A New Year Message & Blessing

Brain, pre- frontal- cortex ,working- memory , non- verbal memory ,no memory ,executive- functioning -skills, neuro-transmitters, anticipation,  planning , prioritizing , organizing , pondering …  Bottom line is the root of it all is in one word, the head, or Rosh in Hebrew .

The Jewish new year is called Rosh Hashanah  (head /beginning) of the new year. This sends home and implies an important message , a reminder  to all ,that our personal ‘head’-‘Rosh’is unique ,there is no duplicate and we must take responsibility for it’s physical ,emotional, educational well-being. This message is understood from the fact that on the New Year –Rosh (head) Hashanah GOD judges the entire universe. However each individual person is judged one at a time, just as we would count hundred dollar bills.  Carefully,   head by head. Each person with their unique design, purpose, mission and potential passes through this day of judgment. The message is: You count and there is no replacement for you!

Each person is a whole world and you make a difference.  This holds true for all, although I personally believe that it’s especially true for those of us who are dealing with ADD / ADHD.  These are the guy’s with passion, great visions, and hearts sweeter than apples dipped in honey.  They are the (child) people who smash their father’s idol’s, this is the fellow who is willing to give his all for what’s right.  These are the head’s that deserve to hold their head’s the highest, they just need to learn how.   

One of the Jewish customs on Rosh Hashanah is to bring to the holiday meal various types of foods that resemble something positive, something we would like to be blessed with. Then a small prayer mentioning the item and its implication is said. Often a fish is also used and the request is, we should be like the head and not the tail.

Here again it’s the “head” – “rosh” that’s being stressed. This custom is actually great for ADHD – ADD kids and adults because it really enhances their working memory, compare and contrast, organizational- skills too. Who said therapy isn’t fun. Treatment, made fun and meaningful is the most successful treatment.

Talking about fish, I heard from Rabbi Wallerstein the following: One morning he woke up and found his 3 angelfish dried out on the carpet. Trying to imagine what took place, he said; the first fish was thinking “man I’m in prison over here” as he bangs his nose on each side of the aquarium. “I can’t live like this” “They don’t let me breathe”.” Out there is the real deal, it’s fun and lots of pleasure.” Creating intense focus on his negative thoughts and attracting negative attention from the two other angelfish, finally he says “That’s it!” and takes a leap.

Head diving straight to the carpet. “Wow!!” his friends’ say, “Look at him go, he’s so lucky, yo that’s fun” “Oh man we need to get out of this prison too”. Then they smudge their noses against the glass and watch him flip flop all over the place – “Yo dude he’s got it made, he’s free” “Yeah he is” each fish said to the other. Until slowly slowly there was less and less movement in Mr. Fishel. But they were convinced so the second one took a swimming jump and presto!! Free alas.

But then he started choking, it didn’t feel good. “I need air – oxygen” “I’m dying… help”. The last fish saw the excitement and the sudden stillness, he got a bit confused making the calculations, his PFC was on low. But he was convinced he’ll know how to handle it and he’ll keep up the fish dance “I have a high intelligence after all, and I modeled the first 2 fish, I’m ready let’s go” – ding, off he goes.

Looking back at the year there are many who are no longer with us. Via drugs, alcohol, speeding or from just living a free life etc. They took a one way ticket to Wormsfeild.  Maybe we should also try to remember how many days and opportunities we buried by dulling out and numbing our senses with negative or empty distractions, instead of taking advantage of the moment and being connected to the essence of life.

Every creature has its natural habitat. For people it’s in their home with their spouse, parents and friends or in school with teachers and friends.  In short it’s with other people who really love and care about you. This is where their oxygen is. In addition to that the Torah is compared to life, water and to kindness. The oxygen and life supply for Yeshiva or Bais Yakov students and men is in the kind waters of the Torah.   If you are looking for someone who understands and appreciates you I guarantee you there are people around. If you want you can contact me.

Heads up! There are always two sides of a coin. Heads or tails?  Hyperactivity or power and energy?  Distractible or caring, concerned and thoughtful?  Stubborn or protective and perseverance?  Let’s be the head of the fish and not the tail.

Let’s multiply like fish, and let’s have the protection from the “evil eye” like fish in the deep waters. Whatever you do, don’t turn into an “Angel” fish before your time. There is no other head – Rosh in the entire world like your specific head – Respect it.

 I want to take a moment for my clients around the world. May we all head off to the head of the New Year and say “I am ready to begin to live my life to its fullest and be all I can be”. You can ask G-d for help and guidance, if you don’t know where to begin, then tell him just that. He will guide you.  Let us all have a year of health and happiness, a year of clarity and a lot of aligned neurotransmitters, a  year of inner growth and peace of mind, and a year of discovery, discovering our true selves and abilities.

God Bless you and a healthy year.

Levi Yitzchok

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