Posts Tagged ‘Cheshbon haNefesh’

Sacred Vessel

“it was when she dipped deep inside,
and scooped out her very essence –
and then stretched her arms outwards
with her hands full of stars –
it was when those stars passed thru
her fingers and out to the world –
it was then she understood she was a sacred vessel.
that we are all sacred vessels –
with the entire universe flowing thru us –
and all we need to do is open and be.”

© Terri St. Cloud

The treasured time between now and the new year.
Days, hours, minutes, pass. . . .each moment brings me closer to Rosh HaShana.
This is my last chance to do a cheshbon hanefesh, an accounting of my soul.

I will never experience this passage of time again. While I am in awe of how I emerged with the love and devotion of many this year; I am also aware of how much I was forced to renegotiate life as I knew it. Thriving is a non-negotiable, yet I am navigating loss and mourning what was lost; I am also celebrating how the tides turn and  the many ripples soothe my core.

Now comes the holy work of grounding myself. Finding a new rhythm, processing the experiences of the last year, and creating a new spiritual space in Houston and more importantly within my nefesh, my soul.  The work is a little overwhelming, but incredibly sacred too.

Over the last year, I have felt like I was standing in quicksand on more than one occasion. And yet, I never went down. While the trek taught me a ton, it is not one that I wish on anyone else. And yet, I stretched and I grew. . . how beautiful is that.

I love that I always find good within the challenges; I love that I find beauty in nearly every chapter of life. And yet, there is a cost.  I have decided that Elul is the perfect time to go inward, to reflect, and to allow for healing.

What does a true Elul Journey look like? I seem to be in a quieter place allowing for the silence to penetrate my being. Taking time to connect with people that want to see my soul; reading writings that touch my core; and writing from the deepest parts of my heart.

My body, my mind, and my soul is reaching for the stars, clearing the fog, and striving to settle into a new rhythm.

Thriving, reaching, living
Becoming the woman I was always meant to be.
I am making it!

Inside and out – I am trusting each step as I reflect where I’ve been, where I am, and where I am going.

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Part 2: Sanity Assessment Practice

(The current blog is part 2 of a three part series that will be posted this week.)

Since starting to take significantly better care of myself in the last seven months, I have grown really tired.  There are so many factors that could be attributed to this core level exhaustion.  While I am checking the physical possibilities, I am also doing some of my own emotional work and considering what is it I need to be the healthiest person that I can be.  My guess is that at the end of this journey, I will find out that I simply have too much going on in my life both personally and professionally.  In the meantime, I am being wise; I am continuing my journey to health both physical and spiritual.

As I move through my spiritual journey, I am working with my spiritual guide and teacher, Rabbi Shefa Gold who has given me one of the toughest homework assignments I think I have encountered  I am supposed to do a Sanity Assessment that is in her book Torah Journeys, page 79 in the Yitro section of her book; it can also be found on her website http://rabbishefagold.com/Yitro.html.   I refer to the Sanity Assessment as a Cheshbon HaNefesh (Soul Accounting).  I need to look at myself honestly and to consider what fuels my soul and also what drains me.

This journey isn’t easy; in fact it is painful.  Looking at myself honestly is a challenge.  I am a people pleaser; I love my family; I adore my friends; I want to be kind and good to the core.  But something is telling me that it isn’t working for me any longer.  The years of being a caretaker for so many essential people in my life has wiped me out.  Loving Aryeh and Dovi through serious illnesses was emotionally draining.  The gift is that we all survived and grew from the experience.  No one was an island not Michael, their dad, the kids themselves or I were alone.  We were a team moving through the many different trials and tribulations that existed.  I have also been a caring and nurturing friend to others throughout my life; it is what I do..  Maybe I am so tired because I can’t give like I once did.  And then there is the reality that I love nurturing myself through writing, chanting, and solitude.

Being honest with myself about what it is I want and what is attainable is tough, but it is necessary.  Whoever said that life is easy must not have lived life fully.  I have so many interesting dichotomies that make up who I am.  I love people, but I love being alone.  Being in a close-knit community is an amazing gift, but I dream of solitude in a cabin that would help limit some of the excess noise that surrounds me.  I want to walk gently with the land, but crave the simplicity of having easy access to that which I want.  The goal is to find balance and I will; it just means walking through life consciously.

Knowing what I want with all of life’s gifts takes a lot of deep thought and integrity.  How much sleep do I need? Do I love learning? What do I really love doing? What jazzes my soul?  What types of people to I want to surround my inner circle of friends?  What do I feel about eating meat? What form of exercise would benefit me and would I find positive?  What do I need to do to be the best professional I can be.  All of these questions and more need to be considered and I will take the time to consider them seriously.  Yay for time!!

What considerations do you need to consider as you Assess your own sanity. 🙂 Inquiring minds want to know.  So . . . .I am waiting.

Note, that I really do love afternoon naps.  Do you?

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