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Clearing Mourne Skies Cr

Inspired by a poem

  • by Claire Ferry - Feb 27, 2019

The eagle-eyed will have noticed no Maitri musings appeared on Monday. I realised I simply did not have the time to write coherently about the next niyama (tapas) so I'll be back with that after the open day.

Over the weekend while teaching a yoga and mindfulness retreat with Veronica I was amused to hear her read this poem. When read out loud, it always induces a wry laugh from the audience - we all know how the sentiments expressed in the poem feel. I am on the cusp of a short holiday and yet again feel as though I am crashing into the holiday with far too much to get finished before I head to the airport. I've definitely been here before.

The retreat reminded me once again that I function at my best, am kindest and most loving, when I have cultivated the conditions for space in life. Space in the body with asana practice, space in the mind with meditation, space for the soul with being outside in nature.

I also know that my regular traits including being super enthusiastic about what I do, and always have unrealistic expectations about how long work will take. These can be positive. I can achieve a lot, and run Maitri Studio which helps many people. And yet it often leads to me saying yes to too much! Well, I've walked into that hole again, it was my fault, and thankfully I know how to climb out. Here's to creating the conditions for sufficient space in my life that I don't walk down that street so often.

Read more about Portia Nelson, writer of this poem Autobiography in Five Short Chapters, who had a fascinating life as singer, songwriter, actress, and author.

Chapter I

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost ... I am helpless.

It isn't my fault.

It takes me forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don't see it.

I fall in again.

I can't believe I am in the same place.

But it isn't my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in ... it's a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

Wishing you the space you need to listen to your own body, mind and soul so that you don't step into your own deep holes either!


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