Omer Day 22
7 Iyar 5780
Friday 1 May 2020
Today we move into the fourth week of the Omer, the week of Netzach — Endurance — and for today’s practice of Chesed (lovingkindness) within Netzach we turn to somatic educator, writer, and Jewish camp director Cara Michelle Silverberg. Cara offers us a practice allowing us to notice and mirror the shape and beauty of enduring objects around us.
In this time requiring both love and endurance from all of us, we hope this practice will help to bring enduring strength to our bodies, hearts, and spirits as we continue to weather isolation to the benefit of the larger community and ourselves.
Cara is also a dancer, musician, herbalist, healer, thinker, gardener, friend, sister and partner. Follow more of her work at her website On the Fringes of Place.
☀️Omer Day 22 practice [7 Iyar 5780 | Friday 1 May 2020]☀️
- Find something alive and/or of an enduring nature – for example a tree, a stone, a star in the night sky, a longstanding building of architectural beauty, etc. Take several conscious breaths, allowing your exhale to be longer than your inhale. Notice this enduring thing. How does it move, breathe, exist? What sensations (e.g. warmth, coolness, tension, ease, pressure, numbness, tingling, twitching, pulsating) does it stir in your body? What feelings arise with these sensations? Can you be present with these sensations and feelings? (1-2 minutes)
- As you feel ready, find the shape of this object with your own body. Allow any and all feelings and sensations to inform your shape. Close your eyes if helpful, or keep sight of this living being and the space around you. Give yourself as completely as you can to this shape. Then find another object and repeat the shaping process a second time (and as many times as you’d like after that). (2-3 minutes)
- When you find completion in shape making, notice what you are feeling and sensing in your body. How did it feel to make those shapes? Were they familiar to you? Unfamiliar? Desirable? Uncomfortable? Are you aware now of any sensations or default shapes in your own body that you were not aware of before? What does this tell you about your embodied patterns? (1-2 minutes)
- Feel if there is anything from this experiment that you want to take with you and remember for later. If so, symbolically hold what you want to remember in your hands, give it an intention, and then touch somewhere on your body where you want to store that feeling, that knowing, that re-membering. Focus in particular on the enduring nature of the objects whose form you mirrored. (1 minute)
- A space with other objects visible
✨Practice Notes ✨
- This exercise can be done by yourself or (in the safely distanced) proximity of other people, in private or in public, outdoors or indoors. It can be done in a city or a forest, in a football field or at the grocery store, or anywhere else you feel you can give yourself permission to experiment.
- As you do this exercise, if any sensations or feelings become too intense or feel unsafe, move away from those sensations and towards something that gives you a feeling of centeredness and resilience. This could be a memory (real or imagined) of someplace that brings you peace and calm, an imagining of something that brings you joy, or a person/being with whom you feel safe or protected.
- A few other tricks for finding a sense of grounding are: blink both eyes three times then gently stomp three times (repeat as feels grounding), touch left hand to right knee and right hand to left knee in a back and forth pattern (10-20 touches on each side), hum or sing a song for 30 seconds while feeling your feet connected to the ground.
☀️ This post is part of our Omer Wellness Series – a daily 7-minute opportunity for introspection and intentional focus on caring for ourselves, each other, and our environment in this incredibly challenging time. ☀️
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