This article on the portion of the week was previously published in 2017.
It is human nature to get caught up in fearing the future or regretting the past, but never forget that your true power lies in the present.
This is especially helpful to remember whenever we are approaching a big cosmic opening, such as Rosh Hashanah, the day on which our lives will be laid bare before our Creator. In our spiritual preparation for such an event, we might find ourselves setting our sights a bit "beyond the seas," so to speak.
I've often used the example of the guy who works 50 years in a profession he doesn't even like, just so that "one day" he can retire and finally enjoy his life. But who say there is going to be a “one day”? I believe life is much more fulfilling when we recognize the miracles that are before us in each unfolding moment.
Sure, we all have aspects of our existence that we'd rather not deal with, and we might have obligations to fulfill that perhaps we'd like to skip, but even so, there is so much beauty and wonder all around us, and too often it all goes overlooked. How often do we wake up in the morning and acknowledge the blessings that are here and now? Isn't it fabulous that I can see the sunrise? Isn't it wonderful to have things to experience in a day that make me happy, however small and simple they may be?
In the portion, Nitzavim, it is written: "...it is not beyond you, nor is it remote from you. It is not in heaven. It is not across the sea. Rather, it is very near to you, in your mouth, your heart."
So while we look ahead to Rosh Hashanah and all of the spiritual opportunities within the month of Tishrei (Libra), which is definitely a positive and proactive thing to do, my advice is to, at the same time, never lose consciousness of the opportunities before you now... for isn't it all any of us ever have anyway? I am reminded of a wonderful saying from the Baal Shem Tov:
"The world is new to us every morning. This is God's gift, and every person should believe they are reborn each day."