Posts Tagged ‘people’

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 – 5775  http://t.co/Y6vmXdO6GJ

Today is 14 Elul or 16 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!

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The best guide in life is strength. . . . discard everything that weakens you, have nothing to do with it.
~ Quote by Swami Vivekananda

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The messages keep coming to me, this morning I found the quote above by someone who I quoted days ago.  Looks like I need to start reading the work of Swami Vivekananda.   Yesterday I felt drawn to share the Do As One’s Facebook status line on my status line.

Surround yourself. . .

The message is loud and clear.  Surround yourself with people and environments that nurture who you are and then do the work of thriving.

Shemati, I heard.

This is what I call soul work.  Creating a life that honors who you are means you have to make choices.  Who will stay? Who will go? Is this good for you? Can you do the work to make things what you want them to be?

Living consciously means making decisions about who and what fits into your life?  Each and everyone of us is on an evolving journey.  The key word her is evolving; our needs change over time as we have different experiences.

In this moment, I am in the midst of this very journey.  As I actively navigate my own exploration, I am finding it a little daunting to explore all of my feelings, my hopes, my dreams.  With each breath, I am working towards having the integrity I need to thrive and evolve into the healthiest me I can be.

May each of us fill our lives with that which jazzes our soul.

With blessings & light,

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Three Deaths in Two Weeks

The gift is often the challenge.

Professionally, I have always worked within community.  For the most part, I have been blessed to work in the synagogue world.  Within that role, I have had the opportunity to connect deeply with many people from staff to congregants and their families too.  My students, their parents, my teachers, and their families have always become a part of my life.  And now is no different; I work the aged, most if not all are in the last years of their life.  My guess is that regardless of where I work or where I choose to be, I will always build relationships with those that surround me.

People are born; people die.  And in the middle of it all, people live.   They have experiences that fill their lives – including gifts and challenges.

Life is full of cycles

Life is full of cycles.

Over the last two weeks, I have been touched by the strength and integrity of the living and the pain and/or resolve of death.  And in the middle of it all, I have been touched by those that have lived and those that have died.

Three Deaths in Two Weeks

Loving people is what I do; no one is a stranger for long.  All are welcomed into my life including my home.  And within each connection, I try to give fully and be as present as I can be.  Sometimes people are part of my life for moments, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days, and sometimes much longer.  And for that moment that I am blessed to be in a relationship, whether a close friend or for a momentary exchange of words, I treasure the moments however large or small.

Within my work, I build relationships.  And within each relationship, I care deeply.  Whether I connect with people daily, once a week, or only on the holidays, they impact my life and I pray that I impact their lives for good.  Often I do, sometimes I don’t.    The bottom-line is that I hope and pray that most of my connections are full of light and positive energy.  When people go through hard times, I struggle with them – it is simply what I do.  And when they live fully, I celebrate with them – that is also what I do.

Three Deaths in Two Weeks

So far in two weeks, I have gone to one funeral, one shiva minyan (memorial service), and another funeral on Sunday.  I also needed to help transition a client, who is now a friend, to a 24-hour care facility.  She is having a rough transition; her husband is profoundly sad too.  Life keeps moving forward.

Today, I saw a baby in a sling and a toddler eating dinner with his parents and puppy.  I also had a few hours talking and hanging out with my 17 year old son.  Life keeps moving forward.

Life-cycles happen.  I am learning to say good-bye with more regularity than I wish, I am also learning to take note of the life that surrounds me.  The baby, the toddler, the aging, and everyone in between.  I am also noticing the birds and the saguaro cacti; I am watching pomegranates thrive on a tree and flowers open and close on the cacti.  And each evening I look up at the sky and I take note of the moon and her cycle.  I am also waiting and hoping the sky opens up and the rain comes storming into my beautiful desert.

Life. Death. Everything in between.

May I treasure what is and continue to build relationships with the living.  And when people die, may I remember them and honor them by continuing to build connections with the living.

Three Deaths in Two Weeks

People matter and each of these three souls impacted my life for good.

l’Shalom – May their souls go towards peace.




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Intimacy happens when you have a deep and passionate relationship with someone or something outside of yourself.  Over the course of my life, I have amazing relationships that have sustained me and brought me to this time.  When I am in love with those around me or with something I believe in, a beautiful intensity flows through me and my world feels spiritually healthy.  When I lack intimacy, profound sadness takes root and living becomes a little harder.

I thrive on intimacy; it is through intimate relationships that I am able to feel whole as a human being.  Loved ones nurture me and help me become my best self; beliefs allow me to strive for integrity and help others to do the same; wandering in the great outdoors keeps me rooted in the earth; and writing has been my one and only constant through most every day of my life.  While I love mothering and being a friend; I love my work and all of my many interests.  I love life.  Unquestionably.  Writing is part of each and every one of those connections; writing transcends those connections.

Mt. Kimball courtesy of Dana R. Adler

Moving to the desert and walking in the great outdoors here has empowered me both physically and emotionally.  With each step in the desert, I find an even stronger desire to write and to reach out with my words.  The birds, the land, the insects, and the people are all reaching out to me and inspiring me to soar through my words and through my body.  I want to walk, to dance, to run; I want to write and write some more.  I can’t help but breathe deeply and hang on for the new experiences that await me.  The beauty of this land inspires me to grow as a woman and a writer.

Through writing, I have come to understand life with all of the intricacies. I have handled life’s biggest gifts and painful losses.  With each word written, I explore my dreams, my hopes, my decisions, and my feelings.  With each word, I unlock what is often hidden below the surface.  All of my writing comes from my soul.  Under the shroud of darkness, writing comforts me. When I am bursting with joy, my writing joins me for the ride.  And when I encounter questions of the soul, I write to find the answers.

Over the years, my journals have become my closest confidants.   Those relationships have sustained me and allowed me to thrive as I remain in touch with my essence.  For a time, I lost my ability to write when I experienced someone going through my writing.  Re-creating the sacred space that writing held in my heart took many years and many tears.  I had lost my safe space; I had lost the cocoon that had protected me for so many years.

Finding my voice again is a continuing odyssey; today I write through the vulnerability so that I am no longer silenced.  The good news is that while I did become silenced as a writer, I did ultimately find my voice through chanting and drumming, and through beautiful connections with loved ones.  Even though loss often feels devastating, even burned forests can thrive again; it just takes time.

I write to process life, to actively engage in life and to create new rhythms for moving forward within life.  I write to gain a new foundation and to find balance.  Ultimately, writing is one of life’s antidotes for inner peace and balance.

With every ounce of my being, I pray that my very intimate and beautiful relationship with written word is never halted again.  May the remainder of my life allow me the sacred space and sacred ability to weave words together sometimes for others and always for myself.


the song of my heart;

the meaning of my mind;

the feeling of my soul;

Is what makes me One!


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