from a solid foundation
honoring all needs
This is part of a series exploring the seven lower Sephirot (spheres) of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. These spheres are the seven core emotions that drive human interaction.
This week we are exploring the sephirah of Chesed, which is about loving kindness, presence, giving, making contact, and how we show up.
In 2018, I sold my NYC apartment with a grand vision of being a digital nomad and launching a coaching business that I could run from anywhere.
But I struggled to get traction with my business.
This started to make sense when I learned that my nervous system was locked in chronic sympathetic overload — I was living in the fight-or-flight response.
To be clear, this wasn’t only due to not having a home; it was built up from years of chronic stress and both major and minor traumas.
But being “home free” didn’t help. Although I rooted in one place for several months, not knowing when I would be leaving made it difficult to forge true friendships. It’s hard to make plans with people when you don’t know how long you’ll be in town.
And with my energy scattered it was difficult to commit to clients. I didn’t want to make promises I couldn’t keep. I had a group program I wanted to offer but without a plan for where I’d be living for it was difficult to commit to a 7-week schedule.
This lessons I learned here brought new meaning to the work I do as a real estate agent. Helping others find and create their foundations is a part of my sacred work.
And this lesson is the one of the lessons of Yesod of Chesed, the theme for day 6 of week 1 of the Omer count, and the next step in the journey through the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.
Yesod: Foundation, Connection, Bonding
Yesod is often translated as bonding, connection, or foundation. It also speaks to the creative energy within us, and the innate human desire to create and procreate.
On the Tree of Life, it sits in the middle column, representing a synthesis. Just like Tiferet is an integration and synthesis of Chesed and Gevurah, Yesod is a synthesis and integration of Netzach, our persistence and drive, and Hod, gratitude and surrender.
Yesod of Chesed: A Foundation for Giving
Yesod of Chesed is the theme for Day 6 of week 1 of the Omer.
At the most simple level, Yesod of Chesed reminds us that we can only give in integrity if we are resting on a solid foundation.
If I am not grounded, I cannot be present.
On a very practical level, if my nervous system is in fight-or-flight mode, I cannot hold space for others.
This is the lesson I wish I had received years ago, before uprooting my life. It would have helped me plan differently for the challenges I have faced.
Honoring All Needs
Rabbi Gabriel Goldfeder, in his book The 50th Gate, writes that Yesod of Chesed is about honoring both people’s needs in relationship.
Our task is to observe how and why we make contact and what happens to the relationship when we do.
Some things to consider about your giving and how you are showing up:
- Am I giving at the expense of my own well-being?
- Where am I finding my grounding for what I’m offering?
- How are my needs being met by my giving? Which of my needs are being met?
- How are the recipient’s needs being met?
- Are we both getting what we need?