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Archive for April, 2013

Tonight we will count Day 35 of the Omer, which is 5 weeks of the counting. Day 35 is referred to as Malkhut sheh b’Hod, Shekhinah within Expansiveness.  Shekhinah is a way of looking at Malkhut (meaning kingdom).  When God or godliness dwells in one central location, you have a kingdom.

With each and every step, I try to hold myself with integrity and to put godliness in every interaction.  There is an entire world out there that matters and depends on my integrity.  Sometimes I struggle, but still I believe that is my responsibility to follow Gandhi’s saying and “be the change you want to see in the world.”  If I consciously embrace a world of godliness than perhaps my steps will guide me to higher ground when climbing to higher ground is not an option.

Hiking Boots

To live in the bigger world, I have to remember to walk gently, to honor truth even when it hurts, and to constantly strive to be my best self even when I am dealing with the shadow of others.  The world depends on people actively being the best they can be.  As a mother, a teacher, a friend, a writer, and a human being, I have no choice but to always put my best foot forward.

Surrendering to life’s darkness isn’t an option, yet it is often how I feel when I battle the demons that exist around me.  In every realm (personal and more universal) that I travel I see darkness, but it is my job to hold myself in light and to find others that endeavor to do the same.  I am not an island; although there are moments that I feel like one.  Reality is that it takes many loving souls to make the larger world a better place.

Will you join me?  With each breath, I pray for Malkhut sheh b’Hod, Shekhinah within Expansiveness

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Tonight we counted Day 34 of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and six days of the counting. Day 34 is referred to as Yesod sheh b’Hod, Foundation within Expansiveness.

There is a huge world that surrounds us with infinite possibilities and enormous beauty.  Acknowledging that beauty within a larger foundation is only the beginning of developing a strong relationship with what is.  Foundations create order, in other words, ways to embrace the beauty that surrounds us.

As someone who consciously lives in the world, I can’t take the vast expansiveness for granted.  I am responsible for honoring the expansiveness by doing my part to make the foundation strong.

Yesod sheh b’Hod is a reminder to always live like I make a difference.  Walking gently on the earth by actively engaging in healthy life choices and Tikun Olam too.

May each of us built roots that carry all of us into all that is beyond us.

Remember like trees, our roots go down. . . . .

NakedTreeWinterEastCoast

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Tonight we counted Day 33 of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and five days of the counting. Day 33 is referred to as Hod sheh b’Hod, Expansiveness within Expansiveness.

Photo courtesy of  Shai Gluskin

Expansiveness in all of her Glory:                                        Photo courtesy of Shai Gluskin

Hod can be explained with a multitude of words including expansiveness, prophesy, glory, empathy, thankfulness, and being fully present.  Each word leads to a deeper and more full understanding of Hod.  To fully absorb  Hod,  one must be fully aware of the realities with an openness to the truth of what one is seeing or experiencing.

Hod sheh b’Hod

All my life, I have been intensely aware of the world around me.  The intensity permeates every cell of my body.  With that awareness comes a spirit that tends to walk gently while being a human barometer of sorts.  Over the years I have learned to remain present without experiencing the deep emotions that others feel.  Self preservation is a necessity when you walk in the world as I do.  At the same time, I value so much of what is.

Hod squared

Being open in this way means that you not only trust what you know, but you are also open to the fact that there are always moving parts.  What you know one moment might evolve the next minute.  When we are fully present, we are also aware that nothing is truly permanent; everything changes with each passing moment.

May we be present to the vastness that surrounds us as we navigate the world with all her moving parts.

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Last night we counted Day 32 of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and four days of the counting. Today is referred to as Netzach sheh b’Hod, Endurance within Expansiveness.

Did you look at the full moon last night? Amazing. . .truly amazing!!

Photo courtesy of Wicca Davidson

Photo courtesy of Wicca Davidson

There is something about the moon that always touches me deeply; I love watching her cycle, feeling the guidance of her light, and feeling her soothing energy.  Each and every time I see the moon in all of her expansiveness, my heart beats a little faster and peacefulness seeps into my heart.

The moon has always been my comfort, my confidant, and my constant.  The moon is simply always there to nurture my spirit.  When I struggle with life, I feel supported through all that I am navigating; the moon is soothing my spirit with her gentle light.  When the moon is bright, her light joins me as I chant from my heart; when the tears start to flow, I don’t have to hide them.  Quite simply the moon is with me every day of my life and always has been.

Life is full of gifts and challenges, light and dark times, beauty and ugliness.  Reality isn’t always easy; reality isn’t always hard.  Having the moon guide me through each and every night makes it possible for me to thrive as I do.  Her light warms my soul and illuminates my core.

Tonight as you look at the moon, feel her essence illuminate yours.

 

helps me remain open to the possibilities that surround me.  The muted light connects me to the world with a realistic light for

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Last night we counted Day 31 of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and three days of the counting. Today is referred to as Tiferet sheh b’Hod, Beauty, Balance or Harmony within Expansiveness.

Have you ever noticed how some days just work?  All of the pieces of life’s puzzles come together as you would like and challenging moments don’t really trouble you.

Tiferet sheh b’Hod

Each of us have a story that makes us who we are at any given moment.  We have trials and tribulations; we have gifts and challenges happening at nearly every turn.  We have a past, a present, and a future.  Life always has a lot of moving parts and for the most part, we have a choice on how we experience the moving parts.

(Note: I do realize that tragedy never feels good and loss can be devastating.  And in the midst of pain, life can feel like hell.  From experience, I realize that awareness or insight comes only after the harshness of pain eases over time.  While I believe we have a choice how we walk through life’s darkness, we might not have a choice during the initial spark or as a disaster is absorbing our essence.  The choice will come days, weeks, months, or even years later when we have an opportunity to look back and find moments that worked or new ways to absorb the blow of reality.)

DoubleRainbow

Storms come and go.  Life happens and sometimes we have no control.  If we open our eyes real wide, we might find the rainbows that happen after the storm.  At those moments, I am always amazed that regardless of how I feel part of the larger world and I see the beauty that surrounds me with an open heart.

Tiferet sheh b’Hod, Beauty, Balance or Harmony within Expansiveness.

May we all find our rainbows within the beauty that encircles us.

 

 

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Tonight we counted Day 30 of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and two day of the counting. Today is referred to as Gevunrah sheh b’Hod, Strength or Discipline within Expansiveness.

Lately I have been struggling to maintain a strong foundation.  There are so many reasons for this and with each reason comes frustration.  Yet even with my frustrations, I am still awed by the land and the skies that surround me in Tucson.  The beauty often grounds me and reminds me of my place in this world.  Life is what it is, but in the whole scheme of things, my foot and knee will heal, my schedule will not remain this crazy forever, friends will become a more active part of my life, I will make time to exercise on a regular basis. . . the list goes on and on.

I am so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing nature.  Remembering to acknowledge the vast beauty brings me  down to earth and sustains me internally.  My challenges might feel overwhelming, but they are actually quite small.   I truly have what I need and I can create the world I want, I just have to do the work.  When I take time to engage in the world around me, I begin to return to a more solid foundation.

Today, I nurtured my spirit.  I found the discipline to step out of the darkness and to gain stronger footing.  Early in the morning, I went hiking with Aryeh, I had some sweet moments with Dovi, I chanted, I took time write (twice) and now I am listening to good music at my favorite writing place in the world.  Even with my knee swelling, I am feeling stronger today than I was yesterday.  Allowing myself to engage with life (all of life) is the gift I give myself.  I even saw a friend for tea and visited with friends at the local JCC and Federation.

SabinoApril

Today’s gift was allowing myself to step outside of myself and to engage in the beauty of nature, people, and writing.  Creating the space for the Gevurah (the discipline/strength) to thrive as my entire being stretched out from the darkness towards the light.

 

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Last night we counted Day 29 of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and one day of the counting. Today is referred to as Chesed sheh b’Hod, Loving-kindness within Expansiveness.

Hod or Expaniveness Becoming at One with the Expansiveness that surrounds us.  Courtesy of Jennifer Judelsohn, artist, social workier, and friend

Hod or Expaniveness
Becoming at One with the Expansiveness that surrounds us.
Courtesy of Jennifer Judelsohn            artist, social worker, friend

There is an amazing world that exists outside of what we know and understand; we are part of a larger universe, an expansiveness.  Each night as I look into the Tucson skies, I am dazzled by the pure beauty that surrounds me and by the responsibility I feel for what I see and how connected to all that is I am.  Chesed. Walking gently, making healthy life choices, connecting with the world around me are all responsibilities that come to me as I face the expansiveness of all that is.

May each of us find a way to become at one with the expansiveness that surrounds us.

 

 

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Last night we counted Day 28 of the Omer, which is 4 weeks of the counting. Today is referred to as Malkhut sheh b’Netzach, shekhinah within endurance.  Shekhinah is a way of looking at Malkhut (meaning kingdom).  When God or godliness dwells in one central location, you have a kingdom.

Netzach Image - Reaching for all that is within life. Courtesy of Jennifer Judelsohn from her Sefirot collection of paintings.

Netzach Image                               Reaching for all that is within life.
Courtesy of Jennifer Judelsohn from her Sefirot collection of paintings.

Wrestling with life is what I do.  I seek answers to questions that lack responses and I often feel alone as I navigate the current realities of life.  Throughout each step of the journey,  there is always a choice about how I navigate wherever I am going.  When I walk gently, the shekhinah can be felt within the struggles, within the questions, and even within the answers.  All of this ultimately is my personal endurance.

With each and every reality, I openly endure what is and for the most part I have found gifts within the challenges.  As a seeker, I am constantly exploring the questions and answers within life.  I am moving forward. I am reaching for clarity, for understanding.

Malkhut sheh b’Netzach, shekhinah within endurance.

Counting the Omer has become a powerful way to personally guide how I walk through the world with the daily and weekly teachings.  As long as Godliness is part of my journey, the shekhinah will ultimately prevail within life’s interactions, within the malkhut.   

My hope is that I am one of many who are on this journey.  To create Malkhut sheh b’Netzach, shekhinah within endurance, we need to be actively engaged in making the world a better place.  And when and where this occurs, we will find the shekhinah in our midst, within our kingdom.

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Last night we counted Day 27 of the Omer, which is 3 weeks and six days of the counting. Today is referred to as Yesod sheh b’Netzach, foundation within endurance.

Living life takes endurance; consciously or not, we endure the lives we live.  When we actively build a foundation for ourselves by meaningfully engaging in life, we are building a foundation within the lives we endure.

Breathing is not optional, yet most of us breathe unconsciously.  Try taking five deep breaths right now or when you have a moment ; to do this you will need to inhale slowly through your nose giving your entire body a moment to feel the breath as you take it in and then exhale through your mouth just as slowly.  Try to do this exercise evenly by taking as much time to inhale as you do to exhale.  Does this exercise relax you, give you more energy, or make you feel more centered.

Finding ways to more actively engage in life is part of building a foundation.

I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.  ~Isaac Asimov

For me, acknowledging Yesod sheh b’Netzach, foundation within endurance, is empowering.  There are so many ways in which I choose to build a stronger foundation for myself and for my family.  Each and every step we take matters and helps strengthen our cores.  Whether it is about how we breathe, eat, move or whether it is about how we relate to our interests, our money, or our role in tikun olam (repairing the world).  When I consciously develop how I do these things, I am creating a more solid foundation for myself and ultimately my family.

As we move through today, may conscious living empower us as we build a stronger foundation within our our lives.

Keep on Moving! Reaching!

 

 

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Tonight we counted Day 26 of the Omer, which is 3 weeks and five days of the counting. Today is referred to as Hod sheh b’Netzach, humility and majesty within endurance.

Have you ever noticed that life seems to have too many moving parts?  Navigating our world is never-ending, we all have to navigate every moment of our lives.

Congested

With that in mind, it can be difficult to notice the majestic beauty that surrounds us; it can also be humbling to realize that while we count, we don’t count all that much in the grand scheme of things.

As you journey within Day 26 of the Omer, take a deep breath and notice the pure splendor that surrounds you not only with nature, but with those people that surround you, and all that life encompasses.  With each breath, breathe in the beauty and then realize that you have a part in the larger world.  You count, but you don’t have to be perfect; just be the best human being you can be.

With love and light. . . .

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