Tag Archives: Yotvata

Body and Soul

16 Mar

I’m about to complete my first week on the shvil and as I was walking this morning I reflected that I spent a lot of time this week worrying about my body. Could my body really handle 10-12 hours of walking and hiking 6 days a week? Will my knees hold up? (I’ve had two knee surgeries on my right knee.) And lucky me this first week was also my time of the month so there was all of those logistics as well. (Hope that wasn’t too much information.) A few things pulled me out of my worrying this week.

First, a member of our group shared that it was good to take off your shoes and dig your feet into the sand. This allowed my sweaty feet to not only dry, but also he suggested it teaches my feet where I am…thus, informing my whole body where I am and what I’m doing. I loved taking the time to really feel the earth below my bare feet. The desert sand cradling their aches and cracks as well instructing them how to manage the ground.

Second another member of my group gave me some essential oil to rub on my knee, but he said I couldn’t just put it on without intention. I had to slowly rub it in and spend sometime loving my knee. This was a challenge since all I wish was for my knee to work like a healthy knee, but I finally opened myself to the ritual. I rubbed the oil and said thank you to my knee for holding me up while I’m on this journey. I also asked it if it could hold it together for the next several weeks. 😉 (And beyond!)

Finally, yesterday (Thursday) I decided to give my body a break and take a rest with a few others from my group and do a bit of a shorter route to our camp that night. So I stayed back and as a result two hikers not from our group appeared at the campsite and it turned out to be the author of a book I read about the trail in the fall. Whenever I meet an author of a book I like or an actor/actress I love I always get a little giddy…ok a lot giddy! So I met Judy who wrote, “Walk the Land” and her husband John. More about them here. I chatted with Judy about her story and her process for writing her book. And definitely I thought it was beshert (meant to be) that I gave my body a rest.

John and Judy gave a group myself and four other women a ride to road 90 where we caught a bus for a couple of kilometers to Kibbutz Yotvata. I didn’t have any chocolate milk (Yotvata is the chocolate milk capitol of Israel), but I did have a cappuccino and a sandwich. 🙂 Then we took out our map and forged our own way to the night camp and the Israel trail. Five hours later…(so maybe it wasn’t the easy day I had hoped for) we arrived to the Israel trail and then the night camp feeling incredibly proud of ourselves. Along the path we forged we saw amazing views and crystals amongst the rocks (perhaps one might be coming home with me even thought I know you are not suppose to take rocks from the land.)

I think I’ve come to realize that there is only so much worrying about my body I can do and focusing on nourishing my soul actually takes me out of the worry. Being open to beshert moments, sending love to my body, connecting to the ground I am walking is soul work which I think ultimately leads to a good and healthy body.

And also…while at Yotvata I picked up some Advil. 🙂

This afternoon we head into Shabbat. We will camp by two streams and I will have traveled around 90 kilometers by foot. If you are following me on the map I will be just north of Kibbutz Neot Smedar.

Shabbat shalom from the shvil!

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