Sunday, November 9, 2008


Cheshvan is often referred to as Mar-Cheshvan (Bitter Cheshvan) because in this month there are no holy-days to celebrate....No preparation, special prayers or rituals to fill our time…nothing extra that we have to do. To me this is not a time of bitterness as much as it is a time to breathe…to wait…to embrace the space of emptiness. Yes embrace the space of emptiness. As a SoulCollager, yoga teacher, meditator and creativity coach I find this emptiness to be a blessing. One common denominator to all of these practices is that they each can be a springboard for diving into the emptiness. Cheshvan is a reminder to take time out from the busy-ness of holy-days (of everyday really) and notice the holiness of being in the moment. Any moment. Including the “empty” ones. My yoga and Jewish spirituality teachers, Rabbi Myriam Klotz and Diane Bloomfield recently shared this commentary on B’reishit from Reb Levi Yizchak of Berdichev: “When a person wants to arouse new outpouring of this energy (shefa hadasha) throughout all the worlds of existence, she needs to immerse herself in (l’dabeyk atzmo) the Ayn, the No-thing-ness.” This powerful sentence teaches a core principle everyone engaged in creative endeavors must pay attention to. In order to replenish our creative wells and truly nourish and nurture our innermost essence so that we can “do” when “doing” is what is called for, we must stop for a while to consciously tap into the “shefa” the Divine Flow of Creation. Jill Badonsky, developer of Kaizen-Muse creativity coaching refers to this as the realm of Muse Lull. Indeed. As the leaves continue to fall and the trees become “empty” we become witnesses to this process in the physical world around us. We too can mirror the wisdom nature displays and focus our attention deep down in our roots. We need this time, this month of Cheshvan to cherish the quiet and allow the shefa to rise up and fill us with the strength, the ideas, the courage to Lech Lecha…go to ourselves. This month of stillness is an opportunity to listen for the Divine voice as she speaks directly to us. B’reishit tells us that God “speaks the world into being”. When we sit in the no-thing-ness…the emptiness…the stillness…silence…we open to receiving the inner-messages that will sustain us. When we embrace the space of emptiness we become the vessels through which Creation and creativity flow. Although it could be argued that there is some “doing” involved in creating a SoulCollage card…for the most part, the images that “desire” to be connected tell you so…again, it is a matter of sacred listening and discernment. SoulCollage is a fabulous way to stop, look and listen, to truly sit and embrace the emptiness of Cheshvan; allowing shefa to replenish your creative well.

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