I recently moved out of the city and into a new home in the country, well, I mean Westchester. It's not a coincidence that soon after I moved, the new Jewish year began. Yes, it's a time for renewal, which for me includes some milk and honey to bring about a delicious year and learning how to live with someone.
The good news is that my partner is neater than I am. The bad news is that he is neater than I am. He actually takes a few hours to clean for the maid. What guy does that? Also, I wondered if I could handle my move away from the buzz of city life to the buzz of crickets. Some country critters can be louder than a city cab.
However, this is a time of year when we can do a little reboot on our lives to start the new year off on the right foot. Here are a few ways to reassess, reawaken and recharge so we can take on the year and make it a sweet one.
Let Go of the Past
Phillip Namanworth, a spiritual teacher, explains that "Our sages tell us that when the old year ends, all of the energy of that year returns to its source; and a totally new energy, that has never been before, enters our lives with the first shofar blast of Rosh HaShana." But how can we hold all that energy and use it? Phillip says we need to make room for it. Unload psychological clutter and stop holding on to the past or focusing on what is wrong. Ask yourself, "What can I do to move forward and keep growing this year?"
Eat Grounding Foods in Season
My friend Donna Sonkin reminds me that we build our bodies with each bite we take. She says that the best way to renew yourself is to eat foods that are in season and have a "grounding" energy because they grow in the earth. Think parsnips, turnips, carrots and sweet potatoes, leeks, winter squash and pumpkin. Donna says, "The power-house nutrients in these foods will yield a 'renewed' healthy you, full of vitality and purpose."
Keep it Clean and Environmentally Friendly
Give yourself a full-day, or three, to organize and clean your home. When you clean and get rid of things you don't need, you make room for new things and opportunities to come into your life. I also discovered that living in a country home means staying on bug alert. Good thing I met JP McHale out here who uses the best environmentally friendly products. He tells me, "Effective pest control is not just about killing bugs. It is about peace of mind, scientific expertise, immediate response and protecting this great earth we all live in."
Cheat On Your Partner
My friend Andrea Syrtash just released her latest book, "Cheat On Your Husband (With Your Husband)" and I'm taking it to heart. Syrtash tells me, "We always think in terms of huge changes when we talk about relationship renewal; but it's the little things that make people feel connected or disconnected. Research shows we need five positive interactions to negate just one negative exchange -- so keep the positive exchanges flowing."
Check In On Work Goals
Career and life coach Kristina Leonardi reminds us that what we do for a living consumes the majority of our time and energy; make sure this year you are profiting from work you love. Kristina recommends re-assessing your current job situation: Do you contribute your natural talents and abilities in a meaningful way, or does it at least provide the means which allow you to pursue your passions after hours? If the answer is no, it's time to make a change. Use these questions as a starting point to determine the priorities for your paychecks in the year ahead.
Tell us! How are you starting this year off right?
Follow Ilana Donna Arazie on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ilanadonna