Sometimes You Have to Take the High Road**

 

Passover is my favorite holiday. Pesach. Its a magical time of year.  Not just because of spring and rebirth, but if we’re open to it, we can connect to the light and use it to wipe out the darkness in our lives.

Last night I went to a seder hosted by The National Council of Jewish Women. Such a high vibrational organization. I don’t volunteer my time, unfortunately. I wish I could,  but have a full calendar due to my many social obligations. But I do attend the seder every year.  Its a fun time with laughing and dancing.  A microphone is passed around the room and we all read a section of the Haggadah.

The room was set up with three long rows of tables, maybe thirty or more women at each table. I was seated with my back to the wall and although I had a nice view of the stage I had hoped to get a seat up front. A woman with glasses and dark hair had the best seat at the center table in front of the stage.

She was wearing a black top and jeans. Inappropriate attire for a seder. You don’t wear black to a seder. You wear white. White allows you to receive the light. Black deflects it. And everyone knows you don’t wear jeans to a seder. I have to assume she doesn’t understand the significance of the holiday. I do.

I wore my white poplin Vestments blouse. One of my favorites with an oversized starched collar. It looks great with my black Armani leggings. Armani is the exception to most rules, especially twelve hundred and ninety five dollar Armani leggings. I pared the outfit with a Fendi boot. Kash did a great job on my hair yesterday morning: a smart layered cut and color. I don’t know how he does it, but my hair is so soft and more white than silver. I look great in white. White hair and white shirts. I wore my red readers, for the perfect pop of color.  Fabulous.

The seder was almost perfect, except there was this other woman. She was sitting at the other end of my table. All night she leaned into her friend, whispering and giggling. I watched her  break off a piece of matzo, from the afikomen no less, and dip it into the horseradish, then into the charoset and stuff it into her mouth. She cut into a hard-boiled egg and crumbles of yolk littered the table in front of her plate.  I was watching her. Staring at her more like. I have perfected my stare. I furrow my brow but keep my eyes wide and I lift one eyebrow. Sometimes I practice my stare while driving. When I saw the woman pour herself an extra glass of wine between the toasts for cups one and two, I thought about saying something to her. Maybe going over to her, tapping her on the shoulder, explain to her that she was being disruptive.

But the woman next to me handed me the microphone, it was my turn to read. Then I heard her laughing. Even louder than before. And I realized in that moment how I was right. How this woman had no understanding of pesach. How it was my duty to show her. Sometimes you have to administer the lesson in order to guide another human being to the light.  I put the microphone on the table and leaned toward the laughing woman. “Will you just shut up?” I said.

She stopped laughing and turned toward me. Maybe now the light would be able to cut through the darkness that surrounded this poor woman. Maybe now she would be able to enjoy and appreciate the higher meaning of the holiday. Maybe, but she seemed more surprised than grateful. As if I were the one who was ruining her evening.

“Can you just stop talking for maybe five seconds” I said. I gave her my stare. “You haven’t shut up all night.” That must have done the trick. Because she reached for her wine and took a sip. I found my place in the Haggadah and brought the microphone to my mouth. But, before I could get a word out I heard the woman’s voice.  “Hey,” she said. “Why don’t you say that into the microphone.”

I decided to take the high road and acted as if she hadn’t spoken to me at all. I read my portion from the Haggadah. I passed the microphone to the woman on my right and as I did I noticed the woman with the glasses, the one in front of the stage. She was staring at me. I widened my eyes, furrowed my brow and raised my eyebrow. She looked down, but not at her Haggadah. She wasn’t even paying attention to the seder either. It took me a moment, but I saw she was writing. On her napkin.

That was the moment when I realized something that I think I’ve known all along. Its sad, but some people will always struggle in the heaviness of their ego. They won’t even know it. They’ll walk around thinking they’re filled with light, but they aren’t, they’re dark and toxic.  You have to be careful with people like that. No matter how hard you try and help them, you can’t. You can send them your prayers, but do it from a distance, you have to protect yourself, otherwise, they’ll suck the light right out of your veins.

 

**This was a little something I wrote for a class I was taking. I was doing the exercise… The exercise was to write from someone else’s point of view and at some point, through their eyes, have them see me…

It’s when we ‘do the exercise’ that we are able to get out of our own way and in those moments magic happens

Unedited Sunday Morning Musings

 

today

when i was walking

sand slipping between my toes

heels sinking

and lifting

legs moving me forward

people lined up in pews

eyes closed

hands clasped

throats thick with hymn

and they prayed

 

while they sat

surfers AND dolphins

sunday morning redondo beach

in the white and blue

steepled building

down the street from my house

i watched

neoprene clad surfers

wait on waves

i watched

dolphins flip

through the gleam

of sun

a flicker-dance

on the water

i watched pelicans

and gulls dive

for their breakfast

 

i know it might be corny

to make such a simple

comparison

my church

to theirs

 

sometimes truth

is just that simple

 

Gratitude-O’Clock

It’s been one of those weeks.  You know the ones.  Two steps forward takes you to what seems like three steps back.

“Is it Mercury in retrograde or what?” I say to the sky, the sofa, the cats.  No one’s home to listen.  It’s just me, the computer and all the disconnections, the disconnects, the turnarounds, changed minds, the mud I am slogging through.

I want a do-over.  A re-boot.

Where am I today? Same place I was yesterday.  Safe, loved, fed, comfortable, in love, breathing.

It’s gratitude-o’clock.  Platitude? Seems like it.  Most things that are good and true are simple.

I woke up too early, tired and my eyes hurt.  But it’s gratitude-o’clock so good!  I’m grateful that I can see.  I’m grateful that I have cool glasses (I didn’t always, welcome to my childhood).

Gratitude-o’clock.  I woke up.  Get my drift?  I woke up. Another platitude? Maybe, but hey, who am I to judge?

I have an alert on my phone; today I will judge nothing that occurs. 

Someone cancels an interview I jumped through hoops to schedule for them.  Today I will judge nothing that occurs.  A candidate lied to me about sending their resume to my client.  Today I will judge nothing that occurs.  My SD card on my phone is wiped and I might have lost some great pictures.  Today I will judge nothing that occurs.

Gratitude-o’clock.

Today I will judge nothing that occurs.

THANK YOU NEXT

That’s really all I can do.  Pick up the phone, make 10 more calls.  Find another candidate, one that won’t lie, one that won’t flip flop (good thing she isn’t running for office).  Take new pictures. Who knows, maybe the old ones are hidden somewhere on my computer.

Thank you Next. Thank you Next. Thank you Next. Today I will judge nothing that occurs.

If I’ve learned anything from headhunting for the last 15 years, it’s that NOTHING is really in my control. I’ve always joked, headhunting, my work, is my spiritual practice.

I’ve been called out before.  I don’t get you, how can you be spiritual in life and so driven in business. You just can’t turn it on and off.  I once took offense to the judgement, Today I will judge nothing that occurs. They misunderstood themselves.

Patience, open heartedness, open-mindedness, benefit of the doubt, restraint, introspection, listening, hearing, being present, being in service.  Basic spiritual principals: all. I’ve been practicing.

“Retrograde, maybe, maybe not. This is life.” I say, answering myself.  The cats look up at me.  Fred meows, stretches, pushes against his hind quarters. Downward-facing-cat.

There’s so much more than lying candidates and broken phones.  So much more beauty, so much more sadness, so much more loss, so much more poetry, art, music, dance, song. So much more in the fabric of what we each call a life.rose bush

Today I will judge nothing that occurs.

I hear the birds outside, the sky is grey but that just makes all the colors of spring pop.  The roses outside my office window are blooming like never before, bursting with soft rose petal orange and pink.  We planted that rose bush for our cat Lu almost ten years ago.  I feel my heart beating, ba-boom ba-boom ba-boom in my chest, my breath is soft, I feel spring turning into summer, I feel myself, I feel my heart. I feel.

 

Roses closeup