Spiritual work doesn’t happen in a day, in a week, in a month. But eventually it penetrates, and you look back and say, wow, I really did change.
There is a story of one of the greatest sages of Kabbalah, Akiva, who at the age of forty was one of the most negative people around — until the day he fell for a woman who was very spiritual. But he thought, “I can’t change, so I’m never going to be good enough for her.” Although they were enjoying their time together, he was convinced there was no hope.
One day they walked by the bank of a river and saw a little stream passing through a big boulder. She said, “See that? Do you think the hole in that boulder, which allows the stream to pass through, happened in a day, a week, or even in a month? No, it happened drop by drop by drop, year after year, until eventually it created the hole through the boulder allowing the water to pass.”
Today, remember the three keys necessary to penetrate any boulder blocking your fufillment: patience, commitment and desire. As long as you are willing to bring these qualities into your daily spiritual process, you’re going to break through — sooner or later.
When you don’t understand why things are the way they are in your life, don’t rush to find reasons.
It’s okay not to have all the answers.
Sometimes trusting everything is happening for a reason, is much more powerful than knowing the reason.
Sometimes you have to forget how you feel, and remember what you deserve.
Be strong enough to let go of what is no longer serving you, and patient enough to wait for what will.
Love is a weapon of Light, and it has the power to eradicate all forms of darkness. That is the key. When you offer love even to your enemies, you destroy their darkness and hatred - which is the reason they became your enemies in the first place.
Today, awaken love for your spouse, friends, family, colleagues and self.
Dissolve any animosity and bitterness that may have arisen after an argument with a loved one or co-worker.
Do you love what you do? If no, then how can you find what you love to do?
Ask your soul for guidance. Your conscious mind may be confused, but beyond that, your true essence always knows where you really want to be.
Begin with a request: "Soul, reveal to me my true place in life."
Today, repeat this request often to your deeper self. Be patient and the answer will come. It may be a feeling, a gut instinct, a thought, or an awareness. Trust what comes to you.
Any miracle in the material world must be preceded by a miraculous change in your own character. Physical reality and human nature are intimately connected. When you create an extraordinary transformation within, the power allows the universe to externally express this inner change.
Today, free yourself from tiny bits of selfishness, envy, anger and self-pity. By rejecting these negative temptations, you will be free to ignite the power of miracles.
The kabbalists teach that nothing is random. We may not see it from our limited perspective, but rest assured: For everything there is a reason.
A few years ago I went to Honduras and met with three people: The ex-president of Honduras - Manuel Zelaya, the current President of Honduras - Porifirio Lobo, and General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez. It was interesting to be in a room with these three men who clearly share a piece of that country’s destiny.
I was reminded there of a story about the great Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, also known as the Baal Shem Tov. A student of the Baal Shem Tov’s came to him and said, “Life is so random! There’s no real justice in the world!” The Baal Shem Tov told his student to go to the park and there he would see the contrary, that life is certainly not random.
The student did as his teacher suggested and at the park he saw a man arrive with a large bag of money. Distracted by something happening in the distance, the man with the money set his bag down next to a tree and went off to investigate. Meanwhile, a second person showed up, found the bag, looked inside the bag and took the fortune! It’s not long before a third man came into the park and decided to sit down next to the tree for a rest. When the first man returned to the tree, he saw his bag with the money has been taken and assuming it was stolen by the man sitting there, proceeded to beat up the bystander!
Returning to the Baal Shem Tov, the student exclaimed, “Life is random! I saw a man lose all his money. I saw a second person gain tremendous wealth for no reason. And I saw a third man beaten up without warrant.”
The Baal Shem Tov explained, “You didn’t have all of the information. Long ago, the first man you saw stole from the second man. This is why he now had to lose his wealth to him. The third man you saw was the judge of their trial and had unrightfully taken a bribe so the first man could keep what he had stolen.”
The men in the park shared a story about money; the men I met in Honduras shared a story about power. Every situation in life is a shared story of destiny playing itself out. This is an important lesson to remember: As trivial or meaningless as things seem there is always a cosmic dance taking place. This makes every circumstance important, relevant and truthful. It is our job to unravel the mystery and step up to our purpose. For me, I feel that I was in Honduras so that I could share this experience with you!
…Nothing is random.
Fear is often seen as a weakness in our society. We perceive it as something we need to eradicate completely from our beings in order to be fulfilled, but you may be surprised that some of the most wise and righteous people in the history—the tzadikim— lived in fear.
The fear that haunted them: “Maybe I’m not doing enough.”
It’s the only thing that really frightens a truly spiritual person. It is written in Proverbs, “Joyous will be the man who is always afraid” because he knows that he has to work to receive the Light. The wicked, however, are neither fearful nor courageous; they’re simply indifferent.
By today’s standards however, having an air of indifference or seeming unaffected can be hailed as a quality of strength in an individual – an interesting play on what is real strength and what is weakness.
This teaches us that those on a spiritual path may appear weaker than those who are not, namely because they are not concerned with looking strong to anyone else. They just want to do the right thing! A righteous person will act with righteousness at all costs – even if it humiliates them, even if it makes them look like the lowliest person in the room!
My father, Rav Berg’s, teacher Rav Brandwein once told him: “When we come to the world of truth, we are asked to name the greatest accomplishment of our lives. Sometimes, people say, ‘Everybody loved me.’ But those people are deeply in error. They are saying that they did nothing in their lives except what others wanted them to do, and whatever that may have been, they were willing to do it.” We must learn to act always in accordance with the Light, even if the true nature of our actions may not be apparent to others.
Many of us try to live as if we were running for political office. To get as many votes as possible, we say only those things that we think others want to hear. So we should take ourselves “out of the running.”
We put so much energy into looking amazing, we forget to just go be amazing.
It’s time to start being less afraid of how we look to others and more concerned with if we’re doing all that we can.
The nature of ego is to latch on to that which temporary. If we chose to let that go, then not only do we free ourselves from a major source of pain, but we will also be open to the gift of the next stage of life that is being presented to us by the universe.
Our ego chooses physical things that provide temporary happiness. Achievements, possessions, talents give us happiness that ends once the “newness” wears off. If we are to look in ones closet, garage or attic, we would find old awards, clothes, or other physical things that made us happy.
This is temporary and once time passes, the ego will search for another physical thing to fulfill our desires. When we place our ego aside and choose a spiritual path aligned with God and the Light, we find that happiness can be never ending.
We never know what our relationship with the person next to us is at any given moment. We can be sitting next to someone on the bus and they may be someone we hurt in a past life and owe an apology to, or they can be a messenger sent to change our lives. We can never be sure what the reason is, but we can be sure there is a reason.
Today, be open to everyone you meet. Keep your smile warmed up. And get the word “random” out of your head. As Einstein said, God doesn’t throw dice.