Well, it was bound to happen, right? Making so many moves and shifts and changes and leaps and bounds. I recently found myself caught up in what I like to call a thought storm of crazy. I have about a month left until I leave this beautiful country to travel in Europe with my mom (luckiest person ever, right?), then present a paper at a conference in Miami and catch up with my people there, and then off to spend a month in Pennsylvania with the parentals before making aaliyah.
It's been quite a whirlwind. I started off the year as student in a full-time Jewish educators program with the intention of moving back to the US to fulfill my two year obligation. Half way through the year I decided the program wasn't a fit for me and that I wanted the option of staying in Israel. 6 months later, here I am…still studying Jewish texts part-time, about to receive my Swedish massage certification, building a business and getting ready to make aliyah.
I was feeling really good about all of these things, building momentum, getting my paperwork together, practicing massage on people (I have lots more friends now!), and niching and laying the groundwork for my business. And it happened. My old friend self-doubt came around to say hi. Things looked grey and gloomy and I suddenly started questioning everything I was doing. I felt burnt out and uninterested in Israel. I kept finding potential clients who just weren't a right match for my services. I couldn't find a massage table to use and was feeling totally depleted. I got stuck. Caught up in negative thought patterns, feeling like the world was closing in, not able to trust myself to make the right decisions. It was an extremely scary place to be.
I made use of all the tools I had: I called friends and family and mentors and talked endlessly (I thank you all very publicly now for your support and time). I cried. I meditated. I journaled. I did exercise. I just sat and felt the fear in my body. I listened to music. I sang. I called family and friends and freaked out some more. And then after awhile of this building up to an incredible crescendo of anxiety and stress, something clicked. Compassion! I should have compassion for myself. I'm going through a lot. I have to navigate friends and relationships and people moving countries. Not being a part of an institution anymore. Packing up my room and finding a new place when I get back. All the bureaucratic aliyah "balaganim", as we say. Starting a business. Finding a job. Making new friends. Going back to the US. Moving across the world from my parents. It's a lot! And once I started being kind to myself, noticing my self-talk, following my thoughts and deciding where to let them go, the pressure began to lessen. Things looked brighter. I was actually able to be grateful for all the beautiful things in my life (including my wonderful friends and family who listened to me go crazy…have I mentioned them!?). I knew as I was going through this that it would just be another opportunity for me to share my experience and hope others can learn or receive solace from it.
My blessing to you all is that you may be present, kind and compassionate to every part of yourself, and that when you get caught in a thought storm, that you have an amazing support system to walk beside you with an umbrella.