All posts by Shira

About Shira

You decide every moment of every day who you are and what you believe in. You get a second chance, every second.

The End of an Era

Today is the big day. If all goes well and there are no surprises (you never know), it will be the end of an era for Netanyahu. Try as he might, he couldn’t form a government because he did not have enough support from his voters and from other parties. And boy, did he try. He even provoked a war.

Meanwhile, the rest of us couldn’t agree on who we wanted instead of him, so now we will have a new and interesting “unity” government of right/center/left people who don’t exactly agree on everything but represent most of us, and they will have to learn to work together. Unlike Netanyahu, this new government is generally motivated to work and make progress so we’ll see what happens. Worst case scenario, the new government will “fail” but by the time we go to new elections, hopefully we’ll know more about what we want and don’t want after seeing these people in action.

For those who feel bad for Bibi (even I do, on some level).. don’t worry, he’s FINE. He’s not actually leaving, just moving to the Opposition where he and his buddies can try to make it as difficult as possible for the new government to succeed. Also, don’t forget he has three trials to focus on with charges of breach of trust, bribery and fraud.

Above: Me replying to the English comments on Netanyahu and Likud’s social media pages.
Jerusalem 2013

Forget thee, O Jerusalem

(Photo: Jerusalem, 2013)

Today is my birthday according to the Hebrew calendar. 42 years ago, I was born on Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day). My family tells me I always felt connected to Jerusalem as a child and wanted to visit often. Over time, I started to understand the significance behind the day, the tension, the politics, etc. and eventually, the peaceful warrior within me began to feel like maybe I was born on this day for a reason, even by “choice”. I thought there was some higher purpose to it, something I came here to do, or help with.

I wanted Jerusalem to be a universal sacred space; a safe haven for all faiths and all cultures. I wanted it to be an example for the rest of the world. I never even considered myself ‘religious’ but I always understood it’s importance. Once during a random meditation, I had an extremely vivid “vision” (I don’t usually get those, though I wish I did). I saw planet Earth from afar, and a soft light started to emanate from our little corner of the world. It became brighter and brighter, and soon it was so bright that the rest of the world could not help but stop everything they were doing to turn their attention to it, almost squinting as they tried to take it all in.

For years, I would carry this image with me. It was a metaphor for what I wanted for this country. Those were the days of hope and naïve innocence, but the older I got, the harder it became for me to see this vision, or my purpose, clearly. With each passing year, and with each passing news headline, it became more difficult for me to relate to the current state of reality, or to envision a better one.

Today, I still want to keep the vision alive but I’m starting to forget how or even why. Sometimes I wonder if the light show I imagined was just the Middle East self-destructing. (That would be an interesting spectacle, too.) ??

Crazy Broom Lady

A weird-looking flying insect that was a little too big for my comfort:
Him: Hey, what’s up? Nice place ya got! (looks around)
Me: Um…. hi??
Him: What’s this? What’s this? What’s this? What’s this? This looks interesting. Maybe I’ll hang out here for a while. (settles down)
Me (with a broom): Oh no, you don’t! You can’t stay here.
Him (literally becomes louder and starts flying around dramatically): WTF, crazy broom lady!? You wanna back off a bit?!!
Me: Ok, ok, I’m sorry! Look, I’m putting the broom down. But can you please just leave? You can’t stay here…..
Him: You think I WANNA be here now, lady? (continues frantically bumping into things)
Me: Ok, look, I’ve made 3 exit points available to you. I really need you to focus here.
Him: I’m trying. Is this it? Is this it? Is this it?
Me: Focus harder. -_-
Him: Is this it? Is this it? Is this it? Is this it?
Me: Yes, you’re getting closer!
Him: Is this it? Is this it? Is this it? Is this it?
Me: YES! ALMOST THERE!
Him: Is this it? Is this it? Is this— Oh.
Me: YES!
Him: Well, I guess this is it. Peace out, crazy broom lady!
Me: Ok, bye! Safe travels! And sorry again about earlier! (runs to shut down all exit points)

The Calming Effect

Over the past few years, I’ve been told by several people in various situations, that I have a “calming effect” on them. It always makes me laugh because I know my mind and “calm” is not necessarily the right description. The calm before the storm, maybe.

Usually, I just write it off to the fact that I’m soft-spoken, polite, (you know, just your basic ‘decent human being’ stuff which has become something of a lost art.) But tonight it happened again, a stranger I interacted with who started off by saying they had had a “long day”, later randomly mentioned this calming effect again.

It got me thinking, maybe I should stop ignoring these little messages from the universe and start using my calming superpowers for the greater good. I have a feeling the world could use some calming energy right about now and in the years ahead. Not sure what that means for me exactly, but I think I’m open to finding out.

When I wrote this on social media, someone commented: “It’s the balancing your being brings.. most people just don’t know what to call it.” It helped me to fine-tune this thing because I realized they were right.

In these moments, it’s usually me just “being” and the other person allowing themselves to share this space with me till we find some kind of balance. In tonight’s case we were forced to occupy the same space for a while so they had to adjust. In extreme situations, when people are way off to the other edge of the stress spectrum, my so-called calming energy can sometimes be overwhelming for them and they resist it even more. In those cases there is just no possibility for balance.

Anyway, that’s it. Namaste, bitches. (This calming thing comes and goes.)

It’s OK to Not Want Children

It’s OK to not want children.

The reason I’m telling you this is because it’s something no one ever told me.

So just in case there’s somebody out there that needs to hear it… this one’s for you.

june cleaver

We’ve been told a lot of things.

We’ve been told that motherhood is a natural thing.

We’ve been told that there’s nothing like being a mother, or being a parent.

We’ve been told that it’s selfish not to want kids.

That one day, we’ll change our mind.

We’ve been told that it’s going to be some kind of scary disaster if we don’t want to have children.

“You’re going to regret it.”

“You’re going to end up alone.”

“No one is going to take care of you when you get older.”

“Your motherly instincts will eventually kick in.”

and.. (did I mention?) “One day you’ll change your mind.”

i dont want any kids

Once you hear these things enough times, at least in my experience, you tend to start doubting and questioning your own beliefs and desires.

“Is it true? Are they right? Will I change my mind?”

I waited 36 years for everyone around me ‘to be right’ until I finally had the clarity and the courage to face the fact that (gasp) maybe it was me who was right all along about what I want and don’t want. Shocking, I know.

So if you, like me, are not sure that you want children and people keep telling you that one day you’ll change your mind, then it’s time you also heard the following:

Not everyone is going to want children.

And that’s okay.

Because you don’t have to.

So, do whatever feels right.

relief

And you know what?

You don’t need to worry and make decisions like that based on fear, based on who is going to take care of you when you’re older, or whether or not you’ll be alone.

I’m sorry to break this to whoever is reading, but guess what? One has nothing to do with the other.

Having children is not some guarantee that they’ll take care of you when you’re older. I say that from experience, I’ve seen that around me.

And having children is not necessarily going to be the most pleasurable experience in the world, or help you find your purpose in life, or keep you and your partner together forever, or whatever other ridiculous idea we pass on from generation to generation.

what what baby

Each person should do what feels right to them.

If it really is your deep desire to be a mother — and I know that there are women out there who feel this way and I think that’s really awesome. In fact, those are exactly the kind of people that should be parents:  the ones that know, deep down inside, that this is their purpose here on this planet, to create and provide for another living being… and then another living being.. (and then another living being?), and not only are they willing to take on the challenge of everything that would entail, but they are excited and grateful for the opportunity to do so…?

I say: GO FOR IT.

Seriously. Follow your passion.

monica thumbs up

And then, if you’re not one of those people,

if for whatever reason you never had that same passion and desire….

but you’re kind of planning on going along with everybody else just because that’s what everyone else is doing…

even though it doesn’t actually feel that good to you…

then I’m just here to remind you:

It’s OK to not want children.

its ok to not want children

How Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

animal bridges
Norwegian wildlife crossing. Photo by Shira Tamir.

Some countries don’t question a chicken’s motives for crossing the road, but instead invest in ways to help the chicken cross it safely and more effectively.

#howdidthechickencrosstheroad #wildlifecrossing #animalbridge #animalwelfare #respectnature #theywereherefirst #whereareYOURtaxesgoing

Recommended Link: 12 Amazing Animal Bridges Around the World