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Poetry and literature is often inspirational and motivational.. The following are  part of an inspirational-motivational poem collection used in a mindfulness based stress reduction training I attended at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. (circa 1995) that Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn headed up.  Enjoy!!!

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around tou kept shouting their bad advice-

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their meloncholy was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen branches and stones.

but little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do-

determined to save

the only life you could save

-Mary Oliver, from Dreamwork

 

 

LOST

 

Stand Still.  The trees ahead and the bushes beside you

Are not lost.  Wherever you are is called Here,

And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,

Must ask permission to know it and be known.

The fprest breathes.  Listen.  It answers,

I have made this place around you,

If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.

No two branches are the same to Wren.

If what a tree or bush does is lost on you,

You are surely lost.  Stand still.  The forest knows

Where you are.  You must let it find you.

Arrangement by David Wagner

Cited in The Heart Aroused, by David Whyte

The Guest House

 

This being human is a guest-house

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visiator.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture.

Still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you

out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door, laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond

-Say I Am You poems of Rumi

Translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks

Maypop 1994

Love After Love

 

The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet ypurself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other’s welcome

and say, sit here.  Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was yourself.

Give wine.  Give bread.  Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you have ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desparate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit.  Fest on your life.

-Derek Walcott

THE SUMMER DAY

 

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I’ve been doing all day.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

From: The House of Light  – by Mary Oliver

WILD GEESE

 

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mione.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebblesof the rain are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile, the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-

over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

From: Collected Poems -by Mary Oliver

 

Until one is committed there is always hesitancy,

the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

concerning all acts of initiative and creation,

there is one elementary truth,

the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence

moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help that would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision,

raising to one’s favor all manner of unforeseen accidents and meetings

and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.

Whatever you do or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Goethe

Balance and Power - Eileen Lichtenstein - HALF

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Do you like to “vent” your negative emotions?

Many people think that expressing anger is healthy-minded and relieves their feelings. Not often so. Studies show that expressing anger only aggravates it.  I’’ve found this to be true, for myself and for clients. Often anger (a natural emotion) can be ended by silence.  Many, when they “get going” can escalate rapidly  into a fury. It’s better to behave calmly and  communicate effectively when time passes.

A large section of  the “Anger Management” curriculum is MBSR: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, which includes relaxation breathing, guided meditation and progressive muscle relaxation.  Discussing anger challenges with a professional and keeping a log of incidents and your reactions reveals patterns and triggers that can be reversed.  EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) helps too!

You may contact me for a 15 minute FREE consult.  516 623 4353  www.balanceandpower.com 

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