Openness and Opportunities: Stepping into and through our fears

For months, I have been posting on Monday a mitzvah opportunity that might be interesting or thought-provoking. Today, however I must continue to share some personal stories from the book tour.  Since I have been on the book tour I have been truly blessed by the people and stories I have heard about. Not only have I learned about others mitzvahs – like the women who offered up her home for a family needing a place to stay while the mother underwent major surgery at a local hospital. She told the audience I was speaking to that the family had stayed with her for several months and while she had been the one allowing them to stay in her home, she was very sad when they had finally went home. She felt that they had created a close bond with them during that time probably one that was even life changing. I have also loved the conversations that have been generated. For example, one women asked if she’d still done a mitzvah by returning a lost dog to its rightful owners because she’d felt irritated and perhaps even a bit begrudging about it, since it was a recurring situation and she felt that the dog owner was not being responsible enough. This allowed a brief discussion of Maimonides Ladder of Giving. This was definitely another mitzvah even if done begrudgingly.

There have also been so many folks who have come to talk with me before or after my events because they have experienced their own losses, the death of a wife, a husband, the murder of a sister. I have been blown away by the openness with which these complete strangers have shared and yet in these brief moments we have connected intimately about grief, loss and love.

When the idea to write a book was literally just a “crazy little notion” I could have easily sabotaged it and talked my self out of stepping through severe discomfort to embark on something out of my comfort zone. I am grateful that I didn’t sabotage it and I am truly grateful to those of you I have already met on my book tour.

This past weekend, my Rabbi described hearing the still small voice in our heads as the small sound of a weak radio station that is playing all the time but the blaring of our 44 inch television is so much louder that we don’t hear the radio station playing. That voice is our guide, it knows what to do and will help us if we tune into it. For many of us, that means we have to constantly remind ourselves to turn down the television so our radio will play loud enough for us to hear it.

This Thanksgiving week, I wish each of you bountiful opportunities to extend kindness and be blessed by the simple gifts it offers in return.

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