Chanukkah 2018 is over, but its dedications live through the coming year. I’ve been following Rabbi Binyamin Biber’s Hanukkah “Dedication” Readings to help bring into focus that to which I am profoundly dedicated for 2019. This is helping me respond to the  instigation to identify our devotion as part of Quest2019’s launch last week.

Questers are spending December reflecting on and beginning to design our best year for 2019. This is my fifth Quest. I find that just as Quest leader Jeffrey Davis brings something new to the experience year, I’m bringing something new every time to how I participate.

I’m a little different now than I was five years ago, or even one year ago, so what “best year” means to me is  also  a little different.

I wrote Being a Business Artist with Cancer in 2016, a couple of months before that year’s Quest began. I had a pretty specific Quest goal that year. It was to keep my business afloat and take care of myself during a serious illness with a prolonged course of treatment. In prior years, too,  I had quite specific goals in mind for the coming year.

This year, I’m dwelling on that to which I am most dedicated to in my one life, a life which encompasses both the personal and the professional. That dedication is shaping my thinking about who I am, what I do and how I do it, at work and at play.I’m thinking about how I’m designing the work and nonword parts of life. My guiding question for 2019, as best as I can shape it right now is:

How can I best align what I do with my core self; my most strongly held beliefs, values and interests?

Thinking through my responses to Biber’s Chanukkah dedications is helping explore that question further.

Dedications for the Last Four Nights of Chanukah

We light the candle on the fifth night of Hanukkah as a dedication to freedom, herut.*

I am dedicated to the freedom of advocating for and acting for my own health and well-being, to thinking carefully about what is known and is not known about the disease that struck me, to making choices that bring the greatest quality to this one life that I have.

I am dedicated to the freedom of discerning which choices best allow me to share what I can offer others who can find benefit in it.

We light the candle for the sixth night of Hannukah as a dedication to peace, shalom.*

I am dedicated to making peace with the undeniable awareness of where I am in the arc of my life, to accepting what is, so that I can live each of the days and years ahead doing what matters most.

I am dedicated to finding peace within, so that I can be my best and do my best.

We light the candle on the seventh night of Hannukah as a dedication to life, l’haiyim.*

I am dedicated to a life of learning, of loving, of laughing.

I am dedicated to continuing to exercise body, mind and spirit. 

I am dedicated to a life embodying Jeree Pawl’s “platinum rule”: Do unto others as you would have others do unto others (1995).

We light the candle for the eighth night of Hannukah as a dedication to the improvement of the world, tiggun ha-olum.* [Often spelled “Tikkun Olam.”]

I am dedicated to helping to create a “besere un sheynere velt,” –  a better and more beautiful world.

I am dedicated to strengthening a realistic, clear-eyed hope, a vision for a better world, in my self and others.

I am dedicated to taking hope-based action to help reach that vision.

* Each of these statements of dedication are written by Biber (2008). The thoughts evoked by his dedications are my own, and are not necessarily what he had in mind!

Dedication as Foundation

May the ideals we link with our Hannukah candles help light our way each day of our lives.

~ Rabbi Binyamin Biber, Hannukah Candle Lighting “Dedication” Readings

Channukah is a time to revisit and renew these dedications, which form the foundation for this year’s quest, allowing me to create a structure that aligns with who I now am, and helps me bring my best self forward in  2019.

Previous Quest2019 Posts

How a Quest Can Bring Out Your Best

Dedication and Devotion

Dedicated to Fairness

Dedicated to Love

Dedicated to Being a Good Human

Other Questers’ Words

Alicia K. Anderson: I Don’t Know the Answer Yet, Do I?

Tim Snell: Quest: Daily Practices

References

Biber, B.(2008). Hannukah Candle Lighting “Dedication” Readings.

Pawl, Jeree H. 1995. “On Supervision.” In Reflective Supervision: A Relationship for Learning, edited by Rebecca Shahmoon Shanok, Linda Gilkerson, Linda Eggbeer, & Emily Fenichel, 41-49. Washington, DC: ZERO TO THREE.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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