The High Holidays and Mercury Rx — reflect, recommit, and renew

What an absolutely perfect season to reflect, recommit, and renew.

To everything, turn, turn, turn. There is a time to every purpose under heaven.

Some New Year seasons inspire resolutions. This New Year season, the Days of Awe, invites you to have an internal process. You are asked to reflect, recommit, and renew.

This is the first year that I’ve dived into the Days of Awe (being dragged to synagogue by my conservative grandparents doesn’t count). In fact, it’s the first year in my life when Jewish ritual and spirituality has had deep meaning for me.

One of the 613 blessings (613 is the number of seeds in a pomegranate, they say) that came my way in this last year is finding community and a spiritual home at a Jewish renewal synagogue. This exploration and experience is adding so much to my varied, multi-culti, woman-centric rich weaving of spiritual practices that have come together in my life and work since I started looking in the ’70s. I feel wrapped in the sacred in a deeper way than ever before.

Reflect, recommit, and renew

I wrote a bit last week about how Mercury retrograde (9/17–10/9) wraps itself around much of this high holiday season.

[Here’s the link to that article. And if you’re ready to really align your passion and purpose with your brand and your website, please use this link to book a call with me; I’m finishing up two Unmask Your Brand and Shine Your Light websites right now, and am ready to dive in with you!]

Yes, sometimes a Mercury retrograde (Rx) can be scary. Computers may crash, communication may go haywire (misunderstood much?). But I find a deeper invitation in each Merc Rx. The invitation to do all those “re-” things. Re-think. Review. Revise. Reflect. Recommit. Renew.

What a lovely combination this season. And then my friend Shulamit turned me on to 10Q — an online conversation around ten questions for the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The questions spark reflection. I invite you to read through these and answer the one that calls to you most strongly in the comments below.

  • What’s a significant experience that has affected you over the past year?
  • What is something you would have done differently over the past year?
  • What is a major milestone that affected your family in the past year?
  • What global event most affected you last year, and why?
  • Have you had any experiences this past year that changed the way you thought about spirituality?
  • What’s one specific thing that you would like to accomplish by this time next year?
  • Is there a part of yourself (physical, emotional, intellectual) that you want to work on in the coming year?
  • Is there a specific person, cause, or idea that you want to learn more about in the coming year?
  • Is there a fear that has limited you in the past year? Do you think you could overcome it next year?

I’m going to answer the second question right here, as a way of explaining to you just how scattered I notice I am today, and have been for the past six days.

I’m sure my scattered state is apparent in my writing in this post. I count at least three themes going here. Lucky for me I know you love me anyway, and that you forgive me for the words that don’t make sense, and the words that didn’t quite get to the page.

So: What is something you would have done differently over the past year?

I would have reacted to the rat trauma differently, with more ease and some sovereignty. A rat moved into my house last Thursday and didn’t leave until today. That’s six days, yo. Six days in which I felt fear, and panic, and stress, and not-at-home-in-my-new-home. Six days during which I ate less, slept even less than that. Six days during which I was either gnawed on or dreamt I was gnawed on in my sleep and woke up sobbing. Six days during which I could not enter my kitchen with ease.

I wanted to transcend this. I wanted to find a way to claim sovereignty and ground in ease even though I was living with a rodent. I couldn’t do it. And I know my lack of ease was compounded by having just moved. I was in this house for all of two weeks when the rat moved in. Oy.

So. The rat is now gone (may it have been the only one!). I am beginning to feel my heart resume its normal rhythm, I am beginning to relax my hyper-vigilance.

I still don’t understand my extreme reaction, nor did I come close to beginning to solve it. I’m just grateful that it’s gone because the prospect of working on whatever old trauma triggered my reactions is much more appealing absent a rat in the house than it ever could have been when it was still here.

Thank you for your love, your patience, your compassion, your forgiveness, and for reading my words. Blessed be.

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Shana Tova ve Metukah! I also came late to a connection with the spiritual wisdom in Judaism – a blessed reunion. Congratulations on your new home. I don’t blame you one bit for feeling uncomfortable with your ‘visitor’ and hope the experience becomes part of a wonderful process of claiming your space, and honoring all your needs for comfort in your home. New home, new luck! xox, Reba

    • Reba, Shana Tova ve Metukah to you too, and thanks for teaching me a new phrase.

      Claiming my space; feels so good (now).

      Love and light,

  2. Thank you Sue for these questions!! I think, for me, it is relevant to answer all of them! I too, had an encounter with a rat in my home in the last 8 months, so I can truly say, “I know how you feel!” Surprisingly, this encounter changed the way I thought about spirituality and is my answer to question No.5. Can I use this forum to tell you about my experience with Mr.Rat?

  3. Thanks for sharing these questions, Sue.

    Several of them inspired me to take stock, reassess, think about changes.

    But I’ll stick with one here: What’s one specific thing that you would like to accomplish by this time next year?

    I’d like to be living in a new home that feels like Home. And I’d like to grow my long-distance practice into a larger part of my business even as I continue to work with face-to-face clients in our clinic setting (which hopefully will have a new home too).

    • Dana, what a luscious intention. I can see it! Keep taking one action at a time, sister! (And I’ll take that reminder to my own heart, thank you.)


  4. I think your reaction to the rat was TOTALLY appropriate. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I would have moved to a motel and called an exterminator. Thank you for your thoughtful post. You are a seeker and that is a rarity.

    • Molly, thank you. I don’t feel like I’m being that hard on myself; it was difficult and I felt beset. Now the rat is gone and life goes on So.Much.More.Beautifully.

      Love and light,

  5. Love your reflective questions! This one is definitely on my mind: “Is there a part of yourself (physical, emotional, intellectual) that you want to work on in the coming year?” Just turned 52 and I need to focus on my health – better eating to be specific. I hope this will be the year of clean eating for Kimba.

    • Kimba, you and me both for clean eating. My sugar-as-comfort notched up with the move and then even more with the rat! Time to recenter in mindful and clean eating.

      Blessed be.

  6. Hi Sue! Just saw this post now. I’m so glad (and envious) you have found a renewal community with which to celebrateand connect. My High Holy Days rituals were with/at because I live in a place where there are no Jews (that I know of) for hours in any direction. I’m glad to hear you liked the 10Q and that the ratty left you alone!

    Warm hugs,


    • Shulamit, yes, I’m very lucky to be here where there are two (maybe three) renewal synagogues. Wow, OneShul sounds wonderful. Where are you located?

      May this week of gratitude and harvest bring you many blessings.


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