Do not lose heart, we were made for these times. —Clarissa Pinkola Estes
It might seem inconceivable to feel joy and gratitude
when so many others are grieving
but I promise you that your happiness
is a great medicine that this world yearns for.
Open your eyes, look around you,
let your heart open and be glad.
The events that cause so much suffering
give you an opportunity to know who you are,
what you stand for,
what is important to you,
what you are capable of,
what you must do.
Let the world’s sadness
awaken the soft spot in your heart
that you may feel compassion for all beings.
Breathe deeply, and let this breath of peace
stream out in all directions
blessing the world with your presence.
It might seem to you otherwise,
especially in moments of crippling doubt—
but you are a magnificent, talented,
powerful, unique, essential part of the whole.
Your job is to be yourself,
because we need your joy to know our own.
Don’t become lost in your grief;
this sadness is one drop in the infinite
ocean of consciousness.
But if you must, let yourself grieve
until you feel the sun on your skin again.
Let your grief open your heart
to the suffering of others.
You are stronger than you know.
My mind is cluttered,
I see nothing that is there.
I am full of misery and regret
over the past I cannot change,
anxiety and urgency
about the future I cannot know.
And then something wakes me up,
snaps me out of it,
out of the dream of temporal reality.
It might be a breeze
or the bright sunlight
or a sound filtering in from outside
or my cat rubbing up against my leg,
but something wakes me up
and suddenly it all becomes clear.
The shapes and lines my eyes perceive
are so crisp and clear
and there is a luminous quality to everything.
It is so simple and so beautiful all at once.
This is it, I realize,
this is my life.
I feel content.
There is nothing to be added or taken away,
I need nothing to feel fulfilled.
This is such a blessed place to be,
no big deal
and the entire universe
all at once.
Enjoy world peace.
It does not need to be created,
it is already here, inside your heart.
No need to search for love…
Look into the faces of your beloveds,
see their eyes shining with love for you.
The labels you place on yourself–
man, woman, black, white,
Christian, Muslim, young old–
these are doors that slam shut
and keep you in a tiny room, confined.
Open the doors and step out of the room,
see the big, wide open world
full of possibility,
full of joy,
full of life.
wherever you are
outside, inside, without, within,
consciously placing attention
wandering mind repeatedly returns
After experiencing multiple interruptions in my sleep last night I woke up feeling tired and directionless. I decided to write my poem instead of complaining about my exhaustion and I’m glad I did; I remembered what is important to me, what is available to me, and what I’m capable of. Here is the NaPoWriMo prompt for today.
You’re gone now,
so I won’t mail this to you,
but you’re everywhere now,
so you’ll read this one way or another.
I miss you.
At the end you were suffering,
and now that you’ve shed your body
you have a lot more freedom, a lot more peace–
I’m happy for you to be free, to be at peace,
but all the same I miss you.
What is it like where you are?
You were a good Catholic woman your whole life.
Is Heaven as you thought it would be?
I’ve tried to be in control
for most of my life
and where has it gotten me?
It doesn’t work,
buying into this illusion of control.
So why don’t I try something else?
What if I could simply surrender?
What if I could free up
the inner resources necessary
to really BE in this world
with my whole heart and mind?
What if I could take in
the beauty of this life
and feel gratitude welling up in my heart,
regardless of the weather
or where I live
or with whom I’m spending my time
or what kind of job I have
or clothes I’m wearing
or car I’m driving?
When all of the layers of illusion drop away
I am left with this Self, pure and simple.
This Self knows that there is nothing to control
in the outer world,
nothing that can be given or taken away.
It sits quietly, witnessing the all,
smiling, flowing into this infinite space
Flip-flops on my feet in February
Sun shines and warms my heart
Learning a new skill
Wholeness within myself
Excited about what I can
make, think and do.
Anticipating fun times ahead
Happy to be here, to be alive
Life as a constant experience
Feeling fulfilled by the day to day stuff
Grateful for my health,
my family, my home,
Wonderful peace in breathing
Wondering what the future holds
Happy to have the option
of remaining present in body mind
Grateful for my teachers
A happy student of life.