Published: Mon, 01 Jan 0001 12:00:00 EST
Last Build Date: Mon, 01 Jan, 0001 12:00:00 ESTCopyright: Copyright 2016, Chabad.org - Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center, all rights reserved.
Tue, 20 Sep 2016 12:00:00 ESTDear Readers, Climbing steep steps and hiking over bridges, we couldn’t get enough of the scene: stunning waterfalls nestled deep in the wooded mountains. Streams of crystal-clear water majestically dropped over huge cliffs and pooled into creeks surrounded by trees, wildflower and boulders. At the very end of the summer, my husband and I took our children to a family get-away in the Pocono Mountains and discovered the gorgeous Bushkill Falls. Utterly captivated, we spent hours hiking, climbing, wading in the water and snapping a million pictures. What is it about a waterfall that is so enchanting? After all, it’s just water doing what it naturally does, flowing from a higher place down to a lower one. And yet, each of those eight fabulous waterfalls nestled in the mountains took our breath away. But perhaps something deep in our subconscious stirs as we watch those enthralling falls and are reminded about our own origins. Just as t
Wed, 14 Sep 2016 12:00:00 ESTAs we watch the sun start to set, rather than the stirrings of our soul, we hear the strong grumblings of our stomach . . .
Fri, 09 Sep 2016 12:00:00 ESTDear Readers, Ever notice that some people bring out the best in you? You are more kind, caring and patient in their presence, and it’s even reflected in your conversations. Then there are others who bring out the worst in us. In their presence, our words reveal anger, restlessness and other unfavorable traits. When we interact with a child, we reach deep inside of ourselves to rediscover our own inner child, and our words are full of wonder and spontaneity. When interacting with an intellectual, we express our more cerebral side—our questioning, even cynicism. In shared intimate moments with our spouse, our words reflect softer sentimentality, warmth and love. In every situation, our words become tailored to the individuals with whom we are conversing; it reflects our relationship with them. On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate our connection to G‑d. We coronate G‑d as our King and ask Him to renew His relationship with us. We depend
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 12:00:00 ESTDear Readers, It’s your birthday. Your young children let you sleep in. Stealthily, they sneak downstairs to prepare a card, hand-drawn, with clashing colors of crayons. They find a crumpled piece of gift wrap for a beaded necklace that they crafted. Finally and hesitatingly, they hand over their special present to you. And, of course, more than the most expensive gift, their humble offering means the world to you. Now, imagine these scenarios: You gave a nice sum of money to a poor person who is down on his luck. You sat chatting with a home-bound, elderly neighbor to brighten his day. You brought over a home-cooked meal to a close friend who is bedridden. Or you read your child his favorite nighttime story—for the 15th time. Terrific, right? You should feel pretty good about yourself. But there’s one ingredient that’s essential to making it special and appreciated. Your children’s humble present meant so muc
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:00:00 ESTDear Readers, I recently read an article about a successful entrepreneur. She is a busy, hands-on mother of three young children who also runs a prosperous business. Several employees work for her, and she is constantly involved with launching new projects. To top it off, she is also writing a book about her business ideas. How does she manage to balance it all? She explained one key tool to avoid becoming sidetracked. At all times, she keeps with her a small black notebook. Throughout her many meetings, she jots down notes or important reminders. This way, she clears her mind to focus on her goals, rather than on what tasks she needs to remember. More importantly, at the beginning of her day, she writes down three or four goals she wants to complete that day. She needs to be flexible to accommodate the many diversions that will require her attention. But, if at the end of the day, she can see that she accomplished those three or four
Thu, 08 Sep 2016 12:00:00 EST
Thu, 18 Aug 2016 12:00:00 ESTJust as I would be falling into a deep sleep, I’d waken to the sound of crashing.
Thu, 11 Aug 2016 12:00:00 ESTDear Readers, You are holding your grandmother’s delicate tea cup when it slips from your fingers and crashes onto the hard floor, shattering into a hundred pieces. The laws of nature affirm that it cannot be made whole again. Sure, you can try to repair it, but it will never look quite the same. You heard the juiciest gossip about a neighbor and just had to share it with your friends, who in turn told it to theirs. The rules of speech assert that once words have been uttered, they can never be taken back. Sure, you can say new ones in an attempt to cover the old ones, but you can’t unspeak what has already been said. You’ve crossed a line in your closest relationship. You ripped out a piece of your loved one’s heart. The guidelines for relationships insist that your crime is beyond reprieve. Sure, you can apologize and may be able to work on rebuilding the relationship, but the original breach of trust cannot be bridged. Convent
Mon, 08 Aug 2016 12:00:00 ESTDear Readers, The age of 2 has notoriously been dubbed “The Terrible Twos” as toddlers begin to assert their independence. As if on cue, my sweet granddaughter has become adamant about doing things “all by herself.” One of her most popular refrains is “Self do it!” Her solution for tasks that she’d prefer to push off, such as bed time, is simply, “Mommy, go away!” But while one minute she is stridently trying to do things on her own, the next minute she’ll eagerly snuggle up to have a book read to her. She will declare an appreciative “tank you” when I dress her doll after her own frustrating attempt, but will stubbornly refuse to hold my hand while climbing the staircase. The look of victory in her eyes after she reaches the top is priceless. From about six months of age, the seed for independence is sewn and continues to grow, for some of us fiercely. Independence doesn’t mean that we don’t need others, but rather, that we contribut
Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:00:00 ESTDear Readers, Nature has a calming effect on us. Studies show people who take walks in nature, as opposed to urban settings, were less depressed and had better memory skills. City dwellers have a 20% higher risk of anxiety disorders and a 40% higher risk of mood disorders than those in rural areas. One study, traced patients recovering from routine surgery in identical rooms, but some were facing a brick wall and others were facing trees. Consistently, the patients facing the trees recovered earlier and required less pain medication. Why does nature restore us and help us regain our emotional equanimity? Psychologists attribute it to attention restoration theory, ART, which suggests that urban environments force us to use directed, top-down attention to concentrate on specific tasks. Since we can only focus for so long, directed attention gets depleted quickly. Forests, streams and ocean, on the other hand, are attention-grab