Day Sixteen of the Omer

Gevurah in Tiferet - strength and discipline in beauty.

This seems like an easily supported cultural pairing. The world today easily acknowledges the power, discipline, and strength, that support the core of publicly accepted people and objects of beauty.

In forging a life that aims at harmonious balance though, I often imagine myself using gentler qualities than strength. I think of my psyche as something that I am often too hard on, and therefore need to handle more carefully.

Accomplishing a beautiful and balanced result may take strength and discipline judiciously applied over a long time. Let us remember that the finest works are often crafted over decades, and not in mere minutes.

Day Fourteen of the Omer

Malchut in Gevurah - sovereignty, mastering the now, in power, strength, and discipline.

Getting something done with firmness and strength requires a realistic assessment of the needs for force.

In the moment, we often find ourselves rising to the occasion and thinking that taking the bull by the horns, moving something by force of will, will be effective. Our instinct is often to meet things head on.

So, being present and being thoughtful about the use of strength, is the task we face in the now. Mastery may mean a deep breath before a reaction. Effective agency, reacting in the present, requires careful and thoughtful application of our personal power.

Let us gain rule over our discipline.

Day Eight of the Omer

We begin the second week of the Omer today, thinking about the idea of gevurah, or "power" and "strictness", and we start with chesed, the element of kindness and compassion in the realm of strictness.

While these ideas form the ends of a spectrum - often described at each end as mercy and justice - caring and rigidity are intertwined as well. We aim to begin every act of power, every assertion of will, with an understanding that it should be for a greater good, a vision that includes kindness.

As a teacher and a parent I often err on the side of a stricter voice, even though I know that I must lead with compassion and caring. When I keep that kinder tone in the center, the firmness needed comes across all the better.

Day 30 of the Omer - Discipline and humility

Gevurah in Hod - power and rigor in humility and smallness.

These seem tough to combine at first. Humility, even losing our selves in our powerlessness, may be a crutch. We need to exercise restraint.

Gevurah represents powerful restraint - a mindfulness of enough being enough since we aim to be mindful of moderation in all things, even in those we identify as virtues.

An excess of smallness may increase our sense of personal virtue, and may limit our abilities to take action.

Even our counting should be moderate!

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