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Posts Tagged ‘transition’

“To be alive──is Power.” 
~Emily Dickinson

Life doesn’t always work out as expected; there are times when all of us feel railroaded. 

For the most part, I find that the best way for me to ride the waves of life, the tumultuous storms, is with a sense of optimism that has the ability to light up any room. Wouldn’t it be lovely if that was always the way ‘it’ worked out?

Over the last few days, I have been triggered by some shadows that are leaving me painfully reflective. While the triggers hurt deeply, I always know that after the moment or moments pass, the sun will shine down on me again.

beautiful blue skies

Tonight, I am allowing myself to breathe into the realities of my life, to feel the raw emotions instead of ignoring them, and to take an evening off of engaging with the world. I am allowing myself the time to live inside my heart without apology.

Transition is often challenging, even when it is ultimately for good.  There is a vibration of vulnerability and excitement, fear and gratitude, playing off of each other. As much as we think we are moving through our transitions alone, we aren’t. There is a village surrounding us, friends and loved ones that are in our court. And in my case, I have my sons that are hanging on for the ride. The biggest challenge of the last two years has been really rough for my guys.

The cost for my younger son, Dovi, was great. The good news is that today I have a strong sense that he is now turning the corner and making conscious decisions to emerge from his darkness. YAY!!! My older son, Aryeh, had to give up a lot in order to help keep our family thriving.  I will always feel enormous gratitude for his perseverance. I am not sure that Dovi and I would have made it without him. Aryeh not only kept us eating healthy meals, he also gave his earnings so that our family could function.  There were so many days that I could have curled up into a ball, but why?

While life hasn’t always given me what I have hoped for, it has given me a spirit to soar and feet to land. I am OK and so is my family!! All of us keep growing and stretching our souls. How beautiful is that!

Most of us can probably relate to the sensation of traveling on a roller coaster.  As we suddenly get thrown downward, we find ourselves screaming or crying out in fear.  And then after the fear passes, we feel a sense of exhilaration as we begin to take the next curve.

A few months ago, I learned that some of the leadership of the congregation I loved so deeply did not believe that my son was as ill as he was. While my son almost died and fought for life, there were those that didn’t understand the extent of his illness and the unimaginable realities of his healing. Really?!?!?!?! YET we were NEVER alone, there were so many others that stepped up to the plate and stood with us every step of the way. 

Learning the above made the ending of my marriage a little over a month ago even rougher. While it was a long time coming, there is no joy in this ending. I thought our connection would last forever, but life didn’t work out that way.

With this period of deep reflection. I am striving to find peace within the storms of my mind. Life didn’t give me what I expect, but it gave me the fortitude to thrive!

This is my time to explore all of the relationships in my life and to better examine what I want for the next half of my life. How do I want to live? What do I want to do with my time? How will I honor the world I live in? Can I better take care of myself and my sons? Will I ever truly be enough? Can I do what it takes to thrive in the world? Will I ever make a difference and have a lasting effect?

The answers to these questions don’t really matter.  What matters is that I know that no matter what happens, I know that, for me (and hopefully my sons), the sun always returns.

I/We got this!

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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 . . . .]

Up and Down. . .Up and Down. . .Up and Down

Today has been one of those days. While I woke up really sick, I was able to push through, walk gently and get a ton completed.  It always amazes me when this happens.

And then reality hit.  I have so much to do and so much to navigate. And in all honesty, I felt broken, not crushed, just wiped. Of course being sick didn’t help. Neither did the ants that keep taking over our home or the pervasive attitudes that I had to deal with or the fear of getting through the next three months. Oh. . .did I say I was sick?

With each passing hours, I found moments of awe. I was able to get some good work done even with feeling achy and weak. I am thrilled and excited to be doing some professional networking. Five boxes were boxed and are now in my car waiting to get mailed to my new city. And in the midst of the tough stuff, I kept finding beautiful light to brighten the path for me.

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
~
Rumi

As afternoon progressed, I needed to handle one of my sons that was navigating his own darkness. And we did! We were able to bounce to a healthier place. I am so grateful for how he is choosing to grow and heal from his own inner conflicts. It took a long drive, a lot of talking, some yelling, and some quiet. Transition is challenge no matter what age you are. I also had to cope with some of my own obsessiveness, waiting for my contract on a house to work out, and some sadness deep within. I was just missing some friends.

Returning home, I was hungry and exhausted from not getting enough rest. I am not sure that I could have expected anything different unless I did more to lay low.

Even with all the tough chunks of time, I found beautiful light guiding me to a brighter place. My rawness led me to see my friend’s beautiful flower as a tool for opening my heart and soul a bit wider. And another dear friend allowed me to reach deeper within myself by writing something that resonated so deeply that I felt my heart sing.

The art forms that surrounded me nudged me to keep moving and even to keep up my own practice of counting the Omer and actively engaging in My Journey Towards Wholeness. I’d say that admitting my seesaw day is a great way to start. Everyone has ‘those” days.Right?!?

The one decision I made after living through today is that the next house I buy has to have a seesaw in the yard and until then, I will start taking photos of some great seesaws until I find the perfect one to frame and put in my house.

Most of us go up and down on any given day. Today was just a little more kinetic than I wanted.

Intuitively, I think I needed today just so I could appreciate that “what goes up must go down.”

Soon I will close my eyes and rejuvenate my soul. I will feel the grateful for the darkness that always turns to light! And I will wake up tomorrow knowing that “All will be good.”

Seesaw Day

With love, light, and blessings – Good night!
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 . . . .]

Allowing for transition in all relationships takes a tremendous amount of courage.  Nine days ago, I shared that “Sometimes closing the door is not enough; sometimes the door must be locked AND barricaded too!” http://wp.me/pthnB-LD While that is absolutely true, that is not the case all the time.

Relationships can often be fluid, they evolve over time; sometimes they seem closer and sometimes farther away.

For me, the struggle is loving people in the intense way that I do when they have decided to ease out of our shared connection. Sometimes I just don’t want to let go of the close connection that ‘was’. When I am not ready or expecting a change, I often find myself mourning the loss instead of just moving forward. Outwardly I may appear to be allowing the relationship to end or to ebb and flow, but inwardly I am crushed. (I do realize that this is remnant from my childhood.)

The last three years have been full of intense loss. My heart has been shattered again and again – sometimes expectantly, but mostly not. The losses are intensely private and mostly held close. There is little reason to share my losses with others. Initially, I navigate in the best ways that I know how and when I am ready I wipe my tears and move forward. Always.

Picture by Chava

Picture by Chava

Friendships unfold or transition in their own unique way.  My goal is always to find a way to do what I have to do and move forward privately. There really is little time for a broken heart. This is my work – perhaps it always will be. The blessing is that I do have some beautiful connections in my life and most of them are quite strong.

In my journey towards wholeness, I am striving to find the inner strength to let go of that which does not serve me. Only through developing some inner strength is there hope to ease more naturally into navigating all relationships in the healthiest of ways.

In the meantime, I am grateful to those within my inner circle that allow me to enter our connection fully as I am.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

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“. . . do small things with great love.”
Quote by Mother Teresa

As I approach some profound changes in my life, I am navigating the most intense vulnerability that I have ever experienced.  If left to my own devices, I would be crying non-stop with each bridge that I am crossing.  The tears wouldn’t all be sad nor would they all be happy; they would fluctuate from moment to moment.  Transparent transition is the gift I am choosing to live by. (Note: I almost feel like I am embodying Anne Lamott’s spirit with each and every blog entry. :))

Over the last year, I have felt sucker-punched and loved at nearly equal proportions.  The good news is that today I am feeling more love and support than I am feeling the harshness of being sucker-punched.  The journey that I am taking has been both challenging and intense.  I have had to face what it means to lose a job and left without the financial ability to take care of my sons; I have also experienced the gifts of having friends and acquaintances help me to secure positions that mostly allow me meet my family’s most basic needs.

As the Gal-Or/Grossman Family prepares to move to the East Coast, I know that it would not have been possible if it weren’t for the support of so many people.  We have been touched by people helping us in a myriad of ways, too many ways to list.  Ironically, I believe that I have personally felt equally impacted by each and every person that has given in whatever way they deemed appropriate.  There have been absolutely no small offerings.

With each step, I have had no expectation that anyone would reach out and help.  For some silly reason, I initially felt alone and very scared.  It is quite daunting to go through dark experiences and believe you will land on your feet.  But truthfully, while life has tossed me some vicious punches; I have been enveloped by love and support for entire second half or more of my life.  I am surrounded by people that have held on to our family while we walked through fire.  Over the years, I have truthfully been far from alone.

Monday night was another example of how one friend brought happy tears to my eyes and warmed my heart.  I am blessed, so very blessed.

Before I share about the amazing treasure I received from Indianapolis, I have to tell a story.

A few weeks ago, I was kvetching on Facebook about how much I am missing the changing of seasons.  I love seeing the leaves change; it rocks my world.  At the time, I was just whining, I had no expectation that I would see autumn leaves this year.  Why would I? I am in the middle of the desert.  🙂  (To be honest, there are changing leaves on Mount Lemmon; that’s not so far.  I just couldn’t get there because of my work and packing schedule.)

Well. . .all my kvetching got the attention of my beloved weird sistah, Ren Fortang, in Indianapolis.  During our exchanged she promised to send me some leaves from her yard.  AND SHE DID!!! Her little package was full of happiness for me. I couldn’t have been happier if I tried.

Leaves from Ren

 

To be honest, the leaves made me the happiest; I couldn’t believe Ren pulled off such an amazing gift.  AND I loved every square inch of the gift from the envelope it came in, to the pin which quoted Mother Teresa, “. . .do small things with great love.”  Ren even included the new CD from Bruce Springsteen, one of my favorite singer/songwriters.  Every square inch of this little gift package nurtured my soul.  (Do you think this blog can replace a thank you note?)

Now just because I love the term basheret, it was meant to be, I want to share that after opening Ren’s gift I was reading Stitches: A Handbook On Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne Lamott and on page 14, I found Mother Teresa’s quote, the same quote that was on the pin.  My guess is that there is a huge lesson there, so I better listen up!

Ren’s gift is symbolic of the beauty that continues to flow as I emerge from some challenging times and take on my next adventure.  I couldn’t have made it this far without the enormous support that has surrounded me; I have received so many treasures over the past year and years before that too.  I truly believe that when we consciously walk in the world with an open heart and love to share, the world will ultimately grow into a healthier place.   My friends have shown me this and I hope to continue paying it forward with each and every step of my life.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

PS – We have been blessed with nearly 70 people giving to our Go Fund Me Drive – http://www.gofundme.com/g8o220

 

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Three Deaths in Two Weeks

The gift is often the challenge.

Professionally, I have always worked within community.  For the most part, I have been blessed to work in the synagogue world.  Within that role, I have had the opportunity to connect deeply with many people from staff to congregants and their families too.  My students, their parents, my teachers, and their families have always become a part of my life.  And now is no different; I work the aged, most if not all are in the last years of their life.  My guess is that regardless of where I work or where I choose to be, I will always build relationships with those that surround me.

People are born; people die.  And in the middle of it all, people live.   They have experiences that fill their lives – including gifts and challenges.

Life is full of cycles

Life is full of cycles.

Over the last two weeks, I have been touched by the strength and integrity of the living and the pain and/or resolve of death.  And in the middle of it all, I have been touched by those that have lived and those that have died.

Three Deaths in Two Weeks

Loving people is what I do; no one is a stranger for long.  All are welcomed into my life including my home.  And within each connection, I try to give fully and be as present as I can be.  Sometimes people are part of my life for moments, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days, and sometimes much longer.  And for that moment that I am blessed to be in a relationship, whether a close friend or for a momentary exchange of words, I treasure the moments however large or small.

Within my work, I build relationships.  And within each relationship, I care deeply.  Whether I connect with people daily, once a week, or only on the holidays, they impact my life and I pray that I impact their lives for good.  Often I do, sometimes I don’t.    The bottom-line is that I hope and pray that most of my connections are full of light and positive energy.  When people go through hard times, I struggle with them – it is simply what I do.  And when they live fully, I celebrate with them – that is also what I do.

Three Deaths in Two Weeks

So far in two weeks, I have gone to one funeral, one shiva minyan (memorial service), and another funeral on Sunday.  I also needed to help transition a client, who is now a friend, to a 24-hour care facility.  She is having a rough transition; her husband is profoundly sad too.  Life keeps moving forward.

Today, I saw a baby in a sling and a toddler eating dinner with his parents and puppy.  I also had a few hours talking and hanging out with my 17 year old son.  Life keeps moving forward.

Life-cycles happen.  I am learning to say good-bye with more regularity than I wish, I am also learning to take note of the life that surrounds me.  The baby, the toddler, the aging, and everyone in between.  I am also noticing the birds and the saguaro cacti; I am watching pomegranates thrive on a tree and flowers open and close on the cacti.  And each evening I look up at the sky and I take note of the moon and her cycle.  I am also waiting and hoping the sky opens up and the rain comes storming into my beautiful desert.

Life. Death. Everything in between.

May I treasure what is and continue to build relationships with the living.  And when people die, may I remember them and honor them by continuing to build connections with the living.

Three Deaths in Two Weeks

People matter and each of these three souls impacted my life for good.

l’Shalom – May their souls go towards peace.

 

 

 

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StumblePartOfDance

Life is full of journeys.  Each day we take a step and then another.  When we are lucky we find the footing and then there are other times when we don’t.  Every step matters, some matter more than others, but they matter just the same.

Lately I am trying real hard to embrace the Dance of Emergence.  So much is happening within me and around me.  Some days I wake up in fear of where the next step will lead me; and then I push through the fear and do what I need to do.  I take one step and then another.  Other days, I wake up seriously excited about the infinite possibilities, the doorways to new opportunities.

Transition has a way of making me walk in circles as I navigate the world around me.  There is so much to consider as I seek a full time job.  The good news is that I have decided to honor myself as I focus on finding positions that will ultimately fuel my soul and allow me the room to create.  In the meantime, I worry about having the money I need during this time of transition.  I worry and then I take a deep breath and do what I have to do – so far so good.   I can still parent.

There are days that my steps are far from firm, but it doesn’t really matter.  I am a fortunate soul; I find a way to find joy in what is.  Sometimes I celebrate the dance of grace and sometimes I celebrate the dance of creativity.  Other times I stumble or simply fall; on those days I might curl up in a ball and cry.  Crying is part of the dance – everything I do is part of the journey.  And so is wiping off the tears and finding the gifts within the challenges.

In the Dance of Emergence, every step counts, even if you think you are just stumbling. . . . .

 

Regardless

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