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Archive for December, 2014

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
~Rumi

December Sunset

Life this year has been daunting and sometimes scary.  At times I have have lived in fear of reality.  How would I feed my family? What happens if any of us get sick? Will I become another homeless statistic?  What about my dogs? I rescued them from a possible death sentence – What if I had to put them down because I could not find a home for them?

Due to the loss of my income as a Jewish Education Director in the southwest, I became a statistic.  The congregation that moved me from the east coast to the southwest laid me off after only two years because they lost a large chunk of their membership unexpectedly.  With barely a moment to tread and reality what it was, I had to take my shattered being and find the sparks of light that have always surrounded me.  I really had no time to lick my wounds.  As in the forward to Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking, Brené Brown wrote, “I have learned that the best way to find light in the darkness is not by pushing people away but by falling straight into them.”

I fell and friends caught me.

Each and every time I did reach out, people held their hands wide open to receive me and ultimately offered help.  One distant friend offered to help me edit my resume since I was having a formatting issue.  Other friends told me of potential jobs or found me part time jobs so that I would be able to stay afloat.  Some friends reminded me that the guys and I could move in with them if we needed to.  In fact, I am now living in my friend’s vacation house.  And ultimately, I created a Go Fund Me account, http://www.gofundme.com/g8o220, I asked for help to move back east and sustain myself until I can land on my feet. And at every step of the way, my friends have be willing to listen to me as I navigated my various emotions.  I may still be struggling, but I am absolutely OK.

Each and every time, I started to fall, my friends never hesitated to catch me.

Through my misfortune, I was able find out what types of people were part of my life AND I am so grateful for what I found.  My situation forced me to open up and learn how to receive many gifts in whatever form they took.  Not only do I now realize how loved I am or maybe just cared for, I also have a greater understanding of what it means to trust.  Amanda Palmer said it beautifully when she said that, “Asking is an act of intimacy and trust.”  I used my blogging and Facebook to share my journey.  I was and continue to be transparent, but I chose to refrain from being openly dark about the institution that caused this situation.  I believe that I needed to honor the wisdom of Stephen Covey by ‘begin(ning) with the end in mind’ which is to say.  If I wanted to live in a place of light, I had to be that light.  And with all that, I have been touched by the tremendous results  from love, a touch, a meal, and even small and large monetary donations.  I now believe that with each gift, people have told me that they believe in me and that they see my struggle.  Everyone wants to see my family thrive.

One of life’s backdrops is that as a little girl, I often lived in fear of homelessness and violence.  There were few people that I trusted or should have trusted; there were some, but not a lot.  I sometimes wonder how I became the person I am.  Today, I can not imagine how my world could have been so broken, but it was.  And now look at the beauty that surrounds me even during the toughest of times.

Over the coming weeks, I want to take the light of this holiday season and grow it by sharing stories of how sparks of light can be found even the darkest holes.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger and to share a story on my blog or tell me a story that I can write, please let me know.

So, in the meantime, if you hear of a job that would allow me the opportunity to make a difference for good or a job that would simply pay my bills and give us health insurance, let me know.  And I will continue to do what I do. . .find and create light wherever I go.

Your light makes a difference.

With blessings, light, and love,
Chava

 

 

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Light has always guided my life.

I am alive and thriving today because of the light that I am blessed to find not only in myself, but in the world that surrounds me.  So much so that many years ago, I changed my name legally so that I could embrace the light within my essence.

Gal-Or, my last name means wave of light.  One of my primary goals has been to illuminate the world around me and to find the light in all that surrounds me and the larger world I live.  My name carries the reminder that I have the responsibility to spread and find late wherever I travel.

Finding light within darkness.

Finding light within darkness.

On the second day of Hanukkah 5775, I am feeling empowered by the beauty of the world I currently live.  I have been blessed to live in a cocoon of warmth and love over the last several decades.  I have a loving family (both given and of choice) that takes care of me and surrounds me with love and warmth.

And unfortunately, there is another truth.  We live in a world that has much darkness.  With each breath I pray that I and so many others spread light that will ultimately illuminate where we stand. Sometimes living feels a bit daunting.  Each and every day, the news is full of destruction and pain at every turn.  Untimely death, murder, a need for civil disobedience, environmental tragedies, and profound sadness for so many. . . . .  Life.

For me, Hanukkah is my reminder that even while things are tough for me personally and within the world I live, it is still my job to be the light and to spread light wherever I go.  And even when the darkness looms bigger than the light, it is my job to find the sparks of light that are truly part of the  our world.

Many people are striving to make a difference for good regardless of how challenging the world may seem.

Here is one song that inspires me to keep doing the holy work of actively engaging in the world I live.  Light One Candle (written by Peter Yarrow, performed by Peter, Paul, and Mary)

Remember to be the light with each and every step you take – now and always.

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