The Jewish prayer book is called a siddur. I learned the Jewish prayers in religious day school growing up, and recited them religiously (pun intended) through my mid-twenties. Then life started to get more complicated. In grad school I remember the tension I felt about having to rush through my morning prayers to get to … Continue reading Back to the Basics: the Prayer Book
Do you control your breath or does it control you? The answer is: both. Breath is a unique biological function in that it occurs involuntarily, but can be manipulated through conscious effort. As part of my decade-long pursuit of greater peace of mind, I have engaged in mindfulness meditation exercises focusing on the breath. This … Continue reading The Secret to Peace of Mind: The Breath
You know how they say people can't drive us crazy if we don't give them the keys? Or how the only thing we can control in life is our response? Well, I've been thinking about this for a long time—more than a decade in fact—and while I understand this on a rational level, it hasn't … Continue reading Taking Accountability for Your Stress
I recently had a conversation with a relative of mine about why some people try to finish other people's sentences when being told a story, while other people sit and listen and simply take in the story. This morning I had the following insight: A few years back I bought the book Drawing on the … Continue reading Being Present: Activating Your Right Brain
For years I, like most others I know, have associated yoga with doing impressive yoga poses. But every time I strive for this goal, I get hurt. This is because, as a fellow health professional and I were recently discussing, yoga in the Western world focuses on the physical aspects of yoga while leaving out … Continue reading What is a Yogini?
This past Sunday I attended the entire morning prayer service (Shacharit) for the first time in a while. I went to recite Kaddish, the memorial prayer, since it was my father's yahrzeit (anniversary of death). It has been a while since I prayed the entire morning service. I started in middle school and did so … Continue reading Procedural Memory and Prayer
I read an insightful blog post on turning suffering into creativity by Dr. Eric Perry. I find I resonate and learn from many of his posts. The link to this particular blog post is here. I wrote the following in a comment to this blog post: "I have gone through suffering and have also come … Continue reading Channeling Suffering Into Creativity
Today is the day before tomorrow and tomorrow I am traveling back to my childhood home for a memorial for my father. He passed away 13 years ago, and every year since family and friends from the community have gathered to remember him and honor him with words of Torah—that part is my brother. He … Continue reading Why Today is Significant
I am currently entering round 17 of embarking on greater self-compassion. I've studied it, practiced it, but for some other reason or another—boredom with the practice, lacking time to commit, or caring for my toddler daughter—I have not sustained it long term. The greatest break was when I incurred a back injury in 2011, and … Continue reading Positive Affirmations—Where Were They When I Was Growing Up?
I agonized for hours over tearing open that package of wipes. The Jewish holiday of Sukkot started Sunday night, and until Tuesday night, those who observe the holiday more stringently are careful not to tear. (Along with some other practices they refrain from: going to work, driving a car, using electricity—the list goes on...) Then … Continue reading Tearing a Paper, Tearing a Heart