Saturday, April 30, 2016

Iyar: Enhancing Our Relationships

Dear Friends,

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

Rosh Chodesh Iyar begins Motzai Shabbos (Saturday night), the 7th of May, and lasts for two days.

The period known as The Omer occurs during this month. During part of The Omer, we commemorate thousands of Rabbi Akiva’s students who died in a plague. The Talmud teaches that the plague occurred because the students did not treat each other with proper respect.

This month, we focus on treating others well and enhancing our relationship with them.

Our relationships play a pivotal role in either enhancing or negatively affecting our emotional, physical and spiritual health; toxic relationships drain us, while healthy relationships nourish us.

Make a list of your key family, work and social relationships. Decide which ones to strengthen or repair, which ones need better boundaries or for you to distance yourself from, and ways to foster new healthy relationships.

Input into your checklist the following practice or a related one: At least once a week, schedule one-on-one time with someone in your life to strengthen that relationship; shut off your cell and give him
or her your undivided attention.

In addition, consider using your checklist and check off each day you were able to avoid criticizing the specific person you are working on. You might want to start off with just avoiding giving criticism during a set time of day, i.e., morning, afternoon or evening, and build from there.

Questions for the month:
“Which of my relationships do I need to strengthen? How will I do that?”

“Which relationships need better boundaries or for me to distance myself from? How will I do that?”

“Do I want to form new healthy relationships? How will I do that?”

“Which person in my life am I most critical of? Am I willing to commit to give them this month at least as much compliments as critiques?”

Read up on the type of relationship you are currently dealing with. Here are links to articles on specific relationships:




Relating to your parents

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


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