Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Maddie Nails Me!To say I love Maddie is an understatement.  So when she was in horrific pain last night, I fell apart; the anxiety left me bereft and completely despondent. While I am more matter of fact with human illness, I become completely irrational when my furry critters are ill. Last night and this morning were no different.

With anxiety guiding my every breath, I worried that we would have to put her down. What if the pain was indicative of something horrific? What if we couldn’t afford the surgery? (Seriously, it didn’t matter that we didn’t have a diagnosis, I was worried about the cost of surgery.) What if I had to say good-bye to my beloved girl?

I know one of my sons would love if I was a little more worried about him whenever he is sick with a virus. For my family and friends, I seem to be so much more reasonable. Even though we have faced multiple brain surgeries in our house, I don’t assume that a bad headache is reason to check in with a neurologist or a neurosurgeon.

My furry children tend to be a different story. When my beloved Mukseh was alive, I would often forget she was terrified of thunderstorms and on one occasion I called the vet to say, I think Mukseh is having a heart attack. With her heart racing, I am not sure why I didn’t simply take her to the vet, but something inside of me must have realized that I was being an alarmist. When the vet called 15 minutes later, the storm was stewing and the vet was laughing. He suggested I try giving my girl Rescue Remedy; the funny thing is that we had it in the house. If you don’t know what it is, google it; I think everyone should have some in the bathroom cabinet.

Back to Maddie
With horrific pain traumatizing Maddie late last night and throughout the early morning hours, I knew I had to get her to the veterinarian first thing this morning. While I was not quite ready to trust what I was seeing, Maddie really did seem fine as we were heading out the door. And in truth, my memory of her early morning pain and the what ifs guided me to make certain that whatever had hurt her was not hurting her now. $70 poorer, I am so relieved that my beloved fur baby is healthy! While I may wonder what caused her so much pain, I know that humans have moments of pain and heal quickly too!

I can’t believe how fortunate I am.

Note: I felt so blessed that I had a few friends that were worried with me and almost as happy as I was to know that all is well with my Maddie.

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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 . . . .]

Loving Nature

Life can be totally overwhelming, yet I know that I have to take time to notice the world around me. Whenever I do, I am generally floored by what I am seeing.

Today was one of those days when I fell thoroughly in love with nearly everything I saw.

Everywhere I turned, nature called to me. The moment, I woke up, my dog Maddie started wagging her tail and showing how happy she was; the day before she had been so sick that I found myself afraid that she wasn’t going to be ok.. And then when I was on my way to an appointment, I saw a turkey vulture on a fence post. On my way home from my appointment, I had to swerve from hitting a turtle who was crossing the road.  Each of these moments brought me immense joy! I love when I notice nature as clearly as I did today.

And then on my way home from the store this evening, Dovi and I watched the lightening which felt like it was engulfing the roads around Louisa, Virginia. Even now, as I type this, the thunder is probably waking up anyone who is trying to sleep. The sounds are quite magnificent.

The bottom-line is that I always feel so much more whole when I am connecting with nature. I am thrilled to be part of a people that openly acknowledges the special moments in nature and in life.

The silence of the skies is profoundly telling; learning how to listen is the key.

The silence of the skies is profoundly telling; learning how to listen is the key.

“ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם עושה מעשה בראשית”
Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the Universe maker of the works of Creation.

With love, light, and blessings,

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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 . . . .]

Sometimes You Simply Have to
Howl at the Moon

Today was hard, really hard.

Many days have passed since I slept well.  Some of this is because I am struggling with the death of someone that was once in my family. At the same time, I am trying to figure out how I will make the move to Houston.. And through it all, I have holy work to do.

At dawn, after sleeping only a couple hours, I woke up to a really sick dog. My beloved Maddie wouldn’t eat, couldn’t drink, and was lethargic. In my worried state, I kept saying that all of us have moments we don’t feel good. Fortunately, she perked up, started eating ice cubes, and  eventually ate some dog treats, chicken and rice. And more good came when I had an awesome conversation with someone I needed to connect with via work. But then. . .

Tonight grew hard again when the exhaustion seeped into my bones yet I had to drive for over two hours so that I could try to navigate a potential challenge. Ugh! I had to go to the Staples in Charlottesville so that I could try to uncover my credit report; for some reason it is in hiding. The good news was that I was able to spend some time connecting with friends. And through it all, I also had to be present for someone in serious emotional distress.

Coming home, I was greeted at the door with a late dinner, a few minutes with my sons, a hot cup of chamomile tea, and a hungry, but happy dog. At the same time, I am feeling profoundly grateful to my new communities support in Houston!

Regardless of what type of day and evening I had, I realized that while the day had really hard moments, it also had amazing blessings too. And in the end of it all, the full moon was calling my name.  The moon was waiting for me to howl at it. So I did!

Moon May 2015

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Morning has always been a gift to me, but over the last decade or more, I sometimes find myself waking up with a deep and momentary sadness.  The good news is that it rarely lasts for long.    Almost as soon as the sun comes up, my spirit improves.  My guess is that it goes back to the years of navigating serious illness within my family; waking up in darkness meant that you were truly alone in this world with only your fears as a visitor.

As someone who often wakes up about an hour or more before the sun rises, this is my struggle; this is my challenge.

Today there is good news, now I have Maddie (my dog); she seems to know her place in my world.  On my darkest mornings, she knows exactly what to do.  She lays across my lap or my feet and she reminds me that I am loved.  She creates a cocoon sensation that allows me to ease into the light that I so adore.


Once the sun rises, she knows her role as a hungry dog; she tells me that it is is time to put melancholy mood to rest; it’s chow time followed by a walk.

May we all be blessed to have a special creature or two in our lives.


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Recently, a good friend, emailed me a photo of Shakespeare.  As I opened the photo, I was curious as to what I would find.  Would it be a fabulous quote by Shakespeare or a photo of the artist himself?  To my surprise, it was neither.  The photo that greeted me was a photo what I believe to be a ghost town somewhere in Shakespeare, New Mexico.

Courtesy fo Bob Carroll

Courtesy fo Bob Carroll

Since seeing the photo, I have been reflective about what perspective means. Each of us perceives the world through our own eyes and our own hearts.  Our experiences help us navigate the world we travel.  One person might face a difficult experience and find moments of light while another person faces that same experience and can’t function.  One person might find rock climbing exhilarating while another person might is brought to tears the first time they try repelling down a mountain.  And now Shakespeare has an entirely new meaning to me.  While I will always look forward to seeing a great Shakespearean play, I am more excited about the prospect of checking out Shakespeare, New Mexico.  Shakespeare has a brand new perspective to me.

Life can be challenging.  Experiencing life fully could mean a plethora of events can impact how you feel at any given moment.  Parenting, my work, my writing, the weather, my dog – any one of these realities can bring my mood up or down if I let it control me.  While moments can be rough, I am a strong believer that I get to decide how I walk in the world.  My hope is that I on most occasions I find the light in dark situations or that I walk gently whenever possible.

To quote a wise man:

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. ~William Shakespeare 

We really do have the inner strength to control how we walk in this world; we only have to make the choice to use it.

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Tonight I fell. I totally wiped out while walking my dog Maddie.  No doubt tomorrow will bring some beautiful shades of blue/purple on my hands, my elbows and my knees.  And with the bruises come not only aches, but perspective.


Over the years I have learned that I only hurt myself or break glasses/dishes when my mind is too full and I am not being fully present in my body.  While everything hurts tonight, I am also feeling blessed that there is nothing seriously wrong with me.  Tonight my body and mind received a message worthy of hearing loud and clear.

The time has come for me to focus on whatever task I am currently involved in doing.  The more present I am, the stronger my entire foundation is.  There is incredible beauty in Tucson’s night skies and the ground, while rocky in places, is really quite level.  Tomorrow morning, I might feel a little sore, but I will create the space to walk gently, enjoy the morning air, and take one step at time.

With light and blessings, Chava

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Over the last few weeks, I have been reflecting about what tools I need to walk in this world.  Blogging, walking my dog, and creating spiritual space has helped formulate paths that resonate with how I want to evolve over the coming period of time.  I am a seeker and with that comes a responsibility to act on the insights that come to me.

Commitment is not something I take lightly.  One of my favorite quotes in the world is:

“If you ask me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you:
I came to live out loud.” ~Emile Zola

This quote exemplifies how I walk through the world.  While I have an introverted spirit, I also embrace the world and that which jazzes me with enormous energy.

Nearly two years ago, I  embarked on what I then referred to as my Journey to Health.  During this journey, I altered my lifestyle and strived to make more conscious health choices.  For those of you that followed me, I did a lifestyle count off which started 45 days to my 45th birthday.  Mostly, I was successful with the journey.  I was able to begin significant weight loss (65 lbs. over many months); stopped eating sugar, sodas and caffeine; and I started moving more.  This year, I started writing more for myself and I also allowed myself to become more transparent with my blogging.  These two journeys have been about taking care of myself by honoring the person I want to be.

But now it is time for me to allow space to cultivate the two journeys together.  The Journey to Health is about finding balance between my physical and spiritual beings.  I need both to be an active part of my life.  In some ways my body is in shock because I haven’t been honoring my whole body simultaneously in years.  My guess is that most of us don’t, but some of my circumstances have made it nearly impossible to really take care of me.

With one body, one soul, one being – I need to allow myself the space to take care of me in ways that are fundamentally intuitive.   That means I need to look at my whole body as I strive for balance.

Writing has been happening a lot over the past months, but now I will continue my blogging but also take time four or five days weekly to work on two books that have been half written for too long.  And as I do that, I will also be eating better, moving more, and taking time to connect more with nature.

Creating ritual is one of the ways that enable me to reach a spiritual content space.  In order to find spiritual and physical health I need rituals like writing daily, jogging, walking my dog, hiking weekly (if not more), and drumming/chanting.  This is how I find balance in the world.  Fortunately, my boys like doing many of these things with me and they also like when I do them by myself.  🙂  I am truly blessed.

Tucson is allowing me the room to do what I need to do.  My position as a Jewish Educator fuels me professionally; my physical environment touches me deeply; and my family is supportive in both.  I am a fortunate person.

By sharing my journey, I am making myself accountable to those that care enough to question.  I love that people care.  Regardless of how the journey develops, enjoy the process with me.  Good days and challenging days are part of life’s realities.  And know that so many of you inspire me to become a better me; for that I am eternally grateful.

Tomorrow, I will take a good part of the day and go to Madera Canyon where I will do some light hiking, a little jogging, and some writing too.  Each day I will take time to nurture my entire physical and spiritual being.

May my journey to wholeness make me a better person first for myself and then to those I treasure.

I really did come into this world to ‘live out loud’ so here it goes!

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Day 2

Elul gives us the opportunity to reflect and challenge ourselves to change behaviors that don’t serve us well.  Breaking out of the cages we have created for us can be liberating even with all the hard work involved.

Many of us have moments of existing within the cages we create.  The key is not conquering all of the challenges at once.  Pick one issue and choose to do the work.  For me getting a new dog will is helping me to move more and to stop being bound by my ‘To Do’ list.

To quote Rabba Sara Hurwitz, “Historically, the shofar signaled the release of all slaves at the end of the Jubilee year. That sound should make us ask, “What enslaves us? What weighs us down? What baggage do we hold onto?” And then, let it go.” (Jewels of Elul jewels@list.craignco.com)

Once we are honest about what enslaves us then and only then is it possible to grow. With work, we can always grow.  We don’t need to be bound by our own inner voices; we have the ability to alter the course we are on and stand on more solid ground.

May each of us be blessed to discern the behaviors that keep us locked in an old reality as we embrace our freedom to soar.

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