Thursday, April 11, 2013


From Blogger to Author- 
Discovering my unknown potential

As most of you know I have completed a book on Mussar (being edited in Israel at this very moment). It’s been an interesting and challenging process. I have struggled, slept little, stared at a white page on my computer screen for hours, and thought endlessly (and still do) about how to present this holy wisdom to the world.  I guard it ferociously as a mother watches over her child on the first day of school. I feel blessed to have received this precious gift. The Heavens opened up for me when I met Rabbi Miller and started learning with him, that led to starting a Mussar Vaad, which then turned me into a vaad facilitator, a blogger and now an author.

Blogging was a no-brainer. I knew the rest of the world had to hear what was going on in those groups. It was magical, mystical while at the same time, practical and logical. This could not be kept secret, hidden away in my living room where the vaads took place. A little voice inside me told me to get this information out there, the world needed to hear what we were hearing. So where does one go nowadays to share something with the world? The internet, of course. There was one tiny problem, I was not officially a writer. Thanks to my innate ability to jump in and do things (only creative things, no mountain climbing adventures for me) I am not trained to do, I became a writer on the internet (a.k.a. blogger).

After a few years of blogging, one day Rabbi Miller said to me, “This is a book. There are so many blogs, it's already a book.” 

"No way, that's impossible," I thought. Self-doubt was immediate. I could not write a book. I can write essays, blogs, speeches, and birthday greetings but that’s where my writing talent ends, or so I thought. I was wrong. I have written a book. 

The reason I tell you this now is because what happened to me as a writer is exactly what happens to someone who becomes a serious student of Mussar. I discovered my unknown and hidden potential. There was more inside of me than I ever knew existed. It came out simply because of “words of encouragement.” Rabbi Miller saw in me what I could not see in myself. He believed I was capable of performing this holy task. He pushed me forward when doubt pulled me back. He gave me words of Torah when there were no words on my page. He filled my mind with visions of the Sages, as they came alive in the stories he told. That is Mussar!

Encouraging words, standing (sometimes silently) by your side, an invisible hand holding you up when you feel like falling, sincere belief in knowing how great you can become, and learning to see what others cannot see (your true essence buried under layers of old habits, negative thinking and past experiences) - this is Mussar. 

It's been four years since I began learning Mussar. I have learned how to live it, breathe it, and strive to achieve it as I speak to myself in my own mind; as a wife, as a mother, a sister, a friend and now... as an author.

Shabbat Shalom

*follow me on Twitter... LivingOutLoud_
which leads to next week's blog (Entering the World of Social Media)

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