Why Don’t You Dive In?

A conversation with my wife a few days ago– or, me talking and her listening:

You know what my problem is? I don’t go whole hog. I’m talking specifically about my spiritual life, but it probably applies to everything else, too. I’m all witchy or all Jewish, and yet I can’t commit fully. Like my altar supplies. Or my mezuzah. Or even Shabbat candle holders! I can’t seem to take the plunge and buy ¬†the things I need to do good ritual work. So I’m stuck in this “in between” place. Where I am beyond beginner but not in the place of true spiritual belonging. And it’s the same with working with others: I want to be a Jew but I’m too afraid to go to temple. I want to be witchy but I’m too afraid to go to festivals. I want to do things by myself that I actually need help with. But I’m so afraid.

“Why don’t you dive in?”

I’m afraid of being judged, laughed at, rejected. Like, what if I spend all this money and time on Pagan and Jewish things for our home and life and then it turns out that Judaism and Paganism don’t work for me? What if I’m meant to be Buddhist (or Quaker, or Taoist, or Hindu, or nothing, or everything)? Then I will have wasted all of my time and energy and money on things I can’t even use.

“You won’t know any of those things until you dive in.”

I know! So. I’ve made a list of things I need for my altar and just for being a witchy Jew in general, and I’m going to buy these things. And you’re going to help me by telling me that it’s okay to spend money. And by reminding me that it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. And to not worry so much because it will all be okay.

Blocked: Writing Prayers That Don’t Suck

I’ve been having a bit of a hard time this week with a few things. Firstly, writing my own prayers has been more difficult than I anticipated. I think it’s because although I appreciate pre-written prayers (I think they’re beautiful), I’ve spent most of my life just saying prayers on the fly. As a child I would pray when I woke up, before meals, and before I went to bed, and most of them went something like this:

Hey God, thanks for being awesome. Thank you for all the good things in my life. Please don’t let me die in my sleep. Also, please keep all my family alive today because I really like them. Again, you’re awesome. Thank you. Amen.

I mean, it didn’t go exactly like that, but you get the general idea. Even our grace over meals was short and sweet: Continue reading

Colorado Adventure Time

It’s been a week since I last posted anything here, and that post was a doozy. It’s not everyday that I share that part of my life because it’s a pretty sensitive subject. But it’s not the reason why I haven’t posted. I’m proud of myself for being open and honest, and if others don’t like that then it’s not my problem but theirs! And I’m okay with that. In fact, I will be talking more about my mental health on this blog as I see fit. After all, it does influence my spiritual life and has made me who I am today.

Anyway, I was not ignoring the blog because of that post. I was actually on vacation. In Colorado!

Colorado Goodbyes

Flying over…. Probably Colorado, on the way home back to California!

Continue reading

Healing through Storytelling

At my job we have this list called the Terms of Faith and Resistance¬†and some of the groups that are facilitated here recite this list before every session. I’m newly imageacquainted with this list, but it already really speaks to me in a deep way and I feel like I can use it in my own life for healing. One of the terms is Tell the World my Story. I struggle with a few embarrassing/shameful things that are incredibly hard to talk about publicly, and I hold that shame silently and suffer for it. Part of the healing process is to share your story– you have no idea how important it is to have someone to listen to you, to hold space for your to share your most vulnerable experiences without judgement or unsolicited advice, just to be there and to say “I hear you.” It’s a validation of your humanity! Many of the clients that come through the building are spending their days feeling unheard, like they don’t exist, and when they come in here they may yell at us or become disruptive. But sometimes when someone stops them and listens to what they have to say, validates their feelings in some way, it really makes a big difference in that moment. Continue reading