“Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.” Carl Schurz
As we head into winter and the days are shorter and colder, many of us find ourselves with a little less pep and passion. SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is indeed a real disease. We all can be a bit un-eased when we have less light and warmth in our days. So I would encourage you to use the winter time, the darker time, as an opportunity to not only be self-reflective but perhaps self-directive. The above quote struck me for many reasons but mostly because it reminds me how important it is to articulate to yourself regularly, and even perhaps to those close to you, what are your ideals, your priorities, your highest values.
At different points in our life, these ideals and values shift. Do we stop and reflect on the changes? Do we pause at new points and transitions to articulate what drives us and what are we striving for? Using the winter time as a spiritual hibernation could be fruitful for the spring. Hibernation is not passive. It is a time of deep nourishment and rest. It is a time where our soul rejuvenates and gets stronger in order to thrive in the spring. If we get refocused and realigned on a deep level during the winter months than perhaps this spring and in the coming year we can truly strive higher to be more of who we aspire to be. If I don’t stop or pause and reflect on who I want to be, what is important to me, and how am I going to get where I want to go — then most likely I won’t get there!
May we all be blessed this month, and throughout this winter, to articulate our ideals and values. May we use this clarity to reach the actualization of who and how we want to be in our life.
Deb Dusansky, MA has been in Jewish education for over 18 years. She has directed religious schools from conservative, renewal to unaffiliated. Deb has a Masters in Family Counseling and started the office for Boulder Jewish Family Services 10 years ago. Bringing her talents and passion together in Jewish education and family counseling, Deb helped to start the Boulder Stepping Stones program.