Tag Archives: life

Greeting Each Day With an Open Heart

Friends,

It’s been a while.

I do my best in greeting the world and each day with an open heart and soft eyes.

I want to share with you a video that really moved me.

This short film illustrates the wonder of our world, its beauty, its people and how profound living a life with gratitude can be.

After you’ve watched it I hope your hearts too feel open to all of life’s blessings.

Have a peaceful holiday season and may your souls fill with Centerpeace.

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“We let love win, when we let love in”

(Saturday, October 8, 2011)

It was a privilege and a gift for me attend Romemu’s Kol Nidre service last night.  While I am three quarters of the way through the day without food, please forgive any grammatical and spelling errors due to the fact that my brain is hungry and not functioning optimally.  That said, my heart is open and I will do my very best to summarize and share with you Rabbi David Ingber’s most thought provoking, inspiring, heartfelt service. What’s missing from my summary is what my words cannot possibly express: the magic of  an enlightening Kol Nidre, beautiful music, smiling faces all around me, spiritual energy, connection,  dear friends, my husband’s hand, and most importantly a Rabbi who I feel so lucky to have in my life. Your spiritual guidance helps, teaches and inspires me to live each day mindfully and lovingly.  Thank you, Rabbi, from the bottom of my heart.

We made it! Another year! Another chance for confession (Toda and Moda which in Hebrew means I admit confession and wrong doing). Yom Kippur is 25 hours of introspection and soul searching.  Reflection!  “Its when we hold up the IS in our life, against the OUGHT of our life.” As long as we are alive we can do the work of repair and detoxification.  We get to align ourselves appropriately each year between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  “So how will you use this time?”

Rabbi David says, “everyday our lives are confronted in some way with resistance to love.”  It is a choice we make to give love and let love into our lives.  To let love win…..there is tremendous power in kindness, compassion and loving each other.  “Compassion is our most precious quality.”   Though we are all different, compassion is a trait we all possess.  We are born with it.  Some of us use it more than others but it is in us all.  Living compassionate lives enables us to understand, connect, not judge, like and love.  Living compassionate lives enable others to feel good when they are in our presence.

I left Romemu mindful and ready to begin my 25 hours of introspection and reflection feeling very connected to g-d.  You don’t need to be Jewish to reap the benefits of this message.  Just a human being open to being better; open to living with love and compassion daily.  We may not be able to change the world at large but each one of us has the power to change ourselves.  And one by one, we can make the world a better place to be.

“We let love win, when we love in.” David Ingber

I will use these words as a guiding principle in my life today, tomorrow and the year ahead.  May you find this message rich and meaningful.  Share the words with those you love in hopes that this might spark an opening in their lives for more kindness, more compassion and more love. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “We become what we think about all day long.”
Blessings, Stephanie

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Heart of Gratitude!

Generally my blog is recipe bound or spiritually based.  This one is a little different.
It’s about me.  Next month marks five years since I was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma.
For those of you who did not know – yes, in my medial right thigh.  A small freckle that grew like an octopus down through my muscle.
It was excised, surrounding hip lymph nodes removed and I am stronger today because I had cancer.  I’m a better person, a better wife and mother. A better friend, teacher and runner.  And not a day goes by where I don’t thank God for my mind’s strength and my body’s health.  My leg sings to me daily and I’ve spent five years trying to find the right recipe for settling the aggravated nerves around the incision cite.  There is no recipe; rather my ache serves as a daily reminder of just how fortunate I am to be living.  I push through and have bought stock in Ben Gay.  Now you know why the studio smells like menthol often.
Doctors say you need five years clear to diminish your chances for recurrence.
I’m here….Five years!
Clean! Strong! Healthy and filled with gratitude.

With love,

Stephanie

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Invigorating Winter Fun! Go For It!!!

Look at that sky. Look at that snow. Look at the stream of moving water running through the ice.

Breathtaking!

This photo was taken during my first snowshoe expedition along the golf course at Mount Kisco Country Club. Wow, what great winter fun. Through the laughter of my friends and the sounds of crackling snow it was an afternoon of great memories as we lifted our feet through snow and ice.

Let me tell you, it was harder than I thought it would be, especially uphill!

For those of you with snowshoes, look for large open spaces where you can walk for hours and savor Mother Nature’s winter with friends outdoors.

Here’s to many more moments of Centerpeace! Thank you Paula, Karen, Sande, Amy and Jane for my new shoes!! I can’t wait to wear them again and again.

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May We All Be Coffee

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee…

You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as when one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.
The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg,or a coffee bean?”
Think of this: Which am I?
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?
How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

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