Posts Tagged ‘trials and tribulations’

Photo courtesy of Janie Grackin Did you notice the butterfly? :)

Photo courtesy of Janie Grackin
Did you notice the butterfly? ūüôā

Middah (character trait) focus: Accepting gifts

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.

Gifts come in so many different forms: shipping packages, active helping, a listening ear, gift wrap, natural beauty, insight, etc.  At any given moment, gifts surround us, but sometimes we have to open our eyes extra wide so that we can really notice what you see in front of you.

Over the last few days, I have been literally blown away to the point of tears as I have felt surrounded by the love of friends near and far.  As I navigate life and all that it has to offer, I am feeling the love and care of people that are giving me their love, things I need, time to be authentic, job leads, and friendship.  Blessings really do surround me at every turn.

In the midst of life’s trials and tribulations, may each and every one of us notice and accept the many¬†gifts¬†that surround¬†us.

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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: Perseverance

Life happens.

Each and every day we wake up and we get to decide how we can walk through the world.  For me, regardless of what is happening in my world, I am someone who chooses to move through life with a smile on my face and a positive disposition.  While I am far from perfect, being grumpy just doesn’t work for me.

As part of the living, each of us experience trials and tribulations, gifts and challenges, joy and heartache.  When we push through the tough stuff, we open ourselves to the possibility of making it through what is and maybe even finding sparks of light along the way.

Living in the desert has opened up my mind to how perseverance can appear; one such example is a cactus that rarely receives water, yet still has the ability to flower.

Cactus Flower

May each of us find the tools that allow us to perservere when we are faced with adversity in whatever form it takes.

With love and light . . . . Chava




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Sometimes life can feel brutal with all the relentless curve balls.

My life has been a little too full of darkness; it is a reality.  Yet, I have always chosen to find a way to find sparks of light as I have dealt with the trials and tribulations (even the earth-shattering ones).  The bottom-line is that I have never let the darkness or hard times shut me down for long, instead I use many different tools that have helped me to navigate since childhood Рhere are a few:

  1. Smile – Smiling helps me feel more centered and it¬†calms¬†my spirit too. ¬†Smiles also make those around you feel more at ease which ultimately helps you. ¬†While a smile can’t erase the challenges/pain you may be¬†feeling, it can ease some of the sting.
  2. Notice¬†the angels that come your way – When you least expect it people show up in your lives to offer a moment of comfort. ¬†Sitting in ICU is always rough;¬†losing relationships makes us sad; and moving cross country only to become unemployed isn’t ok. ¬†Find the sparks of light in each painful moment. ¬†I will never forget the friends that made sure we had food even though one of Aryeh’s hospitals was¬†over¬†1.5 or more¬†hours from where our friends lived. ¬†Or the friend that shared with me a song he wrote to help heal my breaking heart. ¬†And of course, as I am facing unemployment now, my friends are rallying to help me land on my feet. ¬†There are always angels that show up to help you navigate even if they are only there for a moment in time.
  3. Inch by inch РWhen the to do list overwhelms you, just do one little thing at a time. Try not to get lost in looking at the big picture and all that you have to do to move forward.  Always remember to keep moving forward.
  4. Allow yourself the space to mourn or to feel sadness – Just because I move through life with a smile on my face, doesn’t mean I don’t take time to cry or to scream. . . I just try to give myself the space to do what I need to do. ¬†And then as much as possible, I allow myself to find¬†small sparks of light that will ultimately help me through the darkness.
  5. Quiet time is a good thing, but don’t shut the world out for too long – Most of us¬†need to be surrounded by silence at some point in time, but remember that ‘it really does take a village’ to navigate life. ¬† Let the right people impact your world for good when you are ready to come out of your cave.
  6. Don’t allow those around you to bring you down unintentionally – When Aryeh, my son, was critically ill for a few years, I had two amazing friends that tried to connect with me every day, the only problem was that the connection was not always good for me. ¬†They wanted to know the play by play happenings, but they didn’t come to see us; they supported us with their love¬†and even¬†financial support,¬†but it didn’t help me to share what was going on each and every day. ¬†I also grew weary of hearing about life outside our world. ¬†I just didn’t know if our lives would ever be happy and healthy again. ¬†So at some point, I let go of the daily connections again until they worked for me. ¬†And the good news is that not only did Aryeh heal, but our friendships survived too.
  7. Say what you need to say РAsk for what you need and set the parameters of how human interactions work.  When we are in crisis, we have the fundamental right to set the environment that works for us.  Hopefully our loved ones can honor that.
  8. Take time to write/journal – Writing is the way I come to understand what is truly on my mind and in my heart; writing helps me process the world around me.
  9. Sleep – You can’t take care of yourself if you don’t find the time to sleep. ¬†If you need help, ask; there are medical and natural remedies that can make a difference.
  10. Believe that all will work out in some way – In the midst of a crisis, we don’t always think that things will get easier or work out. ¬†And sometimes they don’t work out as we want them too, but in time new norms evolve and healing begins. ¬†While we don’t always heal from the pain, we do often find new ways to thrive.

These tools allow me to walk through the world as I do, my hope is that one of these ideas impacts your life for good. ¬†Let me know what helps you maneuver life’s challenges?

Remember, if you look real hard, you might be able to find the light in nearly every dark moment.

December 24

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Last night we counted Day 31 of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and three days of the counting. Today is referred to as Tiferet sheh b’Hod, Beauty, Balance or Harmony within Expansiveness.

Have you ever noticed how some days just work? ¬†All of the pieces of life’s puzzles come together as you would like and challenging moments don’t really trouble you.

Tiferet sheh b’Hod

Each of us have a story that makes us who we are at any given moment.  We have trials and tribulations; we have gifts and challenges happening at nearly every turn.  We have a past, a present, and a future.  Life always has a lot of moving parts and for the most part, we have a choice on how we experience the moving parts.

(Note: I do realize that tragedy never feels good and loss can be devastating. ¬†And in the midst of pain, life can feel like hell. ¬†From experience, I realize that awareness or insight comes only after the harshness of pain eases over time. ¬†While I believe we have a choice how we walk through life’s darkness, we might not have a choice during the initial spark or as a disaster is absorbing our essence. ¬†The choice will come days, weeks, months, or even years later when we have an opportunity to look back and find moments that worked or new ways to absorb the blow of reality.)


Storms come and go.  Life happens and sometimes we have no control.  If we open our eyes real wide, we might find the rainbows that happen after the storm.  At those moments, I am always amazed that regardless of how I feel part of the larger world and I see the beauty that surrounds me with an open heart.

Tiferet sheh b’Hod, Beauty, Balance or Harmony within Expansiveness.

May we all find our rainbows within the beauty that encircles us.



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