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broader shoulders
middot adaptability meditation broader shoulders

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broader shoulders

Written by  rebbetzin malkah

art-carryingThe Hebrew word for adaptable is sagil.

How can we be adaptable?  What is the way toward accepting change, wanted or unwanted, and new ideas, or toward freshening up our daily walk?

Adaptability is a state of mind.  In order to be adaptable, we have to be open to change.  We have to realize that only Hashem is unchanging.  We are creatures of continuous growth and learning.  When we accept that we are not at the end of the road, we might be up for stopping off on the side of the road to experience new growth and opportunities.  Perhaps you are currently in the midst of change and it was not of your own choice; you understand the resistance you are putting forth and the frustration you are feeling.  If you need help with adapting to change and don't know how, practice this meditation below to open up your neshama.

(Note:  While most people associate meditation with Eastern faiths and not Judaism, this is a popular misconception.  Meditation is not foreign to Judaism.  In the days of the Temple and before, meditation was a known component and practiced. Meditation should be approached with an "open mind."  For more information on meditative techniques, see the source Jewish Meditation by Aryeh Kaplan.)

Find a comfortable seat in a quiet place.  First, take a few deep breaths. Deep breathing brings oxygen to your brain and helps clear the mind. Close your eyes. Continue breathing until you feel relaxed and feel little or no distractions.  Let the noises around you, no matter how small, filter out.

The focus of this meditation will be adapting your heart, soul, and mind to whatever you are struggling with at the moment.  Perhaps you will receive clarity on the situation; perhaps you will just relax.

Using a Jewish proverb for meditation, repeat it in your mind until you are comfortable with it and can let it flow freely in your thoughts:

 I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders. 

Contemplate this idea of having broader shoulders to adapt to either the load [situation], the difficulty of carrying it, or the acceptance of the need to be in the current circumstances.  As we know that Mashiach Yeshua assured us that his yoke would be easy and his burden light, we have to learn how that truly can be in our lives.  Sometimes we need to be strengthened to handle what comes our way; we need to learn how to adapt to changes to be able to keep the burden and our spirits light.

This meditation will help you with focusing on adaptability in your own life and your coursework in this middah.  In understanding this, you can understand that your adaptability can impact the lives of others in significant ways as well as your performance of other middot such as equanimity, patience, decisiveness, and compassion. 

 

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