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Posts Tagged ‘quiet voice’

(Note: To learn more information on #The100DayProject which is also known as #ActivistCardsByChava, you can see https://wp.me/pthnB-3cH.)

Day 11 - Listen to the quiet voiceLately all of these messages are coming to me. There is a quiet voice guiding me with each step and nurturing me towards living a more authentic life.

With each passing day, I seem to be taking better care of my body, my spirit, and our world. Even this project #The100DayProject is fueling me as an activist, a dreamer, and a creative soul. More and more I am loving myself just as I am and slowly releasing the people and things that no longer serve me. In fact, I have begun to think of this time as ‘Shedding the Weight’.

The quiet voice is leading me to four social/political actions of varying sorts this week alone. There is so much work to do in our world and it can only happen if I am willing to:

  • perform “a simple act of caring”.
  • “believe that I can make a difference and then go our and do it.
  • take time to nurture my spirit and navigate what I need so that I can remain present for others.
  • be light.
  • feed the hungry.
  • trust the silence.
  • plant seeds.
  • love deeply.
  • wage justice.
  • listen to the quiet voice within.
  • and so much more. . . .(hoping for 89 more days worth.

The quiet voice is teaching me to take one step and then another. As I think my teacher SARK would say, I need to allow for the wisdom of the inner wise soul and allow her to guide me so that I can best show up and navigate all the moving parts of my life including repairing our world.

If you really took the time you need to listen to the quiet voice within you, what would you do differently? How would you change?

Onward with love, light, and creativity,
Chava

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Chava looking at large canvas 3

Rothko Exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts;             Photo Courtesy of David Cooper

Last night, I learned to listen to that quiet voice that reminded me to remain silent when what I really wanted to do was share the thoughts racing around in my head. Somehow I knew that I needed some time to reflect before expressing myself in any serious way.

Communicating is easy. At any moment, I can pick up my phone, send a quick (or lengthy) text, quickly shoot of an email, blog from my soul, shout out to my Facebook/Twitter community, or scream at my sons. I could do that, but I didn’t. At least, I did not do that last night.

Instead of going for instant gratification, I took a deep breath, a long walk, and a shot of vodka. I decided to refrain from major conversations, long involved letters, intense blogging, or even small talk. While I wrote a few quick responses on Facebook status lines, I did not pour out my heart, make any major decisions, or say something that I would later regret.

For once in my life, I (mostly) listened to that quiet voice that provided a shadow over my soul. Sometimes it is better to allow for the quiet.

When I was a little girl, my father used to loving put his hands over my ears and give a gentle squeeze. As he did, he would whisper the words, “Listen to the quiet.” I believe that act may have been the most loving act my father ever did. He knew that when I was sad, tired, sick, or struggling that I needed the cocoon of silence. I probably also needed his loving hands to remind me that I am loved.

While I don’t have my father’s hands nurturing my spirit with his gentle touch and loving words, I do have the ability to remember that sometimes, I need to listen to the quiet. And sometimes, I simply need to allow for the silence before finding and sharing my voice.

Writing is how I best communicate. If you want to know what I really feel, don’t ask me to tell you, ask me to write. Years ago, I learned:

“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

Through writing, I share the deepest part of who I am. And while I know how to use my voice, I am a much more honest writer.

So when last night’s darkness loomed, I did the only thing that made sense. I allowed for the silence, refrained from making any ‘real’ decisions, and I sat in my sadness, my frustration, and my anger. And the hardest thing that I did was refrain from writing. I didn’t send words out into the universe that could never be taken back.

At this point, you may be wondering what was feeling so heavy. Was it that one of my sons was acting out? Was it an internal struggle I am having? Was it that I have an upcoming meeting that is reminding me of my many vulnerabilities? Yes, it was all of those things. AND it was the sense of foreboding I feel with the upcoming election that was intensified by this week’s AIPAC conference. It is also the growing rift I see in the larger Jewish community. Maybe it has always been there, but in the last few years I feel the rift growing. Whether we are talking about Israel or the Jewish people, politics or immigration, human rights or the environment, each and every issue seems to create clouds over our people and the larger world too. And with each serious challenge being brought to our attention at break neck speed, the struggle is inevitable.

Last night, I did my best to take a deep breath and to listen to the silence. I chose to go inward, to cry, and to sleep for a couple of hours. It helped.

I am not sure that the world is a better place or that the elections will bring out the best in people. I do know that this morning I have a little more clarity about what I need to do today, tonight, and in the upcoming weeks, months, and years. Mostly I know that I have to sometimes trust the silence and sometimes trust my voice. And perhaps, what I need most is to:

“Step out today not seeking to be in the spotlight but seeking
for a spot to light
– be a blessing to someone.”
Bernard Kelvin Clive

 

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Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.
Plato

This week I started reading Martin Buber’s, I and Thou.  While I have tried a couple of times and probably read excerpts over the years, this is the first time that I am determined to read the book in it’s entirety.

Buber I & Thou

At this point, you might be wondering why I am sharing about a book I am reading.  In truth, I am not sure exactly why I am sharing, yet I know  that the time has come to share a little more of my soul.

Each and every one of us has gifts and limitations, fears and dreams.  The key to moving forward in life is to accept who you are as you strive to be everything you want to be through work and perseverance.  So with that in mind, I want to share a little bit more about myself than I have yet to share.

While I love books and read them frequently, I have stayed away from books that force me to focus, to read/reread passages, and to feel limited.  Over the last couple of months, I have actively engaged in changing my default mode.  I am reading articles about the authors and thinkers I want to explore.  I am pushing myself to read excerpts from those that have previously been unreachable to me.  And a couple of days ago, I started reading Martin Buber’s I and Thou all by myself knowing that I will have a group of friends that will explore this work with me when I am done.

Reflecting Back In Time

Most of my life, I did great in school.  I was able to keep up with all of my studies and excel too!  But inwardly, I have always felt a little limited.  I surrounded myself with really smart people and benefited from the wind in their sails.    But inside, I always struggled with whether or not I was really smart; I also believed I was inarticulate.  At this point, people that know me might be rolling their eyes because I did do great in school and I am usually able to speak out in a class or a lecture.  I have also been known to teach some good adult education classes along with children too.  But still there is a quiet voice inside of me that challenges my right to teach, to speak up, or even to write.

Over the past 16 years, I have learned to push through my fear of writing and sharing my writing.  Writing sustains me as it strengthens my core being.  I remember the precise moment that I realized I could write again.  Weeks after my second son, Dovi, was adopted, a magazine wanted to do an article on our amazing adoption.  My initial response was “sure”.  And then I realized that I had to be the one to write our story.  I had to bury the skeleton that had kept me from writing for over a decade.

A decade earlier, a professor had told me that I should give up writing because I was really “quite horrible”.  Until that moment, becoming a writer had been a secret dream of mine.  I wrote in daily journals and looked for ways to share my writing as often as possible.  And in just a brief moment, I walked out of my upper level writing class and left it all behind.  I was crushed.  During that period of time, I believe the only thing I wrote was a shopping list.

Today I write.  I write nearly every day and I am getting ready to begin writing a book.  At this moment the details don’t matter, but I am hoping that this book will lead to more open doors and to my sharing some of what I know with others in workshop formats.  I am writer.  Yay!!! I overcame my inadequate feelings by working my way through the writing journey, word by word.

Jumping Ahead to Today

And now I am doing the same with reading Martin Buber.  I am reading each word out loud.  I am asking questions as I go, reading books and articles to help me understand one of the greatest philosophers and scholars of all time.  Word by word, I am reading his work.  After I finish Buber, I will read the works of Franz Kafka, Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav in Hebrew, and Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan.

The time has come for me to stretch myself and to trust that while I feel limited at times, I am human.  I have a brain that needs to be stretched and a voice that can be part of the conversations that will help not only myself understand what I am reading, but others too.

And now that I am feeling comfortable enough with myself to be transparent, I can say that I love that I am not alone in struggling to grasp Martin Buber.  Many readers struggle to understand this brilliant man.  Perhaps, I am really not too intellectually limited. . . . perhaps?

In this moment, I am happy that I am beginning to silence the quiet voice that kept me from writing for over a decade and kept me from exploring amazing scholars for much longer.

Reality check:  I am really not so limited after all!

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