I remember I was at a Friday night dinner and we all went around the table introducing ourselves. This chiropractor introduced himself as "Dr….". Physicians and PhDs at the table did not introduce themselves as "Dr…" I’d never heard anyone introduce themselves before at a dinner as "Dr…"
I love it when people try too hard. I hate it when I try to hard. It always fails with the ladies.
I spent this past week at a Jewish retreat center where I encountered the difficulty of this challenge. At one point on the retreat I stepped into a Jewish renewal style Shabbat morning service, and found that there was very little traditional liturgy weaved into the davening. This type of formless prayer did not appeal to me. On the other hand, I had the opportunity to “daven mincha through Yoga,” as the program advertised it. To my surprise, I found that embodying, literally, the words of the mincha prayer to be an extremely uplifting experience. (The Yoga Mincha did not, of course, replace my regular traditional davening). We threw our hands up in the air in joy as we recited the word “ashrei.’ Then we went into a sitting pose at the word “yoshvei.” And then dropped our hands down, in a cave like manner, to create a home as we said the word “Vaytecha” (Ashrei Yoshvei Vaytecha—How happy or praiseworthy are those who dwell in Your house). Imbuing traditional liturgy with an entirely new element forced me to think about the words in a different way. I found myself reaching out to God “with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my might.” I was reminded of the experience Yitzchak might have had as he mediated in the field at evening time (Bereishit 24:63). Or the uplifting prayer of the Levites, who according to Psalms (150:3) praised God with the harp, lyre, and through dance. Spirituality takes on many forms. Tapping into ones spiritual self is the challenge.