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From Our President, November 12, 2021

11/10/2021 10:44:33 AM


Michelle Bannon

Richard and I just returned from a wonderful biking trip in Arizona. It was so refreshing to get away after not traveling for the last two years. Our hotel resort focused on wellness, offering a variety of classes such as yoga, meditation, relaxation, and healthy, delicious food. 

I was surprised to find that I benefited as much from the classes as from biking. One of the words I heard multiple times throughout my stay was gratitude. Every instructor emphasized that having a sense of gratitude towards all of your experiences is basic to a mindset essential for good health. One instructor described gratitude as “the opportunity for something ordinary to become extraordinary.” That statement struck me in its simplicity and truth.

I like to think of myself as a person who is grateful for the numerous blessings in my life: not having to worry about basics such as food, shelter, lack of access to healthcare, or most anything else I need.

Growing up in the 1950s in a working-class family didn’t preclude me from receiving an excellent education and career opportunities. Yet, I also recognize that I do complain about numerous small irritations, be it the slow driver in front of me, poor service in a store, or having to wait for more than a day or two for my package from Amazon. 

What did all these annoyances result in? Tense muscles and probably elevated blood pressure. I returned from Arizona determined to be more cognizant of how I look at everyday occurrences and substitute gratitude for negativity.

Traditional Jewish morning prayers do just that: we recite a list of blessings that we are thankful for.  These prayers are meant to set the stage for the rest of the day. Yet, in 2021, we are still "discovering" how powerful those intentions can be. 

In just two weeks we will celebrate Thanksgiving. Many of us will begin our feast by saying what we are grateful for. Step back from that moment and see how that simple act makes you feel. Perhaps you, too, will try to make it a daily habit.

Stay Safe and Shabbat Shalom,

Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784