I’ve been thinking about what kind of inspiration, tips, or tools I can share with you in my Jewish new year message to you.
And to be honest, all I can think of is how different everything is this year.
What is especially challenging are all of the unknowns that are part of this experience. We don’t know how long this pandemic will last. We don’t know what things will be like in the next few months, and perhaps even in the next few years.
I feel that during this time, one thing we are being called upon to do is to be present with what is. To learn how to ‘be’ and to go with the flow with whatever comes our way.
If this is the case, there are three tools that help me remain calm and confident even during times like this, that I teach my clients too, and would love to share with you.
Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, I feel a tightness in my back. When I notice this, I find a quiet place, take a seat, and take a few very deep breaths. I do this until my body feels relaxed again and my brain feels clear.
If you too would like to do this, take note of where you feel tension in your body when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Pay attention to what your body is telling you and then stop, find a place to sit, and take a few minutes to breathe.
Take a deep breath in as you count four seconds, hold your breath for another count of four, then exhale for one more count of four.
Repeat this breathing exercise until your body feels relaxed, you feel calm, and your brain feels clear again. Think of it as a reset your are giving yourself and your body so that you can think clearly again, feel relaxed and come back to you.
Focus on What IS in Your Control
If you have been reading my mailings regularly you know that I often speak about making a distinction between what is and what is not in our control.
There are many things that are out of our control in this current situation. When we focus on those things that are out of our control, we are more likely to feel frustrated, anxious, angry or depressed.
I find that the healthiest way to move through any challenging situation is to get clear on what is and what is not in your control. Once this becomes more clear to you, let go of what is not in your control, and then make choices about what you can do and who you can be, based on what is in your control.
What are some things that you can think about that are in your control right now?
What are you noticing?
What are the things you can do?
Create a plan of action based on the things you can do and follow through on them.
It is quite clear that this new year is very different, on a global level, than any new year most of us have ever experienced. It is a time when things aren’t as predictable as perhaps we have been used to them being in previous years.
This year I’d like to suggest that we also have an opportunity.
We have the opportunity to be proactive. We have the opportunity to think about what we want our new year celebration, and even our year, to be like, even given the current situation.
Now more than ever we can’t rely on outside influences, situations, people, or things to create happiness or fulfillment for us. This year, more than ever perhaps, we are required to take the initiative and think about what it is that we really want. We can think about and be creative in how we can achieve that which we really want to achieve, experience and feel.
With this, then, I will end with the following questions for you to take time to think about and answer as you prepare for the upcoming Jewish new year.
What do you want your new year holiday to look and feel like?
What do you want to pray for?
What areas of your personal or professional life do you want to improve or change?
What are those areas of your life that you want to focus on improving this year?
To help you in this process, here is a link to a Graph of Life Exercise I created and ask each of my clients to fill out before we get started with our work together. You can use it to assess your level of satisfaction in the core areas of your life and to think about the things you would like to change, and/or improve now and/or this coming year.
As my father likes to say, “use it [this exercise] in good health and happiness.” And I’ll add that if you have any questions about it, or anything else I shared here or in previous emails, please feel free to get in touch and schedule a complimentary consultation with me. You can get in touch with me, or ask me your questions, here.
Wishing you (and your loved ones) a year filled with blessings, goodness, good health, joy, confidence, fulfillment and success in all areas of your life!
In support and admiration,