A time for personal renewal

Perhaps Passover is the time to do some real emotional spring cleaning.

Spring in the Air 521 (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am)
Spring in the Air 521
(photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am)
As we celebrate Passover this year, now is the time for our own personal renewal, as spring approaches and the beloved rains of winter slowly diminish.
The concept of freedom and renewal – one of the central themes in the Passover Haggada, the retelling of our ancestral journey – may be overlooked unless we remind ourselves that this is what the celebration of Passover is really all about.
Perhaps now is the time to do some real emotional spring cleaning. Maybe this night, this week, this year can be different from all others if you actively take stock of where you’ve been and where you’d like to be going with your life – as an individual, within your family and as part of the greater community.
As individuals, personal growth and renewal can come from examining who you are and what you value.
What gives you meaning in life? How do you define yourself and your role? Are you living the life you’d like? What are your dreams? What are your shortand long-term goals and how do you plan to achieve them? If you discuss or write down a concrete plan, you’ll be more likely to succeed.
Maybe you need a break from intrusive technology. Turn off your cellphone after six and check the computer only once a day. More time, energy and greater balance in your life might enable you to enjoy the freedom of a good book, a walk in nature or simply quiet time relaxing. You must recharge your own batteries before you can help others.
It is, as well, a rare person who would not benefit from taking time to work on their relationship with their partner and other family members.
Assess how you spend your time and when you last spent quality time with someone you cared about. What values are important to you as a couple or within your family? Can you make yourself available to both hear and listen to what your loved ones would like and can you share your thoughts, beliefs and dreams?
When did you last tell your loved ones you love them? Did you tell them why? What makes them special? Finally, spring is a time of hope, of rebirth. As individuals, how can we rededicate ourselves to enhance our small community, our city and our country? How can we give to others who are less fortunate than us? This giving back to our community is a big step in creating happiness for ourselves and in creating real freedom for all those we care about.
Nurture every relationship that is important to you. Make sure you have a nonjudgmental friend who you enjoy being with and trust.
Turn off technology. You can control your devices rather than having them control you. What we once thought would save time may actually deprive us of time and deplete us of energy.
Let others know what you need. They cannot read your mind.
Listen to both your body and your mind. Get enough sleep, eat properly and take care of your basic needs. Life looks much better when you do.
Take time to be your own best friend.
Remember, how you treat yourself lets others know how you are willing to be treated.
Simplify and declutter your personal and professional life. You will feel lighter and better about yourself.
If you tend to procrastinate, focus on getting started and not on finishing a task. In life it is the journey and not the destination that is often important.
Be positive. See problems as challenges. Find ways to be grateful and appreciative.
Take time to pray, meditate and enjoy life. Take the time to smell the roses and make every minute count.The writer is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is the author of Life's Journey: Exploring Relationships, Resolving Conflicts