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Posts Tagged ‘navigate’

Look what I found on my journal page as I was writing this morning. :) Every moment can be the start of something great!

Look what I found on my journal page as I was writing this morning. ūüôā Every moment can be the start of something great!

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking,
what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.
What I want and what I fear.

~Joan Didion~

Writing is the way I come to understand the deepest part of me.

My son Dovi often looks at me when I am cranky and asks have I written lately. ¬†Usually when he asks, the answer is ‘no’, hence the reason for my crankiness.

Lately, I haven’t been writing nearly enough. ¬†Life’s challenges¬†have been overwhelming and I haven’t wanted to note it in any way; I wanted to hide my thoughts from myself. ¬†The good news is that this time, my lack of writing was not a sign of darkness; I was simply trusting the silence and allowing myself a little space from knowing navigating the intensity of my soul.

After flirting (in my head) with some new realizations about life and friends last night, I woke up ready to journal for the first time in over two weeks. ¬†While I have been blogging and editing some of my writing for what will be a future book, I wasn’t journaling. ¬†For me journaling is the most intimate form of self-expression that I can experience. In my journals, I have shared thoughts and feelings that I would rarely (if ever) say out-loud. ¬†I use my stream of consciousness writing to unlock pain, process happiness, hope without judgement, and believe in endless possibilities.

In my journal, I reach for the stars and navigate pain; I allow myself to feel deeply.

This morning’s journaling practice woke up my spirit and calmed my sense of overwhelm.

While I often feel like I am treading water or peddling backwards, today I realized that I am always moving! I NEVER give up!!!  As long as I keep moving, I am doing the holy work of living!

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

Reflection Time Selfie

Reflection Time Selfie

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 ‚Äď 5775 ¬†http://t.co/Y6vmXdO6GJ

Today is 28 Elul or 2 days until 5775; it is a time to reflect and to choose ways in which I can best move towards the High Holy Days and the days that follow.  While it is not easy to navigate life’s journeys, I always get to decide how to approach my life.  In this moment, I am choosing to walk gently and embrace each step with openness.  As I say this, I also realize that this would be a good time for a reality check.

During each blog post of my Elul Journeys, I will share a poem, a saying, a teaching that has helped me navigate the world.  Let me know what you think!

~ ~ ~

Breathe!

~ ~ ~

Regardless of how much I need to navigate, I am determined to take time to breathe-deeply.  Lately, I have been taking time each day to take three to five breaths; my hope is to feel the breath flow through me to every part of my body.  And for those few minutes that I am taking the time to breathe deeply, I feel myself grounding and feeling centered.

My life is busy, crazy busy.  Still I believe it is in my best interest to nurture my body, my mind, and my soul.  Breathing is just one tool I use; I also take time to stop and do things that inspire conscious breathing.  I:

  • watch¬†the cycle of the moon
  • write
  • smell flowers
  • connect with friends
  • actively enjoy my sons
  • pet my dogs until they become mush in my hands
  • remain present with those that need me as a care-giver
  • take long walks
  • chant
  • hold the door open for strangers
  • see the beauty surrounding me
  • read spiritual and books poetry
  • etc

The bottom-line here is that while I am sometimes overwhelmed by the life I am leading, I am able to endure when I connect deeply to the earth and the things I love to do.  Only through breath, can I be fully connected to the world I live.  So. . . .I am learning to take more time to breathe.

With blessings & light,
Chava

pet-rock

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

Reflection Time Selfie

Reflection Time Selfie

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 ‚Äď 5775 ¬†http://t.co/Y6vmXdO6GJ

Today is 17 Elul or 13 days until 5775; it is a time to reflect and to choose ways in which I can best move towards the High Holy Days and the days that follow.  While it is not easy to navigate life’s journeys, I always get to decide how to approach my life.  In this moment, I am choosing to walk gently and embrace each step with openness.  As I say this, I also realize that this would be a good time for a reality check.

During each blog post of my Elul Journeys, I will share a poem, a saying, a teaching that has helped me navigate the world.  Let me know what you think!

~ ~ ~

‚ÄúA person‚Äôs a person, no matter how small.‚ÄĚ
Quote by Dr Seuss

~ ~ ~

When I was in my late teens or early 20’s, I worked as a counselor for the Tikvah Program, a fabulous special needs program at Camp Ramah in Palmer, Massachusetts. ¬†While there, I learned important lessons that continue to impact my life to this day. ¬†The most significant one came from the head of the program who enlightened me by sharing that each and every one of us is unique and also has special needs.

If every one is unique and special, that means I should be cognizant of this reality by consciously honoring each person for who they are.  One of  my biggest goals in life is to make people feel good whenever they connect with me.  I am far from perfect, but I try to interact with others in a very conscious way.

The bottom-line is that every being in this world matters.

I am so tired of living in a society where people show disdain for those those that may have limitations or for those that are the wrong color, size, religion, economic background, etc.  All people are human beings.  Showing someone respect or kindness should be a given unless they have done something very tangible to hurt you.

As a child, I was picked by my own mother and the kids at school because of my own limitations.  I was:

  • slow
  • hearing impaired
  • Jewish
  • fat
  • from a dysfunctional family
  • and more. . .

Eventually I grew up and became more self assured, but growing up sucked in every way.  The good news is that a long the way, I did have friends and family that helped me navigate the harsh realities of being who I was.  And I was able to grow up and become comfortable in my own body.  The point here is that it hurts when people are picked on because. . . .

Since we¬†are all part of the same universe (“no matter how small”),¬†may we all act as if everyone counts.

With blessings & light,

Chava

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“I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all of my heart.”

~Vincent Van Gogh

 

A long time ago I realized that I¬†always have a choice on how to¬†navigate¬†my life’s journeys. ¬†And while it may take a little time to decide how I¬†will ultimately maneuver, I absolutely¬†still have a choice. ¬†And yes sometimes I have to simply allow myself to feel before figuring¬†out a plan.

Two years ago, I came to Tucson for a position that I had hoped would be great for my soul and maybe even take me into retirement.  Eighteen months later, my dream job went to half-time and then the position was eliminated six months later.  Financial challenges for my employer was the ultimate reason that I was left without a position,  Regardless of the reason, it still left my sons and I in a part of the country that we had few friends and now little money to support ourselves.  And it also left me with an opportunity to actively explore what options I have for my next chapter.  (Note: While my sons are living with me now, I realize that as I type this that they are emerging into adulthood.  I love watching them grow and look forward to seeing how they evolve.)

Yes, the journey invokes some fear and at the same time it mostly inspires me to seek the possibilities that will honor my essence.  How cool is that?  With each passing day, I can consider what doors I will go through or whether or not I will simply sit in the doorway and get a taste of what could be.

With each step I have taken in this journey, I have been touched by the generosity of a few awesome friends and the love and caring of many others.  One friend gave me a job to help support myself as I look for a position that would allow me to not only survive financially, but thrive as a human being.  Another friend gave me a computer that he rebuilt after my computer stopped working.  One dear friend gave me a substantial amount of money to fix my car and a few others have offered to help if need be. And other folks have helped me improve my resume, given me an ear, and found little ways to show they care.  There seems to be no shortage of ways that my friends are willing to help; in truth, some of the love is sometimes overwhelming.  

Amazingly, I am really OK and my sons are good too!!!  Going through each and every emotion is what needs to happen; sometimes I am focused and sometimes more distracted.  Life is moving forward and I am not only hanging on for the ride, I am making decisions all the time.

The great news is that overall I am really happy taking this journey. ¬†It isn’t easy, but I am actually forcing my to look deeply at who I am and what I want in my life. ¬†The obvious options or ideas are not necessarily the given paths for me any¬†longer. ¬†I am open to finding the best place for me to go whether it be for long or short term.

Catalina Mountains remind me to keep climbing. :)

Catalina Mountains remind me to keep climbing. ūüôā

Every morning, I see the beauty of the Catalina Mountains outside my bedroom window.  As I gaze to the north, the mountains appear like a metaphor reminding me that I can always keep climbing the mountain and striving to become the best person I can be.  

Not only have I taken this time to explore what to do for a living, I have also considered where I want to live, what I want to own, how I need to evolve creatively, what writing projects would give my life more meaning, how to live more consciously and healthy, who I want in my life, and how can I serve the world I live in the best way possible.  There are so many options to consider and so many ways to navigate this journey.

The choices I make now may not be the choices that stay with me forever Рthat is truly fine.  The key is to explore each option and at some point let the universe open up for me as it will.  Living as authentically as possible feels like the best way to emerge with inner peace.

I am starting to learn a little more about what I love, what and who I need, and what jazzes my soul. ¬†At this point, I can’t share too much because I am just letting it resonate inside of me. ¬†Once it takes root, I can’t wait to let you in.

Every night, I look up to the skies and I watch the cycle of our beloved moon. ¬†Watching the moon’s cycle, reminds me that life is full of¬†cycles too. ¬†And I am going to continue to embrace my exploration for all the days of my life.¬†

Let the journey continue. . . .

 

 

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Middah (character trait) focus: Imperfection is reality

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.

‚ÄúHave no fear of perfection ‚Äď you‚Äôll never reach it.‚ÄĚ –¬† Salvador Dal√≠¬†

I have a challenge; I am hard on myself when I don’t complete tasks that I wish to in a way that I believe they should be done. ¬†And yet, sometimes it has to be reality.

Finding the saying of Salvador Dali is a gift because it absolutely helps me keep perspective and reminds me that I will always keep growing.  Striving for improvement makes so much more sense than striving for perfection.

When I was a teenager, I used to paint as much as I could; I loved art, all art. ¬†And ¬†often I would find my self reflecting about Salvador Dali with each stroke of the paintbrush; he¬†was my hero.¬† So many of¬†the pieces of my younger years were inspired by him. ¬†Years later when I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art with a good friend, I was again ¬†reminded of the power of Dali’s work. ¬†He touched me like no other artist has ever touched me before or since. ¬†Again after seeing his exhibit, I tried to find my artistic place although that time it was and still is with writing. ¬†Although, after meeting my hero’s work again, I did start to pick up markers and colored pencils so that I could try to doodle on my journal books.

While I was at Philadelphia Museum of Art, I purchased the a mounted poster of the below painting; it reminds me that I can navigate through time, I just have to keep pushing through, doing what I dream of, and believing that I will succeed. ¬†Not everything happens when I want it to, as I hope it will, or even at all. ¬†Sometimes I fail and sometimes I don’t. ¬†I just need to remember to keep on moving forward and doing the best that i can do.

Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory  Courtesy of http://www.themost10.com/famous-salvador-dali-artworks/

Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory
Courtesy of http://www.themost10.com/famous-salvador-dali-artworks/

Imperfection will always be a reality, the question is will I find the gifts that are part of the journey?

 

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Middah (character trait) focus: Loving what is

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.

“The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is.” ~Baruch Spinoza

In this final week of the counting of the Omer, I feel like it is a good think about considering where I fit into the entire universe with all of it’s gifts and challenges. ¬†In traditional circles, this¬†is considered the week of malkhut/kingdom. ¬†With that in mind, I want to openly consider what it could mean to really rebirth or navigate our towards freedom.

Life is hard, really hard at times.  Sometimes it is difficult to tread the challenges.  Yet once we fully connect with what is real, even what needs to be transformed within ourselves, we can love what is because it is all part of the journey.

I always seek to find the light that surrounds me. ¬†This past week, I found out that I wasn’t a candidate for a position even though I had spend over four hours on the phone with folks. ¬†What is lovely is that the calls were full of positive interactions and I was able to articulate many of my ideas and hear other ideas in healthy exchange; the interview process including the rejection letter were really quite lovely. And after reflection, I believe I could have had a good¬†experience, but it was probably not the best environment for someone who often thinks outside of the box. ¬†I need a position, but that one lacked what I needed in a career position.

Finding the gifts within all aspects of life, good and challenging, is the only way I know how to walk through the world. Loving what is offers me a chance to embrace the moment even the ones that need to ultimately be transformed.

 

Finding light within darkness.

Finding light within darkness. . . .

 

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‚ÄúWalk as if you are kissing the Earth¬†with your feet.‚ÄĚ ‚Äē Th√≠ch NhŠļ•t HŠļ°nh,

Landing on my feet is not optional; life is a work in progress. ¬†With each step, it is my job to continue the work of nurturing¬†a strong foundation in the midst of life’s storms. ¬†Storms happen. And I get to decide how I will walk through each¬†storm.

Hiking Boots

So while I am in the midst of more transitions, know that I am striving to live authentically by walking gently in the world.  For my dear friends, I ask you to assist me in landing on my feet by helping me to navigate the world.  Believe with me that all will be good and that the best is yet to come.

Today, I was officially restructured out of my position and the reason I took the trek to the desert no longer exists.  Yet I am profoundly aware that there are many doorways offering amazing opportunities, but only after I find them and step over the threshold.  Help me find new doorways, new opportunities.

Remember – there is no option for landing on my feet.

With love and light, Chava

 

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StumblePartOfDance

Life is full of journeys. ¬†Each day we take a step and then another. ¬†When we are lucky we find the footing and then there are other times when we don’t. ¬†Every step matters, some matter more than others, but they matter just the same.

Lately I am trying real hard to embrace the Dance of Emergence.  So much is happening within me and around me.  Some days I wake up in fear of where the next step will lead me; and then I push through the fear and do what I need to do.  I take one step and then another.  Other days, I wake up seriously excited about the infinite possibilities, the doorways to new opportunities.

Transition has a way of making me walk in circles as I navigate the world around me.  There is so much to consider as I seek a full time job.  The good news is that I have decided to honor myself as I focus on finding positions that will ultimately fuel my soul and allow me the room to create.  In the meantime, I worry about having the money I need during this time of transition.  I worry and then I take a deep breath and do what I have to do Рso far so good.   I can still parent.

There are days that my steps are far from firm, but it doesn’t really matter. ¬†I am a fortunate soul; I find a way to find joy in what is. ¬†Sometimes I celebrate the dance of grace and sometimes I celebrate the dance of creativity. ¬†Other times I stumble or simply fall; on those days I might curl up in a ball and cry. ¬†Crying is part of the dance – everything I do is part of the journey. ¬†And so is wiping off the tears and finding the gifts within the challenges.

In the Dance of Emergence, every step counts, even if you think you are just stumbling. . . . .

 

Regardless

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Wherever you go, possibilities surround you! By opening both your eyes and your heart, a door will always appear.

Tucson-fav

Each door, path, and journey offers infinite gifts and potential challenges.

My friend Shay Seaborne reminded me of image of Alice in the rabbit hole from¬†Alice in Wonderland.¬†Alice couldn’t see the little door when she was big; only wnen she was reduced could she see it and ultimately go through it too!

We often struggle to see that which is in front of us, yet life is full of openings if only we open our eyes a little wider.  Discovering the doorway takes insight, sometimes from within and sometimes from others.  The key to moving forward is to trust that anywhere you go will lead you towards new experiences and/or opportunities.  There are doors everywhere you go.

‚ÄúWould you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where ‚Äď”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.‚ÄĚ

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Choosing which way is to navigate takes a certain amount of trust.  The bottom-line is that we grow from each and every experience, even the tough ones.

Over the coming weeks or even months, I will use my blog to explore how each step within life’s journeys is synonymous to moving through a doorway towards insight, wisdom, beauty, and opportunities.

May each of us walk gently and honor ourselves completely as we navigate through the many doors of our lives.

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For the several years, counting the Omer has provided me the foundation to move from Passover to Shavuot. ¬†I have probably attempted to count he Omer for roughly two decades (sometimes succeeding and sometimes not), but it was only once my children loved counting that counting has had more meaning. ¬†Now I am able to find ¬†meaning in the act of counting the days and sometimes in the ‘explanations’ that accompany each and every day.

 

 

You Are Love Bracelets created by Shelley Barchowitz-Godberg

You Are Love Bracelets created by                                   Shelley Barchowitz-Godberg

On Day 6, we have the opportunity to reflect on yesod she b’chesed, foundation within loving-kindness. ¬† Are we standing strong within our own foundation? ¬†Are we standing within our sacred ground and existing within a loving framework? ¬†Fortunately, I am often engaged in working towards holding myself with kindness as I remember the power of my foundation. ¬†Navigating my attitude is often a work in progress.

The inner strength,  that I have when I exist within my foundation or yesod is quite powerful.  Sometimes a gentle reminder helps to keep me moving in a positive direction.  One such example can be seen in the photo above.  Years ago, my dear friend started handing out a version of the bracelets that can be found in the photo above.   I go through stages when I give her bracelet out and I go through stages when I have to where her bracelets so that I can remember  that I am Love.  On the bracelet it reminds me to stay in-touch with what I hope my essence will in part include:

  • Self-Respect
  • Acceptance
  • Non Judgement
  • Forgiveness
  • Gratitude

The work is holy and only when I do the work of building my foundation in kindness can I find the inner strength to keep moving forward and to keep creating in a way that fuels my soul.

May each of find the yesod, the foundation, that nourishes who we are and helps us to be full of chesed, loving-kindness for both ourselves and others.

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