Tag Archives: Religion


Strengthen your health and well-being by stretching and wondering. Here’s how:

Think of all around you, above, you within you - know awe.

Here’s how to Be With Beauty:

Be with beauty emotionalfitness exercise.


No matter how busy you are, you need time outs to refresh and renew. The two exercises are quick ways to refuel. However, you and those you love need more than quick breaks throughout you day.

When God commanded the Jews to observe the Shabbat, the purpose was to force quiet time on this tribe of his children. You do not have to be Jewish or even believe in God to benefit from a day away from work and particularly electronic devices and stores.

Can’t bear the thought of a full day?  Start with a few hours, build toward a full day.  You will benefit.

As always, thank you for all you do to make the world around you more peaceful. Think of sharing this post as another way to work toward peace.


How does this post fit in with Today’s Word Press’s DAILY PROMPT:  Secret Admirers?  You return home to discover a huge flower bouquet waiting for you, no card attached. Who is it from — and why did they send it to you?

Only indirectly.  What it sparked in me was a reminder to build your #emotionalintelligence  by admiring beauty and nature and not so secretly.


EFTI FREE POSTERS  Browse the EFTI store for free digital downloads of the posters shown. You will also see  nearly a hundred more designed to inspire, coach and teach you how to strengthen your #emotionalintelligence. 


Who do you hate?  Where did you learn that hatred. Hatred destroys your heart, so improve your #emotionalintelligence and learn to love even those you hate.

You've got to be taught to hate.

emotional fitness THOUGHTS AND TIPS

Human nature is such that we fear what is different.  If that fear gets linked to  personal internal hurts , hatred brews. Here are five common  examples of what I mean by internal hurts.

  1. You judge yourself as less smart, less strong, less talented than a person of difference.
  2. You have less wealth than a person of a difference.
  3. A person of difference beats you in a race, a game.
  4. A person of difference seems more respected by others than you feel respect you.
  5. Your view of your higher power is challenged by a different one.

Hatred brews more easily when the voices around you promote hatred and join hands with your personal hurt. The more voices preaching hate, the easier it is to justify your hate.

Some cultures raise their children on hatred of difference. Some do it directly.  Go here to see  what one group teaches its children. Others do it less directly. How? Think of any group that says those who believe differently are damned and doomed to spend eternity in hell. Also think of media messages that promote competition or divisiveness.

I think of the Long Island Railroad mass killer Colin Ferguson as someone whose hatred festered because of failed dreams, personal hurts, the slings and arrows of thoughtless other people, and of the preachings of hatred. Born in Jamaica, he came to the USA expecting to find great success, freedom and tolerance. He did not find success, he found racism, and he heard the preachings of hate groups.

It is a testimony to the goodness of most people that meeting with the same conditions, they do not turn murderous.

Hatred involves twisted thinking.  Here is a list of such   fallaciesThe fallacies most at play in hatred of differences are  incorrectly linking cause and effect, generalizing, and ad hominem.

To remind yourself to work at learning love, download today’s free  poster coach about learning love and post it where you  will see it.  when you see it, recite Hammerstein’s lyrics to shut out thoughts of hate.


The more you have been taught to hate differences, the harder it will be to learn love.  However, if the world is going to move past war, loving difference is essential.   Make learning to love  one of your life’s missions.

A brief Torah lesson.  The letter twelve in Hebrew stands for diversity, for example the twelve tribes. The letter for thirteen is a sacred letter and stands for oneness meaning the source of all.  Idol worship as taught by the Jewish Sages refers to the splitting of the sacred into the twelve and worshipping not the oneness of all, but one or another part or piece or tribe.

Thank you for all you do, enjoy and be grateful for all you have been given, practice kindness, like, share or comment.



This post relates to this DAILY PROMPT : Object Lesson – Sherlock Holmes had his pipe. Dorothy had her red shoes. Batman had his Batmobile. If we asked your friends what object they most immediately associate with you, what would they answer?

I would hope mine would be the peace symbol.


 IMAGE BY Emotional Fitness Training, Inc.  Free download.


As the saying goes “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  When trapped and facing destruction, we ask for survival with all our hearts. We pray.

cartoon about unaswered prayers

My mother was more of an atheist than a believer, but throughout the day she often prayed.  Her prayers?  “God willing.” “God knows.”  God protect the young or foolish.”

These were often uttered when life or people were frustrating her beyond her normal ability to cope.  She was speaking from her heart.

The introduction to the Jewish prayer book points out that prayer is the “service of the heart.” Aizal, a respected Jewish commentator,  notes that when a Jew “pours out his heart like water” he becomes unified with God.

For observant Jews the three daily prayers  served to keep alive and take the place of Temple services. Moses started them because he foresaw the destruction of the holy temple.

So when you pour out your heart to the universe you are praying no matter what your faith or lack of faith.

When three Jewish boys were recently kidnapped, Jews of all persuasions poured out their hearts praying for the safe return of these sons.  Before the first prayer was uttered these sons of the Jewish people were already dead.

I am studying Jewish prayer at the Aish Denver Synagogue with about twelve others on Shabbat mornings. The class is lead by Rabbi Levi Levowitz.  He emails us notes following class. Here are his notes from last week.

 Dear Friends,

Before I begin with the recap I must say that I was truly moved by our class this past Shabbos. We discussed the difficult events that have occurred recently and we all wanted to take action for Hashem and the Jewish People. It was simply amazing to see! Thank you.
The following is the recap of the class:
The story of the three young boys who were abducted and killed has brought the entire nation to mourning. For 18 days we were united in prayer, hoping that Hashem would bring them back to us, but sadly it was not meant to be. Although Hashem’s plans are far beyond our comprehension, we can try to hear the message(s) behind the story in order to grow in our Judaism. One lesson I took out of the tragedy was as follows: The reports are that the boys were “killed almost immediately. That means, the entire Jewish People were unified in prayer for 18 days not knowing that what they were praying for wasn’t relevant anymore! Hashem, by allowing this to happen, was teaching us a tremendous lesson about Davening: its not about getting what we want, but about connecting to Hashem. 
In order to connect, we must believe that He’s really listening. Nachmonides writes that this is one the fundamentals of prayer, namely, that we believe Hashem listens to our prayers. Why is this so central to the Davening experience? Davening is about developing a relationship with Hashem. When we truly sense that He is attentive to our prayers we will want to deepen our relationship with Him because we realize that we are important to Him. (On a side note: Our challenge in believing that Hashem is listening is that we don’t see Him with our eyes. The irony is that another human being whom we know we are speaking to very often isn’t really  listening to us, but Hashem whom “we don’t know if He is there or not” is always listening to us with the utmost focus and intent!)
In the merit of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, let us work on picturing ourselves in the presence the One who is listening and sincerely interested in our prayers when we say the Shemona Esrei. Let’s commit to do this 2 times over the week. 

Thank you Rabbi Levowitz and thank you Hashem for blessing my life.

EMotional fitness thoughts and tips

As those of you who read me regularly know, I write here mainly for the secular world.  Those with a faith in God, as long as that God is a God of love, have less need for my ramblings or so I tend  to think.

My atheist friends see no need for a “higher power” or religious groupings, but I do.  Why? For any number of reasons. Here are a few:.

  1. No matter where I go I can find a community of caring people. This has been underlined for me since moving from the East Coast to the Colorado. Despite being nearer my grandchildren, my life here would be much bleaker without the Aish Denver Synagogue.
  2. My efforts to avoid wrong and practice kindness are strengthened.
  3. My hope that somewhere justice prevails is strengthened.
  4. I am better able to acknowledge that I am not the center of all that happens, nor do I control all that happens. Trying to control others is a major source of worldly angst. At least for me.
  5. I am better able to tolerate the bad in life and practice forgiveness.
  6. I am less alone both in the everyday world when I go to worship, but also in the existential loneliness that is this life.
  7. I face death a bit easier.

I have two requests of my blog friends. The first request is for the faith-based.  No matter what your faith, fight any doctrine that is divisive.  Divisiveness  means a religion damns those who are not believers.

The second request is for my atheist friends. Fight bad doctrine but honor what is good in all religions.


I hope you find my posts of value.  If you do,  practice internet kindness by liking, rating, commenting, or sharing.

Thank you for all you do and as always work to stay strong, while not  easy, more possible than you might think.

Love all,


This post relates to this Word Press Daily PromptYou just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?

Some say religion is old hat so if money was of no interest, I would mount an intensive campaign to rid all religions of the out-dated divisive beliefs that lead to evil acts and then support the good all religions offer.


Image found on cluelessclay.com

Thank God It Is Friday

Word Press asks “What’s your favorite daily ritual?”   The Shabbat.  How is that daily? Thinking about it looking forward to it, preparing for it, savoring it.

The Lyrics
I gotta feeling that tonights gonna be a good night
That tonights gonna be a good night
That Shabbats gonna be a good, good night (4x)

Tonights the night, Lets Live it up
No Need for money, Lets save it up
Go out and dance it, Like oh my god
Jump off the Sofa, Turn TV off, off

I know that well have a ball
If we get down and go out and just lose it all
I feel stressed out, I wanna let it go
Lets go home and eat a huge matzo ball

Lets do it, lets do it, lets do it
Lets do it, lets do it, lets do it
Live it up

I gotta feeling that tonights gonna be a good night
That tonights gonna be a good night
That Shabbats gonna be a good, good night

Fill up my cup, mazaltov
Look at her lighting, Shell bless it up
Friends all around, Lets turn that frown
Shabbat each Friday and so well do it again

Here we come, Here we go, We got our challah
Easy come, easy go, you betta Holla! Holla!
Family Talk, Body Rock, Rock it dont stop
Round and round, up and down, around the clock

Oh what a feeling oh tonight was such a good night
Oh tonight was such a good night
On Shabbat I had a good, good night.
Gosh I cant believe I get to do this every Friday night.

Emotional Fitness Thoughts

I am old enough to remember the ad that recommended “The pause that refreshes.”

Shabbat is that for observant Jews.  Observing the Shabbat is the fourth of the Ten Commandments.  I often think of how the value of Shabbat grows in proportion to the work requirements of the days. Jews could not demand work of employees  or in ancient time of slaves or animals on Shabbat. Jews were required to set slaves free after seven years of servitude.  Many asked to remain slaves.

Non-Jews are not expected to observe all Ten Commandments.  But if they observed the Seven Laws of Noah were  as valued by God as Jews who observed all The Ten Commandments and the other 613 laws Jews chose to obey and were chosen to obey – hence the name “Chosen people.”

Not a Jew? Here is what the God of my understanding expects of you as spelled out in the Noahic Laws:

  1. Don’t worship idols. Think money, things as well as graven images.
  2. Don’t  murder. Not  killing, for all have the right to defend themselves.
  3. Don’t steal.
  4. Don’t engage in sexually immoral behaviors.
  5. Don’t blasphemy.
  6. Don’t eat the flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive.
  7. Do  maintain fair and just courts.

Many see the Jewish God as a dark and gloomy one.  Many see all gods that way. I prefer to think whatever God exists is patiently waiting for humankind to commit to observing the Seven Laws of Moses and so bring peace on earth.  I think that God must weep at our behavior, but that hope and patience are stronger in that God than in mankind.


Too bad  observing the Shabbat has been left off that list. However, doing so is a choice and that is today’s Emotional Fitness Tip. Create a Shabbat Day for yourself and your family.  Minimally, set aside a lengthy period of time to turn off the world of work, buying, connecting electronically. Use that time to be with family, friends, and nature or other sources of beauty and inspiration. Turning off and tuning out parts of  the world will be hard at first, but the more you try, the easier it gets and in time leads to living the good life.

Here is today’s Free Poster Coach.  It teaches The Be With Beauty Exercise.

Be with beauty emotionalfitness exercise.

As always thank you for all you do to Practice Kindness, a major emotional intelligence boosting practice. Liking, commenting, or sharing any social media you find helpful is one way to be kind. It may seem like a little, however, doing a little matters a lot.


EFTI’s poster coaches are free digital downloads designed to  improve Emotional Intelligence. Best printed up in color on card stock. they can be posted almost anywhere.  Their intended audience? Anyone who wants to improve their emotional fitness or anyone else’s emotional intelligence.  Parents, teachers, therapists, coaches, fitness trainers, school guidance counselors, preachers, and non-preachers.