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  • Kevin Leep

Die Slowly ~Pablo Neruda

Updated: Jan 29, 2019

He who becomes the slave of habit, who follows the same routes every day, who never changes pace, who does not risk and change the color of his clothes, who does not speak and does not experience, dies slowly. He or she who shuns passion, who prefers black on white, dotting ones "it’s" rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer, that turn a yawn into a smile, that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings, dies slowly. He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy, who is unhappy at work, who does not risk certainty for uncertainty, to thus follow a dream, those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives, die slowly. He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly. He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem, who does not allow himself to be helped, who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops, dies slowly. He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn't know, he or she who don't reply when they are asked something they do know, die slowly. Let's try and avoid death in small doses, reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing. Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.

I shared this with my yoga classes the other week. The thing about this poem that brought me to share it was it includes every one. No one escapes this poem. I love my habits and routines, we all do. At different times we all fail to act or fail to break out of our habits. It seems that life offers choices to either play it safe and continue the routine or break the habits of life. Breaking habits can experience a weird free fall moment when your not in control and uncertain of what lay ahead. That strange feeling of living! It's an odd feeling telling a room of 20 yogis that we're all dying slowly. Its not meant to be a message of guilt but a chance to be present enough to notice it. To see the opportunities as they arise and answer the call to live.

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