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Posts Tagged ‘harmony’

Arms spread

Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

Middah (character trait) focus:  Grace

Gracefulness has been defined to be the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.  William Hazlitt

Job loss coupled a feeling of displacement has knocked me a little off kilter; in reality I can’t just settle for these feeling, I must listen to the messages that surround me.

Yesterday, I received two messages on one of my Facebook status lines; both were gifts.  While they appear to be similiar in nature, they also appear to be opposite.  The first one blessed me with grace and strength as I navigate my current challenges; the second one shared “that I have I have an amazing gift for grace and strength.”  What I heard in these two messages is that while I may sometimes have grace and strength, I still have to engage in the spiritual work that makes further developing and maintaining them possible.

This reminds me of the Talmudic teaching that everyone should have two pockets each containing a piece of paper.  One piece of paper should say that the world was created just for me; on the other piece of paper it should say that I am but dust and ashes.

As we walk in the world, may I remember that grace means to always put my best foot forward even when I navigate life’s challenges.

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Last night, we counted Day 19  of the Omer, which is 2 weeks and 5 days of the counting of the Omer. Today is referred to as Hod sheh b’Tiferet or splendor within beauty that is present.   Tiferet is not simply beauty, it encompasses so much more; when you see the complete picture of Tiferet, you also see balance and harmony too.

Life.  When I see a new baby, I see perfection.  When I see any human being, I am touched by their resilience, their amazing ability to move forward. When I see someone that has struggled or is struggling from great challenges, either physical or emotional, I see them as overwhelmingly beautiful.  Watching people heal or sometimes let go can be amazing.  There is a profound beauty.

Aryeh at the Kotel Summer 2012 - Seeing this photo touched me deeply.  At one time, the possibility of Aryeh thriving would have been a dream. . .. .

Aryeh at the Kotel Summer 2012- Seeing this photo touched me deeply. At one time, the possibility of Aryeh thriving would have been a dream. . . . .

Living can be hard.  Serious illness takes your breath away.  Sudden loss can destroy your spirit.  Yet watching people as they emerge from their challenges is profound – Wow!!! And hearing a newborn baby’s first cry or the joy of spontaneous laughter is equally as grand.  Hod sheh b’Tiferet touches upon the intense beauty that can be a part of life.

May we have many moments of intense beauty within our lives.  May we have moments that our hearts truly sing as we see or experience life fully and see some miraculous moments.

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Last night, we counted Day 18 of the Omer, which is 2 weeks and 4 days of the counting of the Omer. Today is referred to as Netzach sheh b’Tiferet or endurance within beauty.   Tiferet is not simply beauty, it encompasses so much more; when you see the complete picture of Tiferet, you also see balance and harmony too.

Besides being the 18th day of the counting of the Omer, it is also 3 Iyar.  For most of you, it might not mean too much for me, it leaves me reflective as I embrace reality.  I love counting the Omer, each day gives me tools to look inward while focusing on different aspects of my journey.  In Netzach sheh b’Tiferet,I am able to find how endurance has brought me to a beautiful and balanced foundation; endurance has helped me ride waves and find my own center.  This reality has been true time and time again as I have faced life’s challenges.  But last night, I felt it even more.

For me, the month of Iyar (Jewish month) from the beginning until my mother’s yahrzeit (the anniversary of her death) on 7 Iyar is profoundly rough on my spirit.  My body responds to Iyar before I even know it is here.  I mourn the loss of the mother I never had; I crave the time to curl up in a ball  allowing my pain to move through me; and I feel sadness.  The funniest part about all this is that each year, I am surprised by what is happening to me internally until suddenly I notice the date and then I realize my spirit knows what my mind doesn’t yet absorb.  The subconscious mind is a powerful tool.

When I think of Netzach sheh b’Tiferet, I realize that incredible endurance and fortitude that has brought me to this time.  There is a beauty within my very being that soars because I have found a way to navigate what was and what continues to be.  That knowledge helps me walk through the world as I do and allows me to touch people in positive ways; my energy is often a positive force within the world I live.

Light emerges out of darkness.

Light emerges out of darkness.

While painful things were done to me and experienced by me because of my mother’s actions, I have still found a way to become a light to others.  The darkness I have suffered didn’t destroy my spirit.  In fact, I found the sparks wherever I could and created more light.  Endurance.  I am alive and thriving in every way and in most every interaction.

So while I shed tears last night as I heard the Mourner’s Kaddish (prayer), I also know that my experience as Marilyn’s daughter made it possible for me to become the person I am.  My spirit’s endurance and my inner light will continue to grow and shine.

My prayer for each of us is that we have a life of ease and goodness, but if times get tough:

  • May we each find the sparks that help us navigate the darkness.
  • May we find the endurance we need so that we may ultimately thrive.

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Tonight, we counted Day 17 of the Omer, which is 2 weeks and 3 days of the counting of the Omer.  Tonight’s counting is referred to as Tiferet she-b’Tiferet.  There are so many ways to reflect on this particular Sefirat haOmer, counting of the Omeer.  Tiferet means many things and each of those things can be perceived in multiple ways.  The primary definitions or interpretations include beauty, harmony and balance.  With each definition, I imagine both the physical, spiritual, and kinetic characteristics.  Funny how challenging it is to come up with a meaning of a simple little phrase.

  • Beauty within beauty
  • Finding beauty with in balance
  • Harmony within balance
  • Creating balance through harmony
  • Balance within beauty (creates) harmony
  • and more. . . . .

For me, balance comes when we look deeply in ourselves and in others so that we may ultimately be part of creating harmony.  Balance is about taking firm steps, conscious steps to create the intense beauty that can only align when we fully engage in life.  Balance comes from movement.

Sunrise in Topsail, NC courtesy of Wendy Delson

Sunrise in Topsail, NC: Balance, Beauty, or Harmony?
courtesy of Wendy Delson

Have you ever noticed how beautiful a sunrise at the ocean can be?  Breathtaking.  True harmony comes  together with each sunrise and with each tide.  To stand by the water and feel the universe’s breath as the wind blows the cool air, the sand, and the spray of the ocean. Harmony come when balance meets beauty.

Tiferet she-b’Tiferet – May beauty surround you wherever you are.  May you find balance in life’s gentle movements.  Notice the harmony that exists as you walk in the world.

Breathing deeply!

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Tonight, we counted Day 16 of the Omer, which is 2 weeks and 2 days of the counting of the Omer.  We refer to today as Gevurah she-b’Tiferet; strength within harmony, balance, and/or beauty.

Over the years I have noticed that when I live in a place of inner strength, spiritual balance or harmony follow close behind.

CafePasseNeeds

Inner strength comes from a variety of sources for me, including, but not limited to:

  • Having integrity with each thing I say or write
  • Exhibiting courage by thinking and acting as consciously
  • Being present for those that need me
  • Taking care of my body, mind, and soul by doing that which nourishes me and refraining from that which depletes me
  • Believing that all will be ok even when life’s challenges feel overwhelming

Balance comes from doing our best to create sacred or holy environments.

With each step I take in the world, may I remember to ask: What am I doing for myself, my community (however I want to interpret that), and the world?

Gevurah she-b’Tiferet (strength within harmony or balance) comes from living consciously.  May we all do our part.

 

 

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