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Posts Tagged ‘simchah’

Are you taking care of your soul?  If not, how can you expect to be happy?

Seriously.

Look at yourself – Are you doing things that can be considered fuel for your soul?  I know that I am not doing as well as I need to, but I am trying.  I am actively engaged in the journey of Seeking My Own Path to Simchah (Happiness).

Commandment 4: Living more consciously

Taking a moment to observe the world around you can open your eyes to exquisite beauty.

In a sense, this entire journey is about living more consciously.  Specifically though, I am aware that I have to embrace my intensity and become more accepting of my nature. I love that I am aware of my surroundings.  I love noticing people, caring about nearly every aspect of the world I travel and the world that surrounds me.  Many people would say that I over- think things.  While that is OK, I do find myself challenged when people note this reality in a teasing way.  And yes, I would benefit from allowing myself to let the comments ride a little.   The bottom-line is that I actively consider life, engage in life, and that leads me to loving  the life I live.

Living more consciously is also about not only noticing your surroundings, but also taking stock of your needs.  What is it that you really want/need at any moment.  At this moment, I know that I need more sleep/rest than I have recently had; I need to drink more water; and I need more alone time so that I can take time to be more present for myself.  If I were living more consciously, I would be listening to my needs better.  Instead I am just noting them.  As I type these words I realize that in a moment I will save what I am working on and then take a long drink of water.  After that I will turn off the computer and go pack to sleep for an hour.  If I don’t make sure my basics needs are met, how will I be the best me that I can be?

In order to find happiness I need to take care of my soul.  While this blog series will take approximately three weeks to write, it will take me months to implement.  If I am going to succeed in this journey in a healthy way, I need to take change a little slowly.  Healthy and sustainable change can’t happen overnight.

*****

Note: While seeking my own path to simchah (happiness), I am touched by the many responses.  In grappling with my journey, I love hearing that I am actively making other people think.  Thanks for letting me know.

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The people I love most are seekers.  They are conscious individuals who consistently consider the world around them.  They are looking for the best ways to walk in the world as they honor both themselves and the world that they live.  Lately I have been wondering if people that are conscious about each and every step can find happiness knowing that complexity surrounds them at every turn.  Nothing is simple.

The beauty of conscious people is that most of them have integrity in how they live their lives.  When they smile or when they scream, they are being real.  When they write, you can trust their words come from reality, as they know it to be.  Passion runs deep and their souls are full of life.

As I write these words, I realize that I am talking about myself; I am a seeker.  With each breath I strive to be the best person that I can be.  Admitting that I am far from perfect or that I am not as good as I’d like to be bothers me.  The truth is that as a seeker, I have to acknowledge the many truths that exist within me and around me.  Life’s complications are part of the chaos of the world I live.

Tomorrow I will reopen my writing series on my own process of seeking happiness. This process I am using to consciously and openly grapple with my own journey to seek simchah also known as happiness or joy. My first entry was written just over 6 weeks ago when I thought I would be able to explore journey as I entered one of the busiest periods of my life.  Here it the link to the first entry written nearly 6 weeks ago. https://lightwavejourney.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/seeking-my-own-path-to-simchah-happiness-my-own-personal-happiness-project/

Seeking happiness or contentment takes guts for someone like me.  I walk the world conscious of nearly every breath I take.  Even when I am making what I consider to be poor choices, I can never stop considering each and every decision that I make.  Very few things happen without deep contemplation.  As I was driving cross-country recently, we nearly ran out of gas because I couldn’t find a gas station that was less than evil.  Our family generally chooses to refrain from purchasing gas at Exxon, Chevron, Mobile, BP, and now Shell.  I am probably missing a few on the list. My guess is that none of the companies are good, but this is what I remember.  As I was driving through Texas, I knew I had to stop or my family would be stuck on the highway. So I did what I thought I had to do, I stopped at an Exxon and cringed as I filled up and then paid.

With each step I make, I hope that my choices are for good. I pray that I have the ability to make good decisions.  I hope that when I choose to ‘dig my heels in’ that it is with the right intentions. I am seeker, but it is my prayer that my decisions are grounded and healthy not only for myself and those I love, but for the world around me too.  Contentment and simchah (joy) comes from transparency and thoughtfulness.

I want to “be the change you want to see in the world (Mahatma Gandhi)

May each step that a seeker takes help build a stronger foundation towards true and complete simchah (happiness).  Stay tuned as I continue my own personal journey and blog series toward finding simchah over the coming two to three weeks.

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Saying by-Lisa Villa Prosen; Photo-Tre Le

Today on Facebook, I saw this photo posted on My Renewed Mind’s status line.  The moment I saw it, my mind soared.  Life’s journey has not always been easy for me; there has been intense loss, dramatic pain, and deep sadness.  In truth, none of these realities have ever overtaken me for long.  I have always found a way to surpass the challenges.  That doesn’t mean that I haven’t suffered, it means that I have had to do a lot of work in order to become the healthy person that I am.

Many of the challenges that I have faced have been out of my control; I was forced to survive and even thrive in difficult conditions.  An example is when my son was critically sick; I had to spend days, weeks, months, and even years taking care of him in all sorts of settings that were not necessarily of my choosing.  Our children are never meant to suffer, but sometimes they do.  During that time, I had to honor the reality that we were facing and I had travel a path that kept my son alive and yet took away every ounce of freedom I had.  During the years of his illness, I couldn’t write, take walks, or explore the world around me.  The gift is that at the end of his journey, I was able celebrate his life with him.

Each one of us faces challenges in our lives.  Sometimes we can maneuver ourselves through the situations for a while and sometimes we are stuck.  It would be great to have choices, but reality doesn’t always allow it and sometimes it takes a little time to work situations out.  When I was a little girl, I had to grow up before I could leave home and become safe as an adult.  When I have had struggles in my work, I have had to try to work through the scenarios before moving forward.  Working through challenging relationships takes work, as does moving forward when those relationships are over.  Work, friendships, family dynamics are all part of life; honoring yourself in the midst of them is about deciding what makes you soar.  What do you need to thrive as a person?

For me, taking chances and letting my creative soul live is how I can be the happiest person, how I can be free.  Yes, I am part of a beautiful family as well as loving friends.   But in order for me to thrive with those I love, I must thrive within my own being.  Writing is how this becomes possible.

In this moment, boxes surround me.  I have been pushing hard since making a decision to leave Washington DC for Tucson a little more than a month ago.  And I have missed taking time to write in my own space and at a moment that writing calls to me.  I am doing taking the time now.

Writing,

the song of my heart;

the feeling of my soul;

the meaning of my mind;

Is what makes me One.

These words were written when I was a young girl going through hell that none of us should ever know.  And today they touch me as much today as they did when I wrote them at 14 years old.  These words encompass the essence of my being.

Over the coming weeks, I will be continuing a 12 part series called “Seeking My Own Path to Simchah (Happiness): My Own Personal Happiness Project” This was inspired by book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  This series will explore the ways I have learned and continue to evolve as someone who seeks simchah, happiness.  The first two installments that were started before I moved to the southwest can be found:

May each of us move forward as individuals who strive to find our best selves; may we be free to explore our dreams and then follow our own dereckh, path to our own personal simchah, happiness.

With blessings  & light,

Chava

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Welcome back to my journey towards Seeking My Own Path to Simchah (Happiness):  My Own Personal Happiness Project

Reflections Continued:

Since posting yesterday’s blog, I found myself contemplating what happiness means.   It Pirkei Avot, Ethics of Our Fathers, it says, “Who is rich? He who is happy with what he has.” (4:1)  When I think about happiness on that level, that means that I am happy, yet when I think of happiness on my own, I think there should be a moment or more of radical joy.  Simchah for me is about that moment when you want to scream out in delight.  Yet the joy of Pirkei Avot is a lot more sustainable.

Based on Pirkei Avot, I am feeling really positive.  I am someone who finds the blessings in the present moments, the realities of life, and with those that are part of my life.  At the same time, I will always look for the moments of ecstatic joy.

Over the next 12 days I will be sharing my own personal commandments to be utilized as I seek my own path towards Simchah (Happiness).  I see the commandments as tools that have the ability to propel me towards meeting my goal and building a stronger foundation in terms of the role that simchah can play in my life.

Commandment 1: Be myself

In order to be myself, I need to know myself.  That isn’t necessarily easy, but it is a necessity.  In truth, I do know myself very well, but the next step can sometimes be a little more tricky.  Being yourself means trusting that it is ok to be yourself.

How can I make this happen?

  • trust myself
  • live according to my values
  • take time to write daily
  • honor my writing spirit

Being myself is a work in progress.  While I actively engage in being real or being myself, I also love connecting with people where they are.  I am a chameleon who can often fit wherever I am in that moment.

Recently, I had to reach inside my heart and decide how to best honor my soul.  The decision was painful, but making that decision led me to inner clarity and the ability to move forward.  Yay.

Moving any journey forward means listening to the inner voice that is meant to guide us.  Sometimes it can be an easy thing to do, but sometimes it is really hard.  For those that know me, I am often seen as being ‘crunchy granola’ in a non-granola world.  These are the values that make me who I am today.

Another way in which I can best honor myself is to make certain that I am writing on a regular basis.  Years ago I wrote:

Writing,                                                                                                                                         the song of my heart;                                                                                                                   the meaning of my mind;                                                                                                           the feeling of my soul;                                                                                                                   Is what makes me One.

Writing soothes my being.  If I am writing on a regular basis, it must mean that I am reaching for new heights and actively engaged in life.  The more I write the more centered I am.

Commandment 1: Be myself – May I continue to strive to reach new heights as I continue to grow.   By honoring the soul that is within me I will soar as the person I am.  And the simchah or happiness of Pirkei Avot will continue to flourish and the happiness radical joy will occur more frequently too.

Can you think of a personal commandment that you could create in order to develop a stronger foundation of simchah within your life?  If you’d like to share, I’d love to know.

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The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin has inspired me to take stock in how I walk through the world.  While I am generally someone who almost always finds the light within challenges, I am not someone who expresses pure joy easily.  I will benefit from developing my own tools or personal commandments to better strive for not only more contentment, but dare I say simchah (happiness) within my daily life.  For the next 13 days, I will become transparent as I actively develop my own personal Happiness Project.

I am struck by a very simple reality.  Even though I feel a strong sense of inner peace and contentment, I don’t necessarily feel real joy or happiness on a regular basis.  Intensity permeates my being; I am constantly reflecting the realities of world, the communities I live, and my own life too.  I love life and yet I, like so many, have become trapped by life’s realities.   Allowing oneself to be trapped does not serve us well.  My hope Is that by creating more simchah tools, I can go to a ‘happy place’ more frequently.

Perfection is far from my realm.  With each breath, I make mistakes.  This journey is a work in progress. Regardless of how perfect or imperfect things seem, feeling inner happiness more frequently is the goal. I’d love to find moments of pure simchah each and every day.  For me, finding simchah, can only happen when I find balance in spite of all the realities that exist as I celebrate the good.

As a seeker. I need to embrace the light more and to figure out the meaning of happiness on a personal level. While this may be the busiest time period in my life, I will post each day over the coming 13 days.  I will explore my own personal commandments towards my own search for happiness.

Simchah, joy, is one of the forty-eight middot (values) that are expressed/taught in Pirkei Avot, Ethics of our Fahers. Each word in the book teaches us how to walk through life.  With that I will use my writing to explore my own personal eleven commandments over the coming days.  Who says there has to be only Ten Commandments?

Looking forward to finding out how my Eleven Commandments evolve through my writing and actions.  Hang on for the ride and consider letting me know your thoughts.  Over the next thirteen days, I will explore my personal commandments each day discussing one of the below commandments in order.  My guess is that some posts will be short and sweet and others will be a bit longer.

Growth can only come with action; my hope is that as I delve into my thoughts, I will utilize the tools that exist as a means of striving towards actively feeling and engaging in simchah.  On the last day, I will wrap up with this writing journey and try to move into more actively engaging in joy while utilizing each of the tools that touch me.

Personal Commandments are

  1. Be myself.
  2. Be the change you want to see in the world
  3. Take spiritual time each day
  4. Live more consciously
  5. Seek peaceful connections
  6. Honor your body
  7. Breathe deeply
  8. Listen before speaking
  9. Find the light
  10. Trust the universe
  11. Allow nothingness

This list is inspired by the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

Catch you tomorrow as I explore the first commandment and work towards transformation.

l’Chayim (To life),

Chava

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