Saturday, January 21, 2017

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 Friday night, the 27th 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. Cut back on refined and highly processed foods, eating a more wholesome diet. 

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. 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. Taking back control of how you spend your time will enhance your self-image and you will feel better about yourself.

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 I free up?”

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

Yaakov

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Everything Works Out in the End: Even when it doesn’t appear to

Dear Friends,

Think about a challenge you are struggling with. If you knew it would work out in the end, how would you feel about that challenge?

Everything Works Out in the End: Even when it doesn’t appear to

Have a great week,

Yaakov

Saturday, January 7, 2017

How to Build Unshakable Faith

Dear Friends,

Strengthening our faith is not easy. But with focused attention, we can do it.


Have a great week,

Yaakov

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Is Faith Logical? One Answer in Ten Questions

Dear Friends,

Happy Chanukah!

Part of the message of Chanukah is to believe that miracles are always possible; no matter how dire the situation. The Maccabees were up against the formidable Syrian-Greeks, yet with God's help, they prevailed.

Believing in God and that He can perform miracles is actually very logical. Here's why:

Is Faith Logical? One Answer in Ten Questions

Have a great week,

Yaakov





Saturday, December 24, 2016

Tevet: Faith

Dear Friends,

Happy Chanukah!

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

Rosh Chodesh Tevet begins Thursday night, the 29th of December, and lasts for one day.

The month of Tevet encompasses two moods: Celebration and mourning. During the beginning of the month, we celebrate Chanukah, commemorating, among other events, the rededication of the Second Temple. Later in the month, on the 10th of Tevet, we fast and commemorate the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which led to the destruction of the First Temple.

In one month we commemorate two diametrically opposed events. Faith is the bridge between them. Even while we mourn an event which led to the destruction of the Temple, we have faith that like the miracle of Chanukah, another dedication of the Temple will occur, when the Messiah comes and dedicates the Third Temple.

Consider doing the following practice daily to enhance your faith: Think of a challenge and say to yourself:
“This is from God for my eternal benefit. Part of fulfilling my life’s purpose is doing what I can to overcome and grow from this challenge. This will work out in the end; either in this world or in the next. God is with me, giving me the strength and courage I need to triumph.”

Questions for the month:

“What life challenge will I use to help me strengthen my faith?”

“Is there an area of my faith where I have doubts and questions? If yes, who can I speak to for clarity?”

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

Yaakov

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Abraham + Isaac + Jacob = You

Dear Friends,

There is much to learn from our Forefathers and ways we can emulate them.

Abraham + Isaac + Jacob = You

Have a great week,

Yaakov