Saturday, April 17, 2021

6 Ways to Kick the Criticism Habit

Dear friends,

Most people are far too critical. 

How about you, do you criticize too much?

6 Ways to Kick the Criticism Habit

Have a great week,

Yaakov

Saturday, April 10, 2021

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 Sunday night, April 11th 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, this month, work on being less critical of others. Start by focusing on the person of whom you are most critical. Consider using your checklist and check off each day you were able to avoid criticizing them.

Questions for the month:

“Which of my relationships do I need to strengthen? What is the first step to doing that?”

“Which relationships need better boundaries or for me to distance myself from? What is the first step to doing that?”

“Do I want to form new healthy relationships? What are some ways I can do that?”

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

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

Dating

Marriage

Parenting

Relating to your parents

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

Yaakov

Saturday, March 20, 2021

What Worked for Our Ancestors: 5 Lessons from the Exodus

Dear Friends,

This Motzai Shabbat, Saturday night, the 27th of March is the first night of Passover.

What Worked for Our Ancestors: 5 Lessons from the Exodus

There will be no blog post over the holiday.

Have a Chag Kasher Vesameach!

Yaakov

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Nissan: Spiritual Spring Cleaning

Dear Friends,

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

Rosh Chodesh Nissan began Motzai Shabbat, the night of the 13th of March and lasts for one day.

During Nissan, we celebrate the holiday of Passover. On Passover, we commemorate the Exodus from Egypt. It is a time of freedom, when we free ourselves from that which brings us down spiritually.Even today, many of us are still not yet completely free and are enslaved to our passions, to varying degrees. At the same time, we still maintain some level of moral purity. The goal is to raise it up a notch, thereby increasing our freedom.

When you prepare for the holiday by removing leaven from your house, also remove spiritual pollution. To whatever extent you’re ready, go through your books, magazines, music and videos, and get rid of those which are filled with profanity, lewdness or vulgarity. Go through your wardrobe and donate to charity clothing that is unbecoming of the daughter of the King. Use an internet filter to block inappropriate websites and be more discerning what websites and videos you expose your soul to. If you wouldn’t show it to a teenager, you probably shouldn’t be watching it either. Avoiding that which downgrades our spirituality will help us have a closer connection to God.

An aspect of maintaining your purity is speaking in an elevated manner. Are there any words you choose to remove from your vocabulary, at least for this month?

Using your checklist, you can check off each day you succeeded in speaking in a refined manner and/or staying away from spiritual pollution (or limiting your exposure as best you can).

Article:
4 Ways to Safeguard Your Moral Purity

Questions for the month:

“How can I declutter and elevate my spirituality at the same time? What will I get rid of?”

“What is a source of spiritual pollution in my life? How can I shield myself from it or at least limit my exposure?”

“What word(s) do I choose to remove from my vocabulary, at least for this month?”

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

Yaakov

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Corrected Link: 3-Dimensional Acceptance: A Pathway to Peace and Power

 Dear Friends,

(Below is the correct link. I apologize for the inconvenience) 

There are three dimensions of acceptance: Accepting our present circumstances, accepting ourselves and accepting other people...

3-Dimensional Acceptance: A Pathway to Peace and Power

Have a great week,

Yaakov

Saturday, February 27, 2021

3-Dimensional Acceptance: A Pathway to Peace and Power

Dear Friends,

There are three dimensions of acceptance: Accepting our present circumstances, accepting ourselves and accepting other people...

3-Dimensional Acceptance: A Pathway to Peace and Power

Have a great week,

Yaakov