Inspired by Rabbi Karyn Kedar’s new book, “Omer: A Counting“
Written by Susan Diamond, Prayables
Moses asked, Who am. I that I should go? And God said, I will be with you.
Make a decision to begin the process of releasing your personal freedom. Today is the day you start the rest of a new life. A life better and brighter than the life you lived yesterday. Be strong. Be sure. You’re going to do this thing.
“So often, the problem is not the call but rather the response. The twin enemies, fatigue and fear, are ever-pervasive.” ~Omer: A Counting
And Moses asked, What is his name? What shall I say? And God answered, Tell them that Ehyeah, I am and I will be, Sent me to You.
Recognize the right voice, the worthy voice among the many you hear in your head. Get rid of the clutter that pulls you in all direction. This is the day you know your own mind. This is the start of a new plan that will move you forward toward freedom.
“Not all that is said is useful, not all that is learned is helpful, and not all who call us “friend” love us.”
~Omer: A Counting
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you; life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life; that you and your children may live.
You’ve narrowed it down. You’ve used discernment and you hear the one pure voice gently urging you toward the right choice. Own it. Make a conscious choice that the one thing that enslaves you will be the one thing to eliminate completely from your life
“Daily, moment by moment, life is a sequence of choices. We choose to act or not, to react or not. What we believe, how we feel, boredom, passion, and kindness don’t merely happen to us, they are all choices we make.”
~Omer: A Counting
And God said, I will take you out of the misery of Egypt.
Get excited. There is hope for a future free from whatever it is that enslaves you. This thing that you are working on will surely be a thing of the past. Anticipate what lies ahead with no reservations.
“You believe with the strength of your character and with determination, you can mend what is broken.”
~Omer: A Counting
And God said, I will take you to a land flowing with milk and honey.
You need to see a grand and glorious vision of your life without that which drags you down. Close your eyes. Fire up your imagination and picture it: Look past your reality and define a new normal, one that makes you happy and free.
“This is the secret to our power: To imagine! And then to create! To step out of the darkness that blinds us to possibility.”
~Omer: A Counting
And Moses, afraid, pleaded, Please, O Lord I have never been a man of words… I am slow of speech and slow of tongue. And God simply said, Who gives man speech? What makes him dumb or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?
It takes courage to face your darker side and faith to do something about it. It’s a natural progression to go from the decision to eliminate what enslaves you, to arrive at the point where you’re actually ready to do something about it. God is with you all along the way. You can’t fail. Be strong, be brave, have courage.
“Such is the ironic fact of human nature: we protect our deficiencies and hide our inadequacies. But perhaps it should be the opposite. Perhaps we should protect our gifts, cherishing the good within us and reveal our doubts, asking for help and support. That would take courage.”
~Omer: A Counting
Moses and Aaron said to Pharaoh; Let my people go that they may celebrate a festival for me in the Wilderness.
Prayer is an expression of personal freedom. It’s essential to spiritual health. You become more aware of what is necessary and what is not. You receive strength in prayer. You touch God in prayer. Be done with what enslaves you, and celebrate with prayer.
“Have an active conversation with the invisible: doubt and argue, dream add beg, ask for help, ask for forgiveness, and offer gratitude. Shout at the heavens when you despair and raise your voice in song when you rejoice.”
~Omer: A Counting
By Susan Diamond, Prayables
Some people have a stupendous, fireworks on the Fourth of July marriage. Others have a miserable, cry me a river marriage that really stinks. The rest, fit not-so-neatly in-between. How to have a better marriage? It’s not as hard as you’d think when you take 5 days to work on your marriage.
Day 1 to a Better Marriage: Surround Yourself With Happy Married People
Make an “Influencer List.” Think about the people in your life who are happy in their marriage. You know how to spot the ones who are truly happy. They don’t belittle their spouse with sarcasm; embarrass them by pointing out flaws in public. They’re the ones who laugh at their spouse’s jokes, and have a hard time restraining a kiss or a caress for no good reason. When your list is complete, call the one on top just to say hello. As best as possible, avoid anyone not on the Influencer List for the next five days. Surround yourself with the people in your life who have a better marriage.
Happy married people now surround you.
Day 2 to a Better Marriage: New Attitude
Now that you’ve made your outside influences marriage-friendly it’s time to work on your inner influences. Negative thoughts, sensitivity, (the bad kind) and personal irritations have no place in your new attitude toward your spouse. Only think positive thoughts. Shrug off any “shoulda-couldas” before they take hold, and brush away irritation like you would a pesky fly. There is no place in your head for anything but good and happy thoughts about your spouse.
Happy married people now surround you, and you have a new positive attitude towards your spouse.
Day 3 to a Better Marriage: Nothing But Kindness
Treat your spouse with the same level of customer service you get from your favorite Barrista at Starbucks. Imagine your marriage is a business deal, and your spouse is a million-dollar client. Borrow a corporate mission statement and make it work to improve your marriage: Exceed expectations. Be polite, cheerful, and considerate. Throw in some perks. The “customer” is always right when you’re spending five days to a better marriage.
Happy married people surround you, you have a positive attitude, and you’re providing your spouse with nothing but kindness.
Day 4 to a Better Marriage: Talk it Up
Brag about your spouse to someone who cares. Find something nice to say about your spouse and tell it to a good friend, parent, or child. You’ll have a better marriage when the right people are talking about the right things when it comes to your spouse. Chances are your words of admiration will get back to your spouse and create ripples of good feelings.
Happy married people surround you, you have a positive attitude, you’re extra kind, and today you’ve bragged to someone who loves your spouse.
Look at your marriage from the outside in. Studies show that looking at problems and situations objectively through the eyes of a third person brings clarity. On the final day of your “Better Marriage Plan” you’re ready to make an assessment.
– How would a neutral observer rate your relationship in the following areas: love, trust, intimacy, passion, and commitment?
– Write down a factual summary of your last disagreement. No emotions, no opinions – just the facts.
– Take an overall look at your marital happiness. Remember, this is an outsider looking in.
Result: A Better Marriage
Happy married people surround you, you have a positive attitude, you’re extra kind, today you’ve bragged to someone who loves your spouse, you’ve made an honest assessment of your marriage, and you have a better marriage in just 5 days!
Refresh and Renew
When you’re intentional about having positive influences in your life and a positive attitude, your marriage is healthier and happier. Be generous with your love and attention. And remember; be realistic about what it means to have a good marriage. Even the very best married couples get “marriage fatigue.” Refresh your married life by regularly committing 5 days to a better marriage. Enjoy the results!
MORE FROM SUSAN DIAMOND:
Contributed by Susan Good, Visit Gramma Good at www.grammagood.com
I believe in living my life outside the box. I know many women of all ages don’t feel as I do and live inside the box their entire lives. Life inside the box means you’re content to live a routine life. You do not have the desire or need to step out of your comfort zone. When given the opportunity, ask yourself, why should I? It takes determination and drive to push oneself out of the box and test new waters when life is so comfortable. Whether you are a daughter, a mom or a gramma, my advice is…give it a try!
Fortunately, I inherited my mother’s drive and desire. I live outside the box. I plunge into life. Life is my oyster, as the saying goes. This attitude has made my life far more interesting than most of the women I know. Here is my latest story. It would not be noteworthy, except for the other woman who entered my life by chance…a stranger very much like myself.
I was hobbling, through the most delicious Italian restaurant on my walker, with my leg in a cast. On my way to our table, I passed another table. The man sitting at it stopped me because I was on a walker. Long story short, he informed me that he had a broken ankle too! I met his wife for a brief moment and then continued on to our table to enjoy a fabulous meal of spaghetti with clam sauce.
A few weeks later, as I hobbled into a party on my walker, a very pretty woman approached me. She could have said her hellos and left, but instead sat with me for the entire evening. Who was the woman? She was the wife of the ‘man with the broken ankle’! Was it good karma? Yes!
She told me she and her husband live in LA. My husband and I were going to be in LA that weekend. She reached out to me, out of her comfort zone, asked if we could meet for Sunday brunch, and handed me her cell phone number. “Call at the last minute, we’re easy,” she said. She dared at her age to make a new friendship. She lives outside the box.
I debated whether or not to call. Sunday came and at 9 a.m. I picked up the phone and said ‘yes’ to this girl I hardly knew. I thought to myself, “it would be so much easier for my husband and I to order in room service and stay in until our event that evening.” It was so hard to hobble around and get dressed to meet a stranger. I fought with myself because everything I did was such an effort with my broken ankle. Yet, I just had to pick up the phone and say, “I would love to have breakfast!” Why? Because I live outside the box.
We met for brunch with our husbands at 11 a.m. and parted at 2 p.m. We bonded. Two women. Two grammas who do not need more women in our lives. The only reason for this new friendship …we both live outside the box.
There is a lesson in this blog. When happenstance knocks on your door and you have a chance to have a new experience— dare to live outside the box. You may not want to because it is easier to stay in your routine, but I guarantee you it may prove to be very uplifting in so many different ways, as it was for my newest girlfriend and me.
A thank you to you, mom!
Do something GOOD today: Teach your children and grandchildren to live outside the box through your example. Their lives will be so much more exciting and successful.
Written By Susan Diamond, Publisher of Prayables, an online spiritual community for people of all faiths.
Is There a Future for Religion?
If I hear one more self-righteous matron bitch and moan about the religious morals of young people today, I’m going to smash someone’s head. That’s not very Christian of me, is it? Then again, I’m not a Christian. But I am “very spiritual” just like the “Nones”
42% Defy Labels
A Pew study made history by introducing a new religious non-affiliation. The Nones; young independent spiritualists who believe in God but don’t accept the trappings of organized religion. At least not the type of religion being offered in most churches, synagogues and mosques today.
The End of Religion
From pulpits (and Fox News) we hear that the souls of our children cannot be saved. The future of religion is coming to an end. Yet, I’m online every day and night reaching out to millions of people all across the globe who are “liking” God, “plus one-ing” scripture, and “tweeting” prayers. The median age for my audience? 20-30 something. So there. But why?
Short & Sweet: Yes. Long & Boring: Hell No!
The spirituality we’re serving up is short and conveniently located. Need an inspirational hit from Matthew? It’s in your newsfeed. Feeling blue? Click through a slide show about “Owning Your Disappointment.” It’s better than a sermon. Share 30 second bursts of God and your spiritual sweet spot is satisfied. That’s what works. Here’s what scares young people off.
Old People with Rules
Older people sitting in churches, synagogues, and mosques telling the next generation to follow their rules just doesn’t work anymore. It’s a new world. A start-up nation of bright young spirits looking to serve God in a new way. It begins where they live: Online. But it doesn’t end there. A few progressive religious leaders are getting wise.
The New Way to Engage
Clergy in-the-know are finding their future congregants online and enticing them to join their off-line community. They’re offering alternative musical services where the melodies of Mumford & Sons trump Ave Maria. Technology infused study groups with a Simpson’s video teaching morals, ethics, and values. Social action projects that appeal to a young person’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Alive and Well Online and in Your Neighborhood
The future of religion is being shaped right now. It may not look like it has in the past, but it still looks damn good. Have faith. Religion is here to stay. Clearly present but evolving over time. After all, God is timeless – not stuck in time.