Thanks to the wisdom of my two main Rabbis, mentors and friends, Rabbi Shlomo Seidenfeld and Rabbi Avi Rabin, I have embarked on a new journey this year. The first involves daily prayers and discussions with Hashem for clarity. With so much spinning all around me, I want to pull things out of the dervish whirlwind and have them more firmly planted on the ground. Stability and clarity is the ultimate goal.
A Prayer For Clarity
I ask Hashem daily to help me find my way, spiritually, religiously, and in health, body, soul, mind and spirit. But as Shlomo says, I cannot allow a lack of clarity to paralyze me and keep me in place and prevent me from moving forward. This, for me especially, is key. It’s too easy to wait for the bolt of lightning… the Oprah Ah Ha moment. Sometimes they come like that… and sometimes, perhaps usually, they don’t.
I need to set and strongly focus on my goals, obliterate my obstacles, and move forward in the here and now, with the information I have in the present. Thanks to Rabbi Aryeh Markman for that. I can no longer wait, and need to seize another of Shlomo’s amazing adages:
“Every person has two lives. You start fully living the second when you realize you only have one.”
Raising The Simple To HolyPer multiple Rabbis including Shlomo, Avi and more, I have vowed to take on a new Mitzvah and reclaim an old one I have not been consistent with. The first is to get back to the daily wrapping. I was so good for a while there, and then… I let things distract me. This MUST be the way I start each day. With prayer and meditation, and bringing the head and heart together.
The new Mitzvah is saying the prayers before and after every meal. I bought the laminated, fold out card, and even have one in my car, but have been spotty at best. I know it will take time, and I am set on it.
For me, it will slow me down and make me more grateful for things I take for granted. It will make me appreciate food more, and, I am hoping, eat slower and eat less. Yes, I am also embarking on the whole Intermittent Fasting deal. The health benefits seem to be obvious, and the idea of eating for only an 8-hour period per day seems to have great results for my brother and a buddy.
But in addition to slowing down, always a health benefit, this Mitzvah will connect me more strongly with my soul, myself, and Hashem. A stronger connection means everything.
“Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut,” which means “think good and it will be good.” When clarity is not present and thoughts wander, they tend to be filled with stress and tension… and usually the thoughts that come out of that chaos are NOT good. Zgood thoughts, good speech and good action!
My daily routine now needs to start with gratitude and humility in the Modeh Ani and the daily wrapping. It needs to continue with prayers for clarity and parnasah, and for success, joy and a fulfilled peace and purpose. I need to slow down and be truly thankful for EVERYTHING, including all I eat and drink. And I need to move forward in a conscious way.
I would also like to say, and this will be part of another piece, that the two communities I am part of… AISH/Community Shul/JMI Men’s Trip and Chabad Of West Hills have both transformed me. I see peers, who are now friends, who I so admire and trust and aspire to be like. Thank you for the inclusion, the love and the true joy of being a Jew. You are all Menschs of the highest order.
So welcome to my new journey… This is the year of Jewish Mindfulness. This is the year I go from words to actions. This is THE year! Baruch Hashem.