Who you are today is the sum total of what you have encountered in your life and your reactions. Abuses and afflictions hammer us one way, encouragement and praise inflate us another. Our reaction to each event, whether that event was positive or negative, is poured into our creative morrow of our individuality, where it is blended into the nature of our character.


Do You Have Cluttered Brain Syndrome?

Chana Weisberg


Have you ever tried to access a common word and you just couldn’t remember it? Or you’re ready to dial a favorite number and your mind turns blank?

The other day, when I momentarily forgot a friend’s name, after misplacing my keys yet again, I started to worry. What was happening to my brain? Why couldn’t I access common words or names? Was this a sign of something going awry?

And so, when I went to my physician for a wellness check-up, I mentioned my concern. She inquired about my schedule to give her a glimpse into my lifestyle. I mentioned the typical day filled with myriad details, obligations and nonstop responsibilities, from family to work to community, from meeting deadlines to all the things that constantly tug at us without reprieve.

She smiled knowingly. “It sounds like a case of cluttered brain syndrome,” she reassured me. “It’s when our brain becomes so cluttered with the far too many responsibilities we are juggling that it momentarily finds it difficult to access basic information. The condition typically afflicts women more than men, since women generally are such multi-taskers.”

I was relieved by my doctor’s diagnosis; now I had a syndrome on which to blame my lapses. It wasn’t that my dear friend wasn’t dear to me. And it wasn’t that a relative’s phone number wasn’t important to me. It was simply that my brain was on overload trying to juggle the big and small details of just getting through life.

And then it hit me that truthfully, we are all experiencing Cluttered Brain Syndrome on a far more global and cosmic scope.

Life in exile is compared to a dream. Just as a dream is full of contradictions and paradoxes, in exile, we are fragmented beings not living in accordance with our priorities and values. It’s not that our connection to G‑d isn’t important to us. It is! It’s just that we’re overloaded, accessing the many minute details of daily living that we don’t always behave in a way that is in tune with the greater picture.

On a microcosmic level, I’m not really sure what the cure is to my cluttered brain. After all, the tasks still need to be taken care of. But I do know that intuitively, I’ve arranged my home to be as clear, orderly and serene as possible. I know, too, that I need to calm and remove as many stresses from my life as possible to focus—and refocus often—on the big picture.

On a cosmic level, too, we need to de-clutter by concentrating on what we know is of true value.

But ultimately, perhaps, the only absolute cure to this syndrome is to completely clear the static of our world and finally usher in an era of serenity, peace, prosperity—and clarity—for all of mankind. May it happen immediately!


 





 

 

It’s easy to give up on our dreams and think, “I’ve missed too many opportunities.” But God’s saying, “It’s not over.”

 

 

 

 Get Out of Your Rut

Sometimes all you need to do to get yourself out of a rut is to look at things from a different perspective. What challenge is causing you stress? What dilemma has you stumped for a solution? What issue has caused you a bit of frustration lately? This week, I want to challenge you to step out of your routine way of looking at things and consider a new, healthier perspective.

Whether you’ve downsized a dream and need a new perspective that helps you “raise the bar” a bit, or you’re being too hard on yourself and you need to lighten up, changing your perspective may be just what you need right now. Here are a few ways to do just that:

Step away from the situation – literally.
Sometimes, you just need to take a take a walk or even get away for a vacation. Being in a different environment changes your physical perspective, which often leads to a change in mental perspective. So take a break from working on your challenge – and spend some time focused on something else entirely.

Talk to a wise friend and get their perspective.
Because we are often so close to the challenges we face, it can be helpful to ask someone else to share their perspective on a matter. This opens your mind to new options and ways of thinking.

Acknowledge your own progress.
Sometimes, the problem that frustrates you today are issues that you would have loved to have had a few years ago. So your child is stressing you out – don’t forget to take a moment to be grateful for the gift of family. Perhaps work is hectic right now, but at one point, your aim was to land this job. More opportunity can stretch you, but being stretched can be a good thing when you grow from it.

Consider this question: What lesson does this offer me and what will I do differently next time as a result?

Ask, “What’s my vision for this area of my life?”
Sometimes, you can be so focused on the issue at your feet that you forget to look up at the long-term vision. It’s called “not seeing the forest for the trees.” Keep your eye on the vision.

Imagine God’s perspective on the matter.
If you sat down with Him for a cup of coffee this morning, what do you think He would tell you?

 The challenge to you:
Look at your life from a different perspective. Do something specifically to help you gain a perspective that moves you forward.

 

                    With David Bowie in 1982

 

 

Quit Trying to Fit

The pursuit of God is probably, or should be, the utmost desire of every believer. It just makes sense that those of us who have accepted Christ should desire to know him more intimately. What happens is that, in this pursuit. We get involved in playing the game of trying to prove ourselves as “spiritual” because we want to fit into certain groups that seem to really have the “tight” or “right” relationship with the Master. But sometimes the adjustments and the changes seem to be uncomfortable, because this may not be where we belong.

After studying this, I have come to the conclusion that all of us spend way too much time trying to appease others, trying to make things work that are not working, and trying to fit where we do not belong. Stop it! Life is too short. I am sure that most of you do not remember the song, “If It Don’t Fit. Don’t Force It”. I remember it well, even though I have not applied the principles to my life.

Has anybody (other than me) ever felt that you were trying to belong to something that you really didn’t feel comfortable about? Trying to be around someone who you didn’t feel welcome around? Doing something that you really weren’t totally into? It’s time to quit! Quit!

There are some places, groups, organizations, relationships, denominations and conventions that we have been trying to force ourselves into, and really in our spirit we know that we do not belong. We leave frustrated and we never really enjoy the trip.

Most of us don’t want to admit that a certain move or decision that we made was a mistake. I personally spent too much time trying to nurture relationships and make things happen that (even a blind man could see) weren’t going to happen. It was obvious that we weren’t compatible, comfortable or even compassionate with each other, but I was going to make it happen anyway. Wrong! A big part of maturity is realizing that there are certain things, people and places that are not for you. So quit trying to fit!

 

From the book: Articles from the Heart by Bishop Larry D. Trotter

 

9 Tips to Stop Anger and Injustice from Hurting You

Improve your health and well-being by releasing feelings of injustice.        Post published by Beth Darnall PhD

Sure, you know life is not fair.  But sometimes circumstances feel so unfair it’s difficult for you to let go. You may have persistent feelings of injustice and very good reasons for feeling that way.  For instance, you may be challenged with a personal betrayal, a traumatic childhood, or a physical assault.  In the case of chronic pain, you may have anger or feelings of injustice regarding an accident that started the pain.  Sometimes people feel anger at their own body and its limitations.

Persistent anger and feelings of injustice—directed toward a particular person, circumstance, or yourself— have a steep price tag:  they rob you of happiness in the moment, and have negative impacts on your health.  

Here’s what you can do to take control and have a better outcome.

Shifting Away From Anger and Injustice

(1)    Have compassion for yourself.  Recognize that you are doing your best with a difficult situation. The more you focus on compassion, the less room there is for anger.

(2)    Decide it’s not worth it.  When you find yourself thinking about the injustice of being wronged, remind yourself that by staying focused on injustice and anger, you are unwittingly wronging yourself.

(3)    Anger and feelings of injustice beget physical pain.  Among people with chronic pain, feelings of injustice and anger are associated with worse medical outcomes and greater pain [1-6]. There may be many different reasons why these emotions have a negative impact on health.  Anger causes increased tension in the body and this in turn increases pain.  Anger is associated with increased inflammation in the body and this can worsen pain and overall health.  Feelings of anger and injustice can keep you focused on what’s wrong and who is to blame for it. Remind yourself that focusing on it gives it more energy. 

(4)    Choose to be empowered by separating the facts of the situation from your emotions.

 “Susan” wrongfully lost her job. She harbored great feelings of injustice and anger at the circumstance and key players involved.  She recognized her anger was contaminating her ability to enjoy her life. She worked to release her anger.  While Susan is clear that what happened was not fair, she no longer carries the feelings of injustice, a persistent feeling of having been wronged or victimized.  This freed her up to focus on what’s up ahead and how she can make her life better.

(5)    Seek treatment modalities that melt anger and feelings of injustice.  Effective modalities include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Loving Kindness Meditation, and Compassion Meditation [6].

(6)    The Relaxation Response is an antidote for anger.  The relaxation response can effectively counter the physical and emotional “tightening” that happens when we feel anger or injustice.  Have a plan to reduce the inner tension and the emotions will neutralize.  For a strong dose of relaxation that is portable and easy, download a 20-minute guided relaxation audiofile on your smartphone or iPod and use it regularly.

(7)    Positive imagery can help.  Visualize yourself in nature or with someone you love to neutralize any negative emotional charge.

(8)    Have patience with yourself.  It may take time for the emotions to lessen.  Encourage yourself to soften in each and every moment. Some days will be easier than others; have compassion for yourself as you move through the process.

(9)    Don’t stay stuck. If you feel yourself stagnating, confine your focus to countering the physical and emotional tension with relaxation techniques each and every time they come up.  Over time you will accumulate greater relaxation in your mind and body, and this will set the foundation for you to explore deeper emotional release work. Working with a professional can help you overcome any barriers and kick start your freedom from anger and injustice.