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I am rejoicing in Life today.  In case you hadn’t noticed, Life has a way of protecting and providing for us, regardless if our motives are less-than-stellar or our mood like a dark night of the soul.

This mysterious caretaking phenomenon appeals to my child-like curiosity.  I never really know from where my next gift will emerge, but emerge it does and seemingly without any aid from me.  I admit many of these gifts are not always recognizable as such.  Sometimes they come disguised as a painful lesson and, as one friend said to me, “are wrapped up in dirty brown paper instead of pretty party wrap with a bow.”

Overtime I discovered the key to living a full life is to unwrap all the gifts that show up no matter how ugly they appear on the surface.  In my experience, each gift arrives just when I need it the most and provides me with a next step forward on my journey. Some of these steps, I unconsciously avoid taking so this wee nudge from Life is itself a gift.

Today has been one of those gifted days.  I am in a week-long “tiny yoga” intensive in which the focus is to be aware of our breath’s passage through the body.  The yoga postures — which I love — are not the focus.  Instead my attention is directed inch-by-inch along the front and back of the spine — which exhausts me.  Although I am deeply fatigued — which isn’t joyful — I can feel something very profound happening inside.  In order to discover what that is, I need to continue to pull off the dirty brown wrapping disguising its silver lining. The poem below is my reminder to do so.


                  Extended Hand

Just when I feel myself sinking
into the debris of self-doubt and worry,
a hand reaches out and lifts me to safety.

Life’s like that, paying forward its riches,
warding off unnecessary fear, no matter if
I occasion to consume unconsciously.

I wish this unawareness absent,
but know how easily I can forget to clasp
the extended hand that is always there.

                    June 2011

Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.

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