Thursday, November 27, 2008

Challenges of Holding Multiple Realities

Blessings of Staying Awake: Years ago I went to several workshops on the Enneagram and learned I was a 'Four'. To me that meant I was in the caring group and I had a strong need to be different. I felt comfortable with that category. Then recently I took an on-line questionnaire based on the Enneagram and I still came out a Four. I was relieved at the consistency and I began thinking of the blessings and curses of uniqueness. My need to be unique often isolates me and keeps me righteous and judging and gives me a flare if I dare to let my true colors fly.

This Thanksgiving morning as I lay on the grass overlooking the inter-coastal waterway being led through stretching my mind and body in various Pilates poses a thought crossed my mind. My uniqueness that I hold onto for dear life is also everyone's gift from the Divine. And I then asked myself 'Why was I trying so hard to value it as better?' I laughed at my child who screams 'Mine!' not wanting to share. And as I heard my yoga teacher telling us that each breath was unique and not to compete with others or yourself my mind wandered to the thought how universally true that was.

My thoughts took me down the path that in Hebrew the root of the words breath and soul are the same and I was caught up in this Divine, mysterious connection. I told myself in that moment that since my soul is unique with a specific mission that competing or isolating myself only makes my mission more difficult or impossible. And I began welling up as we lay in the corpse pose and Jerry read Melody Beatty's words on self love.

Spiritual Challenge: my life is not separate scenes disconnected from each other. Each scene is vibrantly connected to another and I am connected to them in the same way. To remember what I teach as a rabbi and holder of a universal truth is that it is all about relationships whether it is to space, things, people, weather or souls and remember that I truly am never alone.

Spiritual Practice: to continue making time during the day to stop, breathe, and focus on the moment for no other reason than it is my discipline for getting what I want; a deeper relationship with my divine self that is interrelated with the world.

Blessings of the Vav: I am complete and the story dynamically continues! TG!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Getting the Word Out

How does an introvert express the deep desires of her heart without preaching or pushing her values and views on others? I started making specialized business cards.

Several years ago I was obsessed with asking people to pray for peace in the Middle East. I took business cards and printed on one side 'Take three minutes to pray for peace in the Middle East'.

On the other side I typed: 'Not by might and not by power but by Spirit alone shall we all live in peace' from Debbie Freedman's song based on Zacharia's prophetic words.

Then recently I was obsessed with the phrase 'Love yourself as if you were your own lover'. So I made up cards that said that on one side and the other 'Why not, you are amazing!' And I passed them out, left them in bathrooms and on shelfs where I thought they would be found.

Now I have made postcards to reflect my latest obsession to 'de-but' the world through the Hebrew Wisdom of the Vav. One side of the post card asks: Are you a Vav-nik?
Vav-nik: one who honors Hebrew Wisdom and the linking energy-intelligence of the Vav through behavior and intent. The Vav is the 6th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is
most often translated as AND.

On the other side is written:
Vav-nik Intentions
- we can hold multiple realities and truths
- life is improvisational and one must learn to dance with the need of the moment building bridges between people and thoughts
- our individuality is our gift we bring into collaborating

Vav-nik Behaviors
- choosing to use the word AND instead of BUT
- being able to sit next to an 'enemy' and engage in authentic non judgmental conversation

Sarah Bernhardt once said to get people to know who you are you must use all modes of connection. Beside her movie and theater presence she had her name on soaps, food, paper, clothes and more than I can remember. Now her name is a word that my generation and other movie buffs are familiar with.

Perhaps by putting all this energy into honoring the linking energy of the Vav this too will become something people will think about and set the intention that we are all connected so why not treat each other with the love we are taught to give to our self; love the stranger as your self.

Blessings of Vav: there is no end to the realities and the love I can hold and the ways they can be expressed. I am complete and the story dynamically continues! TG!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Prayer to a Compassionate G!D

Yesterday I was listening to a radio show where the participants were talking about the power of prayer that helped them pass the amendment that would not only limit my rights and other lesbian and gay people in Florida and California but the rights of many people who choose not to marry and live together. I wonder who is their God who takes sides to discriminate against me?

I have a friend whose body is filled with cancerous tumors and we are beginning a prayer circle for her through the Internet. I believe in praying for healing that is about self love. What is so different about this kind of prayer? I am asking for something that does not exclude some one else's human rights.

I am asking myself why I did not consider praying that the Florida amendment not pass? Why did I think it was only necessary to pass out information, write letters, send money and talk to people. What kept me from asking my G!D to help me have the strength and courage to love and accept myself in contrast to the hatred of gays and lesbians in the world.

Rabbi Geoff says we tend to be logicians and stay in our heads forgetting we live in all four worlds: physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. I needed to remember that my G!D is a G!D of compassion and I can set a Kavanah, intention, that is non-linear and inclusive and does not take sides. Since my G!D can hold in the womb of creation all; perhaps like our ancestor Rebecca with Essau and Jacob we can wrestle and both come out alive.

Hebrew Wisdom teaches that prayer comes from the heart. The wisdom of my heart knows this amendment to the Florida constitution was discriminatory and limiting. I wonder what kept me from going deeply inside, setting a Kavanah for what is the highest good for both sides and talking with my G!D? And then to listen to the voice of Chesed, loving kindness and Gevurah, strength, that both blend with the energy of the heart, Tifferet, beauty and equanimity.

So I set an intention to have more conversations with my G!D in and out of prayer.

Blessings of the Vav: sometimes I have to hold my passion, my logical thinking and my relationship with my G!D together. The questioning and wrestling with my G!D and then the deep listening may help me heal as the covering of my heart slowly melts away and for a moment I will feel a part of the world I often protect myself from.

Residuals of a Life Out of Control

Today I missed a client's appointment. My responsible respectful kind adult was not in control as my little girl focused only on her wanting to play. So after coming home from a shopping spree I hunted down a good movie and drove 30 minutes to a place I had never been to before. I was determined to do be spontaneously frivolous.

'Oh, my G!D, what have I done?' I shuttered when I checked my phone and discovered I had missed the appointment. And I was reminded of the time I had bounced a check to my therapist. As I sat in a pool of shame as a dysfunctional patient and graduate student my therapist laughed and told me of the time when she had bounced a check and realized her life was out of control.

Blessings of the Vav: some times holding all of life's realities is like attempting to juggle all the other's needs and not including myself. And all I can do is laugh, learn, forgive, apologize and move on! And thank G!D for Shabbas, a moment in time to regroup and listen deeply to the me that felt dissed and offer a gratis session to my client! Halleluyah!!!!!