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Posts Tagged ‘mountains’

 

yesterday was one of the most surreal days in a long time.
the day started with excitement permeating the core of my being. i was stretching and looking for ways that i would move mountains. and for a few hours i believed that it was actually possible. i knew i could make the world a better place.
earlier steps were greeted with sweet successes. both of my sons met their own personal milestones. i found manageable tools to lessen my carbon footprint. my voice was heard and valued. i doodled, i wrote, and i dreamed.
the day progressed. . . .
as the afternoon raged on, pain oozed into my body. still i pushed because that is the gift i always have. i can always push forward. for the most part, i have been blessed with the ability to ignore physical and emotional strife….so I did.
late afternoon turned dark so very quickly. i couldn’t close my eyes to what was rumbling in my gut. beautiful activists were attacked as they nonviolently tried to make a difference. my son and i hit a wall that seems to be impenetrable.  and as the day wore on, the pain forced me to meet my shadow.
the day progressed. . . .
yet somehow things emerged in surprising ways. in spite of a bunch of comedy of errors, a challenging appointment worked two hours late. despite feeling disconnected from those i wanted to join, twitter made sure i wasn’t alone. twitter also helped keep my fear at bay while making sure i didn’t feel like a water logged island.
returning home, pain inched through my body and i started wondering if a water logged island would be easier than the crippling energies of people that attack by accusing those that believe differently.  all the while my gut was screaming that something is so wrong. . .i just didn’t and still don’t know what.
the day progressed. . . .
with each breath, i struggled as the lasso got tighter and tighter. spiritually a new set of realizations struck an unsuspecting chord. my spirit emerged to new realities. harsh and discerning words awakened me to some new and deep reflections. and just as i found a moment of reconciliation a sharp realization shattered my unsuspecting lungs.
each breath lead to new realities making sleep an impossibility. perhaps a new life force will lift my spirit at daybreak, but for now i will remain present with tears rolling down my face.
feeling silenced in nearly every aspect of life enables the hot tears to scorch my skin and help me forget that breathing isn’t optional.
waiting for the the sun to rise and a new day to remind me that one hard day can never destroy my spirit. i am alive and i will thrive. thriving is not optional either.
Oct 20 - sunrise Pantano Wash

Pantano Wash, Tucson Arizona

 

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flying

 

My soul is open.
With each breath, I feel all that surrounds me, all that is within me.

Grateful that my life is what it is. And. . . .
Struggling with the transgressions I see in the world
and the angst enclosed in my heart.

Life is full.
The world as I know it is like a mountain range full with peaks and valleys.
Even with knowing the blessings, sadness trickles into the person I am.

If I jump, would my wings work?
Would my wings soar to new peaks?
Could I make a difference?
For myself? For others?

So many are struggling.
Listening to the messages that surround me.
With each beat of my heart, I am trusting the rhythm to guide me.

What to say?
How to respond?

With my heart wide open, my spirit is ready to soar.
Wherever I fly, wherever I land. . .
May my spirit reverberate for good.

 

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Blogging is what I do.  I love writing and sharing my heart, my mind, and my soul.

 

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 Introduction http://t.co/Y6vmXdO6GJ

This is what it takes to create a spiritual home wherever you go.

This is what it takes to create a spiritual home wherever you go.

Reflection

Over the past 4 days, since Rosh Hodesh Elul (the beginning of the Jewish month of Elul), I have been actively preparing for Rosh HaShana and loving every moment of it.  And then suddenly this morning as I sang some of the verses from Psalm 27*, I felt a bit bereft because for the first time in my life, I do not feel like I have a spiritual home.  As a professional Jew, I have previously had communities that were easier for me to be a part of spiritually, but I have rarely felt uncomfortable in a community I have worked.  Only one time, I heard a rabbi give a sermon on Yom Kippur in which he said that Tisha B’Av should be disregarded.  It was the one and only time I almost walked out of High Holy Day services with my family.

Judaism is a part of my essence.  I love how it fits into my life, pushes me to think, and creates a cocoon where I can live.

I am a God-Wrestler.  I question, I pray, I hope, I vision and I wrestle.  And on the days that I don’t quite know how God fits into my practice of Judaism, I let go and trust the universe.  And throughout it all, I try to live a life of Godliness.  Every place I walk is a sanctuary, so why in this moment should I feel like I have no spiritual home.  The mountains and the desert are seriously my sanctuary.  I love the earth; I love so many special spaces that exude God-like energy.  I used to have a yoga studio that felt like God’s sanctuary.  Today, there is no space that is calling me for the Rosh HaShanah, yet I have to take my kids to services for the High Holy Days.

And did I say, I literally have no money for the holidays or for much? What a concept for me.  The good news is that my old ‘congregation’ of employment wouldn’t turn me a way and I believe other congregations would open their doors too, but still it is sad for me.  I believe that if I weren’t a mother, I would choose to create a spiritual space by myself or with a few others.  I love Judaism and I love living it!

So as I take each day of Elul to create a stronger physical and spiritual core, I am grappling with feeling like I have no place to go.  And yet, in reality, I know that my sons and I will feel comfortable wherever we go.  Tucson is full of loving synagogue communities.  Can’t wait to hear the shofar blown as I sit within community.

Feeling blessed even as I struggle with some challenging realities.  The sun and moon always shine brightly in the desert.

With blessings & light,
Chava

*From Rosh Hodesh Elul through Simchat Torah, it is part of the Jewish tradition to say Psalm 27 two times a day.  Here is a link to the Psalm in Hebrew and English. http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt2627.htm

 

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Catalina Mountains remind me to keep climbing. :)

Catalina Mountains remind me to keep climbing. 🙂

Regardless of how life is
I find the light and focus on the good.
Light is full of shades from bright to darkness.

When the world is crumbling
Crumbling pieces are like remnants of cake.
Each morsel tasted and the sweetness digested

Breathing in light
Breathing out the darkness
Eventually after enough breaths, finding balance with each inhalation.

Thank God for new days
Bad days really do end
And new days emerge with beauty.

At the moment, I am keeping perspective while navigating the darkness that has been plaguing my life for way too long. Thankfully there are flowers that bloom constantly in the desert, a moon that illuminates even the darkest skies, and sunrises that revitalize the mountains while warming my heart and soul.

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Today’s Omer Reflections is done in memory of Francesca Lakas, a loving friend and an amazing human being who found beauty in life. May her memory be a blessing for good.

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. Middah (character trait) focus: sense of beauty

Sunset near Pupukea Hawaii; Photo coutesy of  Kathleen Kendle

Sunset North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii; Photo coutesy of Kathleen Kendle

A sense of beauty surrounds me at every turn.  The biggest gift I give myself is when I take the time to seek the beauty or to take notice of my surroundings.  Beauty can be found in the mountains, at the beach, in the desert, within a beautiful sunrise or sunset.  It can also be found in loving moments, in sweet interactions, in music, or in dance.  Beauty can be found in life and even in death.

May each of us be blessed to find the beauty wherever we go and in whatever we do.

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מַה־נּוֹרָא הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה – How Awesome is THIS Place (Genesis 28:17)

With each breath, I am acutely aware of the beauty the surrounds me at any given moment.  While life is often a struggle, it is just as often full of beauty if I remember to open my eyes and take note.

I am blessed to live in a desert that truly comes alive at all times of day and night.  The wind blows, the coyotes howl, the surrounding skies keep my heart racing with anticipation.  The colors and the textures warm my being and remind me to breathe deeply.  While I miss the changing seasons, the oceans, and the falling leaves – I never tire of waking up to the surrounding mountains or vivid skies.

LateFallCatalinaMtns

Catalina Mountains (near Tuscon, Arizona)       Late November, 2013

Today as I sit reflecting on the rather intense changes my life has taken in recent years,  I am also taking notice that I have found profound gifts at every turn. Wherever I step, I experience a sense of awe.  New friends have replaced those that have left; my children are growing into both loving and wise men; writing and chanting continually jazz my soul; healthy living keeps me alive and thriving.  I am blessed.

How truly awesome is this place.

May we find light within each step as our journey continues.

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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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