Poised for the Battle

Hooray!!  My blog has successfully been transferred to http://www.rabbidiane.com.  If you are still interested in hearing about events at Cool Shul but are not yet on our mailing list, you can go to our new website at http://www.coolshul.org and contact us there.  But now, this blog isn’t speaking for Cool Shul, just little ole me.  🙂

And now for the blog and an invitation…

You are not in battle.  You are merely poised for the battle.

These words resonate within me nearly every day.  I heard them on a yoga CD from a teacher I enjoy (shout out to Santa Monica Yoga), perfect for doing when I can only squeeze in a little solo yoga at home (usually at 6am!).   During the practice, we are guided into Warrior 2: legs spread and slightly bent, ready to spring at a moment’s notice, arms stretched out from the shoulders with fingers elongated, eyes peering over the fingertips which guide our attention toward some distant point.  I am standing in that position when I hear those words:

You are not in battle.  You are merely poised for the battle.

Certainly yoga isn’t a physical art form that has any sort of combat.  If anything we are to find peace within ourselves and our surroundings, not be in battle.  Yet we are practicing yoga to become more centered, stronger, and grounded while simultaneously being elevated… all excellent traits for one who has to be ready for a war.  Warrior 2 prepares us mentally and physically for a fight we hope will never come.

I know, my friends, that we are all glued to the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox these days.  With all of the information coming in, regardless of where our loyalties lie, it is nearly impossible not to feel a little off balance, confused, and in conflict.  How do we go on about our daily lives when there is so much anger and worry surrounding us?  How do we care about what to make the kids for lunch or whether or not to put new curtains up in the bedroom when our phones are pinging every 5 seconds with another dramatic update?

I don’t have an answer for you.  Except that I am trying to live my life in Warrior 2.

There are so many battles worth fighting for.  I, like you, care deeply about so many issues that it’s hard to decide where to put my money, my time, and my emotional capital. I want to come out swinging to protect my children, my community, my country. But I’m not a boxer.  I’m a Rabbi, and my job and responsibility (at least for the Rabbi I try to be) is to never create panic in those in my circles, but to offer them a path toward inner peace, a complete Shalom, even when our inner-fighters emerge.  Yes, let’s take on an issue.  Yes let’s do what our hearts tells you is the appropriate effort for us, but let’s never lose that center that keeps our feet on the ground, our minds elevated, and our eyes looking to the future.  Let’s never lose that inner-knowing that keeps us poised before and during the battle.

So, I try to live in warrior 2.  I am not in a literal battle, but I am poised for the battles when they come.  And even when I do choose to strike, I will do so remembering the Jewish text that tells us that the world stands upon three things: Study, Effort and Kindness. Even when in conflict, I hope never to forget who I am and to remain a peaceful warrior in word and deed.

If you are feeling stressed out by your outer world or your inner world, please join me with Dr. Cheryl Feldmann for a group discussion about how to live our lives unclenched, even in stressful times.  Email me at diane@coolshul.org to let me know you’re coming.  The event is free, but a donation is appreciated.  

Tuesday, February 21, 7pm at Cool Shul.  

13323 West Washington Blvd. #101 LA CA 90066


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