Humans of TE: Michelle Silberman Hubbard

Humans of TE: One Story at a Time – #TEGivesThanks #ComeHometoTE

This November, Temple Emanuel gives THANKS to YOU, our community. Join us each day as we highlight a fascinating member of our community.

Michelle Silberman Hubbard

“I was in my mid-thirties and obsessed with yoga.  After I went to India, my parents were worried that I would move there to live on a mountaintop.  So they called Lisa Hills, a childhood friend, and asked her if the young new Rabbi, Michelle Robinson, would try to talk sense into me and help me find my b’shert. Rabbi Robinson and I were kindred spirits, and I fell in love with Judaism again by co-creating the yoga minyan service with her. Just as the rabbis in the past taught us to move our prayers, Rabbi Robinson and I created a physical service that uplifted us — our spirits expressed the prayers through the movements.

It turns out my b’shert was my best friend, another yoga instructor — he and I studied the yoga sutras together and talked about consciousness.  Clark Hubbard wasn’t Jewish, but together we decided to raise a Jewish family.  We sang the Shema with our three little children every night, and in May, Max, our oldest, became a Bar Mitzvah.  

I found my b’shert in the yoga studio, but our love for the mind and spirit infuses our every day as we raise our three children, Max, EJ and Eliza.  I found my love for Judaism again through my connection with Rabbi Robinson.

I still teach the yoga minyan service once a month (now virtually), and I have my own yoga/pilates studio that is part of Waban Wellness.  My classes are currently all virtual.  My pandemic silver lining is that I am studying virtually with my teacher in Switzerland, and I will become a licensed Franklin Method Fascial Movement instructor in June.

One of the most defining moments of my life was the death of my father.  It was a moment of deep love, connection and heartbreak that brought forth the light.  

My dad lived with humor, joy and grit as he battled pancreatic cancer during the last four years of his life.  He took care of me always and poured his love on me every single day.  He was my first meditation teacher — he taught me to breathe slowly and focus on what was right in front of me to stay grounded.  He always had a joke to share, and his hugs were comforting beyond measure.

I am so thankful that he saw me get married, and loved Clark as much as I do, and he met our son, Max.  The day my son was born, my dad’s cancer markers went up and we knew the time left was short.  I was lucky enough to be able to travel almost every weekend to NJ to be with him and my mom.  Max and I would spend weeks there at a time.  Baby Max brought smiles to my dad during those last days, and I had amazing conversations with my dad.  I was able to be with my dad completely and lovingly, and in his last moments my mom and I both sat with him.  We knew he was leaving, and we just kept telling him we loved him again and again, and it was OK for him to go.  The sun was setting as he took his last breath, surrounded by our love.  

My dad’s presence in my life was one of my greatest treasures and after a deep period of grieving — with all the stages  — I now feel the depth of his love much more than the agony of his absence.  It was a complete and loving death and I try to live each moment with the people I encounter as if I am shining my light of love through my perfectly broken heart.

I continue to be obsessed with consciousness and how to live a fully embodied life every day.  I read everything I can about the mind, body, and breath.  I focus on deeply being aware of my breath and its relation to my emotions.  I continually think about how I am activating my muscles, my soft tissue and my bones in everything I do.  I parent my kids with awareness and consciousness of how my body, mind and breath support them and hold space for them to become more deeply themselves.  In my work, I hold space for others to deepen their connection to themselves in order to move and live with ease and light.

I feel blessed and privileged to be a part of the TE community.  I am in awe of the wisdom and inspiration of the clergy, I am grateful for the deep friendships that I’ve found here, and I am honored to be a part of this stimulating, nurturing, and supportive community.”