Surrending to the New Year 5776

This is my first Rosh Hashanah in Jerusalem as an olah chadasha, an Israeli citizen. Although I was here last year for the chaggim, I have to say that I really feel a difference this year. This Rosh Hashanah I was back in my home, with my people. The whole country shut down so that we could reflect on our past year, set intentions for the new year, send our prayers to God and connect with friends and family.
Making aliya has been one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Although it was made easier by Nefesh b'Nefesh (god bless them) and having lived here for a year already, I came up against many challenges. First and foremost was that it really hit home that I was going to be living in a different country from my parents. I’m really close to my family and to be so far away, especially during the chaggim, is heartbreaking. I had some medical issues and also just have a hard time with transition. Things that were more challenging than expected include understanding the language, the bureaucracy, and the culture (aka the fact that just because people are shouting at me doesn’t mean that they are angry and when scheduling a meeting, time is only a suggestion, rather than the point of an actual event that will occur at some time in the future ). Though this has been a difficult transition, it’s also one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I’ve been surrounded by people that see my light, that understand the gifts I have to bring to the world, and want to help me on my journey. I’ve been battling myself a lot lately…what I think I “should” do versus what I really want to do versus what is actually good for me. It’s been a battle of wills, my head against my heart. And I’ve decided to give up this particular struggle for now. Life is too damn short to be arguing with myself. My kavanah, or intention, for this next year is to truly and deeply surrender. Surrender who I thought I was and wanted to be. Surrender what I think I should be doing or saying or how I should be acting. Surrendering what it means to be "successful" or what specific steps I need to take to move forward on my businesses. I want to allow for more God in my life, to move myself out of the way to create space for higher guidance. I know it won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile that I’ve ever done in my life has been easy. I am heading into this new year, 5776, with grace, acceptance, connectedness and allowance. I am more connected to my purpose every day, and I trust and have faith I will find the right vehicles through which to channel my god-given gifts. I am so grateful to be living in the beautiful land of Israel and to have another year to have another chance to better myself, surrounded by my history, my nation, in my land.
May you all find the guidance you are seeking, encounter fulfillment in every area of your lives, and become better versions of yourself on a daily basis. May we all bring more divine light into this world. A very sweet new year to you all!