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Writing
the song of my heart;
the meaning of my mind;
the feeling of my soul;
Is what makes me WHOLE.

In the last few weeks, my writing has gotten me more in touch with a new internal rhythm. I have found myself filling my schedule with solitude. I am craving quiet in a way that I have never done before.

An old fashioned planner is starting to take shape and allowing me to become more accountable not only to my solitude, but also my work and my health journey. Very consciously, I am making choices on how to navigate time. As serendipity would have it, I I found this amazing quote presumably by Henry David Thoreau as I was beginning to write this blog entry.

‘Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it,
the more it will evade you, but if you notice the other things around you,
it will gently come and sit on your shoulder.”

black butterflyI am being drawn to actively engage in life through choosing a more conscious way of moving forward with my daily life.

Why now? AND How will it look?

Health Journey – I want to be the healthiest I can be. So, I have made some AMAZING changes in my life over the last couple of months.

  • Diet – I am eating:
    • three healthy meals a day.
    • no added sweeteners in my diet. The exception is that I do drink alcohol occasionally.
    • almost no animal products.
    • or drinking lots of water and no sodas!!!!
    • mostly whole foods.
  • Movement – I am seeing myself as someone who can live life actively.
    • Each day I am walking 10,000 steps in the morning and I am also taking walks in the evening.
    • Next summer, I hope to take four to six weeks and bike along the west coast. The plan is to drive to British Columbia and then travel south towards Northern California and beyond as possible. Taking each day to explore the world via my bike. I have yet to map out the trip, explore the financial feasibility of making this happen, or to purchase the bike I will train on. BUT I have decided that I will make some version of this trip happen; I am so excited!
    • In the fall, I will purchase a new or used bike and start my training including how to make simple bike repairs. Wondering if anyone in Houston is up for teaching me. 🙂
    • Even this past weekend, my oldest son and I took a trip to Austin and basically walked and walked some more. We had high hopes of going to some artsy areas, but found ourselves drawn to simply taking in the downtown area.
  • Overall Health Exploration – Simply doing what I have to do.
    • At this point, I have lost about 25 lbs since June. While I seem to have temporarily plateaued, I am simply continuing to make more right choices daily. The weight and my health will continue in a fabulous direction as I continue my health journey.
    • Recently went for a physical and found out that I no longer pre-diabetic for the first time in decades. Now I am working on lowering my cholesterol through exercise and eating better.
    • Just had my vision checked, purchased a new prescription for my glasses, and new glasses. The best part about this vision journey is that I can now see.
    • Recently saw my orthopedic surgeon as follow-up because my back has been hurting.
    • Will have my annual mammogram and bone density scan next week. It was scheduled for last week, but the office called to let me know that the air conditioner was not working. If this had been six months ago, I would have yet to reschedule.
    • Waiting for the results for my brca test to see if I have the genes that will up my chances in having breast or ovarian cancer.
    • Still need to schedule my colonoscopy. . .this seems to be the one appointment I have yet to make. I’ve called, but for some reason, I do not have an appointment yet. I will make that happen before the end of the day.
    • Finally, I need to see the dentist. It’s time. . .it has been far too long.
  • Sleep – I am trying to allow myself more time to sleep. So far, I am not as successful as I’d like to be. And yet, I am going to take a nap in a few minutes.
  • Spiritual Journey
    • Taking time to explore SARK via her books and a facebook group.
    • Listening to podcasts by people that make my heart sing.
    • Allowing for more time to chant and pray daily
    • Looking forward to my Elul journey as I prepare for Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year.
    • Studying Torah each week and helping a friend write her D’var Torah or sermon for her upcoming anniversary of her Bat Mitzvah.
  • Creative Journey – Let me count the ways :). . .
    • Writing daily
      • journaling
      • working on my book (and deciding if it needs to be two)
    • Creating Vision Boards – I even lead a vision board workshop a little over a week ago and can’t wait to lead another one.
    • Doodling
    • Trying to do some watercolor
    • Being inspired  by AWESOME podcasts and books

All of this and more is leading me to make different decisions in how I navigate life. I have decided to allow for the quiet by engaging in far less chatter. So for now, I will not take as much time connecting with friends, social media, and the news.

For the next nearly 60 days until after all the fall Jewish holidays are over, I will focus inward. I will do whatever it takes to love my body, my mind, and definitely my soul. I will use this time to dig deeper and explore through my journaling and doodling what it is I want and need to live a more holy and grounded life.

Most of my life has been filled with what I think I should do and less about what my spirit needs to thrive. I am at a fabulous crossroads right now; this is the perfect time for me to go inward and make some decisions about how I am going to best nourish my life and reach for all that I want. (Note: Inspired by Elle Luna’s book, The Crossroads of Should and Must.)

Reality check

Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World

While I’d love to go completely inward, there is a lot going on in the world that needs my attention.

  • We have less than 100 days to get elected officials that will speak more for human beings and for love of our world.
  • We also have children and parents that need need be reunited.
  • Accountability needs to happen both in the United States and Israel.

This is not the time for me to shut down completely.

#The100DayProject – I will be starting this project in just less than a week; I am still exploring my options, but I have a few GREAT ideas.

Will you join me? Starting Sunday, August 12/1 Elul through Tuesday, November 20/12 Kislev would love to play with others in generally a solitary activity. “Basically, if you can dream it, you can do it. The only premise? Participants have to do the same action every day for 100 days, and they have to document every instance of 100. Sounds totally cool, right?” For more information check out this link, #The100DayProject.

For the first time in years, I am excited (and really nervous) about the possibilities that are surrounding me. The last several years have been really full, but today I am blessed with the ability to go mostly inward with a goal of living authentically in every way.

Onward with love, light, & blessings,
Chava

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Prologue:
My father died 17 years and one day ago. While the loss feels fresh, it really was 6,206 days since my beloved father took his last breath. He left behind seven grandchildren who adored him along with their parents too. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t think of him or the way he walked in the world.  My father loved to tell stories, he was always telling stories. 

~ ~ ~

 “There’s always room for a story that can
transport people to another place.”
~J.K. Rowling

As a little girl, I remember devouring story after story. It didn’t matter how a story came to me. Good storytellers and good books held equal footing as far as I was concerned, but the man who will forever be remembered as the most amazing storyteller in the world is none other than my dad, Morry Bloomberg.

My father had a way with words. He could engage friend or stranger, child or adult. Wherever he went, he would find a perfect story to share and a way to lift people’s spirits.

As a young girl, I remember going into Giant, our local grocery store, and each and every cashier wanted Morry in their lines. It seemed like everyone would address him by name and take a moment to say hi to him. I loved how people knew my father and wanted to connect with him.

booksDad gave me love of words, all words. While he riveted me with his stories, he also loved reading and encouraged me to read and then read some more. It was through my own reading that I was able to visit far away places and navigate childhood as I did.

Gratitude Abounds:
Today, I can always be found with a book that I am reading, a podcast that is keeping me on the edge of my seat, and my own creative writing. Words fuel my soul.

And as luck would have it, I love telling stories and can sometimes be found sharing those stories with others whether in a grocery store line, an elevator, a classroom, or even a stage.

I am the storyteller and writer that I am because my father filled my world with stories.

My father will always hold the sacred space in my heart as being the best storyteller ever! If he is looking down at me, I hope he is proud of how he taught me to honor the power of words and inspired me to share my own stories.

NOTE: Please offer feedback by commenting on this post or letting me know that you like it after reading it. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

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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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Day 3 – June 24, 2012

“If you want to enjoy the rainbow, be prepared to endure the storm.”  ~Wendel Wiersbe

 

Day 3 included some fun, beautiful skies, and one hell of car trip through Arkansas.  By the time we get through this trip, I don’t believe we will remember our awesome time at the Rock and Soul Museum in Memphis, but the 3 + hours it took for us to get about approximately 3 miles was rough. Literally one mile per hour sucks!  Once we made it through the grumps, we actually laughed a lot.  Why stay grumpy when there is no choice.  Besides, we really do feel grateful knowing that we are OK and just a little inconvenienced.

Each day of our trek, we are keeping a journal with notes of what stands out.  Yesterday’s realizations include:

  1. When people who prepare/serve our food our happier, the food tastes better than when they are not.  This is obvious even for simple Subway Salads.
  2. We have had two hotel rooms over two days that were #212, does that mean I should have been born on that day instead of 2/13.  🙂 What do you think that could mean?
  3. Books on CD make any trip easier.  Aryeh and I are really enjoying Run by Ann Patchett.  Dovi is continuing to read; yesterday he read one book.  🙂
  4. Arkansas sucks.  Two reasons.  One, to quote Aryeh, “The Arkansas Rest Stop is like a prison made for midgets with its unkempt tile and cement room and squared off stainless steel appliances all kept uncomfortably low to the ground.”  Chava’s response is at least some folks will find this comfortable.  Two, the interstate is a mess because the state stopped funding work way before the work was complete.  (Note: An accident plus one lane interstate traffic is messy business.)
  5. Sunsets and newish moons are always worthy of shechayanu prayer, a moment of thanking the universe for the moment in time.
  6. Aryeh has missed not finding antique shops and Ruby Tuesdays along the way.  Dovi couldn’t a care a less.  He, however, is always on the lookout for ice cream.

So, the time has come for us to travel again.  And we all agree, Arkansas should never be visited again.  The good news is that I have one friend who is awesome from here, so perhaps this was just a problem visit!

With love, light, and blessings. . . .our trek to Tucson continues.

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Day 2 – June 23, 2012

“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”  ~Ursula K. Le Guin

Heading to the Tucson is synonymous (for Aryeh) to heading to the f*cking desert.  With that in mind, my friend Laurie Siegel posted on Facebook, “You’re Jews. You’re going to the desert. It’s a a natural thing. Maybe you’ll find manna there…..”  So with that in mind, we are now in search of more gifts and knives; each step of this trek and becoming connected to Temple Emanu-El has been an example of basheret (it is meant to be).  I love how Laurie gave us yet another new insight for this journey!

Last night is a bit of a blur because we got into the room and I crashed hard!!!  Our day ended up both fairly good and fairly grueling too; it isn’t easy to keep driving for days on end without really chilling.  My hope is today will be an easy day with a little fun in Memphis and an early night.  We aren’t going to make much ground and I need to be good with that!

What’s fascinating about this trek is that we are meeting kind people wherever we go.  Everyone has a story that they want to share; fortunately our family likes to listen.  After one such conversation yesterday afternoon, the waitress gave me her email address and Aryeh asked me why I don’t become a professional coach/therapist.  My response was simple, I love people; I love listening and giving people new tools for how they can engage in life.

One reality that has become obvious on this trek is that many people are born in an area, stay in that area, and never have or make the opportunity to leave what they know.  Of course, I know this on one level, but that has never been my world.  Even in my own family, there are those who still live within miles of where they grew up in a similar economic setting too.

Aryeh and Dovi have been fabulous troopers.  We have been laughing together and enjoying each other’s company.  We have had to navigate each others rhythms and moods with grace.  Mostly we have done a great job with brief moments of attitude in the mix.  Yesterday, we found a dive of a location with a fabulous knife shop and later we found Dovi a bookstore and an ice cream shop too!  Dovi has read 3 books in two days and needed a new fantasy series, so we purchased three books of a new series.  Wondering how long it will take for him finish these books.

Each day of our trek, we are keeping a journal with notes of what stands out.  Yesterday’s realizations include:

  1. Each of us love meeting strangers who quickly become friends.  At Cracker Barrel, two waitresses and the manager kept hanging out at our table while we spoke of everything from the area, to sick parents, health challenges, unwed motherhood, and life.
  2. Chava’s love of finding cool names for roads continues.  Yesterday’s finds include Lovers Lane, Rural Retreat, and Butter Milk Road.  Each name has a story I am sure.
  3. Dovi can be relentless when it comes to finding ice cream or a bookstore.  Wow….who knew he was so tenacious about getting what he wants. 😉
  4.  Aryeh may plan to get one new knife on a road trip, but sometimes three call his name. 🙂  Aryeh decided that knives are neither space or stuff. (Chava thinks that is wishful thinking.)
  5. Time change is  worthy of a great argument.  Dovi wanted to honor the old time while Chava had already moved forward (or should I say backward).  And Aryeh couldn’t figure out how to write the correct time in our journal.
  6. Chava remembers more country music than she thought;  either that or the words/tunes of the new music is just like the old music.
  7. We really do need to stop driving by 8 or 8:30, we were all wiped when we ended up at a retro-cheesy Motel 6 in Dickson Tennessee.

Today we head to Memphis.  We are hoping to hang out on Beale Street, The Rock and Soul Museum, and find kosher meat for Aryeh too!

All is good in the world.

L’Chayim

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