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Posts Tagged ‘listening’

Vision Board Created March, 2010

Vision Board
Created March, 2010

The Power of the Chava Project

Approximately a month ago, my friend Jennifer Judelsohn suggested that we create the Chava Project http://journeycircles.blogspot.com/2010/03/chava-project.html by having people send a word to her post office box.  The word would represent a prayer, a hope, or a vision you had for me.  We probably had about two-dozen words mailed via snail mail and then another two-dozen words emailed to us.  Each word was mounted on a painted canvas that was meant to become my vision board and to inspire me as I journeyed towards a stronger physical and spiritual essence.

The beauty of each and every word,  the embellishments,  and the intentions was that they were transmitted to me in a very core way.  With every fiber of my being, I felt the love and warmth that surrounded my healing and my growing journey.  I couldn’t believe that so many people cared enough to take the time to let me know their word for my evolution.

In my life I have had times that I felt completely alone, but not any longer.  I feel loved, cherished, and cared for.  Today, I know that many people are my soul friends.  They celebrate my journey towards physical and spiritual health.  And nearly all of my beloved friends would help me in any way if I let them know my needs.

There are many people who empowered me and continue to support me as I move through my journey.  Both family and friends from all over as well as those that are specifically part of  my CAJE friends and my Kol Zimra/Jewish Renewal friends, you know who you are.  I’ve been blessed to be surrounded world-wide with people that illuminate my world and the world that they live in too. Through my friends, I have been granted the space to explore the roads that I currently travel.

Many voices are in my head at any given time.  Most of the thoughts begin with the overarching wisdom of Theodore Herzl, “Im tirtzu, ein zo agadah. If you will it, it is no dream.”  There is so much that I want in my life and most of it is within my reach if I admit my feelings and do that which needs to be done in order to make things happen.  Only through action and consistent discipline will I attain that which I desire to have a more fulfilling life.

My life is somewhat complicated and also quite simple too.  I love life and I consistently strive to reach for the different goals that are continually emerging.  There is much to strive for-always.  Mountains to climb; valleys to descend. With each step, there is a plethora of new options that come into view.

Each step leads to beauty.  Sometimes I see myself as the young girl looking out to the ocean of a Dali painting I love.  The vastness of the water or the life potentials surrounding me is endless; all I need to do is to make a decision on what step or stroke needs to be my next.  As simple as that sounds, limiting the options that surround me is not an easy task.  I want to do it all; I want to feel the rhythm of each and every desire, but I can’t do it all.

Nearly two weeks ago, I had a hysterectomy.  It wasn’t traumatic in any way; it needed to be done, so I did it.  The beauty of the hysterectomy is what happened before and after the actual surgery.  Initially, my friends and some strangers supported me by sending me a word/prayer/hope to put on my vision board.  The artwork sits with me as a reminder of the work that I have left to do in this world.  There are so many things I want to accomplish.  At the moment though, the goal is to be healthy!!!!!! And while it is taking more time than I would like; it is happening nonetheless.  And other friends offered me prayers and meditations, chanting and drumming; one friend mailed me a self-guided visualization to prepare for the big day.  And since coming home, a couple of friends stayed in the house to help, other friends have been as present as I would like them to be.  Two friends came out of the way to sit with me in the hospital the day of surgery as I was fairly sick and less than fun to be around.  And since coming home, I have received, cards, emails, Facebook notes, calls, and plants/flowers.  Wow. . . I feel loved.

And through each and every step of my healing, my boys have been taking care of me.  Whether it is about being with me as I heal or supporting me as I make decisions and work towards all my many goals.  It is amazing to live in a family that honor where each and every one of us is.  My children know that Michael, their father, and I are trying to explore how work will evolve for both of us and how my creative and intellectual pursuits will be nourished.

Creating a list of 100 things I’d like to do before I die is not difficult, my top pursuits include:
1.    teaching from my soul.
2.    writing about my life journeys.
3.    creating a series of Jewish retreats for survivors of childhood trauma and their loved ones.
4.    becoming a rabbi.
5.    physically thriving.
6.    growing my hair just a little longer ☺.
7.    kayaking and hiking throughout the spring and summer.
8.    finding my own path for doing Tikun Olam (repairing the world).
9.    living consciously and with integrity.

Waking up from anesthesia, I said the words that I say upon waking up in the morning “Modah ani lifanecha. . . I thank You, living and eternal Spirit, for restoring my soul. What an awesome responsibility I now have to choose to live life in a healthier way while honoring my spirit as well as the spirit of the world around me.

The vision board with all her words is a reminder that I am striving towards honoring myself and working towards incredible growth.

With love and light,
Chava

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Those that know me well know that I hear rhythms in my head most every moment of the day.  The rhythms guide me as I move forward and as I attempt to navigate the spaces that surround me.  In all honesty, it is sometimes a struggle to focus on that which I need to do because I’d rather follow my prana, my derech, my way.

When I am lucky the rhythms include some beautiful music with words attached to it.  At some point in time, I heard that the silence between the beats is as important as the music itself.  I love how music can help my spirit to soar or allow me the space to cry if need be.

Today I was in the midst of listening to myself with each and every step.  For some reason, I made some very good choices and was able to both celebrate life and comfort some mourners.  Looking outside at the moon tonight, I realize that life is full of different cycles.

Tonight the luminous moon is full, bright, beautiful, and comforting; today is the 15th of Tammuz. We have 2.5 months until will celebrate Rosh HaShana.  The moon always reminds me that life continues even as our lives feel stagnant or overwhelming busy.  Cycles continue with each birth and end with each death.

I am grateful for my life and for the cycles that embrace my steps. Sometimes, I am able to articulate my gratitude on a regular basis and sometimes my mind is too cluttered.

This afternoon, I was driving into the city for an opportunity to learn about a new curriculum that we will be using this coming year for our high school students.  With each mile, I felt a bit overwhelmed by the frenetic pace of my life.  At the same time, I know that life has evolved to a quieter space over the past year, so I am really not complaining too much.

When I got into the car I found myself humming a new chant that I learned from my teacher Rabbi Shefa Gold.  The words go to the chant are:

L’takayn Olam B’malchut Shaddai
To heal the world within God’s kingdom

After chanting for about 15 minutes, I decided to listen to an oldies station for a bit.  Just as I started getting into my new rhythm, I saw a car start to pull into my lane.  For a moment, I was really concerned which caused me to react in such a way that I didn’t get into an accident.  The sight wasn’t pretty and my guess is that I was being kept safe by the shechina (God’s presence).  As my car’s breaks caused me to swerve the radio station switched from radio to CD player.  With that, the chant returned to my radio.

The message was loud and clear; it really is my job to do the best I can to heal our world/God’s kingdom.

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