December last year was my 62 birthday. And, I must say, it’s been a pretty interesting ride so far. As I look back over the years and many phases of my Life, I realize how each stage, success, stumble, triumph and heartache has had a significant impact on where I stand right now. And despite the rough patches, I love it all.
From a shy yet studious little boy, to an artsy and somewhat rebellious teenager, to a happy-go-lucky big-dreaming 20-something with a bit of a wild size, my metamorphosis were plentiful in my early years. Now into my 60’s, my heart has grown a few sizes larger and overflows with fatherly love as I’ve discovered what matters most in life. And my entrepreneurial experiences have been a crash course in lessons of life, business and self that, at times, brought me to the brink of what I thought I could handle, only to be rewarded nicely for sticking it out and seeing it through.
As I continue to step more fully into myself each day and bring to light my mission of helping others build their own dreams with joy and ease, I’ve racked my brain to think of my top 37 life lessons so far. On this day of celebrating another trip around the sun, I share these with you and hope you find inspiration as I have. Enjoy!
Happiness comes from within.
We spend way too much of our lives looking for outside validation and approval that eludes us. Turns out, it’s been an inside job all along. Go inward.
Be grateful for everything.
The good, the bad, the ugly. Our entire life is a precious gift. The pleasure, the pain — it’s all part of our path.
Subtle shifts in perception will transform your entire life.
When feeling fearful, angry, hurt, simply choose to see a situation differently.
In being true to yourself, you can’t possibly make everybody else happy.
Still, it’s better to risk being disliked for living your truth than to be loved for what you are pretending to be.
The world is our mirror.
What we love in others is a reflection of what we love about ourselves. What upsets us about others is a strong indication of what we need to look at more closely within ourselves.
Everybody comes into our life for a reason.
It is up to us to be open to the lesson they are meant to teach. The more someone rubs us the wrong way, the greater the lesson. Take notes.
In troubled times, just know that the Universe has your back and everything is going to be alright. If you’re not there yet, trust in hindsight you will understand. Your higher good is being supported, always.
Never take things personally.
What others do is a reflection of what’s going on in their own life and probably has little or nothing to do with you.
A walk in nature cures a lot.
Taking in some fresh air and the beautiful landscape of this earth is amazingly head-clearing, grounding, and mood-lifting. Bonus: You can learn a whole lot about life in your observation of the awesomeness which is nature.
Hurt people hurt people.
Love them anyway. Although, it’s totally okay to love them from a distance.
You have to feel it to heal it.
Bring your fears and weaknesses front and center and shine a blazing spotlight on them because the only way out is through. The hurt of facing the truth is SO worth it in the long run, I swear.
Perfectionism is an illusion.
A painful one at that. Ease up. Strive for excellence, sure, but allow yourself room to make mistakes and permission to be happy regardless of outcome.
Take the blinders off.
Don’t become so laser-focused on your own goals and desires that you miss out on the beauty in life and the people around you. The world is stunningly beautiful when you walk around with eyes wide open.
Celebrate the journey.
It’s not all about the destination. Savor all of your successes, even the small ones.
Forgiveness is not so much about the other person.
It’s about you and for you so that you can gain the peace and freedom you deserve. Forgive quickly and often.
We are all incredibly intuitive.
When we learn to become still and listen, we can tap into some pretty amazing primal wisdom. Listen to the quiet whisper of your heart. It knows the way.
Let your soul shine!
Be authentic. There is nobody else on this earth just like you. Step into your truth wholeheartedly and live and breathe your purpose.
We are powerful creators.
Seriously, bad-asses. With intention, focus, and persistence — anything is possible. Know this.
I am full of light.
You are full of light. We are all full of light. Some cast shadows on their own brightness. Be a beacon of light to others and show them the way.
Don’t take life too seriously!
Nobody gets out alive anyway. Smile. Be goofy. Take chances. Have fun.
Surround yourself with people who love and support you.
And, love and support them right back! Life is too short for anything less.
Learn the delicate dance.
Have big beautiful dreams and vision. Chase them with much passion. But, also hold on to them all ever so lightly. Be flexible and willing to flow as life comes at you.
Giving is the secret to receiving.
Share your wisdom, your love, your talents. Share freely and be amazed at how much beauty in life flows back to you.
On that note, be careful not to give too much.
If you empty out your own cup completely, you will have nothing left to give. Balance is key.
Say “YES!” to everything that lights you up. Say “no”,
Unapologetically, to anything that doesn’t excite you or you don’t have the bandwidth for. Time is one of our most precious resources that we can never get back. Manage it wisely.
Sometimes we outgrow friendships.
It doesn’t mean they’re bad or you’re bad. It just means you’re on different paths. Hold them in your heart, but when they start to hurt or hold you back, it’s time to give space or let go.
Fear is often a very good indicator
Of what we really want and need in our life. Let it be your compass and enjoy the exciting adventure it leads you on.
Overcoming your fears is one of the most empowering things
You can ever do for yourself. You’ll prove to yourself you can truly accomplish anything! Major self-confidence booster.
Our bodies are our vehicle to our dreams.
Treat them with love and fuel them with the best health to feel vibrant and energized. But, never obsess over image. Looks are subjective and will fade in time, anyway. Feeling good, healthy, and comfortable in our own skin is what matters most.
Let those that you love know it often and enthusiastically.
You can never say it or show it too much. Your time, total presence, love, and genuine concern for their wellness is the greatest gift of all.
The present moment is where it’s at.
It’s the only one promised to any of us. Learn from your past & enjoy the beautiful memories, but don’t cling or let them haunt you. And, dream big and be excited about the future, but don’t become obsessed. Love this moment, always.
Life is full of highs and lows.
We need them both to grow to our fullest potential. Just hang on tight and enjoy the ride.
We are all connected as one human family.
Nobody is better or worse than anyone else — just at different stages of our journeys and dealing with life the best way we know how. Recognize that the other person is you.
Practice daily gratitude
For all the blessings in your life, large and small. Not only is this a high vibe practice that feels amazing, in practicing regularly you are creating space for even more abundance — of joy, love, health, and prosperity.
We are not the center of the universe,
Although our ego can make us feel that way at times. Step outside of that way of thinking and see the world and other people’s perspective in a whole new beautiful light.
Go be love.
The world needs more love, light, and laughter.
You are the guru.
For much of our lives, we have been told what do, how to think, what looks good, what “success” is. You don’t have to buy into any of it. Feel free to peel back the layers. Think for yourself. Break the mold. When you stop doing what everybody else wants you to do and start following your own intuition, you will be ridiculously happy.
In looking back at your own life, realize that every high and low is all part of your amazing story. Own it! Take cues and guidance from the universe and you will continue to go on an incredible ride as you fully step into your truth and power.
Age is just a number, but the higher it gets, the more wisdom and life experience we’ve amassed. You are never going to be younger than you are in this present moment again. So embrace it, love it, and enjoy it fully!
Here’s to many more beautiful years of seeking-truth, questioning all that does not sit right, and making your greatest impact in the world! I look forward to adding more lessons as life continues to give me the opportunity to learn, grow, transform, share and expand. Hope you will too.
Sourced from The Jerusalem Postand presented with pictures, captions and comments by Pandora Pushkin
Why are people still saying such bad things about the Jews? Isn’t it time to grow up and be nice and friendly? Let’s hope 2014 will be an improvement on 2013!
IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI: Voted in by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as No.1 Anti-Semite of 2013. “Israel is a rabid dog in the region,” he raged. “Its leaders look like beasts and cannot be called human!”
(If you are deeply shocked by this deeply shocking comment, please read no further)
The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced on Monday its 2013 top-10 list of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs, giving the top two slots to the leaders of Iran and Turkey.
The list underlined the failure of the international community to confront contemporary anti-Semitism by citing state-sponsored drives to attack Jews and Israel and the role of a UN official, authors, academic and church groups and celebrities in stoking Jew-hatred.
The center, an international human rights organization best known for combating modern anti-Semitism and bringing World War II Nazis to justice, topped the list with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s “genocidal threats against the Jewish state.”
In November, Khamenei described Israel as the “rabid dog in the region,” adding, “Its leaders look like beasts and cannot be called human.” Khamenei said shortly before the Iranian election that “Zionists” were the real agents in control of the United States – an accusation with which he was “updating the old canard of a global Jewish conspiracy,” according to the center.
PANDORA PUSHKIN comments: It was very wrong of Mr Khamenei to say this. This horrid Persian should shut up, and study his history a bit more, before he opens his big bearded mouth! The idea that Jews control America is just absurd. Everyone knows that AIPAC has no influence on Congress whatever! As for a “Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world”, golly gosh! I never heard such poppycock since readingThe Protocols of the Elders of Zion!
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Anti-Semite No. 2 of 2013… not clear what he said to offend the Jews… but he looks a real mean critter, doesn’t he? Click to enlarge
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan garnered thesecond spot on the list for blaming the actions of the June anti-government Turkish demonstrators, who sought greater democracy, on the “interest rate lobby,” which Erdogan’s deputy said was “The Jewish Diaspora.” The Wiesenthal center said Erdogan had suggested that Israel engineered the ouster of Egypt’s Islamic president Mohamed Morsi.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday from Herzliya via telephone, Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said the aim of this year’s list was “to get across the point” that people who have credentials or are prime minister or the Supreme Leader should not receive free passes because of their positions of power.
“The rest of the world should not be so friendly with them. It is not correct to have meetings with the prime minister of Turkey when he is a common bigot,” Hier said.
Pandora Pushkin comments:Quite right too! Wasn’t it this same anti-Semitic Turkish Prime Minister, Erdogan, who had the gall to protest at the “murder” of nine Turkish citizens aboard the ship Mavi Marmara in the Mediterranean Sea in May 2010? This was when Brave Little Israel decided to attack the pirate vessel, cunningly disguised as part of a “humanitarian flotilla”, as it chugged toward terrorist-ridden Gaza, armed to the teeth with deadly kitchen knives and teaspoons.
Hier criticized the Geneva photograph of euphoric foreign ministers celebrating the Iran nuclear deal in November as a dismissal of Khamenei’s threats against Israel. “The jubilant mood” took place, he said, days after Iran’s leader called for “the elimination ofthe state of Israel, making it clear that Iran’s singular foreign policy is the elimination of Israel.”
Also notable on this year’s list was the presence of two anti-Israel Jewish Americans whose language contributes to anti-Semitism, according to Hier. Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for thePalestinian Territories, occupied the third spot and the journalist Max Blumenthal scored ninth place.
Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, is No. 3 Anti-Semite of 2013. His offense? His bizarre belief that the Palestinians could also have “human rights”.
Rabbi Hier told the Post that he considers Falk and Blumenthal to “absolutely” fall in the category of Jewish anti-Semites.
“It is not the first time in the history of the Jewish people” that Jews have made anti-Jewish rants, Hier said. He stressed that one has to “judge people by their words. You can be an anti-Semite if you talk like anti-Semites.”
Hier continued, “Richard Falk should not be given a free pass because he is Jewish. We think he, Richard Falk, is an outright anti-Semite.” Likewise, Hier said of Blumental, “we judge him by what he wrote. He crossed the line into outright anti-Semitism.”
According to the Wiesenthal list, Blumenthal uses chapter titles in his book Goliath to equate Israel with the Nazi regime. Chapters in his book are entitled “Summer Camp of Destruction,” “Date with the Devil,” “There Is No Dream,” “The Concentration Camp,” “The Night of Broken Glass” and “How to Kill Goyim and Influence People.” The center noted that “he quotes approvingly characterizations of Israelis soldiers as ‘Judeo-Nazis.’”
Pandora Pushkin comments:Tsk, tsk! this comparison of Israelis with “Nazis” is most inappropriate! The Nazis were good-looking guys by all accounts — “blonde beasts”, handsome hunks of humanity who are reported to have swept ton loads of French women off their feet in Occupied France during World War II. Sorry, I just can’t see the Israelis doing that!
Dr. Eric Alterman, a prominent professor of English in New York City, wrote that Blumenthal’s “book could have been a selection of a hypothetical Hamas Book of the Month Club.” Alterman penned his critical review of Blumenthal’s book in the left-wing magazine The Nation, where he is a columnist.
Speaking from Washington with the Post, Josh Block, a former Clinton administration spokesman who is CEO of The Israel Project, said of Blumenthal: “I am sure his colleagues at the Hezbollah newspaper where he was a writer for years are pleased and not at all surprised to see their guy on this list… Turns out the anti-Semites of Al-Akhbar and Iran’s Press TV discovered this modern- day Jewish Father Coughlin before anyone else.”
The Wiesenthal Center said Falk had argued that Israel might be organizing a Nazi-like Holocaust, and had defended Palestinian terrorism as “the right of resistance” because suicide attacks would inflict significant pressure on Israel.
Pandora Pushkin comments:The idea that Israel might be organizing a “Nazi-like Holocaust” of the Palestinians is of course manifestly absurd when we consider Israel’s exemplary behaviour during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza (Dec 2008-Jan 2009). During this trying period, Israel killed a mere 1400 evil Palestinian terrorists, mostly women and children, using the kindest of weapons available to it, including skin-melting white phosphorus bombs. Don’t forget, too, that Israel was to lose as many as 11 heroic martyrs during this humanitarian exercise.
European cartoonists from Norway, Germany and France landed the seventh slot for their depictions of Israel and Jews. In Germany in particular, the center cited “cartoons in two different newspapers (the Badische Zeitung and the Stuttgarter Zeitung) depicting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu poisoning peace talks.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, told the Post, “It is especially galling and outrageous in the midst of all this that two German newspapers would publish cartoons that – consciously or otherwise – deploy deep-rooted European anti-Semitic imagery of the Jew as poisoner. Those images do the poisoning and also validate [a] toxic attitude towards Israel and the Jewish people.”
Henryk M. Broder, a leading German author and an expert on new forms of anti-Semitism, praised the list for classifying the Badische Zeitung cartoon as anti-Semitic. He told the Post that “it hit the nail on the head.”
The German-Israel friendship society in Freiburg, where the Badische Zeitung is published, wrote in a statement to the Post, “In view of this ranking, we would appreciate if the editorial team of the Badische Zeitung could reconsider their statement about the cartoon. We hope that in the future the Badische Zeitung will exercise more care when it comes to the release of anti-Semitic depictions. In this context, we would like to mention that anti-Semitism can also be disguised as anti-Zionism.”
Should anti-Semitic cartoons like this be permitted? We call for an IMMEDIATE ban on all such cartoons!
Fourth on the list were political and church groups, along with Pink Floyd’s co-founder, Roger Waters. The center said that Waters slandered “Israel as an apartheid state, compares it to Nazi Germany and denies that the Iranian regime poses any threat to the Jewish State.”
The American Studies Association was cited for singling out Israel for a boycott. A right-wing extremist Hungarian political party called for a registry for Jews for “security reasons.”
The United Church of Canada was listed because “As Christians suffer in Syria, [are subject to] ethnic cleansing in Iraq and threatened in Egypt, The United Church of Canada endorsed the boycott of Israel – the only Middle East state that guarantees full religious freedom and protection to all faiths.”
The Pine Bush New York school district occupied the eighth spot for failing to protect Jewish pupils from “anti-Semitic slurs and physical abuse by bullies.”
The glorification of Hitler in Muslim-majority countries and elsewhere was listed sixth.
Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Alice Walker was co-listed as ninth for her latest book, Pin in the Cushion, which “is a diatribe against the Jewish state. Walker depicts Hamas-ruled Gaza as a benign place” and compares Israelis to the Nazis.
European anti-Semitism and racism in sports stadiums captured the tenth spot on the list.
The list included a call on NBA star Tony Parker to apologize for a Nazi-like salute.
Pandora Pushkin concludes: 2013 has been a bumper year for anti-Semitic comments. Like my old granny used to say, “Under every rock their lurks a nasty anti-Semitic insect!” Let’s hope 2014 will see a radical improvement in anti-Semitic attitudes.
This will depend to a large extent, of course, on Israel continuing to behave with its exemplary restraint in the Middle East. Israel must really try harder to steal less Palestinian land next year and kill a few less Palestinians. That would obviously help.
And Jews on the whole could also do a bit more to make themselves more popular: like, for example, by not spitting in Christians’ faces, as they do in the Holy Land on a regular basis — and by generally learning to make themselves more cuddly and lovable.