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"Autobiography in Five Chapters", by Portia Nelson

I first read this poem on Instagram, shared by a wonderful yoga teacher and mentor, Mynx Inastugu, not knowing how famous the poem is, and that it has been used as part of the Twelve Step Program. It's about making our patterns conscious, and establishing more helpful patterns, very much the deep work that we do in Yoga.


Take a moment to read it.



AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE CHAPTERS


I

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost … I am hopeless.

It isn't my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.


II

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don't see it.

I fall in again.

I can't believe I'm in the same place.

But it isn't my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.


III

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in … it’s a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.


IV

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.


V

I walk down another street.


- Portia Nelson







Searching in the internet, I just saw that she was Sister Berthe in one of my favorite movies, "The Sound of Music"!


Check a video of the song "Maria". Sister Berthe is the one who never smiles, and apparently dislikes Maria (Julie Andrews)


Portia Nelson is the author of many songs, listen to this one, which I find specially beautiful.


Thank you, Portia Nelson, you have touched the lives of so many!









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