Posts Tagged ‘fall’

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Babka and the New Year

September 25, 2018

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As often is the case, I stormed into fall with an agenda the size of the Great Pumpkin. But in spite of my overreaching goals and the stress that comes with over-commitment, I love fall. For me, it’s a high energy time, offering great possibility. It begins with a nervous tingle in my tummy, flashing back to early school mornings; organizing papers and picking new pens, and moves into a fresh, clean slate.

This past week, my husband and I hosted a dinner on Yom Kippur—the holiest of Jewish holidays. Unlike my husband, I’m not Jewish, but it is a time I’ve come to honor. The day is spent in prayer while fasting, and the dinner is appropriately named ‘break-fast.’ Living in a small mountain town means our community of Jewish friends is also small. But we gather. For break-fast, friends bring dishes easy on a starved stomach. My husband makes quiche (or buys it in a pinch), and I bake sweet bread. Someone brings bagels, lox, and whitefish while another makes kugel; a sweet and creamy noodle dish. There are platters of fruit, often a salad, cheesecakes and babka. As a breakfast girl, it is by far one of my favorite dinners of the year. But the real meaning behind break-fast is not the food; it’s a time to reflect and repent; then share, in community, the freshness of a new year.

Some say Yom Kippur is a day to atone for your sins, but this shiksa doesn’t believe in original sin, so I maintain a different spin. For me, all days should have elements of forgiveness, compassion, and gratitude, not one day a week or one day a year. I like to think of Yom Kippur as a crowning day—a day to honor ALL the days of forgiveness, compassion, and gratitude.

And it is a day to forgive myself.

I often fail at a lot of things; my writing, my parenting, my meditation practice, my wellness. I’m not always so gentle with myself during times of failure. I self-sabotage my plans and nurture bad habits instead of healthy ones. But in the failure, I learn. I’m humbled. And after, I pick myself up and begin again.

This year, I hope to confront failure with forgiveness and find compassion for myself as well as for others. I’m filled with gratitude for having grown, making the failures hurt a little less.

As I write, noshing on leftover babka and sip sweet tea, I surprise myself—I’m cultivating a new practice; divinely inspired by fall. Gratitude.

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Summer’s Over? Say It’s Not So! Okay, Go Ahead.

September 16, 2013

No one likes the end of summer. Every year I fight its demise. But once I feel autumn’s breeze and watch the way Aspen leaves transform into pats of golden butter, I surrender. September in the Rocky Mountains is nothing short of fabulous.

For me, fall brings new energy, and my attention focuses on writing projects. This year there are new starts: I’m teaching at a community college, editing more work for others, and running new workshops. However, after a summer hiatus from working on my manuscript, I’m most excited about my renewed creativity and look forward to the revision process, even if it the 77th edition.

I recently finished reading IMAGINE, by John Lehrer. He researches the creative process by running experiments and interviewing people in diverse fields. A common denominator in his research is evident—highly successful creative people need a break.

Be gone, guilt!

The mind doesn’t function creatively one hundred percent of the time. It needs time to recharge, just like your body might after running a marathon (not that I’ve ever been crazy enough to attempt 26 miles on foot). After a rest, the brain is recharged and can reflect outside the box.

Lesson learned from my summer of fun? It’s worth it. The mind needs a rest. If you’re stuck in a rut, have writer’s block, or are too just damn tired to think, take a break. Results will happen when you return. Trust.