The Bliss Blog

During the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur; which are also known as The High Holy Days in the Jewish tradition in which I was raised, we contemplate the year that has gone by, as well as the one stretching out before us. As I type these words, I am experiencing another beginning. I will be turning 58 tomorrow. Entering a new cycle in every respect. Turning the calendar pages and turning over my life. The Hebrew term is Teshuvah, as in turning over a new leaf. Also fitting, since here in the Philadelphia area, leaves are turning scarlet and golden and wafting into the air and swirling to the ground where they will soon form a blanket pulled over the earth as she prepares for a winter sleep.

They are also called the Days of Awe. To me, awe is a response to the ineffible, which is how the God of My Understanding appears to me.  The exquisite beauty of a sunset, a star sparkled sky, an arching rainbow, the smile on the face of a loved one.  I was listening to an interview on NPR yesterday that Terry Gross conducted with author Jonathan Safran Foer about his book called Here I Am. The title comes from the words Abraham was said to have uttered in response when God called out to him, “Hineni” (Here I am). As the author shared a passage about an interaction between the main character and his son, they were beneath a darkened sky and the son asked the father why people whisper when they are in that place. Ineffible. Awe and wonder.  It is how I choose to live my life on a daily basis.

We are instructed that if we repent for misdeeds, we will be ‘inscribed in the book of life for a good year’. The reality is that people get ill, have accidents, experience loss and eventually die, because that’s life getting lifey, not because they are ‘bad people’. A good year might contain those events as well as joys and gains. I live that way, so as to celebrate each moment to fullest, leaving fear behind.

In this past year, I have maintaned my health, working out at the gym 3-4 times a week. I have improved the quality of food with which I fuel my body. I have rested when needed (naps have become part of my self care routine). I have traveled more, meeting new family of choice wherever I go. I have stretched comfort zones with my writing and speaking, sharing vulnerably about my inner workings and what makes me tick. I have recognized what resentments, anger, frustration and sadness I have been holding onto that really have been holding on to me. I I have ‘gotten feisty with the Universe,’ as I have questioned what I need to do to change aspects of my life that aren’t unfolding or opening at my desired pace. I even wrote a ‘Bratty Letter To The Universe’ in which I explored my own impatience with the Divine Plan for my life. I have forgiven and asked for forgiveness. I have been more conscious. I have learned to receive all of the blessings and miracles with my name on them.

That brings me back to the whole being inscribed thing that feels like “Let’s Make A Deal”. If I put in the right number of coins , then the sublime slot machine will pay off magnificently. Is the machine set to deliver after a certain number of handle pulls?  Does our ‘luck change’ after a pre-set period of time? Has it all been cast in stone, etched on a table; is it signed, sealed and delivered even before we take our first breath in this incarnation (and if you believe, in others before and after)?

If you could know in advance how the year would unfold, would you want to?  There are times when I wish I could and times when I am glad I can’t.

As my year comes to a close, I know the rest of the story is still unwritten. This Yom Kippur, I am taking pen in hand and consciously co-authoring with the One.


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