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Life Spiral

I’ve presented this poem before. It’s about flowing in and out of life. I am in and out of myself. Sometimes I’m surprised. Other times it’s the same old me. And then life shifts and I am adapting and growing in challenging times. I become familiar again.

Challenges bring change. Change brings pain, and yet I always grow deeper. I back at my door with wisdom in my hand. I comfort myself. I am present.

I abandon myself when scared. My humanness sees no one there. At these times, I want to remember to look deeper within. I’m hiding.

There are times I ignore my door. Eventually life knocks louder until the flow begins again and I welcome me.

Growing older indeed involves growing wiser. I learn from each challenge instead of resisting challenge, a daily practice. Acceptance of change helps the door flow open, the hinges less rusty.

It’s the flow in and out that’s important. I respect all who arrive as they are all part of me. The tough times feel like forever, and yet change comes again. I welcome. I trust. I go with the flow. I provide the needs for whoever arrives each day, each hour.

Because it’s all really a spiral of the Divine as we learn and grow. We are spiritual beings rising as we turn. We are spiritual beings rising as we fall. The Universal spiral takes us round and round day after day, all for the purpose of enhancing the treasure of our wisdom. Our wisdom is our way home.

Translated by Coleman Barks

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • Thank you so much. I haven’t read The Guesthouse in a while. It reminds me of the ego states reading from two days ago. My guesthouse is welcoming all these parts of me and getting to know them. Some want to rip the whole place to shreds. It’s an interesting attitude to just accept and welcome. I think that’s how I can listen and respect those ego states, just to love and honor them. I do actually feel them quieting down now that I am paying more attention to them. It’s all part of a journey. Thank you.

  • Thank you. I had a literal unexpected guest yesterday. I was dealing with uninvited weeds in my yard and I started talking with a neighbor. When it started to rain, I invited her in for tea. I felt comfortable for a while but then it got longer than I wanted to spend having the tea. As I had this tug-of-war with myself trying to figure out how to wrap it up, she shared some wonderful news. I was so glad I didn’t cut the visit short. I continued reflecting on the mixed bag I had on my insides in welcoming the surprise visit. During the reflection, I thought about that and about plants, animals, people, and events. Thank you.

  • I appreciated your writing today. I don’t think I’ve put into words what you captured about the state when I feel more centered, and how that can crumble, and then it can come back together again. I’ve never put it in a cycle. It’s part of a growth cycle. That meant something to me.

  • Thank you. Yesterday, on my fire escape, I have a flowering begonia. I noticed a part of the plant is broken. Then I saw a squirrel come take a dirt bath in the pot, probably because it is cooler. I see how happy he is, breaking off more parts of the plant. And then a brown bird came and took a dirt bath too. It gave me happiness.

  • The energy that we collectively share in this group buoys. It is a fact. And it helps all of us. It’s an incredible experience. Each of us is a unique part of the collective energy which holds there whether we remember to feel it or not. Like Rumi, we come back, welcoming in the changes. It’s nice to experience.

  • Thank you for your reading today, for yesterday. They all just mixed in my mind this morning. It’s a lot to think about. It doesn’t matter what is going on in my life, if I see something in nature, it’s so healing. Like that squirrel experience. I know how it feels.

  • Thank you. I’ve been attending the Mindfulness and Compassion Summit of the Wisdom for Life organization. Yesterday, the speaker was Tara Brach who writes about mindfulness and Buddhism. She quoted the sutras ‘may whatever arises awaken this heart and mind.’ What you said today reminded me of that. I’ve been focusing on those words, how helpful and healing those are in not getting caught up in whatever is going on. It’s hard when you’re in it.

  • It’s part of the process of raising us on the spiral in order to have more wisdom.

  • The squirrel wouldn’t have been in the dirt if it hadn’t been for the break in the begonia. We grow from where the breaks are.

  • Thank you each one of you for sharing your hearts, your intentions for the willingness and courage to feel pain and feel joy and be living in and out of life. It’s not easy at all. It is such a gift to be part of a collective buoying energy and it’s such a gift to allow ourselves to experience it again and not block it off because it truly enhances us. It helps us grow, which is all about the spiral of life. I hope you all have a gentle day. Awareness is so important giving ourselves what we need.

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