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Archive for October, 2010

What I Know About Me

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, and what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.

~Joan Didion

The last ten years have been full.  I have learned to hear my voice and to listen to the wisdom that resides within me.  I have grown to both love and like myself for who I am and to also strive to become more of who I want to be.  I have allowed myself to feel pain as a means to finding a healthier place to stand.  The blessing is that many people embraced me over this period of time and allowed me the safe space to grow with them supporting me as need be.

In so many ways, I have grown to trust myself deeply and to trust that the universe will give me what I need so that I feel cocooned with love and inner warmth.  Or maybe it is as simple as trusting and visualizing that the angels Michael, Gavriel, Uriel, and Rafael will support me.  Each represents a source of comfort from an angel.  It is a reminder that God is within me (Michael); Strength/protection surrounds me (Gavriel); A light guides me (Uriel); while Rafael has my back or potentially heals me.   I am no longer alone and yet I am quite content being alone.

The verse, not the song from Simon and Garfunkel’s song, I am a rock, has always comforted me.

I am a rock; I am an island

While the song is filled with images that no longer represent who I am, the words in the chorus touch me differently.  I am strong and can thrive as I am.  While I love many people, I also love having solitude within each and every day; I also welcome my time alone to chant, to write, and to just be. I have learned that I need to create my own sacred space and nurture myself.  I have also learned to reach out for others when I need that support.  I am surrounded by what I prefer to call mayyim chayyim, the living water.  I am surrounded by LIFE!!!!

 

For full disclosure and honesty, please know that over the years I may not remember each and every conversation I have had or what I have shared, but I do know that many have impacted my life and made me see my essence more clearly.  Some of the things have caught me by surprise and hurt me more than I knew I could feel pain; other things have helped propel me forward on my life’s journey.    Each insight has helped me to evolve and make it possible to move forward.  Over the last 10 or so years, many people have touched me.  With that beautiful energy and my own inner strength, I have come to know that:

  • I am intense at the core of my being.
  • I am not dramatic; I am expressive.
  • I have an intuitive wisdom that allows me to see life deeply for both others and myself.
  • I feel abandoned in so many ways, but it never rules my life.
  • I love life completely.
  • Laughing out loud makes the whole world brighter, so I share my laughter whenever I can.
  • Living consciously is not a choice; it is what I do.
  • I dream and actively pursue each and every one of my dreams as I realize them.
  • The process of closing doors hurts, but once I do – I let go completely.
  • The gift that I bring to the world is that I am a chameleon; I find a way to make every situation work.
  • I love people.
  • Writing makes me happy; I am hoping to one day spend most of my day weaving words to tell stories.
  • I am not afraid of death only of leaving my kids if I am the one who dies.
  • Life is a gift I allow myself to live fully.

May I be blessed to have continued love of life, to reach for my dreams as I build my future, and to touch others with my actions and words.  I am so blessed to have a loving circle of family and friends that have been there for me as I have navigated my way through life’s journeys.   Thank you for loving me and helping me love and trust myself.

Being self absorbed isn’t what I am, but today it sure feels that way.    Life really isn’t all about me, or maybe it is.  🙂

With blessings and light,

Chava

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(The title of a beautiful song written by Rabbi David Zeller of blessed memory.)

The English to this song is short, repetitious, and simple, as is the Hebrew and the entire song is:

I am alive.

I’m alive

And who is this aliveness I am?

Is it not the holy blessed ONE.

http://davidzeller.org/aliveness/ – you can hear a snippet of the song from the first track of the CD on the website.

With each breath I take, I try to live in gratitude. The world has so many twists and turns, so many gifts and challenges. Moving through life while knowing that light is part of each and every moment propels me forward. Both gifts and challenges help me/us to grow, to evolve into the beings I/we are.

While some emotional and physical pain hurts at cellular level.  Pain that comes as what seems to an arbitrary “event” leads to a new norm, a new thought, and sometimes a new you.  How we move through the journey is the key to thriving.  Finding the good in even the most painful of experiences is the only way I have ever known to survive. At times, darkness has enveloped my world; I have struggled with intense spiritual and physical pain. And I have always found my way out because I can find moments of light in even the darkest of moments.

Years ago, I changed my name so that I could weave what I am inside with more of what I want to share and to receive from the world around me.  While I lived through some painful life experiences, I wanted my name to be a tool for helping me to grow in a positive way.  In Native American tradition, many people change their names as to honor that they have become.  In Judaism, we often add a new name onto a pre-existing name when someone is in need of healing.  I was combining both traditions with my name change.  I took the first name Chava that is a derivative of life in Hebrew and Gal-Or that means wave of light in Hebrew.  I embrace life’s circumstances as someone who treasures life and works towards seeing light in both people and events (from the present and past).

All of a life is filled with metaphors; metaphors can be taken in so many different ways.  For instance, last month I donated my platelets.  In past years, since Aryeh’s birth, I used to donate platelets regularly.  Without question, platelets once saved Aryeh’s life; many random people must have donated platelets to keep my precious baby alive.  Recently, I decided that now that life allowed me the health and time, I would begin giving platelets regularly.  On the scheduled Monday, I gave my platelets and it was not an easy experience in any way, shape, or form.  Physically, I don’t enjoy the sensations that run through my body when I give, but this time, my donation experience went down hill with much difficulty.  The platelets stopped flowing easily, my vein stopped cooperating, but I was so far along that the techs decided to do what they could to keep my platelet donation.  The result was a badly swollen arm with the worst bruise I have ever experienced in my entire life.  The beauty of this experience is that my platelets could be used; I can handle the pain again and again if there are positive results.  Don’t get me wrong, I will not jeopardize my health, but I also won’t give up on giving because it is just a little difficult.  September’s donation was pretty intense, if I have another experience like that, I might have to stick to donating whole blood and looking for a new way to give.  September’s experience was not my normal experience in giving.

The point is I have to find ways to look at the challenging moments so that they don’t feel so uncomfortable.  I never stop finding the light.  I can’t.   I truly believe that day will come only when my life is over, but I hope and pray the people in my life and people everywhere find ways to see even the most miniscule ‘light” when times are tough.

Why write this blog today? Until now a partial version of this was sitting in files from a month ago.  But after this weekend, I decided to honor and recognize that I can be normal and to share how I find light in the darkness.  After all the blog is called lightwavejourney :).

This past weekend was really hard; I suffered some painful flashbacks that truly penetrated every fiber of my being.  I allowed myself the tears and I asked for help when I needed the support.  The good news is that today I am healthy enough to withstand the memories and to thrive in spite of them.  I live with what I live with including the realities of the present and the past.  Not all good; not all bad.  My hope is to find light somewhere within the entire journey.  Not every moment is filled with light, but light spills into each and every crack of life.  Reality for me has been what it is and while shadows may sometimes loom, even the dark moments have light.

May it be so for you too.

With light and blessings,

Chava

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א֖וֹר זָרֻ֣עַ לַצַּדִּ֑יק וּלְיִשְׁרֵי־לֵ֥ב שִׂמְחָֽה

Light is sown for the righteous and for the upright in the heart – joy. (Psalm 97:11)

Rabbi Shefa Gold’s interpretive chant http://www.rabbishefagold.com/planting-seeds-orzarua/ utilizes the above Hebrew and the following words:

Plant the seeds of Joy and Light; Tend them carefully day and night,
In this soil so dark and deep, I plant the dreams that Love will reap.  (Psalm 97:11)

Lavender photo

I love following the path of light; to me light is filled with a warm soothing joy that penetrates my soul on a cellular level.  I love knowing that even when life feels cloudy, I can always find the light!  If I didn’t have the light as my guide, I would have faded away long ago.

On a core level, I am a good person; I am no angel, but I strive to make good choices although sometimes I miss the mark.  I am passionate about much of what I think and I live life fully; those two attributes sometimes collide with taking a deep breath before I act.  Loving life as I do means that I often soar towards making my dreams come true and my ideas realized.  Following my heart is how I move through life.  When I listen to the rhythm of my heart, my potential to succeed is always a possibility.

Sometimes I have to pause before taking flight; I have to allow silence to guide me until I better understand how the pieces to life’s puzzle are meant to come together.  I have always been blessed with an intuitive nature.  My intuition allows me to trust the path that life takes me.  What I have learned over the past few years is that while laughter and music fuel my every move, it is the chant followed by an intense silence that propels me to the most honest place I can go.

Above is the chant that has proven time and time again to be a source of growth for me.  The words remind me of my need to continue following my own derekh (path) of spreading seeds of joy and light in all that I do.  Even when darkness seems to loom overhead, I need to keep moving forward and planting seeds of joy and light.

Reality can be looked at in so many ways.

Many would say that life isn’t easy; in fact life is full of challenges.  When times are tough it is not easy to find the light or to find the joy.  But I do believe that you can absolutely find a positive moment as you wade through the tough stuff.  Perhaps not in the midst of tragedy, but I would challenge each of us to look for moments of light (if not joy) in even the most difficult of moments.

My life has had a few tragic moments and years of darkness, but I don’t think it is in me to live in that darkness.  I have always found a moment of joy even in the harshest of moments.

For those of you that have read my blog in the past, you might know that my older son Aryeh went through a few rough years to put it mildly.  As he laid the hospital bed du jour, each time the doctors/nurses would try to check his cognitive function by asking him questions with obvious answers.  Anyone that has a teenager (or any child for that matter) should realize that very few answers are obvious.  For instance, 1+1, why would anyone in their right mind think that it equals 2?  I can’t remember a day when Aryeh would answer 1+1 = 2, his answer was always 3!!!  In any case, as my son struggled for health every medical professional that used that simple equation to check my son’s cognitive function would totally flip for a moment as those of us who knew Aryeh well would LAUGH.  (Note: Don’t even try to figure how 1+1=3, I will blog about that soon.)  Yes, times were painful, but what I know for certain is that I had to find reasons to laugh or to see moments of light in order to get through the darkness. Those moments build on one another so that regardless of what transitions occur, one can look back and see moments of light.

When we sit in darkness, it is darkness that surrounds us.  Without even the smallest moments of light, life ceases to exist.  The chant above allows me the opportunity to see the possibilities when we plant the seeds of life in the darkness that also feels overwhelming.  As long as we are planting seeds, we are trying to reach for our dreams!

Look back at the people that have most influenced your life for good.  Did you notice their joy or their sadness more? Did you notice their kindness or their moodiness? Do the people you most admire embrace life fully and do they find joy as they live their life?

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