This is my first ever video.
It’s about finding clarity being more productive and staying consistent.
This is really important for anybody who feels overwhelmed and stuck and just feeling like they don’t know where to start.
The clarity part is finding the one thing that’s yours, and I’m telling you it’s ONLY yours! Nobody else has the ability to tell you what’s going to work for you!
When I gave this class in my house I found that everybody was super excited about it and that they wanted a guide to help them find clarity.
I created the three-steps-to-clarity guide and I put it up online for free. It’s there to help you find clarity.
Davening (Tefila / Prayer) was the thing for me! In the clarity guide you’re going to see that there are three steps to clarity. The first step is finding the ONE thing that you need to do. But that’s not where it ends because finding clarity is very nice but you have to specify it and make it very very personal to you so that you actually can succeed.
For me, if I didn’t daven Shacharit I had to daven Mincha and the thing that I made very specific is that I’m actually only counting Shmone Esre so it doesn’t matter what I did before or after, if I added things or made my prayers very very short, I had to have Shmone Esre.
Step two is being more productive!
Once you find what it is that you need to do, now the next step is to be kind to yourself!
Understand that you’re not going to get it perfect the second you decide what needs to happen… this is something that was very hard for me because I like things to be perfect!
In the past, I was trying and trying and trying and realizing that it’s just not working! I’m just not consistent! This was very discouraging and I had to really find that kindness inside to say “it’s okay that you’re not a hundred percent but it’s not okay that because you’re not a hundred percent you then don’t try at all – you got zero percent!”
consistency means that you’re doing something over and over and over again.
If you don’t start you’re never going to be consistent. It’s like saying “I’m not going to start exercising until I’m fit”
You know it doesn’t work like that! you’re not going to start being consistent overnight but you are going to be able to build up the muscle of consistency when you start doing something consistently.
“Bujo” (Bullet Journaling)
Something I found that I want to share with you is “bujo” = bullet journaling.
Most people do it in a notebook and they have it all organized and it’s really nice and neat.
I didn’t find that to be the case for me! I actually like that it’s just a one piece of pager.
I designed this loose page the way I wanted it to be. I got a page that has dots and those dots are sort of like guides. I designed it according to the Jewish month because if it was mine I could do whatever I want! I don’t have to follow anything that works for other people!
I was starting on Rosh Hashanah last year, I wanted to be able to see it flow throughout the year and I was really focused on making sure that I follow through this time.
I made it black and white because I knew that there was no way that I could start playing with color especially with having a life. I had a black pen I used it, it was great!
(SIDE NOTE: From a design angle, it was actually fun for me to see what I can do with this color limitation.)
I made little squares along the whole top of the page, and each square got a date. Tishrei was Alef, Bet, Gimel Dalet Hey… and so on all the way to Lamed and what happened was that I started filling it out.
Every day that I davened (prayed) I marked the appropriate box. It started building up!
You can look at them in the video, they’re not very consistent at first.
Because I had to go plug it in and look at it again and again it reminded me that there is tomorrow! there’s another chance and I have to just keep going! The thing about tracking is that it gives you that overview. You could look at it from on top and say “wow just because I missed one day does not mean I have to stop!”
It also gave me a lot of motivation because suddenly I had three days in a row… They’re called chains in the “bujo” language!
That’s one thing that tracking does – it motivates you to be able to stay on track!
In the past I would fall behind and say “oh, this is so frustrating!” or “I can’t do it” or say things to myself that I’m sure other people say all the time…
I am not the only person who talks to herself, I am sure. I’m also not the only person who’s not very kind to herself, which I’m also sure!
There’s a beautiful book that I never read but I love the title. It’s called “What to say when you talk to yourself” and I thought that was hysterical and very very true that we have to learn how to talk to ourselves and how to be kind. It’s not very natural for us to be kind to ourselves as much as it is for us to be kind to other people.
I found that through this process I was able to see the things as a bigger picture. Each cube and each box that I had filled in, felt like I’m building something, like I’m starting something, and it’s starting to take its own shape! It felts great.
Then you have to hear, I started getting really good and this motivated me! I started getting really consistent and I had a whole month of all black!
I felt like “wow, this is amazing! I did it! I’m done! I’m like – woohoo”
Then one day, BOOM! I failed I forgot to daven one Friday! I felt like it’s over! “I was on a good track and I just killed it”
I was so frustrated and I was really upset. I went back to the paper and I looked at it. I had all these blacks and suddenly BOOM! a white!
I remember thinking “well let’s count the ones before and make it a chain” and then, “can I break this chain?”
I just got into this good mood instead of the bad mood I was in.
Now it turned into a competition! Let’s see how much better I could do this time and give myself another chance.
When you look at it in a big-picture then you suddenly realize that a long time went by. It wasn’t like I was in the same place I was when I just started!
it’s not the way we think when we feel it in the moment.
It’s a much bigger picture! You see progress and that progress gives you so much joy!
At this point, I’ve been telling myself: “Great I got it! I am davening every day! I have nothing to worry about! I don’t have to track anymore!”
There is where the Yetzer Hara is going to get you! Don’t give up the tracking just because you’re doing well! Just like with antibiotics – just because you feel good does NOT mean you beat it! okay?
This is really important because once you start feeling good and thinking “it’s part of my second nature already… I’m in it it’s my habit blah blah blah”
Don’t let that fool you! the Yetzer Hara is going to go BOOM! Right there!
I continued tracking and stayed consistent the whole year. When I look at it from far away I’m excited to see the progress!
The most exciting thing is that it’s almost the end. It’s almost Rosh Hashanah and I can actually feel the difference! I can physically see on paper that last year Rosh Hashana I started, and this year Rosh Hashanah is coming and I have a full year of something – one thing – that I tracked!
I actually was able to see progress!
There is a side effect to all this.
When I started davening every day, which was my clarity, it was my obvious thing that I had to do in order to stay focused.
The backstory is that I just had a baby and I was recovering. My baby was six weeks old when Rosh Hashanah came and I felt like if I don’t do something that is very specific to me, the self-care that I need in order to stay focused, I am going to fall into you blue days. I didn’t want that! It is my sixth child and I know that people think “oh don’t worry, you had so many kids you already know how it is…” I believe you should never let your guard down! Never let yourself think that just because you’re already good this it’s not going to happen to you. You always have to stay aware so that it doesn’t happen to you!
Davening Shmone Esre almost every day the entire year made it that I had this new connection with Hashem (G-d). This new-old connection. I was able to talk to Him, I was able to communicate the things I need, I was able to listen better to the things that He wanted of me.
This is how I am here today. Last year I was a graphic designer, I was doing really well, I was on this track of “it’s all good”
When I started davening consistently, I started feeling this calling and this unfolding of something that I did not expect.
There’s a lot of beautiful stories that I’m going to try to share maybe in the blog “connectedforreal.com” or if you follow me on Instagram you’ve been following a little bit of that progress already.
I realized that Hashem really wants me to share with people the real authentic “for-real” me that is just like everybody else, that is trying to find clarity, trying to be productive, trying to stay consistent… These are things that everybody has! And yes, I am a Rebbetzin, but that doesn’t make me “not human”. I help other people and helping other people gives me the ability to help myself to then help other people more.
We have clarity, productivity, and consistency – which go hand in hand with this beautiful journey that I went through this year.
I could tell you davening worked for me but everybody else is giving me their unique answers.
At the Shiur (class) we had people say that they had to go to sleep on time, there was someone else who said they have to wake up one time, and another one said that putting in her contacts instead of her glasses is the thing for her. She feels like she’s walking in pajamas when she has her glasses on! This is such a personal thing. I can’t put myself in those shoes to know that that’s the thing that will make a difference for her!
I invite you to share with me what your thing to clarity is. (Download the 3-Steps-to-Clarity guide here) and send me your method of tracking!
I am Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman and I want you to be connected-for-real.