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Posts Tagged ‘#ActivistCardsByChava’

(Note: To learn more information on #The100DayProject which is also known as #ActivistCardsByChava, you can see https://wp.me/pthnB-3cH.)

Life isn’t easy. There is so much that we are handling at any given moment. The world is feeling daunting in this moment . . .  politics, family, internal strife, unwanted deadlines, loneliness, hurdles. Even the good stuff like the work, Jewish holidays, time to walk, and loved ones can be daunting. Life is what it is and I am always navigating my spirit’s intensity.

Day 22 - Be Open to possibilitiesWhile I may sometimes want to hide in a cocoon, it behooves me to keep showing up and seek out the possibilities. The world is calling to me with open hands or maybe just open windows.

Exploring the world, meeting people where they are, fully connecting with old and new friends, embracing new ideas, playing at every chance – these are the ways that our potentials will soar.

Take a deep breath and join me in open your hearts to possibilities! I am on it! Are you?

Together we can make a world that makes us proud.

Onward with love, light, & action,
Chava

PS – I’d love your feedback on my blog, my writing, my thinking, and/or my Activist Cards!!! Feel free to like or comment. I will try to respond to all comments to this blog. Input is always welcome.

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(Note: To learn more information on #The100DayProject which is also known as #ActivistCardsByChava, you can see https://wp.me/pthnB-3cH.)

We all have excuses for why we don’t do something.

  1. If I had a little less stress in my life, I would start dieting.
  2. If my art room was clean and organized, I would have the space I need to do my art.
  3. If the weather were cooler, I would walk.
  4. If I weren’t so busy, I would volunteer more.
  5. If I had more time to create a vegan meal plan, I would stop eating cheese, eggs, and fish.
  6. If I had an entire day to write, I would start writing my book.

Day 21 - Lose the word ifWhile we all know that we can conjure up excuses to keeping us from what we believe is right thing for us to do, but the question is what solutions can we discover so that we can lose the word “if”?

All of the excuses above are “real”; I have made every one of those excuses at one time or another.  I  am slowly reframing the above statements and creating new opportunities by losing the word ‘if’.

  1. Life is really full right now, but I am worth taking care of. In fact, since June I have been eating so much better and lost +25 lbs. or so.
  2. My art room (or creative cave) as I call it needs constant attention to keep up with the organizing, but I can always find a corner to work in. I am so loving the time I am taking to create #The100DayProject/#ActivistCardsByChava.
  3. While the weather is still wicked hot, I have come to appreciate my early morning walks before it gets to hot. I am so excited that I am walking five miles a day at least five times a week.
  4. There is so much in the world that needs my attention, so while I am doing less than I want, I am taking time to do what I can. Today, I took time to visit with two different people that were facing health challenges, reached out to people that will hopefully be joining me for Project Lifeline, and I made a small donation to Beto O’Rourke’s campaign to defeat Ted Cruz for the Senate seat.
  5. With a hope to be completely vegan by October, I have mostly given up cheese and fish. I am also taking the time to occasionally make new vegan recipes whenever possible.  And in truth, I need to grow a stronger conviction and just stop eating the foods that are not vegan.
  6. Taking time to journal every day is a non-negotiable; writing is what nurtures my spirit. As I write, I am slowly coming to a better understanding of what I need to do so that my book can get written.

I am not alone when I say my world has too many moving parts. In this moment, I am treasuring the small moments to transcend my crazy busy schedule.

How are you going to get out of your own way and lose the ‘if’?

Onward with love, light, creativity, & action,
Chava

PS – I’d love your feedback on my blog, my writing, my thinking, and/or my Activist Cards!!! Feel free to like or comment. I will try to respond to all comments to this blog. Input is always welcome.

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(Note: To learn more information on #The100DayProject which is also known as #ActivistCardsByChava, you can see https://wp.me/pthnB-3cH.)

Day 18 -Choose Life 1‘Choose Life’ is a mantra that I say every day. Yes, I often struggle with my wide-open spirit and I feel with a depth that I sometimes wish I could lessen. And yet, I show up – always. The below blog could have been written by me today. Only I am not drumming and chanting as I should. This weekend, I am taking a long weekend. With a full heart, I think I need to take the time to reconnect with my drumming and chanting.

(Originally written in November, 2013)

From beginning to end, yesterday was challenging and full of gifts too.  Sigh and yay!!!6730685121_996af44d65

The only thing that got me through was drumming and chanting niguunim (melodies).  As my heart was hyperventilating, I took time to release the energy through drumming and chanting.  With each beat of the drum, I released the tension in my soul; with each deep breath followed by my chanting, I felt my sadness leave me.

What affected me the most was the deep sadness that surrounded me at nearly every turn.  So many folks were struggling with real darkness and others were just creating challenges through their actions.  For those that were struggling with their own darkness or perhaps their own demons, I found myself wishing I could share with them this beautiful rendition of Katy Perry’s Roar by Olivia Wise who is currently suffering from brain cancer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_An8xNwupo

Olivia’s rendition of Perry’s Roar brought tears to my eyes and deep pain to my heart. Imagining what Olivia and her family are facing hurts; I can relate and yet I can’t.  After years of the deep pain that accompanied Aryeh’s illness and to the pain that has at times accompanied my life, I couldn’t stop crying.  Life is such a gift and some people can’t find the gifts that are in front them.  Olivia made this video so that those who love her will always hear her ‘Roar”.  How beautiful is that?!?!?!

As I write, Olivia is more unconscious than conscious; her wakeful moments are few and far between.  What her family is telling the world is that Liv woke each day seeking light and finding light too.  While none of us can do that all the time, I wish more folks would go out of their way to find light and make things work with each step.

If I could make a difference for even a moment, I would shatter the illusion that there is no way around pain.

For nearly five years, I watched my son struggle for life and yet I almost never gave in to the darkness.  I always, always, always reached for life and light even as I accepted what could have been inevitable.

With every ounce of my being, I wish that the people around me could find the gifts in the challenges instead of reaching for the darkness and letting that darkness be their guide.

Choose life.

The rhetoric of the anti-abortion world and the teaching of Deuteronomy is perfect for this moment.  While I am far from the anti-abortion world, I do choose life.  Every day, I choose to wake up and find the light within the challenges.  Darkness rarely encompasses my heart and soul.

Choosing life is what I do.

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
L
ouder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar.’
K
aty Perry’s Roar

My son Aryeh is alive.  How ironic it is that Aryeh’s name means lion.  He is alive. In spite of a fatal diagnosis at times, he has always decided to be a thriver that is very much alive.  We are all alive; each and every one in my family is alive and thriving and yes, even roaring.

Yesterday as I sat in the midst of so much pain, watched some folks make troubling choices, and also experienced little things getting blown out of proportion, I wanted to help others find the light when only darkness seemed to persevere.

There are so many people like Olivia or Aryeh that choose life until no more breaths can be made.  There are so many folks that have chosen to thrive as opposed to bury their head in the sand.  May those folks be our role model.

May we all find our ‘Roar’.

PS – I forgot to mention, I saw some beautiful, vibrant life yesterday.  I met people on the street that grapple with life and win.  From a distance, I watched my dear friend and his wife move towards the impending death of their father and father-in-law.  I also watched beautiful young minds embrace their own love of learning.  And finally, I had a delightful evening with my son.

While darkness surrounded me, it wasn’t part of me.  Still, may I, and those that are part of my life always remember to ‘Roar’.

Onward with love, light, creativity, & action,
Chava

PS – I’d love your feedback on my blog, my writing, my thinking, and/or my Activist Cards!!! Feel free to like or comment. I will try to respond to all comments to this blog. Input is always welcome.

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(Note: To learn more information on #The100DayProject which is also known as #ActivistCardsByChava, you can see https://wp.me/pthnB-3cH.)

Once I figure out my thoughts around those I love and what I believe, I tend to hold them deep within my spirit for what feels like eternity. The only challenge is that relationships change and so do the issues. Over time everything evolves and people or things that once seemed unimportant become more prominent in our lives. And what once seemed unimaginable becomes the image that invades your thoughts. Politics has continuously reinforced that last thought.

Transformation happens.

“To transform the world,
we must begin with ourselves.

~J. Krishnamurti

As an activist, as a woman, as a friend, and as a mother, I have had to learn to release my desire to hold fast to my ideas. Time and again, I have become enlightened by new information. Feelings change, circumstances change, and it’s my job to ride the waves and do the work of transformation.

As hard as it is for me, I have watched myself change so much over the years. While I have always been Jewish, the denominations I have connected to have varied from time to time; today I am much more grounded in a more ecstatic Judaism. Once I was married, now I am not. My sons have taught me since birth to honor where they are and  we all know that children are always changing; today my sons are on their own journeys as adults. And I have lost lovers and friends, but I have also gained some precious new ones.

The political environment in the US and in Israel have given me many moments of pause. While I was once silent and completely uninformed, now I am far from it. Most of my life I didn’t consider labor practices or the realities of climate change, now I can’t get them out of my mind. I never thought that I would feel compelled to become an ally for LGBTQ or a witness to such blatant racism within our society. And the devastating conditions that refugees are forced to endure at the hands of our government is appalling.

Day 14 - OnwardToday, I have to keep showing up to whatever is in front of me. Moving forward is not an option. If someone needs me or an issue is calling to my attention, I have to find out what I can do to make this world a better place.

My job is to live life fully and out loud. It is to remain empowered “to do the next right thing” (Glennon Doyle) even as I live in the “marvelous messy middle” (SARK). Yes life is not as easy as I’d like, but I am so blessed to be always be moving forward.

How about you? How are you moving forward in your life?

Onward with love, light, & creativity,
Chava

PS – I’d love your feedback on my blog, my writing, my thinking, and/or my Activist Cards!!! Feel free to like or comment. I will try to respond to all comments to this blog. Input is always welcome.

 

 

 

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(Note: To learn more information on #The100DayProject which is also known as #ActivistCardsByChava, you can see https://wp.me/pthnB-3cH.)

Day 13 - sweet darkness david whyteMy village is huge and yet not everyone in it is good for my soul. Fact. While I need to be discerning about who nurtures my life and who holds my spirit, I also need to release all that no longer works for me. . .that includes people as well as things.

What are you needing to release so you land on more solid ground?

Onward with love, light, & creativity,
Chava

PS – I’d love your feedback on my blog, my writing, my thinking, and/or my Activist Cards!!! Feel free to like or comment. I will try to respond to all comments to this blog. Input is always welcome.

 

 

Read Full Post »

(Note: To learn more information on #The100DayProject which is also known as #ActivistCardsByChava, you can see https://wp.me/pthnB-3cH.)

Day 12 - Follow Your PassionIn a funny way #ActivistCardsByChava have fueled my passion for activism in a way that I never saw coming. In this moment, I am charged by all the beautiful things I am doing both professionally and through activism.

Just this morning, I woke up and took my 5 mile walk so that I could make sure I took care of myself. If I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to do half of the things I want to do.

In the last 36 hours, I have not stopped except to sleep. EVERYTHING I am doing feels like holy work from collaborating on a workshop with two amazing people from the Episcopal Church that post Hurricane Harvey is sharing space at my synagogue to getting ready for a new program/school year at my congregation.  I love my work!

And then there is my work with Door l’Door, my nonprofit which gives Jewish ritual objects to those that lost their homes due to natural disasters. One year, post Hurricane Harvey, I just got off the phone with not one, but two families that are rebuilding their Jewish toolboxes. They lost nearly everything to the floodwaters that would not stop coming. For more information: https://www.door-ldoor.org/ Fortunately Door l’Door will be able to make a difference, we will be able to give them a kosher mezuzah to go on the doorpost of their homes and other Judaica too. This is only due to the generosity of those that have given money and ritual objects to Door l’Door.

And tonight I followed up with the visionaries behind Project Lifeline and let them know that I was ready to recruit some people for our amazing caravan to take supplies to the children in McAllen, Texas. https://www.facebook.com/events/201578690513600/ On September 29, Join Us in Standing Up for Humanity. We need to witness as we try to get the supplies to the children that are missing some of the most basic of needs while being held in detention centers.

And I have been active in political actions as well as seeking ways to bridge gaps between people that simply don’t see things along the same lines. I am seeking to support preexisting organizations that are creating opportunities to listen and share differing political views. I am also working towards becoming a better listener myself.

And I helped a neighbor who was struggling with her precious, but tenacious rescued puppy. Of course, I also took time to love my own rescued puppies, one who is 8 months and needs some serious training. I wasn’t looking for this puppy that desperately needed a home; this spring was not the best time to adopt a puppy. And yet, how could I do anything differently than I did.

Creating these Activist Cards is inviting me to look inside myself and ask, “Am I doing enough? Am I showing up and making the world a better place?” While in some ways, I think what I am doing is AWESOME, I also feel insignificant sometimes and wish I could do more, give more, and be more. But here is the deal, I am showing up with a full heart and a willingness to give it my all.

My passion for life runs deep – always. And I haven’t even mentioned my writing and  nurturing my own family and friends. Life is full, but sometimes there is no tomorrows, so today I am showing up and trying to be the best person that I can be.

I’d love to know what your doing?

Onward with love, light, & creativity,
Chava

PS – I’d love your feedback on my blog, my writing, my thinking, and/or my Activist Cards!!! Feel free to like or comment. I will try to respond to all comments to this blog. Input is always welcome.

 

 

Read Full Post »

(Note: To learn more information on #The100DayProject which is also known as #ActivistCardsByChava, you can see https://wp.me/pthnB-3cH.)

Day 11 - Listen to the quiet voiceLately all of these messages are coming to me. There is a quiet voice guiding me with each step and nurturing me towards living a more authentic life.

With each passing day, I seem to be taking better care of my body, my spirit, and our world. Even this project #The100DayProject is fueling me as an activist, a dreamer, and a creative soul. More and more I am loving myself just as I am and slowly releasing the people and things that no longer serve me. In fact, I have begun to think of this time as ‘Shedding the Weight’.

The quiet voice is leading me to four social/political actions of varying sorts this week alone. There is so much work to do in our world and it can only happen if I am willing to:

  • perform “a simple act of caring”.
  • “believe that I can make a difference and then go our and do it.
  • take time to nurture my spirit and navigate what I need so that I can remain present for others.
  • be light.
  • feed the hungry.
  • trust the silence.
  • plant seeds.
  • love deeply.
  • wage justice.
  • listen to the quiet voice within.
  • and so much more. . . .(hoping for 89 more days worth.

The quiet voice is teaching me to take one step and then another. As I think my teacher SARK would say, I need to allow for the wisdom of the inner wise soul and allow her to guide me so that I can best show up and navigate all the moving parts of my life including repairing our world.

If you really took the time you need to listen to the quiet voice within you, what would you do differently? How would you change?

Onward with love, light, and creativity,
Chava

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