Friday, December 26, 2014

A Magical Evening

Imagine yourself on the fourth night of Hanukah in a large room with lots of Menorahs (or Hanukiot) on long tables. The candle holders are different shapes, sizes, colors and ages. Some have been around for years and passed down from generations and others are brand new and were just bought this year.  What I just described to you, was my first experience celebrating Hanukah at Oak Park Temple but they have been celebrating this way for 150 years . This year there were about 150 Menorahs brought by families and scattered throughout the sanctuary. The lights went out and the sight was magical!    When the lights in the room were on, all the menorahs looked different but when the lights went out, all we could see was the flickering lights on each of the 150 menorahs and we all chanted the blessings in unison. The lights were illuminated and we were all together as a community, celebrating the miracle of Hanukah. At the service the Rabbi talked about two universal messages. The first one is that everyone has a light in them and they might just need help finding it or letting it shine. It is our job as a community to help one another do so. The second one is that several times in our history, people were tempted to give up on each other but when they didn't, miracles would happen. 

When you think about light this holiday season, remember our ancestors and how they didn't give up. They always had a glimmer of hope. Finally, don't forget that you have an inner light to shine and share with the world. So as the lights of my menorah go out on the 8th night of Hanukah while celebrating with family and friends, I wish you a year of peace, love and happiness.
Write to you in 2015,

PS. I can't wait to participate in this tradition next year!  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Welcome to Walgreens and Welcome to My Life

I decided to wait a month to write again because I kept thinking of different ways to write about my experiences, but wasn’t happy with it. I was thankful for these opportunities but didn’t know how to say it. About a month or so ago, I was at my Walgreens job that I’ve had for almost 11 years now. Frankly, I felt like I was bored with it. You see, at my other jobs, I feel like I can make an impact on other people’s lives, but this one felt monotonous, until one day, when I said my usual greeting, “Welcome to Walgreens,” and the man replied, “Thank you, it feels good to be welcomed somewhere.” From that day forward, I have looked at my job differently. Though it is simple, I now believe that I am making a difference in people’s lives even if it’s just a little bit. 

Now, you’re probably wondering, why did I say “welcome to my life” as part of the tile of this post? I said this because I was at yoga class, and I had a breakthrough with my body. Something that I’ve been trying to do for years in dance finally clicked. This was a good lesson for me in not giving up on my body, because I believed I kind of did. I just thought that due to my disability, it’s something I could never train my body to do the proper way. So now, I feel like I am truly a part of me.

Something like this is a perfect example of how you’re never too old for a breakthrough, disability or not. I am proud to say that, because of this breakthrough, I can finally do a high release properly. How do I know that it’s right now? Number 1, my yoga teacher said that it was. Number 2 and more importantly, before he had even said it, I knew it was right because it felt right. Whenever you aren’t sure about something, just go with it because it might lead to a breakthrough, or to something that makes others happy. 

Your dedicated dancer and employee,