September 7 – The Daily Experiment – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“You are the laboratory and every day is an experiment. Go and find what is new and unexpected.” Joel Elkes

Every time we talk to someone, there comes back to us a map of expectation as to how we should respond. We share a confusion; we are often given a direction.We share a pain; we are often given an instruction. We share a desire; we are often given a plan. The power of these unspoken maps should not be underestimated.For the endless gravities of expectation we move in and out of govern most of our thinking and summon most of our energy in denying them or complying with them.

In actuality, underneath all the plans, pressures, and expectations,underneath all the  subtle  guidance and nudging we receive from almost everyone, the next step is truly unknown and has never been taken by anyone. Thus, our spiritual charge is to maintain the wonder of the singular  explorer that each of us is.

Though I treasure that wonder, I have been obedient for most of my life, doing what was expected of me and more, in hopes of being loved. And I have been rebellious, doing the opposite of whatever was mildly implied, ready to break any hold another might have on me. But the freshest step has always come when I’ve been brave enough to land at the end of what little I know, breathing new air and feeling new feelings, in reaction to no one, in wonder at what is always possible.

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