Rabbi Simon Jacobson of The Meaningful Life Center Guides Us Into Creating Greater Purpose, Intention and Growth in Our New Year

“Jewish mysticism contains a concept called bittul (self-nullification), which is suspending one’s self in the moment by being so focused on the present that your ego slips away. If you want to experience bittul, focus on the activity at hand without thinking of how you are feeling or what you are experiencing. For folks who can’t or won’t meditate, it’s a miracle of a mindfulness practice.”

A heightened awareness and attention during our present moment allows a freedom from the ongoing flurry of thoughts throughout our day, and allows for grace and a heightened expression of our inner flame — our spirit — to enter. Bittul offers us so much more than the sense of peace and effortless creation during this focused attention. It creates a space of greater access to infinite knowledge, heightened creative expression, non-judgmental acknowledgement of ourselves and our circumstances, and a closer connection to our divine source.

Why is this important? As a society, our minds are generally directed by a steady stream of uncontrolled thoughts which subconsciously begin to direct our choices. Sometimes this paradigm creates belief systems that we are not completely aware of, that may be presenting obstacles to greater growth, progress or improved wellness. When we more mindfully give ourselves a clean break from this process during a state of bittul, the focused attention teaches our minds that we are ultimately in control, and creates a more vast space within which to create and be connected to a higher version of ourselves born of our spirit. Your spirit was designed to be freely expressed and to have a greater capacity of connection to God and the boundless characteristics of healing, compassion, happiness, and freedom that our divine source provides.

Integrating this pause, while in total awareness of your present moment activity helps us to easier access a few crucial steps needed in order to be more fully present, purposeful, and able to design a brighter new year for ourselves. Those three things are;

→ Grace

A New Way

Discovering a way to hold the grief, uncertainty, and changes of 2020 in a place of compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, and grace is important before creating a more intentional way of being into the new year. We have learned to integrate bittul as a way to open space and bring a sense of ease and calm into this next practice.

Ask grace to enter the moment and feed the flame of your spirit. Remember that all people are unique in their perspectives, levels of understanding, and whether or not they are able to access inner wisdom. Allow grace to connect you to a place of compassion and forgiveness even for those who may have seemed to fan flames of discord. Perhaps they were driven by stress, frustration, or fear. Holding those who have lost loved ones this year in compassion — along with those who have lost their sense of security, normalcy, or even their jobs or homes — sheds our inner light onto the human vulnerabilities each of us share. Lastly, hold forgiveness and compassion for yourself. Allow grace to help you release any guilt or feelings of self-doubt. Just as you would forgive and have compassion for a misguided child or even a friend, free yourself of any doubt or misgivings with forgiveness and compassion for yourself in this manner, too.

Be Purposeful

What things will allow us to be or feel more purposeful? Begin by assessing what makes you feel satisfied, happier, or at greater ease and peace. Include these things in the intentions of what you would like to focus on or bring about in the new year so that you stay on track, with gentle guidance of our own creation.

If you have not yet created your own Personal Mission Statement as your personalized guide, use this time to craft one for yourself. Your Personal Mission Statement is a must in order for you to experience heightened direction, purpose, and more intentional living every day. It feeds your purpose and intentions, and provides guidance if ever you feel unclear or off track.

“Your personal guiding statement is key to opening doors to a life more consistently, positively focused and distanced from the negative. You must be mission-oriented and take the time needed to clarify your higher calling. Your mission describes the purpose of your life, the direction it is taking, and the larger goals you want to achieve.”

Begin by assessing what it is that feels like a calling. A calling is that thing, or things, you would always do even if you didn’t earn money for doing it — the thing you can lose yourself in. Integrate this mission into your life, include the things most important to you that show themselves as values. Let this guide your smaller moments in day-to-day living, so that you work towards the life you dream of, while making your mark in the world at the same time.

See Things Differently

Many of us have suffered in some way during the many months of the pandemic and its ensuing fears, restrictions, and loss of life. Perhaps it affected the microcosm of your own life as well. Mindfully lay these struggles aside, and reach for a higher vision of yourself that rises above perceived struggles and any grudge you may be harboring about the year.

Purposefully and intentionally guide yourself to grow through any personal challenges you may have encountered, pulling from inner reserves of strength and wisdom. See the challenges as nothing but a speed bump, taking stock of where you are and where you want to go. Challenges gift us with expanded learning, consciousness, and even more — when we retrain ourselves to see things differently. Look for the gifts, and bid adieu to 2020 with more awareness and gratitude.
Who is the you that you want to see in the new year? Allow your Personal Mission Statement to feed your vision, and help guide your choices along this new path. A new path free of challenges, guilt, or suffering and open to grace, mindfulness, purpose, and focused intention. When in doubt, remind yourself who you are with these questions: “Why am I here and what do I stand for?” Allow this to guide you during critical moments of moments of indecision and you will find yourself paving a renewed path for yourself that will shape the impact you have on the greater world around you.

Author's Bio: 

Author of the best-seller “Toward a Meaningful Life,” Rabbi Simon Jacobson is a sought-after spiritual leader who presents profound guidance, insights, and methods for living a more balanced, healthy, and purposeful life, integrating resources and teachings he has developed to allow more positive growth and transformation for people's lives, lifestyles, families, and communities. Rabbi Simon Jacobson has lectured to diverse audiences on six continents and has been interviewed on over 300 radio and TV shows, including CBS, CNN, PBS, MSNBC, FOX, and NPR. He is the dean of The Meaningful Life Center, publisher of the Algemeiner Journal, and author of the best-selling book “Toward a Meaningful Life,” which has sold over 400,000 copies and been translated into 13 languages.