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Archive for October, 2016

 

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Hope Cards answer so many questions that fill  my heart! http://www.bonesigharts.com/store/hope-cards

As I opened my eyes this morning, I quickly became aware that I was in the midst of some sort of  a spiritual metamorphosis. As soon as my pen hit the paper for My Morning Pages (journal), I felt  like a huge shift was on the horizon. I went from moody to grounded with each written word, but it took a lot of deep breaths and inner-work to go from Point A to Point B.

The most empowering transition seemed to come when I compared the a few of the moving parts of my life that have either jazzed my soul and/or crippled my spirit. Sometimes I feel like these two seemingly different concepts are actually ‘two sides of the same coin’.

Taking A Step Back
Two weeks ago, I took a bite of real bread and then another and another. As I was sinking my teeth into the first bite and then the second bite, I found myself thinking that this panini tasted so authentic, so real; the only problem was that it ACTUALLY was and I got really sick from eating it. As someone with celiac disease, eating a gluten filled panini was a disaster. History had taught me time and again that I would be sick for as long as three months from eating the panini.

The good news was that I understood what was happening and I had recently found some amazing health practitioners to help me strive for better health which meant that they were there to help me face my latest crisis. The bad news is that every fiber of my being hurt.

Over the years, I have learned that when I am most despondent or sick as in this case, I dig deep into the soil of life to figure out what is really hurting and how I can best heal.

Digging Deep
This morning, I allowed myself the time and space t go inward. It probably helps that I started waking up at 3:30. Within My Morning Pages, I admitted to myself that I felt off. My body hurt, my mind was struggling, and my spirit wasn’t up to par.  As someone who seems to rally at an intense level most of the time, I was aware that I needed to explore the thoughts racing around in my head.

What I found initially stunned me? And then, I allowed myself some space to re-frame the darkness and turn it into light.  I needed to knead the thoughts to allow them to flow.

Realization #1
I had a momentary fear that I was simply never going to reach my dreams.

  • If being healthy is a non-negotiable then why aren’t I further along in my health journey?
  • Why is it that I haven’t created my new blog called My Second Foundation in which I will be interviewing and writing about survivors of trauma?
  • Have I done enough or anything to make the world a better place?
  • If I truly want to have more time to do the things I love, why haven’t I done more to simplify my life?
  • Am I doing enough to develop my writing?
  • And when will My Second Foundation, my nonprofit, have wings?

All of these questions/thoughts challenged me and will continue to challenge me.  And while I wish I could be doing more of what I love, I am blessed to be on a path that I love.

Breathing deeply, I need to do a better job of celebrating what is as I strive for each and every one of my dreams.

Realization #2
As I focus on becoming the healthiest me that I can be, I need reconsider how I see this process. I am on Day 3 of what I will now refer to as My Journey Towards Life. With 122 days until my birthday, I have the ability to do the holy work of taking care of my body, my mind, and my spirit. I am on the journey to make my life the best possible life it can be. My hope is that on Day 124, I may stop ‘officially’ counting, but I will count all the days of my life. 🙂

While I love life and I love my life, I want to better engage in living more consciously, physically moving and keeping my heart pumping. Being healthy is so much bigger than I realized. My body, my mind, and my spirit need to be cared for; I am a package deal.

Over the last few days, I have been doing a lot of the practices given to be by my Aryuvedic Practitioner and acupuncturist, massage, drinking cleansing teas, walking, and writing. I have also been spending time with my sons and connecting with friends. Surprisingly or not so surprisingly, I have been sleeping and napping a lot.

It feels good to make taking care of myself a norm.

Realization #3
I love deeply and I am spiritually committed to those I adore. And yet, I nurture relationships that are safe instead of seeking connections that can bloom into partnerships.

Perhaps that is what is right for me, perhaps not. . . I think it is time for me to delve deeper so that I can discover what I really want.

I need to face the myriad of feelings and trust what insight follows.

Wrapping Up
At the end of my very soulful writing time I asked myself some guiding questions.

  • How can I connect more deeply with that which I am and that which I want to be?
  • How do I create a world that honors the holy trinities (per Glennon Doyle Melton) of body, mind, & spirit?
  • How do I navigate my sadness over some deep losses.

Picking Cards
After I ask guiding questions of myself, I often pick cards from different decks.  The beauty of picking these cards is that each of them usually answer the very questions that I had originally asked for guidance. Today, all three of my card choices did! It was mind blowing!!!

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This I believe
The insights that come during the early morning hours have the power to change you if you have the inner-strength to listen.

May the seeds that were planted this morning sprout with beautiful growth! May I become even MORE ALIVE!

Thank you for taking time to listen to today’s rambles.

Onward with love, light, & blessings,
Chava

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Wherever I turn, I find angels, the people that show up with an open hand to help me navigate life’s journeys. Throughout my adult life, I have been blessed to have people enter my life just as I was facing a dark reality. The reason I emanate so much light is simply because I am surrounded by light. I find the light in life and my path always includes beautiful angels/helpers that emerge at the perfect moment.

Last night as I wrapped from writing my blog, I realized that I missed something vital when I shared that I am now beginning a new life journey. (I meant to type health journey, but somehow life journey feels a bit more on target.) I didn’t mention my gratitude for the angels that have showed up during this journey.

On October 1st, I was poisoned by gluten. After eating gluten that was served to me as a gluten-free panini, my health did a downward spiral which I am still recovering from to this day and probably through the coming weeks. The good news is that I have turned the corner, but I wouldn’t have moved forward if it wasn’t for the help of so many.

Over the next 124 days, I will be counting down to my birthday (see above blog link). Each and every day, I will do something to care for myself, probably a lot of somethings.  But before I delve into a series of blogs, I really wanted to note those people that have showed up over the past weeks/months.

Tzadi

Drawing courtesy of Jennifer Judelsohn from her book Songs of Creations

  1. The Healers
    • Sita Chopra, my Ayurvedic Practitioner, responded within minutes of receiving my note saying that I was contaminated with gluten. I believe that her quick advice and my ability to follow her directions made it so that my gut did not suffer as harshly and for the usual period of time from being poisoned. I am looking forward to experiencing better health as she utilizes her knowledge and wisdom to support better health.
    • Katrice Gullens of Fifth Element Acupuncture & Wellness for her lovely energy and for the beautiful ability she had and continues to have so that she can hear what is needed. Her acupuncture treatment enhanced my ability to function and lifted my spirit. I felt like her needles opened my soul up from some of the armor that once needed to protect me.
    • Tom Pierson of Tranquil Heart Yoga, a massage therapist extraordinaire, who was able to listen to what my body was saying and nurture it towards a healthier place.
  2. My Friends
    • Out of state friends – Many people showed up to support me with love and prayers when I shared what was happening on Facebook, but my friends Jennifer, Cheryl, Idie, Ilan, and Karen reached out via telephone and reminded me that I was loved. BTW, what they may not of known was that I was literally despondent from two days of unrelenting pain. And my friend Dr. Scott, an ER doc, who opened his door to help me decide what the best protocol would be at 12:30 at night.

      Each and every love note and call made a difference. While the pain was pretty horrible, I knew I was being held by so many.

    • Local friends – Reminded me that I could of and should have called instead of driving myself to the hospital. To be honest, I felt painfully alone and like no one cared. Chalk it up to drama. . . not reality, I forgot that I am surrounded by a community and friends that would not have wanted me to feel so alone and would have taken me to the hospital if I had only asked.

      I loved that people care and knowing that I am not alone. Although I do need to remember that my friends aren’t mind-readers; sometimes I have to ask for what I need.

  3. My Sons
    • Aryeh and Dovi took care of me. Aryeh wouldn’t let me go to the hospital by myself. And he confirmed that ER doc wasn’t listening to me or understanding how much pain I was in. While it didn’t really help to have him advocate for me at the hospital, he was so loving and tried to comfort me. Only after taking care of my parents and my sons in hospital settings did I learn what it means to advocate with medical professionals. . .it isn’t easy.

I would not made it if so many people to give their love and warmth so freely. I received that love with open heart that is still overflowing in this moment. I am especially grateful those friends who are rabbis and Jewish professionals who were able to take the time to reach out as they were preparing for one of the most demanding and holy days of the Jewish calendar.

The timing of ‘this episode’ was perfect. I had just scheduled/started my work with the above healers and I was in a good spiritual space for the first time in years. So with all this in mind, I am ready to move forward and strive for better health.

Grateful for each and every person that has offered and continues to offer their wisdom, kindness, love, and light.

Onward – now & always,
Chava

 

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Every time you go into the fire,
you come out with a new life and it’s better than the last one.
~Martha Beck 

Twelve days ago I ate gluten for what I hope will be the last time.  To say that I felt absolutely awful is an understatement.  Every fiber of my being hurt to the extent that nine days after the accidental consumption I ended up in the ER.

Within 20 minutes of eating the gluten-filled panini, I knew I was in for a challenging evening. Within an hour, I felt so sick that for a dramatic moment, I was praying that life would cease.  The good news was that even when I felt the extraordinary discomfort, I knew I would find a way to cope quickly; I also knew that I was in for up to three months of core exhaustion and intense joint pain. Saturday night, October 1st ended up being a total bummer that ruptured a period of spiritual calm. It is hard to remain calm when you are in the midst of being over the top dramatic and crippled with pain.

And then there was this past Sunday, when the pain had escalated to about 8.5 or higher on the 10 point pain scale and I started feeling nauseous, was fighting a fever, and struggled to walk. Going to the ER seemed prudent at the time and like the only option too. With the sense of vulnerability overflowing, I caved into going to a place that lacked the ability to treat me with dignity and made me feel small and insignificant.  Sigh.

Fire vs Shredder

Photo Courtesy of Aryeh Grossman

AND I am now emerging!

My visit to the ER was a reminder that I had recently surrounded myself with a fabulous team of healers. Some of them know me and are directly helping me navigate my health and others are people that are inspiring me spiritually via books, podcasts, and social media. I am so excited to actively engage in my new healing journey!!!

For someone with celiac disease, the gluten fire petrified me, but it is now helping ground me in my health journey. With a team consisting of my sons, my friends, amazing health practitioners, and some very wise souls, I am surrounded by support. The fire of October 1st ignited the importance of what Glennon Doyle Melton refers to as the “trinities – body, mind, spirit. The warrior lives out all three lives: a physical life, an intellectual life, and a spiritual life.”

I consider myself to be a spiritual warrior. My journey to self care has been intense over the years. I have struggled to loosen and/or release some tightly wound ropes that kept me bound to pain and darkness.

Through chanting, drumming, writing, movement, and other creative endeavors, I have found new norms. Six years ago, I openly did a health journey that focused on staying away from eating foods that caused me health challenges.  I lost a ton of weight and I stopped getting UTI infections just be giving up soda, caffeine, and sugar.

While I kept off most of the weight, I am now doing low levels of the above mentioned foods, although effective tonight, I am making a conscious decision to go back to refraining from those foods, plus making some lifestyle decisions.

Perhaps it isn’t ironic, that the decision to create a list of non-negotiables and to openly share my health journey happened on Yom Kippur.  As I sat in services, I was overwhelmed with both a sense of loss and a sense of joy. The loss was that I wasn’t the healthiest that I could be, but the joy came from the realization that I am in the midst of doing good work and I can do even  better work. All three of the ‘trinities’ will get my attention each and every day of this journey.

There are 124 days until my 51st birthday which is:

  • 10,713,600 seconds
  • 178,560 minutes
  • 2976 hours
  • 17 weeks and 5 days

Over the course of this time, via my blog I will share how I am moving forward, who is inspiring me, my practitioners, and the impact that this journey has on my life. Via Facebook, I will share the daily countdown to my birthday and the daily highlights/challenges with each step.

I am so blessed to have my daily writing practice, a new Ayurvedic Practice, a new Acupuncture Practice, and hopefully what will be regular massages with an AWEsome healer. And then there are the daily gifts that I continue to find each and every day. And finally, I feel humbled to have an amazingly supportive work environment to keep me grounded as I find new ways to care for my body, my mind, and my soul.

As Yom Kippur came to a close, I became aware that my physical pain was slipping away and the gates were opening to some very profound and enlightening possibilities.

Onward with love & light,
Chava

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