Tomorrow we welcome Rosh Hashanah and with it the beginning of a new year. At this time, the potential we have to create or re-create our own lives is at its peak. Rosh Hashanah, or “the head of the year,” falls on the first day in the month of Libra. The gift of Libra is balance, justice, and harmony and throughout this month we benefit from seeing all sides of ourselves, of others, and of situations with clear and compassionate eyes.
Who doesn’t want more harmony and balance?
Kabbalah is different from many other spiritual studies in that Kabbalah is a verb. It means “to receive,” but being receptive is no easy feat. Receiving is not passive, it is something we have to choose and we only receive to the degree that we choose to receive. For example, anyone reading this woke up this morning and that is a blessing. But did everyone reading this really receive that blessing? To receive we have to be aware, to acknowledge the blessings around us, and to feel the joy and wellbeing that come with that. We have to be an active participant in receiving and often that involves embracing one my favorite things: change.
If there is something in your life you do not like, you have all the power to change it. I should be clear here I’m speaking less about the thing that changes and more about what changes within you. Just like the change that happens when instead of begrudgingly snoozing your morning alarm, you wake up consciously aware not only of the blessing of another day but with excitement about the positive impact you can make. This creates a shift from desiring for the self alone to desiring to be like the Creator, desiring to receive in order to share.
When we are led by this kind of desire, we can create our reality anew beyond what we ever thought possible. “How do I do that?” You might ask. Good news! It can be summed up in one word.
Putting this word into daily action is the swiftest path to transformation available to us. It is a magic wand, it is connective tissue, a healing and inspiring power like no other. The kabbalists even say that consistent kindness is the surest way to achieve everything you ever wanted.
A few years ago I injured my foot and I was admittedly struggling with getting into the right headspace for the surgery I needed. I was in the weeds, as the saying goes. I like that turn of phrase and for those who haven’t heard the expression, it essentially means to be immersed or entangled in details or complexities. One day, leaving the gym after doing an ankle-friendly work-out, one of my friends asked me about my prognosis.
I responded, telling her about the impending surgery—the one that had me in the mental weeds! Enthusiastically, she exclaimed “WOW! They can fix it! That is incredible, I’m so happy for you.”
How many of us would have responded with joy over hearing that someone requires surgery? I think the usual response is gentle concern or even condolences. But in this case, she shared genuine joy that my injury could be fixed and what’s more, it entirely shifted my perspective. “Right! It can be fixed! That is pretty incredible.” And just with a few simple words of kindness, everything shifted for me.
That is the transformative power of kindness. My husband Michael shares that “when you act with kindness and charity of spirit towards others, then the blessings of… kindness, come to you; as we behave in our thoughts, actions, and words towards other people is how the Creator behaves towards us, and is the type of Light and energy that we draw to ourselves.” When we act with kindness, we are aligned with the Light, the very place from which all desires are manifest.
Just as my gym friend offered a kindness that shifted my perspective so thoroughly, I was reminded of the power of my own kindness. One kind word from me could be all it takes to encourage a person to take the plunge, be courageous, or pursue a dream that terrifies them. We all have the opportunity to change someone else’s life every single day, and sometimes only with a few words.
During Rosh Hashanah we have an opportunity to get really clear about what we want to call into our lives. However, it is just as important to think about who we are being on the way to fulfilling our desires. Can we manifest success without kindness? Sure we can. But will it bring us the fulfillment and joy that we are actually seeking? Absolutely not. It is through kindness that we become an active participant in the manifestation of our best life. Kindness is a creative force because it, very literally, changes us… and those around us.
Desire is a gift from the Creator and as you reflect on your desires for the upcoming year, tie them closely to the kindness within your heart. For the next 365 days, when you have the opportunity to be kind, be kind. When you have the opportunity to give, give. Share your kindness every chance you get, even and especially when you don’t want to share it. Make kindness a fierce practice every day and watch as your desires arrive in the most unexpected and powerful ways.