Be Excessively Gentle with Yourself.

I’m sitting here in my office, bathed in the cool light of winter. The winds are howling outside, lifting the powdery snow high in the air. Now and then I swear I see a dancing, white fairy, but she quickly disappears with the next strong gust.

I’ve just finished readying our house for a family gathering – a Christmas party postponed when my dad became ill just before the holidays. I’m relieved and happy to say that he’s doing better and I’m looking forward to having all of us here later today.

My first thought when I woke this morning was, “I’ll never get everything done today.” But then I closed my eyes, took a slow, deep breath, and reached for a new thought:

“I have all the time I need for everything that matters.”

One of my projects was to complete this blog. As I thought about what to write, I checked email and discovered that my good friend, Nanna, sent a poem written by one of my favorite poets – John O’Donohue.

As soon as I finished reading it, I knew I wanted to share it with you. It captures so well the journey of coming home to ourselves after doing too much.

So sit back, take your own slow, deep breath, and let John’s words flow through you like music. And if you haven’t read his books, I suggest you give yourself a treat. Every single one is delicious.

I especially love his book called, Beauty.

Enjoy the magic of his words...

A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted

From To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The time you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.
You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of the
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

This Week's Video

Here’s a short TED talk filled with poetry that leads to self-love.  You can watch it here.  Thanks, Gae!


stepaniehlmt 20th February 2015 10:37 am

This poem resonated so deeply I felt like I couldn't catch my breath.....The timing was profound as I felt like I was lost with no sense of if I could recover from where I find myself. Thank you for sharing this! !

cyndy 20th February 2015 1:17 pm

Spirit Library is having some synchronicity with John O'Donahue. I just looked up his Beannacht Blessing after Zorro commented on the book Anam Cara and left a quote. Now Cheryl posts another of his poems. And my new favorite is:
“Beannacht / Blessing

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.”
? John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Thanks to all for this wonderful deliciousness.

Spirit Library 20th February 2015 1:56 pm

Yes, Cindy... it is a wonderful synchronicity! We realized it only when we picked this message to go up today...

All thanks to Zorro .... :)

Deeni 20th February 2015 4:47 pm

Thank You for sharing, Cheryl.

From raising a child who is 13 now, running a business for 17 years, palliative care for 2 Moms for 22 years, self-litigating for 4 years in a useless attempt to keep our home from banksters, relocating Moms to retirement homes, and retrieving stolen software code from a former client . . . to this poem.

I am still processing, and when I look for the me I use to be . . .

Just when I feel it is all too much, I let go, and let God.

Thank You God.

Merry Christmas to You and Yours, Cheryl.

Much Love, Light, and Inner Peace to All. : )


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Author Information

Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including, Take Time for Your LifeLife MakeoversStand Up for Your LifeThe Unmistakable Touch of GraceThe Art of Extreme Self Care, You Can Create an Exceptional Life with Louise Hay, and her new book, Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife.

Books from Cheryl Richardson

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Turning Inward (Journals) Cover image
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