Happy (Jewish) New Year! Hope this posting finds you all enjoying the magnificent colors of autumn.
When I was at services on the eve of Yom Kippur the other night, my friend Rabbi Marc Soloway spoke about the care and healing of our souls. He asked us to turn to someone and share one thing we wanted to do, or do more of, to take care of our souls. The next day, at a break-fast, a good friend of mine who is a working mom with two kids said the thought of taking on one more thing added way too much stress. That the exercise and other things she could fit into the week already was pushing the envelope!
I think most of us feel that way too. What we can get in — hikes, runs, yoga, writing, time with friends, etc. is not enough but we all do what we can given the constraints of life.
But I do think that there is a middle ground somewhere. I think that it may lie in the name of this time of year. Rosh Hashanah has many names, but in the Torah it is called Yom HaZicharon, or the days of remembrance. What does that really mean? Rabbi Lew tells us another meaning of memory and remembering is being mindful. So I like to think about this time of year as a time to be mindful to who we are and the world around us.
Mindfulness in and of itself is a powerful tool. Sometimes merely the act of being mindful and tuning our awareness towards healing our soul, taking care of our self on a deeper level, works wonders. If I take even five minutes of my morning run and remind myself that I run mostly for my soul, and me, to be better and more alive — I feel more alive! Imagine that!
So how can we be more mindful as we do the things during the week that nurture us? How can we use mindfulness throughout our day to repair our souls just a little bit?
Everywhere you look is awesomeness. The colors are more vibrant every day from greens to reds to golden yellows. How can those fall colors REMIND me to be more vibrant and awesome?
The days are a tad shorter and the morning and evening a bit crisper. How can the coolness in the air and the duration of the day REMIND me to be more awake and alert?
May we all be blessed this month to tune our mind and awareness in a bit more throughout our day in order to enrich our soul with a little more joy, a little more vibrancy, a little more peace as we go through our routine of life.