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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Healing for the Body, Mind and Spirit: Serenity of the Soul


21 Tevet, 5773

I subscribe to various listservs, one of which is dedicated to self-improvement via religious ideals. The listserv often holds requests to pray for a specific someone who is ill. 

I read a pleasant surprise in yesterday's update, after having shared a message with the listserv's owner. Days before the update came out, I had explained that not only do ill people need prayers for healing (refuot/רפואות), rescue from this or that (yeshuot/ישועות) situation, miracles (nisim/ניסים) and wonders (niflaot/נפלאות) to help them along, but also a serenity of the soul (shalvat hanefesh/שלוות הנפש) so that the mind-body connection can work together in a healing manner instead of working against each other and further harming the already suffering person. 

Less stress is always conductive to 
mental and physical health.

Compassion is called for when someone, including ourselves, is ill. 

Serenity of the soul is possible. It takes a bit of work, lots of forgiveness, increasingly healthy perspective and repeated effort. It can be done. The payoff is heartfelt relief and a happier look at life.

I hope you'll share your thoughts about the messages and ideas above and below in the "Comments" section.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Orit Riter <>
Date: Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Subject: {Daily dose of emuna} That yetzer hara... what a joker!

Today’s daily dose is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Binyomin ben Batya.  Please recite a kapitel of tehillim in his zechut, he is greatly suffering from pain in his back.  May HaKadosh Baruch Hu send him refuot rabot, yeshuot rabot, nisim v’niflaot v’gam shalvat hanefesh amongst all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b’karov, b’rachamim, Amen! (Thank you to Yocheved Golani for formulating this bracha).
Please visit her on EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge print or E- book (buy it by clicking HERE) and Its MY Crisis Book Blog

We are continuing our journey to avodat Hashem with purity. Chazal teach us other valuable ways to achieve the goal of attaching to Hashem with purity and increased emuna.  The following lessons will focus specifically on achieving a higher level of self- discipline and thereby minimizing transgressions in order to improve purity of heart.
We are all born with innate desires, attractions, thoughts and tendencies which need to be harnessed in order to achieve our maximum potential. Often we cannot control our thoughts as they feel involuntary.  Yet, refusing to act on a thought represents the epitome of self-discipline and therefore holiness.  Meeting the challenging task of refusing to bow to our temptations brings with it tremendous spiritual rewards.
Chazal set boundaries to safeguard us from sin.  These borders are created to prevent us with our human frailties from entering a dangerous situation from which retreat will be virtually impossible.  If the boundaries were left up to each individual, they would be pushed and moved to suit our ever changing wishes and individual challenges.  Respecting the sages’ knowledge of our own character and weaknesses helps guide us on the right path.
Restraining ourselves from following our desires ultimately makes us feel good.  Deep down our soul knows we are choosing the right thing. Rabbi Nachman ztk”l offers insight from the Zohar HaKadosh that controlling one’s urges creates a conduit for receiving bracha into the world.  Hashem ‘yearns’ to send us blessings and we provide Him with this opportunity by controlling our desires. .
However when sin does transpire, we must admit to it and daven to Hashem asking for mechila (forgiveness).  Rabbi Nachman teaches that the yetzer hara is like a trickster who runs around with his fist closed asking people, “What do you suppose I have in my hand?”  To which each person imagines that the closed hand has in it just what he desires most. They all run after and follow him and when they reach him he opens his hand which is completely empty.  This is the way of the evil one who lures us into sin without fulfilling any of our worldly desires!  
This idea shines further light onto the insignificance of chasing after non-spiritual pursuits.  They are meaningless and will lead us to transgress.
ואנחנו נברך קה, מעתה ועד עולם הללוקה

* Acknowledge the gifts Hashem has put into your hands. Then make the effort - but also recognize that the outcome is always beyond your control.

* Become aware of feelings such as fear, anxiety and sadness as they are occurring within you, and identify them as signs of lack of trust in Hashem.

Truly awaiting Mashiach and wishing everyone only revealed good .... With bracha, Orit Riter
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Yocheved Golani
Writing Services • Self-Help Coach for Health Issues • Author • Speaker
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Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism. 

Forgive yourself, knowing you've done your best with the tools at hand and the skills you've developed. Take pride in your future efforts to be even better. We're human, doing the best we can under complicated, confusing conditions.


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