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Crafting Connections: Building the Mishkan of Your Relationships

As a coffee lover and a fan of small kitchen appliances, I purchased an automatic Chemex pour-over coffee maker. I was drawn to its sleek, modern design and the ability to watch the brewing process. The coffee maker came with a box of pre-folded cone-shaped filters. However, when I ran out of filters, I couldn't find any pre-folded ones, only unfolded ones. It was frustrating. The marketing message on the back of the box of unfolded filters that arrived claimed that "The original Chemex bonded filter brings us back to a time when crafting your cup of coffee began with the simple step of folding the thick paper before placing it in the carafe. A time-honored tradition, a brief moment to connect, one more way to make this brew uniquely yours."


It was evident that it is cheaper to produce unfolded filters, and the company was trying to sell me on the idea that this new (or old) way of using the filters was intentional and not just a cost-saving measure. I wasn't convinced.


I had no choice but to take out one large circular sheet, fold it in half, line up the edges perfectly, and smooth it into one crisp, long crease to create a half circle. I repeated the process to get a perfectly folded filter. It wasn't an origami project. I didn't create a swan or a boat. But somehow, it was satisfying. I wondered if the company's embedded marketing message had made me feel this way or if it was something else.


Studies show that people with control over something in their lives, even something insignificant, tend to live longer and have a better sense of well-being. Simply by given the responsibility to water the plants in their room, mortality rates in nursing homes were shown to decline by 50%!  We are naturally wired to enjoy doing things for ourselves and being active participants rather than passive receivers. Folding the coffee filter was, in fact, the first rhythmic step in crafting the perfect cup of coffee. As claimed, I found joy in the simple act.


Becoming Active Participants in Creating Holiness


In the Torah, God was initially presented as the all-powerful but distant and inaccessible Creator of the universe. Later, God intervened actively on behalf of a nation needing deliverance. In the First of the Ten Commandments, He introduced Himself as the God of history, guiding the destiny of a nation. God gradually became a personal God to each person, and the Jewish people became co-creators of a sacred space for God's dwelling amongst them when they constructed the Mishkan, a portable sanctuary.


Building the Mishkan wasn't just a passive act fulfilling a Divine command. By contributing resources, skills, and intentions, the Jewish people became active participants in creating holiness and fostering a deeper connection with God. After the failure of the Golden Calf, enrolling in a building project in which everyone could participate gave the Jewish people ownership and pride. It gave them a way back, with each minute detail providing a moment to connect. Even seemingly mundane actions performed with a mindful presence can be imbued with significance and holiness.


Applying the Principle to Relationships


Doing small acts, when performed with intention, can create the quality of a relationship. Marriage experts John and Julie Gottman, who coined the expression: “Small things often,” explain the simple truth that successful long-term relationships are created through small words, small gestures, and small acts - done repeatedly.


To thrive in our relationships, we must actively engage as participants, recognizing the significance of our actions and choices on the dynamics of our relationships. This begins by being present and attentive, listening empathetically, and communicating openly and honestly. It involves stepping beyond the boundaries of our comfort zones and continually striving for growth and improvement. Additionally, being willing to put in the necessary time and effort to prioritize the needs and desires of our loved ones communicates a genuine commitment to their happiness.


Small Actions in Relationships: The Key to Success


Further, being active participants in our relationships means taking ownership of our actions and responsibility for any mistakes or shortcomings. We can genuinely learn from our flaws and shortcomings and make amends by acknowledging them. This process requires humility, self-reflection, and a willingness to grow as individuals. By actively engaging in our relationships and taking responsibility for our actions, we can contribute to a healthier and more fulfilling connection with those we care about.


Ultimately, our relationships are shaped by our actions, both big and small. By actively participating and being mindful of our choices, we have the power to create a positive and fulfilling connection with those we care about.


Internalize and Actualize


  • Reflect on a recent interaction with a loved one. How present and attentive were you at that moment? Were you actively engaged as a participant in the conversation, or were you more passive? How did your level of engagement impact the quality of the interaction?


  • Think about a small act of kindness or gesture you can do regularly for a loved one. How do you think this small act can contribute to the overall dynamic of your relationship? How can you ensure that this act is done with intention and mindfulness?


  • Think about a relationship in your life that has room for growth and improvement. How can you actively engage in this relationship to foster a deeper connection? What small steps can you take often to cultivate positivity and harmony? How can you ensure that these steps are done with intention and mindfulness?

In a world filled with endless distractions and stress, it's easy to let our relationships take a back seat. But what if you made a conscious effort to prioritize love and kindness every single day for 30 days?

This powerful daily relationship challenge will inspire you to show up as your best self, whether single, dating or in a long-term commitment. With each page, you'll discover practical tips, thought-provoking exercises, and heartwarming stories to help you strengthen your connections with the people you love.

Click HERE to purchase and download.



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1 Comment

Feb 16

If you could do just kind thing for someone each day, in three weeks you will have successfully formed a beautiful habit.

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