235Wednesday starts the Hebrew month of Elul. It is a time of self reflection and renewal…a time to listen to the call of the shofar as it stirs in us a call to personal action – to do the work necessary to approach the New Year with open heart, open mind, and open hands. For the next four weeks, as we approach our High Holiday season, we will offer an “Elul Thought” as we consider how to change and grow.

annefrankAnne Frank wrote: “How noble and good everyone could be if, every evening before falling asleep, they were to recall to their minds the events of the whole day and consider exactly what had been good and bad. Then, without realizing it, you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day. Of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this. It costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn’t know it must learn and find by experience that: ‘A quiet conscience makes one strong.'”

Consider: Spend the next week – just 7 evenings – recalling the good and the not-so-good in your life. Spend 5 minutes. Don’t try to solve the challenges, necessarily. Just acknowledge them. Celebrate the good. Hold on to them. At the end of the week, ask: “Am I stronger? Wiser? Clearer?