Desiderata – Words for Life

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, 1927


You’ll Know When You Know

Big decision on the line? Sit with it. Feel it. Consider it. Know that there is no set timeline to solve a problem or resolve a situation. There is only what you can bear. What you can live with and what you can’t live with. You get to decide. Who knows better than you what is right for you at any given time?

Indecision can be its own stress. I like to think about it this way – when making a considered decision, yes, you are in limbo, but no, you are not doing nothing. You are processing your thoughts and feelings. You are considering impact and consequences.You are collecting information. You are in process.

We weigh our big life decisions. Pros and cons. Impact on my life. Impact on those around me. Known vs. unknown. Security vs. leap of faith. Willingness for change. Tolerance for criticism. Likelihood of support system staying in place. Openness to signs and spiritual guidance.

Case in point – People have very strong opinions on birth (which they will readily share with you). “Everyone is an expert.”  But they are not an expert on YOU. Example – I made an alternative birth plan for the arrival of my 2nd child. It was a gradual, researched, prayed about, considered decision. I told no one who would not support me (including my own mother) because I wanted to be surrounded by strong positive energy. Jake was born at home. All went well. One of my very best life choice decisions ever. (Postscript, I decided to have my next child born in the hospital. I was older, and he was early. You see, what is right for you at one age and point in time may not be right at another. Decisions change as we change.)

Considered decisions take some time. So when you are not sure, name it. Tell others and yourself that you need some time to think about it. Collect information, build support, trust your intuition, ask for guidance. When stumped, sit on that stump for a while. You will figure it out. I know it, and deep down, you know you too.


Revising Our Stories as We Go

“It doesn’t matter what’s been written in your story so far. It’s how you fill up the rest of the pages that counts.”

You’re born. Lots of stuff happens. You die. You can’t change who you were born to. You can’t change that you will die. But the lots of stuff happens part, now that, that you can change. You’ve got a lot of input into that. You are the writer and editor of the lots of stuff happens part. Phew.

There’s always time to change the trajectory of your story. Always. ALL WAYS. Setting, plot, characters, can change – little tweaks or huge overhauls. Depends on what area of your story line you choose to work on and how you roll. Some people prefer small or gradual edits. Some people want a complete re-write. You see, revision and re-write is always possible, with one caveat ~ you can’t erase your past; can’t delete it. However, you can choose to reinterpret it and to redefine it. After all, it made you, well, you.

Characters can be the challenging  part of your story. You can’t always control what characters show up in your story, much less their motives. For you are in other people’s stories too, and they may want you to do things that you don’t want to do in your story. Cross purposes of intent can cause big problems. Don’t get sucked in (especially you, highly sensitive people and empaths!). Your story line must be paramount in your own life, not someone else’s story. (Thus, the old adage “Be true to yourself.”)

Expect plot twists and turns and unexpected surprises. Handle them the best you can. Your character will change and surprise you along the way. (I’ve often told myself that 10 years ago, or 20 years ago, I never would have imagined this in my life. Who knew?!). Because your story keeps unfolding. And the most amazing part is that you will endure. Your life story will endure. More chapters will just keep coming. And there is always time to finish a chapter and begin another one. an even better one.

We Could Light Up the World

Imagine if our common goal were to bring our best, most compassionate selves into the world every day? We could light up the world with hope. And with its companion, love. Are you in?

A little hope from a lot of people all put together is a lot of hope. It is true that there is strength in numbers. You know when you’re a little tired and you go into work? If you are surrounded with tired, and worse yet, complaining, people all day at work, you will be exhausted by the end of the day. If you are surrounded with caring and hopeful people, people who are fully present to listen and support you and problem solve whatever comes up that day at work, you will feel better by the end of the day. You see, kindness breeds kindness; hope breeds hope. We lift each other up, and a little bit of lifting by a large group of people creates a lot of hope for a better day.

One person can shift a whole room into hopefulness. It is contagious. I’ll give you another example. Birth. When a woman is giving birth, it is often a long and difficult journey. Her emotions are all over the place. It is well documented, and I know from personal experience, that encouragement and hope from another in the room makes all the difference to the birthing mother. When others are calm and undaunted, their energy embraces all in the room. It is common for birthing mothers to feel like giving up near the end. In fact, it’s a sign that labor is almost over, and the baby is almost here. Those in the room have enormous power to help the mother-to-be just by saying, “You’re doing a great job” (being hopeful).

And in these tumultuous political times, we really need to lift each other with hope and compassion, when it’s hard to remain hopeful. Optimism is a struggle. Yet, struggle with it, we must. Our success for positive change in our world lies in our combined hopes and our collective efforts. Don’t think your attitude doesn’t matter. It does. Be compassionate and hopeful again and again and again. When enough of us put forth our little lights for hope, kindness, and justice, together our glow will light up the world – and change it.


Empath With Intention

Awareness ~ Acceptance ~ Intention.

Living with intention means living with focus for the higher good of yourself and others. Living with intention is being completely authentic in and completely present to life. It is saying yes to the greater good at any given moment. ( And it is also saying no to that which harms you or others.) It is vibrating up even when the world tries to knock you down. It is knowing who you are, what gifts you can share, and how you can continue to grow.

Before we can live with intention, we need self-understanding  – part self-awareness, part self-acceptance. What does that look like for an empath? Of course, everyone has their own singular experiences, but the big takeaways would be the same. (Different paths, same world.) Know who your are. Know what it means to be an empath. Then push past knowing to self-acceptance. This is a little tougher, especially when emotional connection and emotional depth are often undervalued in society. Value it anyway. That is our super power. Shine like a lighthouse. You were born for it.

Intention is defined:

1: a determination to act in a certain way : resolve
3a : what one intends to do or bring about
b : the object for which a prayer or pious act is offered
4: a process or manner of healing of incised wounds
                                                   (Merriam- Webster)
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Our determination will reflect what is important to us. We will validate and see the significance of our own and others’ emotions and connect to bring about change and healing (for ourselves and others). We understand the power and process of healing wounds; move through it without letting it envelop you. We can help you. We can show you by example. We can be present for you.
The world is a better place with you in it. Get clarity. See yourself and your gifts. Walk through the world with intention. One connection at a time . . . .



Hope, or How We Keep Going

Hope is the greatest motivator and the greatest gift. But what happens when we lose it? When tragedy comes calling, and we feel overwhelmed, our courage to face life can disappear. There are the little tragedies where we have lost hope for the moment. And there are the big tragedies where we have lost hope period. How do we keep going?

By somebody else’s hopeful story. Somebody else’s recovery. Somebody else’s survival documented. Somebody else’ s dream being lived out, for real. Somebody else who has been there, or is going there, and will take our hand and point the way. That is what can keep us going when we feel we have nothing left to hope for. Another’s experience  and courage can give us strength when we feel that we have none left.

When we start to believe in someone else’s dreams, in someone else’s visions for what can be and for what our lives can be, our own dreams start to return. When we hear or read stories of someone(s) who has been through what we are going through and has made it to the other side, we recognize that we can survive this. We can come through too. There are living examples to point to, and these thriving examples can help pull us back on our feet. If they could do it, if they could believe it, then maybe we can too. And the miracle is that little by little we build back our faith. Faith in ourselves. Faith in humanity. Faith in a higher power. Faith in our future. The kindness and courage of others and their stories can pull you through when your own words are too painful to speak.

The greatest testament to hope? Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” His words inspire and uplift us while also acknowledging how hard life is. We can relate to what he says because it focuses on the unrealized dream of equality. The speech  begins, “I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” Google it. Read it or watch it for inspiration.

Dreams are hopes unrealized. Draw from other’s experiences and other’s courage, from other’s words and other’s hope, to give you back yours. It’s possible.