Can You Enthusiastically Embrace the Present?


Between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur, the days of Jewish New Year, it is a time to reflect, remember and decide how to spend the coming year. I participate at Stephen Wise Temple in Los Angeles nearly every Shabbat and am thrilled to be with my family for this time of The Days of Awe.

Tashlich 2016: Can you enthusiastically embrace the present?We can all choose to be happy and live in the present. But do you?

From our Erev Rosh Hashannah Prayer Book:
“Each year I grow a year older. Have I added maturity to age this year? Have I become wiser since last year? Will I be stronger in the year to come? Will I use my time better?

Where did the last year go? And what can I remember of it? Those daily irritations that so troubled me: I cannot even remember them now.

What do I remember of last year? What do I want for the coming year that will be worth remembering next Rosh Hashannah?”

I want to have realistic expectations for myself and goals that appropriately challenge me. I read this in the prayer book:

“We will never be perfect. Yet what is divine in us is our refusal to desist from trying to improve> We must distinguish between teh important and the petty. We must understand the difference between the permament and the fleeting. And we must develop the desire to live richly, to live nobly and help make possible a society where other people can also live this way.” 

There was a responsive reading that really spoke to me:

If we must face failure, Help us learn endurance. If we achieve success, Help us learn gratitude. If we must face disappointment, Help us learn patience. If we must face danger, Help us find courage.”

Can You Enthusiastically Embrace the Present?What are your plans? What do you wish for? How will you make it come true?

Last year, I focused on building We Said Go Travel LLC into a real business and I can see progress. I now have over 600 travel videos and over 800,000 video views on multiple platforms. I was invited on the trip I most wanted to go on and I leave for this week. I could not be more excited! I am contemplating my next goals and I can see them all turning into reality.

Thank you for your support of me, We Said Go Travel and my Travel Writing Award. If you know someone with a story to tell, please ask them to join the nearly 2,000 writers and travelers who have been published in my award on my site.

Happy New Year! G’mar Hatima Tova! May you be inscribed into the Book of Life. Lisa

Wondering about services at Stephen Wise Temple? Here are three of my videos from recent services:

Want to see my most recent adventures in the Caribbean? I sailed for the first time on a Carnival Cruise out of Galveston, Texas:

Thank you to Rabbi David Woznica for his inspiring sermon that led me in the direction of this article. Prayer book quotes are from “Machzor for the Days of Awe” from Stephen S Wise Temple, revised 1991

Happy New Year Gmar Hatima Tova Can you Enthusiastically Embrace the Present?

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She sailed the seven seas by cruise ship for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one and a quarter million views (1,250,000) on her YouTube channel. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries, named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blogs and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and has over 160,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and also ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on her own site, We Said Go Travel. From 2017 to 2020 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won three times and been a finalist fourteen times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards. She was also a finalist for four other categories including online journalist of the year, digital story for activism journalism with Ms. Magazine, educational reporting for Wharton Magazine and a broadcast lifestyle feature for KTLA TV in Los Angeles.    Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. In 2018,  she was a finalist for stories in Smithsonian, PopSugar Fitness and the Saturday Evening Post. Niver won a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and was a finalist for travel reporting. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, TODAY, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.

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