Welcome To My Blog

The Art of Fine Metalwork and the Art of Empathy and Nonviolent Communication- woven together for you....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lessons learned from my pets

I have two bunny rabbits and a German Shepherd puppy who is 8 months old. Since they've been in my life I've had the opportunity to learn a lot from them. Like everyone else, they are a mirror of where I am now.

Here are the lessons:

1. Change comes slow, habits take time to integrate: When I wanted to move the rabbits toilet box I noticed that if I move it in one swoop, even if it's 30 centimeters (about a foot's length) away, it just won't work. They'll keep on going to the same spot. But if I move it a fraction of an inch every day, then little by little, they adjust. Same goes for us, little by little...

2. Be patient. This I learned from my bunnies and dog, and relates to the lesson above. If you want to teach a new trick, or understand what's going on, take your time, observe, reflect and then make a move. So be patient, with yourselves and others.

3. Out of that comes: Don't make sudden moves. Rabbits are hunted animals- every time I walk into their "room" and come in suddenly or loudly they freak out and run away. So I've learned to slow down, soften my movements, be more conscious and aware and no one gets scared away, including myself.

4. Sometimes it's best to sit still and let things come to you. When I had only one bunny I learned that I could never approach him, to try and pet him. I had to sit quietly and let him come to me, and then, and only then, could I softly stroke him. Same for the dog- when we're outdoors, if I keep chasing her she will always run away, but if I stand still, or sit down, or retreat, she will come to me. Maybe, in our do do do lives, from time to time, we can sit quietly and let life happen?
Emma aged 8 months
5. Operating from anger is counter productive and weakens you! Nothing can be learned from doing things angrily. In fact. particularly for dogs, whom we tend to speak to as if they're human : " Emma! Why did you chew my art work?" as if she understands, an angry human is a weak leader. And if the leader is weak, the dog understand that he better be in charge, and then you're in trouble. Cesar Milan teaches that we must be calm and assertive. Isn't that true for all of life?

6.  Last for now, but not least: Live in the Moment. Animals can be the greatest gurus of this, for they are living examples of what it means to be present in the moment. Who hasn't had the experience of the joy you're greeted with coming in the door, even if you left a minute ago? Or if you got angry with her,( which you'll inevitably be (-: ) she will never never hold a grudge! That is amazing, in of itself.

Watching my dog sit outside in the grass in the park near our home, I see her delighted in every breeze, every fly that flies by, every moment is vibrant and happy, and when she sleeps, it's deep and recharges her. How I envy that!

So what have you learned from your pets? I'd love to hear

Monday, August 22, 2011

Today I'm 50!

A Yael In The Judean Desert, I really must get a new photo!
It's my birthday and a big one, and I thought it would be nice to celebrate by writing in this blog again.

So here I am a big girl and I mean BIG! Like 50 is really saying to me, Baby- it's now or never ( well almost). I am determined to make a contribution to this world that will be meaningful to others and myself AND will earn me a great living!

Is that something that's ok to want? Yes , I know they say you are not measured by your bank balance, and I can always ask myself: When there's a constant stream of income , that covers all your expenses and more, THEN. will you value yourself? THEN will you be happy? 

First , let me say - I AM HAPPY TODAY. Not only because there was an outpouring of love from so many people today, and my kids surprised me in the morning with cake and flowers and explicit instructions not to get out of my pajamas and NOT to wash dishes. I am happy because I just feel good! Right here, right now.  

Remembering I came upon this one day at Jonathan Fields blog:

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success - Emerson

Ahhh, This resonated, then and now. I breath easier reading this, don't you?

So I'm 50. I hope you all will be hearing from me this year often and of things I'm out there doing, for the benefit of all , but also for the ability to look at myself in the mirror and say, Yael, you made it, you reached your goals!

Love to all!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

It's all written

I have a neighbor. He's very old, about 85 years, he sits all day in his living room in front of a big tv and talks to it for lack of anyone else to talk to. He came here from Greece, I'm not sure when, before or after WW2. In any case, traditionally, in those countries, people sat with their doors open, on balconies and talked to each other, way before modern life with it's smartphones and ipads, when hardly anyone looks at each other anymore. So he sits in his livingroom with the windows and the shutters wide open, watching TV and commenting, singing along, and whenever a neighbor passes by, hurrying on his way to work ( because he also happens to be situated above the joint car park) he always says hello,well, shouts hello.

I'm his favorite neighbor. I always say hi and a few words, ask how he's doing.I ask him what the weather forecast is, because he always knows. He loves my kids and has been watching them grow. " You've got great kids!" he always says. Once in a while, like this morning for example, he'll see me, and say:

 " Don't worry"

What? Am I walking around with a worried look? I must be. I am not known for my Poker Face. I am the most transparent person I know.
Everything, but everything I'm feeling, shows.

So, don't worry, he says...it's all written up there, he points to the sky. Whatever needs to be, will be...I give him the thumbs up, and feel inspired to go straight upstairs to this computer to write to you about it. Why? I don't know, just felt like sharing it.

Is it all written? Pre-determined? People have been asking this question for ages, and I don't think anyone has an answer. Some say we are living in an illusion of control. All this web activity, coaches coaching, Secrets being unrevealed, telling us we can dream up a future and it will be.

Once all mankind's wisdom came from the aged, the elderly folks of the tribe, who had seen so much and passed on their experience. And now? I don't want to say the world belongs only to the young ( and the internet), but let's face it, most elderly people, sadly, have no part in society.

But let's get back to you out there, I hope, like me, you can find some comfort from this man's words. It's all written... seems like sometimes I put so much energy in thinking about the future, and worrying about it, I have no time for the present. Maybe there's too much control tied to it. Sometimes I feel compelled to do things and then wonder why. Maybe it's not ALL up to me?

 So I'm inviting you, if you find yourself tense and caught up in worry, to ponder these words for a few seconds, and see what happens...does it loosen the grip a little?

Wishing you and myself peace

P.S. (how outdated is that? ...And still, an after thought):

A few days passed. I didn't publish this post, because the battery died out on me at the last moment.  All sorts of things happened, amongst them my smartphone getting stolen, getting angry with a rep of the telephone company, and mostly angry with myself for falling prey to sales talk and promises of freebies.( Sorry for being human , Yael). I have all sorts of decisions to make - about renting another apartment or finding one to buy...and plenty of other small, but pressing issues.

 And still, the words of my old neighbor reverberate.... don't worry...I'm taking a deep breath, trying to find solace in those words, in ANY words for that matter.

I looked in the Gandhi quotes page and my eyes rested on:

" Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."

And a little self compassion won't hurt...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A little Empathy goes a long way...

I'm standing outside in the public playground/garden under the building where I live, waiting for a telephone technician, A mother witha baby stroller is just leaving and her older child, maybe two years old, is still playing with some leaves, totally absorbed as children are.

"I'm leaving!" the mother says and starts to go, turning the corner, where her daughter cannot see her.,
The little girl looks up, and starts to cry: Mama!
Mother returns: We have to go, come now, or I'll go without you!
The child's face is in the pile of leaves.
I'm going!
Child cries again and finally starts walking in the direction of her Mom.

I want to say to her: You know, she's not doing this against you...but I am silent.
The little girl reaches her mother and hands her a little something she found as a present
Mother for a split second: Very sweet, BUT, you must come when I call you! You must come!

I find I am really affected by this exchange. These few moments, for me, condense the way we so many times handle situations. I don't mean to sit here in judgment. I've BEEN ( and maybe still am) that Mother. An eternal, hands full, looking tired with two young 'uns Mother who hasn't got a clue what to do and just wants to get on with her day. I've BEEN that Mother who finally threatens her child...
and I probably was the child who was frightened into complying, not understanding her "crime".

My heart goes out to both of them,

And I know there is another way out of it. A peaceful way. A word or two of Empathy on the adults part could go a very long way. Something like: " Wow I see you really like those leaves, right?" and " You really want to stay here a little longer, yeah?"
 Sounds obvious and maybe a little too dumb to say, but in these two questions, so many underlying needs get met. First and foremost connection. The child feels hat she is seen, the Mother is WITH her child in her experience, and therefore may even relax a minute or two long enough to enjoy a special, magical moment with her child. And then she might say, I really want to get going, to which her child might still resist, to which the Mother may drop another: "It's hard to leave, isn't it?" So much is taught here...gentle consideration.

I'm not saying it's easy. That Mom needs a ton of Empathy sent her way in her predicament. And yet, it's possible.

This exchange won't take longer than the usual, and it will create ripples of peace and understanding that might reach out into generations to come.

I have used Empathy in many situations, and by no means all of them. My children are living proof that when their needs are heard and taken into consideration, they will grow up to be kinder more capable of compassion in a world that to this date, knows mostly the language of dominance and fear.

If you ever find that you're in a situation with someone ( children large and small) and it's not moving in the direction you want., try Empathy first and let me know if it works for you.

my darling and I
My love and understanding to you...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wisdom from an eleven year old sage...

I have tears in my eyes.

My son, Tom wanted to stop playing piano. He said: It's just not fun for me! This brought up a lot of stuff for me. And yet I did my best to listen with empathy. To get my own pre-conceptions out of the way.

I guessed his different feelings and needs. His frustration. He didn't want his teacher to be hurt, he didn't want to face the moment of saying "goodbye" to her.  ( He knows she really cares for him and thinks he's good) And yet I heard my self saying things like: "if you want to succeed at anything you need to practice a lot and it's not always fun" (mmmm, is that true? ) He answered: what has that got to do with it? (he's right. what does it have to do with it?)

We went over different aspects, I offered solutions, ideas,  but mostly I heard his tears and his heart crying out for something.

I know how you feel, I said
You do?
How so?
Well I remember that when I was a child and playing piano, I stopped because the piano was in the basement and I was soooo scared to be there, and even more scared to tell my Mom I was scared. And then, played flute...and then we moved to Israel, for me a new land, though my homeland, and all the support system of the school in the States was gone. And no one else in my new class played...and... and I stopped. Also I know about the pitfalls of being an artist in any field. How easy distractions come in. How easily I doubt.

I also noticed that I was trying to convince him to continue. I noticed tension in my body.

Suddenly I said: Ok Tom, you can stop. you know I won't force you.
Really? he asked , suddenly surprised.
Yes, really
I let go, I really let go. I felt it in my body. I felt him relax.

Came to the computer ( which is in the living room, where the piano is too), Started to read , tweet etc. Suddenly, out of the blue, Tom starts playing. After a few moments, he says:
I've decided to continue.
Yes, he said
I remembered that sometimes there are obstacles in life. I can either overcome them, or get stuck.

And with that , he resumed playing for another half an hour, happily

He is eleven.
All I can say is I'm humbled, privileged to have this soul as my child.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Guest post at www.mindfulground.com

Proud to be on  Carina from Denmark's website! Come check out my first ever guest post!


Would love to hear what you think!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happiness Is a Soap Bubble

on loan from oliviatejada.com who got it on flickr and inspired by her

Watching a child, any child,

Even my somwhat cynical pre-teenage daughter,

Blowing bubbles

Brings with it so much delight

Such pure happiness...

What is it about those bubbles?

Universally happy





To Dream The Impossible Dream...?

After listening to El at TruthPassionJoy.com I want to make a lis, a list of dreams, a list of things I want.

Why is it so hard for me?

The past couple of months have been so full of pain (physical too) and self-doubt, that everything I thought was true for me suddenly wasn't there anymore. My goal /dream of becoming a therapist, even believing in my ability to write, went down the drain, hence the long absence from this blog.

 I experienced panic becoming the main feeling I was walking around with.

I have so many abilities.
I can sing
I can write
I can photograph
I can listen and empathize
I have fantastic hands, for making things and for soothing, people say my touch is great.
I love the internet and can use some of it's tools, though there is always more to learn...
I'm wonderful with babies and people...

But what about my list?
what about my dreams?
Well, what?
I want to FEEL the feeling of wanting with all my heart. Not what my parents or sibling wanted for me, not my children's wants, my own.

When was the last time I really WANTED, trying to find it somewhere in my life.
Does it have to be big? Can it be made of tiny wants? When I think about food for example, what kind do I love? Can I feel it coming from my belly? Food and wanting seem to go together...

And  SO WHAT if I know (or speculate) that it started when I was a tiny infant and didn't get my needs met at the right time and got disconnected from my own impulse. How does that knowing help me now? How can I NOW start again, gradually to dream, to want, to train this muscle of wanting, dreaming dreams so I can finally make this list, be convinced of it, and start to implement it.

Looks like the answer is in the question. Gradually....slowly with patience, with love, gently, like I would do with my babies...

I start again

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hamsa - will I be making them again?

" Avert the evil eye with this this beautiful wall hanging Hamsa.
Traditionally hung over doorways throughout the Middle East...it brings together all religions in their quest for well being!
made of embossed brass, with turquoise patina and transparent finish."

I've been making this piece for a long time now...and haven't always felt good, mainly about how much I was asking for it.... mmmmmm what should I do? To do or not to do?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Exhibition

This is the continuation of the show in Paris that I participated in in October 2010, now showing in Israel


Monday, January 24, 2011

Back to square one?

 I'm writing or trying to write, but the truth is I'm still in pain, and this time it's a great physical pain, that I've been carrying for the past, oooh I don't know , four years?Just noticed  i blogged about two posts ago...

I was told about 18 months ago that I have a a situation on my left shoulder called a  calcification of the ligaments with muscles and that is causing me a lot of pain all the way up to my skull and down my arm.

I've tried all kinds of things: changing my diet for awhile, getting two steroid shots, which gave relief but are not a solution, medical yoga, osteopathy.
Pills, and good ol' denial.
Maybe if I pretend it's not there it will go away.
And there have been periods in which I've felt a whole lot better, and even for a few days wondered where it had disappeared to?

But lo, it came back and gotten much worse. So much so that I gave up Yoga...

The only thing I haven't done is have a talk with it.

Well I did ask once: what do you want to tell me? and heard a song, in Hebrew, actually a love song, that says: " Give me your hand , give me a place, in your world.."
Problem is, I didn't stay with it enough to REALLY HEAR. To go deeper.

 Some people say, since we are all this one vibrating organism and are all essentially one, our body is no different. Some also say ( and I believe this) that the soul lives in the body, and that when something goes amiss, it means there is something WE are missing, and the soul is just letting us know.

Last week I came down with a bad flu, and sat down and wrote till some thing's became clearer. For example that I'm trying to do too much stuff at once.

Then the Universe cut down some stuff for me ( so I wouldn't have to choose)

And what now? Feeling kind of lost again
they say:
Stay with the experience. I don't know but I think that if I sit with this pain long enough and stop running around trying to ACHIEVE, then maybe I might be able to develop a real conversation, maybe I will hear something I haven't already, maybe some new direction in my life?

Time for bed, at least I can try and respect that simple wish, to go to sleep?

So how do you cope with  pain? Do yo re-act and try to push it away? would love to hear
 with love to all

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pain and Gratitude- strange partners...


Woke up with a paraphrase of Oprah's quote: "Cheers to a new day and another chance to make a fresh start"

And definitely, gratitude for that, and yet, I'm in pain. I have been living in pain for the last few years.
Since my separation basically. It's a pain in my shoulder, and though I had it checked, an ultra sound done, and did yoga for the last almost two years, it's still there, and getting worse! And added to that, lately my right hand -   so stiff and painful I can barely work, write, cut vegetables,  excruciating is the word.

My dentist's secretary says: " If you're nearing fifty and you don't feel pain, then you're dead!"  Well happy as I am to be alive, must I live in pain?

In my meditation this morning, I realize, I am barely breathing! And my body is frozen. The image that comes up is one of a massive Egyptian sculpture, one of those kings sitting frozen on their thrones. I try to soften it, turn it into flesh and bones, like Pinocchio coming to life , but no, that doesn't work, it just seems to make it worse.

And the question that comes up for me is, why I am continuing this? Why am I allowing myself to live in pain? I feel totally dry, brittle , almost.

M greatest sense is that this is the year I need to STOP, make some priorities, and mainly, put myself first...

So how do you, who are hopefully still reading this from time to time, stop?