Desiderata

As a girl of sixteen, I came across Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata, its beautiful words resonated with me then, and still do now. At that time, with what I imagined to be a long life ahead of me, a treasured Desiderata poster went with me everywhere I lived eventually becoming rather fragile. I hope you find something in this poem that speaks to you too.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

~ Max Ehrmann


Max Ehrmann – The Desiderata of Happiness
Photo courtesy of Ivan Jevtic

Interconnection

If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh


(Photo courtesy of Felix Mittermeier)

Everyday Awareness

Finding joy in everyday things …
“I want to remember to notice the wonders of each day, in each moment, no matter where I am under any circumstance.”
~ Charlotte Eriksson


(Charlotte Eriksson,The Glass Child)
(Photo by Trevor Cole on Unsplash)

Renewal …

Spring is my favourite season. The sense of renewal, rebirth, birdsong, the cocktail of scents wafting on the breeze, trees waking up from their long slumber …

“It is Spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke


(Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash)

Sitting Alone in a Quiet Room

“Sometimes you need to sit lonely on the floor in a quiet room in order to hear your own voice and not let it drown in the noise of others.”
~ Charlotte Eriksson


(Charlotte Eriksson, The Glass Child)
(Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash)

Quietude …

… quietude … silence … stillness …
Ask the world to reveal its quietude —
not the silence of machines when they are still,
but the true quiet by which birdsongs,
trees, bellworts, snails, clouds, storms
become what they are, and are nothing else.
~ Wendell Berry


(Wendell Berry, This Day : Collected and New Sabbath Poems)
(Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

On Self-Respect

There’s a post over on Maria Popova’s Brainpickings about an essay on Self-Respect written by Joan Didion and it spoke volumes to me when I first read it a couple of years ago, I hope it will speak to you too …
“Character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self-respect springs.”
~ Joan Didion


(Maria Popova, Brainpickings)
(Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash)

Garden Therapy

For me, time spent in the garden for some reason works wonders for my sense of wellbeing, perhaps it’s because studies show being outdoors in nature is good for us.
Tired mind, sunshine, gentle breeze, comfortable old clothing – where else to be but in the garden. Restoring order – damp soil, pulling weeds, digging, mulching and planting; tired, aching muscles, relaxed, contented …
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