Can You Enthusiastically Embrace the Present?


Between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur, the days of Jewish New Year, it is a time to reflect, remember and decide how to spend the coming year. I participate at Stephen Wise Temple in Los Angeles nearly every Shabbat and am thrilled to be with my family for this time of The Days of Awe.

Tashlich 2016: Can you enthusiastically embrace the present?We can all choose to be happy and live in the present. But do you?

From our Erev Rosh Hashannah Prayer Book:
“Each year I grow a year older. Have I added maturity to age this year? Have I become wiser since last year? Will I be stronger in the year to come? Will I use my time better?

Where did the last year go? And what can I remember of it? Those daily irritations that so troubled me: I cannot even remember them now.

What do I remember of last year? What do I want for the coming year that will be worth remembering next Rosh Hashannah?”

I want to have realistic expectations for myself and goals that appropriately challenge me. I read this in the prayer book:

“We will never be perfect. Yet what is divine in us is our refusal to desist from trying to improve> We must distinguish between teh important and the petty. We must understand the difference between the permament and the fleeting. And we must develop the desire to live richly, to live nobly and help make possible a society where other people can also live this way.” 

There was a responsive reading that really spoke to me:

If we must face failure, Help us learn endurance. If we achieve success, Help us learn gratitude. If we must face disappointment, Help us learn patience. If we must face danger, Help us find courage.”

Can You Enthusiastically Embrace the Present?What are your plans? What do you wish for? How will you make it come true?

Last year, I focused on building We Said Go Travel LLC into a real business and I can see progress. I now have over 600 travel videos and over 800,000 video views on multiple platforms. I was invited on the trip I most wanted to go on and I leave for this week. I could not be more excited! I am contemplating my next goals and I can see them all turning into reality.

Thank you for your support of me, We Said Go Travel and my Travel Writing Award. If you know someone with a story to tell, please ask them to join the nearly 2,000 writers and travelers who have been published in my award on my site.

Happy New Year! G’mar Hatima Tova! May you be inscribed into the Book of Life. Lisa

Wondering about services at Stephen Wise Temple? Here are three of my videos from recent services:

Want to see my most recent adventures in the Caribbean? I sailed for the first time on a Carnival Cruise out of Galveston, Texas:

Thank you to Rabbi David Woznica for his inspiring sermon that led me in the direction of this article. Prayer book quotes are from “Machzor for the Days of Awe” from Stephen S Wise Temple, revised 1991

Happy New Year Gmar Hatima Tova Can you Enthusiastically Embrace the Present?

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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