10/1/16 – In class this morning, we continued to explore finding and creating space and stillness both within ourselves and among the noise and chaos of the world around us. We meditated upon a quote from Talmud using an essay from Rabi Alan Lurie entitled, Listening to the Call of Growth. “Like grass, we grow physically, because physical growth is naturally built in to the cycle of all life. Unlike grass, though, we also have the capacity to grow in another, more crucial way. We can grow in consciousness – in our ability to connect to others, to live meaningfully, and to have a positive impact…We can choose to hear and to act on this call to conscious growth, or we can ignore it, drowning out the angelic whisper with the noisy external distractions of constant entertainment, the internal chatter of our mental judgments, or the drone of our unconscious routine ways of thinking and reacting. We resist the call of conscious growth in order to feel safe and to avoid the discomfort of change, but this strategy inevitably backfires…Conscious growth, then, begins when we chose to listen to its call, and invite it in. We invite growth when we are willing to examine our fixed beliefs: who we think that we are, why others behave as they do, and how the world works. Many (perhaps most) of our beliefs about ourselves and others are simply constructs that we created, usually at a very early age, in reactions to fears, unmet needs, and disappointments, in order to protect us from the uncertainties that we could not understand, and to ensure survival…Conscious growth happens when we break this pattern and begin to realize that there are other, more effective, more positive ways to be…Now you begin to realize that there are possibilities for understanding the world to which you were completely blind, because you absolutely believed your construct about how things are. Suddenly the incredible possibility arises that your construct may not be the absolute truth, and there is another way of seeing things. Then, in the birth of new possibilities you grow and are pulled forward, as new ways of seeing your life and the world appear. Then, you look back of where you’ve been with gratitude at the urgent, persistent whisper of growth.” To read the entire essay – which I highly recommend – visit Listening to the Call of Growth at The Huffington Post.