Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘eyes’

מַה־נּוֹרָא הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה – How Awesome is THIS Place (Genesis 28:17)

With each breath, I am acutely aware of the beauty the surrounds me at any given moment.  While life is often a struggle, it is just as often full of beauty if I remember to open my eyes and take note.

I am blessed to live in a desert that truly comes alive at all times of day and night.  The wind blows, the coyotes howl, the surrounding skies keep my heart racing with anticipation.  The colors and the textures warm my being and remind me to breathe deeply.  While I miss the changing seasons, the oceans, and the falling leaves – I never tire of waking up to the surrounding mountains or vivid skies.

LateFallCatalinaMtns

Catalina Mountains (near Tuscon, Arizona)       Late November, 2013

Today as I sit reflecting on the rather intense changes my life has taken in recent years,  I am also taking notice that I have found profound gifts at every turn. Wherever I step, I experience a sense of awe.  New friends have replaced those that have left; my children are growing into both loving and wise men; writing and chanting continually jazz my soul; healthy living keeps me alive and thriving.  I am blessed.

How truly awesome is this place.

May we find light within each step as our journey continues.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Note to Seeing the Door series:                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Wherever you go, possibilities surround you! By opening both your eyes and your heart, a door will always appear.

Have you ever noticed how many different types of doors exist in the world?  Nearly each and every door leads to an opportunity.  Some doors are physical; other doors are metaphoric.  All doors lead to opportunity.

A Broken Heart:

Most of us have had a broken heart, an intense loss that cripples our soul.  Sometimes we heal and sometimes we just move forward; we really don’t have a choice.

broken heart
My heart, for one, has been shattered more times than I’d like to remember.  I have lost lovers and friends, family members and loved ones.  I have suffered incredible pain at the hands of people that should have loved me differently.  And other losses happened because love evolved or death occurred.  With each broken heart, I have found a way to mend even though the memories run deep.

With each broken heart, I find a way to ride the waves and emerge a little stronger even if the pain stays with me.  Moving through the losses is a non-negotiable.  Only when tomorrows stop coming will I stop moving forward.  Moving forward is the gift I give myself.

Tonight, as I spoke to my nearly 20 year old, I told him that I felt horrible for a friend of mine going through a broken heart.  Without missing a beat, he asked if my friend would need heart surgery.  With laughter rippling through me and tears streaming down my face, I couldn’t stop laughing at how literal my precious son responded to my friend’s broken heart.  Wouldn’t it be amazing, if all of our broken hearts could mend so easily.  Reality doesn’t work that way.

The good news is that broken hearts lead to new realizations, infinite possibilities, sweet opportunities.  Life continues even after intense loss.  If you open your eyes, new horizons will light the morning and evening skies; it might take awhile, but it will happen.  One day you will step through the doorway and you will see the light.  While the light might be muted, it will still have the ability to usher you into a new horizon.

May each and every one of us find the sparks to move us through the doorways and towards the light.

With love, light, and blessings

Read Full Post »

Note to Seeing the Door series:                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Wherever you go, possibilities surround you! By opening both your eyes and your heart, a door will always appear.

Have you ever noticed how many different types of doors exist in the world?  Nearly each and every door leads to an opportunity.  Some doors are physical; other doors are metaphoric.  All doors lead to opportunity.

With the Rosh Chodesh Av (the first day of Av, the new Jewish month) beginning tonight, I have been processing how I can find meaning as we journey towards Tisha B’Av, the 9th of Av?  On Tisha B’Av, we mourn the destruction of the both the First and Second Temples as well as many other horrible atrocities that were done to the Jews on this date.  Historically, this day is the saddest day in all of the Jewish calendar; on the 9th of Av, we remember, we mourn, and for some of us, we look for ways to make sense of this time.

How can you create an opening or doorway that will allow for new insight when darkness prevails?   For me, that means being reflective and finding lessons from the shattered remnants.

While many outdoor spaces offer me the most potent of spiritual places I have ever been, the most spiritual sanctuary and community has easily been Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, Maryland.  There I found peace, spirituality, and community; it was and still is quite beautiful.  So when I consider what a Temple could be to in modern terms, I return to Adat Shalom.  That doesn’t take away what the First and Second Temples mean to the Jewish people, but it does help me find meaning in what the Temples could have meant to those that treasured them and all they stood for.  Adat Shalom’s beauty quite literally takes my breathe away.

AdatShalomSanctuary

Over the coming days, I will be openly reflecting on what we can learn from the Destruction of the Temples.  One way that I gain a little empathy for a time that is somewhat beyond my comprehension is that I want to explore how my body is like a Temple both physically and metaphorically.  As sacred beings, we create sacred Temples/sacred spaces by how we choose to walk in the world.  Here is a working list of different ways each of us might be like a Temple.

  1. Spirituality doesn’t happen without a practice.
  2. In order to grow, I need to take care of myself, my community, and the world.
  3. Nourishing my body with good ingredients will ultimately lead me to be the best I can be.
  4. Surrounding myself with positive energy will create a healthy environment.
  5. My carbon footprint matters.
  6. Knowledge leads to wisdom.
  7. Choosing to live with integrity is a way of honoring my essence.
  8. Sometimes what appears to be lifeless, stagnant, or even dead, is actually within a time of rebirth, re-visioning and ultimate growth.
  9. Gaining insight often comes from trusting that the silence will us to the answers.
  10. Taking care of yourself physically leads people to appreciate and take note of your beauty.  Similar to the concept of Hiddur Mitzvah.
  11. Taking care of myself leads me and those that work with me to be part of the holy work.nd with this list comes a responsibility to take care of our bodies so we can do the holy work.

All that we do for our bodies makes a difference and ultimately leads to a better makom, a sacred space.  And yet it is important to remember that nothing is permanent; impermanence is a reality for all even that which is remembered in our collective memory.  While both a sacred being and a sacred place create an imprint and potential impact the world in which they exist, it doesn’t mean that it has a permanent place within that existence.  Yet each still has the possibility of being impact-ful during and exceeding their time.  How each walks in the world matters.

Much beauty exists around the exploration of how are body can be like a Temple.  One of my most empowering teachers, Lauren Rader, had her students create an art project that responded to that very question.  Here is the link to the amazing insight that was created by Lauren’s students. https://www.facebook.com/LaurenRadrArt/media_set?set=a.412319202480.182023.692372480&type=3

May the sacred beauty we develop within and around ourselves be parallel to how we see the Temple or any of the sacred places in our lives.

Coming soon: Part 2 if ‘How is My Body like a Temple?’ will explore how can gain insight through Jewish Texts and prayers.

Read Full Post »

Note to Seeing the Door series:                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Wherever you go, possibilities surround you! By opening both your eyes and your heart, a door will always appear.

Have you ever noticed how many different types of doors exist in the world?  Nearly each and every door leads to an opportunity.  Some doors are physical; other doors are metaphoric.  All doors lead to opportunity.

Today, I didn’t feel good; in fact I have felt pretty rough since this past Friday.  With that in mind, I went to Walgreens to grab some Gatorade in hopes of giving myself some electrolytes.   You never know what will help when you are feeling blah.

So as I rushed out of my car, a gentleman stopped me and asked for some money to help fill his car with gas.  As I stood there feeling blah, he told me who he was and that his wife and child were in the restaurant just staying cool instead of outside under the hot Tucson sun.  I liked the man.  So, after getting my drinks, I handed him a $20 bill and a Gatorade.  The gratitude on his face was simply beautiful.  He asked me where he could find me later in the day so that he could pay me back; I didn’t need him to do that.  

wallet

To me, I was comfortable with the man.  I didn’t need to know any information about him; I just wanted to help him.  None of the details mattered.  While he told me where he worked and that he wanted to pay me back, I was just happy to lend a hand and perhaps make his day just a little easier.  In the end, I just asked him to ‘Pay It Forward’.  

I found my door today.  Did you?

Read Full Post »

Wherever you go, possibilities surround you! By opening both your eyes and your heart, a door will always appear.

closedOvenDoor

Have you ever noticed how many different types of doors exist in the world?  Nearly each and every door leads to an opportunity.  Some doors are physical; other doors are metaphoric.  All doors lead to opportunity.

Last Friday, my boys and I really wanted to make challah.  Friends of ours had introduced us to Tom Sawyer flour which was supposed to work cup for cup the same way that regular flour worked.  So with our new bag of Tom Sawyer Flour in hand, we found an old challah recipe from our pre-celiac days and attempted to make challah.

On Facebook last Friday, I acknowledged our latest challah fiasco when I posted:

“There is good news and bad news:

“It is with great sadness that I share that my first gluten free challah in my new home needs to visit the garbage disposal.

“The good news is that for 20 minutes I had the opportunity to prepare a challah dough that felt absolutely amazing.

“Sigh. . .”

The better news is that Aryeh allowed NONE of this attitude to emerge.  He popped our very flat challah back into the oven to cook more.  While it never rose, it cooked a little – yay!

Funny that the challah seemed to proof beautifully, yet it lacked the ability to actually rise.  Well at least, Aryeh’s saw the possibilities and forced  us to continue with the challah making plan; there ended up being no garbage disposal for our challah.  And on top of that, It ended up tasting amazing.  The biggest problem with this initial challah making scene was that I gave up waaaayyyyyyy too quickly!!! I am so grateful that Aryeh had faith!  We ended up with very flat (didn’t rise), but awesome tasting challah.

challahFlat

Our Shabbat dinner was amazing, our company was enjoyable, and the next morning Aryeh decided to make our very dense challah into french toast.  We took turns chiseling (cutting :)) the challah into small slices of challah.  It was hard on the hands, but awesome for the spirit.  It felt so nice to actively turn a dense block of challah into a work of art.  In my opinion all baking and cooking is a form of art.

TransformationChallah

Cutting the challah took enormous energy and strength, but with the use of a little muscle and a happy disposition we were able to turn the dense challah brick into sliced challah.  And we never wasted even a crumb.  (OK, maybe we lost a few crumbs. ;))

SlicedChallah

After soaking the challah and allowing the egg to moisten the challah, Aryeh started the process of making the challah into french toast.  It really is an art-form to turn a challah brick into french toast.  Loved seeing my son make french toast happen.

InFryingPan

So my pessimism had no place in the challah making or in the french toast creations.

FrenchToast

This past Shabbat’s challah seems to have be sa metaphor for the way I move forward in life.  For the most part, I believe in pushing forward and finding the opportunities that exist beyond each and every door.  So while the challah might have initially appeared to be a failure, it ended up being awesome from start to finish.  The challenge ended up being a gift.  Even though, the challah was dense and hard, it also made for the most flavorful  bread and french toast we have had in a long time.

Opening the door, in this case the oven door, to possibility allowed the boys and I to enjoy every moment that surrounded this past Shabbat’s challah.  The prepping brought back memories and led to family time; turning success into failure allowed for many lessons; and the challah and subsequent french toast tasted yummy!

May we all find the the open doors, the gifts in what is.

Read Full Post »

Wherever you go, possibilities surround you! By opening both your eyes and your heart, a door will always appear.

Tucson-fav

Each door, path, and journey offers infinite gifts and potential challenges.

My friend Shay Seaborne reminded me of image of Alice in the rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland. Alice couldn’t see the little door when she was big; only wnen she was reduced could she see it and ultimately go through it too!

We often struggle to see that which is in front of us, yet life is full of openings if only we open our eyes a little wider.  Discovering the doorway takes insight, sometimes from within and sometimes from others.  The key to moving forward is to trust that anywhere you go will lead you towards new experiences and/or opportunities.  There are doors everywhere you go.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Choosing which way is to navigate takes a certain amount of trust.  The bottom-line is that we grow from each and every experience, even the tough ones.

Over the coming weeks or even months, I will use my blog to explore how each step within life’s journeys is synonymous to moving through a doorway towards insight, wisdom, beauty, and opportunities.

May each of us walk gently and honor ourselves completely as we navigate through the many doors of our lives.

Read Full Post »

Tonight we counted Day 20  of the Omer, which is 2 weeks and 6 days of the counting of the Omer. Today is referred to as Yesod sheh b’Tiferet or foundation within truth.   Tiferet is not simply beauty, it encompasses so much more; when you see the complete picture of Tiferet, you also see balance, harmony, and ultimately truth.

There is nothing more beautiful in the world than truth.  That doesn’t mean it is always happy or good, but it does mean that the rawness has the capacity to touch those that are open to it.  Have you ever:

  • heard a touching song or prayer performed or shared by someone who feels each and every note?
  • heard a baby or toddler’s laughter?
  • felt the comfort of a friend during a particularly hard time in your life?
  • read a book that resonates in the core of your being?seen a piece of artwork that takes your breath away?
  • experienced a moment when your story, your teaching, your song has touched nearly every person in an environment?
  • listened to a person who lives by their values and wants to share their wisdom with you?

The list goes on and on; if our heart and eyes are open, beauty surrounds us whenever we take a moment to be fully present and to  experience that which surrounds us.

As we stand strong, our foundation allows the renewal of our body and our spirit.

As we stand strong, our foundation allows the renewal of our body and our spirit.

Lately, I have become aware of how much I love people; ok, I have always known that :).  But now I am admitting that I love to be with people that are mostly able to be fully present and ‘real’ in their interactions with me and the world around them.   Nothing in life is 100%, but I’d like to see it happen more rather than less.    Life is full and I prefer having more meaningful interactions with people (especially good friends).  The fullness of these kind of connections feels so much more authentic within my life as they strengthen my yesod, my foundation.

May we surround ourselves with a foundation that leads to stronger connections and truth.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »