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Posts Tagged ‘awareness’

Moon May 2015Prologue: What does a writer do when she wakes up hours before dawn? ūüôā She writes and then writes some more.

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Spinning a cocoon of darkness can be beautiful. In that darkness, awareness comes, skeletons are recognized, and insight is found.

Darkness isn’t necessarily filled with only sweet memories and reflections.

I will never forget the all night vigils of the summer of 2001. For several nights in one week, I was told that my father’s death was imminent and that I should stay by his bedside. The night skies and the dark halls that enveloped me also filled me with sadness. I was saying good-bye to my father and I felt all alone. I was all alone. And yet there are some beautiful memories and angels that showed up when my spirit was in need.

Years later, as my son Aryeh struggled for life, I also grew to despise the darkness. There were no words of comfort only the hours of watching my child suffer an enduring pain. Knowing that there was nothing I could do to help was devastating. The good news is that my son ultimately made it through and is one of the most amazing thrivers I know.

And then there are the realizations that come from sitting in the quiet of the darkness. It is in those moments, that I often come to grips with what I know, how I feel, and how to move forward with all of life’s moving parts.

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When I was a little girl, my father would gently place his hands over my ears and whisper, “Listen to the quiet.”¬† I guess I always needed the quiet. Today, it is the¬†darkness that often offers my soul the quiet that I yearn for.¬† Funny how that works.

Darkness always provides me with a cocoon of protection to be truly where I am.

(Note: Sometimes I have to look deeply into the darkness before sparks of light can emerge.)

 

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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 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 . . . .]

blue_boat_house_door

Sometimes closing the door is not enough;
sometimes the door must be locked AND barricaded too!
~Quote by Chava

My Journey Towards Wholeness has been profound. With each passing day, I am encountering more and more awareness regarding how to best navigate my life in the healthiest of ways.

While this has been an exciting time for me, it has also been challenging to look at the many relationships that have been part of my life Рsome for weeks and months, others for years and decades.  And while I treasure what each connection has given me, I am also finding it advantageous to let go of the connections that no longer serve me. If nearly every interaction with someone causes discomfort, it is time to leave the connection behind.

Life is a gift. That means I need to treat it with love and thoughtfulness; I need to treasure what life offers and find peace when some of the relationships end.  Few things last forever.

With every ounce of my being, I am constantly working towards being as considerate and warm as I can be. Maybe I haven’t always been this way, but I have been doing the holy work of walking gently for a few years now.

The pain of closing the door from a once special person can feel overwhelming and yet I believe we are honoring ourselves when we do just that.¬†. And with the really tough or toxic relationships, we¬†need want to consider my friend¬†Sabrina Sojourner’s wisdom, “Sometimes you need to change the door into a wall. Bookcases and shelving work great for that.”

Today I made the painful decision to barricade the door from someone who has been in my life for decades; perhaps I should have erected a wall instead. My heart and my soul are too precious to be continually stomped on.

With a heavy heart and a clear mind, I am taking care of me. I am letting go and finding balance.

While I believe that ‘when one door closes, another door opens’, I don’t want to hear that right now. ¬†Instead I want to be spiritually held and allowed to grieve.

With love, light, and blessings,
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 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 . . . .]

I was writing this during Day 3, but missed the window. . .

Photo Courtesy of Randall Miller: Western Minnesota

Photo Courtesy of Randall Miller:
Western Minnesota

‚ÄúHere we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.‚ÄĚ
Quote by Kurt Vonnegut

Darkness and twilight always bring reflection.

Over the last several years, I have often struggled with the late night hours when the world is asleep and during the morning twilight, an hour or two before the sun comes up until the sun lights up the sky. I struggle because sleep doesn’t come easy. ¬†I struggle because my mind is full of thoughts, ideas, and sometimes sadness. ¬†I struggle because my body needs to rest even if my mind is actively engaged.

While many have the ability to let sleep take over, I do not. ¬†That doesn’t mean that I have given up on the idea, it means that I am looking for ways to re-frame the narrative. ¬†I have decided to openly work on improving how I see the most challenging time. ¬†My goal. is simply to improve the energy by bringing holiness to those moments. This quandary has been on my mind for the last several weeks, but in the last 24 hours, two friends have shared thoughts¬†which are moving me forward.

This morning, I woke up to a facebook friend, Alden Solovy* who wrote:

“In the darkest hours, when I wake and cannot find slumber, I pray myself back to sleep. One-by-one I think of the people dearest to me. I send my heart to them and my prayers to G-d. My daughters. My mom. My sisters. All the people dearest to me. You get it, right? The prayers come from the deepest, purest, sweetest voice inside of me. . . .”

For me, I needed to alter my energy and Alden gave me a plan to do just that.  By helping me redirect my quiet time, I am feeling a bit more ready for how the wee hours will go. I would also add, that I will take that time to send healing energy to those I love and those that I know that are hurting in some way. I love creating sacred time by sending my prayers to God as I share my heart with those on my mind.

Carolyn Riker**, another friend and poet, reminded me to breathe in the morning hours as I value the clarity that is coming to me.

“Early morning thoughts are often the clearest. I rise with the sun and enjoy seeing between the clouds. Stillness doesn‚Äôt want to be disturbed and yet there is a longing to belong to the new day. A heart padded soul, pitter-patters and purrs. I sip awareness.”

Finding the gift that comes with the clarity is probably the most treasured gift I can give myself. I love the metaphor of “sipping awareness”. Being present is really about being witness to what is happening at any given moment. As someone who values the way that I do that in most every interaction, why not do that in the quiet of the night?

Tonight as I go to sleep and as I arise in the morning, I will breathe in the sweet moments and treasure the life that is.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

*Alden Solovy’s wisdom can be found in his¬†writing and teaching; his passion can be felt in all that he does. As a poet and liturgist, his work has been used by people of all faiths throughout the world, in private prayer and public ceremonies. Please check him out at¬†http://tobendlight.com/.

**Carolyn Riker’s eloquent and touching poetry has a way of impacting me deeply. ¬†She can be found at¬†https://carolynra7.wordpress.com/. Read her words and let me know if you find her writing as beautiful as I do.

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Last night we counted Day 31 of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and three days of the counting. Today is referred to as Tiferet sheh b’Hod, Beauty, Balance or Harmony within Expansiveness.

Have you ever noticed how some days just work? ¬†All of the pieces of life’s puzzles come together as you would like and challenging moments don’t really trouble you.

Tiferet sheh b’Hod

Each of us have a story that makes us who we are at any given moment.  We have trials and tribulations; we have gifts and challenges happening at nearly every turn.  We have a past, a present, and a future.  Life always has a lot of moving parts and for the most part, we have a choice on how we experience the moving parts.

(Note: I do realize that tragedy never feels good and loss can be devastating. ¬†And in the midst of pain, life can feel like hell. ¬†From experience, I realize that awareness or insight comes only after the harshness of pain eases over time. ¬†While I believe we have a choice how we walk through life’s darkness, we might not have a choice during the initial spark or as a disaster is absorbing our essence. ¬†The choice will come days, weeks, months, or even years later when we have an opportunity to look back and find moments that worked or new ways to absorb the blow of reality.)

DoubleRainbow

Storms come and go.  Life happens and sometimes we have no control.  If we open our eyes real wide, we might find the rainbows that happen after the storm.  At those moments, I am always amazed that regardless of how I feel part of the larger world and I see the beauty that surrounds me with an open heart.

Tiferet sheh b’Hod, Beauty, Balance or Harmony within Expansiveness.

May we all find our rainbows within the beauty that encircles us.

 

 

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Partnership

Awareness

Interconnectedness

Responsibility

Photo courtesy of
Wendy Harris Delson
Alcatraz

With Tu B’Shevat, the New Year for the Trees, coming, I wanted to have our Religious School community reflect on what being an integral part of the bigger picture could mean for each of us when we talk about the environment and all interconnected relationships. So, I taught them about the acronym PAIR.

Partnership

Remember that we are part of many different partnerships within life.  We are part of our families, our Temple, our schools, our community, Israel, the world.

Awareness

Within those partnerships we have to be aware of what is going on in the world around us.

 

Interconnectedness

The interconnectedness means that we are in a relationship not only with one another, but also with the land, the skies, and everything related to our environment.

 

Responsibility

Knowing that we are all interconnected means we have a HUGE responsibility to honor the interconnectedness of life by taking responsibility for the environment that we live.  This means that it is incumbent upon us to consider our actions within all relationships.  On a daily basis we interact with not only people, but with the environment around us.

Reflection:

There is a beauty in watching the children as they grow to realize that they are part of a larger picture.  This knowledge has the ability to impact how we walk in the world.  Each of our children, just like each human being has the ability to make a difference by walking gently and remembering the bigger picture.

While we often think it is ‚Äėall about me‚Äô, it isn‚Äôt; we are part of a bigger world and we have to do our part to make this world, our environment, the best that it can be.¬† If we all work together, we can each do our part to impact our world for good.¬† PAIR is only one tool to help us remember our place and then inspire us in how we move forward and then ultimately how we engage with our bigger environment.

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