THE BLOG
09/15/2014 01:50 pm ET Updated Nov 15, 2014

Saying Yes to Life

In the face of this gritty, mysterious, and ever-changing dynamic we call being alive, it's nothing short of heroic that we are asked to choose life and living, again and again. Not just to put a good face on things while we're here, but because saying yes to life is how the worm inches its way through earth. It's how salmon leap their way upstream. It's how flowers grow out of stone. But how do we do this?

Saying Yes to Life

I invite you to reflect on any of these offerings and their companion questions and to discuss the space each opens with a friend:

Saying yes is how the infinite spirit we're born with keeps moving through us into the world. How do you know the presence of your spirit?

Saying yes is the way the flower of the soul breaks through the stone of the world. How is your soul inching through the stone of the world?

Two recurring questions serve as the heart's compass: What are we saying yes to? And what do we rely on inwardly in saying yes? In your most alive moments, what are you saying yes to and what does saying yes feel like?

Meeting the transformations that our hardships hold is a deep form of saying yes that makes every soul on Earth blossom. Describe one hardship in your life and how it's been transformative.

Despair is often the nut in which the fruit of resilience ripens. Describe a moment of despair and how it ended. Describe a moment of resilience and how it began.

We're constantly asked to enter the conversation that difficulty opens. Name one difficulty you have faced and describe the conversation it opened within you.

Being vulnerable makes us malleable enough to transform, find our place in the larger Universe, and feel the Oneness of things. Describe your current invitation to be vulnerable and how you're meeting it.

In order to lead a full life, we need to open our hearts, so we can be completed by everything that is not us. Name one teacher that came from outside of you and what it taught you.

We give birth to everything we look at with love, including our own soul. Tell the story of one thing you've given your love to.

It's often in the depths of love and suffering and wonder that we touch on the unnamable center. In that moment, we're touching our core, which felt deeply enough, brings us to the core of all life. How would you describe the unnamable center of life?

The practice of being a spirit -- in a body, in the world -- is a practice of returning to our center where we can know the world fully. Returning to center is a form of saying yes to life. What do you do to return to your center?

It's nothing short of heroic that we are asked to choose life and living, again and again. Tell the story of someone you admire and how that person chose life and living.

For more poetry for the soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.