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Posts Tagged ‘Gandhi’

Listen to the Silence

When I was around five years old, my father used to gently place his hands over my ears and lovingly squeeze my ears/head. As he did that, he would say, ‘listen to the silence’. As he did a flood of warmth and a feeling of calmness washed over me. This loving act continued into my teen years and beyond; I think he found a way to slip it into each meeting even after I moved away from home.

After I had sons, my father continued this tradition by gently holding his grandsons head the same way – sometimes to calm them and sometimes just to make them calm.  Once I saw my father do it to his grandsons, I followed the lead and also held Aryeh and Dovi the same way.  Each and every time I did, my children’s faces would light up with a smile that could melt whoever was looking at them.

Over the last few days, I have found myself craving that sensation, not only the physical touch, but the silence that followed it.  There is so much noise occurring within me, around me, and everywhere in the world.  At the moment, there seems to be a shortage of quiet.

My mind has never been one for shutting down. For some reason, I am always thinking. Whether it is about myself, my family, the world, Israel, human rights, human trafficking, my loved one’s challenges, or  the never-ending list of possibilities.  My thoughts are part of who I am and yet, I know I need to find a way to stop and listen to the silence.

Many years ago, I read the space between the notes is as important as the notes themselves.  The same can be said for the space between the words.  The time has come for me to allow for a little more space in my life.  My body and my mind is craving silence, down time, and time to myself.

What does silence look like for me? I think it means taking time for me to go inward.  Listening to my physical and emotional needs and then doing things which nurture and nourish those needs. With that in mind, I am actively going to be making time for me to write more, work on some art/craft projects, chant, and drum.

I got this!

Lately, I have noticed that I am engaging less on social media and choosing to ‘pick my battles’ when I do. I am doing my best to live consciously and to consider the myriad of challenges that face the world, but I am not hyper focusing – I am  remaining aware and allowing for the quiet to go where it needs to go.  While I want to be ‘the change I wish to see in the world’, I am taking Gandhi’s wisdom down a notch so that I can go a little more insular for now.  My guess is that something huge will emerge when the time is right.  I can’t wait to see what that will be – only time will tell.

What I do know is that I need to take time to listen to the silence.  I need to go inward and explore my heart, my mind, and my soul. I need to allow my rhythm to take me where I need to go.

My father may not be here to hold me or to squeeze my ears, but what he gave me all those years ago was the awareness, that sometimes the sweetest silence comes from being held close. . .the only difference is that I need to do it all by myself.

Writing

Drawing

Thinking

Dreaming

Painting

Moving

Praying

Drumming

Creating

Chanting

Being

Today, I know that I need to hold myself and trust that when I do, I will be loving myself and keeping me safe.  My father, of blessed memory, gave me the most important gift in the world; he taught me how to listen to the silence.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

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Tonight we will count Day 35 of the Omer, which is 5 weeks of the counting. Day 35 is referred to as Malkhut sheh b’Hod, Shekhinah within Expansiveness.  Shekhinah is a way of looking at Malkhut (meaning kingdom).  When God or godliness dwells in one central location, you have a kingdom.

With each and every step, I try to hold myself with integrity and to put godliness in every interaction.  There is an entire world out there that matters and depends on my integrity.  Sometimes I struggle, but still I believe that is my responsibility to follow Gandhi’s saying and “be the change you want to see in the world.”  If I consciously embrace a world of godliness than perhaps my steps will guide me to higher ground when climbing to higher ground is not an option.

Hiking Boots

To live in the bigger world, I have to remember to walk gently, to honor truth even when it hurts, and to constantly strive to be my best self even when I am dealing with the shadow of others.  The world depends on people actively being the best they can be.  As a mother, a teacher, a friend, a writer, and a human being, I have no choice but to always put my best foot forward.

Surrendering to life’s darkness isn’t an option, yet it is often how I feel when I battle the demons that exist around me.  In every realm (personal and more universal) that I travel I see darkness, but it is my job to hold myself in light and to find others that endeavor to do the same.  I am not an island; although there are moments that I feel like one.  Reality is that it takes many loving souls to make the larger world a better place.

Will you join me?  With each breath, I pray for Malkhut sheh b’Hod, Shekhinah within Expansiveness

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