Still (and always) a Child

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My recent experience of the beautiful picture below brought this home in a real way. Witnessing my parents pre-yom kippur blessing and embrace, the joy was indescribable. Here I am a 45 year old, with a family of my own still deeply impacted by the safety and connection of my parents. More than ever, I am convinced that the greatest gift parents can give their children is the health and security…

Good Morning!

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Walking to synagogue this past Shabbat with my 5 year old daughter Shevy. Me to a man riding a bike:"Good Morning" No response. "Good Morning!" (louder). No response. "GOOD MORNING"! Still nothing. Sensing my frustration, Shevy says: "It's ok tatty, he is probably listening to music and can't hear you". "Yeah, you're right.." (slightly smiling now and feeling a bit better)…

What is Really at Stake in a Marriage

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"There's a darkness inside that is flooded in light and I'm frightened by those that don't see it" For me, this powerful line gets at what we really long for from our partners. We all have a beautiful place within us that has become darkened by our painful experiences, especially the hurts we endured from our closest people. It feels rejected and unwanted, but the light in it knows its not…

What if They Knew?

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"A relationship starts to become real when it's broken and begins to heal." This quote hangs in my office. A client entrenched in a troubled relationship recently took a picture of it and we began to talk. The essence of that conversation can be distilled to the following point: If only couples understood that moments of pain are ready to be mined for deep vulnerable connection.…

The Most Destructive Relationship Habit

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If I had to summarize the single most destructive habit of an intimate relationship I would describe it as   “The Habit of NOT”   NOT sharing my sadness NOT saying how you hurt me NOT acknowledging when I hurt you NOT sharing my gratitude NOT fully embracing joy NOT revealing my pain NOT exposing my struggle NOT trusting your love NOT believing I matter…

Serving or Avoiding Life

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"You cannot serve life if you are scared of it" - R. Naomi Remen For example: If I avoid painful emotional experiences within myself (an inherent part of living), I will be unable to be present for that experience when it shows up in my child. I may do many things for her (problem solve, coach, explain, teach, etc.) but I will not be able to be of true service to the life that is expressing…

A Dark Entrance to the Light

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As Jews, we know loss all too well, but I fear we may have forgotten how to create compassionate enough spaces to experience emotional pain and grieve together. Our coping strategies have gotten the best of us and we have paid the price in terms of connection to ourselves and each other. When our Sages suggest that Mashiach is born on the afternoon of the Jewish calendar’s most painful day…

The Truth About Success

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The truth about improvement, growth, success, (etc., etc.) In HEALTH: It naturally develops out of a secure feeling of love, connection and belonging In SICKNESS: it is the person's greatest hope to deserve love, connection and belonging.

Nurtured to Thrive

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When father's day comes around, It's natural to wonder how you are doing in that role. The cards feel good but you know the kids are forced to make those by well-meaning teachers and/or mothers. So how do you "check your ratings" (borrowed from a favorite Calvin and Hobbes)?   I'm not sure, but a line that resonated with me is that a parent's primary role is to help his child feel that…

The Most Important Benefit of Mindfulness?

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There is a lot of talk about "mindfulness" and its benefits. One benefit that I appreciate and haven't seen given a lot of air time: Awareness of and friendly attention to my own inner experience at any given moment protects me from being drawn into the feelings, moods and states of other people, which (by default) I am likely to desirously FUSE with or aggressively REJECT. With awareness…