Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What do you carry?

Stories are always so powerful for me. I am so inspired by the experiences and wisdom of others, and I never tire of hearing their stories. It isn't simply the experiences of others that intrigues me—it's how they view those experiences and what they've gleaned from them that scores in my book. It's the meaning behind the stories.

Yesterday morning I read again in a book I cite often in my blogs: Mark Nepo's The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have. I was struck by what Nepo wrote about a Holocaust survivor who said that two objects sustained her through her horrific experience: a piece of bread, which each day she hid somewhere on her person, and a broken piece of her comb. She carried the piece of bread in case someone else needed it more than she did, and she kept the broken piece of comb so she could daily comb her hair and affirm her person.

Isn't that powerful? She needed something to share with others, and she needed to remember that she still was human and do something to affirm that.

So Nepo asks: "What small thing do we each carry that we can give to others more in need than we, and what constant gesture do we each carry by which we can affirm our person?" What gift(s) do you carry for others? For yourself?

Again, it's the "both/and" of life and not the "either/or." Living life fully and richly is about reaching out to others and being present to your own life and self. Loving others and loving self. Reflect today on how you do that. Share your story and your wisdom with others—and pay attention to their stories and wisdom.

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