Friday, April 15, 2011

Grace and Humility

Years ago, at a retreat, I was introduced to the practice of choosing a word for the year, a word to inspire and nurture inward expansion and growth. I loved the practice and have been doing it ever since.

I thought this year’s word was “grace”, but have come to realize that another word has been whispering to me from behind it, and that word is “humility”.

A dear friend recently told me that the Jewish word for humility, anavah, means “taking up the appropriate amount of space”. It was the first definition of humility that really spoke deeply to me and I have been reflecting on it since our conversation two weeks ago.

If we take up the appropriate amount of space, then we do not threaten others because we are not pushing into their space. If we take up the appropriate amount of space, we are calm because we are not trying to do more than our own work in the world. And, if we take up the appropriate amount of space, we are not trying to use more than our share of the abundance this earth offers to all of us. We give our own unique gifts to others while we honor their space and their needs. We do this and honor the Earth’s needs as well.

I will be thinking more about humility as this year continues. I may actually find my way back to grace…though this gift of the word humility, in all its richness, is truly grace in motion.