Behind the Urgency

 Wisdom is a living stream, not an icon preserved in a museum.  Only when we find the spring of wisdom in our own life, can it flow to future generations. – Thich Nhat Hanh

The wisdom below is from  “The book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo.  After being told he had cancer, Mark awakened to a new way of living and in this beautiful book, he writes a year’s supply of daily inspiration and encourages us to live fully in this moment.

“When feeling urgent, you must slow down”

I learned this over and over, during the many crises of cancer.  When feeling like I can’t sit still, I need more than ever to sit still.  When feeling like I will die when I don’t have your approval, I need more than ever to die to my need of your approval.  What we need is always harshly and beautifully right before us, disguised in the wrapping of our nearest urgency.

The doorway to our next step of growth is always behind the urgency of now.  We just refuse to accept this, because it feels so difficult to face.  Now more than ever, when feeling that you are the source and the recipient of all pain, you must bow your head till the ancient channel from sky to heart can re-open, and till your ounce of breath becomes sky, again and again.

Centre yourself and feel the urgencies that pull at you.

Feel the tension of each like a string stretched taut.

With each breath, untie yourself, one urgency at a  time.

However briefly, breathe freely, even for a moment, untied to any urgency at all.

This practice of Mark’s is essential if we are to be present in our life.  We all believe we have to do everything now and quickly, when infact, more than ever, we need to be still and trust.


28 thoughts on “Behind the Urgency

  1. This has been one of the greatest lessons for me of the last two years. Learning to come to terms with my demand on the now to deliver… what… the next thing I think is supposed to be there, or worse the next thing I’m supposed to do. Only in the last few months have I felt I have achieved a deep awareness of being still. Doing nothing. Coming to a stop and simply breathing into this moment. Such a wondrous feeling. Great piece to post for me today.

    1. I love your comment. Thankyou for sharing. It does take patience and practice and a deep awareness to accept stillness and yet, you are right, the freedom and lightness it brings is wondrous!! 🙂

  2. This line is so poignant: We all believe we have to do everything now and quickly, when in fact, more than ever, we need to be still and trust. I love it. Thanks Karen! ❤
    Diana xo

    1. Thanks Diana! I have always wanted life to be fast and urgent, no waiting, and all this did was keep me out of living in this moment. I love that I have been taught to practice this over the years because now I love my life in all it’s fullness!

  3. This message feels like it was meant for me today! I am reminded. Yes. Slow down. Don’t leap. Don’t jump. Don’t panic. And the pic you’ve featured? Reminds me of a hike I did in Colorado. Stopped midway up (and down) the mountain to listen to a stream that looked much like this one. Brings me peace. Lovely:).

    1. Im so glad! Your hike sounds beautiful and when we connect to nature, we often find our inner peace and wisdom. We can only listen when we are silent, I hope this day brings you peace. Thankyou 🙂

  4. Something that I need to learn. I’m an anxious-driven person. Always on the go. Sometimes I find myself walking faster than most people. I don’t mind my breathing. I need to. I need to constantly be reminded to stop, take a deep breathe and move smoothly. You’ve been an excellent guru, Karen. 😀

    1. Ha Guru Im not! Being fast and busy is okay as long as you make time to connect to “you” and check in from time to time and become aware how you are feeling. I think once you hang out with the Greeks for awhile, you won’t have a choice but to slow down! Thats why I love Italians and Greeks 🙂

  5. Good post, Karen.
    Our high tech society compels us to move faster and faster. Unfortunately many of us don’t understand we aren’t made to respond as quickly as our created machines.
    A student once gave me, as a gift, a plaque with a tranquil sunset, with the following saying: “Leave your troubles to God and have a good rest. He’ll be up all night anyway.”

    1. I love the quote! Because society finds it hard to trust or believe, then the need to control is greater, which keeps people up all night worrying about their urgencies. It does seem much easier to let go and allow doesn’t it? 🙂 Thanks Alan.

  6. As I read the quote you’ve given from Mark’s book, I immediately slowed and paid attention. Sometimes the things I read strike a silent bell within, and it reverberates. This is one. I will get a copy. Thank you!

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