The True Meaning of Success

I came across this lovely poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson that reminds us what success really looks like:

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect 

of intelligent people and the affection of children;

to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure

the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty;

to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether

by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; 

to know that one life has breathed easier because you

lived here. This is to have succeeded.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is far less about what we have collected and far more about how we have impacted those around us. It is far less about a focus on the future, and far more about how living a meaningful life affects our present. We can give ourselves permission to seek joy; to find the beauty in the every day.

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Take the Time

What a lovely reminder by Christy Ann Martine that we can take the time to reset our systems through the ever graceful calm of nature:

When your world moves too fast

and you lose yourself to the chaos,

introduce yourself

to each color of the sunset.

 Reacquaint yourself with the earth

beneath your feet.

Thank the air that surrounds you

with every breath you take.

Find yourself in the appreciation of life.

– Christy Ann Martine

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A Reminder About Invincibility

I have noticed that during this pandemic, there is an ebb and flow to the attention we must give to Covid-19. We face a change, settle in for the ‘long haul,’ and then we are faced with another change. Those are the times when heightened feelings are up and you can feel a palpable shift in anxiety. With children returning to school in the next couple of weeks, we are in such a state. Decisions have to be made, differing opinions flood social media; we feel braced for the numbers to go up.

I came across this poem by Albert Camus that gives us a reminder about the strength we have within ourselves:

In the midst of hate, I found there was

within me, an invincible love.

In the midst of tears, I found there was,

within me, an invincible smile.

In the midst of chaos, I found there was,

within me, an invincible calm.

I realized, through it all, that in 

the midst of winter, I found there was,

within me, and invincible summer.

And that makes me happy.

For it says that no matter how hard 

the world pushes against me,

within me, there’s something stronger –

something better, pushing right back.

– Albert Camus

The world these days often feels as though it is pushing against us. With our invincibility, we can push back 🙂

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A Poem about New Beginnings

To compliment yesterday’s post on beginnings and endings, this lovely prose by Lang Leav is entitled “New Beginnings.”

New Beginnings

If I have learned anything this year, it is that I won’t ever be ready for what life throws at me. I won’t have the right words when it counts; I won’t know what to choose when fate itself is staring me down. But now I know I don’t always need to have the right answer.

I’ve learned I can go on waiting for something, sustained by hope and nothing more – or I can put it aside and shrug my shoulders. Bravely accept the fact that I can’t keep my heart safe any more than I can stop love from taking everything from me.

I have learned to stop saying yes when I don’t mean it – to live as authentically as I know how. To allow the tips of my fingers to skirt the darkness, as long as I remember to keep my eyes fixed on the light. And as one door opens and another closes, I will move forward with the knowledge that unlike so many others, I have another year ahead of me – another shot at making it all the way around the sun, and a chance to get it right this time. 

Lang Leav

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A Little Reminder About the Joy of Seeking Adventure

I can remember the adventures of my childhood; exploring the back fields and woods with my sister, building forts among the thorn bushes, playing by the ‘big pond’ – racing over to the tracks to watch a train barreling by. Each adventure had a story.

When I came across this poem, it was a lovely reminder of the joy that comes when we seek adventure:

Little one remind me 

how to run again barefoot

through the pathless woods.

Show me where the fairies 

hide messages in curled 

up maple leaves.

Show me treasures,

rocks and feathers,

frogs that beckon us

forward, forward through the

curling grapevine.

Lead me under a moon

that is as full as 

our pockets

past chicory & mushroom rings

down, down to the river

where I can see myself

as if for the first time

peering back at me.

– Nicolette Sowder

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3 Quotes to Build Resiliency

Yesterday’s post concluded by talking about growth, strength and courage – three components of resiliency. Today’s post celebrates each one of these with a quote:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” – William Faulkner

When we build resiliency, we are not avoiding adversity. As it graces our doorstep, we compel our strength and courage to do the best we can; in life’s challenges we find growth.

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The Wisdom of Shel Siverstein

One of my girls’ favourite childhood books was “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. I came across this poem by him that, although most likely written for children, is also a good reminder to everyone as to how to be good citizens:

Ations

If we meet and I say, ‘Hi,’
That’s a salutation.
If you ask me how I feel,
That’s consideration.
If we stop and talk a while,
That’s a conversation.
If we understand each other,
That’s communication.
If we argue, scream and fight,
That’s an altercation.
If later we apologize,
That’s reconciliation.
If we help each other home,
That’s cooperation.
And all these actions added up
Make civilization.
(And if I say this is a wonderful poem,
Is that exaggeration?)

– Shel Siverstein

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Advice From a Tree

I came across this lovely poem by Ilan Shamir that reminds us about the healing experience of nature:

Advice From a Tree

Dear Friend

Stand Tall and Proud

Sink your roots deeply into the Earth

Reflect the light of your true nature

Think long term.

Go out on a limb

Remember your place among all living beings

Embrace with joy the changing seasons

For each yields its own abundance

The energy and birth of spring

The growth and contentment of summer

The wisdom to let go, like leaves in the fall

The rest and quiet renewal of winter.

Feel the wind and the sun

And delight in their presence

Look up at the moon that shines down upon you

And the mystery of the stars at night

Seek nourishment from the good things in life

Simple pleasures

Earth, fresh air, light.

Be content with your natural beauty

Drink plenty of water

Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes

Be flexible

Remember your roots

Enjoy the view!

 

– Ilan Shamir

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Light woven and Beautiful

A lovely quote from Morgan Harper Nichols:

“I hope
you are able
to remember
what was Light-woven
and beautiful.
I hope
you are able to see
to remember what was,
and carry the goodness
that you will never forget
in the direction
of what is to come.”
― Morgan Harper Nichols

We have the ability to let others see our light; to brighten a dark path so as to experience the future of where we are going. Sometimes, we may surrender our faith when the weight of the world gets heavy. It is, perhaps in those very moments, we must carry the goodness – that which is light woven and beautiful.

Thank you Morgan Harper Nichols for the reminder. 🙂

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Children Learn What They Live; A Classic

Dorothy Law Nolte wrote this poem in 1954. An American writer and family counsellor, she was a mother of 3 and believed in positive parenting. The classic poem is a good reminder that by our own choices we have an impact on our children:

Children Learn What They Live
– Dorothy Law Nolte
 
 
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
 
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
 
If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.
 
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
 
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
 
If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
 
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
 
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
 
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
 
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
 
If children live with security,
they learn to have faith in themselves and others.
 
If children live with friendliness,
they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
To visit the website that her children created in her memory: https://childrenlearnwhattheylive.com/
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