Sometimes, it just happens. You go through the motions of your day, hardly aware of what you are doing, never mind why you are doing it. Or you space out, forgetting that with each physical act that you do, you can channel it into serving G‑d. And so you flake, and engage in a mundaneAnd what about the forbidden acts? behavior without being super mindful about intending to serve G‑d with it. Or even worse, you eat or do something forbidden by the Torah, which lowers the act into the clutches of the lower level of kelipa, the impure spiritual forces in the universe.

Is there any way to reverse it?

There is. As soon as you discover that you have derailedand decide to get back on track serving G‑d with every physical actyou can retroactively insert a holy intention into any permissible action done without the express intention of serving G‑d. So even if while you were eating or exercising or working, you were not conscious of how this was all in order so that you could serve G‑d. As soon as you snap back into focus and actually use the energy you gained from such acts to pray, learn Torah or perform any good deed, you can elevate that into holiness.

Your train of thought may look like this: “That was a great workout I had this morning. While I was exercising, all I thought about was burning calories and building muscle. But you know what? My mind was so clear after the gym this morning that I had so much more energy to . . . ” (fill in the blank with any good deed you may have done.) This gives purpose to the workout and realigns it to a holy intention.

And what about the forbidden acts? Those are a lot tougher, nearly impossible, to release from the hands of the kelipa (those evil spiritual forces mentioned above). But say that going against G‑d’s will makes you feel reallySins can turn around and become merits disconnected as a Jew, and you sincerely wish you can reconnect to G‑d on a very deep level. And say that this disconnection makes you so spiritually thirsty that you reveal a deep yearning to fulfill G‑d’s mitzvot in a more devoted manner than before. After the factwith such intense, sincere repentance, and with such a deep, deep level of love towards G‑dthe sins can turn around and become “merits,” for they are responsible for that feeling of desiring to reconnect to G‑d on such a high level.

Tanya Bit: It’s never too late to reverse an act done “mindlessly,” without a G‑dly intention.

(Inspired from Chapter 7 of Tanya)