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Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Dear Sleep,

The time has come for us to have a serious conversation. While I understand that you are indeed in hiding, I would welcome the opportunity to visit with you. Now that it is 4:33 AM, I am not certain that the visit will be as long as I desire, but you know I have learned to take what I can get.

Though we don’t seem to know one another well, there are a few things that I’d like you to know about me so that we can build on our relationship.

  1. After a painful period of time and back surgery, I am taking really good care of myself. So. . .you’d be settling with someone who is strong and fit.
  2. I am open to a long term relationship. Snuggling up with you would be a gift.
  3. There is no need for jealousy. While I am blessed to have a fabulous group of friends, I don’t want to sleep with them.¬†At the moment, there is no one else that will compete with our relationship. . . so it will just be the two of us. Wouldn’t that be special!?!?
  4. Do you believe in keeping me from all sweetness or are you upset that I sometimes indulge in different forms of sweetness. If that’s a problem, I will stop partaking in sweet products. I truly don’t want you to be feel like too much sweetness is a good thing.

    tea latte in favorite mug

    Kosi R’vayah-My Cup Runs Over (Psalm 23:5)

  5. Just for the record, I don’t have a drinking problem. ūüôā Did you know that a shot of whisky does not help you sleep, so instead I drink chamomile tea.
  6. Do you think exercise before bed will interfere with sleep? Tonight, I did my new stretches per instructions from my new Physical Therapist. . . .Wondering if that is what kept me awake.
  7. At 51, I seem to be struggling with my internal thermostat. Hoping that you don’t mind that I sometime violently kick off the covers in my sleep. If this is a problem, I can re-think how I address the whole carbon footprint reality. You do know that #45 doesn’t believe in climate change, so he maybe he is correct and I can keep the air conditioning as cool as possible.
  8. You don’t have to go “changing, to try to please me, I love you just the way you are.”

I am so excited to hopping into bed with you tonight My Beloved Sleep. May this be the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.

With love & light,
Chava

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Tonight, it seems like my¬†entire being is playing a wrestling match with¬†itself. It has been such a tough match then when I tried to wake myself from the jarring movements, I couldn’t find lamp on my nightstand. It was gone; the light had literally moved.

While I found some of my pillow, a few of my limbs were knotted up in a blanket and my dog was sighing deeply wanting me to stop kicking her. Poor Maddie became so unhappy with my erratic movements that she did what she never does by choice…she went to curl up in her kennel.

After fighting sleep I decided at 3:30 AM that it was time to stop wrestling¬†whatever demons were visiting me and¬†try to redirect myself. LOL! ¬†That didn’t work too well as well as I would like either. So I decided to do what I do best. I picked up my laptop and started writing.

‘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.’
Quote by Joan Didion

In the midst of my disconnected sleep, I couldn’t imagine what subconscious thoughts were keeping me awake. Now that I am awake, it isn’t difficult to imagine what is filling my mind.

Falling asleep last night, I found myself focusing on:

  • The¬†many Muslims being murdered through terrorist acts during Ramadan,
  • Jews being murdered¬†in Israel,
  • Another black man (possibly) being executed by police last¬†night,
  • and watching Donald Trump’s candidacy for presidency make it acceptable for bigotry and baseless hatred to become a norm in our country.
  • Baseless hatred – The hatred that makes a man go into a nightclub and massacre 49 people. And then there is the random and not so random acts of violence that happen on the street corners, in front of mosques, or in market places. . .
  • US and Israeli politics infuriate me. I believe¬†the world could be a lot better off without those that attempt or actually create policies that inspire intolerance and damage our environment at every opportunity.

So if the list above wouldn’t have been enough, I also always have my own internal struggles:

  • Will I ever have enough hours in my life to fully honor the creative soul that I am?
  • Why can’t I find the time to call those that I adore who need to hear my voice? Wait, I guess I have to find my voice first. My throat is still so raw¬†from the bronchitis and laryngitis that I had a couple of weeks ago.
  • How will I best protect myself against the insanity that I see daily in the world?
  • Did I say that I am craving another furry friend? This time I want to train the pup to be a therapy dog. Before going to sleep, I think I may have found the perfect way to make that happen.
  • There is a new table in my office that I was hoping I would have refinished this week.
  • My car needs another repair.
  • What have I done to make this world a better place?
  • My sons need to get their license so that they can rely on my less.
  • Did you know as soon as I heal completely from my bronchitis and laryngitis, I will be training for a Couch to 5K? I want to keep my heart beating as healthy as possible so I can still do what I can for myself and the world around me.
  • And so much more. . .

My mind literally never stops.

Loving the world as I do has a cost. As an introvert who was born to live out loud, I have always wrestled with my role in my home, my community, and the world while also nurturing my creative spirit, fueling my spiritual practices, and navigating significant alone time.

No wonder, I woke up with my sheets in a knot and a weary body.

Writing really is the way I¬†process the many thoughts that fill my mind, my heart, and my soul. But I won’t be healthy unless I finish my sleep. Wish me luck. . . .

Onward!!!!
Now & Always

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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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

Learning To Listen
My Body & My Spirit

My body and heart is so very complicated.

This weekend became a time for opening my eyes and purging that which I don’t need.¬†Know that I¬†am reeling from it. I am also stretching and growing.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Loebman Window Open to the Blue Mountains

Here is a window into what is going on for me and how I am choosing to navigate:

  1. Initially, I realized that how I was eating and what I was putting into my body was making my daily living cycle difficult. So on Saturday morning, I decided to stop playing with my awake/sleep cycle in any way. With that in mind, caffeine and alcohol went out the window until I figure out what my body needs to thrive.
  2. Saturday evening or maybe this morning, another light bulb¬†went off when I realized that every morning after breakfast, I need a nap. Before breakfast, I am feeling alive and vibrant. And then after I eat, I need caffeine to function. Sigh. So today, I had no grains and I didn’t crash once!!!
  3. This afternoon, I went¬†through my closet and put a bunch of stuff into the “Share Pile”.
  4. I am navigating some challenges and choosing to be as authentic with myself and kind with others as I can be.
  5. This weekend, I also prepared a D’var Torah (Torah Discussion), went to services, took a bunch of walks, and chanted.
  6. My family and I walked, talked, played, prepared food, and ate a lot together!

The bottom-line is that this was a weekend for figuring out how to honor my body and my spirit. I took great care of me and allowed myself time and space to do some powerful healing work by actively letting go of that which doesn’t serve me any longer.

I will always be a work in progress, but it felt so good to let go of some food, some words, some heartache, and some stuff. While I may be facing a little overload, I am feeling so much lighter and ready for precious sleep.

Life is good!

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

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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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

I was writing this during Day 3, but missed the window. . .

Photo Courtesy of Randall Miller: Western Minnesota

Photo Courtesy of Randall Miller:
Western Minnesota

‚ÄúHere we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.‚ÄĚ
Quote by Kurt Vonnegut

Darkness and twilight always bring reflection.

Over the last several years, I have often struggled with the late night hours when the world is asleep and during the morning twilight, an hour or two before the sun comes up until the sun lights up the sky. I struggle because sleep doesn’t come easy. ¬†I struggle because my mind is full of thoughts, ideas, and sometimes sadness. ¬†I struggle because my body needs to rest even if my mind is actively engaged.

While many have the ability to let sleep take over, I do not. ¬†That doesn’t mean that I have given up on the idea, it means that I am looking for ways to re-frame the narrative. ¬†I have decided to openly work on improving how I see the most challenging time. ¬†My goal. is simply to improve the energy by bringing holiness to those moments. This quandary has been on my mind for the last several weeks, but in the last 24 hours, two friends have shared thoughts¬†which are moving me forward.

This morning, I woke up to a facebook friend, Alden Solovy* who wrote:

“In the darkest hours, when I wake and cannot find slumber, I pray myself back to sleep. One-by-one I think of the people dearest to me. I send my heart to them and my prayers to G-d. My daughters. My mom. My sisters. All the people dearest to me. You get it, right? The prayers come from the deepest, purest, sweetest voice inside of me. . . .”

For me, I needed to alter my energy and Alden gave me a plan to do just that.  By helping me redirect my quiet time, I am feeling a bit more ready for how the wee hours will go. I would also add, that I will take that time to send healing energy to those I love and those that I know that are hurting in some way. I love creating sacred time by sending my prayers to God as I share my heart with those on my mind.

Carolyn Riker**, another friend and poet, reminded me to breathe in the morning hours as I value the clarity that is coming to me.

“Early morning thoughts are often the clearest. I rise with the sun and enjoy seeing between the clouds. Stillness doesn‚Äôt want to be disturbed and yet there is a longing to belong to the new day. A heart padded soul, pitter-patters and purrs. I sip awareness.”

Finding the gift that comes with the clarity is probably the most treasured gift I can give myself. I love the metaphor of “sipping awareness”. Being present is really about being witness to what is happening at any given moment. As someone who values the way that I do that in most every interaction, why not do that in the quiet of the night?

Tonight as I go to sleep and as I arise in the morning, I will breathe in the sweet moments and treasure the life that is.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

*Alden Solovy’s wisdom can be found in his¬†writing and teaching; his passion can be felt in all that he does. As a poet and liturgist, his work has been used by people of all faiths throughout the world, in private prayer and public ceremonies. Please check him out at¬†http://tobendlight.com/.

**Carolyn Riker’s eloquent and touching poetry has a way of impacting me deeply. ¬†She can be found at¬†https://carolynra7.wordpress.com/. Read her words and let me know if you find her writing as beautiful as I do.

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Middah (character trait) focus: Taking the time you need to sleep

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.

Taking the time you need sleep is a definite character trait worthy of honoring.  Only when you get the sleep you need will you be able to make a difference for good.  So, with that in mind I am going to crash for the night.

Remember taking care of yourself should not an option; getting a good night’s sleep will contribute to your success for yourself and with others too.

Good-night, Lilah Tov

 

Really, I am going to sleep.  Shhhhh. . . .

Really, I am going to sleep. Shhhhh. . . .

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Sometimes life can feel brutal with all the relentless curve balls.

My life has been a little too full of darkness; it is a reality.  Yet, I have always chosen to find a way to find sparks of light as I have dealt with the trials and tribulations (even the earth-shattering ones).  The bottom-line is that I have never let the darkness or hard times shut me down for long, instead I use many different tools that have helped me to navigate since childhood Рhere are a few:

  1. Smile – Smiling helps me feel more centered and it¬†calms¬†my spirit too. ¬†Smiles also make those around you feel more at ease which ultimately helps you. ¬†While a smile can’t erase the challenges/pain you may be¬†feeling, it can ease some of the sting.
  2. Notice¬†the angels that come your way – When you least expect it people show up in your lives to offer a moment of comfort. ¬†Sitting in ICU is always rough;¬†losing relationships makes us sad; and moving cross country only to become unemployed isn’t ok. ¬†Find the sparks of light in each painful moment. ¬†I will never forget the friends that made sure we had food even though one of Aryeh’s hospitals was¬†over¬†1.5 or more¬†hours from where our friends lived. ¬†Or the friend that shared with me a song he wrote to help heal my breaking heart. ¬†And of course, as I am facing unemployment now, my friends are rallying to help me land on my feet. ¬†There are always angels that show up to help you navigate even if they are only there for a moment in time.
  3. Inch by inch РWhen the to do list overwhelms you, just do one little thing at a time. Try not to get lost in looking at the big picture and all that you have to do to move forward.  Always remember to keep moving forward.
  4. Allow yourself the space to mourn or to feel sadness – Just because I move through life with a smile on my face, doesn’t mean I don’t take time to cry or to scream. . . I just try to give myself the space to do what I need to do. ¬†And then as much as possible, I allow myself to find¬†small sparks of light that will ultimately help me through the darkness.
  5. Quiet time is a good thing, but don’t shut the world out for too long – Most of us¬†need to be surrounded by silence at some point in time, but remember that ‘it really does take a village’ to navigate life. ¬† Let the right people impact your world for good when you are ready to come out of your cave.
  6. Don’t allow those around you to bring you down unintentionally – When Aryeh, my son, was critically ill for a few years, I had two amazing friends that tried to connect with me every day, the only problem was that the connection was not always good for me. ¬†They wanted to know the play by play happenings, but they didn’t come to see us; they supported us with their love¬†and even¬†financial support,¬†but it didn’t help me to share what was going on each and every day. ¬†I also grew weary of hearing about life outside our world. ¬†I just didn’t know if our lives would ever be happy and healthy again. ¬†So at some point, I let go of the daily connections again until they worked for me. ¬†And the good news is that not only did Aryeh heal, but our friendships survived too.
  7. Say what you need to say РAsk for what you need and set the parameters of how human interactions work.  When we are in crisis, we have the fundamental right to set the environment that works for us.  Hopefully our loved ones can honor that.
  8. Take time to write/journal – Writing is the way I come to understand what is truly on my mind and in my heart; writing helps me process the world around me.
  9. Sleep – You can’t take care of yourself if you don’t find the time to sleep. ¬†If you need help, ask; there are medical and natural remedies that can make a difference.
  10. Believe that all will work out in some way – In the midst of a crisis, we don’t always think that things will get easier or work out. ¬†And sometimes they don’t work out as we want them too, but in time new norms evolve and healing begins. ¬†While we don’t always heal from the pain, we do often find new ways to thrive.

These tools allow me to walk through the world as I do, my hope is that one of these ideas impacts your life for good. ¬†Let me know what helps you maneuver life’s challenges?

Remember, if you look real hard, you might be able to find the light in nearly every dark moment.

December 24

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The past few days have had moments of darkness, but not for long. . . .

With each deep breath, I have found myself amazed at the gifts that surround me.  I feel felt loved and valued; supported and cared for.  Dark moments have come and gone quickly, while the gifts remain embedded in my being.  Here are the ones that jumped out at me quite easily:

BoysPlaying Backgammon

The Biggest Gift of All!

  1. Aryeh completed two philosophy papers in spite of enormous self-doubt.
  2. Breakfast with a colleague who is fast becoming a friend!
  3. Saving over $10 at Bookman’s because I told the cashier about the concept of “Creative Paying It Forward”¬†https://lightwavejourney.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/another-facebook-journey-2013-creative-pay-it-forward/
  4. A gift of 2 bottles of Hot Sauce from a new friend. ¬†I am still wondering how she knew I haven’t found hot sauce since posting a question on FB.
  5. Dovi’s hands are healing
  6. Maddie
  7. Summit Hut
  8. Friends wanting to know about my upcoming birthday
  9. Night Skies
  10. Time
  11. Learning to let go and to accept new realities
  12. Hanging out at Bookmans
  13. Keep Smiling Cards http://www.thedailysmile.com/
  14. Text conversation that come at the perfect moment
  15. Aryeh’s idea: saving¬†junk-mail¬†for a month as a means of informing others
  16. Louis’ Reality Check card
  17. Finding New Music to jazz my soul
  18. Writing time
  19. Cafe Passe
  20. Watching my boys interact all night
  21. Perspective
  22. Unexpected voice messages
  23. Great books
  24. Facebook
  25. Beautiful weather
  26. Writing a New Chant
  27. Tough moments that are actually easier than expected
  28. Unexpected and positive conversations
  29. Drumming
  30. Looking forward to a day -off tomorrow
  31. Surrounding Mountains
  32. A Good Book
  33. Anticipation
  34. Laughter
  35. Sleep is around the corner
  36. Double-Chai (18×2 = Life x 2)

Over the past year, I have decided that I have the power to decide how I will walk through life’s journeys. ¬†While some moments are tough to navigate, looking a little further has the ability to fill my soul with the fuel it needs.

While I am bone tired, I am feeling invigorated by the awareness that dark moods don’t have remain imbedded in my being. ¬†Gifts really do surround me nearly at every corner.; all I have to do is notice them.

l’Chayim! To Life!

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