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Posts Tagged ‘east’

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
~Rumi

December Sunset

Life this year has been daunting and sometimes scary.  At times I have have lived in fear of reality.  How would I feed my family? What happens if any of us get sick? Will I become another homeless statistic?  What about my dogs? I rescued them from a possible death sentence – What if I had to put them down because I could not find a home for them?

Due to the loss of my income as a Jewish Education Director in the southwest, I became a statistic.  The congregation that moved me from the east coast to the southwest laid me off after only two years because they lost a large chunk of their membership unexpectedly.  With barely a moment to tread and reality what it was, I had to take my shattered being and find the sparks of light that have always surrounded me.  I really had no time to lick my wounds.  As in the forward to Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking, Brené Brown wrote, “I have learned that the best way to find light in the darkness is not by pushing people away but by falling straight into them.”

I fell and friends caught me.

Each and every time I did reach out, people held their hands wide open to receive me and ultimately offered help.  One distant friend offered to help me edit my resume since I was having a formatting issue.  Other friends told me of potential jobs or found me part time jobs so that I would be able to stay afloat.  Some friends reminded me that the guys and I could move in with them if we needed to.  In fact, I am now living in my friend’s vacation house.  And ultimately, I created a Go Fund Me account, http://www.gofundme.com/g8o220, I asked for help to move back east and sustain myself until I can land on my feet. And at every step of the way, my friends have be willing to listen to me as I navigated my various emotions.  I may still be struggling, but I am absolutely OK.

Each and every time, I started to fall, my friends never hesitated to catch me.

Through my misfortune, I was able find out what types of people were part of my life AND I am so grateful for what I found.  My situation forced me to open up and learn how to receive many gifts in whatever form they took.  Not only do I now realize how loved I am or maybe just cared for, I also have a greater understanding of what it means to trust.  Amanda Palmer said it beautifully when she said that, “Asking is an act of intimacy and trust.”  I used my blogging and Facebook to share my journey.  I was and continue to be transparent, but I chose to refrain from being openly dark about the institution that caused this situation.  I believe that I needed to honor the wisdom of Stephen Covey by ‘begin(ning) with the end in mind’ which is to say.  If I wanted to live in a place of light, I had to be that light.  And with all that, I have been touched by the tremendous results  from love, a touch, a meal, and even small and large monetary donations.  I now believe that with each gift, people have told me that they believe in me and that they see my struggle.  Everyone wants to see my family thrive.

One of life’s backdrops is that as a little girl, I often lived in fear of homelessness and violence.  There were few people that I trusted or should have trusted; there were some, but not a lot.  I sometimes wonder how I became the person I am.  Today, I can not imagine how my world could have been so broken, but it was.  And now look at the beauty that surrounds me even during the toughest of times.

Over the coming weeks, I want to take the light of this holiday season and grow it by sharing stories of how sparks of light can be found even the darkest holes.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger and to share a story on my blog or tell me a story that I can write, please let me know.

So, in the meantime, if you hear of a job that would allow me the opportunity to make a difference for good or a job that would simply pay my bills and give us health insurance, let me know.  And I will continue to do what I do. . .find and create light wherever I go.

Your light makes a difference.

With blessings, light, and love,
Chava

 

 

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Anxious and Humbled
How can that be?
Really?!?!
That’s me

What's beyond this bend?  Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Loebman  Jamaica

What’s beyond this bend?
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Loebman
Jamaica

 

Transition has been happening since last December when my full time job went to half-time without benefits.  And then again in June when my half-time position went to unemployment.  Along the way, I keep moving forward, finding part time gigs and navigating in the only way I know how.  The good news is that I am navigating.

The moment anxiety starts to rear it’s ugliness to me, a friend or an acquaintance show up and offer me tangible help, a way to move forward.  On the moments, that I have felt most afraid this year, a door has been opened for me.  Sometimes it happens in the way of a job, a call, or a gift.  I seem to be surrounded by people that are trying to make my life easier for not only me, but my sons too.  Most recently, some of my closest friends got together and convinced me to start a Go Fund Me drive gofund.me/g8o220; never in my wildest dreams did I think people would reach out to help me.  But they did.  Friends and strangers alike are trying to help my family move back to the East Coast.  I am feeling surrounded by those that are propelling me to a better place.

What’s astounding is that so many folks have stepped forward and are nudging me to a place of healing; financially and spiritually I am being supported.  People from my past and my present gave; People that I love dearly and people that I don’t know gave.  My friends are reaching out to their friends and sharing my story. Sometimes though, the anxiety wells up in front of me and I can’t believe believe both how far I have come and still how far I have to go; it can be daunting.  And yet, I am not alone, I have beautiful friends that are trying to making it possible for me to move forward.  I am breathing deeply and praying that I can hang on for the ride.

A warmth spreads over me when I reflect on the myriad of ways that I am receiving loving treasures.  So many have given and offered their sweetness. Some have given without being asked over the past many months.  Some are calling me and reminding me that I am loved.  One friend send me a box of amazing food goodies and another friend send me awesome fair-trade chocolate from London.  My soul is being nourished in all ways that count.  My hope, my prayer is that I am truly worthy of the trust and love I am receiving.

On Thursday, I was feeling overwhelmingly vulnerable.  And within moments of being completely overwhelmed, a friend called from Oregon just to let me know he was thinking of me and then another friend wrote and shared this poem to me.

Keep on truckin’, Mama.
Know that you are loved
by sooo many
by the Moon
and Sun and Stars
by the Universe
by God

You are light
a special spark
let it burn low for a little while
let life feed the fire for you gently
follow the wind east
pace yourself
breathe

you who give so much
receive
and be peaceful.

Written by Melissa Schaffer

What’s beautiful about my life is that somehow it works out.  Somehow the sun always rises in the east in the same way that somehow I always land on my feet and discover a better place.  So while I am not sure how moving back to the East Coast will work, I have to believe it will.  I have to do the best I can and tread beyond the bend.  Wondering what beauty I will find as I emerge?

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Moving to Tucson was a leap of faith for me.  I knew I had to leave the rhythm of the DC and seek a new rhythm elsewhere.  The blessing is that I found Tucson and fell in love with the rhythm of the land.  The love grows daily with almost no watering.  For now I am home and perhaps I will create a community of friends that sustain me long term; I don’t know that yet.   Even as I say that, I am also in the midst of creating solitude for myself.  I love to write; I love to chant. I even love being alone.  At the same time, I am lonely at times, but learning to turn the loneliness into a cocoon of warmth for myself.  For so long, I have hidden my feelings from even myself; I am facing them today.

Many paths lead to the mountain.

The funniest part of being here is that I am accepting a part of myself that I never quite connected with before.  While I can do what I need to do; I would love to fade into the woodwork more than I ever have.  I would love to walk a little quieter and allow for my more introverted personality.  In my core, I am shy in so many ways.  I find myself nurturing the connections that allow me to be most authentic.

Living in Tucson has connected me to the world in a way that I have never quite experienced before now.  Each and every day I am touched deeply by new sounds, sights, sensations, or experiences; I am seeing life as I have never seen it before.  I have always loved nature, but this is different.  The rhythm of the earth is quickly becoming my greatest teacher.  I am learning to trust the rhythm as I become more conscious about the not only my life, but the many lives that surround me.

Each and every morning, I open my eyes around 4 AM.  Some refer to this as the un-Godly hour, but to me it is fast becoming the most sacred time of the entire day. Morning loneliness gives way to a gentle calmness.  I have come to love the rising of the sun; the sun calls me to action.  With each step, my morning walks with my dog Maddie have taught me so much. I notice the change in the trees,and  the cacti, the land; I notice the weather, the rising of the sun, and morning skies.  I am learning about life as I notice the life that surrounds me.

Now that I am in Tucson, I no longer feel directionally impaired at every turn.   The Catalina Mountains and my new toe shoes always make me feel grounded on my new terrain.  The rising of the sun and the setting of the sun have made certain that I always know the difference between east and west.

With each passing day, I grow; new insights surround me when my eyes, ears, and heart remain open.  My feet take me on a journey that is slowly helping me to become a stronger and more spiritually grounded human being.  While I mourn what I have lost this year, I am finding solace in the many new gifts.  Those that know me well, know that I treasure the Shehecheyanu moments, the moments when you say a blessing for new ‘experiences’ in a lifetime and sometimes for the first time you face something within a year’s time.  Every day seems to be full of them.  Here are some examples:

  • Stopped to allow a snake to cross the road.
  • Saw my first pomegrante tree; and now I watch it change with each passing day.
  • Introduced to my first tarantula.
  • Went walking in Sabino Canyon way after dark.
  • Ate my first dragon fruit.
  • Found and fell in love with Maddie, my new furry dog.
  • Making new friends who are touching me deeply.
  • New hikes weekly.
  • Cafe Passe is my home away from home.  With each and every word I write, I feel like Cafe Passe brings beautiful Shehecheyanu moments.

The Rhythm of the Earth touches me differently now.  As I burrow into the life of the dessert, I am looking deep inside and working towards being an even better me.  While I have always done that, I no longer have the crutches that once held me up; with this move and with the cycle of life, I have experienced some loss.  Yet I have also found so many blessings and much beauty to help me weather the loss.  Loving Tucson and my new community is helping me move forward.

Exhaustion now comes earlier than I ever imagined it would; at the same time, sleep is sweeter than it has ever been.  The rhythm of the earth is guiding me to a more peaceful place.  With each step, I am opening my heart to what surrounds me and treasuring what I have.  Wow, I am profoundly fortunate.

Now that I have been here for nearly five months, it is time for me to re-connect more with those I love and adore.  Just because I moved to Tucson doesn’t mean I had to lose the ones I love.  Now it is time to integrate all the parts of my life so I become more whole or shalem.  My soul friends mean the world to me! I’ve missed walking with them over the last few months, but now I need to do a better job of staying connected to those I love.

May the rhythm of the earth help me to grow and evolve with each and every step.  May my heart allow the beauty I see to seep into my soul.

With love, light, and blessings. . . .

 

 

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My heart races

So much to do

Mountains to climb

Valleys to descend

I look to the mountains, from where my help will come. Psalms 121:1-2

With each breath

I realize that life is sacred

With each breath

I realize that life is a gift

With each breath

I realize that life is not a given

~

Striving to live fully

I move through life

Finding light in the darkest corners

I move through life

Believing in that the sun will shine

I move through life.

~

My heart races

So much to do

Stories to tell

Love to be realized

~

The sun does always rise in the east

The sun does always set in the west

The moon is but a sliver at the beginning and the end of each month

The moon is beautiful and full in the middle of each month

~

Living means connecting

With others and with the earth

One heart; one beat

Feeling the rhythm, connecting with what is.

~

My heart races

So much to do

Life to be lived

Until the last the breath.

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