Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘middot (character traits)’

Photo courtesy of Janie Grackin Did you notice the butterfly? :)

Photo courtesy of Janie Grackin
Did you notice the butterfly? ūüôā

Middah (character trait) focus: Accepting gifts

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.

Gifts come in so many different forms: shipping packages, active helping, a listening ear, gift wrap, natural beauty, insight, etc.  At any given moment, gifts surround us, but sometimes we have to open our eyes extra wide so that we can really notice what you see in front of you.

Over the last few days, I have been literally blown away to the point of tears as I have felt surrounded by the love of friends near and far.  As I navigate life and all that it has to offer, I am feeling the love and care of people that are giving me their love, things I need, time to be authentic, job leads, and friendship.  Blessings really do surround me at every turn.

In the midst of life’s trials and tribulations, may each and every one of us notice and accept the many¬†gifts¬†that surround¬†us.

Read Full Post »

Middah (character trait) focus: Is there a fire in your soul?

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.

On the 33 day of the Counting of the Omer, many of us have a bonfire to celebrate the holiday of Lag b’Omer. ¬†(For more info on Lag b’Omer see¬†http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Shavuot/In_the_Community/Counting_the_Omer/Lag_BaOmer.shtml?p=0) Tonight, I found myself inspired by the idea that the bonfire is a reminder that we should find and nurture the fire in our soul. ¬†Is there a challenge in society¬†that compels you to actively engage in¬†tikkun olam, repairing¬†the world? ¬†Are you driven to step outside of your own bubble in order to do something good for someone outside of your little world? ¬†As I say that, I am assuming that you are a loving human being who takes care of those in your world as need be.

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another. ~George Eliot

Over the years and to this day, I have pursued so many passions that sustain the ambers burning in my soul.  If there is an issue that needs my activism, I often do my part to make a difference for good.  Sometimes it is as simple as just noting the issues, but other times, I need to physically go out there and labor for my causes.  I am part of the human race and that makes it my responsibility to do what I can to impact the world for good.  In my heart of hearts, I believe each and every one of us should consider the bigger world and do our part to make a difference; we do not need to take on each and every issue, but we can try to do our part however big or small.

 Is there a fire in your soul? If so, what are you doing to make a difference? If not, consider trying to find one issue that you can do your part and have a positive impact.

Read Full Post »

Middah (character trait) focus: Moving forward with grace

Wondering if this is graceful. . . .

Wondering if this is graceful. . . .

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.

I am a person who acknowledges who I am and what my intentions are; I attempt to always walk forward with both integrity and transparency. ¬†At times, it isn’t easy to walk as I do, but it is a part of me. ¬†At the same time, I journey towards peace (both inner and outer peace). ¬†While the journey is sometimes difficult, in the end,¬†each step propels me towards a more authentic life allowing me to be impactful for good.

Making an impact for good is profoundly important to me.  Those of you that know me personally, know that I sometimes offend people with my directness; I am honest and intense in how I walk in this world. While I may offend people, it is often because of how I grapple with what I see not because I want to make others uncomfortable.  And I am also a loving human being that thrives on positive interactions and sweet connections.

With that in mind, I have chosen to navigate my latest journey in the most graceful way I know how. ¬†(We all have our journeys, don’t we?) My hope is that I hold myself in a positive way. ¬†I love life, I love the people that I have chosen and that have chosen me for their world. ¬†I connect with people whether¬†I walk in a store, on a mountain, on the sidewalks next to a busy street; I couldn’t make these connections if I didn’t embrace life as I do.

Deep anger and dark energy would not make me approachable in any way. ¬†I love being the person that touches people with my warmth and smile; I can’t imagine being any other way. ¬†That doesn’t mean that I am not sad right now; I am struggling with taking care of my family financially and how I will transition if I have to move. ¬†And guess what – it really is about finances and I believe that as long as my family does what it needs to do that we will land on our feet even if I have to ask for help. ¬†Moving forward with grace is about focusing on the many positives and not harping on what was. ¬†Each step of my journey has been full of open doors. ¬†Sometimes the doors are open briefly and sometimes the doors are wide open for a lifetime. ¬†I need¬†to see the world as being full of opportunities; I need to concentrate on the good; and I need to move forward by doing all that needs to be done with a gentleness within me.

And with every step, I need to remember that my family is blessed with good health, loving friends and a ‘can do’ attitude. ¬†We will be ok for sure and probably even great in just a short time.

With all of this in mind – May I move forward with grace – now and always.

Read Full Post »

Middah (character trait) focus: Taking the time you need to sleep

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.

Taking the time you need sleep is a definite character trait worthy of honoring.  Only when you get the sleep you need will you be able to make a difference for good.  So, with that in mind I am going to crash for the night.

Remember taking care of yourself should not an option; getting a good night’s sleep will contribute to your success for yourself and with others too.

Good-night, Lilah Tov

 

Really, I am going to sleep.  Shhhhh. . . .

Really, I am going to sleep. Shhhhh. . . .

Read Full Post »

computer2

Middah (character trait) focus: Fuel Your Passions

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.

Writing,

the song of my heart;

the meaning of my mind;

the feeling of my soul;

Is what makes me One.

Writing has been part of my life nearly each and every day that I can remember.  Writing literally jazzes my soul, nurtures my being, and nourishes my essence.  Only through writing do I process what I am thinking and feeling.  If I am not writing, it means that something is seriously wrong and that I am probably feeling broken.

Believe it or not, I wrote the verse above when I was 14 years old and had just faced what might have been the most horrifying moment of my childhood.  As I was sitting and praying that someone would help me, I had also come to realize that only through my writing could navigate the world and be at one with the universe.  Only through writing, could I be whole.  Writing was and still is my lifeline.

Writing is with me when I am happy and when I am profoundly sad.  Writing is with me whether I am alone or with loved ones.  Writing is with me when I am processing all that is going on within my life.  Writing is with me РAlways.

There is hardly a day that goes by when I am not writing or at least being inspired to write.  Writing literally sustains me and and makes it possible for me to walk in the world as I do.

In my heart, I believe that I am the person I am because I have taken time to nourish my being with words. ¬†I am not sure how people live without nurturing their own soul with a passion. ¬†For those of you that don’t yet have a passion, take some time and try to figure out what it is that makes you feel grounded or happy or___________ (fill in the blank). ¬†Once you do, do your best to make it a regular practice. ¬†Develop the skills it takes so that you feel good about whatever it is your doing. ¬†Accept when you are able to do what you love with ease and then value the tough times because even the frustrating moments will ultimately impact you for good.

Fuel your passion and see yourself come more fully alive.

With love, light, and blessings

~Chava

 

Read Full Post »

Middah (character trait) focus: Persistence

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.

 

Courtesy of Shay Seaborne

Courtesy of Shay Seaborne

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean¬†

What I have learned is that if you want to accomplish anything in the world you have to do the work.   Only though taking one step at a time will you learn how to make things happen or how to navigate the waters so that you can get to where you want to go.

In the last few years, I have had the opportunity to develop a few practices that now guide my life.

  • Writing – Only through writing and reading do I grow my writing in skill and intensity. Since writing really jazzes my soul, I have to do the work to be a good writer.
  • Chanting – ¬† For me, chanting is a way to go deep inside myself and to work on how I see the world and walk through life. ¬†The deeper I allow my chanting practice to go, the more ¬†my spirit¬†seems to¬†evolve to a healthier place.
  • Healthy Living – I love eating healthy foods, going to the chiropractor regularly, and biking/hiking in the desert. ¬†The challenge for me is that this is a practice I’ve yet to find a momentum for.¬†So, this is my work. ¬†Once I set my mind to the holy work of taking care of my entire being only then will I be healthier. ¬†The good news is that I do have a practice and I will continue to take¬†small steps over¬†time.

Only persistence will get me where I want to go.  Is there a practice that you would like to grow? If yes,what are you doing to invest in your journey?

 

Read Full Post »

Middah (character trait) focus: Think positively: find the rainbows

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.

mid-June tie dye

As I was looking for a photo I have of ¬†a double rainbow, I tripped over this¬†one of myself¬†¬†in a rainbow dress. While this wasn’t the best photo, it definitely shows off a beautiful rainbow tie-dye created by Milky Wave Tie-Dye. ¬†Plug over.

For me, there is no option for finding the rainbow.  Life happens with all of the good and the bad.  My hope for all of us is that we can find moments of goodness even in the darkest moments of our lives.

May we all find the rainbows that come after the storm.

 

Read Full Post »

Middah¬†(character trait) focus:¬†Learn to make mistakes; learn to say I’m sorry.

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.

This year has perhaps been one of the most humbling years of my life.  I have learned to navigate mistaken assumptions and to apologize for misinterpretations.  I have had to learn new skills and cope with learning from my mistakes.  And I have been challenged by the evolution of altered connections with important people in my life.

The beauty of each and every journey is that while I may feel a little unsteady as I walk along the way, I am learning to navigate new twists and turns within my life.  And throughout it all, I am surrounded by loving friends that hear me when I say I am sorry or pick me up when I feel dejected.  New experiences lead to mistakes; new friendships lead to gifts and challenges that come from getting to know a new person.  Just remember that new realities can be like learning how to dance, you stumble until you get the hang of the new dance.

Stumbling is a part of beginnings, the key is whether or not you act graceful when you trip.

May we all be blessed to have the character which allows us to get up when we fall.

May we each reach to find the beauty that surrounds us.

May we each always keep moving forward.

Read Full Post »

Middah (character trait) focus: Courage to create

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.

‚ÄúCreativity takes courage.‚Ä̬†Henri Matisse¬†

Before Passover, I had an idea. ¬†I wanted to write my Omer Reflections exactly as I am doing and I wanted to include one of my own drawings to emphasize each middah (character trait). ¬†While the idea was vivid in my head and I had already drawn a few simple illustration, I just didn’t have the courage to follow through with creating my drawings as part of my Omer Reflections practice. ¬†I simply lost the courage. ¬†Sharing my little drawings made me feel vulenrable, almost like I would be standing unclothed in front of an audience. ¬†I couldn’t do that; I couldn’t leave myself wide open in that way.

As a regular blogger, a teacher/community leader, and an occasional storyteller, I am often in front of people with a goal of presenting an idea or a story.  I love to share my words, but I am beginning to realize that I have done a disservice to myself by not pushing myself to be creative in a way that might entail going a little outside of my comfort zone.

May I have a little more faith in my abilities to step outside my comfort zone, create, and then share my creations.

Drawing by: Chava Gal-Or

Drawing by: Chava Gal-Or

Read Full Post »

Middah (character trait) focus: let go and say good-bye

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.

When we honor ourselves by taking care of ourselves, we are working towards being¬†strong and vibrant people. ¬†Navigating life’s journeys in order to build our character isn’t always easy, yet the benefit is that we develop stronger middot, character traits.

Most of us have people in our lives that aren’t good for us. ¬†They don’t serve us and we don’t serve them; the connection doesn’t feel as healthy as it once did. Their personalities drain our energy; their spirits disolve our inner peace. Sometimes¬†the challenging connections are due to the relationship’s evolution. All relationships change, sometimes we are blessed to change in unison and sometimes not.¬† In reality, I could be talking about personal relationships, work experiences, congregational memberships. ¬†Nothing ever stays the same.

May each of us be blessed to surround ourselves with people that jazz our soul, honor us for who we are, and nurture who we are while inspiring us to grow; if not, may we have the courage to let them go.

Let go and say good-bye

Let go and say good-bye

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »