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Posts Tagged ‘repairing the world’

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

I am only one; but still I am one.
I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; 
and because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the 
something I can do.
~Edward Everett Hale (American author,
historian, and clergyman, 1822-1909)

My dear friend and spiritual brother, Dr. Paul Zeitz wrote a book, Waging Justice: A Doctor’s Journey To Speak  Truth And Be Bold. Both in his book and in his life, Paul reminds me to deal with my stuff and then do the holy work of healing the world. There is no time for twiddling my thumbs and ignoring all the realities in front of me.

Day 10 - Wage JusticeAs a healer, Paul takes on the world – sometimes as a doctor, sometimes as an activist, and always as a loving human. I do not think there is a day that goes by when he doesn’t actively and very consciously “wage justice”.

While reading Waging Justice, I kept being reminded that the power to make a difference comes from the deepest place within. Life can be really hard sometimes. As a thriver, I know that regardless of what one may be navigating, the sun and moon visit daily. This affords each of us the opportunity to shake off the darkness and do whatever can for others and our world too.

Again and again, throughout his book, I feel like Dr. Paul Zeitz is speaking to me. There is no place for complacency or inaction. If you want to repair the world, just do the work that needs to be done. We all have our struggles and Paul was absolutely no exception. The gift that Paul gives his friends and the reader of his book is that he utilizes every life experience as a catalyst to make our world a better place.

With each step you take, may inspiration flow and mentors appear. Keep your eyes open and your entire being ready to do whatever you can to touch not only our world, but the entire universe in a positive way.

May we all WAGE JUSTICE throughout our lives. Only through showing up will our world emerge better than it is today. Not only can we do this work, we must do this work – together.

Onward with love, light, and creativity,
Chava

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Being an activist means taking the time to take care of yourself. This is what I’ve come to think of as a non negotiable.  If I don’t take care of myself, how can I do what it takes to repair our world?

What sort of things can you do for you?’

Day 4 - Nurture Your Spirit

Onward with love, light, and creativity,
Chava

 

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Today is Day 18 of My Selfie Challenge. This is my time to look at how I walk in the world and to shake loose from some of the very things that bind my spirit.  And if I am going to be really truthful, it is my hope that as I take each photo, I will learn to be just a little happier with the person that I am. As a seeker, it is my time to find the beauty that is me.

~ ~ ~

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~Albert Einstein as written in his letter to a grieving father

For Jews this month is traditionally a time of joy. Not so this year.

Day 18Personally, I am navigating some deep loss and sadness. The world outside of me, but within my realm is struggling. And the pain engulfing so much of the world is literally taking my breath away.

The words of consolation are empty and my own personal hope is rapidly diminishing. And yet, we all have to keep moving forward in our own ways.

When I allow myself, I could get lost in the Simon and Garfunkel’s song, Sound of Silence:

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

 As I navigate some of my own personal journeys and the journeys that inspire activism… I realize I have to keep taking one step and then another.

Yes, I am a little dark right now. I think the 17 murdered students and teachers in Parkland, Florida put the nail in that coffin. I am so sad and at a loss for what it means to rise up from the devastation. And my own sadness doesn’t help me too much during this journey. And yet. . .

I still keep taking steps to move outside of what I am feeling. There is a world that needs a response to deranged and depressed people having access to firearms of any types. I won’t even go into the debate of AR-15 and AK 47. And then let’s talk about the disgusting excuse we have as POTUS or many of our politicians. And then there is the realities that I keep seeing in Israel, another country that I once loved with all my heart.

And in the end, there is a balance. On one shoulder sits the reality of what’s going on. There is so much darkness in our midst.  AND on the other shoulder sits the reality that there’s work to do. And I am blessed to be part of building bridges, making a difference and impacting the souls of my students and the different communities that I am a part of. This is the shoulder that keeps me from suffocating.

We all have to keep moving forward.  Hineini, Here I am. I am doing the best I can.

 

 

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This year’s gifts have exceeded anything that I could have thought possible.  To say that I was humbled by the love is an understatement. Now that I am moving to a healing place for both my body and my soul, it is time to reflect inwardly and do the holy work of grounding myself.

Today I realized how the shofar calls to me in a way I never thought of before; it feels like a healing instrument with each sound bringing clarity and strength to my core being.

Below is the symbolism of the Shofar as I relate to it. This is inspired, but not necessarily derived from the Jewish tradition,

  1. Tekiah ― one long, straight blast.
    Meaning: Remember that I am part of a larger universe.  With that knowledge, I need to do the Godly work of tikkun olam, repairing the world; this isn’t a choice, this is a calling.
  2. Shevarim ― three medium, wailing sounds
    Meaning: “When we think about the year gone by, we know deep down that we’ve failed to live up to our full potential. In the coming year, we yearn not to waste that opportunity ever again. The Kabbalists say that Shevarim ― three medium, wailing blasts ― is the sobbing cry of a Jewish heart ― yearning to connect, to grow, to achieve.”* May I connect, grow, and evolve to do the holy work that is part of my calling.
  3. T’ruah ― 9 quick blasts in short succession
    Meaning: We “need to wake up and be honest and objective about our lives: Who we are, where we’ve been, and which direction we’re headed. The T’ruah sound ― 9 quick blasts in short succession ― resembles an alarm clock, arousing us from our spiritual slumber. The shofar brings clarity, alertness, and focus.”*

Chava with Shofar Elul 5775

Another more personal way to look at the each breath into the shofar:

Tekiah
The Universe is calling to me; I have so much to do! It is time to be more present.

Shevarim
Sometimes I can’t hold back my sense of desolation:
the plight of abused children,
poverty,
climate change/global warming,
human rights.

So much is calling my name; I have yet to do enough. Can I ever do enough?

T’ruah 
Step by step, I will continue to do what I must do. And while there is much to do, I can only do what I can do. Maybe I can inspire others to do the same. And perhaps that can be enough.

Finding a new rhythm as I create new spiritual space in Houston and continue to serve the larger world.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The sounds of the shofar inspire me to wake up and live more consciously. Over this coming year, may I make a difference for good and impact the universe that I am blessed to call home.

*   From http://www.aish.com/h/hh/rh/shofar/Shofar_Symbolism.html

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Only when people learn to truly hear one another will we have a chance of peace.

Lately I have been considering how much I love passionate people, people with conviction.  With that passion comes so many challenges and so many gifts too.

Yesterday I lost a friend who could not see the world through my eyes; she couldn’t trust that I could politically love Israel and think as I do.  I loved this friend, but when she saw me as a villain the love slipped into the dark shadows that are now beyond my reach.  There is no chance of healing that friendship.

Ironically, I am not sad; however, I am perplexed.  As much as I love passion, I am challenged by the passion that creates a void in listening and communication.  Sometimes I have trouble listening to the words and the silence between the words; both spoken and unspoken language matter.  But only through listening to others can I gain honest perspective or insight into what is happening around me.

Knowledge is a tool and only through tools can people develop a clear understanding.   At the same time, it is hard to listen to views that are clearly divergent from one’s own.  The expression “know your enemy” comes to mind here, but in love and friendship, it is a gift to be able to honor one another’s differences.  OK, now comes the another challenge, realize that people with different opinions are not necessarily the enemy, sometimes insight comes from different perspectives.

For me, a significant challenge comes when I discover prejudice and generalities about different groups of people.  I have no respect or patience for generalizations of color, race, religion, etc. The mere thought that generalizations exist is disturbing and yet sometimes it feels like the generalizations make sense.  But generalizations don’t have a place in moving forward and healing the world; they hurt in every way.

Since the J Street Conference, I have found myself struggling with disdain for the environment that has bred so much of what I see in Israel today.  And yet, I have a responsibility to hear “the other side” even if it doesn’t resonate with me.  The question is how to find holy ground.  I am not certain that it is possible and yet we, as a people, have to work towards holy ground.

The world can be scary.  But if we stay in relationship with the world around us and friends learn to listen to one another, perhaps everyone can be part of the solution of making our world a better place.

Passion really can be the gift that can ultimately repair the world.

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