Harmony & Synergy

From My Life to Yours ~ Let's Build Some Bridges!

… you asked!

Here is your answer!

I received quite a few messages asking for a DETAILED description on how to do a Regal Wrap (aka turban).  Here you go!  This video shows you how to do a basic (with lots of hints) and then some variations.  The whole video is only 7 minutes and in it I show how to do 3 different wraps with explanation (which takes longer than just doing it), so have no fear!  This one is beautiful, quick and easy to master!

Click –> HERE to see the tutorial!

What Do Others Say About Tichels?!

Dear Andrea,

“… is it professional?…” “… how does it affect…”  “… are people accepting of…” “… what does your community think?…”

These are some sections of the emails that I’ve been receiving lately.  It seems that ladies are ready to start wearing tichels, but are curious/worried about how others are going to react.  Here is a video, relaying some of my experiences as a public hair-coverer :)

Click –> Tichels – How Do Others React?

How to Find Your True Self

Here are some lessons about finding your truth from this week’s parsha!

This is so amazing.  The Torah actually gives us detailed instruction on how to go on a spiritual journey and what one needs to let go of in order to find clarity.  Amazing.

Click –> LEKH LEKHA and let me know what you think!

Does Being Righteous Simply Mean Being Better Than?

Here is a discussion about a paradox that we all have to deal with: how do we balance being a giving light to others, while also putting ourselves in a community that doesn’t corrupt us?

The story of Noah teaches us this lesson beautifully.  In this video I discuss what it means to be “righteous in a corrupt generation”, and bring in some well known commentaries, as well as some that you probably haven’t heard of before.

Click to watch! – Noah: Righteous Man or Simply Better Than?

Meeting With a Very Special Woman

Yesterday, due to some planning and much “unplanning”, I got to meet Rivka Malka Perlman in person!  We had time to make a quick video, where we gab about tichels, modesty, colour, marriage and… superpowers!

Click on and enjoy –>  Girl Talk with Rivka Malka

Thinking about Shomer Negiah?

Are you (or someone you know) thinking about taking on the Jewish concept of guarding your touch (shomer negiah)?  Check our this video for some basic ideas, knowledge, and practical tips.  Enjoy!

Click –> HERE

 

Marriage Advice from a Good Friend

My friend, Anna Sherman, has just started a blog and after poking around it for a bit, I asked if I could repost her “12 Commandments of Marriage”.  Check her out at  Double the Fun – We are One!  In my limited marriage experience (we celebrated our first year this summer), I think she is right on track with her advice.  For all my readers who have beautiful marriages, what do you think?  Do you have anything to add?  And for my single friends, do you imagine that this sort of mindset would help the high divorce rate that is plaguing our generation?

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Anna’s 12 Commandments of Marriage

I have categorized my most important marriage advice into 12 important principles which, I believe, that if followed correctly, will result in a peaceful and functional relationship.  This advice is applicable to married couples or to singles that are looking to get married.

1.    Actions speak louder than words
Saying something means absolutely nothing unless it is followed up by truthful actions.  If a wife asks her husband to help her clean up the house after having a vibrant dinner party, he may agree to do so, but unless he rolls up his sleeves and gets to work after the guests leave, the promise means very little.  Along the same lines, saying “I love you,” doesn’t mean much unless a spouse shows his/her feelings through actions. Calling in from work every day, pitching in at home and performing meaningful gestures like being extra-attentive when your spouse is sad, asking how an important meeting went at work that day or randomly bringing home flowers or a thoughtful gift are all actions which show feelings of love and appreciation without even saying anything.

2.    Respect
This involves putting a stop to name calling and signs of contempt; eye-rolling, sneering and general put-downs.  Actions like this will make a spouse feel resentful and worthless, destroying any chance of having a happy relationship.  Showing a spouse respect, interest and appreciation for who he/she is and what he/she does with his/her life, will boost confidence and enhance feelings of appreciation and fulfillment.

3.    Take responsibility for your personal problems
Don’t drag them into your marriage and make your spouse part of your issues
ex. health problems, addictions etc.  One who does not take responsibility for his/her personal problems is a broken person who needs help.  Broken people can lead to broken marriages, so get yourself fixed before you dump your problems on your spouse.

4.    Learn to be flexible
Take responsibility for your actions-don’t be defensive and remember to admit when you are wrong.  You can be right all the time, OR you can be married.  Not both.

5.    Keep criticism to a minimal
Although we all have certain preferences, criticizing your spouse at length will make him/her feel like nothing he/she does is ever good enough.  Spending time together turns into a chore because the criticized spouse is in constant fear that whatever he/she says or does will be a disappointment and there will be no way to relax.

6.    Do not involve your parents in your marital problems
Parents are automatically biased toward their own child and will always side with him/her, while placing blame on the other spouse.  Involving your parents in marital problems is a great way to quickly sabotage your marriage.  If you need mediation or just need to vent, turn to a marriage counselor, a clergy member or even a friend, but leave your parents out of it.

7.    Say the words “I love you,” at least once every day
More than once is even better.

8.    Agree on a financial plan and budget together
Be open with each other about finances; keeping secrets about money will usually surface later on and lead to greater conflict.  Be upfront from the beginning.

9.    DO NOT hold grudges
Learn to let go and move on.  Bringing up past arguments or errors of your spouse will never allow you to move forward in your marriage and be happy; there will always be negative reminders looming above your heads, which will prevent future growth and happiness.

10.    Learn to communicate
People are not mind readers, especially men.  ESPECIALLY MEN.  Don’t expect your spouse to know what you want unless you tell him/her exactly what it is.

11.    Marriage is 100/100, NOT 50/50
Although you may have your routine or delegated tasks, there are days when one spouse is super-stressed, feeling unwell or has deadlines and must work late.  At times like these, it is the responsibility of the other spouse to come forward and take on extra responsibilities with the household or children, in order for the day to run smoothly and to keep the stressed spouse from losing his or her mind.

12.    Give, Give, Give
Leave your selfishness at the door; there is no place for it in marriage.  The more you give to your spouse, the more you receive, the more you receive, the more you will appreciate your spouse and the happier you both will be.  Giving is a win/win situation.

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So!  Anything that you would like to add to this?  What do you think?

A New Year!

Rosh Hashana (lit. head of the year) is often referred to as the ‘Jewish New Year’, but if you look at the Jewish Calendar, you’ll notice that it is celebrated on the seventh month of our year… why is this?

On this day, we are not commemorating the creation of the Jews. Instead, we are celebrating the creation of the whole world. We are celebrating the beginning of time as it is experienced today (the year is 5773… before that, time didn’t exist because it wasn’t ‘experienced’ in terms of basic physics.)

The Jewish Calendar is lunar, but we believe that time is circular. This means that in each yearly cycle, the same ‘energy’ or potential is once again in existence. This is why the time of Chanukah is a time of miracles and Pesach a time of redemption. We are not commemorating something that happened in the past. No, we are using the knowledge of what happened previously to help us tap into the potential energy that is residing in the world RIGHT NOW.

So Rosh Hashana – the birth of all creation – a new year. This is the time to become everything that you know you can be. This is the time to renew, to let go, to commit yourself to being better, to heal and reconnect. And most of all, to be happy. Our sages tell us that what we do during the 10 days from Rosh Hashana until Yom Kippur plants a seed that will grow into our entire year. So let go of your guilt, do away with everything that is holding you back. Try to tap into this incredible energy of creation and use it to propel everything that you do over the coming days.

So knowing this, I want to wish you and the whole world an incredible birthday and new year. We are all separate parts of the whole miracle of creation… unique yet completely connected. I hope that this year brings you internal peace, and you can extend that peace to everyone that you meet. I hope that this year brings you clarity and personal growth, and that you can use this to become everything that you have ever dared to dream. I hope that you are always able to keep the big picture close to your heart, and that you never feel disconnected or lost. I hope that you will bring beauty and light into this world in your own individual way, and share it with those around you. May this year bring you more love and happiness than you ever hoped was possible, and may you supersede that every day because your heart just keeps growing more and more.

I want to wish the world a happy and sweet new year. I love you all very much and want to thank you for giving me such an incredible 5772. I can’t wait to see what the new year will bring for us! Kol tuv!

Let’s talk about… Tzniut!

It’s one of the most noticeable aspects of a Jewish woman… the way she dresses!  In this video I share some thoughts on tzniut, the origins of covering, and why I love dressing modestly.  Enjoy!

Here it is –> Tzniut!

How to Store Your Scarves/Tichels/Accessories

Take your tichel collection from disorganized to beautiful!  Here are some *STORAGE IDEAS* that I use and other ladies recommend, with the pros and cons of each option listed.

How do YOU store your tichels?