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Give Others a Good Eye

By Debbie Eisenstadt Mandel

In Genesis God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. From the very beginning as a child, I was amazed by the magical power of words which became a multi-sensory experience. English teachers always said, “Count your words and make them count.” Emily Dickinson said, “A word said is never dead.” “We must always keep our word!” my mother insisted at home.

The words we speak to one another are powerful shaping tools. Let us use them for positivism and circulating joy to spread happiness and health. Ironically, speaking is a duality which involves listening. We do not always have to speak. When we are silent, we listen. We learn from each other inhaling personal experiences and wisdom. Then when we answer, we can give concentrated and more thoughtful responses. When we disagree, it is best to hear the opposing argument and then redirect it after summarizing our opponent’s viewpoint. After all we think subjectively and interpret from specific individual mindsets. Everyone has an ego and we need to let everyone be right on some level. I find it interesting that the word eye is a homonym for I. We are always worried that others are giving us an evil eye (I). However, we can give each other a good eye (I) with kind thoughts and respecting the Divine spark in each one of us.

My Divine mission is to reduce stress and increase happiness which I try to do by conducting stress-reduction workshops-- as many as possible-- to spread good words. Whenever I face a new audience, I always have faith that God will speak through me. The words always flow when I yield to Divine inspiration.

One day I was asked to cover for a well spouses’ group as the psychologist running the program came down with a virus. The group was sad and painfully reserved because they were caregivers. They all knew one another, except for me and a new comer, Richie, who accidentally found a flyer about the program.

I began speaking to a cold audience who truly missed their regular group leader. Nevertheless I inhaled and began: “Just a few words that you will hear tonight might change your life. You might hear them from a friend, a street cleaner, a cab driver or a child. We just have to be receptive, and be on the alert for the message.”

“Do any of you feel fatigued coming home from work?” Everyone nodded. “I don’t think you would be tired at all if you just did your work. But instead you bring parents, children, co-workers, supervisors and other issues which weigh you down. If you just do your work, you will not be tired. When you wash the floor, just wash the floor. Be in the moment. Let it be shiny and clean. You don’t have to think about a blessed thing and you can just be free and pure.”

I shared with the group how washing my mother’s kitchen floor while she was stricken with Alzheimer’s made me feel better. I could easily have hired someone to do it, but it was a cleansing act for me, a spiritual experience helping to sort out the pages of my life.

At the end of the session we all said goodbye warmly and the new comer, Richie, spoke to me for some time. He was overcome by my simple example of being in the moment. The few words I said to the group had brought him back to himself. He had been overwhelmed with his wife’s bone cancer and dialysis and had lost his joy, sinking into despair—silent tears. But the words of “just wash the floor” restored him. He used to do it that way and like a cheerleader, I reminded him of what he had forgotten.

I felt that Richie and I were destined to converse that night. We corresponded through e-mail. His wife ultimately died, but the transition was peaceful. I advised him to whisper for her soul to go, when he was ready, to release her. Since then he has remarried a holistic massage therapist.

In life we must pay it forward and act compassionately on two levels: Empathy is the first level and concrete implementation is the second. When we feel most dejected, or hopeless, that is precisely the time to serve others and we can serve others in many ways: through physical acts and with words, or even a warm smile. When we serve others, we become empowered, tapping into our Divine energy. We leave our own worries and painful situations to create joy for others. Joy is contagious! Turn on your inner light and your benevolence will be reflected in someone else’s eyes…

Debbie Eisenstadt Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer at Brooklyn College. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WLIR 92.7 FM in New York City and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: