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Posts Tagged ‘drum’

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. 🙂 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 “Writing 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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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with
your one wild and precious life.”
– “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver

July - sun 1

Reflection Time Selfie

Each morning, I wake up and ask myself how I will walk through my day.  And each and every day, the answer is pretty much the same. I want to be a light with every step I take.

Now this isn’t as easy as it sounds. What does it mean to be a light? And what do I have to do to get there?

The second question is easier to answer, so I will start with that. In order to be a light to anyone I have to be a light to myself. That means before I reach out to the world around me, I have to go inward and care for my body, my mind, and my soul.  If I don’t take care of me, how can I be authentic with others?

Writing, listening to the others’ wisdom, moving and eating right are key. On a really good day, I will chant, meditate, or drum.  And on a great day, I will do it all! Breathing deeply and living mindfully takes an open heart and a willing spirit.

In fact, most of what I try to do is to live consciously. My entire being craves a conscious life. I want to live with integrity and authenticity.  So for the most part, I do that. AND every day I am learning, stretching, and growing. I am working to be the best me I can be.

Only after I navigate inward can I take an excursion outward.

So to answer the first question:  What does it mean to be a light?

A ready smile greets nearly every person I meet. I have a drive to touch people’s lives in positive ways. This feeling has emanated so deeply that years ago I even changed my last name to Gal-Or, wave of light.

Life has taught me that some of my best plans and my most amazing intentions need to altered due to reality.

When my older son was a teenager, he was plagued with a life and death journey which took over our family’s entire lives for over three and a half years. This meant that everything in my world changed over night and stayed that way until one day I realized he was thriving again!

Shortly after that episode, I woke up to a joyous pitter-patter in my heart. With an overwhelming realization, I realized that I am alive and ready to serve others again. Hineini! I am here!!

While I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant, I slowly began to realize that the years of hell inspired me to live a little more like there may be no tomorrow. With that came a new zest for life and a deep passion in my kishka, my guts. Over the coming days, months, and years, that passion has become part of my life force.

Returning back to the Mary Oliver quote above, I have grown to trust where my heart and soul take me. Living a conscious life means that I have work to do not only for myself, but for others.

With each step I take in the world, I really do it with the best intention. That doesn’t mean it is always received with open arms, but it does mean that I am standing in the integrity that is part of my core essence.

Sharing my thoughts and values is the only way I know to inspire change and to empower others. That doesn’t mean that I am always right or that I don’t frustrate or anger those who feel differently. Everyday, I am challenged to stand in the light even when it isn’t easy.

With views that are often off the beaten path or different from mainstream thinking, I have to negotiate the world with kindness. I also have to make sure that I am educated and thoughtful as I navigate conversations and writing. And sometimes, I have to receive the passion of others.

While passion isn’t always full of light, my work is be the light and always remember that I want every “wild and precious day” to live consciously and thoughtfully.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

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(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.)

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun - Easel

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun – Tucson, Arizona

There is one way that you will know if I am in a spiritually grounded place. Just one. . . . . If creative projects fill my time or even my mind. I am probably exactly where I need to be.

As long as I am taking time to write, drum, paint, doodle, chant, or move, you can assume life is good. AND when I take time to go to museums, check-out cool neighborhoods, or people watch, you can also make an assumption that I am doing well.

My spirit needs to share space with sizzling energy and emerging innovations.

Creative souls jazz my world. If someone is passionate about some form of creativity, I usually fall in love with them, energetically that is.

Over the years, I have often found myself tearing when I witness beauty or creativity. I can’t seem to stop the release that comes when I see or hear something that deeply touches me.

When I lived in Tucson, I used to go to the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun which was literally around the corner from my house. Every time I saw the easel above, I would want to curl up into a ball and weep. I believe that some of that comes from my sadness that I want to be more of an artist than I am, but it is also because I adore that worn look and obviously beloved easel.

In the last several years, I have begun to go to museums alone so that I can take the time to fully appreaciate the energy  (and yes cry without navigating the reaction of others). Most recently, I have felt the incredible wave of emotion nearly everytime I see one of Mark Rothko paintings or when I go to the Rothko chapel close to where I live in Houston. I am not such an art connoisseur that I understand exactly why I have this reaction, but nonetheless it is what happens. Another time, many years ago, I couldn’t contain myself when I was at a Salvador Dali exhibit in Philadelphia.  The only  way to explain what seems to be happening is that my heart simply breaks open.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
Quote by Henry David Thoreau

May we all me inspired by the beauty not only surrounds us, also what comes from within.

Onward with love & light,
Chava

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Last night I drummed. I drummed from my soul.  I drummed hard for over an hour.  With each beat I found myself spiritually at a higher madrega (level).

I love my drum; I love to drum.  When I drum, my entire body and and mind leave all thoughts behind and all comes to peace for just a moment.  When I drum, the universe as we know it ceases to exist.  In that moment of letting go and being at one with my drum, I become a little more whole as a human being.

When I drum, I am a alone, but I am never lonely.  In fact, I seem to feel full of life; every nerve ending feels connected to something outside myself.

Last night, I was blown away at the end of my drumming when I realized that my younger son had kept his door open and the dog was curled up next to my foot which was holding the base of my djembe.  As I stopped playing, both my son Dovi and Maddy, our dog, expressed dissatisfaction that I was done.  My hands were sore because not only did I play with amazing intensity, but I was also breaking in a new head to my drum.  Both creatures  🙂 wanted me to keep on beating my drum.

Drumming rocks my world and keeps my heart beating; drumming keeps me in touch with what’s important.  Drumming puts a smile on my face or allows me to leave reality behind for just a moment.  There is nothing professional about my drumming; I just love doing it.

May each  of us take time to find our rhythm, to find something that allows us the space to let go, to be free.

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Every one of us has stories to share.  While stories might have clear story lines; reality and relationships are rarely that simple.  Very little in this world is black or white; gray flakes are scattered everywhere.

Ten years ago, my father died.  He was kind and loving; he was the most amazing storyteller I knew and he never met a stranger.  My father was also weak and emotionally unable to keep me safe as a child.  And somehow, I learned to detach from that last part of the story; I learned to love him for who he was and to value the endless gifts he did give me.  In order to have a relationship with him, I chose to de-emphasize the struggles.

Tears trickle down my face when I recall the torment that my father suffered as he dealt with his own demons.  Financial, emotional, and physical challenges plagued him from my early teen years.  I wonder if he knew just how horrible my mother was to me; he should have seen the bruises around my neck, the black eyes, or the many cuts.  Somehow, I am not sure he realized how bad it was; he was never home and when he was, he hid downstairs. Just the same, he did have some clue, if anything; he knew the realities that surrounded my mother’s physical and mental life.

At the same time, the nature of my life with my father gave me the foundation for who I became as an adult.  I love people; I generally get a long with most every soul that I meet.  I walk down the street and make friends with homeless people, animals, and children.  My 14 year-old son, Dovi, frequently asks me if someone I just met has become my close friend.  And for that moment in time, the stranger becomes my closest confidant or more than likely I have just heard their life story because I was willing to listen.

Music is part of my daily life.  I listen, I sing, I chant, I drum and on a good day I can hold a tune or rhythm and on a bad day, I enjoy myself nonetheless.  Dad used to own record stores and a wholesale record house.  As I got older, my dad would let me work with him and there I would find friends and have a good time being surrounded with music and people that loved music.  My childhood had tolerable moments because of my father’s profession; when his business was able to sustain our family, I was a little safer. I loved that his work got me out of the house and that I could work with him too.

During the weekends and sometimes the summers, my father and I would go for long drives.  We would eat whatever cravings I was into that month; we would sing the popular hits, oldies, and anything that was playing on the radio.  We would laugh and share stories too.  When we were together, it was mostly great fun; the dark shadow was close by, but it didn’t detract from our time away from the house.  When we were working, driving, and just hanging out, we had fun.

Dad taught me how to smile, to share stories, and to live in the present moment.  He also taught me how to live when darkness loomed close by.  I don’t think I would be able to navigate the world or go with the flow the way I do if I didn’t have my father as a role model.  Yes it is sad that he stayed with my mother, but perhaps he felt like he had no choice.  I can understand that.  It wasn’t good for me, but in the end I made out OK.

My hope is that I take all the wisdom that was part of the man I knew and treasure it; and that I acknowledge the realities, but let them go.  Peace comes from knowing that I can do things differently than my father.  So, I will quietly (and sometimes loudly) navigate this world and I will do the best I can do with the tools my father gave me.

Ten years later, I think I may miss him more now because I have learned to let go of some of the pain and to treasure the memories.  I also believe I am a good storyteller because I was blessed to hear my father tell stories to every person that crossed his path.

May Morry Bloomberg’s memory be a blessing for good.

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