Where do we go for true healing? Should we even go anywhere, or should we stay put to deal with the toils and troubles deep inside, although we often pretend they aren’t there anyway? I firmly believe that whatever is meant for us will come to be. . . and so I was off to Israel. I had a plane ticket and all kinds of giddiness. I had a friend too that would be waiting for me just an hour after landing in this new and foreign part of the world. I didn’t know it yet on that first day, BUT I HAD DEFINITELY GONE TO ISRAEL FOR HEALING.
Why Israel? Because Spirit and Universe thought it a good place to do some work.
What kind of healing are we talking about? Healing overwhelming feelings of self-doubt, fear, and even loneliness.
But you’re a strong and independent Goddess. . . What could bring you so low? I am a Goddess, yes, and yet I know that we are all made up of Light and Shadow. Sometimes we are living in our highest essence, letting the highest energies paint our life, we are living in the Light and embracing everything as it comes in its right timing. Other times, we let the Shadow get the best of us. We let lower energies and situations get the best of us. We let fear creep in and try to run the show. That doesn’t make me any less of a Goddess, but it certainly makes me vulnerable for a time. We are perfect beings and that means that there are the highs and lows, the light and shadow. Duality is Real. We are yin and yang. I’m not ashamed of it. Recognizing it is the best way to live. So traveling to Israel during my holiday was the break I needed to follow the signs and listen to the voices inside telling me it was time . . .
ELEMENTAL HEALING IN ISRAEL
I’m becoming more open to the gifts and powers of Mother Earth in my adulthood. It’s not a new concept though, as children we are actually much more connected and marvel with such ease at her daily blessings. Think about it. Kids roll around in the dirt, enjoy the rain, pick flowers and collect rocks, talk to and play with insects and small animals. They know they aren’t alone. They know they are surrounded by love. That’s what I’ve started to realize in these recent years, that my love of nature is true and my connection with the natural world is becoming stronger. It’s not new to me, but it was forgotten for many years; now I’m in the remembering phase of past knowledge. So it was not surprising to me at all when plans for a 2 week trip with my friend and host Odeya changed; it was going to be time to connect with the elements. First stop. . . Yam ha melah!
WATER / MAYIM
Yam-ha-melah is Hebrew for Sea of Salt. Somewhere along the way Westerners decided to call it the Dead Sea and that name has unfortunately stuck, but that’s not a translation from Biblical times nor is it an accurate description. Israelis today call it Yam ha melah and they made sure to tell me that it’s anything but dead. It’s quite ALIVE if we are speaking on an Energetic Level. When I first laid eyes upon the Sea I couldn’t help but feel like I was receiving a gift. I hadn’t even touched the water yet, but I already felt gratitude. I first introduced my toes, something I do ritualistically before getting inside any body of water. Then I put my arms straight through to the muddy base and proceeded to dig my hands deep grasping for a hunk of mud. I had fully intended to rub the most acclaimed mud in the world all over my body, so I did, slowly creating a new layer of skin atop the old one that needed to be shed; I felt so damn alive. To shed skin, it’s a beautiful act of transformation. . . Once completely covered in mud, I reposed on the sand for no more than five minutes to let it set, feeling it toughen on my skin during the peak hour of sun and heat. But the sensation I had traveled all this way for was the one of floating without effort. I couldn’t wait a minute longer to immerse myself in the water. Once knee deep inside, I sat down on the ground and then slowly allowed one limb to rise, then another, then I let my back and head rise too, and eventually it was as if no one else existed. . . and that was only the beginning.
Floating here was like nothing I had ever experienced. I felt as if I was with mother Gaia, her arms outstretched holding me up in these waters. In these moments, I knew I was home. I was at peace. I drifted into the distance and time stopped. If not for the buoys, I would have certainly reached Jordan by sundown. I had floated so long that the smeared mud on my face had transformed hard as desert earth, cracking and shrinking my skin in a strange manner; it was time to rinse off at the nearby showers. But I couldn’t stay out for long; she kept calling me to re-enter and sail away with her just a little bit more, letting both the salt and her love restore me, flesh and spirit. A new friend I had met in Jerusalem days prior told me that there was all kinds of magic in these healing waters and said he was sure that I had come to Israel for this. I cannot say I disagreed. Time felt different when I floated. I felt different too. I felt vulnerable and free at the same time. I felt forgiven and full of light and love.
No matter the quantity of tourists or the shouts and cries of others who were also experiencing these waters for the first time, I was on a journey of SELF, which meant I focused on my time. It drizzled and the wind also picked up during one of my floats, which led to me getting a drop or two of the saltiest water in the world in one eye and my mouth. I don’t know which was worse, but they both stung terribly. I had read the instructions about what to do in case it happened, so I just closed my eye and remained weightless for a few minutes while tears formed naturally to flush out the salt. My mouth burned too but I waited; I let it pass. I knew the body would do what it needed to. After a few minutes the burning sensation in my mouth and right eye vanished. How often do we fight so hard to fix something, and we don’t see that the answer is simply to wait and let go of our need to be in control? There were so many things these waters were teaching me. By the time the sun had set, I was staring out towards the mountains of Jordan, whose tones of browns contrasted the greys of the water. The sky above me was completely covered in clouds, with darker ones yet in the distance warning of impending desert storms. The air however was the perfect temperature for another dip. This day was one of exceptional revelation spent in MAYIM releasing things that were deep inside my body, which Yam ha melah allowed to rise to the surface and dissolve into the SALTY WATERS. Connected. I was completely connected to her gift.
And so night came. With many fond childhood memories of sleeping under the stars, ahem in a tent though, I had some concerns about the night that awaited me. This was the first part of my solo and spontaneous journey through Israel. . . Just days before I had realized that my friend, who I had traveled thousands of miles to see and travel with, was too ill to even leave her house. FEAR began to creep up on me. Insecurities and loneliness too. Although I had been feeling a little trapped by the circumstances of her health, I still didn’t want to leave my cage and fly, BECAUSE OF FEAR. Thankfully I did though. I flew all the way to the desert. I flew to this place of healing. I soaked and floated and wrinkled and healed.
After my first full day alone in Israel, I stayed the night in a sleeping bag atop a cushion in the camping section of Kalya Beach. Whilst all my neighbors had the proper camping gear, barbecues, food and music, I had matzah bread, dried fruit, walnuts and a happy heart. I had made it to Yamha melah! I curled up inside my sleeping bag feeling just a little bit more confident, a little less fearful of the unknown and ready for another day and another adventure. The next morning when I awoke slightly damp from a night of light rain, “I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman, and a ride home.” I organized my things, brushed my teeth and ran eagerly to the water. It must have been just past nine and yet the beach was empty save for two or three other souls. I was thrilled. It allowed me some final reflective moments in the water. I carefully dug up the softest and darkest mud from the earth under the water and smoothed it all over my skin. Head to Toe, I became Earth and Earth became me. My skin was the color of iron, then transformed to lighter shades of grey. . . surrendering for at least an hour, or maybe two, the colors of the water were distinct, bluer as the sun shone through the clouds that morning. The day too felt distinct. I was still home, but I was also leaving. TODÁ/ THANK YOU… I’m eternally grateful for these moments. You may continue to call it the Dead Sea, but I will forever remember it as healing Yam ha Melah.
Bli mayim ein chayim / No Water, No Life
Grateful to each of you for sharing this space with me. Would love to hear about magical places in Nature that you have loved or feel connected to. . . If you haven’t read my Introduction to the Middle East post, click here. For the next post in the series, click below where I take you to the Negev Desert and epic Makhtesh Ramon. Love you beautiful and complex spirits!!