The S.T.U.C.K. Method

Five Simple Steps to Emotional Well-Being


5 Comments

STUCK on Beautiful

It’s war here.

Even though living in the North it’s quiet (aside from the tears and mourning from friends and families of the fallen soldiers who are from up here), I can honestly say that I wouldn’t mind a break from it once in a while.

And, I’m not alone.

One of my friends decided to go on a 3-day detox.  (Not from sugar or wheat, but rather social media, like Facebook and Twitter).

Another friend decided not to participate in the community event in which we created care packages for the soldiers on the border with Gaza – in a way to “protect her children from too much”.

One way I’ve been taking a break from all of this is by continuing to attend my weekly singing group on the kibbutz.

Another break I’ve been taking is by continuing to teach yoga each on the kibbutz.

In other words, instead of crawling up into a ball and literally escaping, I’m escaping by continuing to live.

And this past week, I did something a little different.

I decided to attend a basketball game.

Just to escape.

Last year, I used to attend the weekly Jezreel Valley League basketball games, which my husband was a part of playing on the Hannaton team, until he started to suffer some back pain and decided to quit.

But, this past Monday night, he got a phone call from one of the guys on our kibbutz, asking if he’d be willing to sub in because too many of the men on the team weren’t around.  (They’re “too busy” defending our country.)

And, my husband agreed.

Yet, when I walked up to the court, 5 minutes into the beginning of the game, I thought someone was playing a trick on me.

Why?

Because all I heard was yelling in Arabic.

Kibbutz Hannaton basketball game

On the court of Kibbutz Hannaton.

It didn’t take me long to realize what was going on.

The opposing team was coming from a neighboring community in our municipality.

A Muslim one.

But, the yelling wasn’t anything you may be hearing out of the words of Hamas terrorists or even any recent anti-Israel demonstrations, such as:

“Kill the Jews!” or

“Destroy Israel!”

“Jews back to Birknau.  Hitler was right!”

Instead, the yelling was the typical yelling you hear on a basketball court.

“Hey, ref! That was a foul! Are you blind?”

“Double dribble!!!!”

“Back court! Back court!”

“Rebound!!!! Rebound!!!”

“Nu, ref? Can’t you count? How long you gonna let him stay in the key?”

It was beautiful.

The whole game.

Even though our team was at a disadvantage and didn’t play too well, I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Just the thought of it.

The image.

Two communities.

Two religions.

Playing basketball in peace.

Giving each other hi-5s and hitting each others’ butts at the end of the game.

Walking off the court together.

Going home.

Peacefully.

It was beautiful.

Especially during these times when so much of the media is being showered with anti-Semitism.

Calling Israel an apartheid state.

Oh, how little do they know.

That Israeli Arabs are full-fledged citizens here.

That have freedom of religion.

And freedom of speech.

And freedom to an education, just like the Jews.

Sure, there’s discrimination.

Just like there is in the States.

Israel is not perfect.

Is there such a perfect place in the world?

But, believe me, there’s more discrimination against many of the lower class Jewish citizens than there is against the Israeli Arabs.

Did you know:

That my dermatologist is Arab?

And so is the surgeon who stitched up my son’s tongue when he split it open running down a hill two years ago (A female Arab surgeon, mind you!);

And so is my dental hygienist.

And so are nearly all the contractors my husband (a builder) works with.

And so are the majority of people living in the Galilee (where my family and I live);

And so is about 20% of the entire Israel population;

And there are 7 Arab seats in the current Israeli Parliament;

And while Arabs are not required to serve in the I.D.F., some (out of gratitude and pride for their country), actually do!

And did you know that I am woken up each morning (at 4 AM, thank you very much) to the Muslim “call to prayer” (and then 4 more times throughout the day) from the surrounding Arab communities’ loudspeakers.

*****

So, when I read the anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli propaganda (and anti-American propaganda) and sit with not knowing what to do with it (except continue to share articles on Facebook), I think I’m going to just sit with staying stuck on beautiful for a while.

Beautiful that Israel has reached a place where two basketball teams, Jewish and Muslim, can come together and play peacefully.

Without wanting to kill one another.

Without denying each other’s existence.

Just living.

And, letting live.

Just Beautiful.

Advertisements


7 Comments

Stuck in the Middle East

I’m stuck in the Middle East.

By choice, that is.

By choosing to make aliyah (immigrate) to Israel 5 years ago.

Over the past few weeks I have found myself stuck on so many things, that I don’t even know where to begin going about resolving them:

Stuck on utter sadness when 3 innocent, young Israeli boys were kidnapped by the terrorist organization, Hamas;

Stuck on hope that that situation would end in a fairy tale kind of way.

Stuck on pure grief when the news unfolded otherwise;

Stuck on sick when the mother of one of the suspected murderers praised her son for his actions;

Stuck on disbelief when some people concluded that if the Jewish people weren’t in the West Bank to begin with, none of this would have ever happened;

Stuck on complete disgust and embarrassment by the burning alive of an innocent Palestinian boy by an Israeli Jew;

Stuck on anger and enrage for Hamas firing hundreds of rockets on Israel;

Stuck on concern for all innocent Israelis (the children are mostly in my mind) who, during their summer vacations, are running to bomb shelters innumerable times a day instead of running around free and wild like children should be doing on these hot, summer days;

Stuck on incredulity with the astonishingly high number of everyday citizens (doctors, lawyers, teachers, hi-tech employees, etc.) who are being called up to the reserves;

neomi and family

Stuck on amazement that I even personally know some of these men – like my kibbutz friend, who in his regular life is the CFO of an educational center, but when he’s called up to service is a battalion commander – now serving on the border with Gaza – and for all I know is inside Gaza at this very moment;

And stuck on overwhelm, gratitude, and pride for his (and their) undying service and commitment to this country;

Stuck on sorrow with how many kibbutz girlfriends have instantly turned into single mothers over the past few weeks;

And stuck on total amazement with how quickly grandparents revert back into parenting once again while they replace their beloved sons/sons-in-law who are fighting for this country;

Stuck on disbelief when I hear radio broadcasters interrupting songs to announce when and where a siren is being blasted in the country (to prepare citizens for the falling of a rocket) and to remind people of what to do in those circumstances (i.e. like what to do if a siren sounds and you are driving in a car).

Stuck on heartache for all the innocent deaths (on both sides);

Stuck on despair because Hamas is more powerful in trying to bring down Israel than the non-Hamas Palestinians are on trying to creating a flourishing community – so many years after Israel left Gaza;

Stuck on bleakness for all the life cycle events, like weddings and funerals, that are disturbed because of rockets aimed at killing them;

Stuck on inspiration and hope by the Beersheva couple who named their newborn baby (Tzuk Eitan) after the name of the current operation (in English: Operation Protection Edge).

And stuck on synchronicity that the first soldier to die in this battle was also named Eitan.

And stuck on never wanting to let go of hugging my own son.

Aitan.

Stuck on worry about the new Gaza ground operation.

Stuck on startled when another and yet another and yet another fighter jet zooms over my head.

Stuck on despair for the thousands of wandering Israeli Bedouins who live in tents and have no siren system nor protection from incoming rockets from Gaza.

Stuck on anguish when I hear my Tel Aviv friends having to wake up their children in the middle of the night in order to escape to the “safe room” (and hence, losing sleep night after night).

Stuck on “Thank G-d” for the Iron Dome.  (More accurately, Stuck on Thank G-d for giving the Israelis the wisdom and ability to create the Iron Dome.)

Stuck on sadness that we, on this kibbutz in the north, are preparing our “safe rooms” – just in case.

Stuck on frustrated that these seem to be the only topics of conversations that are spoken and being heard of over and over and over again.

Stuck on disgust that my children have to experience all of this.

And yet stuck on the opportunity to remind them what we are fighting for.

Stuck on guilty for even considering to enjoy myself at my weekly singing group or supporting the chosen word “happiness” as the focus for my Friday morning yoga class today.

Stuck on helpless.

Stuck on wanting to help.

(By the way, anyone from the South want to come up North? We have a spare room for you.)

Stuck on concern that I’m not the only one in this country living this emotional roller coaster.

And stuck on what impact living under so much stress can have on individuals, families, and a national as a whole.

Stuck on steadfast that this is where my home is.

And stuck on having no plans on leaving anytime soon.

Stuck on worry – will this ever end?

Stuck on skepticism that it won’t.

Stuck on wanting “S.T.U.C.K.” to “work” on the macro-level just like it seems to work for me on the micro-level so that “S.T.U.C.K.” can resolve this conflict.

Yet, “S.T.U.C.K.” is very one-sided.

It’s about working on my side.

Not yours.

Because I want to relate better with you (or another person or experience).

But, that’s problematic when the other side’s vision is to see your death.

So, obviously, “S.T.U.C.K.” isn’t really appropriate here.

And then I get stuck again.


2 Comments

STUCK on My Baby!

My husband took my 12 year-old daughter to the airport this past Monday evening.

To fly to the States.

On her own.

An approximately 11 hour flight.

Which she’s done for the past 5 years.

Because, we decided, when she was 8, she could make this trip on her own.

We felt she was mature enough to handle it.

But more importantly, we felt safe knowing that the mandatory airport escort (costing about $100.) would not only make her trip easier, but guarantee that she would land in the hands of my awaiting parents.

Personally, for the past 5 years, I’ve felt at ease with this situation.

Until my husband returned from the airport telling me that this time there would be no escort.

No escort? I thought to myself.

My long pause and quizzical stare caused him to elucidate.

Apparently, after the age of 12, the escort is no longer mandatory.

And my husband felt our daughter didn’t need it anymore.

Because she’s already grownup.

So, he chose to send her solo.

And, as a mother, you can probably imagine what went through my head when I heard this decision.

You what?!?!?

Who’s going to help her with her luggage?

What about all the forms she needs to fill out?

What if she can’t find my parents?

I didn’t even send her with a single cent in her bag!!!

She has no cell phone!!

I don’t want her talking to strangers!

She’s only 12!!!!

She’s my baby!!!

But, I stopped.

I didn’t allow myself to stay stuck on this.

And instead, took a breath and chose to change perspectives.

What’s done is done, I thought to myself.

She’s already on the plane.

I can’t do much about this at that point anyway.

*********

photo with bubbe and pop-popI didn’t sleep well last night. (For that reason, among others.)

Neither did my husband.

So, when I received the email from my parents that she arrived and was in their arms, you can imagine how relieved I felt.

Which made me consider.

Whether my husband made the right decision in the first place.

Apparently my daughter thinks so.