Archive for March, 2011

Flirting with Life

Nearly ten years ago, I was at a conference in Montreal. I was having a blast as I always do during these gatherings! I was meeting people, connecting with old friends, and loving the environment that surrounded me.  For someone that has an introverted tendency, I was finding joy in the spiritual energy and in being in a new city too.

During day three or four of the week-long conference, a good friend came up to me and asked me if I realized that I was being hit on by everyone.  Men were hitting on me; women were hitting on me; and supposedly everyone was trying to figure out if I was straight or a lesbian.  The funniest part of the inquiry is that I was beyond perplexed that this was even up for question.  Why would anyone notice me or gravitate towards being close to me?

Years later, I have a better understanding of what transpired ten years ago.

I love life and I love doing the dance of life!!!  I flirt with all of life-forces including puppies of all ages, children of all ages, little old men and women, and all human beings regardless of gender, race, and religion.  People are amazing and I love being part of the entire animal kingdom (except for perhaps the snakes).

The morale of the story is that I will always flirt with life and those that are a part of it.  Different souls like my energy because I like to meet all creatures where they are!  We all respond to what feels good.

L’Chayyim (To Life)

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Only when people learn to truly hear one another will we have a chance of peace.

Lately I have been considering how much I love passionate people, people with conviction.  With that passion comes so many challenges and so many gifts too.

Yesterday I lost a friend who could not see the world through my eyes; she couldn’t trust that I could politically love Israel and think as I do.  I loved this friend, but when she saw me as a villain the love slipped into the dark shadows that are now beyond my reach.  There is no chance of healing that friendship.

Ironically, I am not sad; however, I am perplexed.  As much as I love passion, I am challenged by the passion that creates a void in listening and communication.  Sometimes I have trouble listening to the words and the silence between the words; both spoken and unspoken language matter.  But only through listening to others can I gain honest perspective or insight into what is happening around me.

Knowledge is a tool and only through tools can people develop a clear understanding.   At the same time, it is hard to listen to views that are clearly divergent from one’s own.  The expression “know your enemy” comes to mind here, but in love and friendship, it is a gift to be able to honor one another’s differences.  OK, now comes the another challenge, realize that people with different opinions are not necessarily the enemy, sometimes insight comes from different perspectives.

For me, a significant challenge comes when I discover prejudice and generalities about different groups of people.  I have no respect or patience for generalizations of color, race, religion, etc. The mere thought that generalizations exist is disturbing and yet sometimes it feels like the generalizations make sense.  But generalizations don’t have a place in moving forward and healing the world; they hurt in every way.

Since the J Street Conference, I have found myself struggling with disdain for the environment that has bred so much of what I see in Israel today.  And yet, I have a responsibility to hear “the other side” even if it doesn’t resonate with me.  The question is how to find holy ground.  I am not certain that it is possible and yet we, as a people, have to work towards holy ground.

The world can be scary.  But if we stay in relationship with the world around us and friends learn to listen to one another, perhaps everyone can be part of the solution of making our world a better place.

Passion really can be the gift that can ultimately repair the world.

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there are so many doorways.  I am always looking for the right doorway.  sometimes the door gives me a glimmer of a spark and sometimes it locks me out.  that seems to be the duality of all doors and doorways.  dualities are filling my life at this point; the blessing is seeing those dualities and trying to gain perspective and answers to my many questions.

funny. .. since the  j street conference last week I have been grappling with some of intense questions.  do I have a role in the peace process? how can I teach love of Israel when I struggle with nearly every aspect of what the Israeli government is doing? how do I deal with the ongoing occupation? yet in my core I need to be doing something to make a difference in how “our people” and “our children” understand and hopefully grow to love Israel.   but what can I do and how do I do it with integrity? the bottom-line, I love israel.

this is following how I am going to move through my spiritual journey in a world where I am really wrestling with the role of judaism in my personal life . do I even have what to give any longer? am I a leader or should I fade away and hope that others do the work?

currently, I am in the midst of considering this as I also consider what the actors and the creators of the buried life (a tv show) shared with me last year. what bucket list really makes a difference in the long and short run?  what do I really want to accomplish before I die? what do I really want to do with my life?

how will I best create the space for me to thrive while honoring who I am? do I have anything to give to the jewish or political world that I am currently active. perhaps I am done with the jewish and I have given all I have to give.. . perhaps. am I really touching people and inspiring them to grow…maybe. if so, continuing the work I do might not be an option.

and then even as I ask myself these questions, I receive calls from my old rosh hodesh girls that are growing up, but keeping me close. Or my old staff contacts me and asks me to give my input into their work and sometimes their lives. perhaps I make a difference.

I used to think I had so much to give, but for now I don’t know for sure. . .maybe with my writing. . .but I feel intense sadness when people I love don’t take time to read my writing.  if they won’t read it, perhaps there is no reason to write.  lol.  that is probably ridiculous to say considering that each of us has only a short time to read and each of us has to prioritize what we do with our time.
there are so many dualities in how I live. I am tired and perhaps a little melancholy. this will pass soon. . .I don’t stay melancholy for long. . .it isn’t who I am.

perhaps the only question I should be asking is “what’s my next step in taking the world by storm?”  I really do have so much to give.  I am just really tired right now and need to give myself time to become grounded in all that I do.

inside, my soul is full.  I always have so much to do and so much to consider.

may we all be blessed with finding the light we need to soar to new heights and to figure out what we need to do within the world we live.

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