Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2015

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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

Accepting Our Scars

A Personal Story:

In January, one of my dogs bit the tip of the other dog’s ear off; nothing like a dogfight  to alter what is.  Unfortunately there are a lot of wounds from that day, but I want to focus not on ‘the wounds’, but on some lessons learned post dog trauma.

Since that dark day in January, I have found myself worried about Maddie and her spirit, much more than necessary. For a time I mourned Maddie’s ear. At first, it was because it was bloody and sore; later it was healing and sensitive; and then one day it was fine. Maddie stopped responding to the injury (or is it the chomping?); I could touch her ear without receiving a pain response. Yay!

On the day that I first noticed this, I turned to Aryeh, my older son, and lamented that her ear will always be missing a part of it.  With that he looked at me sort of cockeyed and ask, do you mind my scar? I have to share that the question made me squirm not because I was guilty of feeling uncomfortable with Aryeh’s scar following brain surgery, but because I thought he was ludicrous.  I love Aryeh’s scar; it is a symbol of his fight for life and his ultimate thriving. His scar symbolizes one of the most profound gifts I have ever received. My son’s health restored and survival after years of critical health.

Aryeh and Dovi - imperfections together for blog

Since the day of that conversation in early February, I have looked at both of the creatures above with such immense gratitude for them being exactly how they are.

The conversation also forced me to look inward. How do I perceive physical wounds, body disfigurement, emotional challenges? How do I see the reality that surrounds me? How do I perceive my own blemishes or imperfections? The last question I will delve in tomorrow for my Omer Reflections.

So here’s the truth, I generally accept all people for where they are. Dogs too! But I must have a quiet voice inside of me that was challenged that day. It is important to note it and quiet it. And it is always important to watch my thoughts and what I actually say at any given moment. Words do matter and they have a chance to impact how we think and how we make others feel.

What a blessing to have both Maddie and Aryeh in my lfe!

May we all have a chance to find the beauty in each and every person, wherever they stand.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

Aryeh and Maddie on bed May 2015 Aryeh and Maddie in Snow Winter 2015

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

Up and Down. . .Up and Down. . .Up and Down

Today has been one of those days. While I woke up really sick, I was able to push through, walk gently and get a ton completed.  It always amazes me when this happens.

And then reality hit.  I have so much to do and so much to navigate. And in all honesty, I felt broken, not crushed, just wiped. Of course being sick didn’t help. Neither did the ants that keep taking over our home or the pervasive attitudes that I had to deal with or the fear of getting through the next three months. Oh. . .did I say I was sick?

With each passing hours, I found moments of awe. I was able to get some good work done even with feeling achy and weak. I am thrilled and excited to be doing some professional networking. Five boxes were boxed and are now in my car waiting to get mailed to my new city. And in the midst of the tough stuff, I kept finding beautiful light to brighten the path for me.

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

As afternoon progressed, I needed to handle one of my sons that was navigating his own darkness. And we did! We were able to bounce to a healthier place. I am so grateful for how he is choosing to grow and heal from his own inner conflicts. It took a long drive, a lot of talking, some yelling, and some quiet. Transition is challenge no matter what age you are. I also had to cope with some of my own obsessiveness, waiting for my contract on a house to work out, and some sadness deep within. I was just missing some friends.

Returning home, I was hungry and exhausted from not getting enough rest. I am not sure that I could have expected anything different unless I did more to lay low.

Even with all the tough chunks of time, I found beautiful light guiding me to a brighter place. My rawness led me to see my friend’s beautiful flower as a tool for opening my heart and soul a bit wider. And another dear friend allowed me to reach deeper within myself by writing something that resonated so deeply that I felt my heart sing.

The art forms that surrounded me nudged me to keep moving and even to keep up my own practice of counting the Omer and actively engaging in My Journey Towards Wholeness. I’d say that admitting my seesaw day is a great way to start. Everyone has ‘those” days.Right?!?

The one decision I made after living through today is that the next house I buy has to have a seesaw in the yard and until then, I will start taking photos of some great seesaws until I find the perfect one to frame and put in my house.

Most of us go up and down on any given day. Today was just a little more kinetic than I wanted.

Intuitively, I think I needed today just so I could appreciate that “what goes up must go down.”

Soon I will close my eyes and rejuvenate my soul. I will feel the grateful for the darkness that always turns to light! And I will wake up tomorrow knowing that “All will be good.”

Seesaw Day

With love, light, and blessings – Good night!
Chava

Read Full Post »

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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

Louisa - late winter 2015

Lake Louisa – late winter 2015

I Love Hummus AND Life is Awesome TOO!

Life is a long and winding road.

Living in a place of gratitude makes living a lot easier; it sure beats only focusing on the tough stuff. I am very aware of the tough stuff that happens both around me and in the larger world. Even with life’s difficulties, I choose to celebrate the life I am living.  I am SMILING!! I AM HAPPY!!!!

Today, I am celebrating:
A. New home in Houston
B. Blog follower in Swaziland
C. International Hummus Day
D. Vatican to Recognize Palestinian State in New Treaty
E. Focused and productive morning
F. My sons hid the peanut butter from ME!
G. Networking with Colleagues
H. SO MUCH MORE. . . .
I.  ALL OF THE ABOVE

Today has been amazing!

From the moment I woke up I felt productive and content. The day started with my work flowing in fabulous ways. I couldn’t believe that I was feeling so accomplished. And then moments after I showed incredible restraint and kindness when I really could have acted differently, I received the information I have been waiting to hear! We found out we have a house and can now ‘officially’ move to Houston.

And then I tripped over the best news in the world. . . .Today is International Hummus Day!!! I love hummus.  So much so that my family named one of our most precious dogs Chumi, short for hummus.  (OK- all of our furry creatures are precious.) Unfortunately, just as my sons were going to make me a fresh batch of hummus, I got a belly virus that my son Aryeh had a few days ago. Sigh.  Still, I am so thrilled that one of my favorite foods has a day of her own!!! YES!!! I will wait for a few days before I eat hummus, but I am patient.  🙂

Every step of my day has been beautiful. Even when I needed to spend $268 on my car, my mechanic saved me from spending a ton more on a hitch could have lead to blowing out my transmission if I hauled a big U-HAUL. So, life really is good!

Today included networking opportunities with colleagues, loving exchanges with friends, and took a long walk with my son.

So while I could be lamenting about bills, a belly ache, or the state of politics everywhere, I choose to note them, consider them, and allow the good of my days to flow. I am always considering the plight of so much in the world, but that doesn’t mean I can choose to make the best of my life.

In My Journey Towards Wholeness, I want to remember that I am living on a long and winding road, may I see the light and remember to find the moments worthy of gratitude.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

Read Full Post »

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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

Silence 1

Silence Speaks Louder Than Words

In this moment, I can almost hear Joan Rivers asking, “Can we talk?” And I know that my answer would be a definite “NO”.

Most of my life, I have been someone who has felt the need to share my thoughts through writing or talking. But what I have learned over the last year or so is that sometimes it is a good thing to allow for the silence. And if I am really honest with myself, sometimes not.

This moment, I am wanting to focus on the power of silence.

There has been a shift in me that has become more comfortable with the silence. Conflict happens. Relationships evolve. Opinions are diverse. I am slowly losing my need to:

  • always enlighten those that are so certain that I am wrong.
  • navigate the difficult connections when someone believes wronged them in some way.
  • convince others that whatever point I am expressing is far from par for the other person’s thoughts.
  • ____________. (You fill in the blank.)

I have found out that silence can be an amazing tool when used right. I think the line of right and wrong is often intuitive. Currently I am learning to trust my intuition and to allow for the silence without always needed to prove my point.

In the last two weeks alone, I have seen the results of letting conflict go without needing to keep discussing my thoughts and feelings. Sometimes the continuous conversations lead to more and more conflict. Or to a more difficult parting of the ways if that is in fact what is happening. We really don’t need to make endings more difficult. Sometimes relationships or connections have taken their course and the time has come to simply let go.

And then there are the political conversations. Sometimes we can learn from those we are talking to and sometimes all parties are so clear that the discussions will go no where.

Most of us generally know when we are ready to be a partners in the conversation. There are beautiful moments when the power of conversation is palpable. There is absolutely an amazing energy that occurs when adversaries, if you will, can find the rhythm to talk, listen, debate, argue, etc. And there are times when the cutting conversation loses the ability to impact in a good way. Those are the moments that silence has it’s place.

I have begun to fall in love with the quiet.

May each of us allow the power of the silence to serve us in the best possible way.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

Read Full Post »

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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

Vision Your Journey
Create Your Future

The only journey is the one within.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Life is a journey.

With that in mind, I have to be willing to take My Journey Towards Wholeness with a full heart and a willing spirit. Instant gratification will probably be a wish and not a reality.

On April 1, 2010 – I had to face surgery to end debilitating pain and also to hopeful keep me from becoming a statistic. The surgery worked with flying colors and my life has evolved substantially since that time. Reflecting back, I believe that that journey propelled me to new places and opened my mind to new possibilities.  I also love that when I look at the goals I had just 12 days post surgery, I am blessed to be able to say that my vision for myself then is pretty much where I am today.

Today, I am in a much healthier and spiritually stronger place as I continue to grow as a person while honoring what I believe.

With that in mind, I am sharing my writing from this time and hoping that some of you become inspired by The Chava Project.

Sending love and healing thoughts to all!
Chava

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Originally this post was written April 12, 2010 following what could have been serious surgery. The good news is that all went well and healing went well.

The Power of the Chava Project

Vision Board for Chava Created March 31, 2010

Vision Board for Chava
Created March 31, 2010

Approximately a month ago, my friend Jennifer Judelsohn suggested that we create the Chava Project http://journeycircles.blogspot.com/2010/03/chava-project.html by having people send a word to her post office box.  The word would represent a prayer, a hope, or a vision you had for me.  We probably had about two-dozen words mailed via snail mail and then another two-dozen words emailed to us.  Each word was mounted on a painted canvas that was meant to become my vision board and to inspire me as I journeyed towards a stronger physical and spiritual essence.

The beauty of each and every word,  the embellishments,  and the intentions was that they were transmitted to me in a very core way.  With every fiber of my being, I felt the love and warmth that surrounded my healing and my growing journey.  I couldn’t believe that so many people cared enough to take the time to let me know their word for my evolution.

In my life I have had times that I felt completely alone, but not any longer.  I feel loved, cherished, and cared for.  Today, I know that many people are my soul friends.  They celebrate my journey towards physical and spiritual health.  And nearly all of my beloved friends would help me in any way if I let them know my needs.

There are many people who empowered me and continue to support me as I move through my journey.  Both family and friends from all over as well as those that are specifically part of  my CAJE friends and my Kol Zimra/Jewish Renewal friends, you know who you are.  I’ve been blessed to be surrounded world-wide with people that illuminate my world and the world that they live in too. Through my friends, I have been granted the space to explore the roads that I currently travel.

Many voices are in my head at any given time.  Most of the thoughts begin with the overarching wisdom of Theodore Herzl, “Im tirtzu, ein zo agadah. If you will it, it is no dream.”  There is so much that I want in my life and most of it is within my reach if I admit my feelings and do that which needs to be done in order to make things happen.  Only through action and consistent discipline will I attain that which I desire to have a more fulfilling life.

My life is somewhat complicated and also quite simple too.  I love life and I consistently strive to reach for the different goals that are continually emerging.  There is much to strive for-always.  Mountains to climb; valleys to descend. With each step, there is a plethora of new options that come into view.

Each step leads to beauty.  Sometimes I see myself as the young girl looking out to the ocean of a Dali painting I love.  The vastness of the water or the life potentials surrounding me is endless; all I need to do is to make a decision on what step or stroke needs to be my next.  As simple as that sounds, limiting the options that surround me is not an easy task.  I want to do it all; I want to feel the rhythm of each and every desire, but I can’t do it all.

Nearly two weeks ago, I had a hysterectomy.  It wasn’t traumatic in any way; it needed to be done, so I did it.  The beauty of the hysterectomy is what happened before and after the actual surgery.  Initially, my friends and some strangers supported me by sending me a word/prayer/hope to put on my vision board.  The artwork sits with me as a reminder of the work that I have left to do in this world.  There are so many things I want to accomplish.  At the moment though, the goal is to be healthy!!!!!! And while it is taking more time than I would like; it is happening nonetheless.  And other friends offered me prayers and meditations, chanting and drumming; one friend mailed me a self-guided visualization to prepare for the big day.  And since coming home, a couple of friends stayed in the house to help, other friends have been as present as I would like them to be.  Two friends came out of the way to sit with me in the hospital the day of surgery as I was fairly sick and less than fun to be around.  And since coming home, I have received, cards, emails, Facebook notes, calls, and plants/flowers.  Wow. . . I feel loved.

And through each and every step of my healing, my boys have been taking care of me.  Whether it is about being with me as I heal or supporting me as I make decisions and work towards all my many goals.  It is amazing to live in a family that honor where each and every one of us is.  My children know that Michael, their father, and I are trying to explore how work will evolve for both of us and how my creative and intellectual pursuits will be nourished.

Creating a list of 100 things I’d like to do before I die is not difficult, my top pursuits include:
1.    teaching from my soul.
2.    writing about my life journeys.
3.    creating a series of Jewish retreats for survivors of childhood trauma and their loved ones.
4.    becoming a rabbi.
5.    physically thriving.
6.    growing my hair just a little longer ☺.
7.    kayaking and hiking throughout the spring and summer.
8.    finding my own path for doing Tikun Olam (repairing the world).
9.    living consciously and with integrity.

Waking up from anesthesia, I said the words that I say upon waking up in the morning “Modah ani lifanecha. . . I thank You, living and eternal Spirit, for restoring my soul. What an awesome responsibility I now have to choose to live life in a healthier way while honoring my spirit as well as the spirit of the world around me.

The vision board with all her words is a reminder that I am striving towards honoring myself and working towards incredible growth.

With love and light,
Chava

Read Full Post »

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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

Learning To Listen
My Body & My Spirit

My body and heart is so very complicated.

This weekend became a time for opening my eyes and purging that which I don’t need. Know that I am reeling from it. I am also stretching and growing.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Loebman Window Open to the Blue Mountains

Here is a window into what is going on for me and how I am choosing to navigate:

  1. Initially, I realized that how I was eating and what I was putting into my body was making my daily living cycle difficult. So on Saturday morning, I decided to stop playing with my awake/sleep cycle in any way. With that in mind, caffeine and alcohol went out the window until I figure out what my body needs to thrive.
  2. Saturday evening or maybe this morning, another light bulb went off when I realized that every morning after breakfast, I need a nap. Before breakfast, I am feeling alive and vibrant. And then after I eat, I need caffeine to function. Sigh. So today, I had no grains and I didn’t crash once!!!
  3. This afternoon, I went through my closet and put a bunch of stuff into the “Share Pile”.
  4. I am navigating some challenges and choosing to be as authentic with myself and kind with others as I can be.
  5. This weekend, I also prepared a D’var Torah (Torah Discussion), went to services, took a bunch of walks, and chanted.
  6. My family and I walked, talked, played, prepared food, and ate a lot together!

The bottom-line is that this was a weekend for figuring out how to honor my body and my spirit. I took great care of me and allowed myself time and space to do some powerful healing work by actively letting go of that which doesn’t serve me any longer.

I will always be a work in progress, but it felt so good to let go of some food, some words, some heartache, and some stuff. While I may be facing a little overload, I am feeling so much lighter and ready for precious sleep.

Life is good!

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

Read Full Post »

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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

TyeDye6

Honoring Our Many Moving Parts

Being a mother has been the most amazing gift in my life. And yet Mother’s Day feels arbitrary in every way. Being a mother is part of my entire being and so is being a woman, a Jew, a writer. . . .I don’t need to be celebrated on any day, my soul needs to be loved every day.

Fortunately, I am surrounded by love – not only from my sons, but from so many in my world. I am a blessed person!

Besides being a mother, a woman, a Jew, and a writer, I am also a teacher, a friend, a sister; and I am a student, a dreamer, and an activist.  And. . . . The list goes on and on; all of us have many roles in our lives. I am far from unique.

I’d like all of us to be appreciated for the whole people that we are. And for me, I want to be accepted for the intense, passionate, goofy human being that I can be. I want those in my life to smile when they think of the person I am, laughing at my Chava-isms or my love of tie dye is fine too.

May we all of us feel loved and supported – ALWAYS.  May we nurture one another’s spirits.

Today is double chai (double life). Somehow that seems totally appropriate as a day to honor the people that each of us are!

Sending love, light, and blessings,
Chava

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »