“The Jewish New year has some partying to it, but, really, this time of newness is about hard, internal, personal work. We spend most of Tishrei seeking perspective on our past actions, touching in with morality, and promising to be the best possible versions of ourselves, moving forward. We perform Teshuvah, a hard word to explain, but which means something like “returning to self, letting go, forgiving, owning past actions.”
To do Tishrei right means entering this month from a place of compassion—for self and for all those in our communities. It means keeping in mind and in heart the ultimate Divine Oneness of the world. During this month, we also set ourselves the task of leaving behind old patterns. Tishrei is here to teach us that we can change. Spoiler alert: it’s not easy, this business of change; we humans are fallible beings. We make mistakes. This is why Jews start the New Year with purification and forgiveness that flows into letting go. From this spiritually “clean” place, we move on.”
This life is unreal.
Never before have I felt that I am so blessed (let alone used the word blessed). I am so blessed. I am so blessed.
How many times can I say it till I believe this is really the reality I’m living in?
I’ve met and deepened friendships with some of the most amazing people in the world this year (I have chills just thinking about them). In the past year, I lived with two beautiful people who became close friends of mine. I have gotten closer with people who amaze me and who matter to me, friendships who bring so much warmth and joy into my life, friendships that make me a better person. This summer, I had the opportunity to solidify my foundational and important relationships with those closest to me in New Jersey. This past year, my life got exponentially more meaningful with the meeting of a handful of people. I can’t even fathom that I could live my life not knowing them, now that I know them. Their friendships would be enough to fill me up forever.
I am surrounding myself with positive people who care about me, want the best for me, and support me. I have beautiful friends who I want to rekindle friendships with who are living closer to me. Others who have reached out to me; or come into my life by chance; these connections are all so important to me. The many people I met at the Hostel and in Israel who left a lasting imprint on me. And of course those who I have met throughout my journeys over the past several years who continue to impact me years later. And with all of this comes balance. I have moved away from some people who were in my life, people who may have been fun on the surface but were doing damage to my spirit.
I don’t think this is a coincidence. Attracting good-energy friendships is intentional. I have long sought to have quality people in my life. I believe I must be becoming a better person to bring these kinds of people into my world.
This year, I started doing Shabbat Yoga. I let myself dive into my spirituality in a deep and meaningful way that combined the things that most allow me to connect to my spirituality: yoga, music and story/wisdom/philosophy from eastern & Jewish culture. I continue to explore what this means in my life. I spent time in Poland. I spent time in Israel. I spent time on both the east and the west coast. I met some of the most amazing people and had some of the best conversations. A conversation till 5 AM in Poland has turned into consistent cross-country FaceTimes. Walking on Christmas Day in Krakow, turned into sitting on Delray Beach with our feet in the sand over Spring Break. A friend from another continent changed the way I view people with too many conversations to count. Hour long phone conversations and hanging out with a friend in LA feeling like I have a real good friend who cares about me. A conversation on a rooftop in Israel. A friend who cared for and celebrated and loved me unconditionally, boarding over at a moment’s notice. A friend who I want to travel the world with now. I have found myself surrounded with people in my life who love me for who I am. I am accepting this love. I will no longer question this love.
I am living my truth. I am not faking it and trying to convince myself that I need to do film or be in Hollywood. I was scared and I denied my truth for a long time, but I am now trying to live authentically. I’m working on a blog to help people be their best selves, to reclaim their innate compassion that desensitization from big business has tried to numb them from. I’m trying to move forward in the direction of my dreams. I am going to therapy, and I am trying to not be so hard on myself. I am trying to trust the process. I will trust the process. I am trusting the process. I am trying to be kind and gentle with myself while still desiring to be better and get better. I am practicing yoga, I am trying to keep myself open, soft, vulnerable, and loving and not just for show. I am trying to not be what I think others want me to be. I am trying to be who I want to be. I am reflecting on my therapy sessions. I am trying to learn. I am working hard to be the person I need to and want to be so I can live fully, accept and give love, and move in the direction of my dreams and my purpose.
I graduated from college. I did what I didn’t think I could do for a long time. I spent time with family in New Jersey, family who means more to me than I could put into words. Family who has proven time and time again that they are the ones who matter. Their love is unconditional. Their support gives me strength. I supported my mom in her transition to the west coast. I forgave my dad. I forgave my dad. I am working on forgiveness, acceptance, and peace.
I don’t blame everything on my past anymore. I don’t blame others for any of my situations. I accept where I am. I don’t feel like a victim. I learn from my mistakes. I am learning from everything that happened in Israel. I am grateful for the opportunities to learn and the opportunities to try to be better.
I no longer view other people’s relationships as untouchable dynamics that I could never experience or that seem too perfect and leave me speechless. I see myself having a good relationship. I visualize myself accepting love. I visualize myself having love for someone.
I no longer say I’m not a good friend. I no longer put myself down because that is not the energy I want to put out into the world. I will continue to show up for my friends and I will keep learning and trying to be a good friend. I am a good friend. I have deep compassion and care for those who matter to me.
I have so much work to do. I have so many areas I can improve on and in. But I finally see that I don’t need to fix myself in order to be loved. I finally see I am deserving of love and good things the way I am. I accept myself. I don’t love everything about me, but I accept myself.
I accept the blessings that God has in store for me this year. I accept the challenges and the hard work that must be done to get to where I need to go. I accept the confusion and the nervousness and the anxiety as I try to figure out how best to move forward.
I am excited to help more people. I am excited to work on being vulnerable and staying soft. I am excited to work on learning more. I am excited to go deeper.
I will work on being unapologetically who I am. I will work on not acting and performing who I am, but just being me. The right people will love me. The right people will accept me. I don’t need to pretend to not think as much as I do. I don’t need to act cool. I don’t need to present myself in a certain way to impress people. I just need to be me.
I have been hurt deeply in the past year by friends and family, and I know that I have hurt friends and family deeply. I have acted quickly and without too much thought. I have taken things personally; though I know that nothing in this world can be taken personally. I have not fought for friendships. I have experienced the pain of seeing friendships I didn’t fight for dissipate. I have not given myself enough time to meditate, to do yoga. I have not given myself enough time to take care of myself. I have wasted time. I have not communicated when I should have. I have not honored my truth and my agency when I should have and spoken my mind. I have held resentment for those who do not deserve it. I have struggled with letting go. I have spoken badly to myself and I have torn myself down. I have diminished my self-confidence. Too many times, I have counted myself out before I even tried. It is not easy to do so, but I accept this. I accept this is as a part of me because I can’t acknowledge my ‘light’ side without acknowledging my ‘shadow’ side. Both sides make me who I am. I am okay. I’m a work in progress. It’s just life. I can try to be better but I don’t need to take it so seriously. I let go of this. I forgive myself. I will try to be better at these things. It won’t be easy but I will try.
I am finally starting to implement what I learned in yoga teacher training. I am still reflecting on that experience. I am still reflecting on Poland. I haven’t even begun to reflect on Israel. I can’t even process college yet. I recognize my mistakes and my selfish ways in trying to experience things without going all in. I acknowledge my walls, my masks, and my armor. I take them off. I am ready to live easier. It is easier, it is a relief, to just be. It’s all I know how to be. I’m done pretending.
“What will you start today to make this New Year meaningful? Pick something, commit to it, and start working! What if we all did?”
“This month of Tishrei reminds us we can change. Be honest, live authentically, let go.”
I will work on visualizing at night and meditating in the morning. Visualizing what I want, what I desire. Meditating on breath, meditating on peace.