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Learning how to be our best selves during Aseres Yemei Teshuvah

The 10 days from Rosh Hashanah until Yom Kippur are that space in the Jewish calendar where we work our hardest to prepare for the "Final Exam", the last chance to stand before our Creator to be written in the book that will determine our lives in the coming year - meaning, the book of life or the book of death, the book of wealth or poverty, health or sickness, etc. And our sages say that we write ourselves in the book by deciding who we want to be and how we choose to live our lives. Judaism is a path to great blessings, but we have the free choice to do or not do what is required of us along the way. Sometimes the task is so overwhelming, we make mistakes, we have regrets and while we sincerely want to do the right thing, we suffer immense guilt, self-judgement and personal disappointment.

This year we had the good fortune to host 2 amazing Jewish leaders, Gitty Goldschmidt of New York, and Rina Deutsch of Toronto, seasoned professionals who shared their strategies, insights and wisdom to help us see our greatness and to find ways to grow and be happy.

Gitty reminded us that we're professional women, we're smart, therefore, when something isn't working out the way we hoped in our personal development, don't feel guilty - fix it! Whether it's planning, taking on one small new thing to lead you in a new direction or reconnecting with our uniqueness and the strengths and contributions we do make instead of the things we don't do.

Rina showed us the value of having SMART goals and how to move forward by choice - not to default to being uninvolved with our own lives or just 'going with the flow'. She reminded us, that anything we don't change, we choose. That's not the life we want - we're better than that. And that it's important to take action, any action, in the direction of your goals. Life is not all or nothing. One small change, done with consistency, can lead to great results.

We hope you enjoyed the talks. We're so grateful to Gitty and Rina for sharing their wisdom, and taking the time, during this busy, intense time of year, demonstrating the secret to personal leadership - giving, sharing, and using your gifts and talents to help others. Thank you - Shana Tova U'Metuka - may you all have a sweet, healthy, happy New Year.

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