Desiderata of Happiness

After just watching Morgan Freeman on Oprah’s ‘Master Class’ and hearing him mention some of the lines in this poem, I had to take time to read it in its entirety. Reminds me of Mother Teresa’s ‘Do Good Anyway.’ Wise words from open hearts. ‘Be gentle with yourself’… that line. Another poem comes to mind, Mary Oliver’s ‘Wild Geese’ in which she begins with the line: ‘You do not have to be good.‘ 

Go placidly amidst 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 or 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


There’s a Kind of Hush

My spirit revels in it–the blanket of peace that has fallen over our home. The simple act of putting away the Christmas tree and getting furniture to in its place has brought a natural harmony back into our space. It’s as though I’m breathing it in–a hush, a softness that moves quietly and effortlessly, a presence of the sacred hovering gently. My soul savors this state of being. 

As I felt the title of this post, it began with ‘there’s a hush’ followed by the lyrics “There’s a kind of hush, all over the world tonight”–the energy began to expand outside the walls of my home. I can envision that blanket of peace now surrounding our planet as a mother would embrace and calm her own child. 

The song goes on to talk of ‘lovers in love’ which to me is symbolic of LOVE energy. And what I realize is that love does flourish when we allow her the space to breathe. How easy it is to inject chaos, fear, busy-ness into nearly every moment of our lives. This was the first year I felt strongly some of that crazy, frenetic energy as the holidays approached. Some pieces were left until the last minute as part of my ‘planning’ to wait and shop with my mother-in-law when she came. All I ended up doing was wearing myself down with the RUSH of running around to be sure everything was done. I found myself asking ‘for what?’ While there was good intention behind the actions, the energy dissipated as chaos took control, leaving me certain that next year will bring change. 

As for me, I’ll gladly take the HUSH over the RUSH. And I’m feeling that hush as though it’s channeled directly from the Universe–the greatest gift that follows this holiday season. Over the next several days, in the quiet of my spirit, I’m contemplating our entry into 2012 and my own goals (yes, I said it – GOALS) for moving forward. The ‘No-Comfort Zone’ Challenge remains fresh in my thoughts…I’m excited to step out of my box and feel the stretch of growth. 

My love to you all…xoxo

Just because I love the song, here’s a clip of the Carpenters singing ‘There’s a Kind of Hush.’