Blog Elul: Prompt 20: Dare

Dares are frequently a part of our lives, especially when we are young. There are dares with our friends, double dog dares and by the time we get to Junior High School truth or dare.

Do dares end with our youth or is just the terminology different. As we get older a dare can just be challenging ourselves. How often do we truly challenge ourselves? Do we accept challenges and not even realize it?

Do we have dares within ourselves? What do we challenge ourselves to do? Will I walk up to a woman I am interested in? Make the phone calls that need to get done? Apply for a job that I want? Go sledding on a steep hill?

As I have discussed in past posts, anxiety has always been an issue for me. Challenging myself to do anything has always been a major issue. Given truth or dare, I am almost always likely to admit the truth.

Revealing my feelings has always come easy for me. Some might need a dare to tell a truth about themselves. Some people are much more adventurous than others.

What do any of us remember about being dared? How carefully to we examine what someone or even ourselves is daring us to do? What could the consequences be of the act we are being dared to do? When we are younger we are not as equipped to understand what consequences of our actions can be.

Hopefully, as we age and experience life we challenge ourselves more often while still understand the consequences of the actions from the dare.

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Blog Elul: Prompt 19: Judge

As society becomes more tolerant of others different from us is it also possible we judge more?

The growth of social media has given everyone a voice on an international platform. We are a much more accepting society of everyone. Yet, because of social media, it seems as if everyone needs to give their opinion.

Who we judge in our personal lives and how to we judge those close to us? Is there truly such a thing as unconditional love? If so what is it?

They say a parent loves a child unconditionally. Do they really? We hear too many stories of parents disowning their children because the child does something that goes against their beliefs.

How about a sibling, grandparent, spouse or friend? Those that truly love unconditionally accept and love us without judging no matter what our faults and indiscretions are.

Blog Elul: Prompt 17: Ask

We don’t get anything in life unless we ask. If we don’t ask how do we know what the answer is?

My father always used to say if you don’t ask, the answer is always no. Often times the easiest thing to do is not to ask. We miss out on a lot of life by not asking. It could be dating a wonderful person, applying for a great job, getting a raise, owning a great house or car.

A lot of asking has to do with confidence and fearlessness. I’ve struggled with anxiety my entire life. At my own Bar Mitzvah, my friends had to push my crush on to the dance floor for the first dance. I was too shy to ask her.

Before the dawn of the internet, I could probably count on one hand the of women I asked out on a date.

The advent of America Online, the internet chat rooms, dating sites and now social media has made it easier and less daunting to connect with others.

Having the confidence to ask for what you want often builds with life experiences and successes. For others, it’s more innate.

My now six-year-old daughter (at the time this was written in September 2015) has shown signs of confidence and asking for what she wants from an early age. When she was four she went up to the bus stand at Buffalo Wild Wings to get a box to bring home her unfinished dinner. This past year she asked a classmate’s mother for her phone number to have a playdate with her son.

Those that ask for what they want are likely to get ahead quickly.

Blog Elul: Prompt 17: Awaken

When we think of awaken most of us think of getting up in the morning.

How many of us awaken to what’s going on around us? Are we truly aware children are doing? Our neighbors? co-workers? friends? family?

Are we awake to our own life? How much are we aware of ourselves and what’s going on around us? If we are not aware of our own lives what can we do to awaken from not being aware?

What in life awakens our desires. passion, love and feeds our desires and passion? Is there a difference between existing and living?

Blog Exodus: Prompt Three: Cleanse

Most adhere to dietary restrictions twice per year. At Passover, we withhold from eating bread and yeast products and at Yom Kippur, we fast for 24 hours.

What does cleanse mean? Does it have to only be related to food? Cleansing relating to food has seemed to become a bigger thing in the past few years. It usually involves some kind of liquid or juice product. What if we thought of it on a much bigger level?

We all seem to be attached to our phones. I have seen some on social media say they are taking time off and using it as what they termed as a social media “cleanse”.

It often seems as if the modern idea of a cleanse is time away from something we do every day. It can be cleansing our bodies by changing our eating habits for a specified amount of time or taking time off from anything in our life to get away from something and to refreshen our minds.

In this fast paced society. Cleansing is something we all should do at some point. The ability to reset our minds or bodies will hopefully put us in a better frame of mind. This is good for both our mental and physical health.

 

Blog Exodus: Prompt Two: Exalt

This is one of the hardest prompts I’ve seen. Exalt is not a word that’s used in everyday life. When I think of exalt or exalting someone or something I think of complimenting someone on a higher plane.

The definition of exalt is: hold (someone or something) in very high regard; think or speak very highly of. We exalt to g-d, but other than that how often do we use the word?

This is an interesting concept. In the centuries before science was understood G-d played a much larger role. The Romans and Greeks had multiple G-ds that represented different ideals.

There was Ceres the goddess of grain, a goddess of love, Mercury, Zeus, Appolo. To people in more ancient times, each G-d represented something that they could not explain.

Who do we exalt now? Are celebrities put on too high of a pedestal? How much to we exalt out significant others and do we do it often enough. We often get so caught up in our everyday life that too many of us get caught up in the monotony and forget to show our loved ones that we care for them and hold them up on the pedestal that we should.

Blog Exodus: Prompt 1: Launch

Launch can mean many things. The two immediate things that come to mind are launching a boat or the launch of a rocket, space shuttle or something equivalent.

In most people lives launch could mean something entirely different. Many of us launch a new business or campaign within our jobs or business. In general, launch means to me a beginning. Passover is in the spring. The spring is the launch of new life. Flowers bloom, snow melts off, the weather starts to get warmer and animals come out of hibernation.

For those that live in colder climates, it can also be the launch of getting back in shape. The warmer weather gives us a chance to get outside, be more active and launch into a healthier lifestyle.

The launch into Passover provides Jews with a chance to have to be disciplined. Going an entire week without any yeast products or anything leavened is a challenge. It can often be the launch needed for other things in life.

 

Blog Elul: Prompt 16: Pray

How do we pray? Do we need to go to a house of worship to play?

The last four years have tested me enough to last a lifetime. I chose to spend the time with my kids instead of going to the adult services. I did take them to the children’s services. Having dealt with an ill spouse in 2011 I prayed for her to get healthy. questioned many past actions and learned about the fragility of life.

How much power can our thoughts and prayers have both good and bad? Our relationships with G-D should be just that and not require a house of worship.

Blog Elul: Prompt 15: Change

Change

They say change is constant with the increasing place of life we are all busy going from one activity to another without noticing changes. The Harry Chapin song Cats and the Cradle begins with the birth of his son. The father was busy on work trips, working, paying bills and living his own life.

He was too busy to see his son’s first steps, play catch with him, etc. As the song progresses he missed his son’s major milestones. Before he knew it his son was off to college.

If we can get smothered in our own lives we can miss the changes of those we love the most. Finally the father retires and the son has moved away and became busy with his own family. Change doesn’t apply with inside our own immediate family. We need to recognize when change is necessary we need to follow whats going on around us.

Do new policies need to be implemented at work? Do we need a different doctor? When is it time for a new car? Change occurs throughout our lives. We can’t avoid change. Change is necessary. The quicker we realize that the change is needed, the greater the likelihood we will be successful.

Blog Elul: Prompt 14: Learn

Learn

The ability to learn is what keeps us constantly going. From the moment we enter the world we are subject to new things.

We first learn new things from our parents and/or our caregivers. We might learn new things from just observing our surroundings.

By the time we are two or three we start pre-school. There we learn how to share and begin a journey of 16-20 years of school, more for grad students.

Everything we learn in school, (academic, social and extra curricular) is with the purpose of preparing us for the real world. Upon entrance in the work force we must constantly evolve and learn and be faced with the likelihood of being passed by our colleagues.

A lifetime of learning is essential for growth. For those that choose bear children, watching them learn and grow is one of life’s greatest joys. The balance between letting them learn and see the world though their own eyes and give them guidance is one of the most difficult challenges of being a parent.

Each child is different. Some will always looks to their parents for guidance, while others become more independent and carve their own path. Our ability to learn and our wide variety of interests is one of the things that helps make us all unique.