A Glimpse of Chico, CA

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Dear ones,

I’m in Chico, CA this week at the GRUB cooperative. I have a few connections to this place, direct and indirect. It’s a huge gift to be here, especially for Thanksgiving! Not knowing where I’d be for the holiday made me feel a little sad, and I set the intention that wherever I ended up, I would spend the day in gratitude and connection with the land, surrounded by family in some sense. I feel blessed to be invited to join the community’s celebration and share yummy food in deep connection with its source.

My intention is to spend the weekend in Ashland, Oregon; my partner’s lease in Mount Shasta opens on MONDAY!!! The day I unpack my car and settle into a space is in sight…

For now, I’m enjoying the opportunity to slow down and learn from the people, animals and earth around me. I’m staying in a yurt and each night I get better at making fires in the wood stove for warmth. There are no trash cans here. We use compost toilets and an outdoor shower. The ‘big house’ isn’t heated, with the exception of “The Warm Room” where I write to you now. A resident adds wood to the fire while another naps on the floor next to the stove.

I’ve been able to help out by farming, cooking and cleaning. It can be tricky to find my place in such an established and complex system/group dynamic, but people have been very welcoming.

Whew, 10pm! Late! Better go start the fire in the yurt 🙂

Love and magic,

Rivka

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Truthfully

Today was the first time I felt homesick on this journey.
The old story tells me I’m unemployed and homeless.
I step into the power of living at home in my body and giving and receiving in Divine grace.
I falter.
I forget.
I get up again.

Cycles

moon

When we drop the illusion of constancy

the structures that give our lives a sense of meaning

dependability

comforting familiarity

all that remains are cycles

Inhale, exhale.

Full moon, new moon.

Expansion, contraction.

High, low.

Light, darkness.

It’s all taking place Now. We see in cycles because we adhere to the concept of Time.
As we move through the night, stepping tenderly or with abandon past our familiarity, all we experience exists also in a higher octave

illuminated

to the one who remembers themselves

as Light

Grasping for the high from a low

brings suffering

Hold your breath too long on an inhale

and you suffocate

Peace comes as we embrace cycles

and harmonize our lives

to sweetly sing along

Happy birthday world!

I like to wish myself and others happy birthday every day, remembering that each day and actually each breath we are recreated. Each day we have the opportunity to look at the world with new eyes and receive the gifts all around us.

This morning a gentle rain awoke me just before dawn. Snuggled on the forest floor in my sleeping bag, I may not have noticed if my new friend Steve hadn’t called over to me and asked for my thoughts. Stirring from a dream, I looked up through the peep hole of my sleeping bag cocoon at the redwoods standing tall overhead. Sprinkling raindrops mixed with the scent of the trees suggested we stay and enjoy for a while. After a few minutes the rains began to pick up and we headed inside with Steve’s sweet 13-year-old dog, Sally, who’d been sleeping next to us.

I met Steve, a friendly giant/forest elf/architect/inventor in his mid-sixties, at Harbin Hot Springs last week. Though I’d been naked in warm pools outside in the mountains with a bunch of people all evening and morning, I hadn’t really met anyone. A couple hours before I headed back to San Francisco, I overheard a conversation in the kitchen that I had to interrupt.

When you hear someone sitting behind you describe very clearly the dream you had the previous night, I feel like that’s a pretty strong cue to join the conversation. That’s how I met Steve. We only spoke for about 15 minutes, but that was enough time to make plans for me to camp on his land in Boulder Creek this week and check out his natural architecture work. More to share on all this later.

I’m receiving the gift of this day even more than usual, in large part because it is the “actual” birthday of my partner! As I drove through the mountains on my way to wish him a happy birthday in the flesh, I pulled over to record a song I wrote him on the beach in Santa Monica this weekend. I asked G!d for someone to help me record it, and almost instantly a park employee drove by. I flagged her over and asked if she had a few minutes to help me out, and she graciously obliged. Here’s what we got…

Happy birthday Natan, happy birthday all of us!

Love and magic,

Rivka

Let’s Get Down to Playness

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This is how you’ve been imagining me for the past 7 weeks, right?

How could I have dreamt in 2009 when I met David in Israel that I would be here at his family’s home in Los Angeles today, five years later, co-creating with his mother? Shirin and I spent the last five hours or so talking and inspiring one another. A casual kitchen counter conversation turned into a viewing and workshop on her master’s thesis: a film about Persian Passover in LA. I feel so blessed to receive her story of walking through the mountains and escaping Iran as an 18-year-old, and the connections she experiences between the exodus she experienced in her lifetime and the one we commemorate as an ancient people. Intuition, sensitivity, and the artistic process run deep within us. On the first day of my moon cycle, it feels especially powerful to be in co-creation with this wise and creative woman.

I awoke this morning unsure of what to do, where to go. My plans to camp on the land of this natural architect whom I’d met at Harbin Hot Springs last week didn’t seem to align. I yearned to honor my bleeding body with rest and heed the call of my creative spirit to spend the day on artistic projects, not sitting in my car. I prayed to G!d as I practiced yoga and meditated, asking to be led to where I could best serve the Source. I felt an answer drop in: “I’ve planted you here.”

Working to let go of the growing guilt I’ve been holding for my prolonged period of occupying others’ homes and lives (where did this come in? when did I forget that I can be a gift to others as they are a gift to me?), I asked David’s mother Shirin if it would be alright for me to stay another night. And here we are!

Now more than ever, it feels crucial to me to stay connected to my creative expression, the manifestation of my purpose. In this period of limbo, between the structured journey of filming a documentary with Marcos and the exciting prospect of spending the winter in Shasta with my new partner focusing our energy on what we truly want to contribute in this life, there’s a danger of losing my grounding. I’ve been without a home beyond my body for almost seven weeks, and recently I’ve been feeling the pull to security. Even with few meals in restaurants and Couchsurfing, my funds are running low. If I lose my faith that I live abundance by giving my energy generously to the world with love and in the ways that in turn nourish my spirit, I can fall prey to a scarcity mentality and spiral off my path in fear. A sense of purpose carries me forward and brings me into contact with the right people at the right time.

I’m so grateful for this gift, the opportunity to journey another level on the lesson of intention and receptivity. Vulnerability, this intense availability of being without a home or job, invites me into direct contact with the Source through the physical world. A simple yet tenuous choice makes all the difference in my day-to-day life now: step into this fully and open to the magic pulsing through all creation, or withdraw in fear and old stories of scarcity/guilt/etc.

When I first arrived in Berkeley, my landing moved swiftly. I met my partner on my first night, at Kabbalat Shabbat on the Urban Adamah farm. Job interviews began to align, I made friends and started finding community, and I had some leads on housing that would begin at the end of November. And yet as I continued to follow my path of service, another opportunity was unfolding.

The choice: ‘make it work’ in the East Bay, get a few jobs, find housing, and put other dreams on hold OR spend December-February in the mystical town of Mt. Shasta in northern California with my new partner, supporting each other’s missions of embodied, creative Jewish leadership. Though I saw the complexity of the decision and the challenges of this incredibly appealing offer, I feel as if I made my choice long before I met Natan. Partnering together and delving into our missions feels like the path that I’m walking. I experience it as a gift from G!d, a green light to follow my dreams of empowering myself and others to live in right relationship with ourselves, each other, and the Earth. [Incidentally, Natan means “he (G!d) gave”!] My friend Julie, who originally encouraged me to go on this journey West, left me with a compelling question: “Why wouldn’t the universe want to support that?!”

To say no to this opportunity feels like regressing, picking back up the obstructing baggage of fears and limitations that I’ve worked earnestly to release. To say yes feels like stepping into myself as a manifestation of Love and Healing, accepting the call to deepen my ability to share this light with all creation.

So much has happened so quickly these past few weeks. I’ve hesitated to create and share it on this platform for several reasons, one being that I haven’t really shared it personally with the people closest to me back in Minnesota yet. Today I realize that this is part of my exodus; I am never alone, but no one else can walk my path for me. If I wait to include my loved ones individually in every step of the journey, I rob myself of the experience and end up with nothing to share. I value the feedback, guidance and support I receive from friends and family even when it challenges or contradicts my choices. Yet I do not require others’ permission to live my life.

Echoing my first post on this blog, I now say “HINEINI!

“Here I am”, walking my path, offering myself in service to the Source as best as I know how.
I continue to release shame and guilt. As I embrace my process, which is filled with highs and lows and trial and error, I bless others to do the same.

This morning while I wriggled through this shedding of an old skin I’ve outgrown, Natan sent me this Marianne Williams quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Thank you for being the light in the world that only YOU can be. Now let’s get to work! 😀

(For my fellow astrology-trackers, LOL Jupiter in Saturn. Check out this week’s Pele Report if you want to be in on the joke)