Skip to main content

The Blessing of Balance and Humility - A Spiritual Trifecta

Four days ago my cousin, an herbalist, created the "10 Days of Positivitea" challenge. No dumping ice water on my head (which I did), her gentle invitation was to spend a few minutes a day with myself, a meditation, an intention, and a cup of tea. Truth be told, I'm not a tea drinker, so I enjoy my husband's yummy daily coffee, but the rest is as directed.

Simultaneously I am participating in my colleague Rabbi Phyllis Sommer's #BlogElul, a daily opportunity to prepare for Rosh Hashanah using prompts provided by Rabbi Sommer. 

And one more thing, I and several dozen rabbis and cantors are engaged in a program of learning mussar, Jewish text-based method of self-explorative learning of how to apply middot (Jewish values) such as humility, kindness, righteousness, patience, and equanimity to our lives and – by extension – within our communities. As do all mussar students, we began a month ago with anavah, humility. 

Today the three opportunities gently brush up against each other. 

Day 3: #balance #10daysoftea 
Day 4: #bless #blogelul
Anavah: No less than my space, no more than my place.

#Bless, #balance, #anavah/humility mingle today as I reflect on how I have grown as a person and as Jew.

In my natural, untamed, undisciplined state, I tend to be an either-or kind of person. Black/white, immersed/distant, passionate/detached. I exercise daily or not at all. I study ferociously or waste time in front of the idiot boxes of my laptop or television. I fiercely organize my space or leave my stuff wherever it lands. I either want a lot of attention or believe that I have no value.

But all that is changing. Physical injuries demand that I get off the treadmill so I can heal. Preparing for the High Holidays demands that I apportion my day wisely. Becoming aware how humility crops up in my personal and professional lives is changing the way I approach both.

The #blessing of #balance and #anavah/humility is that my soul feels so much more peaceful and able to live and work in a place of calm. I can let others join me on my bench, I allow myself enough space to exist sweetly, and I am trying mightily to appreciate how I can learn from every person and experience I encounter.

So my #intention today is to make my pre-Shabbat to-do list, believe that with my Source of energy and spirit I can accomplish what I need to for the day, and be open to the lessons that God and the universe are teaching me.

Shabbat shalom ... l'shanah tovah.


Popular posts from this blog

And Sarah said, "Hashtag Me Too"

#metoo Parashat Lech Lecha Friday/Saturday, October 27-28, 2017 Cantor Penny M. Kessler
Thank you to Rabbi Tiwy for giving me the opportunity to offer some words of Torah tonight and tomorrow morning.
“Hashtag me, too” is the rallying cry giving voice to millions of women who have been used and abused sexually, physically, emotionally, and intellectually for decades. From the lofty heights of show business to secretaries and janitors, women are finding their voices and declaring that their stories of abuse need to be told. Some have never told their stories, while some have come forward in the past, only to be told to shut up and show up lest their livelihoods – and in some cases lives – be threatened.
I have friends and rabbi and cantor colleagues who are telling their stories for the first time, some in decades, some who experienced abuse and harassment during their seminary experiences. And – personal disclaimer – while I am grateful that I have never been physically abused, there are m…

Nissan 1, 5778 - First the Refrigerator (Begin)

My refrigerator needs a solid Pesach cleaning. So does my stove and my pantries. Just thinking about it gives me a headache. 
Bring on the excuses: it's too much, I'm tired, I want to sit and watch more repeats of Law and Order: SVU. 
But I know that I'll feel virtuous and delighted with myself with every completed task. 
Fine. Deep breath. Change into comfy clothes and head to the refrigerator.