Could she have followed me?

This is one of my favourite poems below.  It makes me wonder if the author was walking behind me! 

We can so often and so easily fall into old patterns of thinking and behaving which deliver the same outcome every time and we end up referring to it as “the same old, same old” without even a thought for how we got there. 

We can find that, even when we become aware that we are repeating patterns after many a painful fall, we simply do not know how to be different to have a better outcome.  At times, we may even feel that we need permission to be different to have a different outcome. 

Portia Nelson, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery

“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 forever to find a way out.

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 me a long time to get out.

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.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down another street.”

I think I like this poem because it is so simple and yet so wise and it always makes me smile, or even chuckle, on occasion, even though each time I dragged myself out of a hole, it was with scraped knees.

Discovering mindfulness helped me become aware of the steps I was taking before I fell into a hole and in that process, I was able to make a choice in the route I took which initially meant that I fell into holes less frequently and eventually that I could choose to avoid them.

For more information on Mindfulness for Stress and Mindfulness for Health courses that I run, get in touch with me via the Contacts page here or email me on presentmindinsights@outlook.com.  I am currently delivering these courses in Watford.

 

© Siobhan Fanning 2018

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