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Posts Tagged ‘moments’

Don’t be afraid to tread when you can’t really swim
Dance in the rain and find the rainbows when darkness prevails
Find the good in every challenge that crosses your path
And always soar and reach for your best.
(Excerpt: Sometimes Life Gives Us No Tomorrows
written by Chava Gal-Or)

Have you ever had those moments when your were furious about something only to find that you may be looking at the whatever is happening the wrong way?

One of the most significant practices of my life is to try to find light in the midst of life’s challenges.  I even changed my last name to honor the way I hope to walk in the world.  My last name Gal-Or means wave a light. Years ago I decided to acknowledge that I have mostly been able to find light in darkness or within troubling moments AND I wanted to remind myself to continue to walk the world in this way.  Having said that, I also realize that I am human, there are times when I have to take a moment and reflect.

Over the last few days I found myself reflecting that I really do need to pay attention and to take a deep breathe before allowing frustration to penetrate my heart and mind. As conscious as I am, I am taking a few minutes to openly share exactly how I find the good in the following scenarios.

  1. Accidents happen.  Often times I count my blessings when I am stuck in traffic; I find myself feeling relieved that somehow I was blessed to be running late and missing my potential role in the traffic accident which is just ahead of where I am.  At the same time, I pray for all that are involved in the accident; I never take spiritual or physical health for granted.
  2. Recently, I lost my position at Temple Emanu-El, a local congregation, because of their financial challenges.  For the most part I have chosen not to share the impact of that loss too fully; it wouldn’t serve me well. What I will say is that it hurt my spirit very deeply.  And yet out of the pain, I have come to grips with some spiritual and emotional needs  that I may not have faced so directly if I had not received my walking papers. Living consciously is a powerful gift that I am giving myself.
  3. A few nights ago, my son left all the lights on in the house.  Sigh.  I am so sensitive to light and it ultimately woke me up; I needed to wake up fully so I could turn off all the lights. 😦  To say that I was thoroughly annoyed is an understatement.  So, in order to distract myself and manage some of my agitation I went on Facebook to check out was going on in the world.  And what I found was a friend that was in serious crisis and needed me.  Two hours later, I was profoundly grateful that I could be there for my friend and to help her manage some intense darkness.  If it weren’t for my son’s mistake of leaving the light on, I wouldn’t have been there to listen and to offer some potential ways to navigate all that she needed to cope with.
  4. How many times have you been at a doctor’s office only to be stuck waiting an extra 30 minutes or maybe even an hour?  Well for nearly five years, we were blessed with doctors that didn’t rush my then teenage son through their office visit because they had other patients.  We also had doctors that created a slot for our son because he was too sick to wait.  After such a positive experience with so many medical practitioners, no longer do I get agitated when I have to wait.  Having a doctor that is compassionate and present when we most need him/her makes a world of difference to me.  Ultimately my son emerged healthy and vibrant, but the journey to get there was full of loving souls that really took the time needed to care of my son when he needed it most.
  5. While initially, I may feel frustrated when I get stuck in the Car Repair place or anywhere, but over the years I have come to appreciate the ‘accidental’ gift of time which allows me time to walk over to the coffee shop and take some time to write and people watch.  To me there is nothing better than having time to sit quietly and write and/or people watch.

We never do know what is on our horizons; life happens and so does death.  My job is to try to make the best of every moment.  Sometime the moment is all we have. . . .

Oct 20 - sunrise Pantano WashMay we all be blessed to find the light shining in the horizons.

With love, light, & 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 me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

Humor brought us to this day - Aryeh's graduation from Fairhaven School.

Humor brought us to this day – Aryeh’s graduation from Fairhaven School.

Middah (character trait) focus: Humor

A few hours or maybe a day after Aryeh had been intubated, he stood up for the first time in what felt like forever.  I was so relieved to have my baby (he was 14 years old) alive even if we weren’t yet sure how he would emerge from his brain surgery.  As he stood tentatively for the first time following surgery and the days that followed, I found myself amazed so I said, “I am looking up to you.” He gave me a quizative look, so I continued, “not because of everything you gone through, but because you are now taller than me.  You grew while you were intubated.”

To be honest, there was almost nothing positive about the years that Aryeh struggled for his life.  Each and every day was a living hell, yet we found moments to laugh and moments of light.  I believe that the only reason we were able to emerge from our years of profound darkness was because we laughed.  We laughed at the stupid things that we saw.  We found joy in simple moments with friends.  We had to giggle when having the same meal four nights in a row because there were weeks when no one could figure out what to cook for us and all of our dietary needs.  You should have heard some of the ludicrous things people would say as they tried to process all that was going on with us; they really did want to say the ‘right’ thing.  We laughed because we needed a moment to decompress from all of the travesties that were continuing to emerge.  Finding humor in the most ridiculous moments kept us sane; laughter kept us alive.

Life can be hard, really hard.  May we be blessed to find humor as we navigate all that life has to offer.

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The past few days have had moments of darkness, but not for long. . . .

With each deep breath, I have found myself amazed at the gifts that surround me.  I feel felt loved and valued; supported and cared for.  Dark moments have come and gone quickly, while the gifts remain embedded in my being.  Here are the ones that jumped out at me quite easily:

BoysPlaying Backgammon

The Biggest Gift of All!

  1. Aryeh completed two philosophy papers in spite of enormous self-doubt.
  2. Breakfast with a colleague who is fast becoming a friend!
  3. Saving over $10 at Bookman’s because I told the cashier about the concept of “Creative Paying It Forward” https://lightwavejourney.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/another-facebook-journey-2013-creative-pay-it-forward/
  4. A gift of 2 bottles of Hot Sauce from a new friend.  I am still wondering how she knew I haven’t found hot sauce since posting a question on FB.
  5. Dovi’s hands are healing
  6. Maddie
  7. Summit Hut
  8. Friends wanting to know about my upcoming birthday
  9. Night Skies
  10. Time
  11. Learning to let go and to accept new realities
  12. Hanging out at Bookmans
  13. Keep Smiling Cards http://www.thedailysmile.com/
  14. Text conversation that come at the perfect moment
  15. Aryeh’s idea: saving junk-mail for a month as a means of informing others
  16. Louis’ Reality Check card
  17. Finding New Music to jazz my soul
  18. Writing time
  19. Cafe Passe
  20. Watching my boys interact all night
  21. Perspective
  22. Unexpected voice messages
  23. Great books
  24. Facebook
  25. Beautiful weather
  26. Writing a New Chant
  27. Tough moments that are actually easier than expected
  28. Unexpected and positive conversations
  29. Drumming
  30. Looking forward to a day -off tomorrow
  31. Surrounding Mountains
  32. A Good Book
  33. Anticipation
  34. Laughter
  35. Sleep is around the corner
  36. Double-Chai (18×2 = Life x 2)

Over the past year, I have decided that I have the power to decide how I will walk through life’s journeys.  While some moments are tough to navigate, looking a little further has the ability to fill my soul with the fuel it needs.

While I am bone tired, I am feeling invigorated by the awareness that dark moods don’t have remain imbedded in my being.  Gifts really do surround me nearly at every corner.; all I have to do is notice them.

l’Chayim! To Life!

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‎”Action is the antidote to despair.” -Joan Baez

Life encompasses so many waves of emotions. Frustration, happiness, anger, contentment, sadness, calmness, and despair. . . .the list is infinite.  For the most part, we can allow ourselves the space to navigate each wave by sitting with it, embracing it, or sometimes letting it go out into the world.  Despair, however, needs action or it will literally destroy you.

Sailboat1

Photo courtesy of
Shay Seaborne

While those that are facing despair might need to sit with it for a time, they will ultimately need to reach out of themselves and function in some small way if they will be able to move forward.  Despair is the profound sense of hopelessness that penetrates our being when something happens and we feel out of control. And while those in despair want to curl up in their cocoon and sometimes need to for a time, they equally need to find their way out of the cocoon too.

In the last few weeks, I have faced moments of despair.  An intense sense of loss takes over me when I fear for my sons’ health.  Both of my sons have faced serious health struggles that could have altered their lives in profound ways. Life is a gift; it is not a given.  So when we had our moment of utter fear that hell was visiting our home again, I literally crumbled.  The reality is that I couldn’t allow myself too long to become despondent because I had to act responsibly .  I had to act by taking my older son to doctors, MRIs, blood work, all while keeping perspective,  seeking information, and ultimately trusting that this was a moment and this moment would pass; I also had to go to work as I could.  There is no option for hope.  And to share the words of Tony Kushner that I shared in a recent blog, ““It’s an ethical obligation to look for hope; it’s an ethical obligation not to despair.  If you look, there is always a possibility of finding a place where action can change the course of things. ” Only through action can you propel yourself forward.  So I did what I needed to do and in the end, it feels like we have dodged a bullet and the moment of sheer fear is gone.  Moments happen; not every moment has to lead to hell.

While the above incident looms large in my life, I have also faced other challenges in life and work over the past weeks that can feel like momentary despair.  Friendships change; loved ones evolve; our children humble us; work struggles happen.  In any given day, we navigate moments of despair when we believe there is no solution.  Giving into those moments does nothing for our souls.  Nothing.  So with each moment, I have learned to acknowledge what is, allowing myself the space for sadness, anger, or tears. But for momentary despair, I have to move forward and find solutions to what’s going on at any given moment; there is no option.

Despair is a very real emotion.  And in truth, sometimes loss penetrates the soul and there is no hope, at least for a while.  For that I am deeply sad and sorry for anyone that has to go through that experience.  For most of us, despair has moments of complete darkness, but when we ride the wave, we find calmer waters and even hope.

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Photo from this morning courtesy of Judy Shepard Gomez

As I settle into life here in Tucson, I am astounded by the beauty that surrounds me.  Each and every morning, I look to the north and with a tear running down my face I chant Hebrew for the words,

“How great is your work, oh God, how very deep are your thoughts!”          Psalm 92:6

Sometimes I wonder how I am blessed to see such beauty.  And in truth, we all are, we just need to open up our eyes and our hearts to that which surrounds us.

Today a friend walked into my office and gave me mint to plant.  I have no idea what I am doing, but I will try.  The smell waffled through my office today and left me with a huge smile.  And then I came home to try to dig a hole in my yard so that I could plant the mint.  It didn’t work; tomorrow I will buy soil for a pot I have so that I can plant my mint.  I am so excited!!!

Life is full of moments.  I am always amazed how beautiful my world is! I have precious children that I teach, a fabulous caring community that I joined only recently, and my own family and friends that I treasure.

The key to life is remembering to open your eyes, your heart, and all of your senses so that you can see, feel, hear, the beauty that surrounds you.  Even on the days when you feel moments of darkness, take the time to look a little deeper, don’t forget to take a deep breathe and focus on one beautiful aspect of your life.  While perfection is worthy of desire, try to notice the small gifts.  The more you do; the more you will find.

In most any given moment, gifts can be found.  May we all be blessed to see them.

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Writing Elul Reflections has given me the opportunity to share my intense side without delving into any drama.  On any given day, I reflect about the world around me.  I notice the small things; I notice the large things.  What I notice more than anything is how people handle life’s realities.

Accidents happen; moments happen.  It takes a moment to create positive and challenging reverberations that affect the rest of your day and sometimes the rest of your weeks, months, or years.

Over the past few days, I have excitedly been considering taking up running again.  I can’t wait to try, to gain physical strength, and to ultimately succeed.  I believe in myself; I believe in my power to  move forward by physically engaging in life.

Accidents Happen; Moments Happen.

Today was one of those days, I slipped and now I am in some physical discomfort.   To say I am just a little bummed at the timing is an understatement.  There is so much to do and in this moment I don’t have the physical endurance to do it. Not to mention, I want to run more than almost anything I have wanted to do in a long time.  Unfortunately, that probably isn’t going to happen for a little while longer; my entire right side of my body and now my lower back is feeling the impact of a little accident.

Reality is that I will absolutely be fine in a few days or maybe a week.  But in this moment, in the coming days, I get to decide how to move through this reality.  Tonight I am bummed and feeling just a little uncomfortable, but in truth the accident also feels like a message.  As I write this Elul Reflection, I get to decide how I will move through this moment.  Will I have a positive attitude? Will I whine? Will I ignore the discomfort and still push myself to what needs to be done regardless of how I feel.  The jury is still out for me in this situation.

Life is full of moments and we all get to decide how to move through each and every one of them.  Honoring your feelings is a good thing, but letting your feeling detract from healing isn’t so good.  When you realize that even some tough situations can be remedied, then you will truly be able to make a challenging situation better.

Just under two years ago, I had to have some surgery.  Friends from all over the country and even a few outside the country mailed me a thoughtful word to help me move through my healing journey.  With each word, I created a vision board.  The vision board helped me to focus on the positive opportunities that were possible.

We always have a choice how to cope with the moments regardless of how complex they might be. And for the most parts, while I often have initial moments of frustration, sadness, or anger, I am usually blessed to find the positive realities of those challenging moments.  And if I ever forget, I have a beautiful vision board to help me refocus my attitude.

Ultimately, I know I will be 100% fine; I always am!  Sometimes I just have to remember that reality.  I will be running again in no time, just maybe not exactly on the day I wanted to begin.

May we all be blessed to find the kernels of positive thoughts as we navigate life’s situations.

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