Elul 5773 …item 2.. Try Something New for 30 Days (August 6, 2013 / 30 Av 5773) …item 4.. Breaking the Procrastination Cycle (August 29, 2013 / 23 Elul 5773) …

Elul 5773 …item 2.. Try Something New for 30 Days (August 6, 2013 / 30 Av 5773) …item 4.. Breaking the Procrastination Cycle (August 29, 2013 / 23 Elul 5773) …
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What’s wrong with me? For one thing, we’re out of the habit. We’re used to being bombarded with information, news, emails nonstop. We’re not accustomed to being alone. We don’t know what to do with our time. We think there’ something wrong if we’re not busy. We don’t know how to take advantage of the opportunity. (A camp director recently told me that campers are coming to camp for shorter periods of time since they cannot handle the withdrawal effects of being without their iPhone.)
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… message header for item 2. … Try Something New for 30 Days.

Each day of the month of Elul we blow the shofar as a reminder – wake up! Rosh Hashanah is coming; now is the time to change.
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…..item 1)…. CELEBRATE THE MONTH OF ELUL …

… D F W NewBeginning Church … www.newbeginnings.org/

every life deserves a New Beginning …

news & events

… When:August 6 – September 4, 2013
… Where:Everywhere
3000 West Airport Freeway
Irving, TX 75062
Click here for directions
… Watch Live:Sorry, this event is not available to watch live on-line
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img code photo … The Month of Elul

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www.newbeginnings.org/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=112

ABOUT THIS EVENT

The Month of Elul
August 6 – September 4, 2013
(biblical holidays begin at sundown)

Elul is the last month on the Jewish civil calendar. It is known as the month of ‘teshuvah’ – a time of return. This is when we take account of our spiritual progress over the past year, and prepare for the upcoming “Days of Awe” of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The key symbol of faith during this season is the shofar, God’s trumpet. The sound of the shofar is the sound of favor, judgment and reward. During this 40 day season, which ends on the Day of Atonement, the shofar sounds daily through-out the land so that God’s people won’t miss the great outpouring of blessing that is about to happen.

Ancient wisdom describes Elul as a time when “the king is in the field.” While God is always with us there are appointed times when He is closer than any other time. This is the deeper meaning of Isaiah 55:6; Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. There is great reward awaiting those who return and respond to the Lord right now.

The shofar is a powerful weapon of our spiritual warfare. The scripture tells us the sound of the shofar will cause us to be remembered before the Lord and we will receive salvation from our enemies. (see Numbers 10: 9)

One of the traditional sounds is 9 quick blasts in short succession (Teruah) — which resembles an alarm to awaken us from any spiritual sleep. (Click Here for Example) It is a powerful reminder for God’s people to arise out of their spiritual slumber; to reconnect to the spiritual mission of being a light to the world and to return to putting God first in our lives. It serves to remind us to search our heart; reflect on our divine purpose; make amends with people; pray about our goals and direction for the New Year; and for preparing our Sukkot First Fruits offering. It is directly connected to the blessing of the early and the latter rain. (see Joel 2)

The long, straight shofar blast (tekiah) is the biblical sound of the King’s coronation. (I Thessalonians 4:17) When we receive this revelation and participate in this season, which carries us into the Rosh Hashanah-the Feast of Trumpets, we are symbolically crowning God as our King. This entire season is directly connected with the sowing of our Sukkot First Fruits offering. It represents the crowning the King of Kings in your own life, over your family, in your finances, business and more.

We encourage you to send for your own shofar so that you can blow the trumpet…and sound the alarm every day in your own home; over your family and your future. (Click Here for Shofar Selection)

Watch Pastors Larry & Tiz teach on the shofar (click here)
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© 2013 New Beginnings Church. All Rights Reserved.
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…..item 2)…. Try Something New for 30 Days …

… aish.com … www.aish.com/h/hh/e/inspiration/

Home » Jewish Holidays » The High Holidays » Elul » Inspiration …
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Stuck in a rut? Elul – and this Ted talk – may have the answer.

August 6, 2013 / 30 Av 5773
by Matt Cutts and aish.com

www.aish.com/h/hh/e/inspiration/Try-Something-New-for-30-…

We may still be in the thick of summer, but this week begins the Jewish month of Elul, the last month of year, which means Rosh Hashanah is just 30 days away. In the Jewish calendar, this 30-day time period leading up to the New Year is an intense time focused on spiritual growth, introspection and preparing to stand in front of God to ask for another year of life.

The Talmud refers to Elul as “days of favor” – a time when it’s easier to access God’s forgiveness, to shake off our bad habits and step out of the rut we may be in. It was the time when Moses ascended Mount Sinai to receive the second tablets and attain forgiveness after the sin of the Golden Calf.

Each day of the month of Elul we blow the shofar as a reminder – wake up! Rosh Hashanah is coming; now is the time to change.

Interestingly, as this video below explains, 30 days seems to be an optimum amount of time to commit to a new task, undaunted. We are more likely to live up to our resolution if we commit to it for 30 days. And those 30 days can bring about a real lasting change.

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So this week, take the 30-day Elul challenge and pick one mitzvah, one positive action that you know you can stick to for 30 days, and do it every day – no matter what. It could be to turn off your iPhone every night (or just at dinner), to learn something Jewish for 5 minutes a day, to give one family member a compliment every day.

After 30 days you’ll see the results, and come into Rosh Hashanah invigorated, ready to take on more. That’s the secret to Jewish spiritual growth – one consistent step at time brings you to the top of the mountain.
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Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days … YouTube … TED talks …

video: 3:28 minutes

TED Ideas worth Spreading … February 2011 Long Beach, California

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…..item 3)…. Time Alone …

… aish.com … www.aish.com/f/mom/

Why do we have such a hard time spending quiet time alone with just ourselves?
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August 8, 2013 / 2 Elul 5773
by Emuna Braverman

www.aish.com/f/mom/Time-Alone.html

I was walking down a beautiful path along the Mediterranean the other day. The sun was shining, the water was an azure blue, and the waves were crashing against the rocks. I walked and walked and walked and many thoughts crowded my mind, the uppermost being, "I wish I had an iPod."

Unlike Gwendolen in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest, who is famous for saying my all-time favorite line, "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train", my thoughts were not that stimulating. They dwelt on my anxieties and faults and I dreamt of the iPod as a way to block them out. It doesn’t have to be music. I’m happy to listen to a Torah class.
Anything that means I don’t have to listen to myself.

Something is wrong here. Our history is replete with stories of righteous people who spent significant time alone – in reflection and working on their relationship with the Almighty. Many of our great leaders were shepherds, spending long hours alone perfecting their characters and tending their flocks.

What’s wrong with me? For one thing, we’re out of the habit. We’re used to being bombarded with information, news, emails nonstop. We’re not accustomed to being alone. We don’t know what to do with our time. We think there’ something wrong if we’re not busy. We don’t know how to take advantage of the opportunity. (A camp director recently told me that campers are coming to camp for shorter periods of time since they cannot handle the withdrawal effects of being without their iPhone.)

And perhaps we’re afraid of our thoughts. They’re not all happiness and light. Or productive and meaningful.

Some of this is training. Because of the constant (over)stimulation, we haven’t learned to discipline our minds, to take charge of our thoughts. This is a real loss. Many of you probably remember the ads, "A brain is a terrible thing to waste." Yet, by not training our minds, we waste ours all the time.

We don’t exercise any control over what we think or when we think it. And that’s a shame. Because we could be elevating ourselves. We could be improving our character. We could be growing and changing. We could be reviewing important concepts (I could be replacing all those television theme songs from my childhood with significant Torah ideas!) I am duly chastened.

I still want an iPod. For those moments when I don’t have the energy or will to discipline my mind, at least let me have a crutch. Let me listen to classes and learn as I stroll along.

But let me also have a new goal – not to waste the opportunity of that rare and precious commodity: time alone.

Yes, I was appreciating the beautiful view. And enjoying the gift the Almighty has given us. But I could do better. Luckily the Jewish month of Elul is here, the perfect time to embrace the chance to change.

— A Real Sports Hero: Follow up to last week’s blog.

“When I am done playing golf, I’d rather be noted for being a good husband and good father than anything else.”

Pursuant to my recent blog about the bizarre and unpleasant stories in our 24/7 news cycle comes a feel-good story out of Oakville, Ontario (don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of Oakville; if I hadn’t grown up in an equally small, similar bedroom community close by I wouldn’t have either!)

Hunter Mahan is the 31 year-old American golfer quoted above. Halfway through the Canadian Open, in the lead, with ,000,000 in prize money in sight, he got a phone call and abruptly left the tournament. His wife had gone into labor with their first child.

She was three weeks early which is why he thought this particular sports event was even within the realm of possibility. But he didn’t hesitate for an instant. He didn’t debate the merits of being a sports hero, of earning a large sum of money, versus being there to support his wife and watch his child come into the world.

As he explained, “Success comes and goes…Seeing your daughter every day, having a family – that is stuff that makes you happy to your core.”

That shouldn’t be so startling. He shouldn’t be such an anomaly. But, in a world where so-called sports heroes are being arrested for murder, this type of commitment to family stands out. This understanding of what really counts is unusual. This ability to draw a line is rare.

I hope that Mr. Mahan will get his picture on the Wheaties box or on the cover of Sports Illustrated. I hope that he will be a role model to our youth about work-life balance, about appropriate priorities, about being a mensch.

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I hope so but I’m skeptical. He didn’t win the money; he’s not flashy and aggressive. He’s not self-promoting and he hasn’t become a household name. But he should.

Unlike the divorced players, the womanizing athletes, the sports figures caught with guns in night clubs or running dog fighting rings, Mr. Mahan is not a front page story. He doesn’t seek or attract attention. There’s no sensationalism.

So he will probably fade from view. Which is a real shame. But Hunter Mahan is an authentic sports hero.
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…..item 4)…. Breaking the Procrastination Cycle …

… aish.com … www.aish.com/h/hh/gar/

Home » Jewish Holidays » The High Holidays » Growth & Renewal » Self-Fulfillment
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This Rosh Hashanah, choose life and move beyond the four zones of procrastination.

by Leah Field
August 29, 2013 / 23 Elul 5773

www.aish.com/h/hh/gar/fulfillment/Breaking-the-Procrastin…

Aaron needed more income. His accounting job paid enough when there were a few small children in the family. But now, with six children and all the expenses that came with them, he had to explore some new options. But the time never seemed right. He had to upgrade his skills, rewrite his resume, do some networking – but when? And even if he could find a few minutes in his jam-packed day, he was too frazzled to take on the task. He didn’t even know if he had what it took to succeed. So every month when he sat down with his wife to pay the bills, the conversation ended with him saying, “This is it. I’ve got to get started on finding a better job!” Even he was beginning to doubt that he really meant it.

Aaron is engaged in the classic battle of the procrastinator. He knows what he needs to do, he wants to do it and yet, he can’t seem to get started. This seemingly paradoxical state of affairs is really part of a cycle that fulfills certain needs and presents certain choices. By recognizing the “zones” that comprise this cycle, we can choose to break out of it.
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— The Four Zones

– 1. The “No” Zone: In the “no” zone, a person thinks and speaks about his goal in terms of why it cannot be done. Typical observations are that he has no time, no energy, no money, no confidence, no will power, no support or he simply does not know how to do what needs to be done. With this type of thinking, the person convinces himself that his situation is unchangeable, his efforts toward his goal would be futile, and therefore, he is smarter to just live with the status quo. The simple name for these thoughts is “excuses.”

What purpose do excuses serve? They relieve us of the stress of taking on a challenge. When a person hears himself making excuses, he can believe them and continue to stagnate, or recognize them for what they are, catch himself in his no-oriented thinking and reject the thoughts. He can say to himself, “I’m tired of hearing myself think this way,” and take a step forward.

– 2. The “Should” Zone: It is the rare person who skips straight from rejecting the “no” thoughts to achieving his goal. Usually, dismissing the “no” perspective brings a person to the “should” zone. It’s a step up, in which a person at least recognizes an obligation to make changes. Someone in the “should zone” might say: “I really should exercise,” “I should make that phone call,” “I should look for a better job,” “I should spend more time with my kids.

What purpose does the “should” zone serve? It makes a person feel that he is on the right track and puts pressure on him to do what he has admitted to himself that he “should” do. He can react to that pressure in a negative way, becoming even more resistant to the change. On the other hand, he can react positively, using the pressure to spur him to action.

– 3. The Guilt Zone: Once a person admits that he “should” but persists in procrastinating, he begins to feel the guilt of not doing what he should do. The more he procrastinates, the stronger this guilt becomes.

– 4. The Anger / Frustration Zone: Sometimes, when a person is unable to bear the guilt of his own failure to act, he turns it outward toward others and enters the “anger/frustration” stage. When that happens it is important to reflect and deal with the underlying cause of the anger. Realizing that tremendous energy goes into lashing out at others, we need to ask ourselves, “Am I ready to change my negative energy into positive energy – to use it to construct rather than destroy? How would I go about doing that?”

Guilt is an uncomfortable feeling that can only be relieved in one of two ways. One way is for the person to give up his goal, accept his situation as unchangeable and decide that he no longer needs to feel guilty about it. The other way is to make significant moves toward fixing what’s wrong. Obviously, only one of these choices leads to growth and progress in life.

Now that we understand the zones of the procrastination cycle, let’s see how they manifest in real life:
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Roberta has put on 30 pounds over the years. She knows her health and energy are suffering, but she looks around at other women her age and sees that she’s not alone. Everyone knows it’s too hard to diet. Roberta is in the “no” zone, telling herself, “I have no will-power,” “I can’t give up my sweets,” and so forth. As her weight continues to creep upward, she enters the “should” zone. “I should get myself on a diet,” she tells herself. “I should at least exercise.” When her “shoulds” fail to rouse her to action, she begins to feel guilty. “Where’s my self-control?” she asks herself. “I’ve completely let myself go!” That disquieting thought drains her energy and self-esteem. She seeks comfort in ice cream and chocolate bars, and so the cycle continues.

Finally, Roberta reaches for her largest size skirt one morning and finds it difficult to zip. Did it shrink in the wash? She knows that’s not the case. “I’m fatter than I’ve ever been in my whole life!” an inner voice screams out disgustedly. “I can’t stand living like this anymore!”

And now comes the choice. Roberta can channel that anger into a powerful spur to get her health and weight under control, or she can let it defeat her.
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— The Power of Choice

In each of the zones we have a choice. We can choose to continue the procrastination cycle or to break free. Usually, the choice is between experiencing short term pleasure that leads to long term pain, or short term pain that results in long term pleasure. Roberta can have the immediate comfort of her chocolate bars, but her health will suffer. Or she can deprive herself for now in order to have the long-term benefit of a successful diet. The procrastinator tends to say, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow.”
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— Rosh Hashanah: A Gift for the Procrastinator

God knows how difficult it is to stop procrastinating and do teshuva, to change. In his infinite wisdom he created Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year – a holiday that commemorates crowning God as our King of the universe. We blow the shofar to wake up and attain clarity about what is truly important in life. It is a time for assessing the year gone by, making changes and starting fresh. So what should our new year’s resolution be?

Here’s an idea: Think of one area of procrastination in your life – something that you know you could do if you’d only get started. Ask yourself, “Why do I want it? What will I gain if I do it?” And then resolve to break all resistance and just do it – one baby step at a time. When you develop a strong enough reason “why” to do something then you will find a way to make it happen. Don’t wait until you’re in the anger/frustration zone consumed with guilt and regret to finally recognize enough leverage to create change. Ethics of the Fathers teaches us: “If not now, when?” As a life coach I would like to empower you with a similar idea: “Why push off till tomorrow something that can make you feel good about yourself today – and tomorrow, too?”

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