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Don’t be afraid to tread when you can’t really swim
Dance in the rain and find the rainbows when darkness prevails
Find the good in every challenge that crosses your path
And always soar and reach for your best.
(Excerpt: Sometimes Life Gives Us No Tomorrows
written by Chava Gal-Or)

Have you ever had those moments when your were furious about something only to find that you may be looking at the whatever is happening the wrong way?

One of the most significant practices of my life is to try to find light in the midst of life’s challenges.  I even changed my last name to honor the way I hope to walk in the world.  My last name Gal-Or means wave a light. Years ago I decided to acknowledge that I have mostly been able to find light in darkness or within troubling moments AND I wanted to remind myself to continue to walk the world in this way.  Having said that, I also realize that I am human, there are times when I have to take a moment and reflect.

Over the last few days I found myself reflecting that I really do need to pay attention and to take a deep breathe before allowing frustration to penetrate my heart and mind. As conscious as I am, I am taking a few minutes to openly share exactly how I find the good in the following scenarios.

  1. Accidents happen.  Often times I count my blessings when I am stuck in traffic; I find myself feeling relieved that somehow I was blessed to be running late and missing my potential role in the traffic accident which is just ahead of where I am.  At the same time, I pray for all that are involved in the accident; I never take spiritual or physical health for granted.
  2. Recently, I lost my position at Temple Emanu-El, a local congregation, because of their financial challenges.  For the most part I have chosen not to share the impact of that loss too fully; it wouldn’t serve me well. What I will say is that it hurt my spirit very deeply.  And yet out of the pain, I have come to grips with some spiritual and emotional needs  that I may not have faced so directly if I had not received my walking papers. Living consciously is a powerful gift that I am giving myself.
  3. A few nights ago, my son left all the lights on in the house.  Sigh.  I am so sensitive to light and it ultimately woke me up; I needed to wake up fully so I could turn off all the lights. 😦  To say that I was thoroughly annoyed is an understatement.  So, in order to distract myself and manage some of my agitation I went on Facebook to check out was going on in the world.  And what I found was a friend that was in serious crisis and needed me.  Two hours later, I was profoundly grateful that I could be there for my friend and to help her manage some intense darkness.  If it weren’t for my son’s mistake of leaving the light on, I wouldn’t have been there to listen and to offer some potential ways to navigate all that she needed to cope with.
  4. How many times have you been at a doctor’s office only to be stuck waiting an extra 30 minutes or maybe even an hour?  Well for nearly five years, we were blessed with doctors that didn’t rush my then teenage son through their office visit because they had other patients.  We also had doctors that created a slot for our son because he was too sick to wait.  After such a positive experience with so many medical practitioners, no longer do I get agitated when I have to wait.  Having a doctor that is compassionate and present when we most need him/her makes a world of difference to me.  Ultimately my son emerged healthy and vibrant, but the journey to get there was full of loving souls that really took the time needed to care of my son when he needed it most.
  5. While initially, I may feel frustrated when I get stuck in the Car Repair place or anywhere, but over the years I have come to appreciate the ‘accidental’ gift of time which allows me time to walk over to the coffee shop and take some time to write and people watch.  To me there is nothing better than having time to sit quietly and write and/or people watch.

We never do know what is on our horizons; life happens and so does death.  My job is to try to make the best of every moment.  Sometime the moment is all we have. . . .

Oct 20 - sunrise Pantano WashMay we all be blessed to find the light shining in the horizons.

With love, light, & blessings,
Chava

 

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Our trek to Tucson has been empowering, challenging, and fun.  While I do not believe any of us would have called this trek easy; the boys and I seemed to thrive as we traveled the many miles from Washington DC to Tucson. The wild thing was that with the exception of three hours on an Arkansas road, nearly every mile went smoothly.

  • The traffic went smoothly.
  • The people we met were without exception kind.
  • We saw beauty along the roads.
  • We ate one gluten free meal at a Subway in Texas.
  • Aryeh nearly obtained his goal of collecting one knife a day during each day of the trek.  At one point, we found a knife from Subway in our bag, but the cheap plastic knife was not up to his standards. 😉
  • Dovi read a book a day and would have read more if he had the next books for his newest series.  Boy can that boy read; he reads 10 times faster than Aryeh and I put together.
  • Jill and Jim have been amazingly giving.  They have opened up their doors to strangers and become fast friends.
  • Our moving truck came on Thursday and then a crew of movers unloaded the truck on that same day. I am so grateful to Michael for finding the best movers and handyman in Tucson.  Locals should let me know if they want Joe’s information.
  • Friday, we started unpacking our house and on Sunday we are moving in.
  • Even with some challenges, the new house is awesome.
  • Feeling the love of our friends as they support the newest journey has helped us move forward.
  • Our last day of traveling was amazing.  We went to an incredible Antique Mall on the border of Texas and New Mexico.

  • We drove in pouring rain through Arizona towards Tucson.  We were surprised by the rain, but later realized it is normal.

With all the good, there are also some challenges.  I feel concern that my boys will take a little time to make friends; summer realities make it challenging to connect with people.  There is an exhaustion that is running deep within my bones from not sleeping well and from dealing with all the emotions of this move.  Wrapping up life in our nation’s capital, moving cross country, and leaving many beloved friends is all part of reality. I am anxious to get started in my work and am feeling a strong sense of both excitement and overwhelm.

New beginnings are scary and exciting too.  Meeting my new community will take time, yet I feel like I need to be able to get everything done today.  🙂 Our new home needs to still be unpacked and we need to find time to purchase a new sofa on a limited budget.  I also need to weed through some books and lose what I shouldn’t have traveled with in the first place.  I don’t want our home to be too cluttered.  And finally, with all that needs to be accomplished, family time should remain a goal; I love motherhood and hanging with my boys.

Below you will find the final insights that we found along our journey:

  1. Folks in Texas sure do ‘Drive Friendly’ even at ridiculously high speeds of travel.
  2. Success in Tucson can be solely graded by how Ginger and Meg welcome me each morning.  Their wagging tails/bodies put a smile on my face each and every day.
  3. We will need to adopt a puppy (all dogs are puppies) as soon as we finish unpacking our house.  We are missing the dogs that Michael took with him to Florida.  Dog energy is what every healthy home needs.
  4. Navigating dark moments is a part of life.  It was amazing to see how quickly we moved through bad moods never allowing them to stick with any of us for more than a brief time.
  5. Border Patrol gave me the smallest taste of what it must feel like to move through a border each day and be questioned.  Because we were American, spoke English well, it took us a moment.  Even in the moment, I felt anxiety because I had never faced this experience before. I am so sorry that their a good Palestinians that have to face this journey daily and with more hostility than I have ever faced.  As Aryeh said, “We didn’t fit any profile, so we were waved through in 5 seconds.”
  6. Happy people prepare better tasting food regardless of being at a nice restaurant, fast food, or ice cream stand.
  7. It’s a long way from DC to Tucson!

The biggest lesson of our Trek to Tucson was remembering the concepts taught in Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird: When the miles you travel become overwhelming, just take a small step  and then another and then another.  Ultimately, you will reach your destination one action at a time.

Now on to new beginnings!

With love, light, and blessings,

Chava

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