In this week’s episode of my podcast, Wrestling and Dreaming, I shared a personal story and a prayer for the New Year. I encourage you to listen to the podcast but I wanted to share the prayer here.

I wrote the prayer in 2011 in celebration of the completion of my goal which I set for myself when I was 12, to be in all 50 states. It took 45 years but I succeeded!

I hope that you will find it thought provoking as we continue with the process of teshuva, repentance in anticipation of the New Year:

May we find meaning and inspiration all over the map this year.

In tribute to New Hampshire, the Granite State, may we be strong as a rock when faced with the difficulties and the tribulations of life. May we, in Bob Dylan’s words, have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift. May we face the world with stubbornness and determination.

In tribute to Pennsylvania, the Keystone State, may we recognize the important and essential elements of our lives, those elements which hold our lives together, and protect them and nurture them. 

In tribute to Wisconsin, the Badger State, may we finally learn to stop annoying ourselves and others with constant complaints and criticism. We should let old arguments or disappointments go, find ways to offer gentle constructive criticism and always hold a mirror up before ourselves. But, we should also give ourselves a break because badgering ourselves can sometimes be as bad as badgering others.

And, then, in tribute to Tennessee, the Volunteer state, may we take the time we save from not badgering ourselves and others and use that time to make the lives of others better, volunteering our time, our energy, our resources to make this a better world. 

And when we take a break from volunteering, in tribute to Kentucky, the bluegrass state, let us take pleasure in the music that moves us: whether opera, rock, country or whatever. May we find our lives calmed and sweetened by the melodies and rhythms life presents to us. And if you’re not a music lover and the garden is more your style of a place to relax, you can thank New Jersey for that inspiration. 

In tribute to Montana, the treasure state, may we always recognize that life is a treasure and one to be cherished and embraced at all times.

And, in tribute to Oklahoma, the Sooner State, may we stop procrastinating and make these changes now. 

Finally, in celebration of Alaska, may we never think we’ve reached the last frontier for no matter what accomplishments we have achieved, no matter how many goals we’ve attained, no matter how many long standing objectives we’ve crossed off our list, there is always another goal and another dream waiting around the next bend in the road. 

Shana Tova to everyone.


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