Posted by Chava Tombosky
Friendship is a complex endeavor. Much like housework, it takes attention to detail, it needs a commitment of time, and you have to be committed to it all day, every day. Typically, women friendships are throttled with even more accessories, (shoes, spatulas, dress makers) dips, valleys, and sometimes mountains to climb then male relationships.
Generally speaking, male friendships are filled with collective grunts around a ball and a can of beer. They are simple and easy and hardly filled with drama. You rarely hear of a man having a falling out with a buddy (unless there is money involved). Women however, are doomed with drama within their triangles of social gatherings. We are groomed from kindergarten to forge relationships that can sometimes look like an ancient monarchy. Each woman takes her place in the female social circle that can escalate, irritate and desecrate if she is not suave at mediating and resolving. Especially if there are three women, then it can become a real Boston Tea Party fighting their way in the fierce female food chain.
Two women can remain in tact, four women can stay a group forever, but three women is a dangerous mix. Because if ever two of the women have a falling out, then the third is forced to pick one over the other and she is usually going to lose a friend over her choice causing the threesome to turn into a two some which eventually leads to a lonesome. See? I told you we were complex creatures.
Years ago I heard a caller chime into the Dr. Laura program complaining about a girlfriend and wanting to cut her out of her life completely. Dr. Laura suggested, that maybe she should consider not cutting her out, since her complaint was not worthy of total isolation, but consider reinvention. If there are rough patches, there’s room to redesign this union on new terms.
I have a friend who is convinced there are three types of female behaviors categorized as Uppers, Downers, and Straighters. Uppers are friends that bring you up to a positive level; they are your cheerleaders with enthusiastic and cheerful dispositions. Downers are on the opposite scale, and can be people who have a pessimistic view on life. They can be draining and high drama. But they can also give a person a realistic look on life, which is why some people are drawn to them. And Straighters are those women who are driven, ambitious and determined to chase life with conviction. They typically like the uppers to keep them from overdoing it.
In the mix, I’d add four kinds of friends that can be any of the female behaviors discussed above:
Rockers, Keepers, Glee-ers, Scorners.
Rockers are friends you would not typically speak to on a daily basis, but should the need arise, they are there for you, picking up your kids from carpool, delivering a meal, or listening to your latest fight with your hair stylist without any judgment. They are women who are the boulders of our lives, the dependent forces we need when we can’t rely on anyone else to get the job done.
Keepers are the soul sisters that you see once in a while and tell your deepest secrets too. You don’t need much time with your Keeper, maybe a weekend a year to get caught up. (Preferably an all nighter) The bond of silence and the code of discretion is the utmost rule in this dynamic. Keepers are lifers, meaning they are in your life forever, and never ever remind you of the tales you told.
Glee-ers are the girlfriends who have no strings attached but can give you the best time you’ve ever had. They are those friends who are great vacation buddies, restaurant “dates”, or shopping pals who know how to just have fun. You wouldn’t confide in them or tell them your intimate stories, but that’s what’s nice about Glee-ers, cause you can be gleeful with them without any vulnerability, responsibility, or intimacy.
Scorners are those friends that typically never last. They are people who are jealous, angry and fraught with so much envy they can literally spend every day planning your demise. They can start off very charming. They can woo, pursue, and coax you into friendship and just when you think you have a legitimate bond they cut you off at the knees and sabotage other relationships you have built as well. Stay away from these, the Scorner is one to be reckoned with.
Although we are complex creatures filled with relationships that can cause us fierce obsessive thoughts, years of therapy, and lots of exhausting analysis, we are also creatures who can find comfort in knowing the power of a female bond is like no other. It should be cherished, and it should never be taken for granted. And so what if we can’t just find easy connection through a grunt, a ball, and a beer can, what we do have is everlasting, special and incredibly exceptional because when the right friend does come into our life at the right moment, it can be the greatest experience and gift.
11.18.13 at 9:03 am | To be afraid, means that you are unwilling to see. . .
9.13.13 at 2:01 pm | “I'm sorry if I offend anyone - I am in no way. . .
9.1.13 at 9:31 am | To be afraid, means that you are unwilling to see. . .
9.1.13 at 9:31 am | To be afraid, means that you are unwilling to see. . .
9.1.13 at 9:29 am | To be afraid, means that you are unwilling to see. . .
7.15.13 at 9:33 pm | I’ve been spending a lot of time numb from it.. . .
5.27.10 at 4:20 pm | "Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear.. . . (28)
11.18.13 at 9:03 am | To be afraid, means that you are unwilling to see. . . (6)
4.11.13 at 9:59 pm | (4)
February 19, 2010 | 9:43 am
Posted by Chava Tombosky
This week I dedicate Friday Food Days to all our Bubbie and Zadies who were the first to introduce us to most of the recipes hiding in our kitchens. Please allow me to wax lyrical over my favorite dishes that have been past down from previous generations. A few months ago I had the opportunity of sharing a weekend at my grandparents house. Bubby served her famous “Bubby Bessie” chicken, which was past down from her mother. Quite simply, a pan is lined with onions and potatoes, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and paprika, and the chicken is layered on top with a little “Mrs. Dash and more paprika, then covered and baked. This does sound like a boring dish, but when it comes out of the oven it is steaming with flavor and the best taste reminiscent of great family gatherings.
The following week, I came home and feeling the urge to recreate my previous week’s experience I of course made the same chicken. I hadn’t told anyone that I had visited my grandparents the weekend previous. Instead I thought, let’s see if anyone notices when I serve Bubby’s famous Friday night dinner. All of my siblings were over for Shabbat and without a beat, the moment I served it; they all perked up and said “Bubby Bessie Chicken”. Then I served my bubby’s famous salad. Simple. Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and the piece le resistance, radishes with Pfeiffer Italian salad dressing. Again they perked up and said- “Bubby Bettie salad”. And finally I finished it off with homemade chocolate chip cookies, to which they all replied- “Ok somebody must have just visited the grandparents, either that, or you’re missing them terribly.”
When I was a kid my Bubby Shirley used to come over and visit with her little red suitcase. She always stayed in my room. I used to love snuggling up next to her and watching her breathe at night. Mostly because I was afraid she might stop. Her visits were the greatest moments for me as a kid. And to this day, I have tried over and over to recreate her “Chulent Potatoes”. I’ve done the recipe many times, and each time they have never ever come out the way Bubby Shirley made them. She would take little round potatoes douse them in tons of oil, salt, pepper, and lots of paprika and bake them. The thing about these potatoes was they always managed to come out super soft and steamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. And of course, you could never call them Cholent potatoes- they were Chulent Potatoes- emphasis on the “U”. But when I make them they are leathery, too overdone, or too greasy. And yet, I will for the rest of my days, make this recipe over and over, because the smell of them roasting in my oven reminds me of her sweet hugs and that little red suitcase.
To everyone out there enjoying their grandparent’s recipes this Shabbat, may you all have a happy and healthy Shabbat meal, and for those who have not had the chance to cook their grandparent’s recipes, just try it, there’s truly nothing like it.
Please feel free to share your grandparents’ recipes in the comments below. I am always interested in hearing other people’s experiences when it comes to their savored dishes passed down from the chain of tradition.
February 15, 2010 | 12:49 pm
Posted by Chava Tombosky
My latest conversations with my youngest hypochondriac actor of a son (He’s in 2nd grade)…
This was a conversation after a whole day of him complaining about his tummy hurting. After conning me into staying home, receiving two helpings of jello, a free blockbuster Disney movie, and extra TLC that had me hanging out with him all day on the sofa we had this conversation:
Son: Good news, my tummy is better- I’m not gonna die. Probably just gas.
Me: Well no one ever died from gas.
Son: Of course they have- if your stomach fills up with gas and it has nowhere for it to go you could explode and die!
We then had a lengthy discussion about his fear of death. It went like this:
Son:I’m afraid of dying.
Son: Shhh don’t say it.
Me: We all die, but not till we’re like 90.
Son: I know. Which is why I never want to grow up, then I won’t die. You- you’re closer to ninety- you’ll probably die first.
Me: Does that scare you?
Son: a little.
Me: Let’s make a pack that we’ll never age.
Son: mommy, you know we can’t do that. But I do plan on growing up and becoming very very rich.
Me: why do you want to be rich?
Son: So I can come up with a cure to keep you alive forever. Plus I want to buy a lot of candy.
Me: What else would you do with a lot of money?
Son: Remember when we were in New York, and I gave a dollar to a poor person on the street?
Son: that felt important, that’s what I want to do, make a difference.
Me: As long as you spend your life making a difference to others, you never really ever die because your deeds will live on for eternity.
Son: That’s cool. Can we have ice cream now?
Me: Are you still afraid of dying?
Son: not as much, but I am afraid of having more gas.
This next little conversation was my way of infusing art and culture into my child which proved futile.
Me: I’m going to a concert- wanna come?
Son: What is a concert?
Me: A performance with singers and dancers.
Son: Will I be able to sing and dance too?
Me: No, you watch others perform using song and dance.
Son: Is there a dance floor?
Son: Well what’s the fun in that? Nope. I don’t want to go.
February 12, 2010 | 5:28 pm
Posted by Chava Tombosky
Most of my essays have been introspective this week. So to give my readers a little relief, I have composed a list of the top ten mistakes I have made in my kitchen:
1. Added a cup a salt instead of a cup of sugar. This isn’t so bad, but I was making chocolate chip cookies- ya I know. (And yes, this mistake runs in the family)
2. First week I was married, I made 3 boxes of spaghetti and 4 pounds of meat sauce. I was so accustomed to cooking for 7 siblings and 2 parents, that I had no idea how to cut down my portions for only 2. We ate spaghetti for a loooong time.
3. Left to carpool with the broiler on. When I came back the house was filled with smoke. The alarm was blasting. I would have been disappointed that my grilled eggplant was now charred ash, but we got a visit from the fire department. The good-looking ones so it was a wash. My sisters and I now regularly “broil” things with lipstick on and a good-looking apron.
4. Boiled a bunch of eggs. This would have been a normal thing to do, but I had re-boiled my already boiled eggs. Funny how boiled and raw eggs look exactly alike. Thanks to my kid’s science fair project I found out the trick, something about spinning them clues you in to the raw vs boiled egg.
5. On Passover I was on the phone and began peeling potatoes. The recipe only called for six. I peeled thirty. It didn’t go to waste, but I did need to get creative.
6. Hammered my chicken fillets using a frying pan. Seems like a good idea, but I had managed to spray salmonella all over the kitchen. No amount of bleach could possibly prepare me for this experiment. Next time I was smart and put my chicken fillets in a plastic bag before going to town on them.
7. Made a milkshake in the blender. Without the lid on. Need I say more?
8. Accidentally added caraway seeds to the top of my challah dough since I ran out of poppies. This turned out to be one mistake that was ingenious! Now I put caraway seeds on my challah every week and everyone comments on how incredible the taste is.
9. Put my ice cream in the fridge. We refroze it, but it was never the same.
10. Asked my family what they wanted for dinner. Number one mistake. Never ask anyone what they want you to make them or you wind up being a short order cook with a dozen orders.
February 12, 2010 | 4:59 pm
Posted by Chava Tombosky
I am convinced that G-d has a mischievous sense of humor. It is based on scientific fact. Well not science, but I’m pretty sure the observations that I have had in my lifetime would prove this theory beyond a shadow of a doubt. How else can you explain G-d’s decision to put difficult people in our lives which potentially cause us myriads amount of grief that can challenge our emotional well being, creating so much havoc that we have three choices with how to cope?
2. Stay in conflict and become a drama addict.
3. Or find a way to turn it around. Learn from the very person who has been thrust on you by forces of nature that seem to be beyond playful comprehension and then find compassion for yourself and the person who is causing you pain.
See? This just screams mischievous sense of humor. But I also believe, this sense of humor is there to teach us a valuable lesson.
When you are standing at the edge of your bottom looking into your abyss as a result of the very human being who has caused you to stand there, it can become a fortuitous moment for you to learn true enlightenment and self- refinement. And you’ll have no choice but to believe G-d’s sense of humor is at its best. For how else can we make sense of the challenging personalities that has been our source of therapy, avoidance, or chronic drugs, alcohol, food or sleep- then with the theory that G-d must have the best sense of humor EVER by giving us the exact person at inconvenient moments with highly difficult agendas to torment us beyond recognition?
But, if you take the time to examine those difficult personalities that you spend much time being frustrated by, you will ultimately come to notice those personalities are the very ones you need the most, for they are the very personalities that have the ability to shape your greatest moments of triumph. It might not seem funny to us, but G-d is probably having a hay day watching from above and laughing at how silly we are for not realizing his genius!
This week in my ongoing Torah class…..
(Yes, I really do have one of those. I think it might be a law that if one marries a Rabbi you automatically are given a classroom with your name on it. Like if you marry a doctor you are automatically handed a swivel chair behind the desk of a doctor’s office that starts your day with “Hello, Dr. So and So’s office please hold”. )
……. we discussed the fact that our greatest conflicts can be the window into the greatest lessons of our lives. I had asked each person to look at a recent conflict and then put themselves and their latest adversary in a glass room. Become the host of their own show. Leave the room. Watch the conflict detached. (I hope you are all doing this in your own minds right now.) Try to mix it up by finding clear compassion and empathy for your adversary. Now take the side of yourself and find a way to have compassion and empathy for the person sitting in the chair that looks like you. It is not you, remember, you are the host. Before you know it, you will have the opportunity to see that the very person causing this pain has been planted in your life for an opportune purpose. The purpose of allowing you to grow and to reveal something about yourself you never thought you knew. Most probably the person causing you this pain is a reincarnation of previous personalities you have dealt with many times in the past but G-d has a sense of humor and felt the need to repeat this personality in your life yet again.
Maybe this person is there to remind you of how not to be, or how to find patience, or to seek forgiveness for yourself, or to impart the lesson of how not to be vain or petty.
Personally, I’d like to thank G-d for his constant ha ha in planting the difficult personalities that I have had to learn from at the most relevant yet inconvenient moments. And I will spend the rest of my week pondering on how funny it must be for G-d when I don’t take these experiences as the gifts that they are. Maybe if I realize the lesson in it once and for all, I won’t get a revisit of it later. Although sometimes, I would just rather complain about those difficult people then learn from it all, but where’s the humor in that?
February 11, 2010 | 5:29 pm
Posted by Chava Tombosky
“Mommy, what does G-d look like?” My six year old asked me one day.
“G-d looks like the best most wonderful encounter you’ve ever had,” I responded. “What’s a wonderful encounter?” he continued. “It’s like a grand moment you experience that leaves a warm feeling in your heart that you know is true, everlasting, and holy.”
“I know, like the smell of my daddy,” he answered.
An innocent yet profound response, if only it was that easy for adults to tap into the “scent” of the Divine as with the ease that innocent children can. How do kids know this and where, when, and how did us adults forget how to savor the aroma of Holy matter?
Do you ever feel the urge to find meaning, seek truth, or belong to a collective consciousness? These urges stem from your Divine place, the Neshama (soul), part of your being. Ignoring a soul’s whisper could be a recipe for disaster.
A friend recently complained of having anxiety. When I inquired where she thought her apprehension came from, she mentioned the discontent in her life due to the economy. Her worries were keeping her up at night leading to an all night trip to the hospital prompted by terrible chest pain.
“Why am I so lost?” she asked me. “You have defined your life by your income, you are unsettled, your soul is finding a way to grab your attention. Stop and listen to it.” I responded.
The next day, after pondering my words, this friend came to me with a different kind of composure. It was like she had received a revelation that made her recognize that divine “scent”. “I am unsettled!” she said.
This friend thought her chest pain was due to the economy, but really, it was a bigger issue. She was lacking spirituality and “soul-growth”. She needed a tune up, and fast.
But what sort of tune up would help her anxiety subside and make her feel less empty and paralyzed from focusing on the economic crisis? There are many remedies to a “broken” soul. Prayer, creativity, learning, teshuvah (returning or making amends), and of course the big Kahuna- charity.
When we become caught up with any one of those experiences, we become connected to our inner core, our soul begins to take flight and we become our true selves, images of a more divine consciousness that gives us purpose and meaning. We get out of ourselves and stop thinking about the “I”, the ego, and begin to think about the “bigger picture”.
While on a field trip with my daughter’s class to a Chumash Indian reservation, I learned about their fascinating culture. They are a people of the earth. They once lived in large tribes. Before the European explorations they would spend their evenings chanting to ONE God and spend their days crafting jewelry, hunting, and building aps (Aps are huts made out of branches. Bulrush was added in layers starting at the bottom with each row overlapping the one below. I know, complicated, yet the Chumash managed to build these aps in an hour. Today it takes man two weeks to figure it out.)
They all needed the unique skills of one another. They were one, a collective people. They had a chief who helped to maintain everyone’s participation in the tribe, who was a voted member. Women were revered, (that was the part I liked of course) and all men were created equal.
I was astounded by their way of life. “I don’t get it, wasn’t there ever a time someone would rebel against this way of life and leave?” I asked our tour guide, Graywolf. (of course that is the little rebel in me.) He explained, “They would be foolish to leave for they would be risking their lives. We are a people who realize, WE are the temporary ones on THIS Earth, and it is our job to make it a holy place by serving it as its guests as a productive and collective group.”
All of this I learned while huddled in a primitive cave about a quarter of a mile away from the camp where the tribe had lived. To get to this cave, one would have to hike down a dirt path, up a hill, and cross a river, (only to have to) then climb steep rocky terrain. We nestled in the cool embracing cave and Greywolf explained it was this very cave that was known as the “birthing cave”. This was the place that women traveled to in order to give birth to their young. The cave looked like an indentation of the earth, and the women felt it was the best place to be when experiencing new life, the inside of the earth’s womb.
Never mind the primitive conditions this was a spiritual experience for the Chumash. What made the Chumash people so interesting was, they never found a way to allow their ego to overtake their existence. Allowing their ego to get in the way would counteract their survival. They were equal beings with equal duties, a utopian society.
These Chumash Indian people were very much like- Chassidim. Men who understood the purpose of creating light in the world through doing kind deeds and finding ways to embrace their survival with honor and dignity, and asserting themselves using material earth to further express their spirituality. The Chumash spent every day fine tuning their thoughts and ways of life to “Smell” the scent of G-d. I bet they never had any anxiety at all.
February 7, 2010 | 12:26 pm
Posted by Chava Tombosky
This week’s Friday food day got pushed off to Sunday because of last Friday night’s food envy. Last week I had the delightful joy of experiencing a Shabbat meal that was far beyond matzo balls and roasted chicken. We gathered around a stunning table at my dear friend’s house that was adorned with Ahi tuna cured in citrus delicately skewered on toothpicks with avocado, lemon, and hot sauce. There was pickled salmon, sweet and sour salmon, chicken encrusted in terra chips, salads with intricate dressings that had hidden surprises of candied walnuts and bursts of mango, several casseroled dishes that had hints of butternut squash and cinnamon, and a complicated dessert that was reminiscent of a recipe you would see on iron chef.
Upon approaching the table and seeing what we were in for, my teenage son turned to me and said “Wow, mom you don’t ever cook like this, you gotta get your game on.” Really? Was I slacking off? Steamed asparagus, roasted chicken, and boxed rice wasn’t doing it for him anymore?
Truth is, he was right. I had gotten lazy over the past few months, and he knew it. So after that Friday night I realized my days of simple had to go. I spent the entire week thinking about my next Friday night meal. We had friends coming in from Australia whom we hadn’t seen for five years. They had spent the last fifteen months touring the world. They had experienced exotic cuisine in several countries. I couldn’t just slab on a dry piece of brisket and a rubbery potato fry. I spent all week feeling totally inferior to the task. Where would I even find kosher Ahi? Would that mean an extra two hours on the 405 for a slice of fish that no one in my house would eat anyway? Should I go to Barnes and Noble and sift through hours of cookbooks? I couldn’t call my friend from the week before, that would prove my wretched deficiency in the kitchen just by announcing the fact that her recipes were far more superior then mine had ever aspired to be. Maybe she gives classes.
I was consumed, haunted and plagued by the mere idea that watching hours of the cooking channel could possibly be my only saving grace. I had no time for that! Epicurious.com was not going to cut it anymore. I needed to prove I was just as savvy and just as original and creative. Not for my sake of course, but for the sake of my eldest son who was clearly feeling underprivileged. And so began my quest of mixing things up, gettin’ my groove back, and engaging in edible warfare.
Friday morning I approached my objective with a two-hour work out. I needed stamina if I was going to change my old ways. The regular supermarket was followed by an overpriced vegan all natural boutique store that sold things like spinach for six dollars and coconut oil for eight. I unwrapped my packages and explored my new exotic ingredients of fresh ginger, almond paste with flaxseed, fresh basil and arugula, cilantro, and organic chicken breasts. I macerated, marinated, and desiccated. I seared, soaked, and stir-fried. This meal was a masterpiece. It was a burst of flavors. It was overpriced, over inspired, and overworked. And after cooking all day and just beating the clock by two minutes and thirty-one seconds before sundown, it was impossible for me to get this essay written before the Shabbat hour. Hence- Friday Food Day is on Sunday this week.
After slaving all day, I was quite impressed and proud of my effort. My table was stunning. Food groups that no one had even heard of hid in my fridge ready to impress the Australian guests. Roasted homemade humus with sundried tomatoes and fire-roasted red pepper with pine nuts was just the beginning. We had basil lemon chicken with a white wine reduction, and a bulgar grain dish with fresh parsley and smoked tempeh.
This was going to be the meals of all meals. I was proud. I was over the moon and on cloud nine with my accomplishments. I lit the candles this week with a feeling of victory and triumph to which my youngest son mentioned casually, “Mommy, I am so happy we are home for Shabbat, I didn’t like last week’s fancy food at all. Your plain food is the best!”
We had a lot of leftovers.
February 3, 2010 | 7:49 pm
Posted by Chava Tombosky
So have you ever felt like a dear in headlights staring at a blank page with NOTHING in your head? That’s been me all week. I’ve got to get some material, which made me realize, maybe the fact that I don’t have any material, can be my material! Where does creativity come from? Is it a Divine experience? Is it inside all of us only to be resurrected with mind-altering stimulants? Or is it a random event that only a select few are privy to experiencing accidentally?
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of “Eat, Pray, Love” claims that none of us are geniuses but ALL of us have baby geniuses inside of us waiting to be revealed. Those genius moments can only come out when we suspend our egos and nurture our artistry. Ego stands for Edging G-d Out. Whenever a person decides to make their creative endeavor about measuring their own self worth, posturing to be better then the person next to him/her, or using their creativity to exploit the weak and the weary, we experience the opposite of innovation, which usually leads to isolation, which then leads to a negative manifestation which becomes the opposite of creative, it becomes lifeless, boring, and weak. This egotistical approach may feel justified, but in the long run it tampers with our genius gravely.
Every human being has a slice of the cosmic higher power. Call it a spirit, a soul, a life force; it is the quintessential manifestation of our inventive imaginations, which gives us the ability to create the colorful ideas that transform our world. But it is up to us to foster that cosmic force that can lie quiet. Just like we feed our bodies with great food, work our muscles out by pumping iron, our souls- our creative spirit is no different. If we edge the part of ourselves that is our life force out, then we can get stumped. Our creativity can quiet, and we are left with a blank page.
Here are a few soul feeding ideas:
1. Prayer and Meditation
By connecting to a higher existence we are feeding the reality that we are not alone, that we are dependent upon a greater force, and that we do indeed crave connection and a higher purpose with meaning. Think of it like push-ups for the soul. Without carving time out of the day to connect with one’s essence, it will not know who we are and what we crave and how to communicate our deepest selves imaginatively.
Read, discuss, and find ways to become more enlightened. These are ways we stimulate ourselves with the awesome ideas that humble us into realizing we don’t know everything, there is much wisdom, and we must not be afraid to ask questions.
A few years ago, a wonderful friend was feeling confused by her Judaism and how it fit into her life. She remarked how she had so many questions and felt very small because she knew so little but was afraid to ask questions for fear of sounding ignorant and for being judged by asking them. She almost felt it was a sin to even ask. Somehow she was convinced asking questions were against Torah law. Asking questions is the greatest way to tap into our holy souls. Without questions we cannot learn, we cannot thrive, we cannot captivate our greatest potentials. Judaism welcomes questions, encourages questions, and prompts questions daily.
Recently a very brilliant musician and friend felt stumped in his creative process. He had all the pieces, but just needed perspective in finding an innovative way to cultivate his passion into a meaningful reality. He was creatively at an impasse but instead of wallowing in his own self-pity, he reached out and asked for help. He called me to get some feedback, and within the hour, he was given a lift to his self-doubts, a fresh new perspective, and was armed with new ideas for his project. He had it inside of him the whole time, but by connecting with another person, and by giving me a chance to explore his endeavor together with him, he was able to find the answers he was looking for. Sometimes all we need is a friend to bounce our ideas off of. When two souls connect, it can create harmony, which is a Divine experience that feeds the soul.
4. Good ‘ole FUN
Need a creative lift? Break the routine. Have dinner with friends, play with your children in the park, take a nap, have a spa day, do a favor for someone, visit a sick person who needs company. These are nurturing your creativity just by changing your attitude and finding joy in your day. Believe it or not, being joyous is a mitzvah in the Torah! And when we give ourselves a break from the monotony of our routine, than it can foster the greatest amount of creativity. When we are at peace we get the best aha moments. Like in the shower, during a brisk walk, or even- yes I’m going to say it (even though it is not fun) sitting in traffic. But we can only have those creative outbursts if we allow ourselves to rest it out, hand it over to our Higher Power, and realize it is not about us, but rather, we are just the vehicles sent to express what is meant to be put out into the world.
If we have appreciation for our spirit and allow it to flourish by feeding it then we will never have another “blank page”. (I say that in quotes since the doomed “blank page” is a metaphor for anyone’s creative stump.)
Thank you to my dear friends and readers for inspiring my own blank page to consistently get filled and for allowing my own spirit to take flight and soar. (And yes, I did come up with this essay while sitting on the freeway during traffic.)