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Posts Tagged ‘moving’

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with
your one wild and precious life.”
– “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver

July - sun 1

Reflection Time Selfie

Each morning, I wake up and ask myself how I will walk through my day.  And each and every day, the answer is pretty much the same. I want to be a light with every step I take.

Now this isn’t as easy as it sounds. What does it mean to be a light? And what do I have to do to get there?

The second question is easier to answer, so I will start with that. In order to be a light to anyone I have to be a light to myself. That means before I reach out to the world around me, I have to go inward and care for my body, my mind, and my soul.  If I don’t take care of me, how can I be authentic with others?

Writing, listening to the others’ wisdom, moving and eating right are key. On a really good day, I will chant, meditate, or drum.  And on a great day, I will do it all! Breathing deeply and living mindfully takes an open heart and a willing spirit.

In fact, most of what I try to do is to live consciously. My entire being craves a conscious life. I want to live with integrity and authenticity.  So for the most part, I do that. AND every day I am learning, stretching, and growing. I am working to be the best me I can be.

Only after I navigate inward can I take an excursion outward.

So to answer the first question:  What does it mean to be a light?

A ready smile greets nearly every person I meet. I have a drive to touch people’s lives in positive ways. This feeling has emanated so deeply that years ago I even changed my last name to Gal-Or, wave of light.

Life has taught me that some of my best plans and my most amazing intentions need to altered due to reality.

When my older son was a teenager, he was plagued with a life and death journey which took over our family’s entire lives for over three and a half years. This meant that everything in my world changed over night and stayed that way until one day I realized he was thriving again!

Shortly after that episode, I woke up to a joyous pitter-patter in my heart. With an overwhelming realization, I realized that I am alive and ready to serve others again. Hineini! I am here!!

While I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant, I slowly began to realize that the years of hell inspired me to live a little more like there may be no tomorrow. With that came a new zest for life and a deep passion in my kishka, my guts. Over the coming days, months, and years, that passion has become part of my life force.

Returning back to the Mary Oliver quote above, I have grown to trust where my heart and soul take me. Living a conscious life means that I have work to do not only for myself, but for others.

With each step I take in the world, I really do it with the best intention. That doesn’t mean it is always received with open arms, but it does mean that I am standing in the integrity that is part of my core essence.

Sharing my thoughts and values is the only way I know to inspire change and to empower others. That doesn’t mean that I am always right or that I don’t frustrate or anger those who feel differently. Everyday, I am challenged to stand in the light even when it isn’t easy.

With views that are often off the beaten path or different from mainstream thinking, I have to negotiate the world with kindness. I also have to make sure that I am educated and thoughtful as I navigate conversations and writing. And sometimes, I have to receive the passion of others.

While passion isn’t always full of light, my work is be the light and always remember that I want every “wild and precious day” to live consciously and thoughtfully.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

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Listen to the Silence

When I was around five years old, my father used to gently place his hands over my ears and lovingly squeeze my ears/head. As he did that, he would say, ‘listen to the silence’. As he did a flood of warmth and a feeling of calmness washed over me. This loving act continued into my teen years and beyond; I think he found a way to slip it into each meeting even after I moved away from home.

After I had sons, my father continued this tradition by gently holding his grandsons head the same way – sometimes to calm them and sometimes just to make them calm.  Once I saw my father do it to his grandsons, I followed the lead and also held Aryeh and Dovi the same way.  Each and every time I did, my children’s faces would light up with a smile that could melt whoever was looking at them.

Over the last few days, I have found myself craving that sensation, not only the physical touch, but the silence that followed it.  There is so much noise occurring within me, around me, and everywhere in the world.  At the moment, there seems to be a shortage of quiet.

My mind has never been one for shutting down. For some reason, I am always thinking. Whether it is about myself, my family, the world, Israel, human rights, human trafficking, my loved one’s challenges, or  the never-ending list of possibilities.  My thoughts are part of who I am and yet, I know I need to find a way to stop and listen to the silence.

Many years ago, I read the space between the notes is as important as the notes themselves.  The same can be said for the space between the words.  The time has come for me to allow for a little more space in my life.  My body and my mind is craving silence, down time, and time to myself.

What does silence look like for me? I think it means taking time for me to go inward.  Listening to my physical and emotional needs and then doing things which nurture and nourish those needs. With that in mind, I am actively going to be making time for me to write more, work on some art/craft projects, chant, and drum.

I got this!

Lately, I have noticed that I am engaging less on social media and choosing to ‘pick my battles’ when I do. I am doing my best to live consciously and to consider the myriad of challenges that face the world, but I am not hyper focusing – I am  remaining aware and allowing for the quiet to go where it needs to go.  While I want to be ‘the change I wish to see in the world’, I am taking Gandhi’s wisdom down a notch so that I can go a little more insular for now.  My guess is that something huge will emerge when the time is right.  I can’t wait to see what that will be – only time will tell.

What I do know is that I need to take time to listen to the silence.  I need to go inward and explore my heart, my mind, and my soul. I need to allow my rhythm to take me where I need to go.

My father may not be here to hold me or to squeeze my ears, but what he gave me all those years ago was the awareness, that sometimes the sweetest silence comes from being held close. . .the only difference is that I need to do it all by myself.

Writing

Drawing

Thinking

Dreaming

Painting

Moving

Praying

Drumming

Creating

Chanting

Being

Today, I know that I need to hold myself and trust that when I do, I will be loving myself and keeping me safe.  My father, of blessed memory, gave me the most important gift in the world; he taught me how to listen to the silence.

With love, light, and 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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

Photo Courtesy of Randall Miller: Western Minnesota

Photo Courtesy of Randall Miller:
Western Minnesota

Honoring where I am as a human being is really important. With that in mind, My blog will invest the next block of time by looking at how I am trying to take care of my body more.  Since I only have one body and my intention is to spend the second half of my life doing more for my body (and spirit too). My hope is that you will be inspired to join me in this journey by joining me or creating your own plan.  (Note: I do not know exactly what each step will look like, so if you have an idea. . .share and perhaps I will follow. :))

As I was wrapping up last night’s Omer blog http://t.co/KdoCoP9WB3, I became keenly aware that while it fabulous to move forward and heal from the tough experiences of the past, it is probably more important to remember that I have a precious vessel that needs some tending too! Every one of us has a body that needs our love and care.

I know that I am not alone when I say that I have had a lot of false starts in caring for my body. I have worked towards making healthier life choices, moving more, eating better, and taking the time to breathe more deeply.  AND I have had long periods of time when I have been super at doing all that I need to do to be a healthier person; I have also had long periods of time when I have neglected my body (and my soul too).

On Saturday morning I wrote the following on Facebook, “Take time today & every day…..UNPLUG from the world & spend sometime with yourself!”

As soon as I posted that, I went outside and took an hour plus walk with the dog.  During that time, I chanted, I listened to the birds chirp, and felt the wind blow around the lake. Loveliness.  I unplugged and took time to move my body. Later I went for a long drive with my oldest son and spend the afternoon with my dear friends.  For those hours, I was essentially unplugged.  It felt nice, but I should have done a little better better at unplugging and being more present.

This morning when I took my morning walk, I left my phone behind.  I did bring my son’s phone with me just in case I needed to reach someone in the event of an emergency. By not having my phone, I didn’t have the usual distractions of my smart phone. Again. . .loveliness.  And this time, I pushed myself to walk a little farther and move a little faster.

Saying that it is time for me to actively love my body and then doing the work is no joke. If I don’t push myself to move with purpose/intention, I won’t have the opportunity to work my heart a little harder and to care for myself a little better.  In order for me to have a healthy life, I have to exercise, eat right, sleep enough, develop lasting relationships and do whatever it takes to care for myself in the best way possible.  I am too awesome to lose sight of what I want in life.

I love life. I value the world around me. I adore my family and my friends. Taking care of me is a non-negotiable.

How about you? What are you doing to make sure that you are as healthy as possible? I’d love to hear.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

Body Image

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“The body is the first instrument of the Soul.” ~Henry David Thoreau

 A year ago, the doctor told that I needed to stop having all sodas and caffeine due to some health challenges.  In that one sentence, something in my soul clicked; an epiphany occurred.  My health had become a symbol for what was happening at the core of my being.

I listened to the doctor completely and then continued to make some vital changes of how I ate and how I moved.  The bottom-line is that I made dramatic changes with how I choose to nurture my body.  Sugar – gone; caffeine -gone; soda-gone.  I learned to move more and then life started happening a little differently than I had grown accustomed to in recent years.

After struggling with so much of life for so long, the doctor’s wisdom made me realize that I had to take the reins in my hands and start figuring out the course of my life.  Trusting myself needed to become the norm and listening to the wisdom that was ingrained not only in me but around me too.  My world is full of insightful, wise souls that share their wisdom freely and their love too.  I needed to learn to listen to the world that surrounded me.

So while the doctor enticed me to give up caffeine and soda as a means of becoming healthier.  I started to make some dramatic changes with how I walked in the world.  And it all began with an affirmation that a dear friend, Mersh Lubel Kanis helped me to develop.  “I give my body what it needs to be spiritually and physically health!”

What became obvious each and every time I wrote or spoke that affirmation is that I had to find a way to make all that I do become a manifestation of becoming more spiritually and physically balanced.  I had to not only eat better; I had to move more and take time to laugh too.  I had to live actively in present times and enjoy what was a little bit more.

Below is a list of what I have either learned this year or developed more fully over the course of this year.

  1. Live with integrity in all that you do; integrity comes from within.
  2. Speak your truth and listen deeply in return.
  3. Friends should fuel your soul and inspire you to be the best that you can be.
  4. What matters is not what happens in your life, but how you choose to walk through it.
  5. Silence has its place in this world, but only through action do you get things done.
  6. Take time to dream and then reach for your dream; actively and consciously give voice to all that you wish to accomplish and then actively engage in making it happen.
  7. Nurturing my spirit allows me the space to live life more fully.
  8. Always keep yourself moving to the best of your abilities.
  9. You never know what tomorrow will bring.  Don’t fear that reality, just let it guide you in how you walk through life.
  10. It is what it is.

While the doctor initially told me simple instructions, they became a spring board for me in every area of my life.  I found myself moving and reaching for things that I had been stagnant in my life previously; I also learned that I could ask for help as I moved forward.

During the last night of Chanukah, I sat around the table with not only latkes, but amazing friends and family too.  At the end of the meal, I had everyone pick a card from my beautiful new angel cards (from Israel).  Before picking the card I asked, “What will I need as I journey into this next year and all my endeavors?”  I picked the card which said gratitude.

With gratitude, I feel the blessings that surround me.  I couldn’t have made it without my beautiful family, my beloved friends, and work of my soul.

May I continue to see the blessings that surround me and strive to be a light to others.

With love and light,                                                                                                                                         ~Chava

Keep on moving!  Keep on reaching!

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