Celebrating the Jewish New Year 5775

Posted Friday, September 26th, 2014. Filed Under Voices of wisdom | Leave a Comment

As this time of the year approaches I sit down to look at my year and reflect on it. Last year was a difficult year – the year of the liar and lawyer for me. While it proved to have really tough moments I didn’t think I’d make it through it and I did. And in fact I moved through some things from my past that I have wanted to deal with. I say our gifts from G-d come in the most interesting ways.

This year has not only been tough for me, I have seen my friends go through different and challenging moments for them.

When we talk about our year I know for me it has been a transformational and life-altering year. I am stronger than ever, physically, emotionally and spiritually. As with the video I posted, I had some failures and really dark moments AND some very successful moments. What was so incredible was seeing who was really there for me in my darkest times: my family, certain friends and people who I would have not known or thought yet they were there to pick me up on my sad or hard days.

From this journey also came an awareness of the people who are all about them/takers, who do not speak their truth and those who are plain liars. Being a natural giver and sometimes ‘saver’ to a fault, this was disheartening for I was forced to see people in a different light. Some were easy to let go of in my life and others I still grapple with a decision – do I want to be surrounded by this person or not?

As I sat yesterday in the Rosh Hashanah service we said a prayer that reminds me what the Jewish High Holidays are all about and where I want to go in order to bring in full joy, peace and abundance for 2014/15 year that not just me but all of us are so deserving to receive.

I want to share the end of this prayer which is first said silently and then aloud as a congregation: The Amidah:

“O Lord,
Guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking guile,
And to those who slander me, let me give no heed.
May my soul be humble and forgiving unto all.
Open Thou my heart, O Lord, unto Thy sacred Law,
That thy statutes I may know and all Thy truths pursue.
Bring to naught designs of those who seek to do me ill:
Speedily defeat their aims and thwart their purposes
For thine own sake, for Thine own power,
For thy holiness and Law.
That Thy loved ones be delivered,
Answer me, O Lord, and save with Thy redeeming power.”

When I read this I thought to myself, this is where I desire to go to — forgiveness. I know the forgiveness is more for me than the person I aim my forgiveness at. It does not mean I am not empowered. I will continue to stand up for what I believe in. What I will do is stand my truth and not be concerned with the person who wishes to destroy me or take me down.

As for the takers in the world, liars and people who do not speak their truth — I can forgive. I am not sure, again, that I want them in my life. I want people who are authentic and true friends. I’d rather hear the truth even if it’s not easy to hear and may hurt for at least we can work through it or in the least agree to disagree and go our separate ways. I much prefer that to the person who looks me in the face and smiles like everything is ok and it is not.

I want to end with the TUT message from today:

“What wouldn’t you give to live, love, and be happy, deliriously happy, forevermore?

Well, that’s just it, you needn’t give anything, . Just decide to live, love, and be happy, deliriously happy, from this moment forward.

And I shall provide,
The Universe”

Just do it.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend. I hope that you can walk away with something personal for your life and somehow I have made it better.

All my love,

Sandra

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I always love sharing Seth Godin’s work. Stories express the passion, the mission, the vision, the experience that we buy into. This is as true for donating to a cause as creating value for who you are in an interview. People remember stories not stats. This is a life skill.

What do we get when we give to a good cause?
Why on earth would a rational person give money to charity–particularly a charity that supports strangers? What do they get?

A story.

In fact, every time someone donates to a good cause, they’re buying a story, a story that’s worth more than the amount they donated.

It might be the story of doing the right thing, or fitting in, or pleasing a friend or honouring a memory, but the story has value. It might be the story that you, and you alone are able to make this difference, or perhaps it’s the story of using leverage to change the world. For many, it’s the story of what it means to be part of a community.

The fundraiser, then, isn’t taking, she’s giving. She’s giving someone the chance to buy a story that’s worth far more than it costs.

Stories are the way we navigate our world, our chance to make sense of who we are and what we do.

Introducing tote bags or charity auctions muddies the waters, gets us thinking about the value of that thing we bought, not the story itself.

If people aren’t donating to your cause, it’s because you’re not telling a story, or telling the wrong story to the wrong people (in the wrong way). Non-profits make change, and the way they do this is by letting us tell ourselves stories that nurture our best selves.

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I am watching my father struggle with the illness of my aunt. She is three years younger than him, 66 years old. She worked many years and then retired last year – June 2009. By October of 2009 she discovered she had a brain tumor. Thankfully with the treatment, the tumor “went away”. This was in the Spring of 2010. By the late Summer 2010 she discovered once again that she had a new tumor — one more aggressive.

Understand that my father and his sister were never close. We did not spend a lot of time with her. She had her life and we had ours. They did not overlap much. I loved her — not so much because we were close but because she is family. Would I stop my life for her, likely not, however if she needed something and I can help I will. That is me.

Now that my aunt is really ill and it is likely that she will get more tumours – he is visiting her. I think to myself why do we wait for a catastrophe, disaster, illness or the like to be kind to others, include others, create that sense of community?

To me this act can be on a daily basis. There was a time where everyone knew their neighbours, people would drop in, if you needed a cup of sugar you just yell outside or knocked on a door, asked and you were given. I remember one of the neighbourhoods I lived in I really did not feel that sense of community. I remember needing an egg for a recipe and I thought to myself who can I go to? The answer was really no one. (the girlfriend who lived close doesn’t cook much and didn’t have what I needed). I have since moved to a neighbourhood where I feel more part of the community and it is nice.

I feel what it comes down to is caring – also taking the time to slow down so you can show you care. We are so busy going, going, going that if we just slowed down a bit we can stop and say hello, smile and ask how our neighbour’s day is. Everyone – charities, friends, colleagues- are all asking for money for one cause or another. Not everything needs to come down to money. It can be just going through your closets twice a year and getting rid of clothes you no longer want and then taking the time to drop them to a shelter where you know that someone will benefit. This can be true for items you are no longer using: Sports equipment, golf clubs, skis, etc. Kidz2Kidz is “led” by our children who are doing just that – collecting gently used sports, leisure, art supplies, and musical equipment to give to families and communities in need.

It is always the little things that add up over time. Picking up garbage or not throwing your waste down, giving someone a hug or an encouraging word. Let’s start to implement these things on a daily basis and we will begin to see a different community, city, country and world.

Before I finish I wanted to include a couple of comments from the women who attended that Spiritual Service for the Jewish New Year. This is an example of creating a community for women who were feeling disconnected from their religion:

Dear Sandra, Karen and Spiritual Divas Sisters,

It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. Whew! So, here we are once again, ushering in the Jewish New Year in the warmth of Sandra’s home and loving every single minute together. Sharing, meditation, spiritual readings, goal setting, affirmations, chanting, discussion and song were on the agenda. Smiles, laughter, introspection, personal anecdotes, some tears, some reminiscing were adjuncts to the agenda. All this made for a delicious meal – a spiritual meal. At the close of our gathering I certainly felt very full.

I am grateful to have shared in this spiritual meal. Thank you, dear Spiritual Divas Sisters for being so very present. Until next year, take good care. Embrace your goddess within. And have yourselves a wonder-filled year ahead.

Lookin’ forward, as always and in all ways, I am………Rhea L.
——

Aliza Rivlin wrote:

I feel angels surrounding me, I listen about their life as a message to help me, their knowledge as a tool of communicating it give me an awakening in my life.

Have a wonderful weekend. Please do one little act of kindness and see how you feel – you will likely find “it makes you feel good” and guess what it did not cost you a penny!

All my love,

Sandra

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Free Hugs…

Posted Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010. Filed Under My Daily Dose | Leave a Comment

This a great reminder how we need to connect – one human to another. Take a look at this video: Free Hugs.

Give someone a hug – even from a distance – they can feel your energy.

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An article, Basic Compassion, from Reader’s Digest recently caught my eye. It was a great story of a local business owner from out west who wanted to make a small difference in his community, the place his family had done business since 1949.

Brad Mills, CEO of office-supply firm Mills Basics, had seen a sharp decline of the area. It became a haven for drug dealers, prostitutes and petty criminals – becoming known as one of Canada’s poorest neighbourhoods.

Mills decided he needed to do something to make a difference. Since 2002 he worked with the government-funded Fast Track to Employment program for people unable to find jobs due to disabilities, addictions or other social barriers. Mills hired hard-to-employ locals to work in his warehouse and helped them build basic skills, focusing on attitude and attendance: RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY. While some were fired or returned to the streets, the vast majority proved to be reliable.

His reward was purely the joy of making a difference. This changed when his company started to publicize its community work. Annual sales growth showed a modest 5% in 2002 to an average of 12% each subsequent year until 2008, when revenue hit $17 million. That growth was, in large part, thanks to a winning marketing message about how the firm was giving back to society.

I RECENTLY WROTE ABOUT CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ON MY SITE. I want you to see what I wrote for many people will read this article and think, oh we just need to…. and then send a message out to the world. NO that is NOT Corporate Social Responsibility. It is about truly impacting our society, world – giving back in a way that is not about what’s in it for me. Mills is a great example of a man that just wanted to make a small difference in his community. He gave from his heart with no expectations. The result was increase in sales.

AUTHENTICITY, is something that I speak of … gone are the days of selling yourself, manipulating, lying. Your consumers/customers are too aware and will no longer tolerate this. By listening to your customers and then giving back to them what they ask for, will result in compensation = SALES. A perfect example is Dell Computers, who was rated at one time the worst for customer service. They implemented an interactive consumer program which allowed the consumer to tell them what they want and Dell gave them what they want and low and behold they are at the top for customer service.

Be part of the community that gives back and makes a difference.

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All Things that proceed from you, return to you

Posted Friday, June 25th, 2010. Filed Under My Daily Dose | Leave a Comment

All Things that Proceed from You, Return to You

So there is no need to worry about what you are going to ‘get back’.

There is only a need to worry about you are to ‘give out’.

Life is about creating the highest quality giving, not the highest quality getting.

Today, what you call ‘success’ in your culture is measured largely by how much you ‘get’,

by how much honor and money and power and possession you amass.

In the New Culture ‘success’ will be measured by how much you cause others to amass.

The irony will be that the more you cause others to amass, the more you will amass, effortlessly.

In the future economy, you will not do things for personal profit,

but for personal growth, which will be your profit.

Yet ‘profit’ in the material terms will come to you

as you become a bigger and grander version of Who You Really Are.

In those days and times, using force to coerce someone to give you something because

they ‘said’ that they would will seem very primitive to you.

If another person does not keep an agreement you will simply allow them to walk their path,

make their choices, and create their own experience of themselves.

And whatever they have not given you, you will not miss,

for you will know that there is ‘more where that came from’ –

and that they are not your source of that, but you are.

Neale Donald Walsch

Conversations with God


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Thurs. April 29th 2010 is the Official “Pay it Forward Day” Anywhere U are on the Planet~ Be the Change in the World~ start in your own Community… 1 Kind Act 4 the Planet, an Animal or Human Counts! Love+ Altruism + Action= Change. Please Share This~Ty

I joined this and we can make it on going. Kind acts are important to show we care and that we are all connected. We do not need to come together only for emergencies or natural disasters.

When I woke up today I thanked the universe for all that is in my life. I wanted to start with gratitude. I then called a number of my girlfriends to tell them how much they mean to me and that I am really grateful for their friendship. I did little things today – I opened the door for this man carrying a heavy load.

We are so consumed with bigger and better that we have forgotten about the little things. When you add these up they make a big difference for you, your family, your friends, your communities, country and world. I ask that you continue to do little things that make a difference.

I have combined efforts with two other families to do a local fundraiser — Our group is called Kidz2kidz and we are reaching out to our family, friends, colleagues and more to collect ‘gently used’ sports and leisure equipment that will be given to 2 agencies for their children and families as well as a summer camp for Native Children. We want to show our children that everything matter; that despite your colour, creed, religion, background, gender or socio-economic standing that everyone deserves the right to live well. Our children are very fortunate and we want them to know that not all children or families are so fortunate, so by learning to give back you can make a difference while empowering these kids and their families so they can begin to make changes in their life. We can be part of breaking cycles — one person, one child, one family at a time.

My motto is act local and think global – every action has a reaction and if more and more people begin to make a difference, even on the smallest scale, this will impact the energy of the world!

Go for it!

All my love,

Sandra

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Guiding Our Youth Required Listening

Posted Thursday, March 25th, 2010. Filed Under Voices of wisdom | Leave a Comment

Through my own journey of empowerment I know about breaking cycles. I have worked hard and continue to work at breaking my own cycles that were passed down from generation to generation, especially by the women on my mother’s side.

My passion to empower women, share my story and the story of others is now being channelled into truly breaking cycles – VOICES OF YOUTH. As you have to begin somewhere I teamed up with another life coach, Mitch Gordon, and we put a workshop/program together that reaches out to graduating students from University and College called TRANSITIONING INTO THE WORKPLACE. We want to empower these kids by providing them with life skills that will make this transition easier. It will also plant the seeds for creating and allowing kids to be authentic to who they are, follow their path, be accountable and responsible for their actions, share interview tips and more. We have been reaching out to different schools in the Toronto and yesterday we met with two young men from the business school who work with the students. We shared our ideas. They loved it and saw the need for this – giving tools to the students for transitioning into the workforce. We discussed that there are the younger ones who will be looking for their first job and position in a company and more mature ones that have already been in the workforce and may be looking to change jobs and/or careers.

What was most exciting is seeing that there is a need and how we will come together, and collaborate and create something of value for these students. We also said we want to hear WHAT YOU WANT AND NEED. We look at this as a partnership.

This is just the beginning. We know our greatest learning is to come and we must stay open and listen to our “clients”, the students/the youth.

What I also look forward to is the mirror that will be held up to me. I am accountable and responsible to walk my talk, share from my heart and give and be of service. I know some of my greatest awareness to come is by working with the youth.

As a mother I do my best and I know that so do all the other mothers out there. I want to “help” those mothers out there that don’t know how to show their children the life skills I am talking about for they were never taught it themselves. All I can suggest is watch as these children start to make changes in our world for the better. They will show you how they are doing it and will lead by example.

I want to share a story that I read in the Oprah Magazine this month about how one daughter got her dad thinking. This young 14-year-old girl named Hannah, was driving in the car with her father and they came to a stop sign. She turned to the left and saw the Mercedes coupe and to her right sat a homeless man on the sidewalk begging for food. She looked at her father and said, “If that guy didn’t have such a nice car, maybe the other guy could have a meal”. The father then replied, “Well, what if we didn’t have such a nice car?”

This prompted a very big decision that led to a path of philanthropy – to downsize their home and take half the proceeds and donate the money to two villages in Ghana through the Hunger Project.. You can learn more in their book called The Power of Half. I will post it on my site!

WOW this story really grabbed my heart strings. You wait, watch and see what is coming with our youth!

Next week I will share what American Express found in a research study of what we want, what makes us happy.

All my love,

Sandra

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It’s A Good Time To Plant Your Seeds

Posted Thursday, January 28th, 2010. Filed Under Voices of wisdom | Leave a Comment

WHAT DO I MEAN? Through your school years you are going to come across so many people in your life. Some you will be drawn to and some you will want nothing to do with — at least for now. I am not just talking about the kids your age, I am also talking about the teachers, principals, coaches, friends’ parents and so on that impact your life, even when you are not aware.

Again, whether you are aware of this or not, you are starting to development relationships/connections with some of these people who may be in your life for a very long time.

Take the time to learn and listen, share and guide. This is a great time to plant your seeds – explore the things you are interested in – your passion(s). Follow your heart and do what you love. Now is the greatest time for you are “risk free”. Ask questions, become part of something for you never know where it will lead you. All of this may translate into future work relationships, business partnerships, people who will connect you with others and so on.

Do this just from a place of giving and let go of “what’s in it for me”. By sharing and giving strictly from your heart you will draw to you so many wonderful people, things and experiences.

Start now- plant the seeds.

All my best,

Sandra

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My Heart Goes Out To The People Of Haiti

Posted Thursday, January 21st, 2010. Filed Under Voices of wisdom | Leave a Comment

MAKING SENSE OF THIS?When tragedy strikes we often ask why? What is amazing is the outpouring of heart from around the world. Why do we need a crisis to bring us together? It will be nice if we can always be this way. Perhaps this time will be different.

As for putting this into perspective I hold a belief that G-d has a plan; not one that we readily understand and/or know about. I wanted to attach something that was sent to me that gave light to this tragedy in a more spiritual way:

Karen Bishop’s WINGS article, Jan. 16, 2010:

A brief note on Haiti: The massive earthquake that occurred in Haiti this week created a monumental heart opening for the planet. The pain, suffering, and tragic loss it created opened our hearts and shifted the planet, pushing it into the heart space that it will be now operating from. These beautiful and giving souls who agreed at their soul levels to be a part of this experience, have served this planet in ways unseen for a very long time. As it was time at many of their soul levels to depart, they agreed to depart in a way that would serve the planet and take it to its new and higher level. Haiti will become a very sacred space, as it already has, and this event will be remembered for a very long time. It was a part of our very new beginning, and a part that will change the vibration and direction of our new world as well. These brave, unbelievably loving and precious souls, have given to this planet more than we could ever know. They have assisted in shifting the planet into its very new way of being that involves coming from the heart, and the honor and reverence I feel for them and the many other souls involved, goes beyond words.

With much love and gratitude,

Karen

As our hearts have been open, let’s come together and make a difference. If you want to donate money please make sure that it is going to agencies that make sure the people will see — food, water, supplies and more.

Below are a list of agencies that you can give to:
I have gathered the names of different organizations/groups provided in the Canadian paper that you can trust your donations with.

1. The Salvation Army – http://www.salvationarmy.ca or
1800-725-2769
2. UNICEF – http://www.unicef.ca, 1800-567-4483
3. United Jewish Appeal (UJA) – all $ goes to Canadian International Development Agency’s Relief Fund. http://www.ujadonations.com,
416-631-5705
4. OXFAM – http://www.thehumanitariancoalition.ca – 1800-464-9154 –
5. CARE – http://www.care.ca, http://www.thehumanitariancoalition.ca – 1800-464-9154
6. Canadian Red Cross – http://www.redcross.ca -1800-418-1111
7. Habitat For Humanity – http://www.habitat.ca
8. Doctors Without Borders – http://www.msf.ca –
1800-982-7903
9. Free The Children – www.freethechildren.com; 416-925-5894X153

What we can do together is send love to this country, ask that the violence subside and that the people can begin to grieve and then rebuild their lives.

Stop and take a minute for this. This energy shifts the world.

All my love,

Sandra

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