Judaism is only part of my spirituality. But I genuinely believe that embedded in Torah is great insight and guidance for self-transformation and development. Most of us have embedded in our brains Bible stories and imagery from childhood. But deeper Torah raises lots of questions and challenges that can help you shape your now, and your becoming.
There’s an arc to the evolution of souls: your getting from creation to whatever’s your version of a promised land. Last week, the first thing Noah did after escaping annihilation was to get drunk and have sex. Ooops. Like eating a brownie an hour after starting a diet.
This week, the first thing we’re told is that Abraham is to leave the house of his parents and the land of his birth. He’s to set out for somewhere new and unknown. It’s a metaphor for walking away from what in your past defines you too closely. Whatever constrains your ability to grow and evolve. An instruction to leave behind your old habits. To prepare for the possibility of the new. To change without knowing what will come. But because you are ready to embrace the possibility and importance of making that shift.
Most of us have screwed up. Usually not just once. For our core issues – – love, food, money, or deeper — screwing up is probably familiar territory. Now’s a great time to begin to make a shift. Maybe not packing and calling u-Haul, but by doing something that feels potentially as important. Deciding to make a fundamental shift in the shape of your reality, your daily life, and your beliefs.
The first big step is self-scrutiny. The next, deciding what to change. Everything after is follow through. Aiming yourself in a different direction. Then continuing, step by step. Making your life about who you want to become, not who you have been.
In the beginning, the changes don’t have to be huge, or even consistent. Even doing one thing differently every other day will begin to increase your awareness. Consider every act a choice.
If you’re like most of us, you won’t walk in a straight line. You might go sideways, in circles, even backwards, for days, weeks, or longer. But each step is a step away from the old, a new step on your journey. Self-reinforcing and invigorating when you succeed.
It’s much easer to see other people’s paths. Your friends’, partner’s, or family’s. You have the perspective and vision to see quicksand two steps or two months ahead of them much sooner than they seem able to. You can see them looping around, not knowing they just veered way off course. (They can do the same for you.) It’s harder to see that clearly for yourself.
Life is such a fascinating and tenuous mix of insight and knowing, intention and awareness. We make greater progress when we add in faith. Believing in yourself is a great starting point.
That’s how change should begin. An energized mix of vision and focus. Sep by step it leads to manifesting. Anticipation and determination. Acknowledging the difficulty of change, but committed to trying. All your doing counterbalanced by the receptivity of an open heart.
Step by step.