What Surprised You This Year?

What has surprised you this year?

This question takes us beneath the surface of our daily lives.

It’s a question posed by Mark Nepo, author, poet, and philosopher.

Here is a response to this question Nepo describes in his book,  Seven Thousand Ways to Listen.

Two Breaths that changed his life – his daughter’s first and his mother’s last

When asked what surprised Marco during this last year, his voice began to quiver.

He’d witnessed two breaths that had changed his life.

As his daughter inhaled the world, it seemed to awaken her soul on Earth.

As his mother exhaled her years, it seemed to free her soul of the world.

These two breaths jarred Marco to live more openly and honestly.

He took these two breaths into his own daily breathing and quickly saw their common presence in everyone’s breathing.

Is it possible that, with each inhalation, we take in the world and awaken our soul?

And with each exhalation, do we free ourselves of the world, which inevitably entangles us?

Is this how we fill up and empty a hundred times a day, always seeking the gift of the two breaths?

Perhaps this is the work of being.                                                           p.3

What would your answer be to this question? 

As you contemplate your year, ask yourself, What Surprised you ?

Happy New Year

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