Saturday, February 10, 2018

Adar: Enhancing our Joy

Dear Friends,

This post is about the Jewish month of Adar, as it relates to The Chazak Plan: A 12 Month Journey to Spiritual Strength.

Rosh Chodesh Adar begins Wednesday night, the 14th of February, and lasts for two days.

Our Sages teach that with the arrival of Adar we increase our joy, culminating in the festival of Purim. Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people during the Persian exile.

While we do not have direct control over our moods, the following are six tools which can be helpful in enhancing them: Gratitude, acceptance, self-compassion, expressing ourselves, addressing festering issues and making lifestyle enhancements (these tools are discussed in the reading below). Many times, even using just one tool will help us feel better and increase our enjoyment of life.

After reading the article, choose one tool which you will utilize this month. Then, decide on the one change, technique or behavior, related to that tool, you will do on a daily or regular basis, for at least this month. Add it to your checklist and track how often you do it.

Questions for the month:

“What do I think is most negatively affecting my emotional health? How will I address it?”

“What will I do this month to enhance my emotional health/mood and become a happier person?”

Reading for the month:

6 Tools to Enhance Your Mood

Take care and may God grant us success in the coming month,

Yaakov

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Personal Growth: How to Upgrade Your Skillset

Dear Friends,

We're all a work in progress. The question is what are we working on?

Pick one area of your life that you want to focus on improving.

Personal Growth: How to Upgrade Your Skillset

Have a great week,

Yaakov

Saturday, January 27, 2018

How to Stop Hating and Start Loving Yourself

Dear Friends,

It's shocking how many people don't like themselves. But we are going to live with ourselves for the rest of our lives, so we might as well take the time now to develop a loving relationship.

How to Stop Hating and Start Loving Yourself

Have a great week,

Yaakov

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Overcoming our Soft Addictions

Dear Friends,

A focus this month is on regaining balance in our lives and reining in any behavior that has become problematic.

Overcoming our Soft Addictions

Have a great week,

Yaakov

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Shvat: Elevating the Physical

Dear Friends,

This post is about the Jewish month of Shvat, as it relates to The Chazak Plan: A 12 Month Journey to Spiritual Strength.

Rosh Chodesh Shvat begins Tuesday night, the 16th of January, and lasts for one day.

The 15th of this month is Tu B’Shvat, the New Year for trees. An aspect of this holiday is celebrating and elevating the physical. Part of sanctifying the physical is taking care of the body with which God entrusted you. During this month, choose to upgrade either your sleep, exercise or diet habits.

Pick one change you will make on a daily or regular basis, for at least this month, and using your checklist, track how often you do it. If you find the change very easy, add another one. Some examples: Go to sleep 15-20 minutes earlier each week until you feel refreshed in the morning; exercise 2-3 times a week or go for a daily brisk walk; cut out sugary drinks and/or foods from your diet, limiting them to special occasions. Make water your preferred beverage. If you do not like the way your water tastes, consider a filter.

A related point of focus for this month is to consider if there is an area of your life where your relationship with the physical has become unbalanced and excessive, e.g., overeating, overspending, overworking, or overuse of the internet or your smartphone (surfing, texting, checking email, using Facebook etc.). Most of us have at least one area which, at a minimum, wastes our time and takes us away from more fulfilling activities. This month, pick one behavior to rein in and one behavior you would like to do more of instead.

Questions for the month:

“What will I upgrade this month, my sleep, exercise or diet habits?”

“Is there an area of my life which has become unbalanced and excessive, which at the very least wastes my time? How will I rein it in and regain control?”

“What would I like to do with the new time or money I free up?”

Take care and may God grant us success in the coming month,

Yaakov

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Nourishing Yourself with Faith during Difficult Times

Dear Friends,

We live in challenging times. It seems like on a regular basis we hear about tragedies and crises.

We need to nourish ourselves with faith and draw strength from our relationship with God.

Nourishing Yourself with Faith during Difficult Times: 

Have a good week,

Yaakov