Wow, what an eventful year it has been, and now is the perfect time to reflect on everything I can be grateful for and the lessons learned over the course of the past year…
I discovered my love for music even more through sound healing and chakra dancing after the Chakra Dancing retreat I attended last April. Aside from meeting some lovely people on the course, it helped me to reconnect with my peace and joy within, the person I am becoming and all things musical which is my joy. It inspired me to get in tune with my own energy, and also to practice Qi Gong which I do my best to practice regularly as it brings me calm and peace alongside regular meditation, working out at the gym, doing pilates and singing karaoke-style with my community group or in my local Rock Choir. It also inspired me to start playing my flute again which was on pause after my Mum passed away the year before. I now love all things related to energy healing and this year, I have been slowly building upon my self-care practices that I find very therapeutic and calming amongst the chaos of my everyday life.
This year has been a big test of my resilience and finding out who I am at my core.
I never gave up – I got a new job! I had lots of interviews, which was a positive thing of course – showing that my CV and covering letter was in order – but at the same time, I did get a lot of rejections which I had to digest. After feedback, if received, or based on my own intuition, I did my best to work out what went wrong, forgive myself where need be, and learned to get myself back up again into “my big girl’s pants”. Each time, I learned a lesson or two – the rest was mostly out of my control when it came to managing interview nerves and whether the company liked or resonated with me and the person I am. After each application and each interview, I strengthened my resolve to be able to make the progress I needed to be able to catch the employer’s attention, improving my tactics, reading new inspiring books and making my answers better each time. In the process, I created a mammoth interview preparation document which was a great help to me!
To top it off, aside from still grieving the loss of my Mum (an ongoing process) and looking for a new job, my faith was tested big time this year.
My heart and spirit were cracked open this year after the terrible atrocities and massacre that happened in Israel on October 7th in Kibbutz Be’eri that were totally unjustified and inhumane beyond words, and since then, the evil of antisemitism that has spread across the UK and world.
Never have I felt so much hate in the world for being the Jewish person (and human being) that I am. Never also at the same time have I felt so much love and gratitude for the core essence of who I am, my Jewish spiritual being, and the values I hold close to my heart alongside my extended Jewish family all over the world and in Israel who are suffering.
I don’t know how anyone can comprehend, celebrate or salute this kind of inhumanity, the sheer evil of terrorism that has been bestowed upon innocent people (children, babies and toddlers included), the evil that antisemitism has led to again. Never again was history supposed to ever repeat itself, especially after the Holocaust where 6 million men, women and children were killed and tortured purely because they were Jewish. Never again is now, and digesting all of that has been very tough.
I’ve felt a whole host of emotions these past few months, but overall, it has been a really humbling experience and if anything, it has made me really feel such gratitude for being alive and allowed me to delve deeper into all that I love about being Jewish.
Even though I’m not religious, being Jewish is the spiritual essence of who I am which brings me joy and lights me up inside. It’s who I’m proud to be and nothing will ever change that. Whilst being surrounded by so much hate, I have learned to appreciate all those who love me as I am, and all the love generally that is around me, and the good people that there are in the world, because there are many. They just aren’t shouting as loudly as the haters.
All I see now is that we all have an obligation to speak out, to speak our truth, to spread the joy, peace and love that we want to see in this world in the future. This is the choice we all need to make if we are to preserve the values we hold as a collective of humanity, whatever race, gender, nationality you are.
I pray more people will speak out in 2024 against all the hate and antisemitism being spread all over London, UK and worldwide. Jewish people or Israelis cannot do this alone. I pray that the world as a whole finds its moral compass. Let’s do what is within our control and support the good in this world – allow the light to rise up and shine brightly so that humanity can thrive.
Here’s my New Year Message to you:
In my ideal world, I would love everyone to embrace the concept of the Shamash in 2024, like the master candle that lights all the other candles during the 8 days of Chanukah, the Jewish festival of lights that we celebrated in December.
As well as during Chanukah, I believe we can all embrace this concept throughout the whole year too – you don’t need to be Jewish! You just need to be human and love humanity, every part of it.
It’s time for everyone to step up and light our own flames so that we can find our way out of the darkness and be a source of inspiration for others to do the same. This is what I want to see more within myself and what I want to see much more of in the world around me too.
“For though my faith is not your’s and your faith is not mine, if we are each free to light our own flame, together we can banish some of the darkness of the world” late Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks
Be the Shamash, be the master flame that lights up the lives around you, light your way through the darkness.
Ignite your own light within, ignite that which brings you joy and all that brings you gratitude and light.
Shine your light even brighter whatever faith or religion you are, whatever your beliefs💡It simply doesn’t matter anymore. Be the light in whatever way suits you.
JOY is the key word I will be focusing on this year as this is what in my mind will help bring more light, increase faith, and bring peace and healing to myself and the world. Joy is the foundation of it all.
Let’s make 2024 an amazing year filled with all that we desire, pray for and all the love and compassion we can nurture within ourselves to create a better world on the outside 🙏 ❤️