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Dear Sleep,

The time has come for us to have a serious conversation. While I understand that you are indeed in hiding, I would welcome the opportunity to visit with you. Now that it is 4:33 AM, I am not certain that the visit will be as long as I desire, but you know I have learned to take what I can get.

Though we don’t seem to know one another well, there are a few things that I’d like you to know about me so that we can build on our relationship.

  1. After a painful period of time and back surgery, I am taking really good care of myself. So. . .you’d be settling with someone who is strong and fit.
  2. I am open to a long term relationship. Snuggling up with you would be a gift.
  3. There is no need for jealousy. While I am blessed to have a fabulous group of friends, I don’t want to sleep with them. At the moment, there is no one else that will compete with our relationship. . . so it will just be the two of us. Wouldn’t that be special!?!?
  4. Do you believe in keeping me from all sweetness or are you upset that I sometimes indulge in different forms of sweetness. If that’s a problem, I will stop partaking in sweet products. I truly don’t want you to be feel like too much sweetness is a good thing.

    tea latte in favorite mug

    Kosi R’vayah-My Cup Runs Over (Psalm 23:5)

  5. Just for the record, I don’t have a drinking problem. 🙂 Did you know that a shot of whisky does not help you sleep, so instead I drink chamomile tea.
  6. Do you think exercise before bed will interfere with sleep? Tonight, I did my new stretches per instructions from my new Physical Therapist. . . .Wondering if that is what kept me awake.
  7. At 51, I seem to be struggling with my internal thermostat. Hoping that you don’t mind that I sometime violently kick off the covers in my sleep. If this is a problem, I can re-think how I address the whole carbon footprint reality. You do know that #45 doesn’t believe in climate change, so he maybe he is correct and I can keep the air conditioning as cool as possible.
  8. You don’t have to go “changing, to try to please me, I love you just the way you are.”

I am so excited to hopping into bed with you tonight My Beloved Sleep. May this be the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.

With love & light,
Chava

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Chava's Shadow 17January2016

 

“. . . have patience towards everything that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms or like books that are written in a remote foreign language. Do not search now for answers that cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And everything has to be lived. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually live your way, without noticing, into the answer some day.  Perhaps indeed you have the capacity to educate and develop others as an especially happy and pure way of life; train yourself for this – but accept what comes in great trust, and as long as it comes from your will or from some innermost need, take it on yourself and hate nothing. ”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Today, I am 50. I know more about myself than I knew a week ago, a month ago, a year ago, five years ago, and so on.  I know that I do not have all the answers, but I wish I did.

Life’s journey has not been easy and yet my life is really quite beautiful. I often get in the way of myself; my intensity leads me into some challenging shadows, but the light that often follows is worth it.  Life’s wounds have healed and loved ones have helped and continue to help me emerge even if I have to do most of the work.

In so many ways, I have chosen to walk a very different path than my friends and family.  My choices have not always been good ones, but they have lead me where I am today. In spite of some of my decisions, my sons are amazing young men that are following their own derekh, path.  I trust most of how they choose to walk in the world; as a ima, mother, it is my job to wonder, reflect, and hope that things go as good as they can and that they make the ‘right’ decisions for themselves.

I have traveled many miles, both in distance and spiritually. With each step, I find my footing, but sometimes I slip and hurt myself (and others) along the way. That doesn’t always mean I have taken a wrong turn and yet the truth is that I often have a lousy sense of direction. Sigh.  Yet, the good news is that I climb mountains that some find insurmountable, but I do it! And each mountain leads to new insight and a stronger me.

There is so much more  work that I need to do in this world. My gut is telling me that I will make a difference for good! I just have to remember to do the work and nurture my body, mind, and soul so that I can do the holy work.  I wish I knew how I could make the most positive impact, but that answer seems to elude me at this time. So I am following Rilke’s advice (above) and living into the answers.

As I take the time to treasure where I am, I also feel the need to look at what more I need to do for me so that it is possible for me to be the healthiest I can be.

My body needs some serious revamping. I have no choice, but to listen to the messages that are speaking so clearly to me. It is time to sleep more, exercise, eat better, and allow for the quiet to nudge me to where I need to go.

I also need to make more time to read great books, go to fabulous museums, hike new pathways and sit in cafés; one of my favorite things to do in this world is to sit in cafés while drinking my tea latte, people watching, and writing.

Stretching means that I need to leave my comfort zone a little bit more often and reach for new heights and become more open to hearing that which makes little sense to me.

My soul aches for the quiet as much as it aches for meaningful interactions. For whatever time I have left on this earth, may I allow for the quiet while navigating towards meaningful relationships and spiritual work.

I seem to always be seeking balance.

My spiritual work is inspired by climbing both real and metaphoric mountains so that I can create a sanctuary wherever I am.  May my energy and light spread out into the world while still warming my very own heart and soul.

Happy 50th to me!

Louisa - late winter 2015

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~Lao Tzu

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Feeling restless in Tucson. . . .

My mind never stops.  Never.  I seek, I reflect, I rewind, I consider and reconsider.  I love the way I walk in the world.  Mostly.

And that is just my mind.

Grappling with the life that surrounds me is not always about confrontation, it is about reflection and conscious living.

Alas, the time has come for me to silence my mind and allow my quiet to overtake my restless mind.

AND I am constantly moving.   Work. Dogs. Parenting.  Exerce. Did I say dogs?

Many journeys happen with these feet.

Many journeys happen with these feet.

This week, I found myself struggling with the constant motion in my world.  To be fair, I am coming off of an active period of work;  we found a new dog last Monday; and I don’t seem to have enough time to chill.

The good news is that I am acknowledging reality and looking for ways to quiet my restless spirit so that it becomes possible for me to walk a little more gently.

Part of quieting my mind is to quiet the constant inundation of information that is surrounding me.

  • Turn off Facebook
  • Stop texting
  • Give myself set times to connect online
  • Allow uninterrupted productive time
  • Exercise daily
  • Take time to chant, to read, and sit in silence

The time has come for my restless mind and my restless body to stop and become more present with what is.

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

 

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Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in the like kind. What we sow is what we reap.~ Deepak Chopra

Being healthy is not an option for me.  Health is a mindset and I need to be the healthiest person that I can be.  Regardless of my starting point, my physical limitations, or my emotional being, I need to move forward from where I am at any given moment.

Last year, I began my health journey (stage 1) 45 days before my 45th birthday.  I guess now would be a good time to share that I was off in my counting and it was actually 46 days.  🙂  In stage 1 of my journey, I stopped eating sugar, caffeine, and soda.  The process helped me to lose initially 63 or so lbs although I sometimes find myself struggling with an extra 3-5 lbs.  The good news is that I don’t let that reality get me down, but I look forward to breaking that cycle as I move into the next phase of this journey.

With each phase of my health journey, I have been aware that I need to make lifestyle changes so that becoming healthier is natural and sustainable over time.  So far, I have done that with my eating and my spiritual journeys.  Now it is time for me to do it in terms of movement/exercise.

Today I is Day 1 of my 60 Day Health Journey. My goal is to continue from stage 1 and now add simple and daily movement.  My routine will incorporate sit-ups, push-ups, light weights, leg lifts, yoga poses, etc.  I am thinking about getting an exercise ball, but I haven’t made a decision yet.  I will also continue walking and biking; although the cold weather might not make for frequent biking.  My long term goal is to one day jog again; I’d really love to do a half-marathon, but I think it might end up being a 5 K or possibly a 10 K instead.  In truth, what matters is that I can become the healthiest me that I can.

Today is only the beginning, but isn’t each day a new beginning open to new possibilities.

Thanks for joining me as I take on the next stage of my Health Journey.  All simple ideas are welcome!!

With blessing and light,

Chava

 

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