A National Daughter’s Day post of sorts | Maya's Gifts

A National Daughter’s Day post of sorts

I learned that this holiday started in India.  Here is a photo Maya in India in April 2014 surrounded by a sea of girls.  It was taken at the Binapani Ashram (residential girls school).  It was at that time that Maya’s vision was sparked to return to India to work with girls.   After reading and learning about sexual trafficking, Maya’s focus moved to Nepal.  She set a goal to go to Nepal, to reduce sexual trafficking.

I caught myself today explaining that we are in Nepal (yes, I’m writing from Nepal, now), because she never “had the opportunity” to go herself.  I corrected myself.  Maya did have the opportunity.  She lost it.  We go to Nepal each year, with a group of teens in her memory. 

This time is different.  It is the first that Mathew and I are here together without a group.  It is a time to give to ourselves.   We are going for a trek in the Himalayas.  We will likely be at the highest point of our trek (coincidently?) on the anniversary of Maya’s passing, October 2nd.  It is also during the time of the High Holidays. 

There is something different this year.  I cannot put my finger on it, but I feel a change.  Seven years have passed.  Seven years.  How can that be?  That is practically half of Maya’s life when she left us at 15 years old.  There has also been much said about the Seven Year Cycle, and cells in our body changing over seven years. 

I continue to allow myself to feel all of my feelings with fullness and curiousity.  How is it that my daughter is not here, but my relationship with her continues to change?  Some of these questions may remain unanswered; I will always be asking questions.

Thank you for reading, sending you love and warm wishes for a sweet and healthy New Year.


  • Much peace and love to you both on your sacred journey.

    We (Paul, Jean, Steve and I) are waiting in Shannon Airport to fly back to NY after precious
    days filled with the beauty of this earth.

    • Thank you, Betty for the love and peace!

      I appreciate hearing of all soaking in the beauty of this earth. What wonder! It is nourishing and I am thankful!

      Safe travels,

  • I was going to say that I am sending you so much love and then I realized that isn’t quite accurate. I am being in a state of love with you my dear friend Elise. You’re in my heart always. I am happy for you and Mathew to be climbing the highest peak on October 2nd. May your vision, love and compassion expand 100 fold when you are on top of that peak. While on that mountain top may you release anything that no longer serves you andI may you be in state of love for all that is. May you realize that although your relationship with Maya may be changing as a natural unfolding of your own evolution, that the love you share with Maya continues to glow brightly throughout eternity. As you release, may you be surrounded by grace. . May you be in a state of love always. I love you,

    • Thank you Susan!
      I appreciate your words…”being in a state of love with” one another.
      I also am taking in all of your wishes for me.
      With gratitude and love, my friend!

  • Dear Elise, thank you for reaching out from across the world with your good wishes and beautiful thoughts. This photo is precious beyond words! As always, I admire your incredible inner strength and fortitude, and I dare say it’s been strengthened by all you’ve been through. You are a blessing in so many people’s lives, most notably all the girls in Nepal who benefit from your work. A thousand blessings on you! Shana Tova, and Gmar Chatima Tova, with love.

    • Dear Yael,
      I’m with you; that photo hits me deeply! I feel Maya’s essence so powerfully there!
      Thank you for your reflections of my strength and fortitude. This is something that I’ve been so confused about. What is strength? I remember reflecting on that question in this forum a while back. I am still puzzled by it.
      This holiday and your comment just reminded me, upon my return to hang my “Jewish Eye” calendar for 5783.
      Thank you for all!

  • My heart is touched. I hear your clarity, curiosity. Love how you still connect with Maya. I feel you and miss you on this first day of the new year.

  • Wow….enjoy your trek. So exciting that you are both together and experiencing the Himalayas. Safe travels on your journey.

    We are thankful that we were lucky enough to experience Nepal through the Maya Gold Foundation. We reflect on that journey often with fondness and appreciation.

    • Yes, Linda!
      I am sitting in Rokpa Guest House as I write. You know it well!
      I am glad you had a chance to experience this special country!
      Sending my best.

  • Thank you Elise. Your wisdom earned though such loss transmutes to abundance. Your teacher, your daughter, a gift to us all.

  • Love this photo and even the reflection at the top of her forehead with Light shining out. Surely her soul is connected with you two and all who she loved and who loved her…

  • As always I’m blown away by your honesty and depth of thought and feelings. There is something biblical about the 7 year cycles- I think freedom of a sort from burdens long carried. May this year free you from your burdens and deliver you to joy and sweetness. Shana Tova

    • Thank you, Steve. I am grateful that you reminded me of the biblical reference. Every seven years is a “shmita year”. As I remember, it had to do with letting the lands rest, and forgiving debts. I appreciate your words of “freedom from burdens being carried” I can hold this vision while reflecting on my changing relationship with Maya. Thank you again.
      Shana Tova

  • Elise,
    This touches me deeply. Seven years. And your relationship continues and deepens. And you love yourself and others.
    Sending you love and gratitude for your generosity.

    • Nancy,

      Thank you for hearing me. Thank you for being in my circle! Oh, does our dance community ever give me and us all, the opportunity for sharing love, gratitude and generosity.

  • thank you so much for sharing this incredible insight and sending loving support on this important trek to you and matthew. Maya is thought about often especially in her birthday month and october all my love ellie b

    • Ellie!
      How lovely to hear from you! Thank you for being part of the circle that carries our Maya with you during this time.
      Much love back to you!

  • Elise,
    Thank you for sharing your love and connection to Maya and to your family and community both here and in India and Nepal. So powerful for you to be there during these High Holy Days. Shana Tova.

    • Cynthia,
      I appreciate how you are framing this time, “So powerful for you to be there during these High Holy Days.” It is funny how originally, I resisted it. I am now slowly embracing it. Your words are encouraging this movement.
      Shana Tova

  • Happy New Year Elise. May you have a blessed and enlightening year and trip. Always love reading your insights. Safe travels.

  • I hope you made it to the high point of your trek on the 2nd and that it was truly a high point in many ways. I hope too the weather was pleasant, the skies clear and the views magnificent. Linda’s and my thoughts are with you and Mathew. Best wishes for safe and wonderful travels.

    • Dear Steve,

      Thank you for your sentiments! I am writing from the comfort of home now, so I can say that we did indeed experience safe and wonderful travels (sometimes challenging, too)!

      Yes, the trek as a whole was amazing, and October 2nd was very poignant on many levels.

      Mathew and I appreciate the kind thoughts that you and Linda share.

      With warmth,

  • I feel blessed reading your post and all the comments. What you have done in the past 7 years bringing goodness, compassion and care to the world through the Maya Gold foundation is powerful and inspiring. I am grateful for you sharing your deep loving heart with us.

  • I feel blessed reading your post and all the comments. What you have done in the past 7 years bringing goodness, compassion and care to the world through the Maya Gold Foundation is powerful and inspiring. I am grateful for you sharing your deep loving heart with us.

    • Dear Michelle,
      It is always so nice to hear from you! It brings me closer to Rowe, a true home for Maya. Thank you for sharing your kind sentiments. I am wishing you and your family well.
      With warmth,

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