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Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

 

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Hope Cards answer so many questions that fill  my heart! http://www.bonesigharts.com/store/hope-cards

As I opened my eyes this morning, I quickly became aware that I was in the midst of some sort of  a spiritual metamorphosis. As soon as my pen hit the paper for My Morning Pages (journal), I felt  like a huge shift was on the horizon. I went from moody to grounded with each written word, but it took a lot of deep breaths and inner-work to go from Point A to Point B.

The most empowering transition seemed to come when I compared the a few of the moving parts of my life that have either jazzed my soul and/or crippled my spirit. Sometimes I feel like these two seemingly different concepts are actually ‘two sides of the same coin’.

Taking A Step Back
Two weeks ago, I took a bite of real bread and then another and another. As I was sinking my teeth into the first bite and then the second bite, I found myself thinking that this panini tasted so authentic, so real; the only problem was that it ACTUALLY was and I got really sick from eating it. As someone with celiac disease, eating a gluten filled panini was a disaster. History had taught me time and again that I would be sick for as long as three months from eating the panini.

The good news was that I understood what was happening and I had recently found some amazing health practitioners to help me strive for better health which meant that they were there to help me face my latest crisis. The bad news is that every fiber of my being hurt.

Over the years, I have learned that when I am most despondent or sick as in this case, I dig deep into the soil of life to figure out what is really hurting and how I can best heal.

Digging Deep
This morning, I allowed myself the time and space t go inward. It probably helps that I started waking up at 3:30. Within My Morning Pages, I admitted to myself that I felt off. My body hurt, my mind was struggling, and my spirit wasn’t up to par.  As someone who seems to rally at an intense level most of the time, I was aware that I needed to explore the thoughts racing around in my head.

What I found initially stunned me? And then, I allowed myself some space to re-frame the darkness and turn it into light.  I needed to knead the thoughts to allow them to flow.

Realization #1
I had a momentary fear that I was simply never going to reach my dreams.

  • If being healthy is a non-negotiable then why aren’t I further along in my health journey?
  • Why is it that I haven’t created my new blog called My Second Foundation in which I will be interviewing and writing about survivors of trauma?
  • Have I done enough or anything to make the world a better place?
  • If I truly want to have more time to do the things I love, why haven’t I done more to simplify my life?
  • Am I doing enough to develop my writing?
  • And when will My Second Foundation, my nonprofit, have wings?

All of these questions/thoughts challenged me and will continue to challenge me.  And while I wish I could be doing more of what I love, I am blessed to be on a path that I love.

Breathing deeply, I need to do a better job of celebrating what is as I strive for each and every one of my dreams.

Realization #2
As I focus on becoming the healthiest me that I can be, I need reconsider how I see this process. I am on Day 3 of what I will now refer to as My Journey Towards Life. With 122 days until my birthday, I have the ability to do the holy work of taking care of my body, my mind, and my spirit. I am on the journey to make my life the best possible life it can be. My hope is that on Day 124, I may stop ‘officially’ counting, but I will count all the days of my life. 🙂

While I love life and I love my life, I want to better engage in living more consciously, physically moving and keeping my heart pumping. Being healthy is so much bigger than I realized. My body, my mind, and my spirit need to be cared for; I am a package deal.

Over the last few days, I have been doing a lot of the practices given to be by my Aryuvedic Practitioner and acupuncturist, massage, drinking cleansing teas, walking, and writing. I have also been spending time with my sons and connecting with friends. Surprisingly or not so surprisingly, I have been sleeping and napping a lot.

It feels good to make taking care of myself a norm.

Realization #3
I love deeply and I am spiritually committed to those I adore. And yet, I nurture relationships that are safe instead of seeking connections that can bloom into partnerships.

Perhaps that is what is right for me, perhaps not. . . I think it is time for me to delve deeper so that I can discover what I really want.

I need to face the myriad of feelings and trust what insight follows.

Wrapping Up
At the end of my very soulful writing time I asked myself some guiding questions.

  • How can I connect more deeply with that which I am and that which I want to be?
  • How do I create a world that honors the holy trinities (per Glennon Doyle Melton) of body, mind, & spirit?
  • How do I navigate my sadness over some deep losses.

Picking Cards
After I ask guiding questions of myself, I often pick cards from different decks.  The beauty of picking these cards is that each of them usually answer the very questions that I had originally asked for guidance. Today, all three of my card choices did! It was mind blowing!!!

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This I believe
The insights that come during the early morning hours have the power to change you if you have the inner-strength to listen.

May the seeds that were planted this morning sprout with beautiful growth! May I become even MORE ALIVE!

Thank you for taking time to listen to today’s rambles.

Onward with love, light, & blessings,
Chava

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Today I realized that I am happy.

With every ounce of my being, I realized that the pain of the last few years has been easing up and evaporating. My entire focus is now on growing healthier, nurturing friendships, soaring spiritually, and gaining knowledge at every turn.

Today I am blessed with two healthy sons, a new home, a new city, a new position, some new friends, and healthier lifestyle habits. I am aware of the infinite possibilities that are available.

Somehow, yesterday doesn’t matter – not really.  What matters is that I have learned from each and every experience. I am who I am because of the way I walk in the world and what I have endured – the good, the challenging, and simply life.

The last several years have included some intense pain and loneliness, but I have been blessed at nearly every step. I was never really alone; I was shedding life’s extra weight while a community of beloveds gave their love, their money, many precious gifts, and heartfelt prayers.

While there were moments when I literally feared for my family’s well-being, they were few and far between. Friends and acquaintances opened their homes, offered food, and made it possible for us to thrive. All of our basic needs and more were met.

I am in awe of how beautifully things worked. Reflecting honestly has caused my spirit to soar.

May I be a person that shows up when I am needed and who gives in every way I can.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

This week, I started filling my happiness jar with positive things that happen each day.
This week was the week I started filling my happiness jar with positive things that happen each day.

PS – Intensity is part of who I am, but I am grateful to the fact that my personal life is landing in a great place; I haven’t forgotten that I was brought into this world so that I could make a difference for good.

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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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

IMPERFECTION OR I’M PERFECTION:

PERHAPS. . .A LITTLE OF BOTH

In every way, I am a work in progress.There is always so much to do. The beauty of my journey is that it feels absolutely beautiful to walk in the world with the self awareness that has become part of me. Sometimes it is a challenge to accept how imperfect I am; I really do wish I was wiser, healthier, more thoughtful, and more attuned to the earth.  Yet it is because of my reality that I have the opportunity to do some awesome work and to grow as a human being.

In my own world! February 2015 - darker letting

Photos by Aryeh Grossman – Artistic layout by Marty Johnston

Each and every day, I focus on all of the areas that need my focus:

  1. Walking gently with the earth
  2. Making healthy lifestyle choices
  3. Acknowledging MY inner and outer beauty
  4. Seeking truth at every turn
  5. Strengthening my knowledge base as a Jewish Educator

As someone who is actively engaged in living consciously, I often hyper-focus on how to honor the person I am while positively impacting the world I live.

Each area above intertwines with the others. There is not one part of my journey that is an island. Becoming a healthy soul means making choices on how I interact with the earth and all of her inhabitants. As much as I love the moments when I am alone, I will never be an island. None of us are. We are all part of a much larger world even when we choose to disconnect.

The journey is not always easy, it is full of gifts and challenges. Sometimes it is scary and some time liberating. And for me, it is always intense.

I struggle with my imperfections. . .there are so many. And yet what I am coming to love that each imperfection leads me to climb the metaphoric mountains allowing me to strive to be the best human being I can be.

A few days ago, I realized that IMPERFECTION is actually I’M PERFECTION. I am sure someone came up with that one already, but it made me smile. Perhaps, just maybe, I am perfect just the way I am. 🙂

Hineini, Here I am!

May we all strive to be the most perfect people we can be without the guilt to shadow over that which is good.

With love light, and blessings,
Chava

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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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

blue_boat_house_door

Sometimes closing the door is not enough;
sometimes the door must be locked AND barricaded too!
~Quote by Chava

My Journey Towards Wholeness has been profound. With each passing day, I am encountering more and more awareness regarding how to best navigate my life in the healthiest of ways.

While this has been an exciting time for me, it has also been challenging to look at the many relationships that have been part of my life – some for weeks and months, others for years and decades.  And while I treasure what each connection has given me, I am also finding it advantageous to let go of the connections that no longer serve me. If nearly every interaction with someone causes discomfort, it is time to leave the connection behind.

Life is a gift. That means I need to treat it with love and thoughtfulness; I need to treasure what life offers and find peace when some of the relationships end.  Few things last forever.

With every ounce of my being, I am constantly working towards being as considerate and warm as I can be. Maybe I haven’t always been this way, but I have been doing the holy work of walking gently for a few years now.

The pain of closing the door from a once special person can feel overwhelming and yet I believe we are honoring ourselves when we do just that. . And with the really tough or toxic relationships, we need want to consider my friend Sabrina Sojourner’s wisdom, “Sometimes you need to change the door into a wall. Bookcases and shelving work great for that.”

Today I made the painful decision to barricade the door from someone who has been in my life for decades; perhaps I should have erected a wall instead. My heart and my soul are too precious to be continually stomped on.

With a heavy heart and a clear mind, I am taking care of me. I am letting go and finding balance.

While I believe that ‘when one door closes, another door opens’, I don’t want to hear that right now.  Instead I want to be spiritually held and allowed to grieve.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

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Blogging is what I do.  I love writing and sharing my heart, my mind, and my soul.

Reflection Time Selfie

Reflection Time Selfie

If this is your first time reading this series of my blog, please take a moment and read the introduction Elul Journey: A New Year Is Emerging – 5775  http://t.co/Y6vmXdO6GJ

Today is 14 Elul or 16 days until 5775; it is a time to reflect and to choose ways in which I can best move towards the High Holy Days and the days that follow.  While it is not easy to navigate life’s journeys, I always get to decide how to approach my life.  In this moment, I am choosing to walk gently and embrace each step with openness.  As I say this, I also realize that this would be a good time for a reality check.

During each blog post of my Elul Journeys, I will share a poem, a saying, a teaching that has helped me navigate the world.  Let me know what you think!

~ ~ ~

The best guide in life is strength. . . . discard everything that weakens you, have nothing to do with it.
~ Quote by Swami Vivekananda

~ ~ ~

The messages keep coming to me, this morning I found the quote above by someone who I quoted days ago.  Looks like I need to start reading the work of Swami Vivekananda.   Yesterday I felt drawn to share the Do As One’s Facebook status line on my status line.

Surround yourself. . .

The message is loud and clear.  Surround yourself with people and environments that nurture who you are and then do the work of thriving.

Shemati, I heard.

This is what I call soul work.  Creating a life that honors who you are means you have to make choices.  Who will stay? Who will go? Is this good for you? Can you do the work to make things what you want them to be?

Living consciously means making decisions about who and what fits into your life?  Each and everyone of us is on an evolving journey.  The key word her is evolving; our needs change over time as we have different experiences.

In this moment, I am in the midst of this very journey.  As I actively navigate my own exploration, I am finding it a little daunting to explore all of my feelings, my hopes, my dreams.  With each breath, I am working towards having the integrity I need to thrive and evolve into the healthiest me I can be.

May each of us fill our lives with that which jazzes our soul.

With blessings & light,
Chava

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Blogging is what I do.  I love writing and sharing my heart, my mind, and my soul.

Reflection Time Selfie

Reflection Time Selfie

 

If this is your first time reading this series of my blog, please take a moment and read the introduction Elul Journey: A New Year Is Emerging – 5775  http://t.co/Y6vmXdO6GJ

Today is 13 Elul or 17 days until 5775; it is a time to reflect and to choose ways in which I can best move towards the High Holy Days and the days that follow.  While it is not easy to navigate life’s journeys, I always get to decide how to approach my life.  In this moment, I am choosing to walk gently and embrace each step with openness.  As I say this, I also realize that this would be a good time for a reality check.

During each blog post of my Elul Journeys, I will share a poem, a saying, a teaching that has helped me navigate the world.  Let me know what you think!

~ ~ ~

“You never know when one act, or one word of encouragement can change a life forever.” 
Quote by Zig Ziglar

~ ~ ~

Everything we do matters; everything we say can make a difference.  Whether our actions are with our hands, our hearts, or our words, we have the capability to positively touch the world we live.

In the last 9 months, I have been a caregiver to many different people.  Some have memory loss challenges, some are in their final hours of life, and others have significant physical limitations.  All were once healthy; all are now hurting emotionally and physically.  For each of these people, I have learned that my positive energy really matters.  When I am sad or lost, I need to put those feelings on a shelf and focus on being present and lifting their spirits. This same experience has been obvious when I directed a school.  Children, their families, and other professional staff are conduits for the surrounding energy.

Decide to walk in the world with a love in your heart, gentleness in your spirit, and a desire to impact people for good.  And in the end of the day, do whatever it takes to make that happen.

With blessings & light,
Chava

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Middah (character trait) focus: Take the steps to be yourself

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.

Today is the final day of the counting of the Omer, Day 49.  In the time between Passover and Shavuot (which begins tomorrow night), I have invited each of us to look at how we walk in the world.  Looking back I believe so many of my blogs said the same thing: Find ways to be yourself.  The only way to move from slavery to freedom is to both honor the person you are as you also strive to grow as a human being.

On a fundamental level, I believe that in order for most of us to be healthy, we need to be our best selves; for most of us that means we have work to do.

Take One Step

 

Taking the steps we need to take is ultimately about being yourself and honoring how you want to move in this world.  For  me, it is about making my voice heard and about impacting the world with my words.  How do you want to live your life? What do you want to do for yourself and the larger world around you?

Don’t forget to take your first step, and then your next step when you feel ready to do so.

Thank you for joining me in this journey from slavery to freedom; may we all find freedom with our next step!

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Middah (character trait) focus: Creating Healthy Boundaries

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.

“The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.” 
~Tara BrachRadical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

We all have different needs.  While I need a lot of solitary time so that I can write, others thrive by being surrounded by family and friends.  Finding a healthy boundary that works for each of us is a key to being healthy.

In life there is so much we need to accomplish for our families, our friends, ourselves AND for our work and our communities.  We don’t always have a choice on our timing, but we do need to create the pockets of space that allow us to thrive.  We can also become more aware about how we communicate with others and allow for healthy boundaries within those connections.

May each of us honor ourselves and others too, by allowing for healthy boundaries.

 

 

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In theory I love biking; I always have.

While it took me until I was 11 years old to get on a bike, once I did I always wanted to ride.  That was until one of my college housemates lost my bike or had it stolen while she was borrowing it.  I loved my Sears 10-speed, I still remember it fondly. Once my bike went missing, it took me years to get on a bike again and quite honestly, it wasn’t what one would call a natural experience.  Do you remember the saying “once you learn to ride a bike, you never forget”?  Well that wasn’t true for me; the first time I got on a bike after decades of not riding, I couldn’t remember how to turn the wheel. The good news is that it didn’t take long; I fell in love again.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Randall- Tel Aviv Beach

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Randall-
Tel Aviv Beach

Jump ahead to the last few weeks, bicycles have become part of the ongoing message.  I see them everywhere I go.  I also realize that I have always wanted to be a healthy biker chic of the manual bike variety; it has  been a dream of mine to use a bike as transportation not just recreation. Over the years, this has been an ongoing  message that has come to me time and again and yet I have been afraid of pushing myself to build endurance.  Failure is not something I do well and yet I will never succeed if I don’t give it my all.

Biking is for those folks that are in shape or maybe for those people that can really make time to bike.  Biking is not meant for an overweight middle-aged woman.  At this point, you and I both know that that is not an excuse and the messages keep telling me so.  Here are only some of the messages that have come my way:

  1. A few weeks ago my friend Stephanie Randall posted the above photo of a bike leaning against some bars as she was viewing the Tel Aviv sunset.  In an instant, I fell in love and wanted to both get on my bike and to find a beach to ride near.  At least I could get on my bike; there is no ocean front property in Tucson.
  2. “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.” – Mark Twain  – This is the tagline that a good friend has all of his emails.  This truth seems to be calling to me.
  3. On Friday, my friend Bob got on his bike after his own health challenges; I loved his selfie of the experience.
  4. My friend Daniel is coming to Tucson next week for our Passover Seder.  NOT.  He is coming to bike and because he is here, we will have a chance to reconnect.  I love the passion that propels him forward as a cyclist; I, quite literally, yearn for that passion and wish I could have some of his skill and endurance.
  5. Yesterday another friend had a minor biking accident.  He had a small break in his hand and needed some stitches too; today he got back on his bike.  Wow, I can learn from that kind of attitude.
  6. And then this morning, another friend posted the following article on Facebook.  Riding Away From A Broken Marriage – http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/biking/The-Flat-Tire-Project.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=facebookpost  As someone who is struggling myself, the article gave me hope.

In fact all of the points above inspire me to bike and to push myself to be more healthy.  So with all of this in mind, I got on my bike today.  For the first time since pulling out my lower back (twice) in recent months, I returned to my bike.  And today was a really grueling day.  I was suffering from horrible abdominal pain, physical exhaustion after working five 12 hour night shifts, and finally emotional darkness after losing the job that brought me to Tucson in the first place.  Everything about me was depleted and yet today was the day that I felt compelled to push myself.  And you know what, I feel so much better for it, although I sure don’t look that way 🙂

Don't I look great after my first 45 minute bike-ride in months.

Don’t I look great after my first 45 minute bike-ride in months?

Feeling inspired. . . .my plan is to ride tomorrow too!!

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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.

On Facebook, my friend Deborah Grayson  Reigel posted a fantastic Coaching question of the day, she asked “What’s absolutely perfect about your life right now (no matter how small)?”

What a great question!!!  There were many answers from the simple to the more complex; each one thoughtful and each one unique.  The one response that left me in a quandary was, “Does anything else matter if you and your loved ones are healthy?”  I love when people challenge me; I love when people make me think.

Well my initial response was that good health is not enough.  So many people have good health but are crumbling inside.  I have seen ‘healthy’ people hurt.  I have had friends who seemed to have it all choose to leave EVERYTHING behind.  One of my favorite people committed suicide.  So, if I think that way, good health is not enough.

Upon further reflection I realized that in Judaism, we often pray for the healing of body and the healing of soul.  So now I am much less conflicted.  There are a lot of ways to look at being healthy.  Different doorways lead to better understanding; I am really glad I took a few minutes to ruminate on what being healthy means.

In case your curious, my answer to Deborah’s coaching question was, “Writing is a beautiful part of my daily life and sometimes my writing even touches people.”

May we all be blessed with a healthy spirit and a healthy body.

reneal body-spirit 2

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