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In just three weeks we will be bringing in the New Year 5778. How does that make you feel? Since I changed careers from CPA to life and career coach, the thought of the New Year fills me with energy and visions of new possibilities.

I am so grateful that Hashem offers us the incredible opportunity to renew our spirit and spark as we prepare for Rosh Hashanah. The Jewish New Year is about new beginnings and provides us with a chance to take a fresh look at ourselves.

“Finding one’s spark” has become a popular exercise for children and adults. It can include: discovering what motivates you, what gets you up in the morning, what lights you up, what gives meaning to your life, and what drives you. Your spark is that unique facet thatdefines who you are as a person or your “essence.” Your essence is who you are at your core. What is your essence?

Jews believe that there is a spark which lives in our soul – in Yiddish it is called “Das pintele Yid”– the little point or spark of a Jew.The Zohar describes our soul or essence as Hashem’s breath. Therefore, as spiritual beings we believe our spark is our soul, which is our special essence that we receive from Hashem. We do not need to create it, but we can take the opportunity in the New Year and every year to breathe new life into it.

How would you like to breathe new life into your spark, soul, daily routine, your relationship with friends, family, and Hashem?

Here are some tools to try and questions to ask yourself to help you re-examine and refresh that Jewish spark that is in your core. These strategies can also aid in infusing the upcoming hagim and year with passion, purpose, and positivity.


1.   Pick a word or phrase for the year to help you create a positive change for the New Year– Can it be your guiding compass? Let’s say you chose “Let it go.” That might help you remember that you cannot control everything and need to let go of things from the past, including slights or hurts from relationships and disappointments, both professional and personal. Your compass can keep you looking forward to new possibilities and opportunities as opposed to looking back.

2.   Practice stillness– In today’s world, it’s a challenge to be still or present. We are constantly adding to that to-do list, often feeling behind. Try to take a breath when you are having a difficult time, are feeling overwhelmed, or having painful thoughts. Being still allows you to refresh and hear your own thoughts and helps you focus on what is important right now.

3.   Dream big– Think big about what you want to achieve. Visualize what you want your life to look like. Ask yourself big questions which get you thinking.

4.   Declutter your mind– Reduce the mental chaos that prevents you from focusing and having a fulfilling life. Try to eliminate worries, anxieties, and negative thoughts, and replace them with positive ones. Concentrate on your strengths and victories. Let go of that mental clutter that is keeping you in the past. Stop multi-tasking and carve out some time to devote to one task or goal that is a high priority for you.

5.   Stretch yourself, get out of your comfort zone – Try doing something new or a bit hard. We grow the most when we stretch ourselves. Start small; read a book about a subject you know nothing about.

Shana Tova!

Questions to Get your Positive Energy Flowing:

Is there something you are on fire about?

Example: My job, my family, my religion, my volunteer work.


What is your unique spark or strength?

Example: My warmth, my compassion, my nurturing nature.

Is there something you would like to do this year to create a better you?

Example: Be more patient with my siblings, do more hesed.

Is there a specific goal you have for the New Year?

Example: Avoid speaking
lashon hara.

Is there something new you
want to bring into your life for the New Year?

Example: More family time.

Ellen Geller Kamaras, CPA/MBA, is an International Coach Federation (ICF) Associate Certified Coach. Her specialties include life, career, and dating coaching.
Ellen can be contacted at (