“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year, but that we should have a new soul.” ~ G.K. Chesterton
Rosh Hashanah is, in essence, the Jewish New Year, and the first of the High Holy Days. Traditionally on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, many Jewish people practice a ceremony known as Tashlich, or “casting off”. In this ceremony the previous year’s sins are symbolically cast off by emptying one’s pockets into a river, stream, or pond as a prayer is recited. (Often small pieces of bread are placed in the pockets for this purpose.) This ritual serves as a tangible reminder of the desire to make a change for the better in the year ahead.
Each of us can borrow from this tradition to aid in our own renewal. Much of the time there are things that we carry with us that weigh us down spiritually and hinder our progression in the direction of growth and renewal. Consider whether there are regrets that you may be holding on to that you would benefit from releasing. Are you ready to let them go? Allow yourself to release those burdens that may be weighing on your soul, whether by creating your own ritual to symbolically represent the release, or by simply sitting quietly and acknowledging them in conjunction with your desire to cast them off. In this way you can take a step forward toward renewing your spirit.