What’s With The Water

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At this time of some major hurricanes hitting the USA (first Harvey, and now approaching IRMA and Jose)…


I have been remembering from the other day when I was in the pool, but I had a very different experience from usual. 


Yes, I was swimming hard and disciplined doing my laps.


But my mind decided to focus on the water.


Just the water…nothing else. 


I literally blanked out the world around me…no pool, no exercise, no other people, no current events, no random thoughts.


I just put all my senses unto the water itself. 


The cool softness of the water as it glided over my hands and body. 


The subtle resistance of the water, yet the buoyancy it provided. 


The waves and current as the water flowed around my body moving crisply through it.


The healing purity of the water physically and spiritually. 


I imagined the clearest and cleanest water, and how it quenches our thirst and washes everything in the world clean again. 


Water, earth, wind and fire…the wisdom and perfection of them and us cannot possibly be random events, but they are testament to the genius of our Creator. 


Thank you G-d especially for the water in the time, place, and amount that is for a blessing–and as a series of strong hurricanes continue to roar towards your people, let it be merciful. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Thank You To The Rescuers

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With all the devastation going on around Houston and the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Harvey…


I thought it would be nice to just take a moment to reflect.


First, the pain and suffering of the people affected. 


I couldn’t believe last night when I saw this image of residents in a assisted nursing facility sitting up to the necks in flood waters.


Or this morning, when I saw a photo in the Wall Street Journal of a firefighter holding a mother with her baby daughter lying on her, rescuing them through the waters. 


With over 3,000 rescues performed for people stranded in attics, rooftops, in cars, and all over the city and surroundings, I also think it’s important to recognize all the firefighters and other emergency workers who put their lives on the line to help others. 


The Houston area is expected to get 50 inches of rain in under a week, which is what their usual annual rainfall is. 


So there is massive flooding and damage from Harvey as well as 250,000 people without power. 


My prayers go out to the people impacted and gratitude to the people who help them. 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Huffington Post)

Look Down To Feel Up

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Listen, everyone has problems.


Whoever I talk to has something bad and fairly serious to complain about, and there seems to be new things coming all the time.


Just today, I heard from one person who went to the dentist with a tooth pain only to discover it had been silently infected for over a year, and was so serious that it literally could’ve killed him.


Another person told be about having a child with special needs and moving to an area with a school that could more effectively deal and help them. 


And a third person told me how they lost their husband many years ago at the age of just 39-years old and being left a widow. 


But people make the best of it!


They have to.


I remember my father saying when my mother got so sick with Parkinson’s Disease:

“We are part of the survivors club.”


It wasn’t easy to see her endless suffering while he selflessly tried to help her day-in and -out and cope with the physical and emotional pain of it all. 


When I was younger my dad would teach me about not feeling bad whatever the situation, and to always be grateful for what you have, and he told the story:

“There was a poor man who had no shoes, and he felt very bad…that is, until he saw someone else who had no feet.”


It doesn’t take much for things to get really bad in life…sometimes it can seem like we’re literally just holding on by a thin thread. 


But as G-d tests us and teaches us, we need to try to look on the bright side and be grateful that things aren’t worse….and yes, they can even get better again. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Flower 4 Monday

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Just wanted to share this beautiful flower that I came across on the hiking trail yesterday. 


I have never seen a flower with pedals of pink and white candy stripes like this. 


Like a candy cane or perhaps the outfits that volunteers helping people at some hospitals wear. 


It also has these yellow buds in the center, which add to it’s eloquence.


What magnificent creations that G-d has bestowed on us to enjoy. 


Hope this is a little something to cheer up your Monday and make you even more productive this week. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Best of the Caribbean

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Wow, I love this artwork from Haitian artist, Alix Baptiste, who works out of Savannah, Georgia. 


This one is called “Best of the Caribbean”–and I think it really is!


The colors and style he uses is so amazing. 


Someone else I know had one his artworks called, “Island Living” and it was so spectacular.


Somehow it feels like being there…almost. 


Baptiste has a website where you can see and shop from some of his other originals and lithographs.


I am so glad I found this…it really makes me happy. 


Thank you G-d for the beauty of life and in art!


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Alix Baptiste) 

Ooh That Is Good

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Hey, congratulations to Roger Federer on winning his 19th tennis championship. 


It’s an absolutely awesome level of athletic achievement and it’s definitely something to celebrate. 


But when I saw this photo of him and his trophy in the paper this morning, it seemed over the top!


Whenever someone sets their mind to something, works really hard, and is thank G-d able to achieve it–that is something to be happy about and enormously grateful for. 


Hey, listen, I understand there are some real superstars out there and I respect them! 


However, seeing this guy clutching his trophy in both hands, smelling it, kissing it, and more…it looks to me more like idolatry than the pure, sweet smell of success. 


I get it–he worked super hard, achieved impossible things, and deserves to savor the incredible moment–no one is taking that away from him. 


Instead of that gold trophy, wouldn’t you rather see him kissing his wife and children, thanking G-d (and his coach maybe), and saying things like how he will continue to use his success and earning to help others or maybe train the next generation of aspiring athletes. 


I applaud Federer more for his known philanthropy in helping disadvantaged children and doing charitable events for disaster victims than for winning his 19th championship (hey, 18 would’ve been fine too).  


In the end, self- (and trophy-) love and admiration is not the something to celebrate, but should instead point us back to character and using our strength and achievements to help others.


For what is really important in life, there is no earthly trophy for–and certainly not one worth any ultimate embrace. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via Wall Street Journal)