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Posts Tagged ‘rainbows’

Have you ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed? Yesterday was my day! But with my mattress on the floor, I didn’t have far to go.

Nearly every moment of the day, I was either close to tears or crying. I felt like a storm that left tons of puddles. My spirit felt crushed and my heart felt broken. Sometimes it is hard to believe how deeply I feel.

Over the course of yesterday and probably most any day, if I allowed myself, I could cry for all the injustices that have surrounded my life. I could also cry because nine spiritual souls were murdered in their House of Prayer. I could cry for the homeless people I see on every corner in Houston. I could cry for my perceptions of US and Israel politics. I could cry because I have some friends that are struggling with their lives. I could cry for the wildfires that are destroying land I love (and making life challenging for so many.) I could cry because I am missing one very beloved soul that was in my life who for various reasons is essentially dead to me. Yesterday was one of those days that I wish I wasn’t so sensitive.

Raw intensity is absolutely a reality of my being. I love deeply; I feel deeply. When I allow myself the time and space, I am a very gentle soul that can usually manage all of my moving parts. Usually. Not always.

Yesterday was not a day for holding back my tears. I cried. I sulked. AND regardless of how I was feeling, I kept finding rainbows. Bright beautiful rainbows.  Nearly every moment of my day included beautiful ironies that imbued a sense of balance within my melancholy spirit.

  • As my eyes my opened this morning, I saw an absolutely beautiful photo taken by the amazing Jade Beall. All of Jade’s photos fill my eyes with tears; she has a way of capturing the most awe-inspiring women and children. Now that would have been enough, but then I read the words of an absolutely stunning woman who had never seen her beauty before she saw Jade’s photos of her. Both women were full of pure grace in my eyes.
  • After a little while, I read David Bedrick’s thoughts on self-love. In that moment, I wanted to skip it. I wasn’t open to the possibility. And then I read the Gregory Orr poem:

    Squander it all!

    Hold nothing back.

    The heart’s a deep well.

    And when it’s empty,
    It will fill again.

  • A short time later, also on David Bedrick’s discussion on self-love, I saw a photo of a mural that seemed to be reminding me how to live my life. Great message for the perfect moment. (see below)
  • One of my closest friends called.
  • After being told that one of my congregant’s dog was essentially afraid of his own shadow and does not go to anyone, Rocky couldn’t stop coming to me for love. I felt so blessed to receive this pup;s love!
  • Aryeh, my older son, called from where he is working at a camp in California. I am so proud of him for persevering the wildfires and the very rustic conditions that are a result of the wildfires.
  • A friend mailed me a fabulous book!!! I was so surprised and touched!
  • Dovi and I cooked a great dinner together.
  • On Facebook, I admitted how lonely I was feeling in Houston and people reached out. So many people reminded me that I was loved. In the end, new friends invited me into their lives and other friends helped make connections so that I wouldn’t feel so lonely. Now I will experience a chant group tonight, Gay Pride over the weekend, and new friends and new experiences over the coming weeks. I may even try karaoke with my new friends. 🙂
  • I read a blog by Amanda Palmer who’s best friend just died. That opened up the floodgates and allowed me to cry. Remember, I was also in the midst of actively grieving my own loss.
  • Students voted to take down the Confederate Naval Flag at the The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, SC.
  • I took a long walk with my dog and used that time to chant!!! Awe-someness!!!
  • And then there were the sayings that kept showing up guiding me how to live life with more grace and personal integrity. Here is the one that resonated, “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. KEEP THE CHANNEL OPEN!” As quoted in The Life and Work of Martha Graham (1991) by Agnes de Mille.
  • A couple of friends called and allowed me the safe space to feel and share what I was feeling.
  • While I was looking forward to the Gratitude and Trust Summit or #gratitudetrust140 for today, I was so grateful that late last night Jeff Pulver and I chatted on Facebook and he messaged me the info so I could log on to LiveStream!!! I am so fortunate to witness Jeff’s inspirational journey and how his visions impact the so many.

Reflection: Even as I struggled with intense sadness and pain yesterday, I kept finding blessings at every turn. And while, the blessings couldn’t heal me from my pain, they sure filled my spirit with light. Now that’s what I find ironic.

Just in case you may be wondering, rainbows make me cry too!!!

REMINDER:

Photo Courtesy of Joel Gunz-Portland, Oregon's Alberta Street

Photo Courtesy of Joel Gunz-                     Portland, Oregon’s Alberta Street

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“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.”
Quote by Aldous Huxley

I am an optimist.

By nature, I find the good in bad and strive to rise above whatever shit comes my way.  I also notice the rainbows after the storms – both metaphorically and figuratively.  I love life and I tend to make the best out it.

I don’t usually kvetch, whine, about human nature, but tonight I will.

So many well-meaning people feel inclined to tell people how to feel or how despondent they should be when difficult situations occur.  And guess what, none of them enlightenment; they need to be given room to feel exactly how they feel. That goes for me too! 🙂

Years ago, my seriously ill son was heading into his second brain surgery when he had a reaction to the lights and sounds of pre-op.  The lights and sounds physically and desperately caused him pain; in fact, his pain was beyond anything anyone expected for the then 14 year old Aryeh.   At one point, after unexpected hours of trying to prep my son for surgery, a doctor turned to Aryeh and said, “I need to give you a shot, but I promise you it won’t hurt.  Really.  I promise.”  At that, Aryeh started screaming, “Don’t tell me what I will or won’t feel; you don’t know.” To my amazement, the doctor responded beautifully when he said, “No, I don’t know. And I have no right to ever tell anyone how they will feel.”  Instantly, Aryeh calmed down and allowed the doctor to again explain what would happen while sharing how he may or may not feel, but not how he would feel.  And with each word, the doctor spoke with integrity and in the end, Aryeh told him how it felt.

From that very real life experience, I learned never to tell someone how they feel.  When I meet someone who has lost someone they loved or has been sick or whatever, I do not make any assumptions. Each and every one of us handles pain and sadness in our own unique ways.

At this point you may be wondering why am I sharing this now?

Many of you know that the last year has been often overwhelming and sometimes just down-right painful.  Under-employment, Unemployment, loss, and . . . .  well I am sure each person who knows me will have an opinion of what my year must have felt like.   But, I want everyone to stop telling me what I must feel or how hard it is or was.   Instead, take a moment and listen.  If you want to know how I feel, let me share it with you.

In my heart I know that nearly every person who is telling me how they think I am is actually sharing their empathy and how much they care.  But my challenges are my challenges; your challenges are your challenges.  Let us both listen to each other and share what is in our hearts.

While I know that I have been having some hard times; I have also found sparks of light in the darkness.  At any given moment, I may feel anxious or peaceful, sad or happy, joyous or frustrated.  I don’t need someone to enlighten me on how I should or do feel.

Each of us navigate life in the best way we know how; we all see those realities through our own lens.

Someone obviously thought this was a congested area; I saw it as an oasis of solitude.

Someone obviously thought this was a congested area;  I saw it as an oasis of solitude.

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Don’t be afraid to tread when you can’t really swim
Dance in the rain and find the rainbows when darkness prevails
Find the good in every challenge that crosses your path
And always soar and reach for your best.
(Excerpt: Sometimes Life Gives Us No Tomorrows
written by Chava Gal-Or)

Have you ever had those moments when your were furious about something only to find that you may be looking at the whatever is happening the wrong way?

One of the most significant practices of my life is to try to find light in the midst of life’s challenges.  I even changed my last name to honor the way I hope to walk in the world.  My last name Gal-Or means wave a light. Years ago I decided to acknowledge that I have mostly been able to find light in darkness or within troubling moments AND I wanted to remind myself to continue to walk the world in this way.  Having said that, I also realize that I am human, there are times when I have to take a moment and reflect.

Over the last few days I found myself reflecting that I really do need to pay attention and to take a deep breathe before allowing frustration to penetrate my heart and mind. As conscious as I am, I am taking a few minutes to openly share exactly how I find the good in the following scenarios.

  1. Accidents happen.  Often times I count my blessings when I am stuck in traffic; I find myself feeling relieved that somehow I was blessed to be running late and missing my potential role in the traffic accident which is just ahead of where I am.  At the same time, I pray for all that are involved in the accident; I never take spiritual or physical health for granted.
  2. Recently, I lost my position at Temple Emanu-El, a local congregation, because of their financial challenges.  For the most part I have chosen not to share the impact of that loss too fully; it wouldn’t serve me well. What I will say is that it hurt my spirit very deeply.  And yet out of the pain, I have come to grips with some spiritual and emotional needs  that I may not have faced so directly if I had not received my walking papers. Living consciously is a powerful gift that I am giving myself.
  3. A few nights ago, my son left all the lights on in the house.  Sigh.  I am so sensitive to light and it ultimately woke me up; I needed to wake up fully so I could turn off all the lights. 😦  To say that I was thoroughly annoyed is an understatement.  So, in order to distract myself and manage some of my agitation I went on Facebook to check out was going on in the world.  And what I found was a friend that was in serious crisis and needed me.  Two hours later, I was profoundly grateful that I could be there for my friend and to help her manage some intense darkness.  If it weren’t for my son’s mistake of leaving the light on, I wouldn’t have been there to listen and to offer some potential ways to navigate all that she needed to cope with.
  4. How many times have you been at a doctor’s office only to be stuck waiting an extra 30 minutes or maybe even an hour?  Well for nearly five years, we were blessed with doctors that didn’t rush my then teenage son through their office visit because they had other patients.  We also had doctors that created a slot for our son because he was too sick to wait.  After such a positive experience with so many medical practitioners, no longer do I get agitated when I have to wait.  Having a doctor that is compassionate and present when we most need him/her makes a world of difference to me.  Ultimately my son emerged healthy and vibrant, but the journey to get there was full of loving souls that really took the time needed to care of my son when he needed it most.
  5. While initially, I may feel frustrated when I get stuck in the Car Repair place or anywhere, but over the years I have come to appreciate the ‘accidental’ gift of time which allows me time to walk over to the coffee shop and take some time to write and people watch.  To me there is nothing better than having time to sit quietly and write and/or people watch.

We never do know what is on our horizons; life happens and so does death.  My job is to try to make the best of every moment.  Sometime the moment is all we have. . . .

Oct 20 - sunrise Pantano WashMay we all be blessed to find the light shining in the horizons.

With love, light, & blessings,
Chava

 

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Middah (character trait) focus: Think positively: find the rainbows

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.

mid-June tie dye

As I was looking for a photo I have of  a double rainbow, I tripped over this one of myself  in a rainbow dress. While this wasn’t the best photo, it definitely shows off a beautiful rainbow tie-dye created by Milky Wave Tie-Dye.  Plug over.

For me, there is no option for finding the rainbow.  Life happens with all of the good and the bad.  My hope for all of us is that we can find moments of goodness even in the darkest moments of our lives.

May we all find the rainbows that come after the storm.

 

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Last night we counted Day 31 of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and three days of the counting. Today is referred to as Tiferet sheh b’Hod, Beauty, Balance or Harmony within Expansiveness.

Have you ever noticed how some days just work?  All of the pieces of life’s puzzles come together as you would like and challenging moments don’t really trouble you.

Tiferet sheh b’Hod

Each of us have a story that makes us who we are at any given moment.  We have trials and tribulations; we have gifts and challenges happening at nearly every turn.  We have a past, a present, and a future.  Life always has a lot of moving parts and for the most part, we have a choice on how we experience the moving parts.

(Note: I do realize that tragedy never feels good and loss can be devastating.  And in the midst of pain, life can feel like hell.  From experience, I realize that awareness or insight comes only after the harshness of pain eases over time.  While I believe we have a choice how we walk through life’s darkness, we might not have a choice during the initial spark or as a disaster is absorbing our essence.  The choice will come days, weeks, months, or even years later when we have an opportunity to look back and find moments that worked or new ways to absorb the blow of reality.)

DoubleRainbow

Storms come and go.  Life happens and sometimes we have no control.  If we open our eyes real wide, we might find the rainbows that happen after the storm.  At those moments, I am always amazed that regardless of how I feel part of the larger world and I see the beauty that surrounds me with an open heart.

Tiferet sheh b’Hod, Beauty, Balance or Harmony within Expansiveness.

May we all find our rainbows within the beauty that encircles us.

 

 

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“It’s an ethical obligation to look for hope; it’s an ethical obligation not to despair.  If you look, there is always a possibility of finding a place where action can change the course of things. ” ~Tony Kushner

While I might be one of the most intense and introspective people I know, I am also someone who believes that life is worth living and light will prevail regardless of how dark life feels.  I believe in the future even as thunderbolts are within striking distance.  After each and every storm, a new light dawns.

Within life there are many potential gifts and challenges that touch our lives at any given moment.  Our world is surrounded with both external and internal factors that empower us to embrace life and all she offers.  For me, embracing life is not an option.  The question is finding the actions in life that will allow me to do my part to repair the world  and to honor my soul with each step.

IMG00013-20100822-1453

Sometimes it is hard to trust that light and rainbows come after the falling rain, but they do.  Most of us find a way to embrace life even after devastation; it isn’t easy.  It doesn’t happen quickly, but it can happen.  Minutes turn into days, days into weeks, weeks into months, months into years. . . .  One day, without knowing, a story makes you smile; you find comfort in a sweet thought, and maybe laughter can emerge from your heart again. On another day, you might be able to start taking steps to live outside of your darkness.  It might start when you hold open the door for someone in the grocery store and than find yourself smiling because even though they are in obvious discomfort, they are smiling at you and thanking you for your help.

Life has thrown me a few hardballs that knocked me down.  I have faced intense loss and intense physical/emotional pain; I have also wanted to curl up into a ball and ignore the world around me.  Regardless of how covered in muck I have become, I have ultimately been able to find joy in the face of strangers and friends alike.  Animals and nature remind me that when I can’t deal with people, there is a whole other world that craves my attention.  With each hardball that I experience, I am awed my the possibilities that often follow.

With each step I take, I know that there is a huge world out there that is calling my name.  I always have a choice about how I walk through the mud or the hard, dry sand alike; the choice is always mine.  Sometimes I need to lick my wounds and other times I need get up and save the world.  Years ago, I saw the following words on the front of a Yoga Journal magazine:

Connect with yourself; Connect with the Community; Connect with the World

This one motto is a great reminder of how I want and need to walk through the world.  There is time for me to take care of myself, time for me to do my part within the community, and there are times that I need to be remembering that I am part of a larger world.  When I remember these realities, I can also remember that hope surrounds me as long as I actively live in the world.  Giving up is not optional; believing in hope is!

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Have you ever had one of those days when many things don’t work as you had hoped they would?

Each and every one of us have experienced preconceived notions based on our life experiences; sometimes our ideas are with merit and sometimes not so much.  The question we are blessed to grapple with is how we will navigate new realities.

In the last 24 hours, I have faced expectations that are suddenly not going to be realized.  With every ounce of my body, I am frustrated, disappointed, and even a little sad.  We don’t always get choices in how things will turn out, but we do get to choose how to maneuver our new realities.

In truth I will probably walk through my evening a little sad, a little mad, and even a little teary-eyed.  And by the time I go to sleep, I will face my new realities with the resolve to make the best out of the challenges.  The good news is that in the whole scheme of life, my latest challenges are simple.  No one is seriously hurt, no one died, and in three months, I might remember my disappointments, but I won’t still be experiencing them.

Life is too short to live in the darkness; besides even that which I find troubling is rarely completely negative.  The gift is that I am an optimist; I can find the positive in most situations.

May we be blessed to find the rainbows after the rainstorms; may we learn to accept new norms without becoming despondent; may that which feels overwhelming become manageable.

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