Shabbat is a time of renewal, punctuated by a deadline with the sunset, bringing the light inside, raising a glass of wine and breaking bread. A ritualized closing of the work-oriented week; a break from what Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi calls "commodity time." And quite honestly, I've never felt more intensely ingrained in commodity time, the time of money-making energy, or in the case of the past couple of months, sheer financial survival.
Each Friday morning, as I head off to work, I'm happy in the knowledge that when I see them again, Shabbat is close at hand. The furrow between my brows is just a little less indented because I know the permission for taking a break is almost here.
Each Friday night, I close my eyes and draw the light of the candles toward me. I hold my hands close to my face and feel the warmth and glow and recite a simple prayer. A prayer of thanks, of blessing our family, friends and the world. A prayer of peace.
Shabbat is also the one time during the week when I feel I have time to think about the life I'm, the life I'm creating for my kids and the kind of person I've become. Some Shabbats are a time of joy and relief. Others I find it incredibly difficult to leave the week behind and make the transition. But every week I try.
Tonight, my Shabbat intention is to make the internal space so I can begin to seek out the dreams I want to turn into action. A committed set of actions that I will make visible and public, as I did with this series, on a monthly basis.
My tendency is to rush and make a list, but instead, I'm going to slow down and think. Think about what are the dreams that are flowing below my surface that I want to bubble up and bring into this realm. Even as I begin to think about this, the dreams start talking to me and each one has a story to tell, but they all can't be told and I have to make some choices. One by one. One month at a time.
March starts on Monday, which means that we're already into the third month of 2010. January was spent in a state of shock, but I'm close to the end of February and completing the first month of a dream turned into action.
My goal for Shabbat is to get some rest and by sundown tomorrow, to have the next two months figured out. I'll have a few other things to discuss about this as well and hope that some folks reading this might want to join in. My hope is that by the end of this year, I'll have developed the discipline and experienced the satisfaction of returning the favor to a few of my dreams, which have kept me company below the surface all these years, and breathing some life into them.
My dreams deserve it and so do I. And so do we all.
I hope you'll be able to bring some light into your house with those you love and find the space you need.