whether or not you get up.” – John Ciardi

 “We cannot put off living until we are ready.” – Jose Ortega y Gasset

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” – Charles Darwin

An athlete competes and is alive during a competition. Then there is training and preparing. In between training and competing, there are time-outs.  There are also time-outs during the competition.

In life there are no time-outs.  The proverbial exceptions to this rule are sleep (although a case can be made that sleep is part of preparing) and an appropriate mourning period.

There are moments when we might wish for a time-out.  If we were to take one, then we are not fully alive during those lost moments.  How often have you said, or heard someone say, “I’m in a place in my life” or “I need to work on myself”? That’s asking for a time-out in a game where there are none. It’s like walking off the field in the middle of the game and watching the game go on from the sidelines.

 “Life is like playing the violin solo in public and learning the instrument as you go”. – Samuel Butler

This mindset is often the result of a tragic event and/or an epiphany that wrong choices have consistently been made producing negative results. This is a natural and understandable emotional response.  To not allow this emotional response to control you, remember that everything happens for a reason. Therefore, everyone you come into contact with today and tomorrow is for a reason. That person may need something from you, or need to give you something you need.

That can’t happen if you are not on the field and you have taken yourself out of the game.  If you temporarily take yourself out of the game, then you are at best delaying the discovery of your purpose and fulfilling your potential for the benefit of one or all.

If your reason for “working on yourself” is so that you may be the person you were created and wish to be, then you can’t be a spectator of life. You need to be “working on yourself” in and during the game. The rest of us need you to play to your potential. If not we all lose.

A woman was considering taking a sabbatical from her teaching profession to travel and look for the meaning of life. She went to see her spiritual leader, a man known as The Rebbe, for advice. This is what he said to her,

“When you find the meaning of life, will you have enough time left to live a meaningful life? Better to live a meaningful life and find meaning along the way”. – Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson

For those who take themselves out of the game of love, consider that a person presented to you may be the one and…

“If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.” – Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine in Casablanca

If you have been taking a “time out” during this period, Life as your coach is calling you back in the game.  The team needs you!

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

*I would have put this out sooner but I was taking a time out 😀

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