Monday, October 6, 2014

Time to reflect - #MondayBlogs

This past weekend was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement is a day set aside to "afflict the soul," to atone for the sins of the past year. These "sins" are between the individual and G-d, a time to repent and sincerely make an effort to do better; if there are transgressions against your fellow man, you are expected to make your peace with that individual.

As children we always thought this holiday was the day we received our get-out-of-jail-free card.

I spent the day in a lot of self-reflection. Whether it is religious obligation, court-ordered (can they do that?), a suggestions from a friend, or simply common-sense, spending a day looking at yourself and your actions, meditating about your life, is a healthy and calming thing to do. Your actions do not have to be action-verbs like running, driving, talking, etc., they also include your thoughts and emotions.

Are you spending your day being angry at someone who has done you wrong? Are you dwelling in the past or filled with regrets about what you didn't get to do or say? Are you wasting your life with crippling thoughts about things that can't be undone, or obsessed with people who bring nothing positive to your world? Are you allowing anger to consume you and destroy your happiness?

When you meditate and inspect your own being, you give yourself a chance to resolve issues, find your strengths, realize your potential. and look ahead to the future. Spend some time concentrating on yourself, sorting out what your priorities are, and learning how to be happy. Whatever term you use, count your blessings, the positives, the "things" you have (not just material) that make you feel rich. Don't waste time plotting revenge on those that have hurt you or being envious of the things someone else has - instead get to know yourself.

During the days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, Jews believe the Book of Life is opened and our fate for the coming year is inscribed; this gives great inspiration to sincerely atone for our transgressions and promise to be better.

There is no need to wait for once a year though, we can make daily efforts to be better people, to be more considerate of our fellow man, and more truthful, Just one act of kindness can improve someone's life, a random smile can bring happiness, an hour of selfless time can make someone feel important, a compassionate ear may be salvation for someone who feels lost and desperate.

At the end of the day you can take stock in your contribution to the world - and that can make your day.

May you all have a healthy peaceful and fulfilling year.

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