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Blending Spirituality with Psychology for Positive Change in the New Year - the Observation of Elu

During Elul, the month before Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year) we are to focus on introspection and repentance, with a specific plan of action for improving our life in the new year ahead. It is a time to come back to where we have made mistakes and start anew, with an enlightened attitude and more positive approach toward the situation. It is a time to reflect and ask for forgiveness from those whom we have trespassed upon.

It is believed that Rosh Hashana is for all people, not just the Jewish. Christians often refer to this time as the Feast of Trumpets. Regardless of your belief or background, there is a loving, forgiving energy available to us right now that helps us gently correct ourselves and ask for forgiveness where it is needed; getting us back on the path of our soul’s purpose.

Following are some tools to direct your focus as you work in this month ahead. These tools can be used at any time of the year.

Observe the following:

1 - Make a list of the qualities, behaviors, habits and/or situations that you would like to improve in the new year ahead:

2 - Looking back on the previous list, now write about how you would like to see the new year ahead of you play out. Think in unlimited ways! Consider the things that might hold you back from reaching your goals and plan for how you will handle the obstacles from a positive approach.

3 - Now, list the steps and actions that are you are willing to take in order to make your life look like what you have described above. As you do this, focus on what you might need to change or improve in your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual life; examining yourself thoroughly.


4 - Looking at item number one above, make a list of characteristics you are willing to work on or give away this year. Also make a separate list of negative situations or interactions that have occurred in the last year that you wish to release yourself from. What you write here becomes your “Burn Lists”. Later, you can burn two candles to ceremonially clear yourself of what you no longer need and then to draw to yourself that which you desire.

First, light a candle and (safely!) ignite the Burn Lists while asking for release of your negative traits. Ask also for forgiveness from any negativity or wrong you have caused others.

Now light the second candle and present a written Plan of Action as to how you choose to positively handle yourself and stressful situations in the future. Ask God to help you with your goals and actions (item three above) for positive changes in the new year.

5 - Looking at item 2 above, use this list to meditate upon that which you wish to see happening in your life this next year. Continue meditating on your goals throughout the year.

Think about areas of your life in which you would like to see improvement or increased focus, such as financial, relationships, education, career, creativity, relaxation , family , etc. Make sure to include your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self into this vision. Take actions to support your goals and take care of all the parts of yourself. Always meditate with a “IN THE HIGHEST GOOD FOR ALL” attitude.

6 - Use what you have written about in item three above to keep you committed to your change. Create a journal for the new year and visit it daily to measure your success and make changes as necessary. This should help keep you balanced. Give thanks and recognition every time you see improvements, no matter how small!

And reach out for help when you feel you need it to reach your goals. We are all here to support each other!

I would love to hear your reactions or comments on this topic. Leave a comment below :)

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