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Posts Tagged ‘walking’

“When you bring consciousness to anything,
things begin to shift.”  
~Eve Ensler

Inca trail to Macchu Piccu -Credit Lauren Rader's Art and Releasing the Creative Powers Within ClassesI write in order to figure out what is weighing on my spirit, what truths guide me, and what I believe in the core of my being. Writing is how I come to grips with the many dichotomies that fill my life and how I ultimately become more grounded so that I can do the holy work of living with authenticity.

Weaving words together is how I have ultimately been able to heal my broken heart time and again. Life is hard, really hard. I have navigated some very dark and windy roads. And honestly, when I have started each journey, I have found myself wondering how I would ever make it through the pain. Sometimes I have believed that I wouldn’t make it. But thriving is truly not an option.

A lifetime of living has given me so many beautiful tools for living and healing when I need them most. While I find comfort in singing wordless melodies, chanting, drumming, breathing deeply, walking in nature, painting my sweet cards, and receiving the love of my beautiful tribe, my most sacred living comes from writing and it always has.

Writing is how I have found peace within storms, navigated troubled waters, and come to terms with life’s gifts and challenges. I write in order to find the words I need to make healthy life choices, mourn sad moments, and get out of my way when I am making things more difficult than they need to be.

Over the years, I have found humor in how different people relate to my writing. At any point in time, three different people will have three very different interpretations of my writing. Some will see me as broken, some will see me as whole or inspiring, and still others will think that I am using my writing to navigate life. And all three types will be sure that they are correct. And in truth, they may all be correct or they may not have a clue. And in truth, none of this matters. What matters is that my writing invites the reader to explore where they are in life and how they can best embrace their own journeys. My hope is to inspire people to explore their own lives or perhaps to simply open their eyes to see seeing new ways of seeing whatever is front of them.

The bottom-line is that through writing, I am able to gain insight in all areas of my life and in the world around me.

I am who I am because I am a writer.

Onward with love, light, and blessings,

Chava

PS: Thanks for reading what will likely be part of my memoir which at this point is being called, Thriving: No Option. . . . If you like what you are reading, please take a moment and like it on WordPress or any social media site, And if you have feedback, I’d love to hear it.

 

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Oncoming storm - Chesapeake - Paul Zeitz

Incoming storm on the Chesapeake Bay.    Photo Courtesy of Paul Zeitz.

My Inner Demons have been busy over the last few days. They have been telling me all sorts of harsh things:

  • You don’t do enough for humanity.
  • You need to push harder.
  • You really do feel too deeply.
  • Why can’t you let go of _________.
  • Why aren’t you able to save more money?
  • And so much more. . . .

My journey (always) is to quiet those Inner Demons. Because these demons are a storm raging inside of me that can only become destructive if they get out of control.

Fortunately, they aren’t telling me what they often tell me like:

  • You are limited.
  • You’re so f*cking fat.
  • You are nothing without good hearing.
  • What do you have to give to the world?
  • Why can’t you be more articulate?
  • After all of the writing that you have done, your grammar sucks.

UGH!!

Here is the good news here, I know that these Inner Demons aren’t really helping me nor are they being truthful; they are simply distracting me from being my best me.

These are the voices of my childhood. This is what my mother said every day. Some of this is what the neighborhood boys told me as they bullied me. This is what I heard when I closed my eyes at night.

Silencing those voices has been my life work. As an adult, I have been blessed, but the damage of childhood hell runs deep. I have to keep reminding myself that I am awesome just as I am, but I at times the struggle is real.

On a bad day, my Inner Demons hang close. The most frequent time they visit is when I am having a bad day at work because I have made a mistake or I have a challenging moment with a co-worker or a member of my congregation. Every time a friend decides they no longer want me in their life, the demons visit. Each time a relationship ends with a man that I believed would be part of my life forever, I know that I will spend the rest of my days alone. Who would want a person like me? The biggest challenge comes from tough moments with loved ones. The good news is that I can usually remember that moments happen, but sometimes I forget.  Sigh.

Fortunately,  the Inner Demons only visit me initially when I am feeling challenged, really hurt, or super sad. With some real soul work, I have been able to find amazing tools to help me navigate. Sometimes it is as simple as taking a deep breath and then another. Eventually after enough deep breaths, the demons silence themselves and I accept life’s challenges with a little more ease. I also chant, dance, walk, drum, paint, get quiet, or do whatever I need to do in order to change my childhood and earlier adulthood patterns.  Altering patterns is my work, I am ok with that.

I am a work in progress (WIP).

Onward with love, light, and blessings,
Chava

PS: Thanks for reading what will likely be part of my memoir which at this point is being called, Thriving: No Option. . . . If you like what you are reading, please take a moment and like it on WordPress or any social media site, And if you have feedback, I’d love to hear it.

 

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The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

by William Stafford From Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems. 
Graywolf Press (January 7, 2014).

As a little girl, my father would cup both of his hands over my ears and say, “Listen to the quiet.” Each and every time he did this a calmness washed over my spirit. While my father has been gone for 17.5 years, I have never forgotten that sensation or released my longing to ‘listen to the quiet’.

Over the last several years, I have become aware that I am navigating a life with many moving parts; I often find myself overwhelmed and struggling how to get my to do list done and show up for life in a healthy way. As a seeker, this has invited me to find options for how to best nurture my spirit and to literally practice being me.

100 Collection.2

Making Artist’s Cards is only one of my daily practices. 

The great news is that creating and doing practices comes naturally to me. While some of them could have been considered detrimental in my youth or for moments in time, today they tend to be quite beautiful and grounding. I am the person I am because I take significant time to ‘listen to the quiet’ and to honor my needs.

Making conscious choices for how I spend my time has truly made it possible for me to process the darkness that has been known to blanket my being. I feel deeply and love unabashedly. My heart has been shattered by those I should have been able to trust and by those that have loved me differently then I have wanted. I don’t tend to do well with a broken heart; my entire being seems to hold that feeling unable to emerge with ease.

While this truth is painful for me, the awareness has lead me to engage in healing practices. In the last eight months or so, I have found a new rhythm that includes new rituals or what I prefer to call daily practices. They have empowered me to move forward and to better embrace self-care. Yes, I feel the wounds of my broken heart and spirit, but they don’t devastate me. I am choosing to live within my truth. I am practicing being me!

I love how I walk through the world and how on a good day I radiate light. Yes there is sadness, but it is what it is. What matters is how I move forward and that I always choose to move forward. Creating practices has literally saved my life; it has given me tools to cope and made me stronger for living with all the moving parts of my life.

I am able to thrive because of what I do to take care of my body, my mind, and my soul. Here are some of my daily rituals/practices:

Morning Rituals:

  1. Make my bed
  2. Drink water:
    • two cups – usually room temperature
    • with apple cider vinegar
    • with fenugreek seeds
    • with spices (aryuvedic )
  3. Peel and eat 12 raw almonds with local honey (Peeling raw almonds that have been soaking in water is a real meditative treat.)

Daily practices

  1. Journaling – My daily check in helps me negotiate whatever is weighing on my spirit. Only through journaling can I really find out what I think and what I feel, what I need and what will help me to better function.
  2. Reading books – Right now I am working on four:
    • Becoming by Michelle Obama
    • Practice Me  by Elena Brower (This inspired me to write this blog.)
    • Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, & Loving More by Rachel Macy Stafford AND
    • Diana, An Allegory of Awakening Herself by Martha Beck (This book just arrived and will be started tonight.)
  3. Making Artists cards using watercolor and words of empowerment
  4. Keeping the kitchen sink clean and clear

Regular Practices (4-5 times/week)

  1. Walking 10,000 + steps
  2. Listening to AMAZING podcasts while I walk
  3. Chanting/Prayer
  4. Deep breathing exercises and/or meditation

Developing Practices (I am always trying to make healthy choices, but I haven’t quite mastered the following, but I am fairly consistent :). . .)

  1. Yoga in the morning – I made it through one week, but felt really sore. . .tomorrow I start again.
  2. Nutritious smoothie
  3. Eating vegetables with every meal
  4. No sweets and almost no sugar

When I picked up the book Practice Me last week, I was blown away by how well I am doing it. I am living as authentically and constantly working on the non-negotiables in my life. And I am learning, always learning about how I can show up and live life more fully.

What practices do you do that make you a healthier you?

Onward with love, light, & blessings,
Chava

PS – Keep your eyes open for later today or tomorrow when I share my practices for nurturing our world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tonight, we will count or have counted Day 12 of the Omer, which is 1 week and 5 days.  We refer to today as Hod she-b’Gevurah, being actively present in what you are doing without needing to control the outcome of what’s happening within the power of life’s journeys and within our own strength.  The beauty of living, even momentarily, without needing to control how something will work or not work can be profoundly freeing.

The teaching Na’aseh V’Nishma, which is understood to mean do first and understand later ; the translation means we will do and we will hear  (understand more deeply) comes to mind. (Exodus 23:4-7)   Sometimes we are drawn or even ordered to do things that make no sense.  If we are lucky, we might one day come to better understand our actions.
Congested

One of the things I have grown to love is walking, hiking, biking, or driving in an area that is unknown to me.  With each forward movement, I fall in love with where I am at any given moment without an expectation of what is coming next.    In truth, even if I could easily read maps I would still be clueless about what is happening and what I am seeing until I get to where I am going.

Life is full of things that are hidden from us or that are unclear to us.  Sometimes we are fortunate enough to gain perspective after we have completed a task, sometimes later, and sometimes not at all.  Learning to trust the process of life is a gift you give yourself.

May we all be blessed to have moments in time that we can trust our role in life without needing to understand each and every moment that is coming or will ultimately come.

 

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These feet travel through many doorways.

Not all who wander are lost.  J. R. R. Tolkien

I love life.  With each step I find myself exploring, digging deeply to strengthen my already solid foundation.  I am a seeker who walks through the world with a core intensity.  I am real.

With all of these realities lurking in the background, I truly value who I am.  Exploring leads to new understandings.  While I feel like I am constantly finding a lost part of myself, I never feel lost.   With each step I take through new doorways, I seem to feel more complete.

Below are some of the doorways or passages that are part of my daily trek.  I seem to thrive on analyzing life’s complexities and growing with each realization.

To writing:

I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die. ~Isaac Asimo

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”
~ Joan Didion

For these reasons and more I write.  Simple.  The more writing I do, the more balanced I am.  When writing is part of my daily practice I can move through ever doorway with a stronger sense of calm and in a more conscious way.  Writing helps me to walk through the world.

To Loving Connections 

Moving to Tucson was hard.  I love my friends; I miss my friends desperately.  And the good news is that I am making new friends.  And some of those friendships are becoming nurturing and fun, a nice balance.

Yesterday, I found myself vulnerable for a little while; the vulnerable scared me because for a few long moments I felt alone.  So I chanted the words Patach Libi, Open My Heart.  The more I chanted these words, the less alone I felt.  As my day progressed, I received a couple of texts and emails from friends.  By opening my heart and allowing the gifts of friendship to touch me, I was able to lose some of the layers of vulnerability.

And throughout the day, people kept reaching out.  New friends and old friends were with me.  By opening my heart to the friendships that surrounded me, I was able to move through another metaphoric doorway and to feel connected to those I love and to those I do feel a connection.

To Health

I am on another health journey. I am walking more, moving more, and seeing a wonderful homeopath who is unlocking some of my stagnant energy as she helps me become a healthier me.  I also chant more and actively seek spiritual opportunities through my movement.  Living in Tucson has connected me with the land more than ever before.  Wow, let’s talk about a spiritual connection.

My hope is to work on my spiritual and physical health simultaneously.   The most beautiful example of this for me is when I go walking or hiking in the beauty of the southwest; with each step there is a chant whether I voice it or not.

To Balance/Consciousness

My hope is that I continuously make choices that align with my values.  Where do I shop? What do I eat? Do I think about the packaging of the things I buy? What about my carbon footprint? Do I actively engage in navigating the political circles within the US and Israel? Am I kind to strangers? How do I treat those that work with me?  Do I smile and laugh?  Do I help those in need?

I hope I do all of these things and more.  In truth, I am a work in progress.

Living consciously with my values makes a difference; finding balance comes from honoring my values and trying to make the world a better place.

To Gratitude:

Gratitude is what happens when you feel grateful for the small things instead of fixating on the challenges. Today had moments when I forgot to find gratitude, but fortunately I was surrounded with reminders to keep me in line!
How I walk through life?

Challenges are always opportunities. Embers or sparks of light can be ignited even in the darkest of moments.  Doorways represent possibilities, opportunities, hope.  Each time I go through a new doorway, take a new journey, or climb up or down a new mountain, I am stretching myself and growing as an individual.

May each of choose to live with integrity by consciously moving through each and every doorway within our lives.

 

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