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Posts Tagged ‘loving-kindness’

Ocean Sept 2014

Photo courtesy of my beloved friend, Shay Seaborne.

Awareness flows through me.

Regardless of how ridiculous I know a feeling may be, it doesn’t take the feeling away.  There are simply times when inner pain and loneliness settle into my soul. Those are the days that darkness is my closest friend and profound sadness has infiltrated my essence.

On those days, my broken heart has prevailed and the storms that sometimes lay dormant have overtaken my spirit. While these days can feel debilitating, they don’t overtake me for long. But while they are visiting, they leave me void of the strength to rise as high as I’d like to.

While today started off as one of the gloomiest in a long time, I remembered to breathe and pushed myself to keep moving. I even allowed myself to share my deep sadness with a couple of people that seem to love me regardless of the open wounds. Miraculously and unexpectedly, I emerged. I was able to reflect the love and kindness I was receiving back to wounded person that needed it most – me.

What I know without a doubt is that bad days happen, but even the worst moments can become a little easier with the help of breathing deeply, taking time to journal, and loving kindness from others mirrored back to me.

Onward with love, light, and blessings,
Chava

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Tonight we counted Day 22  of the Omer, which is 3 weeks and one day of the counting of the Omer. Today is referred to as Chesed sheh b’Netzach or loving-kindness within endurance.

yizkor

Tonight I lit a yizkor candle for my mother. She was never emotionally healthy, but she was still the woman who gave birth to me. 

My hope and my prayer is that wherever her spirit lies, may it be full of peace. Peace never came to her in life, perhaps it came to her in death.

For years, I was tormented by mother’s life and then later her death.  She was so profoundly ill that she was unable to act as a healthy mother should; her spirit must have been broken.

Tonight I realized that for the first time in my life, I felt completely neutral to the pain and darkness that my mother’s presence perpetrated in my life.  Somehow, I have found the endurance to find it in my heart to move forward; I have also found it in my heart to wish peace for her spirit.

Chesed sheh b’Netzach – May it be so 

 

 

 

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Tonight, we counted Day 15 of the Omer, which is 2 weeks and 1 day of the counting of the Omer.  We refer to today as Chesed she-b’Tiferet; loving-kindness within harmony, balance, and/or beauty.

Aryeh and DoviSurrounded by Chesed she 'b'Tiferet.

Aryeh and Dovi
Surrounded by Chesed she ‘b’Tiferet.

For me to understand the full scope of Tiferet, this week’s focus, I have to first reflect on chesed and gevurah.  On one hand, I have felt loving-kindness, on the other hand, I have felt strength.  Only when I tie these two concepts together do I have an opportunity of finding balance or harmony.  So for the last two weeks, I have focused on different ideas that support, loving-kindness and strength.  Perhaps now I am ready to fully embrace finding my center.

When I put my tefillin on my head, there are two straps that fall on either side of my head and over my shoulders.  I refer to one as chesed and the other as gevurah.  Within my daily practice of life, I need to seek both loving-kindness and spiritual strength before I can fully trust the rhythm that surrounds me, the rhythm that encompasses my inner and outside worlds.

I love that the focus of today’s counting Chesed she-b’Tiferet  resonates within me.  The journey hasn’t been easy, but it is part of life nonetheless.  The theme of the day was revealed over the last several hours when I had multiple opportunities to be present and available to others.  Allowing my spirit to be fully present for others showed me that even for a moment, I can be in a place of Tiferet.  

As tonight turns into tomorrow, I am looking forward to waking up to hike gently, eat good foods and drink lots of water. I am also looking forward to having amazing interactions with whomever crosses my path and being fully present to whatever comes my way.  In order to really create loving-kindness within the harmony, I need to care for my own rhythm even as I care for the rhythms that surround me.   Only in that way will beauty prevail.

As we experience life with others, may we feel both inner harmony and outer harmony with each and every step we take.

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Counting the Omer is about reflecting how I hold myself as I move towards freedom.  Each and every day I am actively working on making myself a better and more kind human-being.  I am also trying to manage some of the shadows that sometimes surround me by engaging more with the light.

Washington DC skies following a storm.

Managing the shadows; engaging in the light

As we wrap up the week of chesed, loving-kindness, I am hoping that I have taken a few moments to become less self-absorbed and more present for my children and for those I love.  So many times over the past week, I have wanted to remain in a quiet place, but with our Passover Seders and with my need to be more present for others, that wasn’t a choice I could make.  Sometimes I had to find the silence within myself, but remain present with the tasks at hand.  For the most part, I was able to do what I needed to do and I was lucky to have some close friends surround me when I needed that too.

Our Jewish day begins in the evening; today is Day 7 of the Counting of the Omer.  Today we focus on malchut she b’chesed, finding the divine-power within loving-kindness.  From my years in a Reconstructionist world, I grew to find comfort in the thought that God is within us.  With that in mind, I can utilize the many teachings of how to walk in a Godly way and in the end I wind up with chesed, loving-kindness as a core practice within my life.  Personally, I rarely think of God as melech, king, instead I think of God as a spirit that flows around me and through me.  With that belief I have the responsibility to walk gently within the world and to honor which exists by actively engaging in chesed as much as humanly possible.

Ken y’hi ratzon, may it be so!

 

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(Note:  My hope is to write Omer Reflections as they come to me.  Life is full these days, I will do my best.)

Sabino Canyon's Road to Blessings

Sabino Canyon’s Road towards Liberation

For me, counting the Omer is about reflection.  Through the counting I actively work towards coming to grips with different parts of my essence while also looking at how I interact with the world around me. As we count the days from slavery to freedom, I reflect on the biblical journey from Pesach to Shavuot and I take an accounting of the slavery that surrounds me as I try to do my part to put slavery on a shelf that will one day become a mere memory.

There are seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot; each week has a big theme worthy of exploration with daily chapters that allow us to experience deeper discovery.  As in all philosophies, there is no one correct way of moving through this journey.

With each day, I can choose how I will do my dance of emergence.  In this week of chesed, loving-kindness, I get to decide how I will navigate all that is going on in my world.  There is nothing simple about my current journey.  With each breath I am struggling to figure out how I can live with integrity while I face personal and professional struggles.

In this moment, I am struggling. Yet I am standing firm in my commitment to live consciously and to face my journey with both an inner and outer loving-kindness.

As the day begins to wane, I am looking at the 5th day, Hod she b’Chesed, acceptance within loving-kindness. or perhaps withdrawing my ego in order to make room for true loving-kindness.  Life is what it is and yet I have many roles to play in making things work in the best possible way.

At this moment, my ego has evolved.  I no longer feel I have the answers as I once did.  With that in mind, it is my job to navigate the world with openness. I need to breathe in the goodness, breathe out the despair and allow the answers to life’s challenges to come as they can.  And while that is happening, I need to remain with chesed in my heart and in my being.

May I have the ability to trust the universe and allow all of the answers come in their right time.

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