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Posts Tagged ‘dance’

Sun rise New Zealand May 5 Jai-Jagdeesh

Photo Courtesy of Jai-Jagdeesh via Instagram: jaijagdeesh

This I believe:

Illness and wake-up calls come when you need to listen to your body, your mind, and your soul. So when I finally listened to what my body was saying a few weeks ago, I went to the doctor who diagnosed me with bronchitis.

But 10 days later, I realized that I was still in bad shape and getting worse, so I went back only to receive the same diagnosis and a change in medicine. AND this time I realized that what I needed more than anything else was to stop and really rest.

But then something in the report caught my eye.

10/12/2017
Body Mass Index 30+ – Obesity; Bronchitis

Ouch!!!

As a past runner and someone who is totally conscious of my health, I am so aware that¬† something has to change; I’ve known this for a very long time. In fact, I started a serious health journey 45 days before my 45th birthday. That journey was amazing and changed my relationship with food. I took off nearly 65 lbs and I have kept nearly every pound off for over 6 years. But now I need to begin again and take the rest of my weight off.

As someone who is basically healthy, I strongly believe there is no excuse for “obesity”. This isn’t about looks (except that I HATE my double-chin); this is about becoming the healthiest that I can be. In fact this entire year has become about becoming the healthiest I can be.

Needing to have back surgery in early April was the first very loud message, but then there were others. So with that in mind, I am actively taking the words of my dear soul sister, Arlene Berger and the Torah, “Choose Life” (Deuteronomy 30:19). If I want to thrive and to be the healthiest that I can be, I have to consciously life into my realm. I love knowing that while Arlene and I live in different cities, we are on this journey together.

I have 123 days or 4 months between now and my 52nd birthday. And I have goals of what I want for my body, my mind, and my soul. I do believe that light is surrounding each and every step of this journey.

This health journey is not only about weight, although I do need to manage my weight better in order to be one step closer to better health. There is also such beautiful spiritual and emotional work that is calling my name.

I got this.

As I own my health journey, know that what is listed, is some of my current soul work and some new things based on my doctor’s notes and his feedback when we met this past summer. My goal is to be the healthiest I can be – body, mind, and soul. And while I am being transparent, I’d love to have your support, but I am conscious that too much good advice can be a bad thing. If I let you know that something I am choosing to do is a non-negotiable, please don’t try to convince me that I am wrong.

So, here is my list:

  1. Go dairy and meat free! I am considering whether or not I will continue eating eggs and fish. I think that I will be removing fish from my diet after tonight because we purchased salmon for tonight’s Shabbat dinner. (Note: I have been virtually meat free for many years so meat free is not a big deal. ūüôā AND I will be working with Weight Watchers guidelines.)
  2. Prepare three new vegan recipes a week. Take time to enjoy living a more healthy lifestyle.
  3. No added sugar to my diet. I will continue having fruit and sometimes fruit juices with no added sugar. I know this has sugar, but I am doing it anyway.
  4. Allow for more silence in my life. Breathe a little deeper.
  5. One of my favorite quotes by¬†Franz¬†Kafka is ‚ÄúWriting is¬†prayer.” With this in mind, I want to surround my life with more spirituality through my writing.
  6. Do more soul work! Hoping and praying that I can touch people’s lives with Door l’Door.¬†https://door-ldoor.blogspot.com/
  7. Exercise more – this includes walking 7-10 miles daily and/or finding a piece of equipment to do daily at home. I am thinking about an elliptical. Thoughts?
  8. Politically and spiritually, there is so much work that our world needs me/us to do. With this in mind, I want to listen to the wisdom of one of my favorite songs in the world, “Keep On Moving Forward” by Emma’s Revolution.¬† https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtiXT5c5jBQ
  9. Live my truths without apology. Allow for my authenticity to shine.
  10. Chant, Drum, and Dance

By choosing to do this holy work, I am choosing to fuel my soul. I guess my soul sister can’t tell me I am ignoring her wisdom!

Time to get to work!

 

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L I V I N G is holy work.
 
Reflection Time Selfie

Reflection Time Selfie

 
Life is so profoundly full
My body craves less
My mind would love some emptiness
My heart desires just a little more.
 
Dance is the hidden language of the soul. (Martha Graham)
Stretching my entire being
Reaching for the stars
Allowing my body to sway to my own rhythm
 
Losing what I don’t need
Addictions, loved ones, and inner turmoil
Body weight, too much stuff, and lots of old stories
Wanting to celebrate what was
while letting go of what is no longer needed
 
Craving what I need:
Writing time
Creative experiences
and spiritual moments
 
Chanting
Drumming
Journaling
Moving
 
My body
My mind
My soul
Needs so much less and so much more
 
Each time I reach inward, I find more that I want
He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how. (Nietzsche)
My soul yearns to make a difference
My body and mind yearn to see the world through a different lens.
 
Let go of the old, make room for the possibilities
 
In front of me is a bridge
Only once I shed what I don’t need
Release what no longer serves me
Take one step and then another
Only then, will I be able to cross the bridge
 
L I V I N G is holy work
So I will do ALL that I have to do.
Hineini
Here I Am
Pantano Wash, Tucson Arizona

Pantano Wash, Tucson Arizona

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Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom. For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

Book-The Colors of Life

“When I don’t have red, I use blue.”
Quote by Pablo Picasso

Making the best out of life is what I aspire to do.  Without question, I strive to find solutions for all life challenges.

Have you ever noticed that what often feels impossible is rarely so? If you are creative and you can find a way to navigate almost any situation.

This is what I refer to as creating the artist within. An artist has to be flexible with every stroke of a brush, with every fiber, and with whatever medium they are using. Rarely does a project or creation work exactly as planned.

When I paint, write, or cook or when I drum, chant, or dance – nothing that I do works as I initially expect it should. Now to be fair, I am a novice in all that I do. But even if I were a master, I think the same thing would be true.

The most important lesson that I have learned first as a teacher and then later as a parent is that the best made plans need flexibility or a willingness to change course.

Learning how to go with the flow has helped me in every way. Mostly I do this with ease, but sometimes I just want things to work as I think they should. Aren’t we all like that?

In my journey toward wholeness, I am striving to trust the universe a little more and to play with life by not having to control each stroke, each rhythm, or each movement.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

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“We are all here for some special reason.
Stop being a prisoner of your past.
Become the architect of your future.”
R
obin Sharma, Author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Each year during the Jewish month of Elul (usually in August) through Rosh HaShana, we take the time to do a cheshbon hanefesh, an inventory of our soul.  For me that means taking the time to reflect deeply about the gifts and challenges of the last year, but this is also simply a kinetic time of year. As a Jewish professional, I am working to prepare the community for new beginnings which include the High Holy Days, school, and new programming.  As a mother, I am helping my now mostly grown sons begin their next chapters.  And in the midst of all this, I am usually feeling the need to write and look inward.

The holidays themselves are not easy for me because it is challenging to stay in a spiritual space when you are in charge of so many logistics. Yet the moment Tashlich occurs, I realize that I need to take time to go onward and allow for reflection.  Tashlich is a ritual which usually takes place on first day of Rosh Hashanah in the late afternoon.  During this time the participants symbolically cast off their sins by gathering along the banks of a river, stream, or the like and reciting prayers of repentance.  While many people choose to do this ritual in community, I love to do it alone.

And this year, I have decided to create Tashlich moments again and again. ¬†This is a year of letting go, of saying good-bye to what was and embracing the beauty that is. In the last several months, I have been blessed to rethink my career path, my relationships, and much of my life. ¬†None of this is easy, but it has been made easier because of my private journaling, my very public blogging, and some very beautiful friends. ¬†I haven’t been alone and yet I have needed to spend a lot of time alone as a way of giving myself the room to gaze deeply into my soul.

On a good day, the journaling strikes chord after chord, but this doesn’t happen all the time or even most of the time. ¬†More often than not, I am left with a rhythm that isn’t quite working for me. ¬†I am a work in progress. At times the¬†work has been bitter sweet; sometimes it is actually heart wrenching; and once the puzzle pieces come together, it can be beautiful. ¬†Soul-searching is an art form¬†and I am learning with each breath I take.

Writing ¬†is the most profound tool that helps me find center, but that isn’t my only means to finding balance. ¬†My world is full of chanting, drumming and physically moving (sometimes dance and sometimes hiking).¬†¬†In the midst of all the soul work, my sons keep me grounded and remind me that while I have a lot of work to do, I am actually doing well! ¬†My world is in fact quite amazing; I have all that I need and much of what I want.

As fortunate as I am, there is still work to be done. One way of moving forward is to create Tashlich moments by letting go of all that is holding me back.  Last night, it meant that it was time to get rid of a ton of clutter; I deleted thousands of emails from personal and professional relationships that no longer served me well.  In most cases, it was simply about not needing those particular emails; in other cases it was time to say good-bye to old connections. The delete button became a co-conspirator in propelling to close some doors as a way to open new doors. The goal is to make room for my next chapters and to celebrate what is.

As I woke up this morning, I was acutely aware that there was a shift within me.  The rays of sunlight were slowly warming me up and nudging me toward the many gifts that are very much a part of my life today. I am feeling (perhaps) like a butterfly as it begins to take flight.  Last night, I said good-bye to the cocoon that was binding in a myriad of ways.  With each passing moment, the bindings release and my wings are spreading; there is no turning back for me.

Support for my Tashlich moment when I opened up Facebook this morning to find the photo of  the Topsail Island beach where a group of my close friends are gathering this week.  While I am not with them physically, the photo reminded me that I am not alone.  Once I saw that photo, I realized that outside my front door is the space to create my own Tashlich moment.

Onward with love, light, and blessings,
Chava

Topsail, NC Courtesy of Tamar BenArdout

Topsail, North Carolina – Courtesy of Tamar BenArdout

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Middah¬†(character trait) focus:¬†Learn to make mistakes; learn to say I’m sorry.

Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

This year has perhaps been one of the most humbling years of my life.  I have learned to navigate mistaken assumptions and to apologize for misinterpretations.  I have had to learn new skills and cope with learning from my mistakes.  And I have been challenged by the evolution of altered connections with important people in my life.

The beauty of each and every journey is that while I may feel a little unsteady as I walk along the way, I am learning to navigate new twists and turns within my life.  And throughout it all, I am surrounded by loving friends that hear me when I say I am sorry or pick me up when I feel dejected.  New experiences lead to mistakes; new friendships lead to gifts and challenges that come from getting to know a new person.  Just remember that new realities can be like learning how to dance, you stumble until you get the hang of the new dance.

Stumbling is a part of beginnings, the key is whether or not you act graceful when you trip.

May we all be blessed to have the character which allows us to get up when we fall.

May we each reach to find the beauty that surrounds us.

May we each always keep moving forward.

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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 Рso 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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Note to Seeing the Door series:                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Wherever you go, possibilities surround you! By opening both your eyes and your heart, a door will always appear.

Have you ever noticed how many different types of doors exist in the world?  Nearly each and every door leads to an opportunity.  Some doors are physical; other doors are metaphoric.  All doors lead to opportunity.  

Photo courtesy of Ann Cameron Siegal!

Photo courtesy of Ann Cameron Siegal!

Like the bears above, I love ice cream. Pure and simple. I don’t allow myself to eat it often, but I do love it!!! So when I had a craving last night, I decided to share it with my friends on Facebook! So often I am both intense and reflective on Facebook, but last night I just had fun sharing my ice cream journey with others. ¬†And people responded.

After writing that¬†“I think I need ice cream,”¬†my friends had a discussion lasting 18 comments to date. ¬†The next comment was a little less well received, but certainly made me giggle – I was proud of myself when I asked everyone if¬†they thought it¬†“would be too obnoxious to knock on a neighbor’s door and ask for ice cream? I really don’t want to go out (as Simon¬†suggested); I do want instant gratification.”¬†¬†When 19 people liked,¬†“How many people believe eating ice cream can be a holy experience?”¬†and another 13 comments were made, I knew that ice cream is indeed a holy experience for many. ¬†ūüôā

In a little more than 6 months, one of the holiest days of the year will arrive.  The day encompasses intense joy for those that celebrate; the sweetness permeates even the most bitter of moods.  And no, I am not talking about Yom Kippur, or Xmas, or Ramadan Рthe day is International Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.  On Saturday, February 1, 2014, those that find ice cream to be an ultimately holy experience, will join together and have ice cream for breakfast; some will even partake in eating ice cream all day!

As for me, I will plan a celebration with lots of ice cream and fair-trade chocolate treats; many flavors and toppings will add to the delight!!!.  We will also serve the alternative options for the vegan and allergy sensitive folks among us; did you know that coconut milk ice cream is amazing!   We will dance, play music, sing, tell stories, and eat ice cream and then eat more ice cream.  For those in need of real food, we will have some of that too.  The key is that my family will take time to open our door and flood it with good food, fun company, and a warm environment.

So last night, as I lamented to my Facebook friends and community that I wanted ice cream and I didn’t want to leave the house to get it; an idea was formed. ¬†The time has come for me to finally have an International Ice Cream for Breakfast Open House.

So, who’s coming and what instruments, songs, and ice cream will you bring to share? ¬†Time to start planning for some holiness!!!

Our door is always open! C’mon on over! February 1st really isn’t so far away!

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