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Posts Tagged ‘wings’

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.

Western Minnesota Photo Courtesy of Randall Miller

Photo Courtesy of Randall Miller Western Minnesota

I thrive on living authentically and being transparent within my writing and in all human interactions. That does not mean that I always succeed, but it is my work.  My hope is that you will find interesting stories or thoughts and if I am skilled perhaps some tools of how you may or may not approach your own life’s journey.

Wholeness refers to completeness or shalem in Hebrew.  Being full of wholeness means we feel spiritually healthy and undivided or in one piece.  (Dictionary.com) Personally, I would add that when we are in a place of wholeness, we are living in a world of Godliness, conscious of a higher power and/or the responsibility we have to the larger world, the universe.

The last 18 months forced me to do a cheshbon hanefesh (inventory of the soul).  For the first time in my life, I lost my livelihood due to budget cuts and had to examine what I was really looking for professionally and personally. Status quo stopped working for me and I needed to dig deeply and decide what jazzes my soul, what compromises my values, and what I wanted in life.  While my sons are ages 18 and 21, I am still responsible for supporting them and giving them the wings they need to fly.  At the same times, I needed to figure out what I needed so that my entire being could flourish and succeed at the highest level.

So over the following 48 days, you will have a chance to read what is important to me, what I struggle with, and the work that I am doing to reach a myriad of goals.

I am a work in progress. My hope is to share the real me including blemishes, warts, and beauty within ever entry of My Journey Towards Wholeness. Being transparent isn’t easy, but I have been blessed with amazing women in my life who are also writers and artists; my hope is that they will keep me honest and remind me to let the fullness of my being emerge within my writing.

At this point, I’d l want to thank Randall Miller for the beautiful photo taken in one of the many lakes of Minnesota. This photo seems to be guiding me in the right direction. Randall’s photos always move my heart, but this photo has captured my heart. As someone who loves water, it is this photo that seems to be saying it is ok to float and tread water, but know that there is a lot of holy distance to travel.

Thank you for taking the time to join me in my journey.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

PS – Carolyn Riker, my new friend and fellow blogger/writer, helped me find the name for my blog series.  I love that I have learned to ask for help over the past few years.

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“We are all here for some special reason.
Stop being a prisoner of your past.
Become the architect of your future.”
R
obin Sharma, Author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Each year during the Jewish month of Elul (usually in August) through Rosh HaShana, we take the time to do a cheshbon hanefesh, an inventory of our soul.  For me that means taking the time to reflect deeply about the gifts and challenges of the last year, but this is also simply a kinetic time of year. As a Jewish professional, I am working to prepare the community for new beginnings which include the High Holy Days, school, and new programming.  As a mother, I am helping my now mostly grown sons begin their next chapters.  And in the midst of all this, I am usually feeling the need to write and look inward.

The holidays themselves are not easy for me because it is challenging to stay in a spiritual space when you are in charge of so many logistics. Yet the moment Tashlich occurs, I realize that I need to take time to go onward and allow for reflection.  Tashlich is a ritual which usually takes place on first day of Rosh Hashanah in the late afternoon.  During this time the participants symbolically cast off their sins by gathering along the banks of a river, stream, or the like and reciting prayers of repentance.  While many people choose to do this ritual in community, I love to do it alone.

And this year, I have decided to create Tashlich moments again and again.  This is a year of letting go, of saying good-bye to what was and embracing the beauty that is. In the last several months, I have been blessed to rethink my career path, my relationships, and much of my life.  None of this is easy, but it has been made easier because of my private journaling, my very public blogging, and some very beautiful friends.  I haven’t been alone and yet I have needed to spend a lot of time alone as a way of giving myself the room to gaze deeply into my soul.

On a good day, the journaling strikes chord after chord, but this doesn’t happen all the time or even most of the time.  More often than not, I am left with a rhythm that isn’t quite working for me.  I am a work in progress. At times the work has been bitter sweet; sometimes it is actually heart wrenching; and once the puzzle pieces come together, it can be beautiful.  Soul-searching is an art form and I am learning with each breath I take.

Writing  is the most profound tool that helps me find center, but that isn’t my only means to finding balance.  My world is full of chanting, drumming and physically moving (sometimes dance and sometimes hiking).  In the midst of all the soul work, my sons keep me grounded and remind me that while I have a lot of work to do, I am actually doing well!  My world is in fact quite amazing; I have all that I need and much of what I want.

As fortunate as I am, there is still work to be done. One way of moving forward is to create Tashlich moments by letting go of all that is holding me back.  Last night, it meant that it was time to get rid of a ton of clutter; I deleted thousands of emails from personal and professional relationships that no longer served me well.  In most cases, it was simply about not needing those particular emails; in other cases it was time to say good-bye to old connections. The delete button became a co-conspirator in propelling to close some doors as a way to open new doors. The goal is to make room for my next chapters and to celebrate what is.

As I woke up this morning, I was acutely aware that there was a shift within me.  The rays of sunlight were slowly warming me up and nudging me toward the many gifts that are very much a part of my life today. I am feeling (perhaps) like a butterfly as it begins to take flight.  Last night, I said good-bye to the cocoon that was binding in a myriad of ways.  With each passing moment, the bindings release and my wings are spreading; there is no turning back for me.

Support for my Tashlich moment when I opened up Facebook this morning to find the photo of  the Topsail Island beach where a group of my close friends are gathering this week.  While I am not with them physically, the photo reminded me that I am not alone.  Once I saw that photo, I realized that outside my front door is the space to create my own Tashlich moment.

Onward with love, light, and blessings,
Chava

Topsail, NC Courtesy of Tamar BenArdout

Topsail, North Carolina – Courtesy of Tamar BenArdout

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