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Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Elul 12 - A New Start During Elul - by Sharon Weissman
One day I truly lost my cool and began yelling at my husband, Alan. Don’t even remember what it was about. All of a sudden, I saw myself blowing up like a huge balloon while Alan was shrinking, getting smaller. I realized that I was taking up way too much space! The phrase, “no more than my space, no less than my place” came into my mind. I also heard the sentence: “Anger starts in madness and ends in regret.” Both these phrases helped me calm down and apologize profusely. This visceral education in humility/Anavah was in part due to Rabbi Andrea Goldstein’s monthly Tikkkun Middot (Repair of Character) classes where we learned Mindfulness Meditation. Also this past year I was in a Mussar class taught by Cyndee Levy, a CAJE teacher. We studied with a partner about one Middah, character trait, such as anger and practiced how to improve ourselves.
I will be downsizing and moving to a smaller, one story home in September. I am finished with decluttering my belongings and sold my house. This month of Elul will afford me the opportunity to practice some of the things I learned this past year: being in silence, meditating, writing, and paying closer attention to the character traits I want to improve.
This quote at the bottom of my email “The art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on,” by Havelock Ellis, matches the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s theme for Elul which is “Letting Go.” What a surprise…it seems that I am surrounded by this concept! There must be much emet, or truth in these words.
I am a work in progress and hope to continue to learn how to be a human BEING, not a human DOING.
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