Living Lent - Days 8-12

Posted by Kelly Lewis Share Your Voice


"Before we live what's next, it always seems like there is some answer we need to arrive at.  But daring to enter, we are humbled to discover, again and again, that the act of living itself unravels both the answer and the question.  When we watch we remain riddles to be solved.  When we enter, we become songs to be sung."  -- Mark Nepo - "The Book of Awakening:  Having the Life you Want by Being Present to the Life You Have"

I begin every day with my friend Mark Nepo, taking in his wisdom and discovering my own.  Today's reading, "In the Living" offered me some poetic justice into my last five days.  

I am on day 12, of my 40 day "Living Lent" experiment where I gave up waiting and chose living. When I started, I had no idea what this meant or even why I was doing it.  I just knew it was time.  Most people that know me would say, "I didn't know Kelly knew how to wait."  Yet somewhere inside of me, I knew there were people, places, and things that I chose to watch and wait rather than enter and live.  

During the first seven days of my experiment I discovered:

  • Wonder as an alternative to waiting
  • Holding the tension of two opposing views is easy, holding it all together is painful
  • Radical Acceptance
  • Be Kind. Clear. Fair. Firm
  • Gratitude

During the last five days, life seemed to offer me multiple opportunities to give up waiting.  With these opportunities came some powerful discoveries into waiting patterns that up until now have been running me:

  • When things happen differently than I hope, I wait.  I like to avoid the reality.  I send up the red flags and lock down the house (that would be me).  And I always continue to hope:)  Just in case you were wondering, this isn't a great strategy.  Thankfully, I wasn't able to do that this week because my husband decided to do it for me:)  So instead of waiting, I took a deep breath and entered.  I kept the flags inside, unlocked my heart, and opened the door.  Was it easy?  No.  Was it awful?  No.  Am I stronger and more capable than I thought I was?  Yes.
  • When I don't know how it will turn out or if it is a good idea, I wait.  I analyze.  I talk, talk, talk, talk. I will be 40 next month and I am grateful to still have both of my parents.   Mom and Dad aren't necessarily spring chickens and they have a passion for life and each other that inspires me.   Dad recently had open heart surgery and the recovery process hasn't been with ease.   It appeared as though they could use some support this week but we didn't know for sure.  They didn't ask and we didn't know.  Thankfully, I once again chose to enter rather than to wait.  My sister and I spent Friday night listening, sharing, and supporting our parents.   Was it comfortable?  No.  Was it awful? No.  Was it a gift that I am humbled, honored, and grateful to have received?  Yes.

This week reminded me of how very human I am and how it is ok to need support and to ask for exactly what that looks like.  I learned when I relax and enter into all of the things that cause me to wait and watch life does unravel the answers and questions and perhaps as I continue to enter rather than wait, I will become a song to be sung. 

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Small Kelly Lewis Hello! Here are a few things that I have found support me in creating the life I want, keeping myself in check, and leading with courage and compassion: a slow walk with my hubby and our pups, my work, honesty with myself, the smile of another, and mother nature.


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