My heart continues to break for the tragic deaths, enormous losses, and glaring injustices that we witness each day. The devastation is incredible.
And somehow my broken heart is finding space for new truths - about the world around me and within me, about the world we might rebuild from here.
I feel a growing sense of wonder about our daily rhythm at home: every day appears to be the same and yet each one takes us to new places.
Depending on the weather inside (i.e. my mood or the emotional states of each being in our house), or the weather outside, or other small but substantial variables, the day can unfold in completely different ways.
This has always been the case. But when life gets busy and the distractions are many, it’s harder to see: that adopting daily rituals grounds us, and focusing our actions on the conditions we can control really supports our wellbeing.
This has been a common discovery and source of comfort across all the Circles meeting on Zoom:
Meditating together on Monday evenings, we found a prayerful way to quiet our minds and feel a deep, even pulsating, connection.
Through the Becoming a Soulful Parent curriculum, we're working to make space for the unique souls of our children, spouses, and selves, and can feel what that opens up for our families when we do.
Embracing the custom of reading the Ethics of the Sages (Pirke Avot) as we count the days between Passover and Shavuot, we're picking one teaching each week to practice in our lives.
So far, I've worked to be more deliberate with my words [M. Avot 1:9], and to align myself with what is (rather than what I wish it would be) [M. Avot 2:4]. It is definitely work, and also wonderful!
I’m so grateful that the Circle structure of 6-10 people meeting regularly translates well to Zoom (with its challenges as well as unexpected benefits). I’m seeing more and more clearly how much we need Circles and the journeys they take us on, especially right now. Circles are ideal spaces for exploring new spiritual practices - grounded in Jewish wisdom, responsive to our modern reality, and inspiring our day-to-day lives.
Circles help us feel together, even as we stay apart.
Circles support us to climb the mountains of our lives without leaving the house.
Circles bring much needed sweetness, and around Shavuot they even include blintzes, rugelach and mountain pose - see gray box below!
Sending love and strength, Rabbi Bethie Miller
Check These Out
From the wider Jewish world, here are some creative offerings and helpful resources:
Family Gathering with PJ Library Friday, May 22nd at 2p
Because there is a lot to learn from the mountains.
We're exploring the holiday of Shavuot with yoga! We'll read a great story, learn calming and fun yoga poses, and of course enjoy a snack together. Led by Rabbi Bethie Miller and Yoga Instructor Robin Zuckerman. More details and sign-up here.
Family Cooking Circle Friday, May 29th at 11a
Because feeding one another is a spiritual practice.
We're making blintzes and rugelach on Shavuot morning to celebrate this holy day when we remember receiving the gift of Torah for the very first time. Led by Rabbi Bethie Miller and Cooking Coach Amy Rosen.