Saturday, December 26, 2009

Whose Got Your Back?

Blessings of Being Awake: It was Monday morning in the limo on the way to the airport, a few blocks from the hotel where my daughter and her family had stayed while we were in Boston to bury my mother's remains, when Andrea said with much frustration, 'Oh, I forgot to check-out.' I could feel my anger arise and then before i could think my mouth opened and a torrent of words burst out to not just my daughter but to Urbie, Ashby and Drew. I could not hold my composure and intention of love and kindness any longer. The pain of my mothers death and that i was now the big cheese overwhelmed me and i wanted to know who was there for Andrea, for me, for us!!
Spiritual Challenge: It had been a long month filled with mourning, working, making plans, traveling, visiting and honoring of my mother's wishes and now we were going home to the real world where my mother's physical presence no longer existed. And I wanted to know whose got my back? Whose house will I drive by to see if she is OK, who will ask me to go out to lunch with her, to give me directions, to attend a function, to ask if i need bananas or fruit or bread or any kind of food when i arrived home from traveling or flowers for the Shabbat table or even to be a pain-in-the-neck. And I had not voiced much of these feelings for I could not admit the fear of the unknown that lay within me. I was in a do-er mode, i had a list of things to do, to complete the mission. I had forgotten how important my Mother's presence was to me and I had no idea how much i was going to miss her presence and her place in my life. I would have lots of time to begin to see where I placed in her life.
Spiritual Practice: I have had the honor of working with several male clients who are African American and who have voiced their distrust of others in the work place and how they have to have their own back. One of these clients also talked of his God, that 'He's got my back'. I like when clients share their faith with me for it reminds me of what i already know; the Unknowable, Breath of All Life does remain an integral element to all of life including mine. I laugh out loud when I remember the story a teacher-sage tells of the agnostic who in the passion of love making, screams 'oh, my god!' I, too, must allow myself to move in and out of my doubt when feeling alone. And I must rememeber that Divine Nature is within each of us, so we all have each other's back strengthened by what I call G!D.
Blessings of the Vav: As Sonny and Cher sang, 'and the beat goes on and on and on'. As long as i will breathe there will be another AND moment in which to; smile, apologize, laugh, cry, celebrate AND the heart keeps beating on and on and on. And as we are reminded as we read the Torah where most columns begin with a Vav, the stories are all interconnected to each other affecting each other, transforming them as perspectives change with new information and we are never the same after that. Halleluyah!!

We Are Never Alone in Seeking Balance

Blessings of Being Awake:It was the third day of the silent retreat when i noticed a dull acheing in the center of my back. My first thought was 'what made this happen?' and then the solution 'maybe i was sitting wrong'. Then as the mind wandered i remembered that it was a week and 13 hours since my mother was killed by the impact of the car and maybe i was feeling the heart's pain. I reached for the small pillow i had brought from home and placed it right where the pain was centered and leaned into the back of the chair and with my next breath noticed the tears coming down my cheek. I opened my chest, my heart wide and rested in that moment.
Spiritual Challenge: Before I had left for the retreat Miryam had reminded me that I was in mourning. It was such a gift of a few words that gave me an anchored vessel to place all my feeling and thoughts within. These words were my connection to another reality as a floated in the dream of my life.
Spiritual Practice: Tender, tender, tenderness is my deepest desire for a default when life gets so narrow there is not much room to breathe deeply. This space i offered myself of a week of silence was such a gift. One my mother had supported me in when about a month before her death we were talking about what to do for Thanksgiving and when i told her about the retreat she had said 'Go, I have lived my life, you live yours'. So i must learn to listen deeply to my heart and those who love me and never give up for in the next moment holds all possibilities.
Blessings of the Vav: I am a member of the virtual community of Agudat HaVav, the Society of the Vav. I am never alone; i am Divinely connected to every place, person, animal and thing. As I was reminded when i saw Avatar this week; She does not take sides - Her deepest desire is for balance in the world. There will always be a moment, a word, a smile an animal showing up to pull me back into balance whenever I go off kilter, for She is within me, my seeker of inner balance.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Movies as an Antidote to Change

Blessings of Being Awake:I know this place i am in as i have been here before. Life gets full of people and things and then, wham!!! there is nothing that will distract me from the feelings that arise. I am left to face the emotions i do not want.
Spiritual Challenge: To suck it up, let it out, be curious and notice where i am without judging (usually impossible) and breathe, to avoid falling into despair and hopelessness. To think about how I can cope in this moment and as a last possible solution to share my state with someone. To cry.
Spiritual Practice: No matter how alone i feel or how much i doubt everything in this moment, these are just thoughts. And the truth is that i also love me and i am good.
SO! I made a list of seven movies i wanted to see and i have now seen five and today i will see two more. Yea for Christmas releases!!
Blessings of the Vav: we are funny people, a community of like others; everyone goes through these feelings, adores being distracted from pain and wants to give up. That is why we are taught by the sages that I do not have to complete the work and am i not at liberty to stop living the dream i am in Pirke Avot 2:2