What every salmon knows

“The salmon offer us a way to face truth without shutting down. They show us how leaning into our experience, though we don’t like the hit, moves us on. Time and again, though we’d rather turn away, it is the impact of being revealed, through our willingness to be vulnerable, that enables us to experience both mystery and grace.”

From The Art of Facing Things in The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo

Mark Neop describes how salmon turn their underside – from center to tail – into the powerful current of the water coming at them, how the force hits them squarely and the impact launches them further up the waterfall. They do this over and over again, moving upstream. By leaning into what they face, they move further along their journey.

He left me wondering, what might be possible if we are brave enough to turn our soft bellies of vulnerability toward what was coming at us?

Each of Mr. Nepo’s daily inspirational readings includes a meditation that I wanted to offer you today.

  • Sit quietly and meditate on the last time you  opened yourself to the life coming at you.
  • In recalling this, try to focus on three things:
    1. the way that opening yourself caused you to unfold
    2. the way that being hit squarely changed your life position
    3. where leaping like a salmon landed you
  • Breath steadily, and invite the lessons of opening, being changed, and landing into your heart.
  • Breathe slowly, and realize that you are in this process now.
  • Relax and turn the belly of your heart toward the day.