Many thoughts about the world, meditation, parenting, Judaism, pregnancy, teaching, cancer survivorship, moving from West Coast to East and more.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Self-Care for the benefit of others

I put a lot of effort and focus into self-care. Yoga in the morning, trying to eat well during the day, breathing deep to dissipate stress and so on.

And I often feel guilty doing all of this because I know many people's response might be "You have time for that?" 

But one of the benefits of having sort of a rocky inner landscape and a tentative immune system is that I've learned I'm the only one who can take care of myself, and that if I don't, there will be consequences.

So in theory I feel pretty good about the choices I make and hope I can inspire others to do the same in whatever form it takes for them.

Add into that the helplessness I feel when someone is not doing well and I can't fix it for them... if they try their best and want my help, I'm empowered to try and do something to get them there.

But if they're not, well, we're kind of stuck. I don't like how that feels. I hope I can keep from putting others in that position by doing the majority of the work myself.

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Hilchot Deot

I'm posting below a letter that I wrote and will be sharing in shul this weekend for Parsha Zachor while we make a small siyum for our learning of Hilchot Deot. 

To the Sandy Hook Community,

You don’t know us. We are a small Jewish community in Englewood, New Jersey. We have no direct connection with you.

However, last December when tragedy struck your community, we were heartbroken for you. Like millions of others, we felt pain, loss and hopelessness on your behalf and wondered what we could do.

What we chose to do was to take this as an opportunity to come together ourselves and work towards becoming better people. While we rarely set aside time for communal Torah study, we came together over a period of seven weeks to learn a classic Jewish text called Hilchot Deot which guides us towards being the best people we can be.

We continue to feel heartbreak for you but hope that this gesture may in some way help to make our world a better place.

May we know no more sorrow.

                                                Sincerely,
                                                Kehillat Kesher Community
                                                Englewood, NJ

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