Showing posts with label Comfort. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comfort. Show all posts

August 11, 2019

The Humanity of Routine

People are creatures of habit. 

They form routines and function with relative comfort and efficiency within that. 

And for the most part, we can recognize our own patterns in life. 

Get up, brush our teeth, dress, daven (pray), go to work and so on. 

After a while, you can do it mostly in your sleep. 

We sort of become like automatons. 

Flip the switch and we go.

When routine and structure become so rigid that we can no longer improvise or innovate then we have a big problem in higher order functioning. 

But also when we break people's structures and habits, we find that they can quickly lose their sh*t. 

People need to control their time and maintain their patterns of life. 

Therein lies a certain safety and comfort in that repetitive doing.

You know what you're doing--you've done it before, so you can do it again.

If you strip a person of their control over their time and the structure of their behavior, they are truly naked and in much more than a physical sense.  (They articulated this in The Punisher, Season One, on Netflix)

All of a sudden they don't know what to do or how to do it. 

Do they go crazy, breakdown, or tell you everything you want to know. 

Torture is not just physical, but also mental and emotional. 

It is not hard to take away something so simple and a person is no longer a full person anymore. 

People need solid coping as well as survival skills to deal with the unknown.

Finally, appreciate when everything is more or less under control, because that's truly a blessing.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 19, 2019

Everyone Loves A Good Massage Chair

What can you say, when you see these luxurious, zero gravity, massage chairs?

Yes, ah, that feels so good!

Seriously, you know you want to try it.

Yes, you do. 

And you even want to take one home. 

Costco's got these. 

You've seen others at Sharper Image at the Mall. 

They're not cheap.

This one was like $4,299. 

Can you resist the urge to splurge on the ultimate in comfort and relaxation?

Take off your shoes. close your eyes, let yourself drift away. 

It's a better place. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 4, 2018

Problems Are Earthly

This was a saying that I really liked. 
"G-d is greater than you problem"

- Problems may seem like the end.

But G-d is the root of all BEGINNINGS!

- Problems may be overwhelming. 

But G-d is your HEAVENLY FATHER AND MOTHER!

- Problems may be big.

But G-d is INFINITE!

- Problems may be tough.

But G-d is ALL POWERFUL!

- Problems may be challenging.

But G-d has all the ANSWERS!

- Don't let your problems get you down. 

See the bigger picture. 

Know you are not alone in the universe. 

Have faith that everything is in G-d's hands and will be alright. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 30, 2018

Beautiful Flowers

I just wanted to share these beautiful flowers. 

The colors and shapes are so amazing. 

It's like you can see G-d's amazing hand in creating these so intricately, delicately and with so much brilliance. 

There is comfort in His work and the life He has given.

I am grateful for each day to serve His purpose. 

Hope you enjoy the gorgeous flowers. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 21, 2018

My New Sneaks

These were my new sneaks for like two hours. 

I loved them in the store. 

My stylish and lovely daughter helped me pick them out. 

Nike bright orange--cool, fashionable. 

"Just do it!"

But when I tried them on, I didn't have socks, and had to use the ridiculous thin ones in the store.  

The sneakers were snug and I asked for a larger size, which they were out of. 

I took the sneakers anyway, hoping they would be okay when I got home, but disappointingly, they were way too tight. 

And "the give" that the saleslady said would happen with the sneakers, absolutely didn't. 

My foot was being crushed in there. 

I think Nike's run small. 

Like the look, but not the sizing. 

Anyway, saw three people playing soccer in these (or something close to it) the same day. 

Orange is the new black. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 17, 2018

Today is Father's Day

What a beautiful Father's Day card from my daughter. 

Also, the message she wrote to me inside was so thoughtful and mature. 

It is wonderful for me to see her grow up to be such a lovely young lady. 

The cover of the card:

"Father:
Neither an anchor to hold us back, 
nor a sail to take us there, 
but a guiding light whose
love shows us the way."


As parents, we certainly don't have all the answers either for ourselves or certainly for our children. 

And frankly, the kids don't want us to tell them what to do or how to do it. 

The best we can really do is to be there for them--to spend time with them, to support them, to show them we really care, and to provide perspective, balance, and faith. 

I used to love going to my parent's house even if just to lay on the couch and feel the comfort of being "home" and with them. 

I didn't have to think about what I did or said--I could just be me, and they loved me for that. 

Now, I want my home to be that for my kids. 

Even though they are adults now, they know we are always here for them in any way that they want or need us. 

Our home is always their home. 

Our love is always surrounding them. 

My father used to say, he would go through fire for his family, and I always knew he meant it. 

I could count on him for anything.

I miss him always, and especially today, Father's Day. 

But I can carry on his fatherhood to my children and try to be a good dad--there, and loving and giving--no bounds, no expectations, no judgment--just love, plain and simple. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 5, 2018

Ergonomics Ah!

So today I went for an ergonomic training and assessment. 

Never did this before. 

It was pretty awesome. 

The person had 4 degrees in ergonomics and really seemed to know what they were talking about. 

They got me set up in a special ergonomic chair with a footrest, bio-design mouse, and task lighting.

I tell you that I never sat so straight, perfectly contoured, and completely comfortable. 

They almost had to pry my butt out of that chair after I test drove it for over an hour in training. 

OMG, there is a difference. 

Don't need carpal tunnel.

Don't need sciatica. 

Don't need neck, shoulder, and back pain. 

I even learned that the standing desks can be BAD for you--they put undue stress on your musculature and may actually result in a notable DECREASE in concentration and productivity. 

Anyway, from the stupid chairs that I've seen most people have--and the lousy posture they sit with--I'd recommend seeing the ergonomist. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 23, 2018

Until My Last Breath

The Shema Yisrael.
Hear O' Israel. The L-rd our G-d. The L-rd is one.

The most sacred and fundamental of prayers in Judaism. 

Declaring our monotheistic belief and faith in the One Above who has created and sustains us daily. 

These are words we call out from the depths of our heart and soul--in joy, in suffering, in life, and ultimately as we leave this world.

No one can take this from us. 

Only G-d decrees who shall live and who shall die...who shall be exalted and who shall be made low. 
Hear O' Israel.
The L-rd our G-d.
The L-rd is one. 
Everything is life is given true perspective by this.

People may rise against us and situations may look dire.

But in the realm of G-d, these are all fleeting like the dust that blows in the wind. 

So too shall G-d remove our troubles and bring us comfort. 

It is a test; it is all a test--remember, Hear O' Israel--and pass it with flying colors. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 2, 2016

Blessing Each Other

Today in synagogue, we did not have any Kohanim (members of the priestly class) to do the ritual blessing of the people. 

So Rabbi Haim Ovadia did something really creative and beautiful.

He had each of us turn to our neighbor and put our hands over each other's heads and recite the blessing from the Torah:

"May G-d bless and guide you.
May G-d shine his countenance on you and be gracious to you.
May G-d turn his countenance toward you and grant you peace."

The gesture of brotherhood and caring for each other was very, very nice, and I got to meet someone new in synagogue today.

People need people...and we need G-d. 

Somehow it makes everything better. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 1, 2016

Homesick or Heresick

It's funny, my dad used to tell a joke about not being homesick, but being heresick (wherever that "here" may be for somebody--they just want to get out of there)

Recently, at work though, I have found there are many people that don't want to go home at the end of the day--and it's not because they always still have so much work to do (although sometimes certainly they do). 

Yesterday, I asked someone at work--on New Years eve--what they were still doing there late in the day.

Someone with a fairly new baby at home, jokingly winced at me, and said something about it sometimes being better to stay a little later at work, because when he/she gets home, they start all over again with the spouse and kid(s)--like so many of us. 

It's strange to me, because I love and value home. 

And it's like the old rhetorical question about do you work to live or live to work. 

Just yesterday, in the Wall Street Journal, there was a book review about someone who opined about how home is where the heart is--and in anthropological terms--it's always been that way!

Home is our sanctuary, for ourselves and our beloved family, it is where we are "king of the castle," and where we do everything from shelter, comfort, reproduce, share, and generally love and care for each other. 

Yet, back to work, many people these days don't want to go home to crying babies and dirty diapers, nagging spouses and the evening fights, encroachment on private spaces, and errands galore (it's a 2nd job almost)--cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, and bills--or even just plain loneliness there. 

So people hang out at work--they schmooze, they snack, they Internet, they may go to workout, or they dilly and dally--just so they don't have to go home. 

As someone recently said to me, "It's quiet. I like it there. Nobody bothers me there."

They are homesick--not missing and yearning to be home, but some almost to the point of sick at the thought of going home. 

Work or anywhere else then becomes a refuge from the home that home is supposed to be. 

Sometimes it's just a temporary thing at home, sometimes it's more ongoing or permanent.

Everyone has a different home--for everyone it should be a true home. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 31, 2015

Light Up The Night

This was a beautiful piece in the New York Times today.

It was about how two sons handled the final hours with their father after he was removed from off life support.

With the prodding of one son, the father reluctantly agrees to see a Rabbi before his death, and this Rabbi describes to the dying man the meaning of his (and our) life:

"Imagine your whole life now, and for each [and every] time you did something good, imagine it as a little glow you left behind that lights a dark road stretching back in time. It's a long, long row of lights now, isn't it?"

Remembering over time, the father nods, smiles and is obviously comforted in this final hour as he sees in his mind's eye all the shinning lights for the acts of kindness that he was leaving behind. 

Isn't this what life is all about?

Every choice we make, everything we do, can have an amazing impact and leave light when before there was just darkness. 

Imitating G-d in creation, we create light separating it from the darkness out there, good from evil...we create the future. 

Our goal...light up the night. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 11, 2015

A Doll For Every Worry


Some kids put their baby teeth under their pillow for the tooth fairy.

But in Guatemala they make Worry Dolls that children can put under their pillows, so they can be released from their worries and sleep better. 

If those were my worry dolls, I wouldn't put them under my pillow and have a lumpy sleep and wake up to them once again, but rather I would throw them out the window, so hopefully they would be gone for good. 

Man, if only we could really get rid of our worries and problems that easily--I think they call it transference! ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 10, 2015

Live With The Eternal In Mind

I really like this saying.

I heard it this weekend on a popular television show at the burial of one of the characters. 


"What you see is temporal; what you don't see is eternal."


Everyday, we think we are living in the "real world," but this is just our mortal experience, one constrained by our senses and the dictates of time and space.


However, beyond this mere earthly experience and existence is the eternal G-d. 


Perhaps, we can take comfort and live a life of meaning, if our existence in the temporal world is always with the eternal in mind. ;-)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Terry Dennis)

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October 1, 2014

Pants Down

My question of the day, and I know it's the fashion and a lot of people do it, but why do they want to wear their pants this far down?

Maybe, I am just getting old and not so cool (anymore), but this looks mighty uncomfortable to me. 

Also, how do those things not just fall completely off?  

All the more power to them. ;-)
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January 26, 2014

The Great Afterlife

I finished reading the bestseller Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander M.D. -- and it was awesome. 

Alexander, trained in rational, scientific thinking and a practicing neurosurgeon was not a believer of consciousness (i.e. the soul) outside of the functioning of the brain itself until he ended up for 7 days in a coma himself.


His near death experience (NDE) was not only unbelievably vivid, but also, as he reiterates again and again, absolutely real ("more real that the house I sat in, more real than the logs burning in the fireplace")!


The key beautiful messages that I came away with:


What is the relationship between G-d and man? 

G-d loves us, unconditionally. 

- Our physical bodies and brains, with limited sensory organs, are filters that give us a kind of "amnesia" of the Divine


- Our personality, soul, spirit "continue to exist beyond the body"and is a "direct extension of the Divine."


What is the meaning of life (i.e. why are we here)?

- The universe is purposeful, and it "bring[s] beings into existence and allows them to participate in the glory of G-d."

- Evil exists in this world only to provide us the free will for growth to the Divine and ultimately for our ascendance in other dimensions. 


- There is "no need to fear the earthly world" and thus no need to be concerned or build ourselves up with "fame or wealth or conquest."


To return to the spiritual realm, "we must once again become like that realm" by showing love and compassion for others. 


"Other family" (i.e. angels) are "watching and looking out for us" and helping us navigate our time here on earth."


- "Our struggles and suffering" are eclipsed by the larger eternal beings we are.


What is the future world like?

- Injustice in this world is eclipsed by the "beauty and brilliance of what awaits us."

- The visible, physical world is but a "speck of dust" compared to the invisible, spiritual world that is "awash" in goodness, hope, and abundance.


- Time doesn't function the same in the spiritual world, "a moment can seem like a lifetime, and one or several lifetimes can seem like a moment."


- Our understanding of space is false; the "vastly grandeur universe isn't far away physically, but simply exists on a different frequency."


- We are not only part of the fabric of the universe, but also are "completely unified"with it, and are "intricately and irremovably connected" with "no real differentiation between 'me' and the world."


Having recently lost my mother, I found great solace in this book and its timeless message of purpose in our worldly lives, hope through a brighter future in the next world, and the immortality of our souls with our loving Father In Heaven. 


Thank you Dr. Alexander for sharing your experiences and these eternal truths with us. ;-)


(Source Photo: here and my first GIF)

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October 30, 2011

Satisfy or Suffice

How many of you feel satisfied or are you left still somehow yearning and hungry?
Living in a time and place where materialism is a competitive and daily fact of life for--high paying jobs, big houses, fast cars, Ivy league educations, exotic vacations, fashion and jewelry "statements", elegant restaurants, and lavish parties--it is philiosophically and practical to ask satisfy or suffice.
If we live our lives to satisfy ourselves--then we tend to a society driven by one word, and one word only--"more!"
Our appetites for material things that satisfy our senses are like a bottomless pit--to see beauty, to feel comfortable, to taste delight, to hear endless praise and envy over what we have achieved and accomplished in life--can these cravings ever really be satisfied?
With satisfaction, one of the key issues is that no matter how much we have accumulated or attained, it irks us to no end, if someone else has just a fraction more. This is called relative deprivation--we have everything we need, but we still feel short-changed because someone else has more. It's infinitely hard to be satisfied knowing that, because somehow we have failed...someone else is better off materially, and our interpretation often is that they are better innately than us and thus have gone further than we can or maybe deserve more on a spiritual level--either way another's abundance, regardless of your own successes, can still mean you are a loser!
It's funny, coming off the Metro and watching the mobs disembark from the train and race up the escalators, even when there are not a lot of people there...first one to the top is the winner; everyone else shlumps off somehow defeated afterward. G-d, this has become a sick society--what difference does the 2.347 seconds make?
Educationally, collecting degrees and certifications has become another hobby for many, so that if you don't have alphabet soup before and after your name, your frowned upon as just another ignoramus out there--as if the degree makes the person.
Another example, yesterday I heard that when getting engaged/married, the chic is that it is no longer enough to give a diamond ring to the young lady, now a matching bracelet is also part of the grand bargain or else you are not "keeping up with the Jones."
The examples go on and we can all tell them from our specific lives of the endless rat races that we endure to try and not only make ends meet, but also to compete and avoid "the shame."
So what's the alternative?
Instead of trying to be satisfied, we can learn to suffice--to be happy with what we are blessed with. That doesn't mean that you don't try to do your best in life, you do! But rather, you work hard and invest a reasonable amount of time, effort, money to achieve a goal and then you go on without beating yourself up over what you haven't achieved.
In short, happiness is in saying enough (or like on Passover, Dayenu!).
To suffice, part of it is learning to differentiate between what is really important and what is, in the end, trivial. How important is it that you get the NEXT whatever in your life versus can you be more innately happy spending time doing things you enjoy with the people you really love.
Suffice--learn to balance the demands and needs of your life--grow beyond the mundane; the true test of life is with you yourself--achieving your potential--not how you do relative to others.
An article in Wired (November 2011) talks to this when it asks about going out and finding a soulmate, "Do you keep searching and hope something better will come along, or do you stop searching when you find something looks pretty good?"
This article, whether addressing the many commitment phoebes out there, or those just having a hard time finding Mr./Mrs. Right--whether in terms of accepting and living with others' flaws or just learning to stop looking for someone prettier, smarter, more successful etc.
Wired suggests developing a baseline by dating "roughly" 12 people so that you can make an informed decision of the head and heart, but this can apply to education, career, home and all areas of your life--seek what is best for you, but also realize that we are all imperfect mortals and that only the heaven is for angels.
Suffice--do your very best in life and accept yourself for who you are and meet your destiny head-on--you can achieve happiness beyond the mere materialism and superficiality that cloud our societal judgements--this to me is enlightenment.

(Source Photo: here)

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