Chana Frumin

We all know that most of listening is about measuring.
When someone listens they might measure whether they agree with you or disagree with you. They might measure whether you know what you are talking about or whether you know anything at all. Sometimes they measure if they are interested in hearing what you have to say or
even if they are interested you as a person!
Measuring is not an exciting experience, and in fact can often be very draining. Many days we are exhausted at the end of the day because we have been getting measured all day long!
Listening can be a very different experience than measuring. Listening can be a visit to another culture, a look into another world filled with adventures and sweet drama. Listening can offer an ” I love you” or ” I value you ” to the speaker. We can smile while we listen and be saying your stories are fun to hear and your life is a pretty life! Listening can be an unselfish act, giving time, interest, attention, and kindness. Here is how to change listening from measuring to visiting! When the speak, put your world to the side, and make it less important for now. Make the important thing to open your ears, your heart and your mind to receive the presence of that speaker. Practice curiosity about the words they use and the worldview they are sharing. Taste their world, just a taste! Oh remember to say Thanks for sharing!

written by Chana Frumin

We each speak to ourselves all day long
We have thousands of thoughts throughout the day.
Some thoughts are about our own worth. Some thoughts are about other people’s worth. Many thoughts are criticism and complaints about our own achievements and others. Sometimes this self-talk is a punitive voice lashing out against our mistakes. Sometimes self-talk is mean or revengeful. Sometimes hopeless and despairing.
When we feel lousy at the end of a day often it is the product of our own perceptions. I have found that adults whose mothers nurtured them with words and offered positive feedback have more positivity in their outlook than adults whose mother neglected them or offered daily criticism.
We can not change our mothers. We can change our self-talk!
You can begin to like yourself. You can give yourself specific praise. You can greet your day like a good friend. you can notice how you are dressed and how you make your breakfast. You can smile to yourself in the mirror and be a good friend to yourself. When you make a mistake you can say, everyone makes mistakes, it is okay.
When you befriend yourself, you generate good will towards others. Your friendship with yourself sheds light on those around you who need a friend. Your positive self-regard will protect you from neediness and desperation. Liking yourself is a comfortable feeling. It includes laughing at your own jokes and giving yourself encouragement. This practice will spill over onto everyone in your life. the way
you befriend yourself you will befriend others.
You will also learn to protect yourself from people who do not offer you positive friendship. you will be able to walk away from those people who would dim your light. By protecting your own world, you will offer shelter for those who will be worthy of your friendship,
Try and let me know how this works for you!

There is an idea that thinking positive is the absence of reality, ignoring what is wrong in the world. This idea views thinking optimistically as either a lie or foolish; as if there is always something wrong and always something missing in life. This perspective suggests that an honest person is always in touch with negative information about what needs to be changed and/or improved.
There is another perspective that whatever is focused on grows stronger. This idea is used in educating children. When a child’s strengths are magnified, the child grows stronger. When the child’s weaknesses are magnified they become deviant.
In marriage we have an opportunity to grow in a new way. Instead of the viewpoint “that a person marries with all the baggage of their past”, we can focus on the present! Marriage can be about the present and two adults learning to support each other and practice respect and express encouragement. Marriage can create an opportunity to begin a new identity. This new identity is not related to baggage. By setting aside the notion of baggage or the ideas of unfinished business, we are focusing instead on creating a relationship with support , positivity and respect. What might happen when two adults marry and they speak a language of encouragement and respect from the beginning?
Is it possible that rather than baggage getting in the way, baggage will become obsolete. It will become outdated and forgotten just like bell bottom pants were forgotten. By focusing on their language and their respect for each other tow new adults will emerge, stronger adults whom believe in themselves.
Perhaps it is time to abandon truths that feed hopelessness in marriage and begin new ideas of marriage which can cause growth, newness, freedom from history and a positive life.

Making Your Marriage Better
Great relationships aren’t great because they have no problems,
they’re great because both people care enough
to find a rich way to share their lives
marital and individual counseling
Chanarachel Frumin MS CNT
Rabbi Chaim Tabasky
Rabbi Yosef Cornfeld MSW CNT
Ellen Cornfeld CNT
0544 799441

by Chanarachel Frumin

Living closely with others creates a fertile ground for seeing what we consider the dark side of another person. We also feel invited into thinking of “What we are putting up with in this relationship!” We sometimes feel sorry for our-self or angry at the other for having weaknesses at all! Many times we create a feeling of resentment and silent complaint about our predicament.

Sometimes we complain loudly, forcefully and even fight about the situation. Our complaints,whether silent or voiced, pervade and create a flavor our environment. Can you imagine having dinner with a person who is thinking throughout the meal “I wish you would lose all that weight.” or “Why do you leave your clothes around?” or “I think you are the laziest person I have ever met.”

They did an experiment in a doctor’s office where they placed an actor in the waiting room with other patients and his job was to sit and judge everyone in the room without them knowing. They filmed the results and saw that people began to act impatient and uncomfortable and even the babies cried. Then the actor was sent in to think loving thoughts about the others in the room. The result was that people began laughing with the children and asking each other’s name!

There is however another approach to the living with weaknesses or differences of our spouse. Hashem in his great love and mercy gave us the spouse we have. These trials and challenges are really for our well being and provide an opportunity to find ways to spiritually respond maturely and compassionately. When we approach their weaknesses by seeing the possibility of our own spiritual growth then resentment does not have to be the result. Instead we can ask ourselves what midah could I strengthen in response to what is annoying me? Maybe I could offer to help? Perhaps I could practice Caf Zechut, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

First we have the possibility of praying daily for our spouse as a way of saying I am with you. Even if our spouse never knows that we are praying for them the taste of these prayers pervade the house.
Secondly as in the experiment we can focus our thoughts on the kindness and the positive attributes of our spouse again whether or not this is voiced it creates a feeling of appreciation. We also are in a wonderful position to offer encouragement to our partner, helping them grow in their courage and feelings of confidence.

Finding the strengths in our partner can offer a high point in someone’s day and make them feel noticed and cared for. This form of kindness is specific for creating Shalom Bayit, a feeling of wholeness in the home.

Next time we want to look DOWN on our spouse we can take a moment to realize they are the perfect person tpo help us become everything we were created to be in a spiritual world.

The present moment is infinitely more subtle than any imagined destiny or remembered past. The present has something new in it – something unlived. The present has colors and sounds that are real and can fill the heart of a person better than a rich meal can fill the stomach. The present offers a sense of being that is just being known in this moment, and so it can describe a self that is only being known at this moment. The cast of players who people this moment offer a taste of humanness that is indescribable, because it has not yet been lived.

The last thing Despair wants anyone to do is enjoy the present moment. In fact, the present moment ceases to exist when despair is around, because despair takes up every present moment with prattling about the future and the past. Despair’s merchandise is all the “if only” and “it ought to be” thoughts about life that arise largely from fantasy, Hollywood, or someone elseʼs life.
Many times, Despair wants our focus on everything that can be cast in a discouraging light. Even that which is promising can become degraded into a story of dread and failure. Despair sometimes tries to dominate our definition of our self and have this definition to be about gloom and failure. Despair can also attempt to destroy or ignore our own definition of our self and life. Here is an example where it did not succeed:
Dalia was dating Ben. Dalia was very excited about the possibilities with Ben but felt he might reject her, because she considered herself heavy. Even as they were dating, she would hear a voice that said, “Your skirt is too tight. He will never marry you.” Dalia stood up to this voice and began to share its dread-filled messages with a friend to ostracize these messages and laugh at them. She maintained that anyone who could see her would love her. Ben and Dalia are married happily today, and Dalia never lost a pound. Many people would have advised Dalia to get serious and lose weight quickly before she lost Ben, but Dalia believed that love was not about weight, rather it was about seeing and being seen.
By attaching herself to her own definition of love, she was able to buy back the present and truly enjoy the time she had with Ben without knowing if they would end up married. Despair had failed to entice Dalia into accepting weight as the definition of a person deserving to be married. Self-acceptance and having her own definition saved Dalia from Despairʼs cruel attempts to separate her from the enjoyment of dating Ben.
By exploring our own knowledge and experience, we can find relationships and achievements of personal value that Despair can prevent from being seen. By staying in touch with these experiences, we can realize the tricks that Despair plays. By creating a Hollywood set of doom and degradation, Despair convinces us that this blackened version of reality is truth.
By letting the present moment influence me, I can find a space of safety and self-value. Although despair is a big opponent, I am determined to know that my life has value as much as everyone’s life has value. Then I begin gently to fill my life with meaning and fun. Meaning and fun are the enemies of despair.
The present moment used with intention is a powerful tool against despair.
Chana Frumin

Topics discussed :Externalization, Not Knowing, Ending Taboos

I have found many times that Transference is a subject that is covered with Taboo. It seems to be only discussed in intellectual settings. For some reason it has been moved off of the page of reasonable discussion. This is a curious thing since very often clients and therapists experience it within their work. Continue reading

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