October 2016, from the clergy

Your Password Could Change Your Life

How blessed we are to have the month of Elul and the High Holy Days as a time to grow, to reflect, and to connect more strongly with the people in our lives and the world around us.  I sometimes feel that as much as we talk about Elul, Teshuva (forgiveness), and atonement, the doing is so much more difficult, results and real change feeling elusive.

So I wanted to share one very practical way to create growth and change that I recently read about—it has to do with passwords.  Yes, a password.  Passwords are something we all have and use multiple times daily- for our ATM cards, computers, various accounts from banks to frequent flier programs.  I, like you, have an extensive list of various passwords and have lost or forgotten multiple passwords as well.

I share with you now a new take on passwords. One that is perfect for this time of year- password as intention.  What if instead of using birthdays, anniversary dates, or phone numbers as our passwords, we were to make it an intention or desire. That’s what one man did and frankly, it changed his life.  His passwords reflected the inner work he needed to do to regain control of his life.  After a difficult divorce from his wife, he changed his password to ‘Forgive@her’.  Every time he entered his password into his keyboard or screen, he took one step closer to forgiveness.  He says, “in my mind, I went with the mantra that I didn’t type a password.  In my mind, I was reminding myself to actually forgive her.”  The healing effect of this practice occurred almost immediately!

A month later, the man was asked for a new password for one of his accounts.  He searched his soul and came up with ‘Quit@smoking4ever’.  (He was asked for a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols).  The trick worked, and the next month, this new non-smoker was able to begin focusing on a trip to Thailand.

Whatever our intention, or our spiritual goals are, start with a password or two!  So, what would your passwords be this month?

With many blessings for a sweet and nurturing New Year,
Rabbi Stacy

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