COUNTING THE OMER:
A Juicy Path of Renewal
What is the OMER?
For 49 days, Jews follow the kabbalistic journey of counting each day to cultivate a deeper connection with the Divine of who we are. 7 weeks x 7 days allows us 49 days of sacred time to devote to becoming the best person we can be, all leading up to the 50th day, which is Shavuot (where we receive the Torah anew). I'll be providing a new practice each week to support you. Together, we can explore the depths of who we are, and arouse the Divine beauty within.
To light up your heart, body, and spirit
Week 1: Chesed (Loving Kindness)
Take a moment and really ask yourself:
What part of you do you ignore, hide, belittle, or rationalize away that you could (instead!) love?
What if, instead of stuffing it away (or eating another chocolate-covered macaroon), you gave yourself love?
In other words, take shadow and alchemize it through love.
Week 2: Gevurah (Boundaries)
Often we think of boundaries as walls or protective shields around us. They provide safety and keep things out that we do not want in. Holding them up takes effort and discipline. It can make your shoulders tense, your breath shallow, and keep you rigid. It is unsustainable. And tiring.
Is this really what gevurah is all about?
As boundaries typically focus on what you let in and what you don't, ask yourself:
If you had full reign of what you let into your being, what would you choose?
Are you going to let in the ways the world seems to be failing?
Or how you think you are? (ouch...)
Are you going to spend all your energy trying to keep out hatred, violence, and mistrust?
(as if you can protect yourself through standing up taller, crossing your arms, or harboring anger)
Or are you ready to surrender to a different type of boundary?
One that enables you to drop your shoulders, take a deep breathe, and actually access your true power?
This week, I invite you to say a powerful phrase to support you in creating healthy boundaries that do not require tense shoulders or shields.
Go beyond flight/fright/freeze mode.
Get present, breathe deeply.
Recognize you have conscious choice of what you focus on, what you let in and out of your being.
When you wake up, simply state: "I am constantly conscious of the miracles happening for me and around me."
Notice how that feels in your body.
It is an incredibly centering phrase as it aligns your energy and sets sacred space in and around you (aka. a boundary).
Practice this statement each day, as often as you'd like, breathing deeply into your body.
And, relax...gevurah does not have to require a post-practice massage! 🙂
Week 3: Tiferet (Splendor, Balance, Harmony)
So often, we look around us to see what in our lives is working well, but end up seeing what is not. A pile of clothes on the floor needing to be folded, dishes in the sink awaiting scrubbing, or complaining friends become our focus -- what is not working, what needs to be fixed, comforted, organized.
In those moments, we can forget that there is something within us that is beyond all of those external factors: the spark of life within each of us.
In our bodies (and you'll have to see where it lies within you), there is a still point. A magical spot in which we are spacious, infinite, and all is well.
This still point is described by many in different ways, but in essence, it is the home of your soul, the Divine within, the link to all that truly is.
When we are willing to go there, in the stillness and quiet of our hearts, shutting out the racket in our mind of the inner critic in our ears constantly nagging, we can hear HER.
The still, small voice that is anything but. The miraculous voice of Tiferet calling from the depths of our souls.
"Find joy here, seek splendor here, breathe into your truth here."
She is in everyone of us....no matter who we are and what we do.
If you are ready to find HER in the depths of your being, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, place your hands over your heart and listen to the stillness.
Allow the thoughts to pass by like clouds in the sky until you can feel the vast stillness beyond them.
Ask for HER voice to be revealed to you and wait, patiently, breathing and content to be where you are without knowing when and how she will reveal herself to you.
Learn to trust and feel from within...the laundry will always need to be folded, but the inner stillness of your soul is already perfect and whole.
Week 4: Netzach (Endurance, Eternity)
Remember a time when you stood tall without backing down. You were tired, you were afraid, but you were determined, full of inner strength. Nothing and no one had power over you.
This is Netzach. Connecting to the eternal, unwavering power within our body and soul.
Often, we think of Netzach as powering through. Pushing through the pain. However, this follows the masculine energy of warrior.
In the feminine mode, endurance is best explained through childbirth. Allowing all the natural forces of our bodies and hormones to support us in doing what is hard for the purpose of our soul and deepest desires.
We trust in ourselves, we endure through the pain, we know our WHY, and allow our bodies and spirits to tell us our HOW.
Netzach requires that we reconnect to the power within our bodies. That we remember our inner strength. Our determination, the inner light of our soul.
Take a moment each day to turn inward and thank your body and soul for its wisdom. Ask to become more aware and hear more of what it says. Then, take a pause and, deeply breathing, listen for what you hear.
A wonderful way to connect to your inner strength is to swivel your hips. They anchor you to your pelvis (your reproductive strength) and your legs that hold you and carry you forward. Swivel your hips, shimmy them, play with the curves of your body. Notice how often you criticize them (their size, shape, and dimples) rather than appreciate their power.
Today, make a shift: Say thank you!
And as you go about your day, walk with your hips leading the way.... :)
Week 5: Hod (Glory, Splendor)
What brings us to glory? What makes splendor experienced?
It is why cathedrals have high ceilings.
It is why when we are by the ocean or on top of a mountain, we feel freedom and awe.
Space provides room for the unexplainable, the irrational, the Divine to come through.
This week, take time to find a place that offers you spaciousness. It could be a spa, a museum, a forest, an open path.
Notice what does it for you -- what gets you out of your head, your restrictive and lack mentalities and enables you to open up to the glory and splendor of living.
And be kind to yourself. Spaciousness may evoke memories, sadness, and feelings of unworthiness.
Open space can cause our fears to surface.
Cultivating space within our bodies and our lives gives us so much more pleasure.
What can you do today to cultivate that space in your body?
What can you do today to cultivate that space in your life?
***Hint: it might not be adding something big, but looking at what you already do with a new perspective. Often, the first step is to stop rushing, slow down, and engage your senses. Touch your skin with sensuality, inhale your morning coffee with deep appreciation, listen to the birds for a moment before getting out of bed, see the shape of the fluffy clouds...