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Friday, June 23, 2017

I am Alive

Written by  Rabbi Jan Dodi

Some days I wake up filled with strength and vigor. I can do anything. I can be the best that is inside me. Then, there are the days when I wake up and feel that I am defeated before I start. Wow! I sometimes forget to say “Thanks, I am awake” until I reach for my kippah (head cover). It reminds me that there is something so much greater than I am. My day begins with gratitude– the reminder works.

What about you? Do you have a reminder that you should be grateful for a new day? Is there something in your morning ritual that helps you get started with a positive attitude?

When confronted by “seekers” as to what they should do or say or pray, I try to help them find something that is a part of their daily routine. We sit and talk. What are they seeking? What is missing in their daily life? What do they need? Why have they asked? And, more importantly, why have they asked me?

Most seekers are looking for me to show them that there is a “true path” to spirituality. Unfortunately, there is no one true path. Each of us needs to do our own search. As you may know from previous columns, I often suggest we start with gratitude each day. But then what? Where does inspiration come from? The Psalmist says: “I look to the mountains from where will my help come…” (Psalm 121). The Psalmist states that help will come from the Lord. I believe that the help we need most comes from our beliefs, our yearnings, and the spirit that lives in each of us. If your belief system is in-sync with the Psalmist, good for you. You have one up on many of us. But if that is not your belief, or you are still struggling to find the path that works for you, don’t despair.

There are so many paths to take. Maybe this is the right time for you to start your personal journey. So, if you ready, here are some ideas. Find one thing that brings you joy. Maybe it is a phrase or a picture. Put it where you will see it first thing in the morning when you get up. Look at it and see how you feel. Acknowledge that feeling. Remember, you woke up. So, even if you feel bad, recognize it. Each day is a gift, it may not feel like it, but it is. Try to find something to be grateful for – anything.

If you pray, say a prayer. If you meditate, take a time to meditate before you begin your morning ritual. How about exercise? Or just a great cup of coffee? What I am suggesting is that you try to change your attitude through something that works for you. If you don’t know what that is, keep trying new things.

We can make each day be the very best or we can just go through the paces. We can use new tools to help turn things around or muddle through. We have the power. If you are a seeker, still searching, keep it up until you find a path that works for you. We all have the ability to make our lives whole, happy, and fulfilled. It all starts when we wake up each day. Try making it the best you can.

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