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

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?

The Eight Spiritual Essentials

Based on the teachings of Rabbi Joseph H. Gelberman

Think of these “essentials” as the eight rungs on a ladder leading upward toward greater consciousness.

  1. The first rung is to be One with the self, the soul, and שכינה Shekinah – Creator’s indwelling feminine presence.
  2. The second rung is to forgive the past and look forward to the future with Joy and excitement.
  3. The third rung is to open the mind, letting the soul fly into unknown space.
  4. The fourth rung is to consider what our true mission in life is, and to be totally Alive to that mission
  5. The fifth rung is to be ready once again to hear the message given at Mount Sinai, to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
  6. The sixth rung is to learn the art and science of living spiritually; Healthy in body, mind and soul.
  7. The seventh rung is to experience genuine love and know the difference between pleasure, happiness and joy.
  8. The eighth rung is to reunite the divided self in order to know the glory of Oneness of the Universe.

One of the most important concepts to remember is that without human effort, the Creator will remain unredeemed. Creator only lives where Creator is invited. In other words, we are responsible for Creator’s intervention on earth.

If you want the Creator in your life, all you need to do is call. This is one of the important keys to understanding of spirituality. There’s an interactive arrangement between The Light and yourself.

Spirituality is a quest for true knowledge and understanding that will lead you to explore the very depths of your heart and soul in order to receive Love & Light.

May the light always shine brightly on you and may Joy find you at every corner.

Exercise

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Meditate on the following passages and invite The Creator to a dialogue as you do so:

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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O CREATOR, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
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I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
(Psalm 77:12)
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Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders. (Psalm 119:27)
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A Wealthy Beggar

A Story of Inner Light

One day, Sam, a poor man came home from work tired and exhausted. He begged The Creator for just a little treasure. All of a sudden, Sam noticed a little purse lying near his feet. A heavenly voice said to him: “Take this purse as a gift from Creator. You will find a single coin inside, and the moment you take it out, another coin will take its place – until you throw the purse into the river. The moment you spend the first coin, the purse will lose its magic powers.”

By that evening, Sam had succeeded in gathering a full sack of coins from the purse, but there was no bread left in the house, because he would not spend a single coin to buy food for himself. “I will gather another sack of money, and only then throw the purse into the river and begin to spend the coins.” That day Sam asked a neighbor for bread and on the following day he went out to beg for bread in the streets, because, as he said, “It won’t do me any harm if I fill another sack with coins before I spend the money and throw the wonderful purse into the river.” And so, he continued to beg for bread and to gather coins until the end of his days, never spending anything because he did not want to part with his wonderful purse. Sam died a very rich man and his home was filled with sacks of coins – but he died still a poor beggar.

Sam did not realize that in order to truly change his life, he needed more than just money and material possessions. He failed to realize that what he really needed was a different outlook, a change of direction. Even when his wishes/prayers were answered, he was “stuck” in a rut and couldn’t see beyond his negative feelings of fear, greed, the self-perception that he was nothing but a poor beggar.

Often, like Sam, we don’t realize our potential and strengths. We wish to have this, and hope to become that. Then, when our prayers are answered, we forget to enjoy what we have. As a result, we keep it all to ourselves and forget to share with world.

It’s easy to get caught up in negativity and self-loathing; sometimes it may even give us comfort. But consider this; instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have, that everyone else is missing. The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible. The difference between ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ are only three letters — Three letters that determine your life’s direction. Share your inner light without fear or doubt. Light is good from whatever lamp it shines.

Benefits of Walking

The Spiritual and Physical

Walking (and exercise) has benefits beyond the merely physical. Many people walk as much for mental and spiritual well-being as for fitness. Can walking make you happy?

Can it help you deal with life stress? Can it help you work through relationship  problems? Can it lead to a deeper spiritual and religious life? For many, the answer is Yes!

Walking outside has an enormous impact on mood, creativity, and mental clarity. Because of this, it can get you through failure and loss, get you past rejection, and help you reverse setbacks. Studies have shown that exercise-induced brain chemicals help people think more clearly. In addition to helping you think, taking a walk outside elevates your thought to a higher creative plane. Somehow, getting moving in the fresh air (or even in city air) gets you out of the box. Your mind can more easily find new perspectives when you’re in motion out in the world.

Walking reminds you of your connection to all that is. All energy is connected, but when we get wrapped up in the daily intricacies of our “what is” life, we often forget that. A walk outside can remind you of the vastness to which you’re connected. Knowing you have all that energy flowing to you, through you, and from you, can give you the sense of power you need to come back from any disappointment. Of course you’ve heard of endorphins. Walking creates them. Which means that walking boosts your mood?

When your mood is depressed, it’s tough to find the positive aspects that can lead you to solutions and better and better experiences. Studies have shown that regular walking can relieve depression, and that has certainly been my experience.

Walking opens possibilities. When you walk outside, you see so many different things. You see movement, color and shapes. You see people and events. All of this constantly moving sensory input (and even a static setting has this constant movement … think of the ocean waves or blowing leaves), taps into your ability to see possibility. Setback can feel like a static experience, an ending. Walking can show you just how open the world is. If you’re moving, your energy is flowing. Your energy is flowing even if you’re not moving, but you’re more aware of it when you’re moving.

Walking gives you time to go deeper and consider fundamental questions: What is the purpose of life? Am I fulfilling my purpose in life? What have I done that has made the world a better place? What ought I do? Have I caused hurt that I should now mend? What comes after life? What is the best way to live the rest of my life? These are questions for believers and nonbelievers alike. The time away from other cares and pressures gives you time to dwell on these fundamentals.

The spiritual benefits of walking address issues such as sense of connectedness, and ability to contemplate deeper values. They are not related to any specific belief system. At the most obvious level, walking gives us time to contemplate and also can be used as a meditation, connecting mind and body.

When we are out walking and see beautiful scenery, we get that sense of wonderment of being alive, especially with the increased vibrancy that comes from being physically fit. Because walking is slower paced than driving or even bicycling, when we see people in our walks, there tends to be a sense of belonging and community which contributes to our spiritual well-being.

Our lives are very busy and it’s often hard to find the time to take care of ourselves in this fast-moving world. Small walks are a great way to receive the benefits of walking. If time allows, walk your kids to school. Instead of taking your car to run a short errand, take a walk if the place you are going to is close enough. When it comes to exercise, nothing can really beat walking. After all, it’s something we already do every day. It doesn’t require any special equipment, and it’s something that will benefit the body, and the mind.

How To Increase Your Divine Consciousness

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

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 choices are 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:

  •  Helping those in need around us.
  •  Being more loving and genuine in our daily interactions.
  • Smiling at the person next to us in the elevator and saying “hello.”
  • In general, making a bigger effort to Care/Love

With-out our efforts and consciousness, The Light can’t illuminate our world.

We need Ein-Sof and Ein-Sof 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.

Exercise:

In order to begin building or re-building your self-esteem , you have to accept who you are by reinforcing a positive self-image. If you have grown into the habit of thinking negatively about yourself, you will need to train yourself to achieve the opposite.

The following lists can help remind you of your worth when you are feeling down on yourself:

  • 10 things you can do to make yourself laugh.
    Do at least one a day!
  • 10 things you can do to make someone else laugh.
  • 10 POSITIVE things about your personality.
  • 10 ways to help another person.

After completing these lists, go back periodically and look at them. This will serve as a good reminder of all the positive things you are made of, and will help cheer you up when you’re having a bad, “self-defeating” day.

* Ein Sof, or Ayn Sof (/eɪn sɒf/, Hebrew: אין סוף), in Kabbalah, is understood as God prior to his self-manifestation in the production of any spiritual realm, probably derived from Ibn Gabirol's term, "the Endless One" (she-en lo tiklah).