Sunday, November 29, 2015

Grow, Grow!

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”

I love this quote from the Talmud.  It is a long-time favorite.  

But last week I was cursing those whispering angels when my lawn needed mowing AGAIN!
I have an old push mower  - my patch of grass is small and I enjoy the exercise – but last week it was cold and I had a long TO-DO list and it was almost Thanksgiving, for crying out loud.  

“Stop, already,” I wanted to yell down to those tall, green blades as I pushed that old mower.

YIKES!  What if someone said that to me?  
What if someone said, Stop already!  Stop growing ……stop  developing, improving, evolving.

I’d want to stand at my highest height and shout in my loudest voice, How dare you
Even at 65 years old, I'd shout that.    Wait!  Especially at 65 years old.

Sure, by now I may be done growing more bone and muscle – isn’t it just our cartilage that keeps growing at this age?   So basically, my nose and ears are getting bigger ….. lovely! 

But I'm certainly NOT done with that critical, crucial kind of growing!  Conscious growth.

Rabbi Alan Lurie talks about this Talmudic quote and conscious growth in an article titled Listening to the Call of Growth….

“….. we can grow in consciousness – in our ability to connect to others, to live meaningfully, and to have a positive impact. This force of conscious growth is what drives us forward to create a personal and communal future that is better than what we had yesterday and what we have today.
We can choose to hear and to act on this call to conscious growth, or we can ignore it, drowning out the angelic whispers 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 begins when we choose 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. “

It seems especially important to do this as we age ... to watch for places where our unconscious routine ways of thinking and reacting might be causing us to stumble,  or closing doors of opportunity, or affecting the growth of new relationships, or keeping us stuck in old broken ways. We all know folks like this.  It's not pretty.

But it seems important to do this at any age, really.... and especially important now when the world so desperately needs all of us to quiet the chatter of our mental judgements.  To stop always picking sides and living in US and THEM thinking. To step away from fear.

  Maybe these angels are whispering us into new ways of thinking and being and loving and living. And accepting.

I feel gratitude for their urgent and persistent whispers to GROW.

I wonder if I am listening with an open heart.

.....And I think I owe my lawn an apology.