94 posts categorized "Encouragement"

Moving Back to Miami!

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OMGGGGG did you hear the news??

I'm moving back to Miami! 

I know. You be like, "Say whaaaaa'???

Mrs. Aliyah Authority? Mrs. I Heart Israel? The reigning Zumba Queen of the Middle East? 

How could such a thing be? 

Well. I can assure you it wasn't an easy decision. I looked at this decision from every perspective I could, and finally I decided that being in Miami at this stage of life would be the best move for us.

But, but, but how could it be? Isn't Israel the best place for every Jew? Aren't we all supposed to strive to live there?

My dear, sweet children. 

These are all fantastic questions. Yes, Israel is the best place for every Jew. But it doesn't mean that every Jew is ready to live there.

The fantasy of living in Israel is very different from the reality of living there. Israel really is earned through tribulations. It's absolutely true and to be expected.

But. 

There was one issue that I was no longer willing to suffer with. 

That issue was the fact that David works American hours. Which means he is rarely home during the evenings. Which means he barely sees me or the kids. Which means we are all missing out on being together as a family.

In Israel, there are no Sundays to spend together. Shabbat is mostly a combination of eating and sleeping. Holidays are pretty much the same, and basically the only time we were able to logistically do anything together was on Chol HaMoed, and I ain't getting in no car with  no five kids and driving hours and hours in crazy traffic. No, thanks.

I realized that my living situation wasn't going to change. I also realized that my kids needed a father. They needed a normal family life where he would come home in the evening and spend time with them. They needed more than just a stressed-out mother screaming at them to do their homework and get in the shower. 

They also needed a support system, their grandparents and cousins, and a full life that they just weren't getting here.

Oh, yeah, and I needed a husband. 

And David?

He needed to be able to communicate with people using actual words and not just through charades. 

So I decided that although I love living in Israel, at this stage of life it's not the best thing for any of us. 

Some of you may say it's a huge mistake to leave Israel. That's fine. You're entitled to your opinion. 

I have to tell you that emuna is literally the lifesaving and driving force in my life. Without it, I would be a disaster of second-guessing, self-doubt, self-persecution, and loaded with anxiety. 

Instead, I am ready to face this new stage of my life. I am excited to see what the future holds. 

Emuna has given me strength, confidence, and a secure feeling knowing that Hashem is here, lovingly guiding me through this unpredictable journey called life. 

Are you facing life situations that you really want to change, but for a number of reasons you feel like you just can't? 

This week's article, called Don't Be Afraid, is one of the most life-changing articles I have written so far. I hope that it helps give you the perspective, confidence, and strength you need in order to improve any area of your life that you're able to.

I hope that you use the gift of emuna to live your life to the fullest, and to see that everything, absolutely everything, is a blessing and an opportunity to grow.

Here's to the future!

~Racheli 


Above The Clouds

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My oldest son told me he wants to go skydiving one day. G-d help me. I can already tell what kind of teenager he's turning into. He loves adventure, has zero patience, and hates school.

Hmmm... sounds familiar. 

I mean, he sounds just like his father. His mind goes a million miles an hour, just like David's. He wants to be rich when he grows up, and so does David. To be honest, David has more patience than I do. But that's probably because he's not around the kids as much as I am. 

I mean, it's easy to have patience when your patience isn't being tested, right? 

I hate anything to do with falling, and the only way I would ever skydive is if I were lying unconscious on someone else's back. 

But I do love this picture.

Isn't it spectacular?

Every day we're so stuck in our immediate surroundings that it's difficult, impossible sometimes, to remember that there is a world of perfection that exists. 

This world is right here, so close, but we can't see it. As much as we want to, we can't experience it. 

The sky above the clouds reminds me of this perfect world. No matter what's going on underneath, whether it's raining, a hurricane, tornadoes, snow, or Black Friday sales, the world above the clouds is always peaceful. Always perfect. 

Is it possible to experience this perfect world while we're still alive? How so, if our lives are full of difficult challenges, extremely limited perception, and chaos? 

Well, we could:

a) spend the rest of our lives flying above the clouds in airplanes

b) work on connecting to that perfect world through our emuna

"A" doesn't sound so comfortable, unless the plane you're flying in happens to be tripped out with a Presidential Suite, a personal chef, and a jacuzzi with those super cool lights that switch colors. 

That means that for most of us, "B" is our only practical option. And it really is a practical option. Like I wrote last week, emuna is the only thing that keeps us from giving up all hope when the challenges start feeling impossible. 

When we feel like we're trapped in our difficulties, if we can just remind ourselves that these challenges are not forever, this could literally save our sanity. 

If we can remember that everything is supposed to be as it should, and Hashem is running the world, we will be okay with whatever the outcome is. I'm not saying that we have to be happy with whatever happens; but at least we need to recognize that whatever happens is what is supposed to happen, even though we may not understand why. 

On the other side of the clouds there is peace, tranquility, and eternal blue skies. You know the fastest way to get there? 

Just close your eyes. 

Keep this stunning picture in your mind and have it handy for when you go through your day, your week, your life.

I hope this helps make your day a bit brighter!

~Racheli

 


Iguana Invaders

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Few things have made me so happy early in the morning like this picture. 

But really, the video was even more entertaining.

In case you snow-covered Northerners don't know what this is, it's an iguana. (I think.) Iguanas roam South Florida freely, as if they own the place. They can be strolling along the side of the road and give the Look of Death to a guy on his bike, and that poor guy will inexplicably fly right off and land in the bushes. I mean, hopefully. 

Yesterday, this not-so-little guy, affectionately known as Big Ig, decided to take a dip in my sister's pool. She was in the house when she spotted him catching some rays. Since Big Ig thought he owned the place, he demanded a lounge chair and a Strawberry Daiquiri. Seriously, what self-respecting iguana lays out without the appropriate sunbathing accessories? 

Naturally, my sister ran to record the whole drama. But what she didn't realize when she began screaming about the iguana jumping into the pool was how much I'd enjoy it. If she did, she never would have sent me the video.

Oh, how I laughed and laughed when she squealed in horror as she helplessly watched the iguana jump into the pool. 

How I snorted in hysterics when her husband finally caught Big Ig in the pool net and started heading toward her with it. 

I think I watched that video 24 times today. 

And I laughed every. Single. Time.

Big Ig taught me a profound spiritual lesson, and I'm just passing it along as per his request. 

He said to me, "You may look at me, laying out by this fancy pool, looking all glamorous with my long nails and shiny scales, but you don't see the whole picture. You don't see how much secret pain I carry around as I slither 'round the 'hood. You think it's cool that other people scream from fear and repulsion when they see me, but inside I'm sad because no one wants to be my friend. You may think that I roam the streets carefree, but you can't imagine the secret terror I carry with me because I can turn into roadkill in an instant."

"Wow, Big Ig," I responded. "I'm so ashamed that I misjudged you. I only saw what was on the outside and didn't think further than that."

"Well that's because you're superficial and self-centered," he replied. 

"And shallow," I added.

Isn't that kinda the same thing?

So you see, fellow self-centered people who love to judge others based on their glamorous selfies on Facebook: everyone's got problems. It reminds me of one couple a few years ago that kept posting pictures of their gorgeous family vacationing here and there. They looked like the perfect family with the perfect life. But just a few months later, all pictures with the husband were deleted, and she changed her status to "single." 

And I'd like to add that when someone gets upset, or seems to have a negative reaction that's way out of proportion than what would be appropriate, do your best to step back and give that person the benefit of the doubt. You really have no idea what secret painful situation he may be going through.

So before you start judging others or fantasizing about trading your life with someone else's, stop and ask yourself this one important question:

What would Big Ig do?

G-d I'm soooo happy my sister doesn't read this blog! 

~Racheli

 


Climbin' Those Marble Steps

Up them steps
When I was a little boy in inner-city Washington, DC, we lived in a small apartment on top of my father's grocery store in inner-city DC, on Independence Avenue SE, twelve blocks from the Capital. We had a really nice Afro-American mailman who used to deliver the mail to us every day. I don't remember his name, but he had the warmest smile you could ever imagine. I loved to greet him and talk to him. He would pinch my then-chubby cheeks and say, "Child, I ain't gonna be totin' mail all my life down here in inna-city. I'm gonna climb them marble steps, like the ones at the White House. Shucks, someday, I'm gonna be rich. Maybe I'll even buy the White House. Meantime, I keep on dreamin' and I keep on truckin'!"

I'll never forget those words of wisdom. You keep on dreaming and in the meanwhile, you keep on plugging away. Every major accomplishment begins with climbing the first one of those marble steps. The day after Pesach is a great time to begin.


Hashem Loves Me

If you feel down for some reason, watch the following 3-minute clip. It will pick you up. My gift to you today is a 3-word saying that you must tell yourself as soon as you sense the slightest bit of sadness or depression: Hashem Loves Me. It's true, and it kills the evil inclination. Enjoy.

5419 You can obtain the Hashem Loves Me CD and many more Rav Arush/Brody titles at the Breslev Israel Online Store. For any occasion, send the people you love Emuna books and CDs.


Yes, You Can

Yes I Can
Look at the determination in Igor's eyes. All he's focused on is the finish line. Sure, Igor is an amputee who lost a leg from the knee down, but it would be completely inaccurate to call him a handicapped athlete even though he represents his country in the Paralympic Games. He's a champion in every sense of the word. After the accident that cost him his leg, he had to learn to walk with a crutch. Then, he learned to walk with a prosthesis. Afterwards, he learned to run with a prosthesis; and man, can he ever run!

What's Igor's secret? He used three simple steps that I'm going to teach you, so that you can accomplish anything you want to do, whether it's losing 50 pounds or learning a tractate of Talmud by heart. If Igor could do what he did, then you can too!

Therefore, you owe it to yourself to learn the Three Simple Steps to Success, which I teach you in my feature article this week on Breslev Israel web magazine.

Also featured this week:

Rav Shalom Arush -  The Power of Speech

Rav Nissan Dovid Kivak - Surviving the Tough Times

Dr. Zev Ballen - The Halo Effect

Racheli Reckles - A State of Unknown

Yehudit Channen - Better, Not Bitter

David Perlow - Your Child or Theirs 

Dovber Halevi - The Gory Gambler

Special for Jewish Music lovers - Shamil

Our prayers for your success and blessings for a wonderful new week!