Today was Yom Kippur, the biggest and most important holiday on the Jewish calendar. I took a personal day, and made the journey home to celebrate with my family at my home synagogue.
The purpose of the holiday is to reflect on the past year, repent for sins, and to ask for forgiveness and for a good new year. In addition, we are expected to fast from sundown to sundown, and concept that still makes me a bit too anxious and nervous. But, more on that later.
Today, I spent about 8 hours in services, praying and reflecting. I thought a lot about this past year and all the changes it has brought.
I made lots of mistakes.
I made lots of self-discoveries.
I had lots of sins to repent for.
And, repent I did.
The thing that I love most about Yom Kippur is ending it with a feeling of a new fresh start. An opportunity to start again, free of guilt from the mistakes of last year. A chance to do things anew. Not necessarily to do things over again, but to re-try doing things right.
As I sat there reflecting, I decided that my goal and focus for the year is going to be love. In my life, I have felt the most presence of God (or whatever you want to call a higher spiritual power) in the strong, unconditional relationships that I have experienced, witnessed, and encountered in my life.
My intent for the upcoming year is to treat every person in my life with upmost love and respect, including my family, students, and people I may meet throughout the year.
The first step, though, is starting with myself. I have felt lately like I am out of touch with myself, both physically and emotionally. When it comes down to food and exercise, everything feels out of balance. I'm either famished or bloated. No in between. I almost feel like I have forgotten how to feed myself. I have this idea in my head about what my body needs, but the way my body feels tells me it's not right anymore. I have put on some puffy weight that I am not liking. As a result, I am emotionally suffering too. I know that I am transitioning. Figuring out my new work schedule and all that. But I hate the way I feel. I hate the way my clothes are fitting. I hate the way I look right now.
It's wearing on me.
So, starting fresh with this New Year, I am going to make a real effort to listen to what my body is telling me I need. And figure out what works for me again.
That started today. Yes, we are supposed to fast for 24 hours. But, I woke up this morning already hungry. So I ate breakfast. Then, I ate lunch. Yes, I did not keep the fast. Call me a "bad Jew" but I don't feel bad about it.
I didn't snap any pictures, but I'm sure you know what oatmeal and a salad looks like. The most important "Good Habit" that I am falling into? Listening to what my body needs and answering it.