How You Can Love Erev Pesach

How You Can Love Erev Pesach

If you are like me, you are going to be spending a large chunk of this week cleaning/organizing/shopping/cooking in order to prepare for The Big Event this coming Friday night. These kind of activities don’t come so naturally to me since I’m more of a reading/writing/daydreaming/doing-my-best-to-ignore-the-mess type of gal. But I really adored this suggestion below from my teacher Dina Friedman about choosing to be fully present and love EVERYTHING we do. I’m excited to try out this approach today…Thanks so much to my friend and chavruta, Milkwaukee JewishMOM Yoni Schlussel for transcribing this life-altering excerpt and sending it my way:)

The following is an excerpt from a class by Dina Friedman:

An important spiritual idea is being present: in each moment say to yourself, “I am here- what I am doing now is the most important thing in my life.” It is the purity of your attention. Whatever you are doing now, be totally there. If someone is in front of you, they are the most important person in the world and be present to them.

When you are fully present and doing what you are doing with your entirety- you are totally in what you are doing- not only do you do it in the best possible way, but life is experienced in the present. The past is over, the future hasn’t yet happened.

When you notice your thoughts are where they are, gently shift back to the present and stay focused on what you are doing. Usually when you are doing that, it shifts your emotions out of whatever negative thoughts you had. If you are folding laundry, be there with all of yourself- feel and experience it and be present.

It does take self discipline to get to this place but love is experienced in the present moment. While you are here in this present moment- if you do it fully with all of your being- that then creates the most amazing future, or the next most amazing present moment because what you do now is what affects my tomorrow. If I do what I am doing now with all of my being, that will affect the kind of tomorrow that I will have and so on.

A quick story to show you how the love gets experienced when you are present.

At one time I had to make 2 very large trays of potato kugels for a family function in my house. For some reason I was not in a good mood, so I was doing it and feeling lousy. I did this exercise: I said to myself: “You are anyways doing this potato kugel, so why not do it with all your heart?” So I did; I peeled those potatoes as if I was holding diamonds and shining diamonds. Each potato- I felt it, I held it, I did it, I was mindful, I was present.

I didn’t tell anyone about it. I served it to my guests. Almost every single person there commented on the amazing taste of the potato kugel – it was really an unbelievable amount of comments on just a potato kugel! I watched this and connected it to how I was when I was making it…

That is just a little story, but when you are do this with whatever you are doing you are sending love into the world and are making a difference just by being present, just by being with the task you are doing. As you practice this, you can stay more focused and present with what you are doing.”

Image courtesy of Flickr.com user Go_Greener_Oz

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My Chanukah Sit-In
The Tent Tsofia Made all By Herself
How to Stop Jealousy (14-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

6 comments

  1. Hadassah

    Yes and of course for Pesach there are lots and lots of potatoes to kugel etc! I am not the cleaning, spotless housewife, but I love getting it done and ready for Pesach. Every area that is clean and uncluttered helps me feel free. Enjoy the moment,
    Chag Sameach

  2. I feel like this doesn’t work for me because when i am busy doing other things (not with other people, just mindless tasks like dishes, laundry and showers) that’s when I get most of my thinking done. If I was living in the moment, i would never be able to do all that thinking that helps shape my life.
    My most profound thoughts (including the names of one of my kids) came to me in the shower!

  3. I found this helpful, because it really does have a calming effect. The alternative for me is to feel overwhelmed and dissatisfied with what I’m doing because there are so many other things I could/should be doing! This way I can be ok with where I am at the moment.

  4. I also feel that this is advice which is an important message for me for most of the time, like when i am with my children, but not all of the time. when peeling potatos, for example, or any mindless task, i like to use the moment to take my thoughts to higher places, to think about Hashem, or about my family, or about whatever it is that is troubling e at htat point, or to think through my day. we spend so much of our lives surrounded by background ‘noise’ – we are short of thinking time. potato peeling (or floor washing or whatever) can be valuable thinking time, which i find is in short supply at this time o year.

  5. “Whatever you are doing now, be totally there. If someone is in front of you, they are the most important person in the world and be present to them.”

    That line reminds me of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s attention to every person he met. People were overawed that he could meet thousands of people in one day and focus so completely on each one. True gadlus.

    It’s an intensely exhausting way of living, but enriching to the world around you.

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