Fun Fridays

Here in Israel we only have one-day-weekends. (So be very thankful for your two-day-weekends those of you who have those! ;-)) When you add to the picture, that we do not drive on Shabbat, which is the only day off, – you have to be creative and very intentional about your trips and outings that are not done solely by foot!

Look how beautiful the almond trees are right now!

Look how beautiful the almond trees are right now!

I want us to utilize Friday afternoons as much as we can, to go straight into weekend-mode and enjoy it to the fullest. I stop working when the kids come home from school, and we have about four and a half hours till Shabbat starts. (Don´t forget that there are lots of preparations for this which also have to get done at some point…)

I should write a separate post about our princess and her dolls. She does not "play" with them, - she "practices" for becoming a mom...!

I should write a separate post about our princess and her dolls. She does not “play” with them, – she “practices” for becoming a mom…!

So the last two Friday afternoons we’ve been making the most of it. For the first one, we went jeeping and hiking in the hills surrounding Jerusalem.

hiking

It turned out such a lovely and wonderful outing! Just to smell the air, to rest your eyes on nature. I loved the feeling of being surrounded by nature only, – I am a nature girl at heart, I guess that is what it comes down to.

enjoying the hills of Jerusalem

I enjoyed watching the children skip along and get creative about coming up with games and fun stuff to do out there, – there was a positive energy going around.

flowers in Israel

The almond trees were blossoming. The poppies were popping up everywhere, as were the cyclamens. They were so beautiful! We only wished we could have picked some… If we were the ones making the rules, we would have said everyone can take only one, instead of making it none… 😉 But don’t worry, – we left them all there! We just picked some of the yellow ones, – now, don’t you tell him they are weeds!!

picking flowers

We came back home with renewed energy, and really felt like we had gone somewhere.

Jerusalem

On Shabbat I read something about finding the connecting points between heaven and earth. And really, when we have our eyes open to find them, – they are everywhere! Be it in the synagogue when singing the prayers together with our people, be it at home around the shabbat table with the family and at the same time with our whole people everywhere, – or be it out in nature enjoying His wonderful creation!

hiking

Then on this past Friday, it was actually the shared birthday of our prince and me. Yes, he was born on my birthday! The best birthday gift ever!!!

Ok, now for a special birthday moment. I was born 14 minutes after 2 o’clock on February 14th. That is twice 2.14, right? And then, this year, being 2014, – it was three times 2.14! So, – this is us making that very moment a special one, with really yummy chocolates for desert after having gone out for lunch to celebrate!

A sweet moment. I am so rich, - surrounded by my beloved family! #blessed

A sweet moment. I am so rich, – surrounded by my beloved family! #blessed

The power of positive belief.

Now you may think that this is going to be about religious faith, which really is the closest to my heart, but no, this time I am going to write about something that to me is a much more newfound revelation.

running in Jerusalem

running in Jerusalem

I have been thinking about it while I am out running. It is about how the physical and the psychological or emotional are so very connected. It really fascinates me. Because you would think that you could just tell yourself, – believe in yourself, believe that you can do it, think positively! But no. It has to be more real than that.

Blossoming almond tree

Blossoming almond tree

I had heard that “it is all in the mind” or that at least 50 % of let’s say marathon running, is psychological. Positive self talk and such. Belief in yourself, belief that you can do it. They say that is why we train, – in order to train our mind to believe that we can do it. Of course there is a physiological aspect to it, – I am not saying there isn’t. But that is just so much more obvious than this other more hidden one.

So anyway, – now I have experienced this for myself.

out running

out running

After I successfully ran the Tiberias marathon I got a real boost of confidence, and now out of the blue my pace is about 20 seconds faster per kilometer than it was before. It just jumped like that. Because I all of a sudden believed I could do it! This lead to me earlier this week running my first ever sub two hour half marathon distance. (Now, anyone who is familiar with those races and times will see that I am still not a fast runner, but hey, here it is all about comparing yourself to yourself.)

Almond blossoms

Almond blossoms

But really, – think about it, when you feel good, when you feel confident, your performance is just so much better than when the opposite is true! These things are all so connected!

I want to take those lessons to other parts of my life too, – that are much more important than running! 😉 An area that comes to mind is parenting. Not only is it important to think positively about our own roles as parents, – but we want to help the children experience this as well. I see it very clearly with them, – when they feel good, – they do great! When they don’t feel so good… -well, you get the idea. So we want to focus on successes, build confidence and think positively. And the positive will thrive!

just now...

just now…

PS. The photos in this post, with the exception of this last one, are from my recent runs in Jerusalem. The Almond tree is blossoming! Always such a hopeful and positive sign!