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Posts Tagged ‘Dance of Emergence’

Prologue:

Over the coming period of time, I will share how I use writing to quiet my mind, to navigate darkness, to center my spirit, and to propel myself forward.  As Joan Didion says,

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking,
what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.
What I want and what I fear.”

For various reasons, I often feel silenced. This is not working for me any longer. People have every right to interpret my words in any way they want. Take what touches you and move forward as you wish. But here is one thing that you, the reader, should know – Once I release my words into the universe, they have come to do what they were meant to do.

While I share my writing unapologetically, I also write because I have no choice, it is how I am best able to walk in the world.

I am EnoughWriting,
th
e song of my heart;
th
e meaning of my mind;
the 
feeling of my soul;
I
s what makes me One.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 The last few couple of months have stretched me and inspired me to see my reflection in ways that surprised me. I am facing new fears in very direct ways and having the honesty that I need to move forward.

 If you asked me what am I most afraid of in my life? I would have a really hard time answering you. You see, I struggle with overwhelming vulnerability at times and yet, I always emerge. I have a way of doing the dance of life that allows me to navigate even when I feel like I am suffocating.

Recently, I have faced loss and heartbreak, I have also navigated loneliness more honestly than ever before. And I have started spiritual work that forces me to really look at myself in the mirror. Admitting vulnerability can be transformative or crippling. I am shooting for transformative. I am reaching for the stars and moving, always moving, forward. I am not sure that I have a choice.

When I allow myself to go there, darkness seems be a little too present in my life these days (and nights too). So much so that I have wondered, ‘How did I ever think I should change my last name, Gal-Or, or wave of light?’ I must have been a fool. And then I realize that I have to stop then negative self-talk and own what I fear most in my life. I am so afraid that  I am afraid that I will never be enough, do enough to make the world a better place, or be loved enough because I am not worthy enough.

Quieting that ridiculous inner voice and actively engaging in the world as I do should be easier than it is. And yet, I have to consciously decide to:

  • breathe deeply
  • read and listen to inspirational people
  • write and then write some more
  • laugh as much as possible
  • chant
  • walk and keep walking
  • take time to connect with those I adore (especially my sons, my animals, and my closest friends)
  • play
  • always embrace my vocations, my job and my new nonprofit – Door l’Door). I am so blessed to so what I love.
  • have family dinners
  • listen to music that lifts me up

Nurturing my spirit takes so much work and doing the above soul work is the only way I know to come to a place of knowing/believing that I may actually be enough.

While taking care of myself means remembering to do what I need to do, it is also important to release that which doesn’t serve me any longer.  This is profoundly sad to me and so important too. By letting go of what doesn’t work, I make space for the infinite possibilities that surround me. With an open door, new opportunities abound.

Yes, life is hard, but I don’t have to make it any harder than it is. As long as I remember:

Rising above my fears is not an option. I am enough. I got this!!

With that in mind, I want to share this AMAZING and inspirational music video called Rise by Mikey Pauker. If you haven’t heard it or even if you have, listen and then listen again. (link below)

May we all face our vulnerabilities and do the work of growing.

With love, light, & blessings,
Chava

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8l6KS23LKk

 

 

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stack

February is my birthday month.

For the last month, I have been trying to capture how I feel about turning 50.  I had some amazing plans to share my thoughts in writing, in photos, in little pictures, and. . . . BUT, the writer and artist did nearly nothing.

EXCEPT that I have been silently experiencing a sense of AWE. I can’t believe how blessed I am. How did I make it to this place in time?

While many see me as overcoming great obstacles, I don’t see my life in the same way. Not really. Instead I see myself as being fully alive and navigating all that is. With each and every step, I am surrounded by angels, loved ones, friends, and family. I am loved on so many levels, by so many people.

I am NEVER alone. NEVER. WOW!!!

With 50 years old coming this Saturday, I have decided to ask for the one gift I truly want. I would love your help in creating a piece of work that I have been calling the ‘DANCE OF EMERGENCE’. For nearly a year, I have been writing messages to myself through words and simple pics; I have also been asking a few close friends to add to what will be my very unique vision board. I owe a few friends the canvas rectangles and I am wondering if any of you would like to help too. If so, I will mail put the canvas rectangles in the mail on Friday morning, the day before my birthday.

Directions for your 3 x 4 inch canvas:

  1. Use any permanent medium you want to decorate the canvas.
  2. No need to worry about borders – you will see what I mean when I put it together.
  3. Email me your home address in Facebook or email.
  4. Return within three days if at all possible.
  5. What do I want on the canvas? a saying, a picture from your heart, a blessing, a word, or . . . .

In the rectangles that I have previously created, I have included:

  • little pictures
  • verses from poems, prayers, songs, and Torah
  • sayings
  • favorite words
  • and so much more. . .

On my birthday, I will take the time to create a larger canvas with a picture from my heart and the words ‘DANCE OF EMERGENCE’.

Let me know if you want to join me as I celebrate my life and my future.

Thank you for being part of my life.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

 

 

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“It is really a matter of ending this silence and solitude,
of breathing and stretching one’s arms again.”

~Mark Rothko

I am not sure that I was ever an artist, although that is the way I think of myself.

Today my canvas is any blank journal, my blog, and any word document. My writing makes me an artist with words. But when I was much younger, I loved my opportunities to express myself through the visual arts. Drawing, painting and crafts were part of my daily life.

Now the closest I get to the visual arts is that I doodle in my journal and sometimes on small rectangular canvases that will make up a piece of art work that I am calling the ‘Dance of Emergence’.  It is the gift I am currently making for myself to be unveiled for  my 50th birthday in February.  I have yet to decide if the artwork will be ongoing, but my guess is that it will.

And of course, I have an easel holding two blank canvases waiting for me in my office. Every day I walk into my office and feel like I am neglecting my  forlorn lover. And yet, I feel like I have nothing to give. I wake up with images that I want to paint or illustrate, but I don’t because I fear that I will neglect another piece that is calling to me. Another part of this painting relationship that leads me to no where is that I am afraid of doing it poorly.  What if I am really not the artist I remember?

With the above thoughts racing through my head, I often find it difficult to walk into an art museum or a fabulous gallery.  If I allowed my intense mind the room to be totally present, I would probably simply crumble to the ground in a heap of tears.  If you are wondering why that is, it is simple. As I look at amazing works of art, I feel like I missed something. I never learned about the different artists or artist expressions as I would have liked AND I’ve never done anything with my art.  (Note: I know that blogging is my medium and I definitely share that with the world, but still I haven’t nurtured my other love affair, the one that is waiting for me in the corner of my office.)

The good news for art patrons is that I simply put one foot in front of the other and when I love an exhibit, I allow myself to feel and to get lost in the works of art.

Chava looking at large canvas 3

Photo Courtesy of David J. Cooper

On Thursday, I may have finally been transformed when I went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and saw the Rothko Exhibit. As I walked through the exhibit, I realized that I AM an artist; I am unique; I AM ME!

The moment of transformation came when I noticed how Mark Rothko’s paintings evolved over time especially after he suffered and aneurysm in 1968 which caused him to switch to less toxic paints and smaller canvases. This moment helped me realize that I have also evolved from the person I thought I would be to the person I am. While this realization is so simple, it is also so very profound to me.

For me, I can’t help but focus on the beauty of his creations and the hope I have from the little time I had enjoying each piece. I was mesmerized, totally enchanted. I can’t wait to go back in the next week or two.

Following the Rothko exhibit, I went to my new favorite creative space. I went to the Rothko Chapel which is also set in the beautiful Museum District of Houston. This tranquil space is quite possibly the most sacred environment that I have experienced in Houston. (More on that in my next blog. . . )

Mark Rothko’s work warmed my heart and gave me hope. I am not sure how that will impact me in the long run. Perhaps the two canvases sitting on my easel will be given the love that they deserve. Perhaps, my writing will continue to nourish my artistic soul. Anything is possible. The bottom-line is that Mark Rothko’s artistic gifts have ultimately inspired me to become more grounded and breathe more deeply .

I will embrace my new found knowledge; I am an artist. 🙂

 

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more than anything
i want to trust a journey
that i don’t understand~
© Terri St. Cloud

I am a wandering Jew, a seeker, a dreamer. . .

While I was not born with wings, I was born with the urge to soar and the spirit to thrive.

Each and every exploration I take begins with a first step.  The terrain is always the wilderness, a terrain that I will only understand after I trust my steps and begin the dance of emergence.

 A lifetime of journeys never calms my spirit when it is time to start again. As someone who is ready to land and wants to do not just good things wherever I stand, but great things wherever I stand and beyond. I long to be impactful with how I walk in the world. I want to make a difference.

An inherent pressure emanates from those of us that actively strive to weave beauty and light into a world that is often full of challenges. There is so much holy work to be done and so many opportunities to make our voices count.

There is another side to my journey, perhaps a more important one. I am birthing the most authentic living soul I can be. I am ready to nurture that person as she becomes more grounded in what she truly believes. It is time to have my values and my dreams intersect in the healthiest of ways. I strive to walk consciously by caring for my body, my mind, and my soul. And as I do, my hope is that I will remember the larger world around me.

I have traveled some really rocky paths. I have stumbled, I have fallen, I have cried torrential downpours, but I have always continued to move forward. As a work in progress, my innermost prayer is that all previous journeys create someone worthy of making my next steps count.

May this trek weave together my desire to take care of the deepest part of me while intensely nurturing the world I live in, our world.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
But if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?”
Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Father) 1:14

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StumblePartOfDance

Life is full of journeys.  Each day we take a step and then another.  When we are lucky we find the footing and then there are other times when we don’t.  Every step matters, some matter more than others, but they matter just the same.

Lately I am trying real hard to embrace the Dance of Emergence.  So much is happening within me and around me.  Some days I wake up in fear of where the next step will lead me; and then I push through the fear and do what I need to do.  I take one step and then another.  Other days, I wake up seriously excited about the infinite possibilities, the doorways to new opportunities.

Transition has a way of making me walk in circles as I navigate the world around me.  There is so much to consider as I seek a full time job.  The good news is that I have decided to honor myself as I focus on finding positions that will ultimately fuel my soul and allow me the room to create.  In the meantime, I worry about having the money I need during this time of transition.  I worry and then I take a deep breath and do what I have to do – so far so good.   I can still parent.

There are days that my steps are far from firm, but it doesn’t really matter.  I am a fortunate soul; I find a way to find joy in what is.  Sometimes I celebrate the dance of grace and sometimes I celebrate the dance of creativity.  Other times I stumble or simply fall; on those days I might curl up in a ball and cry.  Crying is part of the dance – everything I do is part of the journey.  And so is wiping off the tears and finding the gifts within the challenges.

In the Dance of Emergence, every step counts, even if you think you are just stumbling. . . . .

 

Regardless

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Life is full of cycles.

Birth and death.  Beginnings and endings.   Between beginnings and endings, there are many moving parts that need to be navigated.

Tonight as I look at the beautiful full moon, I am amazed at how much I treasure the full moons that I see month after month.  I am truly in love with the cycle of the moon, the cycles of life.

Photograph courtesy of Wicca Davidson

Photograph courtesy of Wicca Davidson

As this afternoon turned into evening, we began celebrating another cycle, Tu B’Shevat.  Every 15th of Shevat, the birthday of the trees, the Jewish people take note of all that our trees have to offer.  People aren’t the only ones to have a life cycle, every living thing on this earth does.    Are we doing enough for the trees, for the world around us, and for ourselves.

With the darkness tonight, I found myself reflective about the gifts and the challenges that come with the cycles of life.  Everything we do matters; everything can impact what comes later.

Thirty-four days from now, I will celebrate my 48th birthday.   If I want to live life fully, it is time for me to actively engage in growing the healthier cycles and releasing those cycles that don’t serve me well any longer.

Echo.

Choosing to live life fully and with a smile on my face means that I will also feel happier and see many smiles in return.  Whatever we do reflects back to us, like a mirror reflects the images in front of it.

So now is the time for me to remember to treasure my own body, my mind, and my soul, as much as I love the moon.  It is time for me to again care for my entire being by writing more, eating better, laughing deeply, chanting intensely. teaching soulfully, and really being all that I can be.  There are so many parts of my being; so many parts of my soul that need to be tapped.

Echo.

Only as I live more authentically will positive reverberate into my being and to the world that surrounds me too.

“Dance of Emergence” is what I am calling this journey.  My hope is that as the new moon comes next month, that I am more actively engaged in nurturing my body, my mind, and my soul.  Starting now. . .it is time to celebrate every step of my life by more fully embracing where I am and where I am going.

l’Chayyim! To Life!!

 

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In Breisheet, also known as Genesis, we learn about the creation of the world among other things.   Regardless of how you see the Torah, there are amazing teachings for each of us to consider from both the written words and the white space between the words.  As the fireworks of creation begin, it is hard not to notice how evolution often occurs with a spark, a moment of enlightenment.

IN THE beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth.  Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of G-d hovered over the face of the waters.  And G-d said: ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light.  And G-d saw the light, that it was good. . . Genesis 1:1-4

Making things happen takes a light or spark.  Unless you ignite a spark, nothingness will remain.  Silence or quiet lead to nothingness.  If you want to make a difference, you have to be willing to cause some sparks to fly.

Climbing towards the beach -Topsail, NC  Photo courtesy of Wendy Harris Delson

Climbing towards the beach -Topsail, NC
Photo courtesy of:                 Wendy Harris Delson

Climbing the steps to inspire change takes a strong belief and some very hard work.  A beautiful vision with a whole lot of perseverance is the only way to make a difference.

In the last few months, I have been struggling with my own personal demons as well as the world around me.   The work has been intense and has forced me to alter some of my connections and grow some new connections.  There are times when I have chosen to sit quietly feeling lost as opposed to opening the doors that surround me in search of solutions to whatever challenges confront me.  While I am always working on myself and reflecting on ways for me to personally grow, now I am realizing that I need to get back to my grassroots way of making a difference in the world outside of my little universe.   I need to be be more of a light or a spark.

Tonight as I listened to Congressman John Lewis speak at the JStreet Conference in Washington, DC., I realized that I have been way too passive since moving to Tucson a year ago.  There are issues to tackle and sparks to ignite locally, nationally, and in the greater world.  Unless I choose to embrace these issues more fully, I am not living with personally integrity.

This journey did not begin tonight. Over the past months, I have begun what I am referring to as the Dance of Emergence.  I have been finding my voice and growing more comfortable with my surroundings in Arizona.  While I have always been a little crunchy or alternative, coming to Tucson made me feel out of my element personally, professionally, and politically.  Leaving DC and the community I loved working with took away my roots.  Instead of planting new roots, I became still and silent in every area of my life.

When Congressman John Lewis said, “You have the power to be the headlights and not taillights.  You can do it.”  I realized that I had to start igniting the world with the beliefs, energy, and love I have.  Silence speaks louder than words and silence leads nowhere.  With silence, change is not possible.

Tonight, I am ready to continue my Dance of Emergence with determination and action.  I am ready to let the sparks fly.  Over the coming weeks, I will share some of the issues that have been filling my thoughts.   I will begin to share my heart more fully as I actively seek how to take the necessary steps to make our world a better place.

Hineini, Here I am!

P.S. – Some of my issues will include:

  1. Israel/Palestine – 2 state solution
  2. fair-trade chocolate and the chocolate Industry
  3. gun control
  4. child advocacy
  5. Jewish education
  6. environmental consciousness

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