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Posts Tagged ‘thriver’

img_2740Life is hard. There are hours, days, weeks, months, and even years that every aspect of living is overwhelming.

Fortunately, I am mostly blessed to face hard hours, but during a rare period of time, I may face hard days or weeks. . . .rarely do I face hard months or even hard years.

I am a thriver.

A long time ago, I decided that I didn’t have time for serious suffering so after a few days, I usually shake off my sadness, my pain, and/or my devastation by taking one step and then another.

But there are two times of year that my body seems to take a hiatus from holding it together. One is around the time of my mother’s yahrzeit, the anniversary of her death, and the other time is the anniversary of when my life was tragically decimated because of the action of others. The funniest part of these times of the year is that I don’t see it coming even if I theoretically know it will.

This week marked 29 years since my mother took her last breath.

Mom’s death nearly crushed me. Even now as I type these words, I am short of breath. And yet, for the first time since her passing, I can see how much I have moved forward. Her memory doesn’t haunt me daily and for the most part I have detached from any real feelings surrounding my mother’s tragic life.

I have been able to move forward so much so that I over the last year I allowed photos of me as a little girl into my house. I guess it was time for me to admit that that little girl really did exist. While I have yet to look at them, I don’t cringe when I see the small stack of photos in my office. Instead I welcome them with an awareness that even though my childhood was seeped in horrific pain, I really was alive and not only did I make it, I became a beautiful soul.

Back to this week:
I have been hurting, creating mountains out of molehills, and feeling painfully alone even as I have been surrounded by loved ones reminding me that I am loved and even adored.  The truth is that my body has been letting me know that this week has forever been imprinted by mother’s mark. The result is that I have a urinary tract  infection (UTI) and a respiratory infection.

I have also found myself sobbing for no reason at all only to smile when in the back of my head I have become the drama queen that I deplore. But for this past week, I couldn’t stop it. My spirit was being assaulted by the memories of my childhood, of a time when I couldn’t protect the onslaught of assault.

My mother was sick, profoundly sick. Her sickness left me ill equipped for thriving and yet I am a thriver. So as the week of her yahrzeit turns into the next week, I am moving forward. I am taking one step and then another.

My UTI will heal as will my respiratory infection. My friends will forgive my antics and some may even hug me and remind me that I am loved.

Tonight, I am taking one step and then another. . . .

Onward with love and light,
Chava

PS – I am profoundly aware that this time of year leaves my spirit bruised, but I am also aware that I will always emerge to find my center again.

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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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Currently, I am on a journey. I am journaling 21 days of taking selfies.

If I were you, I’d be questioning why anyone would want to document their 21 days of selfies?

For me, it really isn’t so complicated.

A few years ago, I decided that while I may wrestle with excess weight, I had to begin to celebrate the beautiful woman that I am. So even when I have trouble finding my physical beauty, I have decided to keep taking photos and/or to ask those in my life to take photos of me until I capture my essence and find the beauty in front of me.

With the help of some amazing professional photographers and a growing awareness that beauty can be found in all different sized packages, I did the work of doing whatever it took to capture the beautiful soul that I am.

From an early age, my mother reminded me time and again how overweight and ugly I was. In fact that was my first, my second, and my third memory of how my mother haunted me during my childhood.  But here is the thing, my mother has been gone for nearly 28 years and I am no longer living in the shadow of her abuse. How AWESOME is that!!!

So, today, it is important that I take the time to celebrate the woman I have become. And while I am always going to be on a health journey to be in the best health I can be, I want to remind myself that I am beautiful just as I am.

Hineini, Here I am!

Sending love, light, & blessings. . . .

PS: Regardless of our past, most of us can move forward from the darkness that was once a part of our lives. . . it just takes the willingness to do the work.

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Elul Reflections: Coming soon

December 2016 - looking out into water

I BELIEVE IN LIVING CONSCIOUSLY AND ALWAYS BEING REAL. This isn’t easy. You see, like all of us, I have many roles in my life. I am a mother, a sister, a friend; I am an educator, a community leader, and an activist; I am a woman, a thriver, and an intuitive. AND I am also a writer, a chanter, and a drummer; I embrace life with open arms and a passionate neshama, soul.  My creative and spiritual essence craves the freedom to share the fullness of who I am in all that I do.

According to Glennon Doyle, being real means getting ‘naked and unashamed’. While this leaves me vulnerable, it also gives me the wings I need to fly higher than I have ever flown before. Am I scared to unveil my core as a way to touch those that trip over my writings? ABSOLUTELY! My friend Diane Foushée (z’l) inspired me to reach deeply into my soul and share the fullness of my thoughts with my friends and readers. Until a couple months before her sudden death, I had no idea that she looked forward to the two times a year that I shared my journey as a seeker. During those times, I write a daily blog as I take the time to actively self-reflect and unveil my deepest thoughts.

Last year, I was too sad to write my daily Elul Reflections; although I did write a couple. Without Diane, I didn’t want to write.  I also didn’t know if my writing impacted anyone.  This feeling has changed. Over the last month, I have been blessed to have friends tell me how I have impacted their lives in a positive way.  Those friends have given me the courage to dive into sharing from my heart. As we move into Elul, the time of reflection just before the Jewish New Year, I will return to my writing practice that provided the sacred space to become more aligned as the woman I am. I will embrace the world with an open heart and a willingness to reach to a healthier and more balanced place in all that I navigate. I will share the rawness of my spirit with the gifts and challenges that are part of my reality.

As a ‘TRUTH TELLER’ and a writer, I want to weave my words and share my soul.  Join me.

Elul Reflections: Sharing My Inner Soul – Will begin Tuesday evening, August 22nd.

(Note: I have been impacted by some amazing writers and thinkers over the past couple of years. Glennon Doyle coined ‘truth teller’ and helped me through her podcasts to better understand what it means to be ‘naked and unashamed’. I am here!!! Hineini!

Other writers include Anne Lamott, Rebecca Solnit, SARK, Sheryl Sandberg (all from the Bay area – WOW!) and Elizabeth Gilbert, Brené Brown, Danielle LaPorte, Martha Beck, among so many more. I read their books, listen to their podcasts and strive to embody their wisdom. If I ever say something and do not honor them by annotating their work, please forgive me. Over time I have realized that so much of how they think has entered into my subconscious.)

 

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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:  Wholeheartedness

Wholeheartedness.  There are many tenets of Wholeheartedness, but at its very core is vulnerability and worthiness; facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks, and knowing I am enough.” ~ Brené Brown

Over the last couple of days, I have heard (and read) both Bre Brown and David Whyte speak about wholeheartedness; on a core level this concept very deeply resonated with me.  In order to live as  authentically as possible, I need to allow myself the space to be real without fear.  Or if I have fear, perhaps I need to embrace it by breathing into the uneasiness.   Wholeheartedness living is the journey of my soul.

While I have a strong thriver mentality, I have also had to face my own fragility and neediness.  My heart has been shattered many times over my lifetime and yet I still approach life with an open heart and with hope.  Always.

Living wholeheartedly is not an option, it is a given.  May I be blessed with the ability to push through all of my intensity and to be real at every step.  And with each step may I be surrounded by love and support and may I do the same for others.

May I remember to breathe into all that is as I walk within my wholehearted journey.

With blessings and light, Chava

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