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Posts Tagged ‘power’

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 12 Elul or 18 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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Every step I take in light is mine forever.
Quote by Swami Vivekananda

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Light is always full of power; only when I trust that light, will I soar and be the best person that I can be.

I am a work in progress; all of us are.  Still, I try to remember my simple mission in life.  My job is to radiate light wherever I go and to absorb the sparks that light the world around me.  Only by doing these things can I serve all that is in the universe and make a difference for good.

Always remember that even in the darkest situations, light can emerge.

Nearly 10 years ago, I changed my last name to Gal-Or which means wave of light.  Without a doubt, I believe that light has the power to guide me through life and to sustain me throughout my journeys.  Time and again, light has helped me navigate life’s challenges and gifts too.

May today and every day be full of light for you and those you love!

With blessings and light,
Chava

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Note to Seeing the Door series:                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Wherever you go, possibilities surround you! By opening both your eyes and your heart, a door will always appear.

Have you ever noticed how many different types of doors exist in the world?  Nearly each and every door leads to an opportunity.  Some doors are physical; other doors are metaphoric.  All doors lead to opportunity.  

Words have power.

Words can heal; words can hurt.  Each of us have experienced the power that can come with words.

Healing with words can be life changing.  Healing happens when you sit across from someone who is hurting and you have an open and loving conversation.  Listening is a key to moving forward as is really speaking from your heart and saying what needs to be said.

Living honestly and walking gently have an awesome power.  As human beings, living in a place of warmth, kindness, and truth creates relationships that fuel our soul.  Personally, I try to spread sunshine with words; it really isn’t difficult.  It just means thinking before you speak and being conscious of the power of both your words and your mood.  If you really take the time to think before you speak, positive interactions will happen.  No question.

The beauty of my dog Maddie is that she loves always with good intentions and never speaks ill of anyone; we could all learn from her.

The beauty of my dog Maddie is that always loves with good intentions and never speaks ill of anyone; we could all learn from her.

Over the past months, I have seen the power of words time and time again.  What I have learned is intention is a powerful tool.  When you share your thoughts about people you know and people you don’t know, the words have the capacity to damage others.  When you do it with the intention of destruction, that is called lashon hara, otherwise known as the evil tongue or gossip.   Chofetz Chaim (a.k.a. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan) describes lashon hara as the potential to be both truth or lies.  Words can hurt; words can destroy; it almost doesn’t matter if they are truth or not.  As time has passed, I am watching lashon hara destroy people and hurt those around them.

The cycle of destruction is demoralizing to everyone that is part of the chain.  Those people that speak it, those folks that hear it and those individuals that the gossip is about. Lashon HaRa has the capability of literally bringing down each and every one of those that are part of the chain.    Sad and true.

Over the years, I’ve found myself contemplating how to handle truth that needs to be spoken for whatever reason.  What I have come up with is that the key to walking gently is to monitor your intentions.  Are your sharing because change needs to occur or are you sharing in order to be hurtful.  I often say what is on my mind, but my intentions are rarely to destroy, to hurt, or to create problems.   My intention is normally how can we move forward.  I really try to walk gently and spread sunshine.  And I am not perfect; I can still be better.

Lately I and many that I care for have become the object of manipulative conversations and slander; I am struggling with this reality.   Why was the Second Temple destroyed? Because of sinat chinam, senseless hatred of one Jew for another.  We haven’t changed as much as I would have hoped since the time of the Second Temple.  We are still in the midst of baseless hatred.  Instead of being reflective and looking at someone’s intentions, we tend to slander them and their beliefs or we spread lies and exaggerations.  Often there is truth in what is being said, but if you don’t look at the complete picture, you begin single handedly hurting communities and people you once valued.  We are all human beings.

As we move towards the High Holy Days and as we reflect on how we hold ourselves as human beings, may we remember to walk gently, trust the silence a little more, and let go of anger a bit more quickly.  May we remember that most of us have good intentions and do the best we can with the tools we have.  Learn to give the benefit of the doubt and believe that most folks have a kindness about them.

What have I learned about how I hold myself as I watch others? I have learned that there is power in silence; I have learned that words complicate truth; and I have learned that I have my own work to do.  Each experience I have with others leads to seeing new doors.

May we all learn to be more silent and believe in the good intentions of the people that exist in our lives.

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Last night, we counted Day 14 of the Omer, which is 2 weeks of the counting of the Omer.  We refer to today as Malchut she-b’Gevurah; the powerful essence within strength.

When we stand strong firm with our  powerful spirits, we are in a place of strength.  Living honestly and with integrity takes courage.  My hope for each of us is that we listen to the inner voices that guides us.

Arms spread

Each time we stand with a willingness to live within our own individual powers, we are in a place of strength.  Openly possessing and exhibiting this power can lead to doing profound good not only for individual selves, but for those the world we live in too.  Only when we listen to that inner voice can we touch the world for good through our thoughts and actions.

Recently, I experienced a brief conversation in which an friend tried to convince me that when the majority of good people respond according to what they believe, it must be a good or correct choice.  We would all love to have the majority’s opinions guide our lives, but jumping on the bandwagon is not always the right choice.  As someone who buys only fair-trade chocolate, never shops at  Walmart, and who constantly considers my carbon footprint, I know what it is like to stand within my power to make  what I perceive to be good decisions.  I also know that not everyone thinks as I do.   Over time, I have observed how people slowly entertain making similar  choices for how they move within the world.  Only through action, can we begin to stand within our own strength and with the possibility to make a difference.

May each of us live within our powers so that we can stand strong wherever our journeys take us.

 

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Nothing in life is a given, yet we can choose how to walk along the way.

Registering that reality can feel like a gift or feel like a challenge.  I can usually maneuver whatever comes my way.  I can choose to wrap myself in in my cocoon  or I an spread my wings and keep navigating forward.

butterflyBranson MO

Photo courtesy of
Judy Caplan Ginsburgh

The warmth of the cocoon is sweet and comforting; spreading my wings and fluttering about like a butterfly is pure ecstasy.  Both choices are the dichotomies for how I walk through life.  Sometimes I nestle into my thoughts and feelings as I face life somewhat privately or quietly; sometimes I flutter about reaching for new horizons or moving gently in the world.  There is a place for embracing life quietly or actively; life is what you make of it.

We can learn lessons from all of our different realities or we can grow stagnant.  Learning from life’s realities is a key to moving forward.  If you sit in darkness and despair for too long, little is gained.  At the same time if you let the joy of a moment flood you with happiness for too long, you also gain little.  Balance comes from not only acknowledging life’s realities, but also actively engaging in life’s journeys.  Feeling is important.  Acknowledging your thoughts/feelings is essential.  Sitting where you are for as long as you need can be healthy.  No one can dictate the right amount of time one needs to nestle into an emotional space, except for the person facing their own lives.

This month, I have faced many moments of fear, loss, pain, emptiness, anger, and relief, balance, hopefulness, peace.  Life’s dichotomies have been a little too intense at times.  My breathing has sometimes been labored; my emotional and physical state has been wobbly too.  As this period of time wanes, I am really grateful for my beloved friends and family who have allowed me both the space to sit quietly and the space to fly.  I have felt loved and held in a cocoon of inner warmth; I have also been free to flutter wherever my heart and soul took me.

Life is a journey of the unexpected; the gift is that I always have the power on how I will navigate.

May each of us find the balance to navigate life’s realities in a way that serves us well.

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The silence of the skies is profoundly telling; learning how to listen is the key.

My spirit thrives with music of all sorts, with words in all forms, and with silence.  I love the quiet between the notes and I love the notes themselves.  The same can be said for how the written word touches me; I love the words or the black ink and I love the white space between the words and around the printed pages.  I also love silence and respect what silence often means.

As a writer, I’ve come to respect the awesome power of words.  Every thing we say matters; every thing we don’t say matters.  So much integrity comes with using our words wisely and receiving what others say (or don’t say) with clarity.  There is little difference between the written word or the spoken word for the most part.  Some people can weave words better through writing while others are much better articulating their thoughts orally.  And still others speak through the look in their eyes or through their actions.

When you are intuitive, the beauty of silence is clarity.  Since not everyone is transparent with their words, an intuitive trusts the silence as a form of communication.  And sometimes the silence can mean disinterest, lack of time, or disengagement; silence can also mean total engagement, profound respect, or a desire to maintain sacred space within a connection.  The key is trusting the silence and allowing it to be what it is.

Throughout my life, I have experienced both a dark silence and illuminating silence.  As a child, I learned to navigate the silence of dysfunction and sometimes violence; as an adult I learned to trust the love that flows from many of  the connections I have experienced.  It is amazing that the simplicity of silence can mean so much, the key is listening with an open heart and a willingness to see.

This year I have faced my need for silence and the silence of others.  I have endured intense joy by honoring the silence; I have also faced significant loss that comes with silence.  There is no easy way to navigate the reality of silence, but most of us will experience the journey.

May we find the power in silence and trust our interpretation of the silence that sometimes surrounds us.

 

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The process of counting for Elul and sharing my reflections has been humbling.  People have been reading my thoughts and my stories.  What touches me deeply is the way each person has interpreted each of my reflections with their own open hearts.  It has been really interesting to hear how some people respond to a teaching or a reflection as warm and positive while another person will ask me if I am really doing OK. I am.  I am someone who loves to openly grapple with what is going on around me and within me.  It really is all good!

The below reflection keeps me humble and sometimes helps me remember my power as a human being.

Our rabbis speak of a person carrying two slips of paper – one in the right pocket and one in the left. On one paper is written: “The entire world was created just for me” (Talmud – Sanhedrin 38a). On the other paper is written the words of Abraham: “I am but dust and ashes” (Genesis 18:27).

May each of remember our role in this world.  May we stay humble as we also believe in our powers to do good as we walk in the world.

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