Like Removing A Nail

Toes.JPEG

So you always hear about the techniques used when people are being tortured…one of them being have their nails ripped off.


Ouch!


So this week when I had a ingrown toenail removed, I said jokingly to the podiatrist:


“Do you do waterboarding also?”


Ok, funny, not-funny.  Still got a chuckle!


But in removing the nail, the technique is really so amazing.


They inject the toe with a local anesthetic, but hey even the injections into a sensitive toe could be pretty uncomfortable. 


So before the injection, they spray you toe with a freezing spray, so you don’t even feel the injections.


When he actually removed the nail and chemically destroyed the nailbed so it wouldn’t come back, I didn’t feel a thing.


I mean, I literally didn’t feel a thing!


It was a wonderful feeling–whatever he did, however much it would’ve hurt–it didn’t.


I thought to myself in a wave of anesthetic and freeze-numbed delight, this is absolutely wonderful.


No pain, not even a pinch. 


I could sense everything going on around me, take it in, think about it, even mull it over again and again, and just smile. 


In a way, I thought how wonderful life would be to have the ability to think in the head and feel from the heart, but have no pain or suffering in the body. 


Yes, there are plenty of damning and painful thoughts, memories, and heartaches, but for the body to be numb (even momentarily) to all the bad stuff that actually felt pretty good.


How would it feel if the mind and heart also felt no pain and only bliss–I smiled even more. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Evil Stink Eye

Stink Eye

So there is an important Jewish (and non-Jewish) concept of the evil eye (in hebrew, it’s called an “Ayin Hara”).


This is the idea that people who are jealous of you or simply don’t like you, can wish bad (or evil to befall) on you. 


And the more people or the more merits these people have in life that cast this evil wish (in mystical terms, some may call it a spell), perhaps the stronger the potency of it on you. 


Superstition or real? This is a matter of what you believe in and maybe experiences you’ve had in life have taught you to beware of when others don’t wish you well. 


This is why many righteous people try to avoid the limelight–they don’t want others to focus on them and harbor bad feelings toward them. 


Better in a sense to remain more private and discrete than suffer the evil eye of others. 


If we understand that there are not only physical powers in the universe, but also spiritual and metaphysical ones, then we may choose to protect ourselves by shielding ourselves from the public eyes of jealousy and hate.


Others may choose to do extra charity, prayer, and good deeds in an effort to protect themselves from competitors and antagonists in life. 


It’s funny, but when my wife sees someone she perceives giving another the evil eye, she calls it, “The stink eye!”


And truly, it does stink that people can be so mean and hateful to others, but unfortunately, not everyone in life is nice and good.


It takes all types, and that is why it’s critical to avoid those evil glances, feelings, and thoughts of others.


Hurt can take many forms–words and deeds are the two that we recognize most often. 


However, we shouldn’t discount the harm that thoughts and feelings can cause as well. 


The mind and spirit of humans can reach out and up to the Heavens, and so we must live our lives good to G-d as well to people, and Bli Ayin Hara (without the evil eye) for blessings and not for curses. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

There You Are

Head
So my niece forwarded this over, and I thought it was really worth sharing…



It’s about how our lives are really a bunch of building blocks, and each thing we do contributes to the next step.



So we have to be careful all along the way to do the right thing–so we can achieve the results we want and can be proud of.



It goes like this:



“Watch you thoughts; they become words.



Watch you words; they become actions.



Watch you actions; they become habits.



Watch your habits, they become character.



Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”



Sometimes, we ask ourselves how we got to where we are today–almost as if we are surprised–but the reality is that most of the time, we are going through our lives inch by inch and step by step in an incremental and causal fashion. 



Yes sh*t happens–bad things (and good things), and they test and challenge us and take us to the next playing level.



But for the most part, we didn’t just arrive at this moment out of the blue, but rather given what G-d has given us, we mold ourselves brick by brick….until there we are. 😉



(Thank you to Chana Rivkah Herbsman and Minna Blumenthal)



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It’s What You Can’t Say

Taboo
So I saw this game called Taboo when doing the grocery shopping today. 



(This one is the Jewish edition.)



Having never played this before, I looked it up and learned that it’s a word game, where you have to give clues to the other team for them to guess a word, but you can’t use the “taboo” words on the card. 



So for example, if the word is baseball, then some of the taboo words may be sport, pitcher, hitter, etc. 



So this is not an easy game per se. 



Thinking about the premise of the game though, I started to reflect that this isn’t just a game, but in real life isn’t so much of our interactions with others not about what we can say, but also the “taboo” things that we can’t.



How many times do you want to tell someone off and explain what a jerk they have been acting lately or say your real feelings on a topic that you may feel passionately about, but it’s somehow taboo to get into those things–you don’t want to offend, be “politically incorrect”, or perhaps you just think others may not agree with you or understand your point. 



What do we do? 



We “beat around the bush”–we express our dissatisfaction or disapproval or the opposite, with facial expressions, non-verbal cues, or perhaps we take a deep breath, hold back, or mince our words, so as not to somehow cross a social boundary of some sort. 



We want others to know us, accept us, respect us, and truly like us, but we can’t always really be ourselves fully, because our words or feelings may be seen as taboo. 



In the end, sometimes we’re discreet and “hold our tongue” and occasionally we blurt out what we really think and maybe are proud we did or are sorry for it afterwards–but wouldn’t it be great if we could just be ourselves–without fear or retribution.



It shouldn’t be taboo! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Getting Control By Getting Back To Basics

Controller

I don’t know if you’ve seen this–it’s pretty popular, but I just really liked it:

 

“Beware of your thoughts, they become your words. 

Beware of your words, they become your actions. 

Beware of your actions, they become your habits. 

Beware of your habits, they become your character. 

Beware of your character, it becomes your destiny.”


To me it just makes so much sense–and it’s how we can either get ourselves on a track for successful living or potentially into some pretty big trouble:

 

It starts with a simple thought–good or bad–light bulb goes on, bling! 

Utter the thought (in word) and it begins to take form–blah, blah, blah.  

Put that thought into action, and now–boy oh boy–what have you done?

Repeat once, twice, three times, and you have a habit–or in Jewish tradition a “Chazakah,” something firm or established–think of it as, you’re hooked. 

Habits sure as heck breed character–and don’t pretend otherwise…

And your character is your calling card with others and ultimately with G-d.


The good thing is that we have 5 steps to intervene–to gain control over where we are going with our lives.

 

And we can turn things around, at any time.

 

– Change your thinking. 

– Clean up your mouthpiece. 

– Act with kindness. 

– Repeat only the things you want to ingrain. 

– Guard your character through regular monitoring and course correction.


(Source Photo: here)