Omer Community Reflections

Share Your Journey: Reflect on your progress and share with the community. Sharing experiences fosters wisdom and mutual support on our paths of growth.

What goal have you set? Update us on your progress, accomplishments, and personal growth journey.

Please email your reflections to Helaine:

I Carry the Holiness: 

Self-Limiting Belief: The self-limiting beliefs that I want to let go of are that my age and identity as a widow prohibit me from fully loving myself and others and that my upbringing in an atheist family excludes me from representing the Jewish people.

Middot to Free my Consciousness: I engage actively with the Sacred Endeavor. I activate Kavod (honor), Yirah (fear and Awe), Slicha (Forgiveness), Shomrei Adamah (Being a Keeper of the Earth) and Anavah (humility). I do what I can and give the rest to God knowing that I carry the holiness. I take myself out of the quicksand, out of the trapping net of self-limiting beliefs that has dropped on me, captured, and immobilized me.  I say overtly that I am a Jew, that the Jewish people are a good people, we are worthy people, we are honorable, radiant people.  I speak up. I step up filled with the light of Shekinah.

I come out of galut [Exile] and return to my soul. I avoid Lashon hora [derogatory speech that uses truth in speech for a wrongful purpose] against myself and others. I support and celebrate those who engage in respectful, mutual interaction. My choice is to stop dissembling and dissimulating, to stop dismissing and vanishing, to untether myself and bring myself to God and to the service of others.  Like the roots of a Bristlecone pine tree seven miles from where I live, I show the beauty of the ancient that carries life in the face of harshness and ruggedness. With Love to all of you.

-Damaris Methner with Photo by Heather Snow

My goal for this time while working with each of the sections is to deliberately bring more order (Seder) into my life. Specifically this means to develop actual scheduled - routine -times on my calendar to carry forward responsibilities and aspirations that are important to me, my family, and my community.


- Steve Moscovitch


Although I can probably fill this entire page with all the limiting beliefs in my mind, the most toxic and painful one is that I am not part of a community of “my people.”  It is both a belief that I “don’t belong” and also a belief that my own impoverishment/lack is what keeps me from belonging.   That *if only* I came from a larger family, that *if only* I was exposed to Judaism earlier in life, that *if only* I was connected to more people, that *if only* I was more worthy to belong.  


Although there are many  limitations that have complicated my search for genuine community, when I let go of my limiting beliefs (even for a moment or two) I can recognize all the "micro belongings" that enrich my life every day.  If I expand my gaze, I recognize that I am surrounded by love every day…and that I have learned how to love more deeply.  And if I really look closely, I see that I have learned how to belong to my own soul through Mussar…and that is a most beautiful belonging.  And just as beautiful, I feel deep belonging to this special community.


- Diana Fisher

To achieve more balance between grief and my low tolerance threshold as a reaction to what is happening in Israel and in my country on one hand, and what brings me joy, simcha on the other.

While “sitting on my sorrow" whenever is necessary (Alan Morinis webinar on October 10th), to be able to choose whether I will be focusing on the negative emotions stemming from a reality I have no control over, or on the many positive things I have and enjoy.

In a nutshell, sitting on yes, letting it take control of most of my life and interactions, no.


-Silvia Haskler

I am coming up with small steps to help me with Seder/Order. For instance, when I am asked to do something, instead of immediately saying yes, I say "I will get back to you.” This gives me time to think and plan my schedule better. I’m giving myself a day before saying yes - to taking another class...


I have to say- this is very hard for me, but as my Mussar chevruta reminds me: Think of it as saying yes -- TO MYSELF!!!


-Heather Westendarp

I was encouraged by Naomi’s openness about her goal for the period of counting the omer, so I spent a lot of time thinking about what my goal could be. I actually came up with two goals so I hope I’m not being unrealistic about this project. In any event, here they are:


Goal #1: I will rekindle my creative self.

I’d like to be able to create things again through my crochet work, needlepoint, maybe even embroidery or sewing. I gave these things 

up a couple of years ago and haven’t felt the spark to re-start.


Goal #2: I will un-kindle my controlling self.

I’d like to rid myself of the need to control other people; I want the people around me to be themselves and I want to accept, love and 

enjoy them as they are.


-Teri Thienhaus

My goal for the next seven weeks is to write out and record the chants I have written and send them to TMI for all be able to use.  I am using this week to focus on order.  I often reflect on the text about the jewels of a necklace being scattered because the clasp does not hold the jewels in place.  Order is an obstacle for me.  First, make a list of the chants and then plan the time. 


Underlying the order middah is also the belief that I am not that good at writing music.  While I have had feedback that tells me this is not totally true, because I judge myself mercilessly, I can always find a reason not to do the work.  So I have many more middot to work on for the rest of Omer and my life!  


- Kate Shane