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Blogging is what I do.  I love writing and sharing my heart, my mind, and my soul.

Reflection Time Selfie

Reflection Time Selfie

If this is your first time reading this series of my blog, please take a moment and read the introduction Elul Journey: A New Year Is Emerging – 5775  http://t.co/Y6vmXdO6GJ

Today is 15 Elul or 15 days until 5775; it is a time to reflect and to choose ways in which I can best move towards the High Holy Days and the days that follow.  While it is not easy to navigate life’s journeys, I always get to decide how to approach my life.  In this moment, I am choosing to walk gently and embrace each step with openness.  As I say this, I also realize that this would be a good time for a reality check.

During each blog post of my Elul Journeys, I will share a poem, a saying, a teaching that has helped me navigate the world.  Let me know what you think!

~ ~ ~

Holy is the silence; holy is the sound.
~ Quote by Holly Shere

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Being awkward is not a norm for me.  Connecting with the world around me and being in silence are equally positive states for me.  And yet there exists a gap in this equation.

My struggle stems from finding balance between silence and sound.  In a perfect world, balance should be easy.  Right?!?!? Intense thinkers, however, don’t exist in a perfect paradigm; they think and rethink conversations that most would find mundane.

Holiness comes from both the sound and the silence and all the spaces in between. Life has taught me that words always matter as does the silence between the words.

When words are spoken, we need to do more than just hear them, we need to fully listen so that we absorb what is being spoken.  In order to honor the holiness of the sound, we need be totally present within the different interactions.  On the flip side, we don’t always need to fill in the moments of silence with sound or words.

Silence can also be emotionally liberating.  I often find silence to be precious beyond words.  🙂  Pauses or lulls in conversations can be powerful tools in creating a holy environment. By giving people time to process what is being said.  There is also beauty in the silence that comes when you allow yourself to sit still with your breath.

Breathing Exercise: Try sitting silently in a comfortable position.  Notice how you are feeling and then adjust yourself so that you are more comfortable.  At this point take a deep breath, taking the air all the way down to your belly and even your limbs is you can.  Try to breathe out or exale more slowly than you inhaled.  Once you are comfortable with that do 5 to 10 counts of:

  1. Inhaling or breathing in light – Imagine light filling your entire body and radiating out.
  2. Exhaling or breathing out darkness – Imagine any discomfort, pain, or sadness leaving you and then. . . 
  3. Allow room for the light to enter at the next inhalation.

In my chanting practice, I have learned the power of the words, the melody, the silence, and the breath.  Empowering moments happen when I take the time to fully weave all of these layers into my chanting.

In many ways modern technology and life make honoring the sound and the  silence a little more difficult.  Most of us want instant responses and it is hard to give wait time when you are on the phone.  Try taking a little extra time on the phone to allow for the silence in the midst of all the words – can you have a phone conversation that doesn’t feel quite so rushed? Give it a try and see how it feels to honor the real energy of a conversation.

May we all be blessed to treasure words as much as we treasure the silence.

With blessings & light,
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 me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

Middah (character trait) focus:  Listening

“Holy is the silence; holy is the sound.” ~Holly Shere

For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with both the spoken and unspoken words, music and silence between the notes.  Both sound and silence have impacted my world for good and for bad.

As a little girl, I was not blessed to hear like most other children.  while I don’t remember the details of my hearing journey, I do recall the first time I really heard sound.  The overwhelming emotion and pain was too much; I didn’t like the harshness that entered by quiet world at around 6 years old.  After that experience, I don’t believe it took me too long to learn to love music or the spoken word; I did struggle to handle some of the anger that was spoken in loud, infuriated voices.

Growing up, I learned to gauge how my day would move forward just by listening to what was going on around me.  Sound and silence both have enormous power to heal and to hurt you, to calm you or to trouble you.  One of the most important lessons I learned in life and that I am still learning today is that I don’t have to fill the space between the words or music with sound; silence can have it’s own innate beauty.

When I was a young girl, my father used to hold my ears between his hands; I loved the pressure and the warmth of those moments.  When my own children were young, my father would often hold them the same way and say, “Listen to the quiet.” As soon as, my father touched my children’s head, they would instantly smile and relax.  Perhaps we should all take time to ‘listen to the quiet’.

May each of us find holiness in both the silence and the sounds that surround us.

Holy is the silence; holy is the sound.

Holy is the silence; holy is the sound. ~Holly Shere

 

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