Go For It

In honor of the new moon tonight, and fresh beginnings, here are three poems (from three incredibly wise and wonderful poets) that inspire me to take bold action in pursuit of my dreams, and to live life fully. May they inspire you as well!

If It Is Not Too Dark

by Hafiz (from I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy /

Renderings of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)


Go for a walk, if it is not too dark.

Get some fresh air, try to smile.

Say something kind

To a safe-looking stranger, if one happens by.


Always exercise your heart’s knowing.


You might as well attempt something real

Along this path:

Take your spouse or lover in your arms

The way you did when you first met.

Let tenderness pour from your eyes

The way the Sun gazes warmly on the earth.


Play a game with some children.

Extend yourself to a friend.

Sing a few ribald songs to your pets and plants—

Why not let them get drunk and wild!


Let’s toast

Every rung we’ve climbed on Evolution’s ladder.

Whisper, “I love you! I love you!”

To the whole mad world.


Let’s stop reading about God—

We will never understand Him.


Jump to your feet, wave your fists,

Threaten and warn the whole Universe


That your heart can no longer live

Without real love!



by Mary Oliver (from Felicity)


There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled.

Like, telling someone you love them.

Or giving your money away, all of it.


Your heart is beating, isn't it?

You're not in chains, are you?


There is nothing more pathetic than caution

when headlong might save a life,

even, possibly, your own.


Don't Go Back to Sleep

by Rumi (from Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks)


The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.


The Freedom of Forgiveness

Forgiveness Is The Cash

Is the cash you need. 

All the other kinds of silver
really buy just strange things. 

Learn from those addicted lovers
of gold and opium - 

they cannot jump high or
laugh long. 

Forgiveness is part of the treasure you need
to craft your falcon wings. 

Everything has its music.
Everything has genes of God inside. 


I’ve been reading The Lotus and the Lily: A 30-Day Soul Program by Janet Conner, which draws from the wisdom of Jesus, Buddha, and the mystics to help you “unveil and create the life you really want.” The book is divided into weeks with different themes: first you look at your past and work on letting go what might be holding you back; then you look toward the future.

On the first day of week three, which focuses on forgiveness, the author quotes the poem above by Hafiz. It really struck me. I want falcon wings! I want to be able to soar high above, unencumbered by anger, resentment, and regret. I’ll be honest—week three, which I’m currently in, is kicking my ass. I never thought of myself as one who holds a grudge, but I’ve come to see that I’ve retained a lot of anger over things that happened in my past, and I’m finding some of it very hard to let go.

Conner talks about having a “dungeon” deep inside us, where we’ve imprisoned all of the people we’re angry with. One of the exercises is to visualize this dungeon, to descend the cold, dark stairs, see who you have jailed, open the cell doors, and let them out. Then fill the space with white light so that it is no longer a dungeon. I was amazed to find who I had trapped down there! People I hadn’t thought of in years! Some were very easy to release. Others, not so much. And then finally, I came to the last, worst cell—and in it was me. Of course! Because at the heart of all I can’t forgive is my own actions, or inactions. All of my judging, criticism, regret, and resentment starts at home, in my head, directed against myself.

If you’re anything like me, you criticize yourself constantly, without even realizing it. We’ve internalized the voices of external figures in our childhood, and now they berate us all the time. I’ve talked about this before, and the need to show yourself compassion and love. Now I really get it. If I can’t stop criticizing myself, I can’t stop criticizing others. If I can’t love myself, I can’t fully love others. If I can’t forgive myself, I can’t forgive others. Conner talks about this in depth, and has some wonderful ideas for achieving self-forgiveness.

It is my goal to get through this week in the book and finally be able to completely forgive myself, and then to be able to forgive everyone else I need to. Because I can feel it holding me back—all this anger, and frustration, and resentment is like a giant black vampire inside me, sucking up my energy. I’m tired of lugging all of that around. I’m ready to release it, to forgive, and to earn my falcon wings so I can soar into 2018.

How about you? Do you have prisoners stashed away inside you? Have you imprisoned yourself? Perhaps it’s time to open those doors and free everyone. I wish for you unconditional self-love, self-forgiveness, and self-compassion. I wish for you the most glorious, healthy, happy, abundant holiday season and New Year you could possibly have. Here’s to the freedom of forgiveness!