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Archive for April, 2014

Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

Middah (character trait) focus:  Optimism

Just over 10 years ago, I changed my last name to Gal-Or which means wave of light.  Choosing that name was a conscious decision; I did it as a means of honoring who I am and who I wanted to be.  My goal was to remember and to grow optimism a guiding priciple within my life.

My life has not always been easy; yet, I am someone who often finds the good in challenging situations.  While I have had definite perionds of sadness and darkness during the course of my life, I am blessed to be able to notice the sparks of  light when life’s struggles seem the most painful.

Regardless of what struggles might be going on in my life at any given moment, may I be blessed to live up to the attributes of my name.

With love and light, Chava

May we each reach to find the beauty that surrounds us.

May we each reach to find the beauty that surrounds us.

 

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Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

Middah (character trait) focus:  Timeliness

Being late has never worked for me and yet sometimes it happens.  This Omer piece is late – for that I am sorry.  So, while I want to make amends, I also want to say that mistakes are part of life.

May we all aspire to do a little better navigating and scheduling of our lives.

With love and light, Chava

Better late than never :)

Better late than never 🙂

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Arms spread

Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

Middah (character trait) focus:  Grace

Gracefulness has been defined to be the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.  William Hazlitt

Job loss coupled a feeling of displacement has knocked me a little off kilter; in reality I can’t just settle for these feeling, I must listen to the messages that surround me.

Yesterday, I received two messages on one of my Facebook status lines; both were gifts.  While they appear to be similiar in nature, they also appear to be opposite.  The first one blessed me with grace and strength as I navigate my current challenges; the second one shared “that I have I have an amazing gift for grace and strength.”  What I heard in these two messages is that while I may sometimes have grace and strength, I still have to engage in the spiritual work that makes further developing and maintaining them possible.

This reminds me of the Talmudic teaching that everyone should have two pockets each containing a piece of paper.  One piece of paper should say that the world was created just for me; on the other piece of paper it should say that I am but dust and ashes.

As we walk in the world, may I remember that grace means to always put my best foot forward even when I navigate life’s challenges.

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Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

Middah (character trait) focus: Humility

It’s not all about me.

Really. . . .As hard as it is to believe sometimes, I am not the center of the universe or the center of the earth’s story.  There is a much bigger world that surrounds me; I am simply  a small particle within the larger cosmos.

Things That Grow at My Palace of Peace: tomatoes, peppers, chives Photo courtesy of Shay Seaborne

Things That Grow at My Palace of Peace:     tomatoes, peppers, chives
Photo courtesy of Shay Seaborne

I need to do the best Ihu can with the part of the world that is mine to navigate.  Every aspect of my world is a metaphoric seed that can be planted to sprout new food, enchanting ideas, or gifts to be celebrated.  We all make a difference and have the capacity to heal or hurt what exists.

Perhaps humility is simply the understanding that each and every aspect of the world matters.  While it may not be all about me, I still can make a difference for good.

May I walk gently, remain unobtrussive, and do my best make a difference for good.

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Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth..

Middah (character trait) focus: Perseverance

Life happens.

Each and every day we wake up and we get to decide how we can walk through the world.  For me, regardless of what is happening in my world, I am someone who chooses to move through life with a smile on my face and a positive disposition.  While I am far from perfect, being grumpy just doesn’t work for me.

As part of the living, each of us experience trials and tribulations, gifts and challenges, joy and heartache.  When we push through the tough stuff, we open ourselves to the possibility of making it through what is and maybe even finding sparks of light along the way.

Living in the desert has opened up my mind to how perseverance can appear; one such example is a cactus that rarely receives water, yet still has the ability to flower.

Cactus Flower

May each of us find the tools that allow us to perservere when we are faced with adversity in whatever form it takes.

With love and light . . . . Chava

 

 

 

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Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

Middah (character trait) focus: Balance

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~Albert Einstein 

Over the last few months finding internal balance has felt daunting at times. While the journeys I am experiencing are far from easy, they are made a little easier when I take a deep breath and take one step at a time. 

As I am navigating what sometimes feels like all-encompassing challenges, it helps to not only visualize a bike, but to get on my own bike as a way of processing what is currently transpiring in my life. When riding my bike, I have to focus on staying balanced by taking note of what is happening around me and within me.  The only way to keep balance is through paying attention as I continue moving; if I stop chances are that I might simply fall over.

With each breath, may I have what it takes to deal with one emotion at a time, one situation at a time, and one step at a time. As long as I do, finding balance is possible.

Courtesy of Stephanie Randall

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Randall

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Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

Middah (character trait) focus: Creativity

Ever since I was a little girl, writing was my solace and the way I processed life.  It still is.

Today, with some struggle, I realize creativity is part of my each and every step.  I not only think outside of the box, I often recreate the box.  Yet, at the same time I create in my own little cocoon and refrain from sharing with others.

Recently I was stunned when two guests at my Seder asked me who the artist was of a drawing I had done many years before; they loved this piece that I drew and treasured.  I couldn’t believe that I was asked if I was the artist.  The question touched me deeply as I tried to reconcile how I see myself while acknowledging that I am not only a creative person, but an artist too.

“Creativity is the way things travel from the head to the heart to the hand.” ~Brené Brown

May I be blessed to share the depths of my soul by trusting the creativity to flow in whatever form it takes.

 

Drawing by: Chava Gal-Or

Drawing by: Chava Gal-Or

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