Last year I wrote a blog post for Rosh Hashanah about crying on this holy day. If you haven't read it yet, here is my Rosh Hashanah 5780 post.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is a time where we celebrate the previous year while also taking on account all the blessings from the previous year and the areas of improvement. This year we celebrated Passover in a quarantined exile out of our familiar ways we lived life, and now we are to celebrate the new year in a similar light. A new year brings a period where, as we say on Rosh Hashanah, "it is inscribed, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed," as we pray to be sealed in the book of life for a year full of blessings, health, prosperity, and sustenance.
I believe that all that we desire materially and spiritually is right there available to us, we just have to rise to perceive goodness, to generate abundance, and to transform to a state of being to be able to receive it.
As I read the Torah portion last week, Nitzavim, this quote by Rabbi Isaac Luria, "Any person who does not cry on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur has an imperfect soul," struck an emotional chord in me once more.
Each year - especially the past two for me - brings emotional lessons and life changing events, circumstances that are challenging, series of minor and/or major variations that can and sometimes have led to frustration, conflict of interests, doubt, and worries of variating degrees.
And yet, there is knowledge - in great distinction from intellectual information - that the mind can grasp; a self-knowledge of how to respond - not react - to situations of all types.
As the world embarks on a new year, I wanted to share the great lessons, experiences, and resources that made this past year such a rich year of growth; all the people, activities, breakthroughs, practices, and more that make it possible for me to play with life, to truly choose to see every moment with fresh, wondrous eyes, believe in myself, trust where I am, navigate emotional experiences, and live with purpose regardless of the circumstances.
As you read please understand some lessons may be limited to my current perspectives. I am sure some, if not all, are continuously evolving because I am continuously evolving.
The Less I do, the more I am
This may seem paradoxical with Judaism, but it may just be the most deep-rooted Jewish insight that arose in my awareness this year. It seems paradoxical because Judaism is about action. It's not because being is the best doing.
Many of us confuse doing with action. Many teachers say it's an "obligation" to do this or that, but most often the best action is being. The more I relaxed on the way home for Shabbat, not worrying about making it before sunset, the more I listened to my intuition when it came to putting on tefillin (phylacteries) or not, believe it or not I was in touch with God, and thus, was being Jewish. It was like I had transcended what is referred to in Chapter 18 of the Tanya as the levels of fear of God and truly embraced a loving connection with HaShem (one of God's names).
Does doing lead to being? Yes, it does. However, being might lead to more complete, whole doings. Sometimes it's not about doing something because it's what has been done, but rather is about listening to what your own connection is guiding you to do.
What needs to be understood for context is that it doesn't mean not to engage in any spiritual practice. Each morning I have meditated which is a practice and connection of its own. It's not about not doing anything. It's about focusing on less, being present, and doing it out of delight not obligation i.e I get to not I have to.
It's about connecting with who we really are and being that, not relying on something outside of ourselves to create that connection for us.
How I Record/ REview Each Month
Lifebook 12 Sacred Choices Template: Mindvalley's Lifebook Mastery Course I finished over a year ago came with a downloadable daily habit tracker sheet for each month. Although I am not too set on tracking each habit, I do write down 12 daily choices I would like make each month. This can include activities from a type of meditation, writing for a duration of time, doing something new, learning something, writing things I am grateful for, and/or ways I can give to or serve others. I have found it very helpful in bringing intention to each month as it arrives. Also, I like to decide on experimenting with something new to keep myself in the unknown.
Mind Map: Mind Mapping is very well-known for taking notes, but I found it helpful for looking at a month at large. The name of the month is the middle circle and the connecting circles are the main activities or focuses for the month. The visual assists in seeing what's most important and what things, if any, can be moved to a later date and time or month.