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Posts Tagged ‘Bird by Bird’

Blogging is what I do.  I love writing and sharing my heart, my mind, and my soul.

Reflection Time Selfie

Reflection Time Selfie

If this is your first time reading this series of my blog, please take a moment and read the introduction Elul Journey: A New Year Is Emerging – 5775  http://t.co/Y6vmXdO6GJ

Today is the forth day following Rosh Hodesh (beginning of the month) Elul; it is a time to reflect and to choose ways in which I can best move forward.  While it is not easy to navigate life’s journeys, I always get to decide how to approach my life.  In this moment, I am choosing to walk gently and embrace each step with openness.  As I say this, I also realize that this would be a good time for a reality check.

During each blog post of my Elul Journeys, I will share a poem, a saying, a teaching that has helped me navigate the world.  Let me know what you think!

Today, I will be quoting from Anne Lamott, the writer and teacher that speaks to my core being.  Her transparency has helped open the door to my own transparency.  She inspires me to be honest, to write whatever comes to my head, and to have integrity in how I walk in the world.  While I do not know Anne Lamott, I have read her books, listened to all of her books on tape, and listened to her teachings and interviews.  And I still have so much to learn from her.  My hope and dream is that I can one day study with her in a workshop format; she is also one of only a few writers/artists that I dream of sitting down for tea with.  Anne inspires me to become a better writer and a much better human being.

Nearly all of Anne’s writings and diatribes resonate deeply with me; they make me think.

“Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived. Clutter is wonderfully fertile ground – you can still discover new treasures under all those piles, clean things up, edit things out, fix things, get a grip. Tidiness suggests that something is as good as it’s going to get. Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation, while writing needs to breathe and move.” 

AND

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life. . . . ”

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Being less than perfect is reality.  I realize that my desire for perfectionism is an illusion that holds on tight and takes the air out of whatever it is I am trying to accomplish. When I am in a place of needing perfection the most, it means I am nurturing the broken parts of me that need soothing.  Unfortunately, the brokenness has succeeded in destroying some of my creativity over the years.  Sad, but true.  I have struggled to find peace in the chaos that happens just before the explosion of creativity.

More and more frequently I am getting glimpses that the chaos of my mind and sometimes my physical environment has become a welcomed part of life. I love that my mind is full of ideas and that my fingers help me navigate my heart, my mind, and my soul.  I wish I could say that perfectionism doesn’t impact my life any longer, but it does.  The key is that I can now often take a step back and embrace imperfection with a lot more ease.

What I have learned in the past several years is that I can strive for perfection, but in the end I am learning to be happy with a job well done that has taught me many lessons along the way. 🙂

 

 

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Our trek to Tucson has been empowering, challenging, and fun.  While I do not believe any of us would have called this trek easy; the boys and I seemed to thrive as we traveled the many miles from Washington DC to Tucson. The wild thing was that with the exception of three hours on an Arkansas road, nearly every mile went smoothly.

  • The traffic went smoothly.
  • The people we met were without exception kind.
  • We saw beauty along the roads.
  • We ate one gluten free meal at a Subway in Texas.
  • Aryeh nearly obtained his goal of collecting one knife a day during each day of the trek.  At one point, we found a knife from Subway in our bag, but the cheap plastic knife was not up to his standards. 😉
  • Dovi read a book a day and would have read more if he had the next books for his newest series.  Boy can that boy read; he reads 10 times faster than Aryeh and I put together.
  • Jill and Jim have been amazingly giving.  They have opened up their doors to strangers and become fast friends.
  • Our moving truck came on Thursday and then a crew of movers unloaded the truck on that same day. I am so grateful to Michael for finding the best movers and handyman in Tucson.  Locals should let me know if they want Joe’s information.
  • Friday, we started unpacking our house and on Sunday we are moving in.
  • Even with some challenges, the new house is awesome.
  • Feeling the love of our friends as they support the newest journey has helped us move forward.
  • Our last day of traveling was amazing.  We went to an incredible Antique Mall on the border of Texas and New Mexico.

  • We drove in pouring rain through Arizona towards Tucson.  We were surprised by the rain, but later realized it is normal.

With all the good, there are also some challenges.  I feel concern that my boys will take a little time to make friends; summer realities make it challenging to connect with people.  There is an exhaustion that is running deep within my bones from not sleeping well and from dealing with all the emotions of this move.  Wrapping up life in our nation’s capital, moving cross country, and leaving many beloved friends is all part of reality. I am anxious to get started in my work and am feeling a strong sense of both excitement and overwhelm.

New beginnings are scary and exciting too.  Meeting my new community will take time, yet I feel like I need to be able to get everything done today.  🙂 Our new home needs to still be unpacked and we need to find time to purchase a new sofa on a limited budget.  I also need to weed through some books and lose what I shouldn’t have traveled with in the first place.  I don’t want our home to be too cluttered.  And finally, with all that needs to be accomplished, family time should remain a goal; I love motherhood and hanging with my boys.

Below you will find the final insights that we found along our journey:

  1. Folks in Texas sure do ‘Drive Friendly’ even at ridiculously high speeds of travel.
  2. Success in Tucson can be solely graded by how Ginger and Meg welcome me each morning.  Their wagging tails/bodies put a smile on my face each and every day.
  3. We will need to adopt a puppy (all dogs are puppies) as soon as we finish unpacking our house.  We are missing the dogs that Michael took with him to Florida.  Dog energy is what every healthy home needs.
  4. Navigating dark moments is a part of life.  It was amazing to see how quickly we moved through bad moods never allowing them to stick with any of us for more than a brief time.
  5. Border Patrol gave me the smallest taste of what it must feel like to move through a border each day and be questioned.  Because we were American, spoke English well, it took us a moment.  Even in the moment, I felt anxiety because I had never faced this experience before. I am so sorry that their a good Palestinians that have to face this journey daily and with more hostility than I have ever faced.  As Aryeh said, “We didn’t fit any profile, so we were waved through in 5 seconds.”
  6. Happy people prepare better tasting food regardless of being at a nice restaurant, fast food, or ice cream stand.
  7. It’s a long way from DC to Tucson!

The biggest lesson of our Trek to Tucson was remembering the concepts taught in Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird: When the miles you travel become overwhelming, just take a small step  and then another and then another.  Ultimately, you will reach your destination one action at a time.

Now on to new beginnings!

With love, light, and blessings,

Chava

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