I grew up in a religiously, culturally and gastronomically Jewish home in Willingboro, NJ which is a suburb of Philadelphia. Our family went to synagogue weekly, practiced holiday rituals, lit the candles on Friday night, but kept kosher only when my paternal grandmother lived with us. I attended Hebrew school until I was 16. […]
When people ask me how I am, whether I have seen them recently or if years have passed, my answer is always the same, “Life is grand.” And it truly is. Even in the midst of challenges and loss, health issues, day to day stuff. It isn’t denial, but rather, a sense of appreciation for what is working and not focusing too much on what feels sucky from time to time. It is my mantra and marching orders. It is the way I choose to see things.
At times, people question my rose-colored glasses view. At times they wonder if I am repressing my authentic emotions. Sometimes I have done that in the service of meeting daily responsibilities and holding space for clients, family, and friends. And then I allow myself to emote either on my own or in the presence of trusted people.
A few years ago as I was speaking with my dear friend Ondreah Johnson, who passed last December. she asked what I was doing for my insides, since my self-nurturing activities are usually external, such as going to the gym, writing, being with friends, receiving massage, hugging, getting a pedicure. She reinforced the importance of meditation. I like to think of everything I do as a meditation. I think she had in mind some more stillness. Hard to do at times, since I am love and life in motion.
What happens when I attempt to slow my chattering monkey mind is that, initially, it leaps around with even more enthusiasm. I need to remind it that even monkeys have to take naps. Some of my more powerful messages come when I sit in silence. Time in nature, absorbing that essence, has been my go-to lately. The leaves dance, the breeze dances them. The sunbeams part the clouds, The water ripples. They are moved by life. When I allow it, so too am I.
What is YOUR life mantra?