On Strength of Spirit
(My intention on this beautiful Sunday morning:)
Today I will show up at every moment as my best self, filled with love and light and joy, surrendering to what G-d has planned for me, and embracing my part in His greater plan.
What if we all were able to live like that every single moment of every single day?
What if we were able to live so fully in the present and be our best self at every present moment? What would our future look like? Happy, I imagine. Fulfilled. Easier.
I am not referring to one who never gets angry, insulted, challenged, or pressed to their limits. All these things can happen to this wonderfully living person. They just respond with emotional mastery. They let their intuition guide them at every given moment. They recognize when they are too angry, hurt, confused to respond, and they wait until they are breathing slowly and thinking clearly to hash out a response. They do not impulsively react. They are, basically, spiritually disciplined people. They do not have more tools for coping than everyone, per se, they just remember to use them. They want to use them. How often have we said I know I should wait before I yell at my kid but I need to respond now! Or wave off a child who is trying to tell us something when we just want to finish this chapter of a book we are engrossed in, or even these dishes we just want to finish washing, as our intuition is yelling at us “what he has to say is more important and won’t wait like the page of this book/the dishes will!”
Think about all the skills we have been taught by The Chapters of Our Fathers, by our teachers, our parents, our grandparents, by interactions with our friends and mentors. We, most of us, already have most of the coping skills we need (although I seem to find every time I listen to one of my mentors speak that there is always more to learn – like a new exercise to work a muscle differently even after years of conditioning your body). And if we don’t, there are so many resources to get them – classes, courses, free online material. Just google Emotional Mastery, or look up Tony Robbins or Marianne Williamson. There are so many great teachers out there who have free material accessible on their websites.
The point I am making here is that it is not about having the skills. It is about using them. It is about 1. Awareness of a lack of emotional mastery or “where we can use more control in dealing with the triggers in our life”; 2. Recognizing the triggers that lead you to “misbehaving” or not responding in the highest best manner of your true capabilities (eg. when you have been with the kids all afternoon and then dinner and bedtime come and you have lost every ounce of patience and put the kids to bed in a not so positive whirlwind; when someone else in your life is in a bad mood and you let it define your mood, etc); 3. Listing/recognizing the coping skills you have to respond differently in these situations and 4. Practicing them in the ‘right now’.
I think, or rather I have seen, that once one has expressed the desire to exert more control over his behavior, or rather, to allow his highest truest self come out at these times of stress (or even at good times when we allow our behavior to slip intentionally), then the unfolding of a new pattern will emerge. Once one expresses an intention to be better, to act in sync with his true self, well, that is what G-d wants too, so He sort of paves the way and helps you along. Don’t take my word for it – try it and watch it happen.
Perhaps the part of the process that requires the most out of one seeking to change is remembering. In that moment when one is triggered yet again to have a knee-jerk reaction he now recognizes as “unfit”, to remember that you have the skill to act differently. And in the beginning, you may not remember until you have completed said unfit knee-jerk reaction. But the next time, you remember 80% of the way through. The next time, 60% of the way through, etc, until you remember before you let your knee jerk. And, man, I have to tell you, that feeling when you realize you remembered to behave differently and then DID. . . nothing like it. That is when you will experience a feeling of true freedom. Do it over and over and you know what true power is. The ability to change a pattern of behavior and express yourself fully as you were meant to…they can’t bottle that feeling. But if they could it would be named Flying High.
Do you know the feeling when you have committed to toning and conditioning your body, and then, after weeks of exercising and sweating and aching you wake up one morning and FEEL that your body has more inner masterful control of every movement of your body? You feel so fired up and alive and healthy and wonderful! The same holds true for one who has practiced using his spiritual/emotional muscles and wakes up one morning to feel that he has learned to behave and respond in the present moment as he was meant to, with this underlying masterful control over his behavior every and any second of the day. It is euphoric.
It is my blessing to myself, to all of you, and to the whole world, that we each wake up one morning soon to this wonderful realization that we are able to bring our best selves to every moment of that day.
With love and deep serenity,
P.S. I would like to mention here a huge thank you to Marianne Williamson whose Monday night classes inspire me and were the inspiration for today’s blog. To Meredith Hill whose writing is always what I need or want to hear on exactly the day she writes it. And to Stacey Martino who taught me the idea of “all change happens on a spectrum” in such a clear and loving way. And to YBM for leading me to one, which led to the others. xo
Beit Roga Events:
** This week, on Tuesday night in Modi'in, Devorah will be presenting Moms with their own sets of Keys to Calmer Living. If you have not yet signed up, or if you know of friends in the area who would be interested, check out and share the details here (my website) or here (FB)!
** On February 9th, the first of three talks on Calmer living will start in the matnas in Ramat Beit Shemesh. All talks can be heard as stand-alone discussions, and one does not need to come to all three to get major tools and awesome perspectives on what we need to lead calm lives. Check out the webpage here for more details.