Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘dichotomies’

With a broken heart, I take a cleansing breath. Aren’t all of our hearts broken by living life as we do?

I inhale the light
I exhale the darkness

I inhale the blessings
I exhale the pain

I inhale the love
I exhale the loneliness

I inhale the gifts
I exhale the challenges

And with each breath, I am responding to the rhythms of our universe, of my world. I inhale the beauty and I exhale that which needs to be released.

Always Healing

Picture by Chava

I have always opened my heart and spirit to feel the realities that surround me. And yet, I have moments when I simply feel invisible – that is only part of the story.

I inhale when I am seen
I exhale when I feel invisible

Everyone is invited to a gathering, but me.
My heartfelt text messages go unanswered.
Someone I love closes the door without so much as a word.
All of the above leaving me to wonder and wonder some more. . . .

And yet I wake up each day knowing that I matter even in the moments that I feel unseen. My village shows up and surrounds me with love even when they sometimes forget to invite me into their lives.

The connection ultimately transcends the ego – always.

The call in the middle night from a friend in crisis reminds me that I am seen. My friend knows that my door is open any time I am needed.

And then there are the friends that reach out when they want me to create a sacred cleansing ritual for their new home. I am known for burning sage, chanting, and drumming as a way to allow for a new and sweet energy to emerge into any new home.

I am here to listen to both pain and joy.
I am here to ride the waves of devastation and new beginnings.
I am here to climb mountains and navigate valleys.
I am here for life and I am here for death.
I am here, Hineini. 

With an open heart and deep love, I am here – I will always be here through gifts and challenges.

Breathe

Artwork by Chava Gal-Or; Text is from A Reflection On Nishmat by Rabbi David J. Cooper

Dichotomies fill every moment or reality in life; and with each moment comes an inhale followed by an exhale.

Onward with love, light, and blessings,
Chava

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

(Note: If this is your first time you are stepping into my Elul Reflections 5776, please read the Introduction to this series at http://wp.me/pthnB-1Nm.)

Over the last year and a half, I have openly been seeing myself more clearly than I had in the past. With each step in the journey or thought racing through my head I ask myself lots of questions:

  1. Does what I am doing fuel my soul?
  2. Am I feeling grounded?
  3. How can I make what I am doing more meaningful?
  4. Can I find contentment and maybe even happiness as I embrace whatever I am doing?
  5. Have I surrounded myself with those that inspire me?
  6. Am I being authentic?

Asking these questions and so many others enables me to focus on the my many moving parts of this growing and strengthening process. As each answer unfolds, clarity emerges. It helps to know where I have been and where I am so that I can best chart where I am going. While I have mountains to climb, I love that I can always grow and evolve.

Regardless of the complexities that surround me, I am enveloped in a villiage of loved ones-near and far. While I may feel lonely at times, I am never alone.

This holy work is transforming me to to better self-care and to build stronger connections with others. With so much to do, I have found myself needing to focus on moving more, consciously doing my part for the larger world, addressing my weight challenges, nurturing my spirit and so much more. . .

Surprisingly, I have realized how much of an introvert I am. I feel intense gratitude when I can allow for quiet days with few or no dialogues with others. I often crave solitude; I fantasize of having days, weeks, and even months to myself. And then I quietly laugh to myself when I wonder how I would really feel if I had that sort of time alone.  I may be an introvert, but I love my village too. And watching people on the streets and coffee shops is one of my favorite things to do!

At the same time, I believe that one day I will find the create a beautiful partnership with a man who touches my soul and allows me to touch his. Someone who cares for the world and takes a serious interest in making the world a better place without forgetting to care for himself. The right person will treasure who I am and be comfortable with how I walk in the world. And regardless of who we are when we begin our relationship, may we both stretch and grow into better human beings together and as individuals. May our beauty and light flow out into the world.

I am a seeker in every way. Living consciously as a Jew has allowed me to see the world  as I do. The path has lead me to  teachers that have inspired me to push myself, opened my heart to see how I can better impact the world, and taught me how to honor the woman I am. Writing, chanting, drumming, drawing, learning, and dancing have become part of my nearly daily life. Wow – I am so lucky to have grown as I have.

 

Learning to accept the person I am has been hard at times, heart-warming at other times and always profound.

May blessings abound – for all of us as we continue to travel the world as we do.

Onward with light & love,
Chava

 

Read Full Post »

Truth

Life is full of dichotomies.

How is that the same person we love with such intensity is also the person that can push us over the edge emotionally and/or spiritually?  While the question is very real, the answer is not.

Opening my eyes this morning, I realized how profoundly affected  I am by  life’s dichotomies.

  • The National Parks celebrated their 100th anniversary this summer. Growing up not far from the Appalachian Trail, or the AT as I refer to it, helped define how I see beauty. While some people dream of luxurious vacations to cosmopolitan cities, I can’t wait to sit quietly in the Redwood Forests next summer.
  • Angels have surrounded me during so many harsh times of my life. When my son was critically sick, old and new friends helped support us in a variety of very tangible ways. When unemployment/underemployment left me penniless, both strangers and friends alike made certain my sons and I would thrive. And yet, poverty surrounds me on every street corner and many children go without the necessary food to survive.
  • The color of someone’s skin is unimportmant to me, but this week, we ordered a Black Lives Matter sign for our front yard.  Living in a world that often subjugates many in the human-race deeply troubles me.
  • Theoretically, we live in a time were the government has checks and balances which allow for all people to be treated equal, yet we have a presidential nominee that incites a population to violence and is not being held accountable for it.
  • Climate change is a huge challenge seen in increasing numbers of intense rainfall events and the rising of  global temperatures. Yet there are many political leaders that are denying the very real reality.
  • My love for Israel runs deep, but I question the integrity of a country that has a poor track record for how she treats Palestinians and others. AND yet, when a natural disaster occurs, Israel is one of the first countries to set up a field hospital and to help a traumatized people.
  • Children are absolutely precious and treasured in the world that I live, yet there are so many children that are violated, abused, and essentially treated horrifically.
  • In Houston a few months ago, a man was shot up while trying to stop a man on a killing spree. In the end, the innocent bystander ended up in critical condition and a suspect.

Reality is full of gifts and challenges. The world’s complexities wreak havoc on those of us that are unable to shut off the troubling stories that impact our world at any given moment.

Moving forward in the world is not easy, this means we need to do so with open eyes and a willingness to do our part to improve the world we live in.

May we all find our voices as we decide how we will impact the world for good.

Onward with love & light,
Chava

Read Full Post »

“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.” ~Joan Didion

computer2

Writing is what I do.

This morning, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  I woke up feeling alone and struggling with a sense of loss.  My guess is that, I need a solid day off to do nothing.  I also realize that taking the time is not an option in this moment.  Reality means that I have to create significant pockets of downtime so that I nourish my spirit.  Working around life’s realities will take me a lot further than focusing on what can’t be.

While I have faced a lot of loss this year, I have also been rendered many gifts.  Both realities are true.  My guess is that most of us face a dichotomy of realities at any moment in time.  The question is how do we decide to navigate all of our feelings and find the balance we need to move in a healthy direction.

The good news about the doldrums is that I always know I can navigate them a little easier if I take time to reflect through my writing.  Darkness has never served me well; I know that for certain.  Yet if I don’t acknowledge my journey within darkness, I will never be able to do the healing work of moving through it.

The longer I am awake, the more centered I feel.  Sometimes you just have to go through your feelings so you can make it to the other side of them.

Writing is the gift I give myself.  When I took the time to write this morning, I allowed myself the space to feel, move through the darkness, and then ultimately to release the darkness so that I could feel better. Yay!

Moving through today, I will take the time I need to walk gently, rest as I can, and write through my darkness.  Writing brings me balance.

May each of you take time to nourish yourself; you deserve it.

 

Read Full Post »

Nothing in life is a given, yet we can choose how to walk along the way.

Registering that reality can feel like a gift or feel like a challenge.  I can usually maneuver whatever comes my way.  I can choose to wrap myself in in my cocoon  or I an spread my wings and keep navigating forward.

butterflyBranson MO

Photo courtesy of
Judy Caplan Ginsburgh

The warmth of the cocoon is sweet and comforting; spreading my wings and fluttering about like a butterfly is pure ecstasy.  Both choices are the dichotomies for how I walk through life.  Sometimes I nestle into my thoughts and feelings as I face life somewhat privately or quietly; sometimes I flutter about reaching for new horizons or moving gently in the world.  There is a place for embracing life quietly or actively; life is what you make of it.

We can learn lessons from all of our different realities or we can grow stagnant.  Learning from life’s realities is a key to moving forward.  If you sit in darkness and despair for too long, little is gained.  At the same time if you let the joy of a moment flood you with happiness for too long, you also gain little.  Balance comes from not only acknowledging life’s realities, but also actively engaging in life’s journeys.  Feeling is important.  Acknowledging your thoughts/feelings is essential.  Sitting where you are for as long as you need can be healthy.  No one can dictate the right amount of time one needs to nestle into an emotional space, except for the person facing their own lives.

This month, I have faced many moments of fear, loss, pain, emptiness, anger, and relief, balance, hopefulness, peace.  Life’s dichotomies have been a little too intense at times.  My breathing has sometimes been labored; my emotional and physical state has been wobbly too.  As this period of time wanes, I am really grateful for my beloved friends and family who have allowed me both the space to sit quietly and the space to fly.  I have felt loved and held in a cocoon of inner warmth; I have also been free to flutter wherever my heart and soul took me.

Life is a journey of the unexpected; the gift is that I always have the power on how I will navigate.

May each of us find the balance to navigate life’s realities in a way that serves us well.

Read Full Post »