Now that Rosh HaShanah has passed, we are in the period leading up to Yom Kippur. This ten day period at the start of the civil year is known as the Days of Awe. This is a time of making teshuvah or returning to or building right relationship with ourselves, others, and the Universe. But how, exactly do we do that?
The High Holy Days are a time of introspection and self reflection. It’s a time when we look into ourselves and make an honest assessment of how we have been living over the past year. Yom Kippur is “the big day” of atonement when we list our shortcomings, but we can’t wait until that day to start thinking of it. If we waited until Yom Kippur to start looking at how we lived over the past year, we would miss some things that we may want to change.
In that vein, here are eight questions to help you with your self assessment of the past year.
- At what times during the past year did I sleep through world events?
- What do I want to be awake for in this new year?
- In what ways and for what misdeeds do I need to forgive myself?
- Whom do I need to forgive for transgressions against me?
- Whom and from what do I need to seek forgiveness from?
- What do I want to commit myself to in this new year?
- To what did I dedicate myself to over the past year?
- How can I nurture the relationships in my life this year?
- What is one thing I can do to nurture my relationship to the Universe?
- What do I want written on my tombstone and how can I begin living that way now?
You don’t have to answer each of these to start building right relationship. Which of these questions is calling to you? Comment below and let me know.
And, L’Shanah Tovah!