Thursday, June 5, 2014

Straight Talk with Rivkah Naomi - Emuna Gym

Straight Talk with Rivkah Naomi

Emuna Gym

“Sun is shining, the weather is sweet now
Make you want to move your dancing feet”
-         Bob Marley

There is no chidush that during the good times the spirit of hope is awake and moving you forward joyfully. All around the sweetness of the warm sunlight and the luminous moon by night seem poised and placed by Hashem to light, support and delight your way.

You make the bus, receive good news and your soup turns out perfectly. You feel it, all of it. You feel loved and supported by G-d at one with the efforts and flow of the universe.

Confronted by small challenges you access your connection to HKBH. You activate your emuna, you deeply trust that all will be as it should be and you affirm that it is “all good” Baruch Hashem.

Your friends stop by for a schmooze and receive some chizuk. You, of the sunshine dancing feet, are Capital C connected to the divine and generously give a splash of your overflowing emuna to your holy friend. You know that it’s All Good and All for the Good.

So let’s be real for a moment. It doesn’t last. Your receive bad news, 5 dates in a row gone the way of total rejection. Your parnasah is challenging and your room mate moves out without notice and someone steals your wallet, all in the same week and yeah, the dermatitis was a nice bonus touch.

Sun may be shining but all you have are unhappy feet that are opting out, out of it all. It’s too hard and too painful and where is Hashem anyway. You are already having trouble making rent this month, why would you get your wallet stolen and your room mate move out?

This could be A Sign…
You lay in bed with a quiet dread. What is the sign saying to you? And thus an embossed linen invitation is hand delivered to your yetzer hara to please make itself at home, an extended stay.

Maybe you are deserving of a punishment, maybe you don’t deserve anything good anyway. Maybe you are not supposed to be in Israel. Maybe you will never get married. Maybe your room mate doesn’t like you. Maybe you are too short, too tall too thin, not good looking enough. Maybe nothing good will ever happen to you. Maybe everything you do is pointless.

Maybe, Hashem doesn’t love you!

It is so easy to fall from your place of connection into an abyss that is the dark road of the yetzer hara. Let’s be real, you probably can’t maintain those dancing feet highs but also you can’t sojourn to long on strange roads in the dark of night.

What is a holy neshama to do when tossed into this furnace? Channel Avraham Ivinu of course! Just as he was cast in to the idolaters fiery furnace and came out so too you can survive the fiery furnace of doubt and fear and emerge stronger.

Straight talk is about strategy so let’s talk about a plan.

  1. When the sun is shining, move your dancing feet! Breathe in that goodness. Soak your neshama in the sunshine of Hashem and dig life. Bank your connection so that you can access it and the deep knowledge that you are always in Hashem’s zone of protection on the dark road.
  2. Accept that different things happen all the time and sometimes those things feel great and sometimes they feel awful. It does not mean that you are great or that you are awful. You my holy friend are You, perfectly you.
  3. When you build a muscle you strain it to the point that it needs a day or two to recover and rebuild itself. For this pain you receive a nice bicep; same goes for your sweet soul. She needs to be stressed and recover from time to time all to build her strength which allows for a stronger connection to HKBH and to the other lovely neshamot she meets in a day.
  4. Think of your challenges as your own custom fit emuna gym, a very exclusive place designed for your perfection. When a person receives such an amazingly thoughtful gift all you can do is say toda raba! So go ahead and give a big shout out to Hashem for being so thoughtful!

My holy friend, please don’t give up! Recognize the yetzer hara for what it is, a deceiver designed to disconnect you from the source of everything. Use your clarity to fight back and don’t be dainty, throw down some moves!

I’ve always thought that good manners are underrated, so say thank you to your guest and then wish the good traveler a safe long journey to somewhere else. As it turns out you have to invite a new room mate in and 3’s a crowd.

Rivkah Naomi Green
The quintessential wandering Jew, Rivkah Naomi has been on the road for years. She’s lived in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa and in a variety of lovely places in the USA making friends from the West to East Coast. Her yearning search for a home has brought her to, what we all hope, is the final destination, Israel.

Her friends keep her around because she is known to arrive with red wine, laughs and straight talk.

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