Resolve to Be Mendful in 2018

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We are the clay, and life, the potter’s hands.

Life changes and shapes us into what we are over our lifetime. Remember the times you softly surrendered into the hands of change like soft clay and allowed life to transform you? And do you also remember how at other times your vessel cracked or broke?

Leonard Cohen says: “There is a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in.” The Japanese design concept called Kintsugi, repairing broken pottery with liquid metal, makes them more beautiful by highlighting the cracks and the place of mending. Rabbinic lore from 2000 years ago tells us the broken Tablets; Moses broke when he saw the people built a golden calf and worship it, when he came down from Mount Sinai the first time, are kept in the Ark of the Covenant along with the second Tablets engraved with the 10 commandments.

These are all beautiful inspirations to encourage us to embrace our brokenness, to stop hiding our humanity and to stop avoiding a fuller life. All brokenness, imperfections and pain are parts of our lives. Instead of living afraid to make mistakes, contemplate how you could live more mendfully this year. Instead of being afraid of breaking, although we have been broken before and survived, and are surely to break and hurt again. With it all, can we resolve to love ourselves, to embrace others, brokenness, scars and all?

I am writing this as we are entering a new year, 2018. I want to remind us not to begin a new year with a list of all the ways we are not good enough, broken, wrong and disappointing. You know what I’m talking about, the practice of making New Year’s resolutions, harshly aiming to fix all that is wrong and unacceptable in us.

But aren’t you doing the same each year and fail? You make a list and very quickly forget it and feel disappointed in yourself? Adding more bad feelings and shame and blame onto the pile of what’s wrong with you already. Turns out that instead of growing self love and being helpful, we grow self hatred and discontent in each passing year. Can we resolve to not use self deprecating and hating statements in an attempt to improve? How about resolving to include only resolutions that resonate as expression of the following: I love you and I care for you. We can try to apply changes, but also remember to not try so hard, guarding against causing more breaking instead of cultivating mending.

Please proceed with caution and be gently to avoid causing more harm within you and around you, even if it means not improving and stepping slowly into making big changes. Unless we all take the mendful path, choosing at each step to mend, no real healing and change will be possible.

Consider your motivations and set the right conditions. Use affirmations to bring you back to love and care and follow the words with healthy actions to mend body, heart, mind and spirit.

I wish us all a mendful 2018!

I am here to help you individually and in groups, virtually, online and in person.

I look forward to connecting with you in 2018.

Love and blessings, Rabbi Sigal

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