Recently, one of my clients asked me if I had any recommendations for inspiring books. One of the books I recommended to her was The Book Of Awakening: Having The Life You Want By Being Present To The Life You Have by Mark Nepo.
It is the kind of book that you can pick up each day – or randomly – and it will uplift and make you think about your life.
Mark Nepo is a poet and a cancer survivor. His daily messages are beautifully written and come from a place of lived wisdom.
I pulled up that day’s date in the book and read it to my client to give her a feel for the material.
As I read, tears suddenly and unexpectedly sprang to my eyes and my throat tightened because that day’s entry spoke so closely to my heart about what I, as many of you know, have so recently been through, as well as, what I so passionately help people do.
Here is the what I read, that day, from The Book of Awakening :
The Risk To Bloom
And then the day came
when the risk to remain
tight in a bud was
more painful than the
risk to bloom.
– Anaïs Nin
We all face this turning point repeatedly: when resisting the flow of inner events suddenly feels more hurtful than leaping toward the unknown. Yet no one can tell us when to leap. There is no authority to bless our need to enter life but the God within.
How often we thwart ourselves by holding tenaciously to what is familiar. It is instructive, if chilling, that in floral shops the roses that won’t open are called bullets. They are discarded because they will never bloom. They have turned in on themselves so tightly that they can never release their fragrance.
Yet as spirits in bodily form, we have the chance to tighten and bloom more than once. But even spirits, if turned in on themselves enough, may grow accustomed to being closed. Unlike roses, however, the human chamber can be shut down for years, and still, it takes but one breath from the true center and we will flower.
It has always amazed and humbled me how the risk to bloom can seem so insurmountable beforehand and so inevitably freeing once the threshold of suffering is crossed.
I have a friend in recovery, and when asked what made him stop drinking, he says, “The pain of drinking became greater than the pain of not drinking.” The same can be said for us all. We can flower in an instant, as soon as the pain of not flowering and not loving become greater than our fear.
Yup. Wow, right?
Growing with you, with love.