Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Today, I'm the silent witness. As I write one paragraph, one page for my book, under contract for Pearson on teacher collaboration for the sake of English Language Learners, (in addition to the transformative book) I've made a conscious decision to remain a silent witness.
As Davidji says:
"The witness is another aspect of who we are . . . the silent observer who can participate in every experience without becoming identified with it. When we are able to witness each moment with detached involvement, we can become more deeply aware of who we are, how we are, and why we are. It is in that moment that we can process our behaviors, see the consequences of our actions, and "feel" whether a choice is right. As Deepak Chopra suggests in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, when we have a decision to make, we can place our hand on our heart and feel whether it is telling us to proceed or to draw back and reconsider."
But this process doesn't happen automatically.
First, I must detach. Meditation helps. Gives me empowerment. Gives me emotional healing.
I sometimes need to hear a human voice. So that's why Davidji's meditations give me that extra guidance.
But then I may also need to hear the voice that also "reports" that has an educational value. So I listened Adam Davidson's beautiful footage report, "An Optimist in Haiti."
Then I begin to write.
As I've suggested, if you're really stuck with any book writing project, try writing a letter to the person whose is the subject of the book. To whom the book will have the greatest impact on his/her life.
For example, I write from the point of view of that lonely teacher. Or that teacher who needs more help and support.
The more detached I am. The more I am able to nail "the voice."
And this is of course, true for all areas of life, as well.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
So you just can't imagine how I felt this morning after yesterday's teaching and writing marathon. Although I had spent my time productively, there was something about the day that didn't quite fit. A busy unrestful state. Not totally present in the here and now. Responding to other people, things and events from a reactionary not responsive state. This is what I have done for most of my waking life.
I think now, I know better - much better. DavidJi is right - we need to choose our friends and our supporters (he calls them our "backers" which I like better) consciously and wisely. Energy feeds energy. For example, not everyone whom we think is a friend, truly meets that criteria. So yesterday, I made a nice long list of my "ideal friend." I'd like to think of this step as the first towards achieving emotional healing. How can we think BIG - global peace, for instance, when we still need to heal parts or ourselves and being? The choices we make aren't conscious choices? The friends we choose don't nourish/satisfy us on emotional, professional and social levels?
As I wrote my list, I thought of Depeche Mode's "Somebody" - you can watch the clip here.
And from this process, I acquired something - the gift of "clarity." In one word, it was the way I expressed at the moment a state of profound love. First the circles of energy that guide me to love first my son, husband and the outer circles family and those friends with whom we speak the same beautiful guided soul language.
And then I saw my tribe emerging - it was clear that I need a tribe who can connect with me in words - a creative language. And I saw that beautifully coming to me too. I think it had to do with the fact that I am now a "transformative author" for the Mastermind series. Yesterday on our first call, I connected with the energy of the most amazing people on this planet. I'm still writing my transformative story to be published in this anthology next spring - here is the cover. I'm so excited. I can hardly wait. I'm a "pebble." I make ripples. When we are together, we can also make "waves." So I honor those voices that also make up part of my HEALING.
So my healing affirmation for today: I will make conscious nourishing choices by bringing out the best in myself as I work calmly and effortlessly.
And this is my healing wish. For today, for Rosh Hashana - the Jewish New Year and eternally.
We transform the world by transforming ourselves.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
In just a few moments, you'll be walking up that familiar hill to your son's school. You have waited so long for this moment to spend time with him, and you know he's looking forward to it too.
All the way up the hill, you'll be people observing as if you've lived in Pittsburgh all your life. You call it, "quiet meditating." I call it, "craziness." But .. why not? The weather's in your favor, and you got a little time....just a little...
And then, there's a stranger of a man approaching you, who chats on his cell-phone oblivious of anybody - just like you have become. He thinks probably nobody understands his Hebrew. Nobody!
But you do... only it takes a few seconds to figure it out. He has to listen first and then talk. After all, this IS America. Not everybody is an Israeli - but of course you knew that, didn't you. But that doesn't mean anything for this Israeli - so what if he listens? He talks loudly, but the thing that is most important for you is... well, you UNDERSTAND every single word!
Well, you understand that this flicker of a common language between you and this stranger of a man, is a homey moment. In your hometown of NYC, people just don't have time and don't care if you speak Hebrew because everybody speaks Hebrew, but here's the thing... Pittsburgh, as you are finding out still, is not like NYC. People have time and patience. They also speak as if they found their tribe - that the other person understands even BEFORE they say something back.
You spend a few moments waiting for your son's class to show up from gym. And as you wait, you notice the children from the other first grade class. One skips, one runs to class. The teacher reprimands those that do not conform, and tells them to go back and they walk again... this time quietly. But because they know you are watching them, they walk with a "twinkle" in their step. Maybe two. But you didn't see that - did you?
And in your son's first grade class, you find the-child-in-me-tribe. Children just need to know you are part of their tribe; you can never fake having fun playing a board game. My son proudly joined me and our moment was ours to enjoy. In your game sharing tribe, we learn to share, take turns, "pick an apple," and have a few laughs. The child next to me says, "I like your son. He has red hair." You smile.
And back outside, the sun beats on the dirty sidewalks. You reach the corner of Murray and Forward and wait on the corner for the bus to take you up yet another hill. You've decided to make it easier for yourself by not making yet another trek up ANOTHER hill. A bus is a perfect place for "people watching."
There was this man on the bus who said to me, "bless you," when I sneezed. I had just pulled my nose away from my sleeve. And there was another man catching his breath with a walker. The older man had just a few hairs left on his shiny bald head and it looked as if they were soaked in sweat. It had to be because it wasn't raining. The young man with the walker said something that made the older man go into deeper in thought; the older man chatted with the bus driver as if they had lived in the same town all their lives.
"Now I remember when you could smoke on those T's going up that hill," the bus driver said.
"Yeah - that was another era," the older man said with a nonchalant expression. "So ...these are coach seats?" (referring to the seats, you know, the serpentine bus with an accordion stretcher in the middle that gracefully opens and closes when the bus makes a turn) I had never thought of the seats on a 61D city bus in Pittsburgh as "coach seats." Wait... did he said, "Coach seats?"
I keep a glittery artificial smile to calm the stressed lady across from me. As long as I'm wearing shades - it won't be hard to pull this smile off.
So speak as if you know and found your tribe.
Your tribe is waiting for you. I'm sure you know that by now. If you don't, well, I can tell you that everybody has a tribe. Only it took me words and years of those words to find out my voice through that tribe....
When I hear Hebrew on a Pittsburgh street in Squirrel Hill, I know there isn't this foreign language acting as a barrier between me and the speaker as it was before I left for Israel. I can play the role of the "silent one." Or I can respond in Hebrew. Whatever. I. Choose.
And now, that I've joined a tribe, I can be part of several - for instance, a "bus tribe," or, at "the-corner-waiting-for-the-bus tribe," a "bagel factory" tribe - everything that is language and everything else that isn't - food included. Because a tribe that is universal is also understood.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
You know you are not in Israel, when you don't have to start thinking of Sunday as a workday. As Saturday evening creeped along yesterday, I began thinking, "I got to get my lessons organized to prepare myself for the energy of Sunday..." Then I stopped myself silly...
"Wait, this is one of the great perks of living in the States." You get an EXTRA day to sink into the energy of the weekend. While I was teaching in Israel and a Jewish holiday would happen to fall on a Sunday, I would immediately think, "This is the "holy" weekend that I miss.
Shabbat in Israel, which begins on sundown on Friday and ends on sundown on Saturday, goes in and out with the flash of light.
Having an extra day really does the soul an extra ounce of good. Sundays in the States are...
so you can
You can be:
But truthfully, it's been a journey to find myself with "Sunday energy" ever since returning to live in the States in 2007.
Daddy usually works on a Sunday and it's time for me to catch-up on a lot of writing projects and time to spend with my son. But it's a different kind of energy. I prefer this energy truthfully.
After meditating earlier this morning, I had to make a wonderfully bureaucratic call to Israel for a pending issue and the skype call I have scheduled with my folks in Israel and our upcoming visit to NYC for Rosh Hashana put me in a Israeli "Sunday" state of mind.
That's when I dipped into the energies of Sundays past...
walking through Bryant park after eating Sunday Israeli brunches at my father's apartment right across
doing the NYT crossword puzzle,
bagels, lox and cream cheese.
Well,this Jewish/Israeli can have it all... right?
I prefer the laziness of the American Sunday, but just for now, I'll settle with the energy of writing about all this past energy vicariously.
My son however, has a Sunday energy that's all his own...but, that's another story....