Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Life After Tears

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Life  After Tears

In the life before tears,
there are endless plans
and we avoid the difficult
feelings at all cost, as if grief,
pain, and loss are canyons
we’ll never climb out of.


But, then, one day, while
not looking, someone dear
dies, or a dream breaks like
a plate, and our world, as
we’ve known it, is blown
apart.


Then, we discover that
falling in the canyon is
our initiation, and
the river at the bottom
is the only water that
will keep us alive.


I wish it were different.
But the reward for being
hollowed out is that the
song then sings us.

. . . 

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Never Lost, Always Found

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflectinon: Never Lost,  Always Found

On the darkest night of the year,
Susan asks about Grandma Minnie
yet again. And again, I soften and speak
of being a child in your Brooklyn kitchen,
sitting next to your stove as you made
latkes, patting the excess oil and giving
them to me while they were warm.
And Susan jumps up, as she does every
year, as if for the first time, and starts
grating potatoes. I put on klezmer music
and we make latkes and eat standing
in the kitchen.
Our dog jumps to the music or to
the presence of something unseen.
I grab her paws and we dance briefly
to the music of the old world.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Anthem

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Anthem

Yes, you fell down.
I feel for you, for I have
fallen many times.
Now, you must get up.
I know it isn’t easy.
I know it will take time.
Remember, the seed
can’t imagine breaking
ground. And the fledgling
can’t imagine flying.
And so, your broken heart
can’t imagine finding its way.
But life is this repeating journey
from sleep to wakefulness,
from blindness to sight,
from fear to love.
No matter how many times
we fall, we are just beginning.

A Question to Walk With: Describe your latest journey from sleep to wakefulness or from blindness to sight, or from fear to love.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: For Your Birthday

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: For Your Birthday


I wanted to reach for you, to say with urgency—
Don’t go. Don’t ever go. But it was only after
lunch, early on. So I watched you go. I’ve come
to understand that in that simple moment, I felt
the whole of our life together. On that corner,
it felt like a thumb pressing on the center of my
heart. It stopped my breathing for a second and
in that pause, I knew I had to see you again.

Through the years, I’ve felt my heart indent
that way a handful of times: carrying popcorn
into a theatre and hearing you laugh, seeing
you work wet clay in the yard as yellow leaves
fall, watching you watch the moon above the
winter trees, coming home to see you drip
water from your finger into the mouth a
broken bird. What kind of story is this?
I know you better than anyone and yet
something in you makes me want to
hold you and ask, who are you now?


A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a friend or trusted loved one, sit with them and ask them, “Who are you now?”

This is from my book of poems in progress, Elsewhere.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Where to Now?

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Where to Now?

Now that I’ve come out of hiding,
my fears are forgetting to be afraid.

Now that I’ve dropped my opinions
in the rain, my story is too small
to cover my heart.

Now that I’ve put down what I thought
was important, I’m surprised by angels
lost along the way.

How we got here doesn’t matter
and where we’re going is just
something for the mind to chew.

I’ll meet you here, in the palace
that difficulty opens—the magical
doorway, the shape of who we are.

A Question to Walk With: Describe a door that difficulty has opened for you.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Path of Lasting Friendship

lastingfriendships

The deep irony of my life as a teacher is that I travel all over to affirm that there’s nowhere to go but here. And I’m happy to do it. For every place we arrive at unravels to the same timeless moment in which we are each other. This is the path of lasting friendship: trying to go somewhere, only to land in each other’s arms. The harder we try to run from ourselves, the more certain it is that we will boomerang into the heart of our unanswered question. There, we will find each other.

If, upon such meeting, we accept the truth of our journey and the ways that we have run from life, then we will form an unbreakable bond. If we deny our attempts to escape what is ours to face, then we will push each other away.

I have done both, but I am here to affirm that there’s nowhere to go but here. There is only one, timeless place of truth under every there. The way the same nectar waits in the center of every flower, no matter how it opens. All the friends I’ve been blessed to have know the taste of this nectar. It’s how the spirit of friendship keeps us alive.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Foundational Moments

Nepo-May-10

When not doing well, when full of doubt or pain or worry, when unable to find your way, try, very slowly, to return to moments that feel foundational. By foundational, I mean moments that are solid, however briefly, in which you feel directly connected to life, in which you feel safe and thorough, in which you feel at peace, even if for a few seconds.

You don’t have to name these foundational moments, or explain them, or fit them into some theological box. You simply have to experience them and locate them, so you have a chance to return to them or to moments like them, when you need to.

In time, you will chart a constellation of foundational moments that can hold you up when you fall down. And mysteriously, when identified and honored, these moments of peace and clearness start to join each other. So, in time, our foundational field enlarges when we have the courage to find what will hold us up.

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How To Live a Divinely Inspired Life

How To Live a Divinely Inspired Life How To Live a Divinely Inspired Life

As you begin to seek a life that is creative, passionate, and filled with inspiration, you begin to see Divine inspiration everywhere. And if you let inspiration become your guiding light, your life will become illumined with possibilities. What else is possible? I wholeheartedly believe that one of the best ways to honor the Creator of All is to be creative. It is your divine birthright to live a life of creativity, joy, and to create and be your very best version of yourself.

Here are four strategies to help you live a divinely inspired life.

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The Universe Wants To Talk To You: Do You Want To Listen?

listening The Universe Wants To Talk To You: Do You Want To Listen?
The ego has a thousand goals. Are they really yours?

The fast-track Western world reveres productivity, measured by what we “get done.” But I invite you to consider becoming undone, letting go of ill-fitting self-definitions, freeing yourself from beliefs and patterns, becoming naked, available, and present to your present life. The Universe wants to talk to you. Do you want to listen?

Sometimes you have to stop scoring points in the life you have in order to win at the life you desire.  A Course in Miracles teaches, that “the vision of one world will cost you the vision of another.” Albert Einstein said the same thing: “You cannot solve the problem at the level of the problem.” Are you so busy maintaining the structures of your existing life, that you can’t hear when Great Love is calling your name?

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Do You Need Inspiration?

dancing-in-the-city-streets-picture-id897827122 Do You Need Inspiration?

I firmly believe there are two things that motivate people, one being inspiration and the other being desperation. I full appreciate there are times when people are in pain or they’re hurting so much that they’re forced to do something out of desperation. By the same token, there are people who realize that change is often instigated by inspiration.

If you’re struggling to find inspiration in your life, then I urge you not to give up. Seize the moment and go out and find it. I often find the smallest thing can give me inspiration in the strangest of places. For example, I might see a child playing, or overhear a conversation in the supermarket, or it can be as simple as a line from a movie or TV show, which resonates and acts as a catalyst to inspire me to take action. For me, this often happens when I’m just day dreaming! You know … those times when you’re not really paying attention to anything in particular. You never know when inspiration is going to come knocking at your door!

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4 Easy Tips to Get Inspired & Rejuvenated

Lifeplan 4 Easy Tips to Get Inspired & Rejuvenated

How do you get inspired and keep that inspiration alive, especially during tough times? First and foremost, you need something bigger than you to be inspired about. I think we are all born with a deep and meaningful purpose that we have to discover.

Your purpose in life is not something you need to make up; it’s already there – you just need to discover it.

And when you do, when you really discover what you’re meant to do, it will be the reason you get up in the morning.

Finding Your Life Purpose


Prior to discovering your life purpose, it’s easy to become sidetracked, or feel uninspired, or feel like you’ve accomplished very little.

But, what if these feelings are simply feedback that you need to keep going, keep searching, keep discovering?


What if it’s the universe reminding us not to settle for mediocrity, to continue experimenting for the one thing that lights you up?


I also believe we’re all born with a set of talents and interests that tell us what we’re supposed to be doing.

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How to Deal with Fear of Missing Out

How to Deal with Fear of Missing Out
Fear of missing out or FOMO affects everyone, harming personal happiness and hampering inspiration. The “fear of missing out” is an uneasy, often all-consuming, feeling of missing important events.

It can arise when a birthday party happens. It can surge when the weekend rolls around. It can pop up when the phone doesn’t ring. FOMO is the fear that results when you think your peers are having more fun than you.

It can stir up beliefs that you are not good enough. It comes from wondering if they’re experiencing life’s best face when your face isn’t around.

Truth be told, FOMO is a widely experienced phenomenon. You’re not alone. The problem is that it can lead to an obsession with social media, create high levels of anxiety and contribute to your happiness. While FOMO is experienced by lots and lots of us, it is totally beatable. If you’re caught in a FOMO cycle, you can break the chain.

Where Does FOMO Come From?


Fear of missing out can be caused by many things: an imbalance between your home and work life, loss of sleep, loss of autonomy or a deep need for more competence. At the end of the day, however, FOMO is derived from the fear of unhappiness. So, really, the fear of missing out is just that: fear.

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Channeling Excellence

katy-belcher-342054-unsplash
Today, is as good as any other day to decide you are worth the effort to live the best life possible. Now, is as good as any other time, to commit to living a complete life. It only takes the conscious decision to see yourself fully engaging in this life. This means prioritizing everything that allows you to feel the thrill of excellence. 


As usual, I never know exactly what I’m going to write about, I wait for inspiration. This week I put the above message on my word document and moved on. In the back of my mind, I was tossing around Ideas of how I would convey the message, or if it was the right message for this week.


Later, my husband and I went out to dinner. I noticed a tattoo on the server’s wrists. I looked closer. The message read, THIS IS YOUR LIFE. We discussed, THIS VERY MOMENT, being the time to live your dreams. In other words, channel your excellence. I took a picture of the words and recognized confirmation that the message needs to be shared. 
 

The choice is ours to honor our ability to live a life that allows peace, prosperity and wellness. I know this is true. Channeling excellence (God, love) is allowing the pure inspirational energy to saturate and fill up both your body, and mind.
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My word for this year is… inspiration!

My word for this year is… inspiration!

Where does inspiration come from? Often from the strangest things. You go in the kitchen, you want to cook something, and you wait for something to whisper in your ear, and give you the divine answer for what to make for dinner tonight. Or you wait in front of a blank computer screen, or a blank canvas. As I start to talk about inspiration, what’s the first thing that happens? Nothing!


Immediately when I thought, “inspiration,” I went into freeze mode. Then I started looking around in my space. I walked away from my computer, looked outside my window, and saw the blood oranges growing on the tree outside. Last year it wasn’t doing well. This year I’m going to have a bumper crop. I’m seeing the color orange, and the plants in my garden… Turning, I see the wooden spoon collection in my office, shelves full of favorite books, and my and my friends’ artwork. I see a very colorful throw on my office couch.


This is where my inspiration comes from—from paying attention to what’s around, in any given moment.


Two stories arise in my mind as I look at the oranges, for example.

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