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Archive for March, 2013

(Note:  My hope is to write Omer Reflections as they come to me.  Life is full these days, I will do my best.)

Sabino Canyon's Road to Blessings

Sabino Canyon’s Road towards Liberation

For me, counting the Omer is about reflection.  Through the counting I actively work towards coming to grips with different parts of my essence while also looking at how I interact with the world around me. As we count the days from slavery to freedom, I reflect on the biblical journey from Pesach to Shavuot and I take an accounting of the slavery that surrounds me as I try to do my part to put slavery on a shelf that will one day become a mere memory.

There are seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot; each week has a big theme worthy of exploration with daily chapters that allow us to experience deeper discovery.  As in all philosophies, there is no one correct way of moving through this journey.

With each day, I can choose how I will do my dance of emergence.  In this week of chesed, loving-kindness, I get to decide how I will navigate all that is going on in my world.  There is nothing simple about my current journey.  With each breath I am struggling to figure out how I can live with integrity while I face personal and professional struggles.

In this moment, I am struggling. Yet I am standing firm in my commitment to live consciously and to face my journey with both an inner and outer loving-kindness.

As the day begins to wane, I am looking at the 5th day, Hod she b’Chesed, acceptance within loving-kindness. or perhaps withdrawing my ego in order to make room for true loving-kindness.  Life is what it is and yet I have many roles to play in making things work in the best possible way.

At this moment, my ego has evolved.  I no longer feel I have the answers as I once did.  With that in mind, it is my job to navigate the world with openness. I need to breathe in the goodness, breathe out the despair and allow the answers to life’s challenges to come as they can.  And while that is happening, I need to remain with chesed in my heart and in my being.

May I have the ability to trust the universe and allow all of the answers come in their right time.

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Shemati Reconsidered

Shemati Reconsidered

Hearing is about noting the sound or the words being heard.  Sometimes it is also about connecting with the energy or the rhythm of what’s going on around you.  If I am honest, listening, really absorbing what is being said and what is going on around you is one of the most sacred acts one can do.

Shema in Hebrew means so many things; it means hear, listen, absorb, focus. . . .it means be present with the sounds and the rhythm of the earth and with whom you stand.  When you are able to be fully present, you open you heart to what is.

In February, I had a viceral amd temporary response, http://wp.me/pthnB-ox, to the word Shemati, the word that had previously meant so much to me. . . perhaps I just had a temper tantrum of sorts.  The word that I had previously held so dear started to hurt me.  In my aloneness, I believed that no one could truly hear the depths of my words and my thoughts.  While there might be some truth to that, I have since returned to peace with trusing that word when uttered from a place of truth.

I am a human being that wrestles with my place in this world.  Where do I belong? Who wants to truly hear what is going on in my head? And do I really have anything worthy of listening to.  As a general rule, my self esteem is strong yet I have moments in which I grapple with the power of my silence.  Perhaps I should say less, walk more gently, and serve others a little more.    While my voice matters, it might have more power in the silence.

And then there are other times when I love the power of my voice and how I am able to connect with people when I use my voice;  I  also love the silence.  The key is finding the balance.

Honoring others comes when I allow others to be real with me and when I trust my own voice and how I interact with any individual or group of individuals.  When I am in a place of integrity, I can say shemati.   And when I am in trustworthy connections, I can believe when folks say shemati to me.  Shemati really does strengthens those connections.

To be fully transparent, I have only started to dip my toe into fully utilizing the word shemati again.  And I have to say it is starting to feel good again. . .it takes time to reconnect with an old friend.

Today, at some point in a conversation with my friend, I used the word shemati.  And with that one word, my friend’s joy was so full; she knew I was returning home.  I was finding my voice and finding center with a word that I really do hold so dear.

Temper tantrum over.  🙂

 

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Today, every area of my life is full of questions.
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With each and every question, I wonder how I will navigate all that is going on in my head and in my soul.  While riding the waves is what I do, I am really in a curious spot.

My guess is that this is life.

What is funny to me is that every one who reads this blog will wonder what’s going on with me.  If you know me, you will wonder if I am ok or if one area of my life or another is feeling challenged.  If you don’t know me, you will wonder if there is a secret message.  The answer is no.

Life is full.  Work. Relationships. Passions.  Passover.

Sometimes I wonder how will I get it all done.  The questions are overflowing; here are a few:

  • How will I manage all that is going on at work?
  • When will I find the time to nurture my body and soul so that I can thrive?
  • Is exercise a choice or a necessity?
  • What will I cook for Passover seders?
  • How will I ever find time to really clean my house for Passover?
  • Can I take a day to curl up in a ball and do nothing?
  • Will my kids have fun in Atlanta at their first cousin’s wedding?
  • Am I kind enough to those around me?
  • Did I scar my children with any of the choices I have made?
  • Do I need more silence in my life?
  • When will I find time to nurture my spiritual energy and share that with others?
  • How can I walk a little more gently in the world?
  • Will I ever complete everything I need to get done?
  • Is it possible to better navigate all that I feel  without feeling a little too well-done?

Sometimes the overload I am feeling cuts deep and other times I thrive on riding the waves.   Today, I wish there weren’t so many waves to ride.

While so many questions surround me and not enough answers are coming to me, I am deeply aware that being able to openly grapple with the world as I do is a gift.  May we all be blessed with to wrestle with the questions inside our heart.

With love and light. . . .

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Over the course of the last several days, I have experienced many hours without a voice.  While it appeared to be challenging for others who had to communicate with me, I ultimately found peace in my own silence.  I loved having the time to sit quietly with my thoughts and to sometimes just be present without thinking at all.  I also loved quietly watching what was going on around me without having to connect to the conversations.  In the last few days I grew to love the silence and wish I could find more ways to put silence in my life.

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In my silence, I have learned or reinforced many lessons that I already knew.

  1. Silence allows me the time to create a container for my own thoughts.  Sometimes the chatter that I engage in takes away my ability to be present and to trust my own thoughts and desires. The silence has given me the space to allow what is in my heart to resonate more fully within me.
  2. As a Youth Education Director, my voice is often used as a tool to lead people, to tell stories, to connect with my students, their families, and my teachers.  Losing my voice forced me to trust others to lead in ways that I couldn’t lead.  And guess what, while no one will ever be me, those that stepped up to the plate were awesome in their own right.
  3. Writing jazzes my soul! Now in all honesty, I have not felt well enough to write for a bit, but it helps to know that in theory I always have writing.  Laryngitis can never silence me!
  4. Words are not needed to convey thoughts.  Body language, facial expressions, and silence can be part of an entire conversation.
  5. My sons are awesome at reminding me to slow down or to stop entirely.  They have stepped up to the plate in many ways to make certain that I push myself less. Those that know me well know that I always push myself.
  6. Vulnerability is a reality of life.  Sometime illness takes away our ability to function; it also makes me realize how we sometimes need to rely on others.  I haven’t asked for too much help, but when I did, I felt supported.  Still acknowledging my own vulnerability has been painful.  It is what it is.

For me, losing my voice has essentially forced me to find my footing. Over the past few months, I have been going at a breakneck speed and trying to navigate many thoughts, emotions, and realities.  The last couple months have been especially tough in different ways.  I have always done what I needed to do, but at times I have been overwhelmed.

Laryngitis felt like a metaphor for some recent challenges.  Since moving to a totally new city, I have sometimes felt like my voice didn’t matter.  In part that was due to moving to Tucson where I am not quite sure how to navigate my politics nor do I have the time I want to do that which I love.  I am also working in a new community, this means that I feel compelled to listen and observe during the first year; perspective comes from seeing what has been done before making changes.  Moving also means that I have been so busy that I don’t have enough time to really connect with those that I have always been able to speak freely; I am missing what I have lost for the time being. And finally, I have two sons that have grown more independent and don’t always feel compelled to hear my thoughts.  None of these challenges are everlasting; they are present realities which will absolutely evolve over time.

With each and every gift, there are challenges.  Losing my voice has given me time to reflect and to make some decisions for how I will navigate my life a little differently.  Perspective has come from the silence.  Instead of me just speaking the words that come to me, I have had the opportunity to stop and take the opportunity to reflect before acting too quickly.  Much can be learned in the space between the words (spoken or written).

My hope is that I will create a little more silence in my life as I continue to navigate what life has to offer.

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