Friday, September 14, 2007
Happy Jewish New Year - Yesterday
As Elysbeth pointed out the other day in her post, we've now entered a New Year in the Jewish calendar - it was Rosh Hashanah officially on sundown Wednesday night. With me being an odd religious mixture of many things - and being officially a non-observant Jew by marriage who also attends Unity whenever I fit religion into my life, I hardly know what to say other than, "Happy New Year" and am I ever ready -- to welcome in a new year, turn a new page, a new beginning.
I take my truth wherever I find it . . . in Judaism, Budhism (especially Zen), through Unity . . . wherever. In the Jewish tradition, during this time of year, we are supposed to reflect upon our lives and it's a period of deep soul-searching and seeking out of foregiveness to those we have wronged. For me this past year, 2007, has been a really low year for me - and one in which I haven't behaved the best either. The absolute worst in me has come out in response to life stuff that seems BIG at the time, but is really very petty in comparison to the real traumas that are happening in other people's lives - and in the world at large. The wars that are going on outside, in the world, are reflected in my internal war - and as Byron Katie (Loving What Is) points out, we cannot hope to find real peace in the world until we first cultivate peace and love in ourselves.
When I am at my BEST, those are the times that I'm actively meditating, praying and "going within" to find ways of connecting with that silent, unseen presence. As a rule, I don't feel one has to go to temple, church or anywhere in particular to find that divine being - I just need to stop, slow down, go within and connect. I need to do spiritual work, Byron Katie calls it "The Work" and has an actual process you can go through on paper that really helps as well.
Here lately, I haven't been using my spiritual tools nearly often enough, such as meditation. I KNOW how meditation soothes me, so why don't I go there within myself and listen to the "still small voice" more often? Instead, I'm being sucked in by the whirlwind of anger, frustration, despair and spread those - instead of being inspiring and uplifting by making the choice to do so.
I've been so out of touch, in fact, that physicially going back to Unity, meditating in their delightful Rose Garden and surrounding myself with the uplifting people who attend their classes and services wouldn't be a bad idea.
Elysbeth linked back to my January post, where I talked about how each new year, I select a key word that guides my life for the following year. This being the official Jewish New Year, and me not being officially anything, I think I'll use this time, from now until the secular New Year, to engage that reflection process. What astonishes me is that I've been such a train wreck this year, that I'd totally forgotten about my theme for 2007 - "self control." Oh my gosh, this has been the most conflict-ridden, out-of-control year I've had in YEARS. Overreaction, worry, resentment, and hypersensitivity have been my handmaidens. But shaming myself about my many failures won't make it better. Now that I recognize it, I need to pick myself up, dust myself off and try to do better. Much better.
I've signed myself up for a "Managing Emotions" seminar in late November, but it's just a one day crash-course. And I need to now. So I'll do some self-study. Reflection. Calming down. Slowing down. Meditating. Walking.
Reading. Again - "This Year I Will: How to Finally Change A Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True" by M.J. Ryan.
Have a good weekend, everyone. I'm taking off work today and ohmmmming myself into a better emotional and spiritual place.