Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Up On Your Mountaintop - A Writing Catalyst

I used to imagine climbing in the Himalayas. I had met someone who had taken a trek to that part of the world and and she spoke eloquently about the silence there, the sound of the wind, the complete leaving behind of the world. The going beyond of labels. The going beyond of stuff and need systems. The going beyond of expectation and disappointment. A place to meet your essential self, and where every other concern is irrelevant.

I never made it as far as the Himalayas. On my way there, I found another part of the world where I began climbing spiritual mountains. Thirty years later, I am still climbing. When I finish climbing one mountain, another rears up in front of me.

Reaching the top after a long climb, it’s always worth it. I can see around myself for miles. The deep quiet up there. The wonder of being alone with myself and G-d in a majestic world.

Up there on the mountaintop, there is no one to approve of you or disapprove of you.Up there on the mountaintop, you can see through your own eyes without sponging in the visions that sit in other peoples' eyes. Up there on the mountaintop, you have the luxury of relaxing completely because there is no one to threaten you with an image of who and what you're supposed to be. Up there on the mountaintop, you have the freedom to dream your own dreams.Up there on the mountaintop, you are safe. There's a tree lying on its side. You can sit down with your back up against the log. You can breathe the clear air and look out across to the other mountain peaks. If there arepeople doing what you're doing on those other mountaintops, they are so far away that you can't see them. And they can't see you. You are perfectly alone with G-d. Use your writing to climb up your mountain and sit at the top. What does it feel like to breathe deeply and know that you are safe, completely alone, and invisible to the rest of the world? Do you feel peaceful? If there are nagging thoughts that have followed you up to the top of the mountain, then take them and gently put them into a box that closes securely and send it sliding back down the mountain awayfrom you. What are the weather conditions up on your mountaintop?If it is a clear day, then how far can you see? If there is fog and mist, then what sits revealed to you close by where you can see clearly?

Do you feel discomfort with the intense stillness and the fact that you are completely alone? Can you be patient and see what happens after the initial discomfort begins to wear off? Do you begin to remember what you are carrying inside of you? You contain enough feelings, thoughts, and memories to keep you busy for as long as you choose to stay on your mountaintop. Turn these over in your hands like smooth, richly colored stones you might find in a riverbed.

Or just lie down on your back and look up at the sky, letting your mind wander. If there are clouds, watch them racing across your field of vision. You can write about being on your mountaintop in the form of a poem. You can start each line with the phrase:"On my mountaintop....."On my mountaintop...."On my mountaintop. . .Or choose another phrase to repeat as a refrain. Once you explore your mountaintop you will be able to take it with you wherever you go and in whatever situation you find yourself. It is a place where no one can touch you, where no one take away your inner peace, self-knowing, and experience of G-d’s Presence always being with you. When you climb to your mountaintop, you leave behind all your self-doubt and dwell in peace with yourself just as you are.

Now go to your mountaintop.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Caves are wonderful metaphors for going inside. They are cool, protected, secure, womb-like spaces. You can make yourself a cave by putting a blanket over your head and leaving an open space so that you can breathe comfortably and have plenty of oxygen.

Because you want to relax in the cave. You want to relax deeply. Breathe and relax. Let your mind wander. Don’t try to control your thoughts. Let the images and memories surface by themselves. You may be surprised what comes up, but your subconscious knows exactly where you need to go.

You may keep coming back to one specific memory. Now let yourself settle in that memory. Be inside the memory as you sit in your cave. Remember what you saw, what you were wearing, who was with you, what was happening, and what you were feeling. Each detail is a brushstroke that makes the memory more vivid and restores a part of yourself that is tied to that memory.

When you unlock the feelings that are stored, or rather, bound inside that memory, then you reclaim a part of yourself.

Now write the memory with all the vivid details and allow the feelings to speak.

Here is a poem to read after your cave experience. It was inspired by a real-life cave not far from Jerusalem. My husband used to go there on Thursday nights to learn Torah long into the night with a group of friends.

Cave Dwellling

Hood of warm air
easy as pulling the covers over your head.
You leave the clear night and wide open field
to enter cave.

Earth hollowed by
prehistoric yawn.
Cave walls smooth
as the roof of your mouth.

Cave reared up out of the earth
without bulldozing trees and
picking out rocks
or sinking foundations.

You enter into
slumbering earth.
Your entrance doesn't awaken

Cave exhaling
as you bring in sacred books
to read by candlelight,
turn the axis of reality
before your eyes.

The caves
sheltered whole families
who stayed long after the Romans
left the open fields
and sailed off the edge
of history.

You expect this dwelling
will bring you back,
back before anger,
before regret,
before exile,
back to heartbeat
and simple longing.

Back to the smell of your own skin,
warm, close air
in a womb of earth.
When you speak,
words smooth down
and softly echo back.

The suede of cave tones
erases difference between
faces and ages,
beginnings and endings,
and flight.

A group of you gather
to read ancient texts,
take turns dozing off,
each sleep joining ancient sleep,
and breath matching breath
of distant stars.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Three Exercises in the Art of Seeing to the Inside

With Three Writing Catalysts
One - Luminous Object
A luminous object has rich associations when you hold it in your hands. An example of a luminous object is the jewelry box which I salvaged from my mother's house, may her memory be for a blessing. It must be about 80 years old or more by now. I remember holding it as a child and rummaging through all the necklaces, bracelets, rings, and assorted jewelry. It looks Old World, and I always thought it came from the Old Country with my family during the move.
The jewelry box embodies childhood memories, feelings about my mother, my grandmother, my ancestral home. It leads me to reveries about the old mahogany furniture in my parents' bedroom and dreams about hidden money, hidden chocolates, and other hidden goodies. I think my mother actually did squirrel money away in that box.
The box is falling apart, and it sits on my shelf in pieces. The metal filigree sides have disattached themselves from the velvet covered bottom. The satiny cover is so faded that the flowers have disappeared. But more importantly, the box still carries the smell of my mother's perfume.
Writing Catalyst: Think of something you own which is much more than a simple object since it serves as a repository for your memories. Hold it in your mind's eye, and savor its presence. Look at it from all angles. Let it resonate, and listen to the tales it tells.

2 - Your Hands
The act of looking at your hands can take us on a journey inside to our internal world. The hands are your faithful servants. Every line and crease records the work you’ve done, the care you’ve given, the love that you’ve shown, your accomplishments, your hopes and dreams for what you haven't yet accomplished, etc.
Each person's hands are unique. You may have looked at your mother's hands or a close friend's hands, or your husband or wife’s hands before you decided to marry them. What were you able to see in their hands?
Writing Catalyst: Take a few minutes to look at your hands. Turn them over and over in front of you. Look at the palms and the lines that crisscross and intersect. What journeys do you see in your hands? What futures do you see? What memories from the past? Do you appreciate your hands, and if yes, why?
Do you hear your hands crying to tell you something? Listen to the whisperings of your hands as you rest them gently on your cheeks. Feel their warmth. Listen to what they are saying. What are they yearning to do?

3 - The Promise in Your Name
When a child is born, the parents are given a measure of divine inspiration in order to find the name that is already known in Heaven. Therefore, a person's name is far from coincidence or the simple whim of the parents. It is the Jewish custom to pray for a person, using a person's name with the name of his or her mother. The Jewish marriage contract or kesuba is very carefully written with the correct names. One’s name embodies one’s identity in ways that are known, as well as ways that are beyond our knowing.
In looking closely at our own names, we can learn more about ourselves. I enjoy my English name Wendy because it expresses a playful, adventuresome side of me. My Hebrew name Varda is in memory of my Grandfather Velvel. When I was born my father looked through a list of Hebrew names beginning with the letter vav and settled on the name Varda, meaning “rose” in Aramaic.
As a child, I don’t remember knowing my Hebrew name. They called me Tzippora during my summer in kibbutz, since I didn't know I already had a Hebrew name. I found my name when I returned to Israel to study at a women’s yeshiva, but I was mistaken. I called myself Chana Varda. At the last moment, just before my wedding in Denver, my mother stepped forward and corrected the misunderstanding by telling me, and the scribe who was writing the kesuba, that my name was really only Varda.
It took me some time to grow into that name, but over time I found it wrapping itself around me like a perfectly fitted garment.
Writing Catalyst: Think of the stories you were told about your own naming. How have you related to your name over the years? How has your name been a promise you were growing into? Turn your name over and over in your hands as if you were appreciating a luminous object.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Preface to My Upcoming E-Book

A Cooking Companion for Creative Souls

I divide my mornings between cooking and writing. The carrots may get diced and thrown into a poem, and the poems peeled and tossed into the soup. The trick is how not to burn the rice if I get busy in making that last paragraph of a story just right.

The writing and the cooking benefit from each other—their pathways of creativity intersect, run parallel, and even merge. My writing room is next to the kitchen, and I’m not one to follow strict recipes on either front.

Some might believe that a recipe is engraved in stone, but not so. It goes against the very grain of the creative soul to repeatedly follow directions to the last letter and produce the same success again and again. There has to be some variation, improvement, or twist to make a difference.

We are not only here in the kitchen to prepare supper, we’re also here to taste of innovation and insight, experiment, and play. And take risks as we eagerly wait to see what comes out of the oven and what happens when peppers are added instead of tomatoes. Or when we flick cranberries into the stuffed cabbage.

As one might expect from an unrepentant creative personality, my cookbook is not simply a collection of recipes. It does happen to have a few recipes tucked into personal recollections, reflections, legends, and lore on the subject of cooking and eating. As well as other diversions and a sprinkling of poems. Actually, most of my cookbook is a diversion into other areas where the art of cooking naturally leads—to the art of being grateful, the art of sharing, the art of loving, and the art of celebrating.

This cooking companion roams through my incarnations as daughter of one of the first heath food Moms, as connoisseur of solitary meals in Bar Harbor, Maine, and as chief cook and nurturing presence to my tribe of children and grandchildren in Jerusalem.

It’s been quite a journey from the natural beauty of the Maine Coast where inspiration came built in to the landscape to the spiritual intensity of Jerusalem and the challenge of cooking creatively for a multitude of teenage girls, toddlers, and hungry sons-in-law.

As I form little balls of cookie dough and discover that I can fit six rows this time instead of the usual five or flatten them with a pecan on center instead of using a moistened fork, I am also cooking on my writing and art work. At the end of a row of cookie shapes, I may suddenly discover the inspiration for my next collage or the climax of a story that eluded me when I put my mind squarely in front of the task.

The kitchen transforms into a creative “zone” much like the runner’s zone where solutions can arise effortlessly while washing the dishes or stirring the soup.

My hope is that these creative cooking excursions will lead you to transform your kitchen into a place for relaxation, tranquility, and fun, a fertile ground for breakthrough insights to emerge. And when all that creativity and happiness spill over into the food, it is guaranteed to be more nourishing and taste even better.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Baked Apples

Flexibility is related to creativity. Some of the greatest discoveries were made when certain unexpected conditions required someone to change course mid-stream. Our first reaction when faced with this seeming bit of adversity is to scream, stamp our feet, and try to breathe deeply.

It’s like finding that all you have is lemons when you were about to make cranberry punch. The creative individual is never daunted. He or she takes the lemons, squeezes them, adds a bit of sugar, and makes lemonade.

There’s a wonderful phrase in the Jewish tradition, and it often comes in handy. It goes: “Also this is for the good.” It Hebrew it’s “Gam zu le tova.” There actually lived a wise man whose name was Nachum Ish Gam Zu who, as tradition goes, originated this phrase since he was always seeing the good in everything that happened to him.

One of the qualities of a creative cook is making the best of what’s at hand. In fact, it can be a creative challenge that you choose to embark on. Instead of jumping in the car and running over to the supermarket to get what’s missing, you make alterations either on your menu or the specific dish you’re making. When your brain starts cooking and you leave yourself open to inspiration, you can stumble on some of the best discoveries of your cooking career.

When you are moving in the direction of simplicity rather than diversification and complexity, there’s a certain beauty that might have been once lost and now reappears. Since we easily get accustomed to thinking in complexities after a certain age, usually around the age of seven, we can’t always return to simplicity on our own.

By that time, we have certain need systems in place, and most of this comes from the society that socializes us into believing, for instance, that something has to be very sweet, include chocolate, and need an electric whipping machine to be worthy of the name “dessert.”

One day, you may discover that you’re about to prepare a dessert, and the only ingredient you’ve got is apples. Or maybe, you have a severe time limitation before those guests will be tumbling through the door. Or maybe the supermarket is closed on Tuesday afternoons from two to four when everyone is taking a siesta, as they do in Israel. And all you have is apples.

It’s the moment of reckoning when simplicity rears its glorious head and you discover that apples, alone, can be dessert. They can be cored, filled with some brown sugar or honey, maybe dates or raisins, maybe walnuts, or whatever you have on hand. Or they can be made simply by washing them, placing them on a baking tray, and sticking them in the oven for an hour.

A baked apple connoisseur will experiment to find which apples taste tart, which are sweet, which are smooth, and which are crunchy even when baked. Since each apple variety has its distinctive flavor and crispness, you can try making several diffent kinds of apples on one baking tray.

A delicious baked apple for dessert is a great reminder that the easiest, the simplest, the cheapest, and the most natural can sometimes be the best.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Breaking the Silence

Meetings With the Jewish Elderly
I think of them as long‑distance runners who have passed more scenery than I can imagine. Now they sit quietly holding it all inside of them-- first-hand experiences of the Russian Revolution and the Nazi Terror, and all the heroic private battles that go with being human. I am newly married and new to Denver. On a threshold. They have passed through all that I am entering.
We gather in the second-floor reception area of the nursing home every Monday afternoon in what I call “writing workshops” because I write down their stories, memories, and philosophical musings. They either sit in wheelchairs or have canes propped up against their chairs. Sometimes they are puzzled by my efforts to record their words, but they perk up just to see the names of their sisters or late husbands immortalized on paper.
Because of their physical weakness and obvious frailty, I feel initially overwhelmed by pity for them and saddened by the thought of old age, but I remind myself that it is all an illusion. My resolve is to make contact with them as individuals, to learn from them, to look beneath the exterior of their physical beings and find them inside, as fully alive as I am..
Chaim left the town of Bialistock in Russia when he was six years old‑ that was in 1890. Whenever I ask him to recall something about his past, he shakes his head: "It's hard to remember. Well, it was only about 90 years ago." At one meeting, we speak about weddings, and Chaim tells me: "I must have been happy under the chuppah, but it was only 75 years ago, so it's hard to tell." Often, he leans forward to catch as much of our discussion as he can. I can tell that he's reached his saturation point when he sits back with his hands folded over his cane, protected by his hearing disability.
Once I asked him what he thought about when he withdrew into the quiet space beyond words. Chaim looked puzzled, so I tried to explain: "Everybody daydreams. You might daydream about your profession, considering all the years you spent at your work."
Immediately, I can sense a bridge going up between us, and Chaim gingerly steps across: "I designed machinery. I never went to school for it, but I always loved to tinker with machines. It started out when I was about 12 years old, and my friend ordered a simple lathe from `The Youth's Companion,' this magazine for kids. He put the lathe in the basement, and we spent more time monkeying around with that lathe."
Chaim's face lights up as he sees how he commands an audience. Everyone is turning towards him to listen; his words are awakening their memories and dreams.
Annie is transported back half a century when she remembers helping out in her mother's fish store. That was on Denver's Westside when there were so many Jewish immigrants that the area was called "Little Jerusalem."
First Annie's mother raised and sold chickens, but the neighbor across the street kept a look‑out and stole most of her customers before they reached the front door. It took a long time to save up the $25 for a fish store license. "Talking about cutting and filleting fish‑‑ I've done that not once or twice, but a million times. On Sundays, when people went fishing at Sloan's Lake and didn't catch anything, it was a great day for us in the fish store."
While she helped in the store, Annie dreamed of becoming a Hebrew teacher. Proudly, Annie tells us that her nephew, the boy she raised when her sister died, is now a rabbi in Montreal.
I can hear Frank stewing about something, and I take the risk of asking him what he thinks of all this. His words fly back at me: "I was an orphan in Russia. I wasn't allowed to dream big dreams. When I started to think about doing something, the World War broke out. Life was cruel to me-‑ the revolution, the civil war, and then the pogroms. A bomb dropped in my backyard and killed my aunt. After that I packed up and went to America."
Edith also came over from Russia, and something in Frank's story reminds her of an incident in her distant past. She recalls how a peasant woman came back to her rural village from a visit to America. The woman wanted to sell a little American dress to Edith's mother, but Edith was out playing when her mother called for her to try it on. "I must have been six years old, and I was out playing too far away to hear my mother's voice. I cried and cried when she told me that I could have had an American dress. Oh, how I cried."
Edith is talking about something that happened to her 80 years ago. It’s refreshing to see her relive the emotions of a six year‑old child and her dazzling dream of America. The story carries us across time and space.
At moments like this, I can easily imagine each one of them as they appeared at different ages in their lives. I can look beyond the dark folds surrounding his eyes to see Cappy as a young man about to be married. Cappy may not get around much now, but he doesn't always feel eighty-six years old and stuck in a nursing home, especially when he tells me, "I'm still in love with my wife, and she's been gone for 25 years."
Annie waxes eloquent when she weaves her tales about the personalities and way of life she knew on the Westside of Denver 50 years ago. She brings to life Channa the Gabiter ( Yiddish for “charity collector”) who went into pool halls with the opening line: "Tramps, giv mere a por cent." Annie remembers those times when "people cared and things were good, because we didn't know better," and Rose nods her head in agreement. Rose lived in Annie's neighborhood, but she lets Annie tell the stories, because she feels more comfortable as a listener: "It was my husband who taught me how to listen."
Besides the fact of their pleasure in sharing memories, these Jewish elderly are the guardians of a valuable record of the first generation Jewish experience in America. Almost without exception, their stories reflect the process of assimilation.
When Edith came to this country to stay with her cousins who had stopped being observant, it was the first time she questioned her strict orthodox belief. At the age of 19, she began a course of self‑education that made her fluent in the English language and literature. Now she is proud that there is only a hint of the Old World in her pronunciation and her beliefs.
I am her natural successor with my degrees in higher education, and if I had chosen to continue on that path, hardly a trace of my Jewishness would have remained. Edith became for me a symbol of the “enlightened” attitude which gave Judaism a bad name and turned away the spiritual seekers of my generation who then looked for G-d in ashrams and Jews for Jesus.
Sometimes we argue. Edith calls it "an antiquated way of life" when I defend my choice to observe Jewish laws and customs. When she expresses her glowing admiration for the "modern" approach, I rush to enumerate its miserable failures.
The battle rages, and the other members of the group quietly wait it out. Because Edith and I are such a good match, they can barely get a word in edgewise. When Edith remarks about "the beautiful flowers and the organ music in our new synagogues," they immediately turn to me and await the counter‑offensive.
However, the lines are not so clearly drawn. When I ask Edith about Shabbos in her mother's house, she can hardly find the words to describe the white tablecloth, the glow of the candles, and the smell of the special foods. In spite of her "modern" views, Edith conjures up the Shabbos in parents’ home like a precious jewel in her safekeeping.
I look around the table at these good Jewish faces. Sometimes I picture how their parents must have looked ‑‑ the same faces full of humor, depth, and character, but distinguishing themselves as Jews by their yarmulkes and tzitzit and the hair coverings of the women. Here are the children who once meant everything to their parents, and in some other real dimension, they are still the children and the hope, even as they turn towards me with their one good ear.
I am inspired by something my Rabbi said to me just the previous week on a Thursday night, as I stood in his kitchen sifting flour in the Rabbi’s kitchen. Suddenly, he called me over to the dining room table where his siddur was open to “The Song of Songs.” He pointed out the word “varda” which is the Aramaic for “rose.” It was in the passage which describes the Jewish People as G-d’s beloved, as “a rose among the thorns.”
When I asked him what it meant to be a rose among thorns, the Rabbi talked about the beauty of acts of kindness. He wasn't answering my question, but he pointed out the way. I began to think of my name as a mysterious point of truth that was beckoning me.
By seeing my name in a new light, I felt that I was making a fresh beginning. Now I wanted my old friends at the nursing home to experience the thrill of beginnings as they recalled how their own Jewish names reflected the hopes their parents had seen in them. I can see their stories flame up in response to mine. Suddenly for all of us, a name is a hidden promise that takes a lifetime to emerge.
First they talk about their own names and then go on to tell stories about how their sisters and brothers were named, and how they named their children. Annie's brother got his name in a mystical way: "My mother had a dream of an old man with a red beard who appeared and said, `You are going to have a son, and I want you to name him after me ‑ Eliahu.' She found out later that the man in the dream was her husband's father.
At this meeting, we know each other by our Jewish names ‑‑ Annie is Channa, Frank is Fishel, Edith is Ittel, Rose is Rachel, and Chaim, and Leiba.
Frank has never before spoken about the death of his only child during the Second World War. I didn't even know he had a son until he tells this story: "A cousin of ours named her son after my son who was killed in the war. Now this baby is a grown man ‑‑ he's a doctor ‑‑ and his name is `Baruch Noach.'” Edith adds, "The main thing is that the beloved person reappears, in some way, with the birth of a child."
Another time, I ask my friends whether or not they remember their dreams when they wake up in morning. It takes them a while to warm up to the subject, and I find myself having to explain why I am so interested in dreams; how they can conjure up fantastic situations with star appearances by people we haven't seen for years.
They seem to be preoccupied with their own thoughts until I read a poem about my father and how he appeared in a dream exactly as he looked during his lifetime, but even more radiant and loving. Edith responds that she never dreams about her husband who died in 1944. However, just recently she had a dream about her cousins in the Old Country, and the dream cleared up a misunderstanding that stayed alive in her mind all these years.
Annie has been smiling for the last few minutes since she heard me read aloud the poem about my father. Very slowly she begins by explaining that this is not an actual dream but something she experiences when she is just about to fall asleep ‑‑ she has the physical sensation of flying like a bird. Annie is almost entirely paralyzed from multiple sclerosis. I can tell that she doesn't expect us to believe her, but she tries to persuade us anyway that she is not simply imagining soaring like a bird, but that she actually feels it in her limbs.
I watch the others as they listen to Annie's dream. They are looking at Annie and realizing that there is a place in her, even when all her vital systems seem to be slowly shutting down — a place of renewal and growth that cannot be touched by her crippling illness.
It’s a moment of triumph. It’s the victory of the human spirit over the forces of bitterness and despair. Annie is shining. Now we are silent from savoring the exhilaration of it, for we are all flying with Annie. We sit in silence for another few moments, but it’s not the usual silence of the elderly in a nursing home. And then we continue on together—laughing, remembering, sharing, and breaking open what was locked inside.
--This is a chapter from my book, "I Remembered in the Night Your Name," presently available through emailing me at

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Notes on Going Inside

Notes on Going Inside
You don’t have to travel
to Nepal or Nebraska to find yourself, even though sometimes it can be helpful because the actual going and leaving your usual habitat forces you to wake up. The new realities require new responses to your surroundings.
But your “insides,” the interior of your mind-body-soul
entity is an even greater frontier. Exploring there is a fantastic opportunity to see, not only the physical world, but the worlds upon worlds beyond. You can go there whenever you want and as often as you want. After spending some time there, you’ll want to be there always in the state of wakefulness and alertness.
The great thing about these explorations is that, unlike traveling to Nepal or Nebraska, you don’t have to leave your house, your family, or your job.
Your insides are a beautiful place after you’ve pushed away the cobwebs. Sometimes it’s been so long since we’ve connected to ourselves inside that it seems that there’s nobody home. When we knock, there’s only the faintest response, a voice that whispers, “Is that really you coming home?’
Go for a walk with yourself or just sit next to the window in a quiet moment. Be aware of your breathing, and focus on the breath reaching down to your solar plexus. Let your mind rest. If a concern or worry pops in, then don’t resist it. Just watch it sit there and slowly fade away.
Take a seashell and imagine being inside. Or look at one of your plants and take note of the new growth that is springing up at the tips of leaves.
If it’s nighttime, go sit on the porch and look at the stars. Let your mind relax. There is nothing you have to think. Let the thoughts come and go. Listen for the sound of different voices.
If you hear a critical voice, let it speak and then die down. You can stay right where you are even when it points the way to dark clouds ahead. Notice how easy it is to simply stay where you are in the face of its insistence.
Usually, a great wave of relaxation will wash over you if you stay put as the voice slowly fades away. Then you may hear a gentle, loving voice. Encourage it to speak on. It may talk to you about the beautiful curve of the seashell or the healing green of the plant. It may tell you to notice how precious your children are, how delicate, how much they need your love and words of encouragement.
The face of one of your children may come into focus. The voice tells you what this child needs to grow in your loving care. Like the plant’s thirst for water, which words will help this child to blossom.
The voice may speak to you about a new direction in your work. It may remind you of your gifts and innovative ways to use them.
Every day is a totally new creation. And every moment brings us to a new threshold. When you tap into your inner voice, you have entered the natural flow of your life. Here there are always chiddushim, which is the Hebrew word for new insights.
The whole of creation is always singing. Every part of creation has its own song. Now you can listen to your own song, the new song that your soul is singing in this moment.
This is not a matter of will power or discipline. It usually happens only when you are relaxed and open to whatever G-d wants to give you in the moment.
You have left your expectations about yourself and what you might be getting at the door. Once inside, you have entered a world of wonder and discovery and peaceful watchfulness.
You have tapped into your inner dialogue. You are dwelling inside. You have pierced the thin veneer of the real world and entered Eternity.
Varda Branfman