Friday, October 12, 2012

Bereishit: Expansive Response

 Genesis 1:6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, and let it be a separation between water and water...
1:8 And God called the expanse Heaven...”

The Hebrew word “rakia” is often translated in this verse as sky or firmament, but it literally means 'spread' or 'expanse.'  Using the meaning “expanse” gives a helpful clue about how to access our own creative response to challenges. When we are in the midst of trying to create a solution to a problem, there is often a stage near the beginning when we feel we are drowning in an undefined, watery mess.  One of the important steps to finding a wise solution is to create the space to be able to consider the problem from new perspectives. Centering on our breath, taking an exercise break, listening to music, talking to a friend – these are all strategies to take us out of old habitual reactions. Creating an expansive feeling – about the problem or about the resources we can bring to bear on the problem – usually helps us respond more constructively. When we are able to find that expansive stance toward a troubling problem – the resulting relief can, indeed, feel like Heaven.

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