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Posts Tagged ‘transparency’

If you do not breathe through writing,
if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing,
then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.
~A
nais Nin

I am a writer. In the core of my being, I am most comfortable expressing myself through the written word.

Recently, I have been astounded by people questioning the transparency of my writing.  Is there any other way? I think not.

My teacher (who has no idea who I am) is Anne Lamott; she has taught me to write with complete integrity, to share fully, and to not be ashamed of my thoughts and feelings.  One of my favorite teachings that can be found in her book, Bird by Bird, and also in her CD titled, Word by Word, is that I have a right to share my story.  If people didn’t want me to talk bad about them, they should have never done the things they did.  So while, I generally refrain from giving a ton of the darker details of my life, I do have Anne’s voice as my guide.  And her voice resonates-always. Each of her books (and now Facebook status lines) is an example of someone who speaks what she feels from her kishkes (guts). Lamott shares the good, the challenging, the ugly; Anne is a beautiful work in progress. I aspire to have her voice as my guide whenever I am sharing my voice, my thoughts, my writing.

Each and every one of my  written (and spoken) words come from my heart and are part of my essence.  If I write them to you personally, imagine that I am giving you the gift of my heart and soul. Imagine that you are worthy of my truest love.

And for the reader that reads my blog. . . I am sharing with you my purest being. In the moment that I am sharing my thoughts, know that they are coming from the deepest part of me.

Writing,
the song of my heart;
the meaning of my mind;
the feeling of my soul;
Is what makes me One

I am a writer. My words matter and have the power to impact.  My hope is to touch people in ways that make a difference in their lives; simultaneously I feel a positive energy with each and every letter and space that is part of my writing.  The rhythm of my soul is out there for anyone to treasure or to toss out.  Why would I want it any other way?

When I write, I am giving you, the reader, a part of my me.  With each word, I am weaving a personal idea, a thought, a dream; I am sharing the deepest part of the person that I have become.  And yet, what I write one moment, may evolve in another moment; I never stop thinking or growing.

With each breath, I have experienced the fullness that life has had to offer – sometimes with beauty, sometimes with pain, always finding sparks of light.  I am the person I am because of the life I have lived.  Life has blessed me with the ability to look inwards and to evolve as the trek emerges.  With each step, I write as a way to process all that was, is and will be. Capturing the many moving parts of my heart, my soul, and my mind is what I do.  Through writing, I allow the words to flow onto the page and to cleanse my being.  And sometimes, if luck will have it, my words can do something magical for someone else too.

My transparency is a gift.  I welcome you to experience a world that is mine.  Is it rational? Not always.  Is it precious? To me.  Are the moments when my emotions are intense? Of course.

May my words continue to be real –  now and always.
May my words help me stay balanced in a world that often feels off balance.
May my words inspire people in small and large ways.

May I always have the character to ‘say what I need to say’.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

Morning Pages Binder

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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 20 Elul or 10 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!

~ ~ ~

Return Again

Return again, return again
Return to the land of your Soul
Ret
urn again, return again
R
eturn to the land of your Soul

Return to what you are, return to who you are
Return to where you are
Born and reborn again
Return again, return again,
Return to the land of your Soul
Return again, return again
Return to the land of your Soul…

Music: Shlomo Carlebach
Lyrics: Rafael-Simkba Kahn
© Schlomo Carlebach All Rights Reserved

~ ~ ~

The month of Elul inspires me to reflect, to really question have I been honoring myself by living consciously and honestly.  Am I serving the the world I live with integrity and thoughtfulness? Am I nurturing the person I am and striving to reach my full potential?  Am I listening to the silent voice inside of me that has always aspired to make healthy choices for not only my physical world, but for the world that surrounds me regardless of how close or far?  Am I doing the things that jazz my soul?

Everything we do matters? Everything we think can impact our lives and the lives of those around us.  Am I living in a way that exhibits those realities?

During my Elul Journey, I have chosen to take this trek one step further.  I have decided to be more transparent by sharing how I walk through the world with you as well as most of the people that cross my path.  In the recent years, I have grown to like who I am; I want the ‘real me’ to be the person that folks get to know. Today, I am actively returning to my roots and growing stronger roots with each step I take.

Each of us are born with our own essence; may we be blessed to fuel the parts of our being that make us feel the most whole as we strive to grow with each breath.

With blessings & light,
Chava

Live you way - Jung saying

With blessings & light,
Chava

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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 the forth day following Rosh Hodesh (beginning of the month) Elul; it is a time to reflect and to choose ways in which I can best move forward.  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!

Today, I will be quoting from Anne Lamott, the writer and teacher that speaks to my core being.  Her transparency has helped open the door to my own transparency.  She inspires me to be honest, to write whatever comes to my head, and to have integrity in how I walk in the world.  While I do not know Anne Lamott, I have read her books, listened to all of her books on tape, and listened to her teachings and interviews.  And I still have so much to learn from her.  My hope and dream is that I can one day study with her in a workshop format; she is also one of only a few writers/artists that I dream of sitting down for tea with.  Anne inspires me to become a better writer and a much better human being.

Nearly all of Anne’s writings and diatribes resonate deeply with me; they make me think.

“Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived. Clutter is wonderfully fertile ground – you can still discover new treasures under all those piles, clean things up, edit things out, fix things, get a grip. Tidiness suggests that something is as good as it’s going to get. Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation, while writing needs to breathe and move.” 

AND

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life. . . . ”

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Being less than perfect is reality.  I realize that my desire for perfectionism is an illusion that holds on tight and takes the air out of whatever it is I am trying to accomplish. When I am in a place of needing perfection the most, it means I am nurturing the broken parts of me that need soothing.  Unfortunately, the brokenness has succeeded in destroying some of my creativity over the years.  Sad, but true.  I have struggled to find peace in the chaos that happens just before the explosion of creativity.

More and more frequently I am getting glimpses that the chaos of my mind and sometimes my physical environment has become a welcomed part of life. I love that my mind is full of ideas and that my fingers help me navigate my heart, my mind, and my soul.  I wish I could say that perfectionism doesn’t impact my life any longer, but it does.  The key is that I can now often take a step back and embrace imperfection with a lot more ease.

What I have learned in the past several years is that I can strive for perfection, but in the end I am learning to be happy with a job well done that has taught me many lessons along the way. 🙂

 

 

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Middah (character trait) focus: Moving forward with grace

Wondering if this is graceful. . . .

Wondering if this is graceful. . . .

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.

I am a person who acknowledges who I am and what my intentions are; I attempt to always walk forward with both integrity and transparency.  At times, it isn’t easy to walk as I do, but it is a part of me.  At the same time, I journey towards peace (both inner and outer peace).  While the journey is sometimes difficult, in the end, each step propels me towards a more authentic life allowing me to be impactful for good.

Making an impact for good is profoundly important to me.  Those of you that know me personally, know that I sometimes offend people with my directness; I am honest and intense in how I walk in this world. While I may offend people, it is often because of how I grapple with what I see not because I want to make others uncomfortable.  And I am also a loving human being that thrives on positive interactions and sweet connections.

With that in mind, I have chosen to navigate my latest journey in the most graceful way I know how.  (We all have our journeys, don’t we?) My hope is that I hold myself in a positive way.  I love life, I love the people that I have chosen and that have chosen me for their world.  I connect with people whether I walk in a store, on a mountain, on the sidewalks next to a busy street; I couldn’t make these connections if I didn’t embrace life as I do.

Deep anger and dark energy would not make me approachable in any way.  I love being the person that touches people with my warmth and smile; I can’t imagine being any other way.  That doesn’t mean that I am not sad right now; I am struggling with taking care of my family financially and how I will transition if I have to move.  And guess what – it really is about finances and I believe that as long as my family does what it needs to do that we will land on our feet even if I have to ask for help.  Moving forward with grace is about focusing on the many positives and not harping on what was.  Each step of my journey has been full of open doors.  Sometimes the doors are open briefly and sometimes the doors are wide open for a lifetime.  I need to see the world as being full of opportunities; I need to concentrate on the good; and I need to move forward by doing all that needs to be done with a gentleness within me.

And with every step, I need to remember that my family is blessed with good health, loving friends and a ‘can do’ attitude.  We will be ok for sure and probably even great in just a short time.

With all of this in mind – May I move forward with grace – now and always.

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Helen Gist-Tselikidis was a beloved friend of mine; my entire family loved her.  Finding out she died a little more than a week ago has touched me deeply.  In fact, I am finding her touching me deeply with each breath.  Some moments are easier than others and I am struggling with my desire to be with her family, to give them a hug and to receive their love in return would be amazing.

Below are the words that I shared with Laz, Jessie and Nico about the woman they loved deeply and what she meant to me.  We could all learn from Helen! Her memory is a blessing for good and I wish she could still be with us today.

Memories to share:

My Dearest Laz, Jess, and Nico,

Your family has always touched us; we met you over the course of a couple of years, but from the moment we met your dad that first time we were in the shop, we felt uplifted by each and every one of you.

Your mom was a very quick friend!  Her loving and incredibly transparent energy was a joy; she was real in every way.  I would call your mom sometimes, just to have time with someone who was truly herself at every moment.

There are so many stories I could share with you, below are just a few.

One of the funniest moments came when I invited Helen for our Passover Seder.  She was really excited to come and she seemed a little anxious too.  But she drove all the way out to Bowie, where we lived at the time, showing up 3 or 4 hours late.  I was so excited to have her regardless of what time she showed.  I was bummed that she missed most of the seder, but happy she made it for dessert.  🙂

The best moment of the evening came when one of my friends politely introduced himself by name.  In the midst of a house full of people, I heard her say loudly, “Honey, there is NO NEED for you to tell me your name, I just won’t remember it; I lost my memory as soon as I went through menopause.”

Another time, I brought a good friend of mine into your shop from Texas.  I am not certain if she had ever met a rabbi up close and personal, but she decided he needed to have a Budha so she gave him hers. 🙂

A third and final story:  We were touched to have you and your mother understand the power of tie-dye for our family.  As Aryeh, my son, struggled for his life and then later his recovery, you and your mom helped in tremendous ways.  The biggest gift you gave was when you made a beautiful tie dye from Aryeh’s color directions that said Life in Hebrew, the wall hanging gave him and still gives him the healing energy he seeks.

In fact, Aryeh brought a small Life (Chai) bandana with him to Israel where he is now so that he could share the story of his wall hanging with his new friends.  Since that time, we have also been giving  out tie dye bandanas to people in need of healing.  Funny, she said she would make more for us when we were last there….not sure if she did, but giving these bandanas with healing energy has given countless people something to hold and treasure as they struggle to heal.

Your mother’s capacity to love unconditionally as well as her incredible transparency has helped give my own voice the ability to be more honest.

I will always love Helen and I am grateful that both she and your dad brought our family to each of you.

May your mother’s memory be a blessing for good!

With love, light, and blessings, Chava

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