The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah


Posted in personal growth by Juliet on March 9, 2010

A group of women friends and I worked our way through Julie Morgenstern’s book SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life earlier this year.  We each chose a theme, and at first mine was “nurture.”  I wanted to nurture my family, the kids, our home.  But it just wasn’t clicking.  “Nurture” felt very close but not quite perfectly right.  Then one chilly afternoon the girls and I took a walk and came home to bowls of homemade white bean and kale soup.  As I warmed it up, I had a revelation:

I feel nourished!

And I had my theme.

Rabbi Castiglione has us write in a spiritual journal.  He believes journal writing to be a quintessentially Jewish practice and very valuable for our personal growth this year.

Here is what I wrote on Day Two:


  1. music – download beautiful music
  2. knit – buy myself beautiful yarn
  3. yoga – stick with it and build on it
  4. wine – try new delicious varieties
  5. fragrance – essential oils
  6. gardening – growing things
  7. cooking – soup, warming broths, baked vegetables
  8. herbal teas – floral tisanes from Spice Merchants
  9. read beautiful illustrated books with pictures of gardens etc.

One word keeps popping up in this list:  BEAUTIFUL.

I mean, “read beautiful illustrated books with pictures of gardens etc.”?  That is so not me.  I read P.D. James and Dennis Lehane and Christopher Moore.  I don’t sit and admire coffee table books about Versailles.

But something inside me — my soul? — is crying out for beauty.

I want to nourish my soul with beauty.


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