A person is composed of both body and soul. The body is finite, but the soul is eternal. Judaism teaches that your soul will live on after you die.
The soul was ‘breathed’ into us by God. It’s a spark of God’s essence.
STOP: READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY…
Your soul is your real self.
If most of your time is spent taking care of the physical self’s stuff (i.e., work, exercise, your appearance, your net worth, your possessions, showcasing your image on social media), you will eventually feel angst, emptiness and/or sadness. These nagging feelings are a ‘soul alert.’ Your soul is telling you to invest more time in your spiritual life.
What can I do?
Here are some suggestions to help you develop an even more intimate, personal relationship with God, the One who created you:
1.) Set up a regular time for quiet. Find a peaceful spot. Turn off your phone. Reflect on your day, your direction, your life. Meditate. Listen to your soul talking to you.
2.) Talk to God several times each day — not only 3 times daily from a prayer book, but also throughout the day — in your own words.
3.) Experience gratitude. Thank God for the things in your life that you might take for granted. For example, each day when you first wake up and use the bathroom, focus on the simple pleasure of being able to “relieve yourself.” (Imagine if you couldn’t.) Or what about whenever you notice your body’s amazing design, its sinews and muscles, like those near your elbow joint when you bend your arm to brush your teeth.
4.) Notice, and say out loud, specific things that you enjoy in the moment. Yes, this all may be nothing new, but it works to restart your ‘joy machine.’ See the miracles in everyday life: a rainbow, a rose-bud, a peach, a puppy, a baby, the dew…
5.) Learn Torah. The Torah is the instruction manual for life given to us 3,300 years ago by God. It is THE most efficient way to learn how to connect with God. The Torah gives instructions, commandments, also known as mitzvahs, which help us take advantage of our time on Earth in a way that we’ll feel connected to God in this world…and the next.
5.a.) To start learning Torah, acquire a Chumash (Torah with commentary from the sages). Start by following along with the current week’s parasha (chapter). You’ll instantly be ‘on the same page’ as every Jew on the planet!
5.b.) See ‘THE LEARNING PYRAMID‘ (scroll below) — a sleek, simple guide to add Torah learning into your life.
6.) Attend classes or visit websites to discover the core values of Judaism. Websites can provide wonderful wisdom to guide and inspire you, sites such as:
7.) Seek ‘spiritual navigators’ to be your mentors and teachers. Discover and listen to world-renowned Rabbis such as R’ Manis Friedman, R’ Yisroyel Bernath or the late R’ Lord Jonathan Sacks or R’ Noah Weinberg (search YouTube…).
8.) Ask yourself which of your character traits need upgrading —
The refinement of character is a large part of the work God wants from us. If you are not already learning about character development in Jewish sources, contact a kollel or Partners In Torah (partnersintorah.org) and request a learning partner.
9.) DIY reading of the classics, Pirkei Avos or Path of the Just works, too. Find those on Jewish websites or in bookstores and libraries. More suggestions: Ethics of the Fathers or If You Were God by the late Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan.
10.) Research has proven that just seeing green outdoors restores your spirit. Take a walk — schedule time to be in nature on a regular basis.
11.) Try observing the Sabbath in whatever way you can. Every Friday at sundown Jews recharge and restore for 25 hours. You can learn more about this popular practice online. Start with one small step, like lighting candles before sunset.
Take care of the ‘Soul Ball’ and see how much better you feel.
• Pick one activity from the list above. Try it for 5 days in a consistent way.
Three Pillars of Permanent Happiness
Traits Found in Psychologically “Healthy” Individuals
Researchers identify the personality markers found in well-adjusted individuals. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of traits psychologists use to describe someone’s personality . A person can be gentle, nervous, modest or conscientious . Someone can be demanding, independent, vain or …Continue reading
7 Words to Overcome Your Anxiety
Warren Buffett Says You Can Increase Your Overall Happiness by Making 1 Simple Choice
Depression, Anxiety Spike Amid Outbreak and Turbulent Times
Mental health therapists’ caseloads are bulging. Waiting lists for appointments are growing. And anxiety and depression are rising among Americans amid the coronavirus crisis, research suggests. In the latest study to suggest an uptick, half of U.S. adults surveyed reported …Continue reading