Lessons Learned and My Vision for 2018

Dara LevanBlog11 Comments

It is -12 degrees right now. Yes, you read that correctly, and that’s without the windchill! I’m sitting on a worn, oversized chair that holds many fond memories. White-speckled Vermont mountains stand in the distance. I watch, without warning, as the wind whips snow into a cyclone of powder. The intense gusts leave as quickly as they came. And the weather outside is as complex as my soul’s current climate. We shout “Happy New Year” as the clock strikes midnight every December 31st. And each time, I wonder if this phrase encompasses what people are actually experiencing. It’s been a … Read More

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Share Your Light

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Light. This short, five letter word is electrifying. For some of us, it refers to the tangible light we can see. When the sun rises and sets, it beams rays across the sky. The lights we turn off at night and on in the morning make our surroundings visible. The concept of “light” serves as a comparison (versus heavy) of that which we carry in our hands or hearts. There are multiple definitions of this seemingly simple word. “Light” shifts within sentences as a noun, verb, adjective, and more. I’ve been utilizing, listening to, reading about, and pondering this word quite … Read More

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I Finally Felt the “Force” in My Forties

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I want to thank my son, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law  for educating me about spoiler alerts. After I wrote this piece, I asked them if it would upset any readers. They suggested I tell you this: I’ve tried to avoid spoilers in this post. But you may want to delay reading it until after you see the movie. I’ve been eagerly awaiting Saturday, December 16th. My teenage son and I were going to the Museum of Discovery and Science. A lovely, kind family invited us to their holiday party. This included a viewing of  The Last Jedi at the IMAX theater … Read More

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Dream On

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I’ve had a tough time finding inspiration for this week’s blog. I wrote something yesterday, and I reread it today. The piece didn’t move my soul. I did not think you would connect with it either. I was rather frustrated creatively and cognitively. So I tore it up and tossed it in the trash. I opened my office window and inhaled the first wind of our brief winter. It is a breezy, brisk day and the blue sky is simply stunning. This crisp, invigorating weather is rare here in South Florida. I am grateful for it! I have not slept … Read More

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My Inspiration, My Teacher, My Son

Dara LevanBlog8 Comments

It’s happened before. I felt this when Alec took his first steps. I felt it again during his lower school graduation. I felt it when he read from the Torah and became a Bar Mitzvah. I felt it the first time Alec sat in the driver’s seat and drove me around our neighborhood. And I’ve experienced, as we all do, various feelings during multiple milestones and seemingly trivial instances. But unexpected tears trickled from my eyes yesterday as I watched this handsome, kind, confident, and rapidly sprouting teenager. A spectrum of emotions flooded my being during those precious 90 minutes. … Read More

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HELP YOURSELF?

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I just returned from a fun-filled family weekend. We celebrated Thanksgiving at my home with several people. Then some of us drove to Naples Friday morning. The Sawgrass expressway, in my opinion, is one of the most boring roads in the United States. I felt as if it would never end. So I sang to the tune of whatever songs blared from the speakers. I’d planned to write this week about close cousin love. Or so I thought. My inspiration shifted due to an unexpected conversation at dinner Friday night.  Can you believe we had room in our bellies or even the … Read More

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Living A Life of Gratitude

Dara LevanBlog14 Comments

Gratitude. One simple word that’s abundant with multidimensional meaning. Oxford’s Dictionary defines gratitude as “The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” I’ve read numerous interpretations of this word from other sources including books, articles, and on social media. Is defining the word most important? No. For me, identifying and thinking about gratitude is a start. It is the beginning of awareness, which is the first step toward any type of evolution, growth or change. The next thread is putting it into practice. It is living in the present. It is consciously weaving gratitude … Read More

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SEASONS OF LOVE

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Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes How do you measure, measure a year? Jonathan D. Larson wrote these powerful, poignant lyrics. Each word resonated with me the moment I read them. “Seasons of Love,” which became a fan favorite from the 1996 musical, Rent, still stirs my soul. This song became especially personal for me the day of our engagement party. Dear friends creatively modified the song to describe our love and relationship. They surprised us with a heartfelt, humorous performance. I remember my fiance … Read More

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Life on the Field: You Don’t Lose or Win — You Learn

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Life is filled with contrast. Like a black and white photo, dark shadows sometimes block the light. The result is a complex image with depth and dimension. Similarly, joy and sorrow coexist in our daily lives. But the suffering can also deepen our perspective for happy, uplifting times.  A recent example is this week’s World Series. The Astros beat the Dodgers,  and the win infused Houston with invigorated energy. I was thinking about this and reflecting on “Houston, Harvey, and Heroes,” which is the blog I posted on September 3. My mind wandered and wondered. I realized we can find … Read More

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Construction, Cookies, and Cannabis

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I’ve told and taught others that the best stories write themselves. I had planned to post something else today. As it often happens in life, I had an unexpected, comical encounter. I must tell you about it! Roof leaks. Mold remediation. Plumbing problems. Pesky termites. Think Tom Hanks and Shelley Long in the movie “The Money Pit.” The past five years have been epic! But we still adore our home, its character, and the love we infuse into it. Our family’s connection is as solid as the concrete walls that support the structure. So why I am listing the woes … Read More

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