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.
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).