rosh hashanah reminder: increasing our vision to opinion ratio

yes, the turning of the leaves has begun. autumn is coming. 

yesterday was the end of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

(l'shanah tovah, if you celebrate. may it be a good year, a sweet year, and a year of increasing justice for us all.)

we're in New Hampshire this week (we'll be in Montreal for Yom Kippur) and amazingly, we found a synagogue here that we immediately connected with on a spiritual level (M and R went for Shabbat services before Rosh Hashanah and the Rabbi extended a personal invitation to join them for High Holidays).

both of Rabbi Jon Spira-Savett's sermons resonated with me, but yesterday's really clicked into place as something I needed to hear. he spoke of the idea of a vision opinion ratio - the amount of vision (dreams for the future) that one expresses vs the amount of opinions (short pithy rants) one writes (especially on social media). and that increasing our ratio by focusing more on our visions would be a way to find more hope and more joy in our lives (and to help towards tikkun olam, repairing the world).

now, keeping in mind that my opinions are almost never short or pithy (for real, lol), this was something that caught my attention because I've been finding myself in a social network/ creative rut this year.

because you see, my vision for the future has always been artistic. whether it's writing or art or a mixture of the two, that's how I envision my dreams for the future. and most of my socializing has been online since at least the early 2000s.

(livejournal, you are missed. oh, I know you still exist, but it's not the same.)

and this year, and last, that's been increasingly difficult to access. or at least, to post about on social media.

(instagram, in particular, continues to feels increasingly less personal. is it because the algorithm changed? or because of the push towards "influencers" dominating the feed? I don't know. but there's no replacement, the way instagram replaced facebook for me. last year, I circumvented that by posting my 365 project daily on my blog, but this year, my 365 project is private - I'm doing short daily video clips - though I have been posting a monthly collection of the clips to my instagram.)

yes, I am always working on maintaining my hope. and am working on trust. but... yeah. it's still difficult to access a non-reactionary vision of the future when one needs to be able to react to what is happening for survival purposes. as an empath, so much of my energy these days goes into survival. there is so much pain - excess pain - being created in the world right now. on purpose. and as a side effect. all that pain fills me with dread and anxiety and grief. and here I am, in my grief, finding my way through the world.

and this is how it has been for a long time. all of my life that I can remember.

the grief of the world hit me earlier than most people, maybe. so I've been told. I had friends die when I was young. I had asthma attacks that scared me. but I think my empathy - my being able to *be* inside other people's lives - is the key factor. there is so much grief in the world. and so much love. and as an empath, I feel both.

and that's one reason why art and writing (especially poetry) has always been so important to me. as a way of navigating the grief of the world and envisioning a better future.

so. note to self: remember to add more vision into my life. more poetry. more art. remember that adapting to circumstances doesn't always mean being completely reactionary. it also means looking ahead.

(and looking behind to see what worked in the past.)

thank you, Rabbi Jon, for the reminder.

(and possibly for sparking my next word of the year!)