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Be Your Own Inspiration

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

These are the first few lines of a poem, Desiderata, that I connected to at a very early age when I was struggling with the discomfort and fear as a young teen stepping into my confidence, or lack of. Only recently did I take interest in the man who penned the poem, Max Ehrmann. He was an American poet and writer who began his career as a Harvard educated lawyer. While he wrote this poem in 1927, it only became popular in the early 70s. As I have grown older and explored my own life path, the poet’s life has become a source of inspiration. First of all, he had courage to leave a reputable profession to become a writer. A poet …while a noble profession, not always a lucrative endeavour. Also the poem, which has meant so much to me in my life and has reached out to so many others with its beautiful words and intention, only became popular after his death. So here is a man who had the courage to let go of a solid job for a passion that connected with his soul. And he never experienced the magnitude of his legacy during his lifetime. His poem transcended his physical presence and continues to touch people today. Even today, his words still have the magic to inspire me. For a few moments, take pause to reflect on the wonder of something far greater than my being within the universe. As Ehrmann so eloquently says:

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.

So often we look outside of ourselves for inspiration, as I did with this lovely poem. But in fact, when we take pause, we find the inspiration is within us. I know in this sometimes crazy, hectic world it is so easy to get caught up in the drama and the fear. The fear of not having enough or not being enough. Be we need to step out of the mentality of lacking and into the power of being. There is a reason and purpose for our life. Release fear and allow it to unfold as it should.

As you move through your day today, I invite you to connect with each movement and each breath. Find the strength in your body and your being. It is all you. Whatever your hopes and dreams, whether you’re beginning a journey, continuing a journey or feel as though you are in the midst of a storm, you are here for a purpose. Invite magic and stillness into your life, a greater awareness in body and mind, allow the possibilities to unfold. Be open to learning more about who you are so you can tap into this beautiful awareness every moment of the day.

And most of all remember the last lines of the poem:

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

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Here is the actual poem,

Desiderata

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 to the dull and 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