I've recently begun participating in workshop-slash-discussion group titled, "Ayeka". Ayeka is Hebrew for "Where are you?". It is the question that G-d asks Adam, when Adam is hiding, having eaten from the forbidden tree. The purpose of the workshop is about how find out what you might be hiding behind, how to bring G-d into your daily life and how to develop a relationship with G-d and to embrace the transformation that those changes can create. This is something I need and something I want...but it is also not for those who might be squeamish talking about their feelings.
The first session, which included about ten women, started off innocently enough, with a dear friend of mine leading our discussion group and setting us all at ease. But we quickly learned that we would be asked to bare our souls to this group. We laughed, we cried, we shifted uncomfortably in our seats, still grateful for this process that we began, some of us already friends, some acquaintances, some strangers (though, not anymore). Bare our souls we did, jumping right in feet first, no looking back. It's exactly what I need and it came at exactly the right time.
"Where are you?", is the first question asked in the Torah, but it is also a question I have been asking myself lately and I think, like Adam, that I may be doing some hiding of my own. After a lot of careful thought and some digging, I realize that what I hide behind is simply more questions. Two questions to be exact. "What's next?" and "What if...?". By looking ahead to see *what's next*, I'm missing out on what's in front of me. In preparing for the various scenarios of *what if*, I'm forgetting to see what's happening right now. Constantly looking for a schedule to adhere to, a goal to reach, a finish line to cross...that's got to change.
So by doing that, by focusing on the *now*, will I suddenly feel closer to G-d? Unfortunately, I doubt it'll be so easy, so I'm guessing there are probably a few other things that I'm going to have to do in between. And frankly, the thought of that freaks me out a tiny bit.
Why? Because it's outside of my comfort zone. It sort of seems like I'm reinventing myself and that feels strange. Plus I don't really know how to do that, don't really know the first step to take. I've never been a person who feels like they have a personal relationship with G-d and I don't really know what that will even look like. I like to be able picture things, and I can't picture this. I know I try to listen to G-d and sometimes I know I can hear him, but to think of that in terms of a relationship? I'm going to have work hard to wrap my head around that.
But what I do know is that I want to see how it feels, want to see how it changes me. Which is why I'd like to share it here, to document the changes that take place as a result of this workshop, to see what happens when I take time for me and for...well...G-d and for our relationship. (That totally feels weird to say, I won't lie).
I'm thinking of it as my very own mini-version of The Year of Living Biblically, only much less hard core and without the publisher's cash advance (and also without the wit and humor of A.J. Jacobs). Nonetheless, I hope you'll stick around and see where it leads me.