Happy Jewish New Year and Shana Tova to everyone!! A huge component to good health is Community and Giving. And it causes a ripple effect of good and giving in the world. How many times has someone given to you and it made you want to go out and do the same for someone else? Giving to others fills your heart, makes you happy, gives you purpose and that kind of satisfaction increases your health by leaps and bounds!
Erev Rosh Hashanah as I drove to the third and last day of the most incredible “Longevity Now” Conference in Anaheim by David Wolfe and his amazing team, a song came up on my CD player that flooded with me emotions. It was the song we made up for my dad after his death on June 27, 2016 that the grand kids sang over and over during the week of shiva. It reminded me that it’s the first holiday that I can’t call my dad to wish him Shana Tova and our first holiday without him. Oh, how he loved every holiday and it gave him so much joy celebrating with his children and grandchildren around him.
I thought about the last holiday we spent with him in Maimonides hospital in Brooklyn on Shavuot, June 13, 2016. The memories filled me with so much gratitude to so many people who spent their holiday Giving to others. I can’t even begin to express how amazing the Bikur Cholim of Boro Park is. For anyone who has ever been a care taker even for a short time, you know the absolute and utter exhaustion you feel sleeping (or not sleeping) night after night in that hospital chair, looking after your loved one. Every hour volunteers would stop in asking us if we wanted coffee, sandwiches, a meal, a magazine. These amazing people spent hours of their holiday away from their family and they thought of every detail, even making sure our room looked beautiful, by giving out fancy tablecloths and candles. And of course the amazing hospital team who allowed all 12 of us to crowd my dad’s room and spend what we thought might be our last holiday together with him.
With all these amazing memories and my feeling of gratitude to so many people and having just been given so much at this amazing health conference, it just felt natural to spend my Rosh Hashanah doing the same and giving back. I went to donate blood at cedars which I do every two months. Do you donate blood? This is such an important and easy way to give to others and I encourage any of you who are in decent health to please do this often! You can save a life. And cedars makes it so easy and enjoyable. Plus, there’s a whole host of health benefits you get by donating blood – replenishing your blood with so many amazing things your body needs that it cannot get with stagnant blood. Even donating 2-3 times a year will be beneficial to your health and help someone else.
I spent the next few hours with my friend Michelle shopping, packaging and giving out healthy energy bars and apples and honey to many family members in the hospital looking after their loved ones and to the nurses. Have a fear of hospitals? Trust me, this wasn’t easy for us either and we were met with some resistance, apparently people don’t do this often at Cedars and we weren’t embraced in the way we thought by the nursing staff and security. But, making someone feel cared for and bringing them some holiday joy makes it all worth it. One mother hugged us and said she’s been praying since last night for someone to bring her apple and honey for Rosh Hashanah. Another nurse was so grateful that someone thought of her while she was working on the holiday.
Do you ever want to do something that you know you should but feel Fearful? Doubtful? Firstly, Breathe! And tell yourself that you Love that you’re scared and you’re going to do it anyways, and the fear will dissipate. Try it! We are usually our own worst enemy. We allow doubt and negative thoughts to stop us from living in the moment.
Let’s keep the Ripple Effect going. Someone did something kind for you? Do the same for someone else. Our world needs more Giving, more Community, more Kindness and by doing this, you will enrich your own Health, Happiness, Longevity and your Life!!
And lastly, don’t suppress your emotions, ever. Be human, be real, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be sad, but don’t stay in a negative or sad place for too long. Let it out, feel what you’re feeling and then MOVE ON. So often, people drown their emotions of stress, worry, sadness, loneliness and uncertainty with food or other addictions. They bury those emotions so deep that subconsciously it’s always coming to to haunt them and they keep living in the past and can’t move forward. No one’s life is perfect. No one’s life is without challenges but it’s our very challenges that make us stronger, happier, and able to appreciate life in whole new way. I allow myself to feel, I allow myself to embrace any emotion that comes up, but I never stay in a negative place and I choose not to surround myself with negative people or negative energy. It’s my first holiday without my dad but I feel damn good, happy, light, free and optimistic, and that’s because I choose to be!! You are in charge of your destiny. You have the power to make a change in your life and re-wire your attitude. It’s up to you.
Life is beautiful and full of opportunity. We need to train ourselves to embrace everything that comes our way with Joy and Love! Shana Tova:)
Tip for this week:
(Snapped from a frame in my living room)