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Posts Tagged ‘living consciously’

Don’t we all have to wear masks sometime?

Professionally, I may wear a mask every now and then. Most of the time, I am actually ok with that. In a world that I work for others and with others, I think it is wise to be willing to honor a community and work environment by stepping aside. As long as I work for others, I have to meet people  where they are with a willingness to step back. Perhaps that is what it means to function fully in the world.

Day 5

For Photo Day 5 Selfie:          7 February 2018

And yet. . . .

Being direct and authentic comes at a cost. Not everyone is comfortable with how I walk in the world. With that knowledge lurking, I do have to find ways to navigate. Aren’t we all always navigating?

My personal motto is guided by the words of Émile Zola:

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world,
I, an artist, will answer you: 
I am here to live out loud.”

May I find the balance to live out loud, be myself, and toss aside the masks – all while living consciously and thoughtfully in the world.

Looks like I have work to do!

Sending love, light, & blessings. . . .

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Elul Reflections: Coming soon

December 2016 - looking out into water

I BELIEVE IN LIVING CONSCIOUSLY AND ALWAYS BEING REAL. This isn’t easy. You see, like all of us, I have many roles in my life. I am a mother, a sister, a friend; I am an educator, a community leader, and an activist; I am a woman, a thriver, and an intuitive. AND I am also a writer, a chanter, and a drummer; I embrace life with open arms and a passionate neshama, soul.  My creative and spiritual essence craves the freedom to share the fullness of who I am in all that I do.

According to Glennon Doyle, being real means getting ‘naked and unashamed’. While this leaves me vulnerable, it also gives me the wings I need to fly higher than I have ever flown before. Am I scared to unveil my core as a way to touch those that trip over my writings? ABSOLUTELY! My friend Diane Foushée (z’l) inspired me to reach deeply into my soul and share the fullness of my thoughts with my friends and readers. Until a couple months before her sudden death, I had no idea that she looked forward to the two times a year that I shared my journey as a seeker. During those times, I write a daily blog as I take the time to actively self-reflect and unveil my deepest thoughts.

Last year, I was too sad to write my daily Elul Reflections; although I did write a couple. Without Diane, I didn’t want to write.  I also didn’t know if my writing impacted anyone.  This feeling has changed. Over the last month, I have been blessed to have friends tell me how I have impacted their lives in a positive way.  Those friends have given me the courage to dive into sharing from my heart. As we move into Elul, the time of reflection just before the Jewish New Year, I will return to my writing practice that provided the sacred space to become more aligned as the woman I am. I will embrace the world with an open heart and a willingness to reach to a healthier and more balanced place in all that I navigate. I will share the rawness of my spirit with the gifts and challenges that are part of my reality.

As a ‘TRUTH TELLER’ and a writer, I want to weave my words and share my soul.  Join me.

Elul Reflections: Sharing My Inner Soul – Will begin Tuesday evening, August 22nd.

(Note: I have been impacted by some amazing writers and thinkers over the past couple of years. Glennon Doyle coined ‘truth teller’ and helped me through her podcasts to better understand what it means to be ‘naked and unashamed’. I am here!!! Hineini!

Other writers include Anne Lamott, Rebecca Solnit, SARK, Sheryl Sandberg (all from the Bay area – WOW!) and Elizabeth Gilbert, Brené Brown, Danielle LaPorte, Martha Beck, among so many more. I read their books, listen to their podcasts and strive to embody their wisdom. If I ever say something and do not honor them by annotating their work, please forgive me. Over time I have realized that so much of how they think has entered into my subconscious.)

 

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Have you ever had a false start? You know those days when you have prepared to start a diet, take on a new hobby, or create new life practices.

At first you are really excited. You have made a decision on how you want to live your life and now all you have to do is start. The first hour may seem easy, and maybe the second hour, but by the end of Day 1 or maybe Week 1, reality sets in and you realize that whatever you are working on has a mind of it’s own. 🙂

False starts are frustrating; so is falling off the wagon. I have done both and it never feels good. And yet, I believe that these realities are part of life (at least my life). In order to be the best me, I need to face reality; I stumble sometimes. Just because I revert back to old ways, doesn’t mean I should never try again. Although it may mean that. Mostly it means that I need to get up, figure out the best way to maneuver to a better place, and then do what I have to do to get to where I want to go. Simply put, I need to refocus and do the holy work of putting my puzzle pieces

In ‘Sweet Darkness’, David Whyte says it best:

 anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.

With this poem and specifically this verse as my guide, I am going to do what I have to do. I am going to take better care of myself. Anyone that has read my blog knows that I thrive on walking consciously in the world; I also need to write as I take each step of the journey.

Life does have a few too many storms; my nature is to see the rain as cleansing instead of the alternative. So, even if I have to dry a few tears, take time for moving in healthier directions, and creating time to write – I am EXACTLY where I need to be. I am living consciously and embracing  the aliveness that is who I am.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

PS – Keep your eyes open for my next blog series, Dance of Emergence: Amazon Woman is Born.

Raining Day - Time to Refocus - David Cooper March 6, 2016

Berkeley on a rainy day; Photo Courtesy of Rabbi David Cooper

 

 

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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 20 Elul or 10 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!

~ ~ ~

Return Again

Return again, return again
Return to the land of your Soul
Ret
urn again, return again
R
eturn to the land of your Soul

Return to what you are, return to who you are
Return to where you are
Born and reborn again
Return again, return again,
Return to the land of your Soul
Return again, return again
Return to the land of your Soul…

Music: Shlomo Carlebach
Lyrics: Rafael-Simkba Kahn
© Schlomo Carlebach All Rights Reserved

~ ~ ~

The month of Elul inspires me to reflect, to really question have I been honoring myself by living consciously and honestly.  Am I serving the the world I live with integrity and thoughtfulness? Am I nurturing the person I am and striving to reach my full potential?  Am I listening to the silent voice inside of me that has always aspired to make healthy choices for not only my physical world, but for the world that surrounds me regardless of how close or far?  Am I doing the things that jazz my soul?

Everything we do matters? Everything we think can impact our lives and the lives of those around us.  Am I living in a way that exhibits those realities?

During my Elul Journey, I have chosen to take this trek one step further.  I have decided to be more transparent by sharing how I walk through the world with you as well as most of the people that cross my path.  In the recent years, I have grown to like who I am; I want the ‘real me’ to be the person that folks get to know. Today, I am actively returning to my roots and growing stronger roots with each step I take.

Each of us are born with our own essence; may we be blessed to fuel the parts of our being that make us feel the most whole as we strive to grow with each breath.

With blessings & light,
Chava

Live you way - Jung saying

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 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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Yesterday, I was asked a great question during a job interview, “What is your favorite movie was and why?” For just a split second, I hesitated on how I should respond. If I was very wise, I could have responded by saying Milk, I was truly inspired by the Harvey Milk story, but that isn’t what I responded. I responded with the truth; my favorite movie is Flashdance.

My goal in each and every job interview is to be as authentic as I can be. So as I blurted out the name of a major chic-flick, I was mortified. Yet ever since I originally saw the movie in 1983, one line in the movie has been a grounding force for me.

“When you give up your dream, you die.”

That one sentence has contributed to me becoming the person I am today.  It sits in my toolbox at all times reminding me to thrive as a human being as I continuously strive to reach for the stars even as I am grounded where I am.  It was this saying that has kept me company at each and every crossroad of my life; in fact it is this saying that has moved me forward even when I should have fallen flat on my face.

Since the moment, I heard these words in the movie Flashdance, I have been making  dreams happen.  Giving up has never been an option.

Here are the five core dreams that have stood inside my soul for the last several decades.

  1. Writing: From the moment I could create stories in my head I have wanted to be a writer. Weaving words together has been a constant in my life since I can remember.   Today I realize that my words really can impact people, so I often share them via my blog.  At the same time, I am also actively pursuing my dream of publishing a book in the coming years.  🙂
  2. Raising my sons with love and compassion: My sons have taught me how to truly live and to be the mother I am.  Still it has been my job to nurture them so that they may emerge into phenomenal beings who are full of love and compassion for themselves and the world around them.  As they reach towards adulthood, I am blessed to see that this dream is happening as I type.
  3. Living Consciously/Walking Gently: Every aspect of the world matters and if I don’t do my part to walk gently and to make a difference for good then I am not honoring the universe and her many gifts. May gratitude course through my veins as I do the holy work of living consciously.
  4. Creating a healthier Israel: I love Israel and struggle with the many destructive actions of her government. My hope and my prayer is that I can work with others so that we see a truly democratic state that can live side by side with her Palestinian neighbors.
  5. Being a warm and positive Jewish presence: Living actively as a Jew is part of who I am.  May I be a person who helps keep Jewish people engaged in their faith and a positive Jewish connection for others.  Sharing my  love for Judaism and the Jewish people is a driving force for me.

Allowing myself to love life as I do happens because I actively engage in making my dreams  come true.  If I didn’t actively engage in making my dreams happen, I would not be where I am today.

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In any given day, we have many decisions to make.  Decisions include choices in:

  • Clothing?
  • Food choices?
  • Exercise?
  • Making free time or not?
  • Books to read or not?
  • Schools?
  • Synagogues/Churches?
  • Causes to support with time or money?

Life is full of choices and so many of us abdicate making choices.  Often, we tread the water of life and stick to what we know without living consciously.  Life feels overwhelming; it is what it is.

Big Lake  Photo Courtesy of Libby Quinn

Big Lake
Photo Courtesy of Libby Quinn

Last month, I made a decision to actively engage in life as I am.  With my humor in tact, I decided to emerge from some of my struggles and decide to change my personal approach to reality.  I learned to take deep breaths and focus on each moment instead of life’s big picture.  And the beauty is that once I made that decision, my entire foundation felt stronger and little by little I was able to shed some of my intensity and unhappiness too.  Dealing with moments in time as opposed to the big picture all at once was fundamental in making life a lot more manageable.

As much as Intensity is part of my being, so is sharing my bubbly energy with others.   Both qualities are part of who I am, but for a brief time I was stuck trying to navigate my intensity instead of shining my light into the world.  Once I realized that I was doing this I had to figure out how end a vicious cycle of struggling with all that needed to get done or dealing with my thoughts about what I needed to process.  Every aspect of life didn’t need to be challenging.  Learning to honor my spirit became a key for re-establishing inner peace.  Realizing that I was not being authentic in how I walk in the world allowed me to act and react a little differently; I began to find balance.

Deciding how to walk in the world allowed everything else in my life flows with a little more ease.

Three mornings ago, I woke and was blown away by two realizations that I posted on Facebook.

  1. Isn’t it great to wake up in the morning & realize that something that has troubled you for a long time ceases to be so important?  Moving on….. Letting go…..
  2. Don’t you love when you realize if you stop, slow down, and ease into something – it goes so much better than when you force it.

And then yesterday, I woke up to realize that I had to cancel some of my activities for not only today, but this week.  I don’t want to constantly be moving against the tide; sometimes I want to be able to sit quietly and enjoy the tide without being in the middle of it.

I had been so busy struggling against the tide of life and how I walk in the world that life had become a struggle.  Little by little, over the last month, I found my footing or maybe my wings.  I stopped struggling and started doing each and every task as an individual exercise before moving onto the next task.  The act of moving a little more consciously and multi-tasking less has helped my spirit and allowed me to focus more and tread less in one place.

Feeling enormous gratitude for making a conscious decision to move a little differently and to finding my wings again.

And then today, I found this saying that seems to say everything in a much more concise way then I could.

“Do your thing.  Do it unapologetically.  Don’t be discouraged by criticism.  You probably already know what they’re going to say.  Pay no mind to the fear of failure.  It’s far more valuable than success.  Take ownership, take chances, and have fun.  And no matter what, don’t ever stop doing your thing.” Asher Roth

l’Chayyim, to life!

 

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