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I’m Inspired to write to you today after reading an article in the NYT about Rabbi Kenneth Berger who 30 years ago delivered a Yom Kippur sermon to his congregants about the tragedy of the Challenger explosion, and the fact that all of the members on board were totally conscious as they raced toward the Ocean.
The rabbi spoke eloquently wondering what thoughts ran through the minds of the astronauts as they plunged into the sea. He asked his congregants to imagine themselves with only five minutes to live and he encouraged them to imagine what that would be like, but he didn’t stop there.
The Rabbi’s words…
“And then the capsule hits the water, it’s all over, can you realize it’s all the same. Five minutes, five days, 50 years, is all the same and it’s over before we realize it. If only I knew, yes my friends it may be the last time, if only I realized. Yes, stop, appreciate the blessings you have. If only I could, but YOU can, you still have today.”
The Rabbi, his wife and 110 people died in a plane crash three years after the sermon was delivered.
If spring is the time for renewal, then perhaps autumn and winter are times for reflection and rectification.
And so I ask of you,
I hold the light.
I’m not alone. There are hundreds of millions of us in our world.
In fact I believe we all hold the light.
We are born of the light and we carry it inside of us.
Some of us choose not to acknowledge it; the caring, the goodness, the patience, the gratitude, the tolerance, the understanding, the grace that we are all capable of, but it is there.
Others, through their choice of disregarding their light and our lives, hurt, kill, disrespect, and through their actions we have yet another opportunity to be the light that we are.
We saw it after 911, we felt it after each mass shootings, the goodness that we are, comes out in our response of wanting to be of help to others of hoping to support our tribe who have been hurt.
Those of us who choose to amplify our light, live with it as our beacon, using it as a guide, as our response to our daily life.
People ask me all the time; “Why do you hold the light for people who kill?” “Do you forgive someone who has murdered many innocent people?” “Why are you not outraged when people are not treated equally?”
Spirituality is very practical and there is nothing like daily life to remind us of that.
When my 2 boys became teenagers, I was reminded that living my spiritual values was not a lofty state to be experienced on a yoga mat, it was instead an extremely practical “lifestyle” choice.
I’m sure I’m not the first mom who seemingly overnight, went from being the parent who was loved, and cherished to being viewed as annoying, embarrassing, and intrusive.
When it happened to me, I was shocked, devastated and experienced the pain of daily rejection. I also was reminded that my experience was my perception. I knew I could choose to use these difficult moments as points for my spiritual growth.
Living on planet earth we always exist between two opposites. Literally, as our planet is held in its orbit by opposing energetic forces and polarity’s influence doesn’t stop there.
Life-death. Beginnings-endings. Hot-cold. Up-down. Here-there. Young-old. Peaceful-anxious.
These very basic opposing states make up your daily life and dichotomy seems to exist within each of us as well.
“Hope is an awakened dream, wake up now.”
Hope is an expression of living in an open state. It’s a place of light and freedom that is experienced when we awaken to our natural inheritance of love and live that inheritance daily.
The physical world often seems to be the antithesis of love. It can be difficult and taxing. We often respond by shutting down, closing up and forgetting who we truly are. Through these actions we move away from the light and often lose our way.