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  • Writer's pictureJodi Samuels

The Birthday Question

It’s not my birthday but we had a thought provoking speaker Michael Cedar,, speak to the JICNY emerging leadership board this week. He ended the presentation with the birthday question. “What do you want to be different than 365 days ago?”

My blog has been missing in action for the last few weeks. I was swamped by my daughters bat mitzvah, all the family coming in, then packing up my Jerusalem apartment and my New York one too. In addition I was dealing with contractors in both places. Then I had work and my JICNY commitments. This question made me realize I am so busy doing that I am never stopping to think.

It’s such a great question not just on a birthday but at any point in time to simply ponder what change do you want to see in the next year?

Using conscious thinking and intention we can map out our futures rather than being simply swept away in the current of time. It’s simple but I know that I hardly breathe let alone think. As moms imagine how powerful if we invested time into this question not just for ourselves but our kids and marriages too. Even more powerful if we engaged our husbands and kids so they could mindfully plan and consider the changes they want to see. Imagine a world where we both thought before we acted or actually acted after thinking!

So each of you please challenge me in a year from today if I acted on the changes I want to see:

I am a public figure who is frustrated by my weight and I need reclaim my self-image with commitment to change in eating and lifestyle.

I am very unsettled in Israel and I know that learning the language will help. I always felt pity for my Mexican nanny who dropped out of school at age 9 and she relied on her 7 year old daughter to text me. This is me except I have a double master’s degree, yet I am so often helpless without the language. I need to make great strides in language acquisition in order for Israel to feel more like home.

This is actually my hardest challenge, creating space with me and my phone. I sleep with my phone, I check emails in the middle of the night and obsessively check all day messages and Facebook. I need to go back to 2003 before I had a smart phone. I have no doubt there are many hours wasted on Facebook and many opportunities for conversation and interaction missed.

So the count is on 365 days from today.

Originally published: July 27, 2016


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