Taking the Right Step by Cheryl Traylor

Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. We are not handed a guide at birth entitled Fail-proof Steps to Living This Life. As such, I’ve lived most of my life through a lot of trial and error—heavy on the error side. I’ve also learned that sometimes I just have to take the next right step and try not to run the entire marathon at once. I’m getting ok with that practice.

There is a source that I go to often for life advice. Poet Mary Oliver never fails to enlighten me or ease my weariness. She gives some of the best advice on living a life in her poem, Sometimes:

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

This sounds like what many of us bloggers do here on WordPress. We tell stories about our lives in the hope that someone may be touched by reading them. Maybe our words provide inspiration, encouragement, or motivation where it is most needed. Sometimes healing occurs while reading another’s words. Or a community is formed. Or a lesson is learned. Or someone is empowered to create meaning, change, or beauty in their own lives. Maybe a memory is brought to surface, a smile appears, a tear forms in the corner of an eye.

Then other times–nothing.

Scroll. Scroll. Scroll.

We never know what may stem from a post, we just keep paying attention, writing, and hoping. And we also keep reading what others write—it’s a circle, this writing life. What we give is also often what we most need to receive. In the new year, 2018, I’ll keep paying attention, staying forever astonished, and always writing and reading. And I’ll just keep taking the next right step.

Cheryl Traylor
Cheryl Capaldo Traylor writes a blog, Giving Voice to My Astonishment, where she shares her love of nature, writing, reading and Yoga. The Next Right Step appeared on Cheryl’s blog December 31, 2017.

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