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Posts Tagged ‘steps’

more than anything
i want to trust a journey
that i don’t understand~
© Terri St. Cloud

I am a wandering Jew, a seeker, a dreamer. . .

While I was not born with wings, I was born with the urge to soar and the spirit to thrive.

Each and every exploration I take begins with a first step.  The terrain is always the wilderness, a terrain that I will only understand after I trust my steps and begin the dance of emergence.

 A lifetime of journeys never calms my spirit when it is time to start again. As someone who is ready to land and wants to do not just good things wherever I stand, but great things wherever I stand and beyond. I long to be impactful with how I walk in the world. I want to make a difference.

An inherent pressure emanates from those of us that actively strive to weave beauty and light into a world that is often full of challenges. There is so much holy work to be done and so many opportunities to make our voices count.

There is another side to my journey, perhaps a more important one. I am birthing the most authentic living soul I can be. I am ready to nurture that person as she becomes more grounded in what she truly believes. It is time to have my values and my dreams intersect in the healthiest of ways. I strive to walk consciously by caring for my body, my mind, and my soul. And as I do, my hope is that I will remember the larger world around me.

I have traveled some really rocky paths. I have stumbled, I have fallen, I have cried torrential downpours, but I have always continued to move forward. As a work in progress, my innermost prayer is that all previous journeys create someone worthy of making my next steps count.

May this trek weave together my desire to take care of the deepest part of me while intensely nurturing the world I live in, our world.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
But if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?”
Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Father) 1:14

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“I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all of my heart.”

~Vincent Van Gogh

 

A long time ago I realized that I always have a choice on how to navigate my life’s journeys.  And while it may take a little time to decide how I will ultimately maneuver, I absolutely still have a choice.  And yes sometimes I have to simply allow myself to feel before figuring out a plan.

Two years ago, I came to Tucson for a position that I had hoped would be great for my soul and maybe even take me into retirement.  Eighteen months later, my dream job went to half-time and then the position was eliminated six months later.  Financial challenges for my employer was the ultimate reason that I was left without a position,  Regardless of the reason, it still left my sons and I in a part of the country that we had few friends and now little money to support ourselves.  And it also left me with an opportunity to actively explore what options I have for my next chapter.  (Note: While my sons are living with me now, I realize that as I type this that they are emerging into adulthood.  I love watching them grow and look forward to seeing how they evolve.)

Yes, the journey invokes some fear and at the same time it mostly inspires me to seek the possibilities that will honor my essence.  How cool is that?  With each passing day, I can consider what doors I will go through or whether or not I will simply sit in the doorway and get a taste of what could be.

With each step I have taken in this journey, I have been touched by the generosity of a few awesome friends and the love and caring of many others.  One friend gave me a job to help support myself as I look for a position that would allow me to not only survive financially, but thrive as a human being.  Another friend gave me a computer that he rebuilt after my computer stopped working.  One dear friend gave me a substantial amount of money to fix my car and a few others have offered to help if need be. And other folks have helped me improve my resume, given me an ear, and found little ways to show they care.  There seems to be no shortage of ways that my friends are willing to help; in truth, some of the love is sometimes overwhelming.  

Amazingly, I am really OK and my sons are good too!!!  Going through each and every emotion is what needs to happen; sometimes I am focused and sometimes more distracted.  Life is moving forward and I am not only hanging on for the ride, I am making decisions all the time.

The great news is that overall I am really happy taking this journey.  It isn’t easy, but I am actually forcing my to look deeply at who I am and what I want in my life.  The obvious options or ideas are not necessarily the given paths for me any longer.  I am open to finding the best place for me to go whether it be for long or short term.

Catalina Mountains remind me to keep climbing. :)

Catalina Mountains remind me to keep climbing. 🙂

Every morning, I see the beauty of the Catalina Mountains outside my bedroom window.  As I gaze to the north, the mountains appear like a metaphor reminding me that I can always keep climbing the mountain and striving to become the best person I can be.  

Not only have I taken this time to explore what to do for a living, I have also considered where I want to live, what I want to own, how I need to evolve creatively, what writing projects would give my life more meaning, how to live more consciously and healthy, who I want in my life, and how can I serve the world I live in the best way possible.  There are so many options to consider and so many ways to navigate this journey.

The choices I make now may not be the choices that stay with me forever – that is truly fine.  The key is to explore each option and at some point let the universe open up for me as it will.  Living as authentically as possible feels like the best way to emerge with inner peace.

I am starting to learn a little more about what I love, what and who I need, and what jazzes my soul.  At this point, I can’t share too much because I am just letting it resonate inside of me.  Once it takes root, I can’t wait to let you in.

Every night, I look up to the skies and I watch the cycle of our beloved moon.  Watching the moon’s cycle, reminds me that life is full of cycles too.  And I am going to continue to embrace my exploration for all the days of my life. 

Let the journey continue. . . .

 

 

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Middah (character trait) focus: Take the steps to be yourself

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.

Today is the final day of the counting of the Omer, Day 49.  In the time between Passover and Shavuot (which begins tomorrow night), I have invited each of us to look at how we walk in the world.  Looking back I believe so many of my blogs said the same thing: Find ways to be yourself.  The only way to move from slavery to freedom is to both honor the person you are as you also strive to grow as a human being.

On a fundamental level, I believe that in order for most of us to be healthy, we need to be our best selves; for most of us that means we have work to do.

Take One Step

 

Taking the steps we need to take is ultimately about being yourself and honoring how you want to move in this world.  For  me, it is about making my voice heard and about impacting the world with my words.  How do you want to live your life? What do you want to do for yourself and the larger world around you?

Don’t forget to take your first step, and then your next step when you feel ready to do so.

Thank you for joining me in this journey from slavery to freedom; may we all find freedom with our next step!

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In Breisheet, also known as Genesis, we learn about the creation of the world among other things.   Regardless of how you see the Torah, there are amazing teachings for each of us to consider from both the written words and the white space between the words.  As the fireworks of creation begin, it is hard not to notice how evolution often occurs with a spark, a moment of enlightenment.

IN THE beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth.  Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of G-d hovered over the face of the waters.  And G-d said: ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light.  And G-d saw the light, that it was good. . . Genesis 1:1-4

Making things happen takes a light or spark.  Unless you ignite a spark, nothingness will remain.  Silence or quiet lead to nothingness.  If you want to make a difference, you have to be willing to cause some sparks to fly.

Climbing towards the beach -Topsail, NC  Photo courtesy of Wendy Harris Delson

Climbing towards the beach -Topsail, NC
Photo courtesy of:                 Wendy Harris Delson

Climbing the steps to inspire change takes a strong belief and some very hard work.  A beautiful vision with a whole lot of perseverance is the only way to make a difference.

In the last few months, I have been struggling with my own personal demons as well as the world around me.   The work has been intense and has forced me to alter some of my connections and grow some new connections.  There are times when I have chosen to sit quietly feeling lost as opposed to opening the doors that surround me in search of solutions to whatever challenges confront me.  While I am always working on myself and reflecting on ways for me to personally grow, now I am realizing that I need to get back to my grassroots way of making a difference in the world outside of my little universe.   I need to be be more of a light or a spark.

Tonight as I listened to Congressman John Lewis speak at the JStreet Conference in Washington, DC., I realized that I have been way too passive since moving to Tucson a year ago.  There are issues to tackle and sparks to ignite locally, nationally, and in the greater world.  Unless I choose to embrace these issues more fully, I am not living with personally integrity.

This journey did not begin tonight. Over the past months, I have begun what I am referring to as the Dance of Emergence.  I have been finding my voice and growing more comfortable with my surroundings in Arizona.  While I have always been a little crunchy or alternative, coming to Tucson made me feel out of my element personally, professionally, and politically.  Leaving DC and the community I loved working with took away my roots.  Instead of planting new roots, I became still and silent in every area of my life.

When Congressman John Lewis said, “You have the power to be the headlights and not taillights.  You can do it.”  I realized that I had to start igniting the world with the beliefs, energy, and love I have.  Silence speaks louder than words and silence leads nowhere.  With silence, change is not possible.

Tonight, I am ready to continue my Dance of Emergence with determination and action.  I am ready to let the sparks fly.  Over the coming weeks, I will share some of the issues that have been filling my thoughts.   I will begin to share my heart more fully as I actively seek how to take the necessary steps to make our world a better place.

Hineini, Here I am!

P.S. – Some of my issues will include:

  1. Israel/Palestine – 2 state solution
  2. fair-trade chocolate and the chocolate Industry
  3. gun control
  4. child advocacy
  5. Jewish education
  6. environmental consciousness

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Tonight, we will count or have counted Day 13 of the Omer, which is 1 week and 6 days of the counting of the Omer.  We refer to today as Yesod she-b’Gevurah, developing a foundation within life’s possibilities.  In order to fully live life, one has to develop a powerful/strong foundation; only with that can we realistic be in a place of strength.

Each and every day that we are surrounded with infinite opportunities to emerge as healthy beings. Living takes an inner-strength.  Some of us are blessed with a strong foundation while others are blessed to be working on creating a stronger foundation.  As long as one actively engages in creating a healthy and strong foundation for themselves, the possibilities abound.

Today as I grapple with honoring what I need and want in life.  I aspire to create a healthier life and therefore strengthen my foundation.  Living the best way I can is not optional; therefore, I have some steps to take.

Topsail, NC photo courtesy of Wendy Delson

Topsail, NC
photo courtesy of Wendy Delson

May we all take the steps we need to emerge within our own stronger foundations.

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