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Time Travelers: Women Reflect on the Past and Plan for the Future

Leah Kotkes

As we face a new year, we review the old one, and with it, gain valuable insight. Women from all stages of life share the wisdom, strategies, and values they have learned from their past to shape their future.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Time travelers

The Time Machine

Traveling back in time is not just a science fiction fantastical pursuit. Enter your own “time machine” to be transported to wherever you need to go in order to be ready to take steps in a new direction. The “time-traveler’s” most powerful instrument is the potent forces of the human mind. How to use it to travel back into your past, to review memories, and then use them for the advancement of your future, is a learned skill and a worthy investment of time and energy. The mind, a largely unexplored frontier of your personal universe, has the capacity to impact your life on every level.

Join us as we journey backwards with others, women like you and me, who want to encapsulate the year gone to augment their efforts to create a winning focus for the New Year.

And Finally She Changed

Helene* is a homemaker living in the heartbeat of Yerushalayim — near the shuk of Machane Yehuda. To visit the shuk, is to gain a bargain, a bag of fruit, and an insight into the heart of mankind. Amidst stalls,and crates, myriad people wander, each, acting out his role in life on this balmy Thursday morning. As the fishmonger hoists a handsome trout, a tail swish triggers in Helene a memory: salmon dressed with finely-sliced cucumber at a simcha three months ago. Yet, another memory replaces it: exactly four ounces of plain white mackerel measured on the home-scale a year ago. The images came rushing back. The stacks of fillets in the freezer. The little post-its on the fridge door reminding: “No sugar, No white products, No dairy.” Piles of useless clothing — wonderful useless clothing that were now too big on her and could be donated to the gemach.

Helene beams; she feels exceedingly vibrant. She has discovered untapped strengths. She loves her newfound bursts of energy and appreciation. New choices have enhanced her wellbeing.

“Yes … Yes … YES! The past twelve months I have strived for success and was triumphant. Surely if I can achieve accomplishment in one area of my life, I can achieve elsewhere as well,” she muses before a rush of humility hushes her.

Helene closes her eyes, as the emotions surface: embarrassment, despair, desperation, prayer, the search, the mentor, surrender, commitment, the struggle, the work, perseverance, trust, change, goals … Her eyes flash open. Slowly she observes the crowd at the shuk. Now, she too feels a part of them — a part of humanity. She feels as though she has moved mountains, shaken her universe, created a new Helene.

The past is a tough taskmaster. The past can also be a great teacher. It’s taught Helene the steps she needed to take to allow her to be successful in her goals. And as she reviews these steps, she will have this experience to continue to help her in challenges for the future.

* Names have been changed.


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