Tonight we mark the passing of another year in the Gregorian calendar as we welcome the new year of 2016.
Many of us make commitments at this time: resolutions to change, to improve ourselves, to do things better.
As we do so, may I suggest one simple commitment, which can cover many others, and that is a commitment to life, a commitment to being fully alive.
A few weeks ago, we read the Torah portion Vayigash in which Joseph repeatedly asks if his father is alive. Joseph’s question, however, didn’t mean: “Is his body here?” The question was actually meant: “Is he truly alive?”
But we are all alive, right? We exist. Ask anybody. We go to work during the day. We come home at night. We are with our family. We can see, smell, think, taste, touch… Of course, we are alive. Right?
But how much of our time is spent in really choosing, in really advancing towards our potential as human beings, in using the time we’ve been given to further our spiritual growth?
Joseph wasn’t talking about the physical life of the body. Joseph was talking about that time we live that is not robotic. Can we say that we enjoy the company of those close to us, that we have contributed something to the bigger picture? Can we say that we have learned to open our heart and to love those around us? Can we say that we have recognized the negativity within us and have done our best to transform it into something beautiful?
As we enter this new year, I challenge you to commit to life; to commit to living with consciousness; to commit to shaking off all the fears that bind you, to releasing all those hidden dark elements from your heart, to moving forward with love towards your bright potential, not only for your own benefit but for the benefit of all the world.
Wishing you and yours a year of consciousness, Light, and transformation.