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Archive for August, 2012

“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me.  After the explosion, I spent the rest of the day putting the pieces together.” ~ Ray Bradbury

Life is full, really full.  And with that reality comes another reality: I am the one who creates the fullness, the chaos, etc.  With that in mind, I need to manage myself better so that I set limits to the expectations that others and I ask of me.  I also need to make time for  the physical and mental activities that will nourish my body.

As I sit here exhausted to the core, I need endurance in order to actively engage in life while also allowing myself the downtime and rest.  Can I create the time to appreciate the restorative beauty that surrounds me?

Life is complicated and nearly every person I know grapples with ‘getting it all done’.  With this reflection, my hope is to find balance; if balance exists, it is much easier to manage the landmines with a little more finesse and to create the pockets of time for restorative rest during the life’s journey.  What will you do to restore your soul?

May it be so.

Good-night

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Day 2

Elul gives us the opportunity to reflect and challenge ourselves to change behaviors that don’t serve us well.  Breaking out of the cages we have created for us can be liberating even with all the hard work involved.

Many of us have moments of existing within the cages we create.  The key is not conquering all of the challenges at once.  Pick one issue and choose to do the work.  For me getting a new dog will is helping me to move more and to stop being bound by my ‘To Do’ list.

To quote Rabba Sara Hurwitz, “Historically, the shofar signaled the release of all slaves at the end of the Jubilee year. That sound should make us ask, “What enslaves us? What weighs us down? What baggage do we hold onto?” And then, let it go.” (Jewels of Elul jewels@list.craignco.com)

Once we are honest about what enslaves us then and only then is it possible to grow. With work, we can always grow.  We don’t need to be bound by our own inner voices; we have the ability to alter the course we are on and stand on more solid ground.

May each of us be blessed to discern the behaviors that keep us locked in an old reality as we embrace our freedom to soar.

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Elul, the final month of the Jewish year, is a time for reflection.

5772 became a year full of personal transition.  I found new footing and took many new paths.  I am seeking solid ground even as I leap into the air.  While the journey isn’t always simple, it allows me to actively engage in the journey.

What jazzes your soul? Are you reaching towards honoring who you are?

May we be willing to nurture our soul as we do that which makes our hearts sing.

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Helen Gist-Tselikidis was a beloved friend of mine; my entire family loved her.  Finding out she died a little more than a week ago has touched me deeply.  In fact, I am finding her touching me deeply with each breath.  Some moments are easier than others and I am struggling with my desire to be with her family, to give them a hug and to receive their love in return would be amazing.

Below are the words that I shared with Laz, Jessie and Nico about the woman they loved deeply and what she meant to me.  We could all learn from Helen! Her memory is a blessing for good and I wish she could still be with us today.

Memories to share:

My Dearest Laz, Jess, and Nico,

Your family has always touched us; we met you over the course of a couple of years, but from the moment we met your dad that first time we were in the shop, we felt uplifted by each and every one of you.

Your mom was a very quick friend!  Her loving and incredibly transparent energy was a joy; she was real in every way.  I would call your mom sometimes, just to have time with someone who was truly herself at every moment.

There are so many stories I could share with you, below are just a few.

One of the funniest moments came when I invited Helen for our Passover Seder.  She was really excited to come and she seemed a little anxious too.  But she drove all the way out to Bowie, where we lived at the time, showing up 3 or 4 hours late.  I was so excited to have her regardless of what time she showed.  I was bummed that she missed most of the seder, but happy she made it for dessert.  🙂

The best moment of the evening came when one of my friends politely introduced himself by name.  In the midst of a house full of people, I heard her say loudly, “Honey, there is NO NEED for you to tell me your name, I just won’t remember it; I lost my memory as soon as I went through menopause.”

Another time, I brought a good friend of mine into your shop from Texas.  I am not certain if she had ever met a rabbi up close and personal, but she decided he needed to have a Budha so she gave him hers. 🙂

A third and final story:  We were touched to have you and your mother understand the power of tie-dye for our family.  As Aryeh, my son, struggled for his life and then later his recovery, you and your mom helped in tremendous ways.  The biggest gift you gave was when you made a beautiful tie dye from Aryeh’s color directions that said Life in Hebrew, the wall hanging gave him and still gives him the healing energy he seeks.

In fact, Aryeh brought a small Life (Chai) bandana with him to Israel where he is now so that he could share the story of his wall hanging with his new friends.  Since that time, we have also been giving  out tie dye bandanas to people in need of healing.  Funny, she said she would make more for us when we were last there….not sure if she did, but giving these bandanas with healing energy has given countless people something to hold and treasure as they struggle to heal.

Your mother’s capacity to love unconditionally as well as her incredible transparency has helped give my own voice the ability to be more honest.

I will always love Helen and I am grateful that both she and your dad brought our family to each of you.

May your mother’s memory be a blessing for good!

With love, light, and blessings, Chava

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