The Life of Obstacles
To make this useful, I invite you to sit with a friend or loved one. Once you are both still, take a turn describing an obstacle, a wall, a divide or unknown edge that is before you. Say to each other, "I hear what life has given you. E daí? And so, what does this matter? What does this mean in the context of your entire life?" Hear each other out and enter this a second time, saying, "I see where you are. E daí? And so, from there, what is in front of you? What is just beyond where you are? Where is solid ground?" Hear each other out one final time and ask, "E daí? And so, what now? What is your next step?"
Helping each other stay in conversation with the life of obstacles is a spiritually practical act of love that requires courage and compassion. It is a profound gesture that can change everyone involved. To listen to what gets in the way with your heart will change everything, regardless of what you've been told.
So, E daí? What's your next step?
Excerpted and adapted from the book Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What Is Sacred.
Mark Nepo is the author of 14 books and eight audio projects. He has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for more than 40 years. His new book, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What Is Sacred, won the 2012 Books for a Better Life Award. His other books include the number one New York Times best-seller The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have, which was selected as one of Oprah's Ultimate Favorite Things in 2010. Mark has also appeared with Oprah on "Super Soul Sunday" on OWN. As a cancer survivor, Mark devotes his writing and teaching to the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship. To learn more, please visit MarkNepo.com, ThreeIntentions.com and SimonSpeakers.com/marknepo.
More from Mark Nepo