Nothing Spectacular

By Nina Cecily Stewart, Mayyim Hayyim Administrative Assistant 

I first realized I loved Mayyim Hayyim when, after my first week on the job, I called my dad and spent five minutes waxing rhapsodic about calling mikveh guides, scheduling appointments, and printing immersion forms. When I finally noticed the silence on the other end of the line and asked, “Dad, it’s not weird that I’m this excited about making  calls and filling out forms, is it?,” my patient father replied, “No, it’s wonderful.” Then, he told me that my job was “nothing spectacular.”

After I recovered from hearing my new favorite thing described so dismissively, I asked him to elucidate. He explained that in the context of mindfulness practice, “nothing spectacular” refers to the thrilling presence that we can find in seemingly  simple tasks like meditating, taking a walk, cooking, or even office work. It is this awareness that ultimately lifts those tasks beyond “nothing” to something amazing. At my new job, I was finding this sweet state amid the ringing phones, the emails, and the data entry.  The small size of the organization and my frequent contact with our guests allowed me to see how my work connected to the larger picture. I felt present, and I enjoyed being exactly where I was.

Today is the beginning of my last week at Mayyim Hayyim. As I prepare to leave the organization and continue my studies, I am still loving my “nothing spectacular” as much as I did nine months ago. Here, I have found the space to be present with my work and its impact on others. I have sharpened my understanding of my own spirituality. I have encountered so many members of our community and learned how mikveh has shaped their lives. I have been blessed to work with our  dedicated volunteer mikveh guides, who provide Mayyim Hayyim’s signature welcome to our guests. I have been a member of a team of talented and adventurous women that has only grown stronger through transition.

My departure will be yet another transition. It is one that involves a mixture of emotions, but above all, I am grateful. Mayyim Hayyim is an amazing resource and a fantastic place to work. In short, it is something spectacular.

Nina Stewart began working at Mayyim Hayyim in November 2011. She graduated from Hampshire College in 2008 and now moonlights as a masters degree candidate at the Simmons School of Social Work. 

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Mayyim Hayyim is a 21st century creation, a mikveh rooted in ancient tradition, reinvented to serve the Jewish community of today
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One Response to Nothing Spectacular

  1. Having spent most of my career working behind the scenes at various orgs (some Jewish, some nonprofit) I think it’s great to celebrate the “nothing spectacular.” Sometimes an admin who can “wax rhapsodic” about the mission is treated as a liability who might upstage an executive, but it’s all good work and I think the org can only be strengthened by people who believe in it.

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