Living In Balance

A Mother and her five-year-old son were talking about what he learned in kindergarten that day. The mother let her mind wander while her son was speaking. He began tapping on her knee and said, “Mommy, listen to me!” “But I am listening,” replied the mother. “No, you’re not,” said the son, “You’re not listening in your eyes!” It’s time to pay more attention to your loved ones and people around you.

It is very easy in our busy, very connected, sometimes 24/7 world, to find ourselves mired in our own space. Just one more text message, another email and I’m done. By the time we know it, the minutes and hours just pass by us and our loved ones often feel “cheated,” hurt and lonely.

We make so much time for ourselves and our technologies; we connect with hundreds, sometimes thousands of people a day through social media and the internet. But often, we forget/neglect to connect with the people we love and care about the most. They somehow tend to take a back seat to everyone and everything else. We may rationalize in our heads, “S/He will be here no matter what,” or, “They understand, I don’t need to worry about them.”

The truth is that s/he may not understand, and the person you love most may not be there if you don’t stop to look up from your constant texting, emailing and social networking, and start listening with “your eyes.” Don’t get me wrong, I am a big proponent of social networking and the technologies which enhance our lives in ways we have never imagined before. After all, I can often be seen in the halls and walls of Twitter and Facebook, chatting away and making connections. The key is BALANCE.

How can we live in BALANCE? Kabbalah teaches that when we take words and break them down, hidden meanings and messages may be found (this is especially powerful with Hebrew letters, with which Kabbalah is written). Let’s break down the word BALANCE

To live in BALANCE:

Be – We are human beings, so be in the here and now.

Aware – of your surroundings, emotional and physical state.

Love – with all your heart and soul from a place of light  blessings.

Attentive – Pay attention to what your inner core is saying.

Natural – Be yourself, in your ‘natural’ state.

Communicate – with your soul and the world around you.

Evolve – ebb and flow through and with life.

When we live in BALANCE, we have less stress and we pay more attention to the needs of our loved ones, and the needs of our deep inner selves. Our Neshama (soul/breath) is lighter, freer and full of positive energy.

As you read this, you may be saying, “OK, Rabbi, it all sounds great, but How can I practically be in BALANCE in this busy, often media hyped world?”

The answer is simple. STOP. Turn off the texting, email, Internet for 5 minutes a day (If you can spare more than five minutes it would be ideal, but realistically you may only have five minutes a day and that’s great). Now, take a deep breath in. Then, slowly release your breath, take your time don’t rush it. With the breath, release any tensions/anxieties you may have.

Sit in the quietness for the remainder of your uninterrupted time and feel your whole physical and emotional self-become lighter, more excited. When the ‘time is up,’ reach out to one or more of your most important loved one (and yes, you may do so via phone or video chat, text or email), and say “I Love You!”

Taking a complete day of rest (Shabbat), at week’s end, where you totally turn off all media and solely focus on family, friends, good food and joyous occasions, is another way to be in BALANCE.

By the way, the word for breath in Hebrew is נשימה N’sheemah, which comes from the root word of נשמה N’shamah (or soul). It is written is Genesis 2:7 –
“Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. “

When you take a deep breath you nourish your body and soul. When you take a deep breath and become more aware, you also take the soul to higher levels of well being.

So, take a deep breath and appreciate the positive people and things in your life! Remember to Be in BALANCE. Also, remember to turn off your mobile world once in a while and connect with your loved ones, who matter the most, in a real, sincere way. BE there with your whole heart and soul not just with your ears, and you will experience great Joy and Excitement in your life.

Exercise

Yes, I know, you want to try the exercise mentioned above, but scrolling up is just too difficult 😃 so here it is again:

STOP. Turn off the texting, email, Internet for 5 minutes a day (If you can spear more than five minutes it would be ideal, but realistically you may only have five minutes a day and that’s great).

Now, take a deep breath In. Then, slowly release your breath, take your time don’t rush it. With the breath, release any tensions/anxieties you may have.

Also, dedicate one day of the weekend to rest, relaxation and family/friends time while turning off texting, emailing etc. (Shabbat).

For your copy of Rabbi Shai’s book, click on the image below

Rabbi Shai Specht-Sandler

Stress Relief

When you spend your life putting pressure on yourself to go from start to finish without appreciating and learning along the way, you are doing yourself an injustice. If you can stop and appreciate everything in the middle maybe your journey would not be as stressful.

One of the main reasons you may become stressed is a direct result of having too many thoughts bouncing around in your head. Try choosing your most important thought and concentrate on that first. The rest will follow all in good time.

When you are stressed, you feel overwhelmed and you may not be capable of thinking as clearly as you should. If you feel yourself jumping from task to task, take a deep breath, hold it, and let that stress out. You can accomplish everything if you take one thing at a time.

If you can manage your own life and have complete power over what you wish to achieve, you can actually reduce stress. Separate and focus on your daily goals and set practical expectations of yourself.

Yes, there are times we all feel a little stressed, but it is how you allow yourself to react which will measure your ability to overcome it. If you can find something positive to learn in any situation, you will be able to control your state of well-being.

One of the key elements to overcoming stress is learning how to write down the thoughts you have on your mind. When you can clearly see and organize your thoughts, you may then learn how to manage them one at a time, rather than all at once.

Exercise
Three Steps to follow for a quick dose of stress relief:
1. Go lie down on your bed and take 3 easy breaths.
2. Close your eyes and take 3 easy breaths, but this time, make them deeper and slower…
3. Imagine yourself at your favorite spot with your favorite people –

Don’t worry about thoughts that come in, just relax and feel the essence of what is within you.

Feelings are important. Aim for Happy, Joyous feelings.
After 15 minutes get up go for a nice 10 to 15 minute casual walk.
Then go back to your daily activities.

You will find that your stress is gone. Negative comments, feelings and people will not bother you as much.

 


Practice this every day and your life will change for the better!

Spiritual adviser

Traditionally, spirituality refers to being more attached to religious values or the matters of the spirit instead of being materialistic or fond of worldly matters. However, spirituality has evolved over time and is considered a concept of reaching high levels of consciousness. If a person is spiritual it means s/he is connected to God, nature and the deepest parts of her/his own self.

A spiritual adviser is a person who helps in discovering the process of spirituality. They are trained individuals who provide guidance in one’s spiritual journey. They help in practicing the art of spirituality that balances human success and human expressions.

I will provide the drive and guidance you need to improve your career, relationships, and life.

Contact Rabbi Shai

Las Vegas Bar/Bat Mitzvah Ceremony

Can you Imagine a Bar/Bat Mitzvah that your child wants to participate in?
That’s the goal of the Alternative Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony!

There are other options for unaffiliated families who wish to celebrate their child’s becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.  A Bar/Bat Mitzvah does not have to take place in a synagogue which may surprise many.  It can take place anywhere that there is a minyan (10 Jewish adults) present for public prayer and public reading of the Torah.  A synagogue is holy only as a place of worship, but not intrinsically so.
Preparation for a non-traditional Bar/Bat Mitzvah generally involves myself or a tutor closer geographically who comes to the families’ homes to work with the child or children.  This is a convenient option for many families who find it difficult to transport their children to and from the synagogue two or three times per week. It also allows for greater scheduling flexibility wherein the tutor works with the student at a time that does not conflict with other activities and obligations.
While physical presence is ideal there are times that sessions over video chat (skype or google voice) is the best option. I have prepared children who live in other states and plan on coming to Las Vegas for the ceremony.
With many direct flights from nearly everywhere within the U.S. , and many affordable attractions for the whole family, Las Vegas is the ideal place to have a destination Bar/Bat mitzvah ceremony. Not to mention a fun place to have the party!

I have taught in and ran various traditional and non traditional Hebrew schools throughout the years. This experience has enabled me to create a program that is engaging, effective, meaningful and suitable for the whole family. So what are you waiting for? Hit the contact button – let’s begin an exciting and rewarding journey together!
Contact Rabbi Shai

Las Vegas Jewish Wedding Ceremonies | Las vegas Jewish wedding

Mazal tov on your engagement! I am Las Vegas’s Premier Jewish Wedding Officiant, and have been creating magical wedding ceremonies for nearly a decade. My couples rave about how convenient and fun it is to work with me, and I’m proud to serve all couples.

Located in Las Vegas and Reno Nevada, I will officiate your Jewish wedding, interfaith wedding, gay wedding or civil wedding ceremony.

I will also travel anywhere in the U.S. and abroad to officiate your ceremony, and help make your special day truly special.

We will meet a couple of times prior to the ceremony, either in person or via skype and get to know Each other. Each couple will be treated with warmth, love and respect.

I would love to connect with you and create the perfect ceremony. Let’s get started!

Contact Rabbi Shai
Wedding Rabbi Shai Specht Sandler WeddingWire Couples Choice Award Winner 2017

You are not alone | Coping with anxiety

A tzaddik (pious person) was asked: “Why is it that a pious person seems less eager to persuade others to become virtuous than a wicked person is to gain companions in wickedness?” He replied: “A pious person walks in light and is not afraid to walk alone, whereas a wicked person walks in darkness and is anxious for company.”
We all have anxiety and feelings of darkness from time to time. When we stop for a moment and open our eyes, we realize that we are not alone – The Light is all around us. The “wicked” person inside of us wants to bring us down and saturates us with negative thoughts, feelings and “what if’s.” While our pious side gently tries to remind us that all we need to do is walk in the light…
So how can we walk in the light?

  • Live life with gratitude and don’t let the sun set today without seeing it, embracing it, and enjoying it.
  • Take the time necessary to get in touch with your soul’s desire for freedom and peace.
  • Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.
  • Connect with your Soul נשמה and enter a journey of total Healing, Harmony and Inner Peace.

To aliviate the anxiety, find the Light within and let it shine. You have all the tools and resources you need, what you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours. Embrace the light and shine it for the world to see. Reach out to family and friends and don’t be afriad/ embarrassed to seek the professional help of a counselor, life coach, Rabbi, Priest or other religious/spiritual leaders.

Exercise
Psalm 139 is a beautiful Psalm meditating on the Boundlessness of Creator. Wherever we are, Creator is always with us – we are never alone. Meditate on this beautiful reflection (Source Unknown) when you need a “pick me up” during the day:

Reflection on Psalm 139
Father/Mother, you know me better than I could ever know myself.
You know in all truth what I have been, what I am, what I will become.
You know me when I love and when I’m selfish.
You know when I succeed and when I fail.
You know everything about me
And yet, Father/Mother, you love me more than I will ever know.
You don’t hold it against me that I fail, or am discouraged.
You try also to show me that I should not hold it against myself,
Because by doing so I will fail to love more.
You are forgiving and loving.
It is beyond my understanding.
I read your word and am inspired,
But then immediately I feel its poverty in my own life.
But Father/Mother, if I do try to escape you, really where can I go?
Deep down I never want to escape you, but at times I try.
Help me to realize that at these times you will support me,
You will send the light needed,
You will send your consolation through another,
You will send your strength and courage.

Creator, my Father/Mother, know my thoughts –
Guide me to you.
You know what I desire
Even though I don’t always move toward my goal

Perception and Attitude

When our hearts and souls are sick, our bodies get sick as well.

The Kabbalah teaches that the world we live in is a product of our perception of reality, and our attitude toward life, determines the world we live in.

Each of us has a choice. You can choose to believe that this world is filled with the light and presence of the Almighty who guides it and cares about it. Or you can believe that this world is one big accident, a chaotic mess. The choice is totally yours, but remember; What you believe creates what you will see, feel and experience in life.

So the question is: How would I act if I sincerely consciously believed that God’s presence filled my life, my home, my world? How would I speak to and treat my family and friends? How would I face the tough times and challenges knowing that the light is with and all around me?

The way to increase our Divine consciousness and invite The Light to pour into our world, is by walking the talk – Taking actions such as:

1) Helping those in need around us.

2) Being more loving and genuine in our daily interactions.

3) Smiling at the person next to us in the elevator and saying “hello.”

4) In general, making a bigger effort to Care/Love

With-out our efforts and consciousness, the light of God can’t illuminate our world. We need God and God needs us.

It’s amazing when we take off in an airplane on a dark, cloudy, gloomy day, how bright it actually is once we get passed the clouds – the sky is blue and the sun is shining in full force. Always try to remind yourself during dark times in your life, that the light is still shining. You just need to pierce through the clouds and let the Sunshine in. The darkness comes only because (and when) something is blocking the light.

It’s important to take some time for introspection. It’s equally as important to take action and become a Divine Light Shining Partner.

Self help, meditation, life coach,

Following Your Intuition

By Stephanie Miller

How many times have we kicked ourselves for not following our intuition?! Much of the time we receive divine guidance but we discount it or allow logic or doubt to prevent us from listening to and acting upon our intuition. We are becoming more and more sensitive and our intuition is opening up to heightened levels of awareness. All we need to do is quiet our thoughts, slow down our bodies and pay attention. When we are in a balanced state, we possess the ability to connect with the energy around us and make choices and decisions that honor our highest good.

Many times we pray and ask for guidance, yet we are so preoccupied and scattered that when the guidance arrives we don’t notice it. Prayer is talking to God, while meditation is listening. I don’t believe that it is necessary to have a daily meditation practice in order to receive guidance, however, it is beneficial in connecting with your Higher Self and Source. The most important thing is honoring your divinity and needs.

When we are stressed out and anxiety ridden we are not in a balanced state to receive the guidance. If we are so busy focusing on the problem and worrying we are not allowing the solution to present itself. Many times we are so preoccupied trying to figure out how to solve it and when the answer is going to arrive that we actually miss receiving it when it does come!

We are in a time where we are being pushed to our very limits. Challenges are coming from every which direction. It is in our best interest to stay in a peaceful, trusting state in order that we are not bombarded by the harsh energies that are surrounding it. The best way to handle the challenges is by staying present (not fixating about what we could have done differently to prevent whatever from happening or worrying about how we can resolve it). Next, asking for guidance and assistance from the higher realms. God and the Angels cannot intercede on our behalf without our permission, since this is a planet of free choice, therefore, we must ask for assistance and guidance. Then, letting go of the outcome and our expectations of what the solution should look like and what it could be. We cannot force it, rush it or control the outcome. Finally, and most importantly, trusting and having faith is essential.

We are truly loved and protected. What is happening is for our highest good and the issues we are facing are assisting us in resolving situations that have limited us up until this point.

When we are in the divine flow, taking care of ourselves and our loved ones, being mindful of our choices and what we are doing, and remaining present in our lives (rather than being haphazard, distracted and overdoing things) we can be aware of the signs of which direction is best for us to go in. Many times we ask for guidance but we are so distracted that when the guidance or solution arrives we don’t notice it because we are spreading ourselves so thin.

Making a daily practice of quiet times is imperative in quieting our thoughts and relaxing our bodies. Meditation is a very important practice. Many of us have a hard time quieting our mind and relaxing in order to meditate. Taking a walk, yoga, jogging, or some type of light exercise can be helpful. Playing peaceful music, lightening a candle and just sitting quietly can be really beneficial. Even if it is a time without the TV or background noise (telephone on silence) when you can tune in and connect while you make dinner or do simple chores. However, you can incorporate a daily practice of mindfulness is something that you will grow to crave and come to depend upon.

We are all born intuitive; it is our God given gift. We are all One with Source and none of us are more special than the other. We are all connected and each deserves guidance. Some of us were discouraged from accepting our gifts and other times we sabotaged ourselves into allowing our mind to tell us it is not logical, or doubting our own intuition.

Fear is the biggest obstacle from listening to and following our intuition. We get so caught up in the what ifs and the worse case scenarios that it can become paralyzing. Fear limits us into not trusting, believing God has forgotten about us and we lose faith in life. Fear has a way of blocking things from flowing so that there is no possibility that the answers can appear. We become frightened of making the wrong choice that we choose nothing at all, forfeiting our right to choose, thus we are left with whatever is chosen for us. Once we let go of the fear, we navigate to where the possibilities reside.

When we are trusting that everything will work out in its own way and time it DOES. Little clues appear that put you in touch with the right person, place, situation that ushers you along in the direction you are meant to go in. All it takes is following the energy that feels good and right and you are gently and easily guided on your merry way. Trust me, it really works that way, and it really IS that easy.

Serendipity and synchronicities happen when new people and opportunities appear in our life or someone from our past returns. When we are open, they guide us to our connections. One thing leads to another as events and people play out. All it requires is that we are aware of the purpose that others play in our life and follow our guidance.

Intuition is the gut feeling we get in our stomach. It is the strong feeling we receive telling us to do something or to stay away from doing something else. We KNOW what is right or wrong for us. We hold the answers within us. Somewhere along the way many of us gave our power away to others. Perhaps by turning to others for answers and discounting our own knowingness. Perhaps we grew up in families where we were told what to do, how to do it and were not encouraged to think and feel for ourselves. Other times we’ve had bad experiences and began to doubt or mistrust our own judgment and intuition.

There have been times I felt strongly I should do something and it turned out badly and I wondered why I didn’t get the signal to make a different choice. Other times I knew I shouldn’t do something and did it anyway, when inevitably, it turned out wrong I kicked myself for not following my gut feeling. Either way, the guidance was not wrong because I grew from the experience and it showed me something about myself and life.

Ultimately there are no wrong decisions because we are on path of experience. Either way we are experiencing love and loss, joy and pain, happiness and sorrow. Just being able to FEEL and experience life is what it is all about. I cannot be filled with regret for the many opportunities I have had to make love, feel love and experience love. Sometimes it has lead to pain and loss, but even in the worst experiences it has been laced with things I would never trade for anything in the world.

Learning to trust ourselves is the most important lesson. Knowing that we hold the answers and can overcome any limitation or obstacle we are facing. Look back to a year ago from today, or two or three years ago. See how far you’ve come? Think of the problems you were facing back then. Realize the solutions came and things worked out in the end.

A year ago today I was facing a really big nut to crack. I had no idea how I was going to handle it. It seemed insurmountable and there didn’t seem a way of resolving it. Fear blinded me. Once I let go of the problem and came into a place of peace and trust the solution arrived. It took an entire year to solve the issue but it is done. I know as we review the issues in our life we can see how things miraculously worked out once we allowed.

Sometimes life brings us to our knees. We hold on, and hold on until all we can do is let go and let things be. I don’t know why we have to allow things to go so far as to the point where we are screaming “mercy” but you know how humans can be, we need to be in control. During this profound, intense time of change and growth for all of its inhabitants, as life has us on our knees calling mercy, believe it or not, it is an oh so sacred experience. We are being prepared for great things.

We are learning to trust our instincts, our intuition, to connect with Source, to connect to our fellow humans, we are learning to open our hearts and allow tenderness in. We are learning to stand up for our needs, respect and trust ourselves and others, and have faith; we are seeing the beauty in the simple things and experiencing our feelings. We are finding that we need less and have far more than we thought we did. This is what this time is all about.

Following your intuition is about letting life in…trusting yourself and the process of life. Knowing that there are no mistakes, just experiences. Knowing that only you know what is best for you. Turning inward when you have a decision to make and listening to what you body tells you, trusting your feelings and being in the divine flow of life to see where you are guided.

Prayer

Sweet Spirit, Source, God/Goddess,

Please guide me on my path. You are my guiding light. Show me the way. There are times that I doubt my judgment and don’t listen to my intuition. I want to trust my gut feelings and never give my power away to others. Only I know what is best for me. I can turn to others for advice or someone to talk to but ultimately I hold the answers within me. I know that my guidance comes directly from you and that as long as I stay mindful of my thoughts and feelings that I will always be in communion with you. May I stay in the divine flow and follow the path that feels right. I feel you gently nudge me along and I trust that everything is happening for a reason.

Thank you for your sweet, gentle guidance that comes through my intuition and opportunities. I am grateful for your ever-abiding presence.
And so it is.

Stefanie Miller is a teacher, energy healer, spiritual counselor and an intuitive, channeled writer. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education and has taught elementary school for over 16 years. Stefanie has been assisting individuals on their spiritual path since 1998. Facilitating private healing sessions, workshops and through her channeled writing, Stefanie guides individuals toward achieving self mastery by connecting with their Higher Self and Source through a heart centered focus. Visit her beautiful site, A Magical World

Living What You Love

We could all use more LOVE in our lives, and the more we give the more we get.

Samuel ibn Magrela was a Spanish-Jewish poet of the eleventh century who was vizier to the king of Granada. He was cursed one day in the presence of the king, who commanded Samuel to punish the offender by cutting out his tongue. The Jewish vizier, however, treated his enemy kindly, whereupon the curses became blessings.

When the king next noticed the offender, he was astonished that Samuel had not carried out his command. Samuel replied, “I have torn out his angry tongue, and given him instead a kind one.” The Rabbis rightly declare, “Who is mighty? S/He who makes his enemy a friend.” (Avot d’Rabbi Nathan 23)

We can take this statement even further and say “Who is mighty? S/He who makes her/himself a friend.” Lack of love for ourselves inhibits our compassion toward others. When we make friends with ourselves, there are no obstacles to opening our hearts and minds to others. Of course we have to walk a fine line between loving/valuing ourselves and being too self-involved/absorbed.

Loving oneself certainly doesn’t mean indulging oneself. Loving is an attitude towards yourself that most people don’t have, because most people know things about themselves which are not desirable. Everybody has innumerable attitudes, reactions, likes and dislikes which they’d be better off without.

Self Judgment is made and while one likes one’s positive attitudes, one dislikes the others. With that comes suppression of those aspects of yourself that you’re not pleased with. You don’t want to know about them and don’t acknowledge them. That’s one way of dealing with your-self, which can be detrimental to growth.

Another unskillful way is to dislike that part of yourself which appears negative and every time it arises you blame yourself, which makes matters twice as bad as they were before. With that comes fear and very often aggression.
If you wants to deal with yourself in a balanced way, it’s not useful to pretend that the unpleasant part doesn’t exist, I am talking about those aggressive, irritable, conceited tendencies.

The charge of “I’m so wonderful” or “I’m so terrible” is defused. We are neither wonderful nor terrible. Everyone is a human being with all the potential and all the obstructions. If you can love that human being, the one that is “me” with all its faculties and tendencies, then you can love others realistically, usefully and helpfully.

If we look at ourselves in that manner, we will learn to love ourselves in a wholesome way. Just as a mother, who at the risk of her life loves and protects her child… Become your own mother! If we want to have a relationship with ourselves that is realistic and conducive to growth, then we need to become our own mother. A sensible mother can distinguish between that which is useful for her child and that which is detrimental, but she doesn’t stop loving the child when s/he misbehaves.

This may be the most important aspect to look at in ourselves. Everyone, at one time or another, misbehaves in thought, speech or action. So what do we do with that? What does a mother do? She tells the child not to do it again, loves the child as much as she’s always loved her/him and just gets on with the job of bringing up her child. Maybe we can start to bring up ourselves.

When you Love yourself enough, you will move through your Heart to the negative pole, and begin the work of bringing all your negative thoughts, feelings, words, and actions to consciousness.

The energy of your Self-Love will begin the movement of these negative patterns through your heart, and toward the positive pole of your soul. It takes stamina, courage, strength, relentless attention, and great Self-Love, to move from inertia into momentum toward the positive pole.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

Carrot Egg or Coffee Bean?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

It seemed that, as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the young woman replied. The mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water – but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened! The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” the mother asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?” Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong but, with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a breakup, or a financial hardship, does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?