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the practice of being real

By 4/01/2016

it's april first - a new month.  you can feel the new season too, with the weather turning and the light changing.  life is spinning around me -- we can always count on that.  i'm typically one to embrace change.  i like to shake things up every once in a while, push my luck, jump on a roller coaster, make a ripple on the surface.  i've always been that way.  but there are some changes that are just the hardest.  letting go of something you love.  accepting a new way of thinking.   admitting that you don't know what to do next.

i've mentioned the book of awakening many times on the blog, and i felt compelled to share with yal this excerpt i read before going to sleep last night.  i know that many of us need to work on being real.  saying what we need to when it's most important.  telling the truth, and needing people to hear it.

from mark nepo:

The Practice of Being Real

As the earth keeps going by turning itself toward the sun day of day, we have no choice, despite all forms of etiquette and training, but to keep turning toward what we feel is real. Otherwise, we become cold little planets spinning in the dark.

Very often, when I am confused or depressed for a long period of time, it is because I have stopped turning toward the light of what feels real.  At times like this, I have to break the darkness of my spinning with a very small and simple step that often seems huge and difficult because I have been spinning in on myself --I have to practice being real by saying what I feel, not just once, but continually.

I have struggled my whole life with this.  Like most of us, I learned to survive by withholding what feels real.  When events happen --when someone says or does something that hurts me-- I have learned to absorb the hit and pretend that nothing has changed, that everything is the same.  But when I do this, my energy is used up in maintaining the pretense that nothing has happened and I begin to spin coldly in the dark.

It is so simple and yet so brave to say that we are hurt when we are hurt, that we are sad when we are sad, that we are scared when we are scared.  In very direct and daily ways, this energy of realness --this mana-- changes situations because the immediate expression of our truth releases light and warmth that influences the life we are a part of.  This is the way our spirit shines.  

and in related news, check out this article too: Ban the Big Chill: Since When Does Being Honest Mean You’re “Crazy”?


  1. As a therapist, I couldn't agree more! Connection happens when we reveal our full selves. We should tell our whole story, not just the shiny stuff. It will make us more approachable and human. That is where true strength lives. Thank you for sharing!

  2. many many moons ago, i ordered this books because you mentioned it. ended up ordering it for family members as well. going to find my copy now.

  3. "saying what we need to when it's most important. telling the truth, and needing people to hear it." I love this. I have been struggling with whether to clear the air over a difficult situation and this has inspired me to speak my truth. Thank you.

  4. Do we really wanna wake up? Or do we really wanna wake up others? Don't wake up the monster!

  5. Fake it til ya make it in a really nice, honest way!

  6. I owe you a past-due thank you. I bought the book of awakening after reading your recommendation maybe three or four years ago. I now have the app on my phone and wake up to it most days. This "practice" (that's what I call it at least) has changed my life in a huge, huge way. Perspective shifted. I left a job I hated, went out on my own, cut off multiple toxic relationships...I cleaned house. Still do. It's almost annoying how the passages of certain days match up when and where I need them most. When I feel out of sorts or overwhelmed, it's usually because I haven't read from the book in a week or two. I don't know that this shift would have entered my life had I not encountered this book. I have you to thank for that.