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Posts Tagged ‘choice’

וּמָתוֹק, הָאוֹר; וְטוֹב לַעֵינַיִם, לִרְאוֹת אֶת-הַשָּׁמֶשׁ.
And the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing
it is for the eyes to behold the sun.
[Kohelet 11:7]

sunset beginning bay

South Padre Island Sunset January 2019

As a seeker, I often look for meaning in all that is happening within me and around me. I take horrible moments and make them a little easier to stomach by re-framing them and finding the gifts within the challenges. I find the light even within the darkest moments.

Maybe that is why I changed my name so many years ago. My last name means ‘wave of light’. Waves could be disturbing, but they also propel us towards change whether it be in the ocean or in life. And as long as you can find the ‘light’ anything is possible.

Lately I have been drawn to the AWESOME power of choosing life with all of it’s moving parts. Life is really hard sometimes. Reality can be daunting when you open your eyes in the morning. Sometimes we have to make hard decisions when there is no right or wrong. Sometimes you have to say good-bye to a loved one way too early. Sometimes you don’t have what you need and you have to make due with what you have.

Morning Candle LightingWe do have a choice of how we absorb life’s gifts and challenges. So this morning, I started my day by breathing in the light, lighting a couple of candles, and chanting “Shining”, a beautiful chant by Rabbi Shefa Gold. http://www.rabbishefagold.com/shining

Choosing to wake up and breathe in the light while chanting in Hebrew

Arise and shine for your light has come,
and the Glory of God is shining upon you.

[Isaiah 60:1]

helps me navigate all that is filling my spirit – the good, the sad, the hard, the frustrating, and the many realities.

My holy work is to consciously thrive regardless of where I stand. I am choosing to find light and allowing that light to soothe and comfort my spirit. Join me!

Onward with love, light, and blessings,
Chava

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“there is no map.
you gotta write your own.
you gotta carve your own.
you gotta sweat, cry, grieve,
laugh, and love your own.
and when you’re all done,
that’s all that will have mattered.”
© Terri St. Cloud

Life has been filled with amazing gifts and undeniably difficult journeys. Yet, I have been blessed with the ability to ALWAYS find ways to navigate. In my younger years, I often felt alone; over the last half of my life, I have felt held and loved with every step.

As I move towards my 50th birthday, I am intrigued by how far I have come. But lest you think it is about the specifics of my life, it isn’t. Each and every one of us are unique. While we may have those that guide us in our journeys, there is no one like me (or you) out there. We can learn from others, but they can’t make the trek for us.

Tonight, as I was talking to a friend. I realized that I could tell her how I would move through a challenging situation, but then I stopped myself. Sharing my intuition or my insight is one thing, but I am not qualified to do more than share. My friend has to make her own decisions.

Light and blessings surround me at every turn. Dark moments happen, but enlightening sparks are never far behind. I have always emerged from sadness, pain, violence, and challenges. That has been my choice. . .it is what I do. Not only do I emerge, but I soar. I find the gifts within the challenges, the light within the darkness.

I love that my map is guided by my spirit; I am one of the luckiest people I know.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

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“Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.
Quote by: Wendell Berry

(Prologue: I have grown to love life and tire of people wondering if I am for real.  I am. I am human, but I am a thriver. Regardless of what is tossed my way, I will be ok. Always. I have a choice on how to move forward and I choose . . .)

Life happens.

With every breath, I get to decide how I will emerge and how I will face the holy world that I have and will continue to experience.

Struggles have been a part of my life – never by choice. In response, I have made a conscious decision to NEVER allow them to define who I am.  The trouble is that there are some people see my life as really hard and need to focus on just that. I see my life quite differently – full and blessed. The gifts have come in all shapes and sizes. Each passing moment has lead to new adventures – some simply divine, others challenging, and still others painful.  Yet, regardless of what has transpired in my life, I have come to find the treasures that have made me the person I am.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a work in progress.  I have had days that leave my heart broken with endless tears falling. But those days have been far and few in between.  When I look back at the trials and tribulations that I have endured, I choose to see the beauty that is often a consequence of life’s difficulties.

Life happens.

During some of the segments of my life, I have faced a few too many arduous junctures.  Ultimately, each has led me to find inner peace, phenomenal opportunities, and many open doors.  I am who I am because I have always found light, maybe not instantly, but eventually.

The last few years have had a few challenges. I recovered from the nightmares that plagued me once my son recovered from years of serious illness, I navigated professional challenges that left me jobless, and I treaded life’s waters as a single mother. Regardless, none of it destroyed any part of me. In response, I have found that I have special friends, people that will help me in countless ways. Struggling alone has never happened for me. My amazing friends have nurtured not only me, but my precious sons too.  Whether I needed emotional support, financial help, or a hand, my friends have been there for me.

Through it all, there is a inner joy that sustains me and allows me to thrive.  When I smile, my entire body feels the reverberations; no wonder, I am drawn to feel happy. I want to share my excitement with every one I meet and sometimes I am lucky enough to do so.  I am not certain where I found the inner joy that sustains me even as I navigate tough realities, but I have.  Yay!

Creatively, I am becoming the person I want to be.  My writing soothes my soul and confronts life’s storms.  Over time, I seem to have impacted others with my words. Wow. . . how sweet is that?  And I have also taken up drawing and painting (just a little); I even have a new piece of artwork that I have been creating.  None of this would be what it is if I hadn’t experienced life in the ways I have.

Educationally, I have learned to trust myself as an educator and to push myself to make more of a difference to those that I mentor and teach.  Only once I believed in myself fully was it possible for me to create and then share my creations with others.

And spiritually, I have found my voice.  Whether I am drumming, chanting, praying, or hiking, I find that I am becoming connected with the earth in profound ways.  I have grown to love how I walk within the world.  Sometimes I find myself dancing, and moving in ways that I have never done before.  I am alive, fully alive.

Nothing has ever destroyed my spirit. Even when I have had moments that I felt broken, I emerged stronger with tools that allowed for healing of my heart, my mind, and my soul.

A long time ago, I learned that while the world is sometimes dark, my spirit is full of light.  I always have the ability to choose to see the light and if I am really honoring who I am, I can be the light.

Only when I live in the light will joy exist within me.  So, I guess I need to choose light; there is no option.

Sunset near Pupukea Hawaii; Photo coutesy of  Kathleen Kendle

Sunset near Pupukea Hawaii; Photo coutesy of Kathleen Kendle

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The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character. Author Unknown

Everything we do matters….

Reflection time. . . .  Over the last few days I have had moments for pause.  With the High Holy Day upon us, I have asked myself so many questions about how I walk in the world and have been honest about myself about I feel about the different interactions I have with not only those I know personally, but the world around me too.  Facing life head on takes courage; it isn’t easy.  But in order to be authentic with my own self, I need to openly reflect and seek understanding for what is, who I am, and who I am becoming.

Human Connections

I love people; I love interacting with nearly each and every person.  I am also sensitive about the interactions with those I adore and much less sensitive with those that matter less as a friend or loved one.  In the last few years, I have come to accept that my spirit can be crushed by the ending or a dark turn in a friendship.  Today, I also embrace the fluttering of my heart when someone walks into my life who I feel has always been there whether the connection is part of my life for an hour or a decade.  I am learning to accept what is.  Reflection. . . .

All of us have to reflect sometime. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Rockland

All of us need to reflect sometime.
Photo Courtesy of Jeff Rockland

The first half of my life, I was blessed with some great people at times and many sweet interactions, but I haven’t always experienced deep connections with people.  While loving people deeply has added a beautiful layer within my life experiences, it can hurt too.  Sometimes I miss the life I lived before I felt or cared intensely.  I am not sure why some people touch me deeply and others less so.  The bottom-line is that I am learning to accept that relationships can be complicated and that has to be OK.  I am learning.

What I have learned is that people matter; they always matter.  Finding the beauty in each interaction is the gift I give myself.  Yes some touch me a little more,, but each and every one touches me.

Life Forces

We are surrounded by beauty, by trees, animals, cactus.  The earth is below me; the skies hover above me.  Life surrounds me.  And I am responsible to do my best with the world around me.  I believe that each of us needs to walk gently with the earth at all possible times.  When we have a choice, we should always be live consciously and thoughtfully.  The earth and the skies will be here long after we are gone; we need to remember our role in making that happen.

Last week, I had a conversation with someone who was perplexed why I didn’t want to make the trek with others up to Phoenix for a short meeting.  The  reason was simple to me, but not to this person.  One of many reasons I gave was because it made little sense to drive 4 hours for a 2-3 hour gathering.  His response was that the little things don’t matter, it is the big picture how we live our life.  I didn’t agree; I don’t agree.  Every step we take matters.  Does that mean I am perfect?  Not at all, but I am working on being the best I can be.

This morning, I read the status line that one friend expressed after having a car-free Sunday; this attitude makes sense to me.  May we all have car-free days!

Everything we do matters.

Eating

I am back on my health journey.  With each passing day, I make good eating choices and less than good eating choices.  When I make good choices, I feel great and my weight is easing down.  When I make less than good eating choices, my weight inches up and I don’t feel too good.

I am also becoming more conscious of the different considerations possible for each and every item I purchase.  While I don’t have the money to do everything I want, I do have the ability to make choices and to grow in a specific directions.  My considerations include, buy are not limited to:

  • organics vs. conventional foods
  • whole foods vs. processed foods
  • packaging
  • animal by-products vs. non-animal by-products
  • carbon footprint (local vs. distance)
  • fair-trade vs. slave labor/poor employment practices
  • cost
  • etc.

With each choice comes many layers of complexity worthy of consideration.  My job as a human being is to consider what goes into eating and to make the best choices as I move forward.  Over time, my hope is that I will better align my values with my food choices.

Reality

Yesterday, I drove an hour each way to be with a community that I adore that was having a traditional ‘memorial service’ that takes place during this time of year.  I joined the community to honor both those that have passed and those that are alive and thriving.  Did I have to drive over two hours? No, but sometimes I need to make choices that have many implications.  In this case, I did what was right!

When we live consciously, we make choices every day.   And every choice we make has an impact on the world we live.  And each choice comes with a cost to our health, our environment, our world.

May we all do our best as we walk in the world.  Everything we do matters.

Here is a small list of what I have been doing over the past weeks.  What are you doing that makes a difference for others in some way?

  1. After reading one of my blogs, a reader took the time to tell me how my writing touched her.  While that doesn’t happen often, the fact that it keeps happening keeps me inspired and writing.
  2. A couple of months ago I reached out to a man who might have single-handedly saved my life.   Approximately 33 years ago, I worked with a counselor who gave me some well needed to tools for taking care of myself.  While many of my friends were experiencing normal junior high trials and tribulations, I was struggling to survive a traumatic childhood and using mind altering substances to help me on this journey.  With the help of this one special man, I was able to make different decisions and while the next years were far from good, I made it!!!!Last month, I found him and told him.  The timing was great and in the end, I was able to touch his life when he needed it! I am so happy that I reached out.
  3. Every time I go to the grocery store, I smile at the cashiers, the baggers, the stockers – I love making them smile.  And when I go to the check-out stand, my phone always goes away so that I can interact with those around me.
  4. So often I notice trash on the ground and then I pick it up.  Why not?
  5. A friend called to tell me that they now by fair-trade chocolate because of our family.
  6. I have donated boxes and boxes of good items/books to those in need and to organizations that run thrift shops that benefit organizations that are doing good work.  As I simplify, I am hoping that others can benefit.
  7. Gave money to a friend who nearly ran out out of gas and asked her to pay it forward when the time was right.
  8. Saved a rabbit from a coyote!!!! 🙂

Everything we do matters.

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Yesterday was a bad sugar day in my sugar elimination journey and that is OK!  Some days are like that.

 Just Say No

We decide how to move through our journeys. Yesterday I believed all would work! When something didn’t, I navigated & made it work. That included so many different aspects of life including work, family dynamics and food.  Sometimes everything works out and sometimes it doesn’t; I am on a journey to be a better person in every way.

Yesterday’s food challenge was when I picked up a bag of Terra Chips and was enjoying a bite or two before I realized that my arch enemy sugar was in them.  Oy.  Before that I had a diet soda.  Please note, I think diet drinks are toxic; in fact I know it.  And fake sweetener, like sugar is consider a non-negotiable too.

And with all that in mind, I am allowed to make mistakes and have poor judgement; it happens.  And in the end of the day, I can choose to break a bad cycle or cope and improve.

And the bottom-line for yesterday is that it was a crazy day professionally and still I didn’t fall that far off the bandwagon; for that I am grateful.

Hineini, here I am – my goal is to keep growing so moving forward is what I will do! I have work to do and people to serve!

With light and blessings, Chava

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