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Posts Tagged ‘universe’

Feb 2015  Walking from behind

I don’t think I am alone when I say there are so many things I used to fear and that there are many things that I still fear. . .

I used to fear being destitute with all that that would mean. But bankruptcy in the 1990s and a significant job loss in 2014 didn’t destroy my spirit. While both experiences were anxiety inducing, I found ways to change the tide and become grounded again. I learned to live better within my means and to trust the universe a bit more. Things are still not easy, but for the most part life financially work s (except when it doesn’t). My family really has what it needs.

I used to fear losing my husband and being alone to raise my sons.  Divorce after a long separation ended up empowering me to live a more authentic life and provided me with wings to fly.

I used to fear being traumatized by violence, but I not only survived serious childhood abuse, but I survived rape. Some may even say I found a way to not only thrive but to to help others navigate to a safer place whenever possible.

I used to fear loss, but since I live life as fully as I do. I find myself loving intensely and losing those I love sometimes through death, sometimes through abandonment, and sometimes through the realities of time and space. With each loss, I take the good memories and create new ways of living life more fully in the wake of those losses.  And I know that while the deep sadness may always inhabit a part of my heart, the ‘dance of life’ continues.

I have always feared for my children’s lives. After nine miscarriages and devastating illnesses, I still do. AND that doesn’t mean I allow the fear to infiltrate the way I live. Instead I open up my arms and reach for life with the many moving parts that that entails. And I (mostly) trust that my sons will take their own journeys.

As Émile Zola said, If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, I will answer you: I am here to live out loud!”

I know that I am blessed. Regardless of what has transpired in my life, I find the inner strength  to emerge as the woman I am. On more than one occasion my friends have referred to me a warrior. While I love that term, the term spiritual warrior resonates more deeply for me. All that I do, I do because of love.

Now for honesty, I have always emerged from fear. Always. BUT that doesn’t mean that I do not live in fear.

This past week, I have faced being stalked and feeling threatened by three neighbors. I have been forced to explore what I think about guns, how to handle the myriad of views about what is happening to me, and how to move forward.

Over the last week, I have had people tell me that I have asked for the violent energy by living my life as I do and I have had to wonder if maybe there was truth to what was being said. In the end, I am furious with those that think I should silence the way I live. That is not the world I live in; that is not the world I want to live in.

I am a writer, a protester, and an activist; I am a woman, an educator, and a dreamer. There is so much work to be done and I can not do it by walking in silence.

The man who now sits in the White House and surrounds himself with darkness needs to be held accountable for the way he walks in the world and the trauma he is causing humankind. So, while I am afraid of my neighbors, I have work to do.

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(Note: My world is exactly where it needs to be; my heaviness is not about my own personal journey in this moment, it is about the world around me.)

Those who know me deeply, know that my heart is full. I am blessed to feel intensely, love forever, and connect at a core level. My friends matter, their friends matter, and I care for those in my world and those in my loved one’s world. And if I am really honest, I can’t stop thinking about the larger world too.

For reasons of privacy, I won’t share any ‘real’ specifics. And in truth, the details probably don’t matter. What matters is that chances are that I am probably not alone when I say that each and every one of us are surrounded by people who are struggling.

Philadelphia doorways

This Photo of Philadelphia Tunnels/Doorways is given by courtesy of my beloved friend and fellow writer Wicca Davidson. I love how she captured this view. Wow.

All of us travel through passages that sometimes feel daunting. Life unravels in front of us and there is nothing we can do except open up our hearts and hold those we love and/or care for. Whether for ourselves or others, we can also take time to pray for healing for bodies, minds, and souls. AND we can visualize spirits surrounded by light too.

Years ago, when my father was dying, I realized that I praying for a specific outcome didn’t work. My father was going to take his last breath sometime in the coming days and I would no longer have him as an active part in my life. So, I had to find a way to send healing thoughts to his spirit and to let go of the impossible dream. More than anything I realized that I wanted my father to have inner peace and to know that he was loved.

Only after my dad passed did I slowly begin to understand that there was a power in finding the right right prayer. My prayers were unique to me in the same ways that yours are unique to you. For me, I actively visualize peace surrounding those in need. I understand that while I may want a specific outcome, I don’t always know the bigger picture. My job is to trust in the universe or perhaps God. I choose to let go of any preconceived notions of what life should look like. That doesn’t ALWAYS work, but I have learned to seek that people find healing and wholeness in the ways that best work for them. Lately though, it is easier said than done.

So many are struggle for health and wholeness. Each and every person is traveling their own individual journey. All I can do is send positive thoughts their way. Yesterday, I posted the following on Facebook:

Seeking a prayer that shares my light and blessings for all those I know who are going through some very significant challenges. The more I care, the more I realize that when I pray I always miss someone on my list of those in need of healing. I hate the feeling that I am missing someone each and every time I pray. ‪#‎NoMoreJewishGuilt 

What I know in this moment, is that I have to take a deep breath and just keep sending my healing energy into the world. I can only do the best I can do. And I can trust, that as long as I am sending positive vibes into the world around me. That’s all I can do.

We really can always pray/visualize.  I just have to trust that while I may miss saying someone’s name, as long I know that my intentions are to send positive energy to all in need, I can stop being so hard on myself and trust that energy will go where it needs to go.

May all of my prayers and positive thoughts penetrate the world around me. May those I know and those I don’t know experience wholeness. May each and every person’s spirit soar and personal wholeness reign.

And let us say. . . Amen.

 

 

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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 . . . .]

Thich-Nhat-Hanh-mindfulness-Quotes-Walk-as-if-you-are-kissing-the-Earth-with-your-feet

Every step we take matters.

Living in the world means that we need to take responsibility for how our lives affect the larger universe.  Good choices can create positive outcomes.

To me, there is no question about this.

Years ago a friend tried to convince me that our choices didn’t really make a difference to the larger world.  At the time I didn’t quite know what to say.  As a scientist or an engineer, I know that he knew what he was talking about. Or at least, he understood the realities better than I. While his views never resonated with me, I learned to be silent or to simply ask for clarification.

Today, I understand that each decision we make has the power to make a positive difference. Collective empowerment and collective responsibility counts. . .a group has more power than an individual. But without that one person that inspires us to think and make healthy choices, we may never be able to succeed in making this world a better place.

My job is to make the best choices I can make.

With this in mind, I really consider the ways that I can be more conscious of how I walk in the world by considering my carbon footprint with each action.

  1. How much water am I using when I do the dishes or the laundry, shower, and/or brush my teeth?
  2. How far do I have to travel by car? If I have to go the distance, can I combine errands so that I don’t have to make that trek twice or three times in a short proximity? Can I walk or ride my bike?
  3. How much trash and recycling am I creating? Can I use more whole foods so that I use less packaging or better yet no packaging?
  4. Do I turn off lights? air conditioning? heat? Do I put on extra layers of clothing instead of turning on the heat? Do I take off as much clothing as possible instead of putting on the air conditioning?
  5. Have you ever considered hanging your laundry to dry instead of using a dryer.

There is always so much to consider.  The above list is only a beginning of what we can consider to lessen our carbon footprint.

In Judaism, it is incumbent for us to do our to preserve human life, pikuach nefesh (Hebrew: פיקוח נפש) in the best ways we can.

Hineini, here I am. Will you join me in doing the best you can?

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

PS – In the coming months, I will be moving to Houston.  🙂 So, at one point, yesterday, someone who was asked to help me find a house assumed that if I wanted to live within walking distance to the congregation I will be working for that I must be Orthodox.  Once I realized this. . .I started to giggle.  While that would have once been true, I sure have evolved a ton over the past years.  Today’s focus is minimizing my carbon footprint.

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rawness

Tree Pose180778_10150097427331448_648766447_6518118_7676053_s

feeling the rhythm of life
deeply loving the beautiful connections
surrounding me with each step
my amazing sons, my loving friends
I am blessed

loving the cardinals, the blue jays, the robins
their energy helps my spirit to soar
the frozen earth and icy winds
keep me grounded with each step
I am blessed

writing, working, thriving
breathing deeply, believing all is good
finding balance, reaching for the stars
my transparent soul is alive
I am blessed

moving forward, towards the unknown
taking one step, then another
trusting the universe
living with the rawness of me
I am blessed

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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 24 Elul or 6 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!

~ ~ ~

“The only way to get it together . . . is together.”
Quote by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
(1924-2014)

~ ~ ~

As we go into our last Shabbat before Rosh HaShana, I am feeling grateful for the world I live.  Time and time again, I feel comforted by the village that continues to sustain not only me, but the world of Tikun Olam (Repairing the World).

In my own life, I continue to feel loved and supported with each and every step I take.  Earlier this week, I shared in my blog how things really are, the realities of my life http://wp.me/pthnB-Fg – Following that blog, I heard from quite a few people that were profoundly loving and supportive in a multitude of ways.  And even though, nothing has changed much since I wrote the blog, I feel a bit stronger because of the softness that surrounds me.

This week, Tucson has been surrounded by all sorts of clouds from what some see as the looming storms.  Whenever I see the clouds, I reflect back to the metaphors of nature.  The clouds provide a soft support for me, a cocoon of sorts.  And whenever I have moments of darkness, I frequently find the light shining through the cloud at what seems to be the perfect moment.  Angels appear to lift me; friends call to show they care; more hours of work emerge so that I can better make ends meet.  There are so many wonderful people in my life that surround me and support me in a myriad of ways. In truth, somehow I always feel cushioned from life’s blows and the soft-looking clouds remind me to trust that I really am ok!

Together we can make a difference.  I love how people work together to make a difference for good.  Does it always work – no, but it often does.  And when it does work, the forces feel beautifully aligned with the universe.  Being part of a world that people work together for good is one of the things that always makes an impact on me and puts a warm smile on my face.

As we move into the holiest time of the Jewish year, may we all remember to support those we love and the larger world too.  Together we can make the world a better place; we can impact those close to us and those farther away.  Let’s work together to make a difference for good.

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 17 Elul or 13 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!

~ ~ ~

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
Quote by Dr Seuss

~ ~ ~

When I was in my late teens or early 20’s, I worked as a counselor for the Tikvah Program, a fabulous special needs program at Camp Ramah in Palmer, Massachusetts.  While there, I learned important lessons that continue to impact my life to this day.  The most significant one came from the head of the program who enlightened me by sharing that each and every one of us is unique and also has special needs.

If every one is unique and special, that means I should be cognizant of this reality by consciously honoring each person for who they are.  One of  my biggest goals in life is to make people feel good whenever they connect with me.  I am far from perfect, but I try to interact with others in a very conscious way.

The bottom-line is that every being in this world matters.

I am so tired of living in a society where people show disdain for those those that may have limitations or for those that are the wrong color, size, religion, economic background, etc.  All people are human beings.  Showing someone respect or kindness should be a given unless they have done something very tangible to hurt you.

As a child, I was picked by my own mother and the kids at school because of my own limitations.  I was:

  • slow
  • hearing impaired
  • Jewish
  • fat
  • from a dysfunctional family
  • and more. . .

Eventually I grew up and became more self assured, but growing up sucked in every way.  The good news is that a long the way, I did have friends and family that helped me navigate the harsh realities of being who I was.  And I was able to grow up and become comfortable in my own body.  The point here is that it hurts when people are picked on because. . . .

Since we are all part of the same universe (“no matter how small”), may we all act as if everyone counts.

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 12 Elul or 18 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!

~ ~ ~

Every step I take in light is mine forever.
Quote by Swami Vivekananda

~ ~ ~

Light is always full of power; only when I trust that light, will I soar and be the best person that I can be.

I am a work in progress; all of us are.  Still, I try to remember my simple mission in life.  My job is to radiate light wherever I go and to absorb the sparks that light the world around me.  Only by doing these things can I serve all that is in the universe and make a difference for good.

Always remember that even in the darkest situations, light can emerge.

Nearly 10 years ago, I changed my last name to Gal-Or which means wave of light.  Without a doubt, I believe that light has the power to guide me through life and to sustain me throughout my journeys.  Time and again, light has helped me navigate life’s challenges and gifts too.

May today and every day be full of light for you and those you love!

With blessings and light,
Chava

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