This Rosh Hashanah, I sat down with myself to re-evaluate my Higher purpose, intentions and goals. New years are always a breath of fresh air for me and just like a new season where we embrace a fresh wardrobe change, I believe that the new year is an opportunity to look at our life with a renewed perspective, realign ourselves with our primary values and say Thank you. Each year, I find myself uncovering new layers of self-understanding and I am awe at both the complexity and the magnitude of a single person’s human experience. But more than just that, I also relish in saying Thank You. Thank you to God for giving me another year. Thank you for the gift of time and to simply exist. Thank you for this breath which has never left me and always supported my life. Thank you for the opportunity to sit back and embrace new growth, new changes and new opportunities to become more of myself.
This Rosh Hashanah, I sat down and asked myself 5 different questions to help me put into a deeper perspective not just what I want to achieve this year, but also who I want to become and how I want to feel. I’m sharing them with you today:
- What do I most want to feel this year?
This question takes goals and resolutions out of something you need to ‘do’ into something you want to ‘experience.’ Every goal you have ever made is because deep down you want to feel something —more freedom, more abundance, more fun, more love, more external recognition, more safety. Pick one that’s the real reason you want to achieve your goals this year. After all, what the heart wants to feel is a better motivator than what the ego wants to get done. I had a goal to start listening to understand and not just to respond. What happened is that I was presented with various life opportunities to teach me exactly this. The feeling I was looking for was better connection, understanding and enhancing my relationships – which I got.
- Whom am I going to choose to accept unconditionally this year, to the best of my ability, no matter what happens?
Yes, it’s tempting to say your best friend, but pick a relationship that you know needs some loving intention, kindness, forgiveness, patience or just time spent on it. While I do believe that unconditional love outside of the love which we may give to our children is often difficult and not really attainable, I do believe that aiming for unconditional acceptance is more manageable and realistic. Unconditional acceptance means that even when I don’t particularly like you, I can choose to still accept you in those moments. It is quite simply acceptance of the person as the way they are. When people feel accepted, and you are not waiting for them to change or be different in some way, usually what follows is a breakthrough and a new way of relating to each other.
- How am I going to get back on track when life gets hard?
We rush to make plans and projects to change our lives…and within a few days or weeks, we have failed ourselves. Again. This year, focus on a technique I call the three R’s: reflection, recovery and repair. These are the steps you will take to figure out what went wrong, how to get positive and how to start again. Reflection might come from a particular phrase, something like, “I am doing my best, and I’m allowed to be human.” You might follow that with some deep breaths so you can wrap up the day and just get a good night’s sleep. Or you can decide that you’ll call a dedicated friend at moments like this, or take a walk, and then sit in meditation for a few minutes. Get clear on your go-to method. It will make navigating the rough patches so much easier.
- Who is someone you could help achieve their most important resolution?
Think of a friend or family member; find out what their dream is and offer to help by checking in, giving encouragement, being their raving fan or holding them accountable to their commitment. However, be sure to give from a place of fullness and within the limits of your own boundaries. I have learnt that we can give both to others and ourselves at the same time, as long as we are not giving from a place of seeking to ‘be a good person’ or meet a specific social ideal. When we give because we truly want to, we fill both our own and the recipient’s cups with richness and abundance.
- What word can I pick as the quality I most want to focus on this year?
If you are typically a fun or adventurous person, it’s easy to default to those words. Except…you will no doubt continue to be who you already are. This question asks you to look at the quality your friends or family may have mentioned you needing to cultivate or something that you know deep down you could be more of (e.g., grateful, forgiving, patient, courageous, authentic, resourceful, etc.). The word you choose will be your guide. Write it down and speak it out loud every morning; use it to finish this sentence: I am _____. I’ve learned that focusing on a quality of being rather than a specific goal not only gives my mind something to do but also feels juicy and wonderful. This kind of soul goal will make you feel far better than any external goal.
What specific intentions are you setting this Jewish New Year?
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