practice: celebrating life

If you have stepped outside this week (and you live in Indianapolis), you have probably noticed a particular crispness in the air. The air gives a revived sense of vitality to everyone. It’s apple cider and chili season. Sweaters and boots are trickling into everyone’s wardrobe, and the trap of the summer’s heat is slowly lifting. Nature’s sheath is shifting to a new color paradigm. This is a truly spectacular time of year!

I remember this time of year vividly from when I was a little girl: Alabama football blaring on the TV, my mom’s amazing chili simmering on the stove, the cicadas dulling to a low murmur and the taste of apples and honey. This week coincides with the Jewish New Year (year 5775, NBD), and in the Jewish faith this time of year symbolizes a celebration of life. We eat apples and honey to signify the sweetness of living. We drink lots of wine (when I was kid this was subbed for apple juice) and cheers to our unlimited potential. I remember sitting around a table with my loved ones, sharing the good times over the last year, and our hopes and dreams for the year to come. It was (and is) a time of profound joy for me.

After Rosh Hashanah, there is a 10 day period where we reflect on the year past, and consider how we can be better in the year to come. We fill our pockets with bread crumbs and release them into a nearby body of water to represent our transgressions against others, our sorrows, our sins and our baggage being released and letting go. We write letters to or meet with those that we have wronged in the past year, and apologize for any harm we have done.

Whether you are Jewish or not, I think this is such a beautiful gesture of humanity. To celebrate the good stuff. To find gratitude for what is. To apologize for your wrongs. To set intentions for your fullest potential to be realized. To celebrate life in all its intricacies. In many ways, it is very yogic: ahimsa- nonviolence, svadhyaya- self study, planting a bija- seed of intention, ananda- bliss, vairāgya- letting go.

You have the opportunity right NOW to celebrate how great you are and the greatness left to be tapped into in your life. You can ALWAYS say your sorry, and begin again. In every death, their is a birth. My intention and practice this week is to satiate life. To enjoy every moment to the fullest, and look forward to the potential I have yet to fulfill.

This post is in no way to be about religion, but about humanity. Take this week to celebrate YOU, celebrate your life, where you have come from and where you are going. Celebrate those in your life that contribute to its sweetness. Some ways you can celebrate this week:

1. eat apples and honey to represent the sweetness of life (oh and go apple picking to get them :)).

2. drink lots of wine with lots of people you love (for real, this is like part of it) and cheers to the gift of life, and the gift of each other.

3. fill your pockets with slips of paper that have memories, thoughts or suggestions of things in the past year you would like to let go of, or forgive yourself for. Drop them into a fire, a river or even a trash can and LET THEM GO.

4. write a card to someone you have wronged and fully apologize for your trespass against them. Really apologize and expect nothing in return, other than to forgive yourself.

Here’s to today, and an amazing year ahead. Cheers to celebrating your amazing life!

 

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