Naomi Rose: Hitting “Re-Set”

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a Yom Kippur wrap – solid white 2 in 1 with a white Dreamy Lace over it

 

Yom Kippur is a tricky day for me. If you’re curious about what this holiday means and what kind of energy it has, you should definitely check out Andrea’s amazing videos from last year and this year, which are full of inspiration and detail and provide some great food for thought. These are Jewish ideas, but really they’re about personal growth, relevant to everyone. And in a world where we’re constantly bombarded by materialism, gossip, and advertising, where we’re constantly being told that fame and money are the only real definitions of success… personal growth has never been harder.

I didn’t grow up religious and the idea of a season of judgement at the beginning of each year, where G-d reviews everyone’s actions, never sat well with me. It wasn’t that I thought I should be able to get away with doing whatever I wanted, it was just the idea of G-d as this Santa-Claus-like entity dealing out promotions or tragedies like presents or coal into a kid’s stocking. What kind of a concept was that?

I understand where my frustration was coming from, but of course I was getting a lot of things wrong. I have a bit more perspective now about what’s going on at this time of year, and how I can relate to it in a way that makes sense.

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simple white clothing for services

As little kids, we never hesitate to ask for a “do-over” when we try something and it goes wrong the first time. If we fall off the bike, we don’t assume we’ll never learn how to ride it. We just cry about it, wash off the scrapes, and then eventually get back on. As adults, sometimes we lose this sense of confidence and control over our actions. We become more passive. If we try something and fail, we start to think that maybe it’s not for us. If we have a rough time in a relationship, it doesn’t take long before we consider breaking up. If we don’t get the job we were hoping for, we start to think we might not have what it takes to make it in that field.

This passivity is a creeping disease. We put ourselves in danger of never finding out our true potential in life, of never becoming the person that we want to be.

The purpose of Yom Kippur, and the days leading up to it, is to prevent that. The practice that some people have of wearing white for the holiday alludes to this. The white represents a blank slate. A reset button. A “do-over.” It’s not about sitting there waiting for G-d to dole out our fate for next year. That’s the passive version, and it’s completely wrong. This is an active time. It’s a time to figure out the difference between the trajectory we’re currently on, and the trajectory that will actually take us where we want to go in life. It’s about taking tiny little steps, but in a new and better direction. And then when we reach Yom Kippur, we can confidently say: I’m hitting “re-set.” I’m not the same person anymore; I’m a person that’s headed for different and more fulfilling things. I’m accepting responsibility for all the mistakes I made, but deciding not to define myself by those mistakes. I’m going forward, so please send me new challenges that will teach me to be active rather than passive. Send me the learning experiences I will need in order to become the best version of myself.

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Sisters in white – an outtake from Wrapunzel’s fall photoshoot

This isn’t about asking for things we want, and then waiting to see what happens. It’s about redefining ourselves, and turning into someone new, someone whose needs are different. And the reward isn’t a promotion, or a new house, or a winning lottery ticket – that’s not the way G-d works. The reward for personal growth is a new set of circumstances: not ones that will make our lives easier, but ones that will give our lives meaning.

May we all have the strength to take that first tiny step on our new trajectory.

 

Love,

Naomi Rose

13 thoughts on “Naomi Rose: Hitting “Re-Set”

  1. Naomi Rose, I love your comments. You learned this lesson young enough to do something with it. I’m nearly 64 & only now realize what you have said is what I have been trying to understand. You and Andrea have said it so well.

    Your wrap looks like what I wore last year, except all I could get then was the off-white pashmina with the white dreamy lace over it. This year, I also bought the new white signature and ultimate shapers & will see which works best for me.

    Gmar Chatima Tova!
    Hugs,
    Diane

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful and very encouraging to all of us to keep trying and going forward to what God has planned for each of us to walk into and step up as the Sons of God. Blessings!

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  3. your post was such a wonderful, clear description of this time of year!! I hope to share your meaningful words(ideas) with lots of people so that they can grow & progress with this positive perspective. Thanks for this gift!

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  4. I also have the white shimmery, white dewdrop sparkle, and white Shiny-licious. So. I am trying to decide what to wear. Perhaps, one choice for tonight and another for tomorrow.

    What are you wearing under the white dreamy lace?

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  5. Dear Naomi, these are wonderful thoughts very well expressed. It’s sometimes funny how friends experience – independently from one another – the same things and when they meet a week later, they have made the same development. Have you made this experience? It always happens with my best friend. And now I find that – although we are Muslims, not Jews – we have gone through this same process that you describe during the last week. We have just had a deep conversation about this yesterday. This moves me a lot.

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  6. “As little kids, we never hesitate to ask for a “do-over” when we try something and it goes wrong the first time. If we fall off the bike, we don’t assume we’ll never learn how to ride it. We just cry about it, wash off the scrapes, and then eventually get back on. As adults, sometimes we lose this sense of confidence and control over our actions. We become more passive. If we try something and fail, we start to think that maybe it’s not for us. If we have a rough time in a relationship, it doesn’t take long before we consider breaking up. If we don’t get the job we were hoping for, we start to think it we might not have what it takes to make it in that field.”

    THANK YOU. Exactly what I want to hear today. Wonderful and beautifully written.

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  7. Beautiful. I also want to say how much I enjoyed the fact that this was written and not a video, because I’m really not a video person. Writing it out allowed me to access it in a way unlikely for me had it been recorded.

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  8. You have such a great no-nonsense, practical, yet deeply felt way of putting things. It is wonderful! This way of framing your words allows people from all life-paths and beliefs to receive the gift that is your religion’s Yom Kippur. Thank you. I clicked the links you gave and watched Andrea’s videos (as I know very little of Judaism, and of the special meaning of your holy times during the year). I will make sure to leave her a message of gratitude, as well.

    Women like you both are beautiful lights of hope in this world 🙂

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  9. Your insights remind me of my own travels toward being a better person, which I journey intensely during the forty days of Lent I observe. At that time, I wear purple on holy days; you wear white. Both symbolize repentance and atonement. While childhood Lent practices focused on deprivation (and for some adults, still do) the practice now is, What can I do to better myself and my world? How can I bring HaShem into my every thought and let Him use me to do His work? Reset!
    The pendulum swings back toward myself by the time Ash Wednesday arrives, beginning the Lenten season, but we have the support of our Church and each other to change. Thank you for sharing what you as a developing Jew experience on Yom Kippur. We are far more alike than different. Shalom, peace and may HaShem keep our fingers on that RESET button this year!

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