During Elul and the High Holy Days, we are given the gift of teshuva, of return - to ourselves, to our loved ones and to God. There is no more auspicious time in the Jewish calendar than now to iron out the inevitable creases in our hearts and mend the rifts in our souls that rob us of exuding our natural spiritual beauty.

The following 16 prompts are an effective way to embark on your own process of returning to your deepest essence and greatest potential.

Find a quiet time and place, a notebook and a pen, perhaps put on some gentle music, and begin to write your responses to these prompts in your journal. In the first eight questions you’ll be meeting your true self, up close and personal. You’ll be accessing your deepest dreams and desires for yourself in the year ahead and finding the unique beauty of your soul.

Once you have touched your core, you will then be able to examine what are the areas that obscure this authentic self and higher knowing. Self-knowledge is self-power.

May you be blessed with Divine assistance in your pursuit for deeper connection and a truly good and sweet new year.

Connecting to your True Self

  1. What are some of your greatest gifts and resources that Hashem has given you?

  2. What do you want most for the coming year?

  3. What are you grateful for in your life right now/ this past year?

  4. What are some of the significant milestones, events, breakthroughs, accomplishments etc. from this previous year? (year in review)

  5. When in general did you feel most alive?

  6. What are some of the biggest struggles you’ve had this past year? (When you felt most alienated from your true self?)

  7. In what areas have you grown the most?

  8. What are some of your greatest insights that you now have that you didn’t have as strongly last year?

How do I implement this?

  1. What are some of your top areas of priority that require your attention?

  2. How could you utilize your God-given gifts better to bring greater light into the world?

  3. What behaviors are blocking you from being your best self? What can you do to reduce and eliminate these behaviors?

  4. If there was one trait that you would like to change to be a more balanced person, what would it be? Can you think of a way to bring yourself into better balance in this area?

  5. What recurring thoughts do you have that make you feel fearful, anxious, lonely, depressed or alone? What would be more spiritually productive thoughts to have in these moments?

  6. What is one area in your relationship with God that you would like to improve in? What is a practical step you can take work on this?

  7. List one area in your interpersonal relationships that you would like to improve in. How can you implement this change in one small way that you can do consistently?

  8. What is one area in your relationship with yourself that you would like to improve? How can you begin to work on this?