Probably the most practical piece of advice I received was from David and Neshama's relationship workshop. David shared a concept through several stories and Neshama put it into a nice, neat phrase...What can I do to lighten your load? Simple. Beautiful. Thoughtful. Every day - what would happen if every day we made this our mission for our spouse, to find a way to lighten their load?
I also very much enjoyed Neshama's stories about her life. She told us a story about the song Am Yisrael Chai that her father wrote. He was in the middle of a performance when he was motioned off stage and told his father had died. He added a line to the song that reads "Od Avinu Chai" which means "My father lives." I believe he went back onto stage and added that line to the song. It was there or perhaps in Israel at the funeral that he sang that song for the first time. This song - that we sing so often and for our family, almost every Shabbat - how touching to know where that line comes from and what a layer of complexity to deepen it.
Neshama's ability to carve out (instantly, I might add) a sacred space, and her deep, soulful voice, combined with some mad keyboarding, is not only an inspiration, but has a presence, a healing, safe and energetic feel to it. Beautiful!
Another star to this trans-formative weekend was Joanna Dulkin. Her ability to lead, inspire and move me and the other women there is not a learned thing - it is a blessing and a gift. She is simply amazing! I am continually in awe of her.
Oh, and I also discovered something Aura calls Moroccan Orange and Olive Salad with Cumin-Garlic Dressing but which I call Crack Orange Salad because just one bite, and you will be addicted! Yes, of course I attended Aura's workshop (duh!). She is amazing and so, too, is the salad AMAZING! Cumin and oranges - the insights from this retreat never stop!