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Flourishing, Beginning Today

January 7, 2011

Flourishing, Beginning Today:

Our book, Find Fulfill Flourish, as you may know by now, is about your personal journey. It’s about finding a direction and purpose for your life, then bringing that purpose forward and fulfilling it, leading both you and your community to flourish.

You may be experiencing this in your life today, or you may be wishing that you were on this journey. Today’s blog is dedicated to renewal for those in the former category and to inspire those in the latter. In this new year, faced with the concept of new beginnings, there is excitement. Yet the holidays are over now, and you find yourself besieged by the many duties and responsibilities that face us all each day. How can you possibly recreate your life in the midst of all that is required of you? Where do you even begin? One thing that is certain is that if you continue do what you have been doing, you will continue to have what you currently have. I had a teacher who used to speak about a difference in quantity versus a difference in quality. When left to our regular schedules, we may be able to create more – or less – of what we already have: a difference in quantity.

When we seek new meaning for our lives or to regenerate ourselves, however, we are seeking a difference in quality. This requires that we depend on resources that are outside of our regular daily regimen. It demands that we step back and shift our focus. What better time is there to move outside of what is familiar than at the beginning of a new cycle? Here are some of our recommendations:

  • You may choose to completely change your environment. Even though we’ve just completed the holiday season, you may be due a few days. If so, take them.  Get out of the city or your normal environs, and drive to a place that offers time to think and a space to do it in: exchange the buildings for trees or grains of sand. Use the time to think about your values; what truly matters to you.
  • If getting away for a few days isn’t in your current schema, take a few hours. Get a massage, or take time for yourself in your local library. Buy a journal and write in it. Or sit in front of a large window and watch the sky. Relax yourself so that you can get beneath the daily to-do list and experience the “you” underneath the busy-ness. What is it that makes your soul sing?
  • Seek guidance from one whom you consider wise. This may be someone in your field or not. It may be a family member, a spiritual leader or a teacher you can access in a class, on line or through a book. Whatever the realm, this is someone who can help you reconnect with your values or visions.
  • Do something for others. Offer your lunch hour to serve a meal at a homeless shelter, or donate your day off to the less fortunate, whether it be in your local hospital, volunteering as a tutor, helping out in sports or in the arts in your community. Find an avenue in which to serve.

Whatever avenue you choose, the point is to create breathing space and room to determine what you truly want for your life. Stepping away from the daily activities that absorb you will give you time to reflect and gain a new perspective. While doing so, take time to connect with your heart and listen to its voice, noticing what it asks and how it calls you forth to act. Our search for meaning intersects with our passions and values. This is the beginning of making a qualitative change for yourself, one that aligns with your passions and visions; one that will enable you to flourish in this new year.

Robin Damsky

Robin Damsky is the rabbi of West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest, Illinois, and co-author of Find-Fulfill-Flourish: Discover Your Purpose with LifePath GPS – a book, website, tools, and workshop series focused on guiding people toward more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

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