Each holiday is a powerful and important cosmic window offering specific energies. Yom Kippur begins next Tuesday at sundown, and we can connect to that energy and harness it in our lives. On Yom Kippur, we want to direct our consciousness to that of overwhelming joy, gratitude, and positivity.
Here are four powerful commitments you can make during this window in time:
1) Commit to kindness.
We are the ones who decide what the year will bring for us. Perhaps through our combined efforts to care and be there for each other more, we can tip the scale towards greater positivity in the coming year, both for ourselves and for the world. Being kind, no matter what, is an excellent place to begin! If you feel your kindness slipping into judgment, choose empathy.
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” -Brad Meltzer
Anytime you meet someone, you have a choice. You can either stubbornly insist on seeing the person in relation to your own desires, wants, and needs (where you may perceive him as an obstacle or a pain in the neck). Or you can regard each person as a being just like you–one who longs for happiness and yearns to be free from pain. You have the choice to either embrace others or to cut them off by paying attention to only those aspects of behavior that may affect you at any given moment. Instead, practice consideration for what may be going on in others’ lives.
2) Connect to and honor your divine spark.
Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement” or “at-one-ment.” On this day, we disconnect from our physical needs in order to elevate our consciousness. That is why many abstain from eating, drinking, bathing, and wearing perfume. It is a time to recharge our batteries for the 12 months to come. Think of Yom Kippur as a time when any of us can sit down next to the Creator and experience the wholeness of that connection.
Yom Kippur is an opportunity to feel at one with yourself and the world. Honor the light of the Creator that exists within you and everyone. You can call it the divine spark. Start by loving and accepting yourself fully and unconditionally, just as you are today. This is a time to acknowledge how much power you have, not just over yourself but over the world around you. Too often, we underestimate how powerful we are and how much potential we have. We spend entirely too much of our focus berating ourselves for our faults and errors. We forget that we are capable of greatness. In fact, we are all capable of greatness!
3) Identify the thoughts and behaviors that put a separation between you and the Creator.
Yom Kippur brings joy to the Creator, and in turn, the Creator gives that joy back to all of us. The Creator craves closeness with us, just as we crave closeness. This is an excellent time for introspection. Identify and choose to leave behind what separates you from the Creator. For some, it’s anger. For others, it may be jealousy, greed, overeating, overspending, or over-drinking.
The desire to receive for the self alone separates us from the Creator. What connects us is the desire to receive for the sake of sharing.
Even if you don’t observe Yom Kippur in the traditional sense, you can benefit from the consciousness of atonement. One way to nullify the desire to receive the self alone is to sit quietly for a moment and isolate the specific desire that may have caused any sorrow or suffering we have inflicted on others. This is a time to take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, and we can decide to prevent their recurrence by destroying and canceling any selfish desires that caused them.
We do this not just to “fix” ourselves but to fix a piece of the entire universe.
4) Recommit to The Golden Rule.
Yom Kippur (translates as “a day like Purim”) contains a connection to Purim consciousness: the consciousness of “love your neighbor as yourself.”
This relates to the traditional greeting exchanged on Yom Kippur when we wish each other Gamar Chatima Tova, or “blessings for your year.” The message goes beyond being merely a tradition, greeting, or social nicety. It’s significant because the more people we genuinely wish well upon, the more blessings will come to us. And the more people wish us well, the more blessings they will receive. While it’s important to do our own work, it’s just as important that we assist and support others in theirs. And that’s how we start our year—helping each other!
We, alone, are responsible for the energy we put into the world. The foundation of all matter is not only energy, but thought consciousness. We can change the world just by changing how we think—not just on Yom Kippur, but on every day of the year.
Rethink moment: Imagine if every day was a little more like Yom Kippur. How would your life change if you were kind every day, no matter what? If you were at one with yourself, fully aware of your power and your potential? If you made your relationship with the Creator a top priority, and if you genuinely wished as many people as you could to find blessings, health, and happiness?