here I am.

I’ve wanted to write this post for awhile, and have narrated exactly what I wanted to say in my head a dozen times . yet here I sit, with my laptop on my lap, and totally lost on where to begin.

nearly a week and half ago I came back from an incredible adventure in israel. I have photos that I cannot wait to share, and even more thoughts on the exact trip itself– but all that is to come with a bit more time.

in israel I was introduced to the word hineni. in fact, the first time I heard the word and was explained the meaning, I then screamed it outloud into the walls of eilat’s red canyon.

hineni translates from hebrew to: “here I am”.

its origins come from the torah; specifically moses and abraham’s response to being called upon by god. and while there’s a lot of religious interpretation to what hineni means in regards to these specific situations, how hineni is translated into present day struck me right in my soul.

here I am.

I am intrinsically a pretty anxious person. I am a worrier. in any given moment, I am usually thinking 10 steps ahead- mostly likely envisioning a worst case scenario of whatever is/is not happening around me. it’s something I’ve struggled with for most of my adulthood. I have good days and I have bad days. I work very hard to ground myself, to have the skills to bring myself off of an irrational cliff of worry if I find that is where I am. and most of the time, I am very successful. however, the result of this struggle is that I’m often not fully in the moment because my mind is on the “what ifs” that could occur.

hineni. here I am.

be present. be aware. take in and notice your surroundings: what you see, feel, hear, touch, taste. be ready for what IS to come, not what may or may not come.

I screamed into the desert, in the middle of the red canyon, in eilat, the southern most tip of israel. HERE I AM. in that moment, that is exactly where I was. physically standing in the valley of a gorgeous canyon, amidst people who I’ve only known a short time- but already cared so deeply about (also more on that later).

hineni grounds me. the word brings me to notice where my feet are literally planted. the “what ifs” go away, because all I can focus on is the now.

I was so affected by that first introduction to the word hineni, I spent time in my hotel room that night reading more about the meaning. I found this passage from a website:“here at this moment I am in this spot and in this time which will never be repeated in my life or in the history of the universe. even if I were to return to that same spot, at the same time of year, it would not be the same. so I must try as much as I can to hear the divine question and respond, ‘here I am in this precious moment of my life.’ “

is that not huge?! life changing!?

for so much of what my passion is– capturing the little beautiful moments of my client’s everyday lives…I can’t help but feel like so often I might be missing my own beautiful everyday moments because of my worry.

so what came of this?

I found a local artist in jerusalem named itzhak luvaton who does absolutely gorgeous handmade hebrew necklaces. I came to him on my last night in israel and asked if he would design a heneni necklace for me, to which he immediately pulled out a wonderfully worn sketchbook and began to sketch a design. less than two weeks later, a package arrived at my doorstop in los angeles, california. my necklace, my only “souvenir” from israel, had arrived.

this necklace is not only a beautiful, handcrafted, completely one of kind piece of jewelry– it is my mantra. it’s not leaving my neck in any foreseeable future. when I touch it, it is my reminder to take notice of where I am. to embrace this spot where I am standing. to relish in this precious moment of my life.

making breakfast. stuck in traffic. walking barefoot through the grass to get to my herb garden. snuggling with a baby. grocery shopping. lying in bed with my husband. doing laundry. writing this blog post. I have touched my necklace and am reminded to breathe in the present moment.

here I am.