earning It: a poem to read out loud

Poetry has been coming out my fingers lately. This poem has asked me to ask you to read her out loud and to take a minute of closed-eyed, deep breath silence before and after. Maybe you’d like to notice the ways you are earning It?

because I’m in It

and I wish I could give It—extend It— to everyone
especially to my most beloved
who have given me so much

but the truth is that I earn it
keep earning it
each moment
each choice
of Faith
over Ego
over Fear
over worried, anxious longings instead of present, focused nows

I earn It sleeping on dirty mattresses in foreign cities where speaking the language is more work for me than 10-hour days line cooking
I earn It through tears and distress and half-gallons of icecream in the coldest and grayest winter of my life in New England
I earn It bowing to a homeless man on the streets of Portland, Oregon in lieu of giving cash or cold shoulders
feeling full of love and unease at the same time

I earn It listening
cupped ear to intuitive whisperings
sometimes so faint I have to hold my breath to hear

I earn It faltering
Loose grips
Crash landings
hurtful words
unforgiving judgments
and deep sorrow

I earn It with a single breath of true presence
asking for forgiveness
giving it
to myself

I earn It meditating loving kindness
I earn It wincing
feeling a pang of compassionate resonance
holding space for the pain of a new friend
telling me about the death of a loved one
as we snack in the kitchen

I earn It choosing sleep at 8pm on a Saturday night
ending the day in conversation with my Higher Self
Remembering again and again
the profound lessons
that nevertheless fade
each dusk

I earn It smiling
I earn It trying
I earn It giving up
giving in
letting go
high fiving

I will never collect enough to cash in
but then again
I enjoy my fortune


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