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Begin this poetic journey towards a life filled with greater joy and fulfillment by exploring some of life’s bigger questions: What does a meaningful life look like? How do we thrive after trials or tribulations? What practices lead to resilience and wellness?

Through this 30 day poetry collection, Julia Burke distills the essence of these questions as well as the responses gleaned from both experience and theory. Poetry conveys this message with beauty and simplicity as we continue to look for the radiant lights in the midnight sky of our lives.

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Discovering Stories

Stories are powerful things

They ignite our imagination

And lead to new understanding and determination

They show us how others too

Have faced great challenges and pain

They made it through

Yet there are times you go searching the pages

And find you are looking for a story that is not from one of the former ages

You are looking for your own story

Written a few chapters ahead

You are looking for your story

To know things really do turn out in the end

To know even when your strength fails

There’s someone by your side

Even when the rain pours

You’ll keep walking through the tears you’ve cried

Sometimes you need to stop looking and reading

And start observing and writing

Start writing the next chapter in your own book

This is what you may have been looking for all along

This is the story where you most truly belong

It’s hard to be in a story that has not yet been fully written out

There is no quick way to flip to the end and reassure your doubts 

Yet as you hold on to your pen also hold on to this

You are loved

You are cherished

You have something of great merit

To offer this planet

Be it a smile or a small act of kindness

You are here to create a little joy in the mess

You are here rain, sun, snow, or clouds

You are here discovering how

To keep writing your story with a well trained eye

For the moments of gratitude 

That frequently pass each one of us by

Reimagining Mr Right

There are times when I find myself unexplicable upset by another’s behaviour

I’ve come to recognize it is an automatic reaction for not aligning with culturally formed norms that are often best thrown out the door

He is gentle

He is kind

He is trustworthy, reliable and dedicated

One of the most gentle and kind person I have met

I am lucky to have him by my side

I just need to shake off superficial expectations that are often placed on “Mr Right”. And instead hold on with all my might to his genuine character

For truly it is someones character – the real core of the person – that you partner with

Not a title, salary or degree

For we all know people who have those in spades yet lack virtuous character traits

Nor physical traits which shift and vhange with time

True partnership is one of being connected heart soul and mind and that is where character is all intertwined

And so I will cherish his beloved character and learn release my culturally influenced thoughts of how things were “supposed” to be.

And if I may speak to the women for just a moment here, we need to remember we are often fincially self-sufficient.

We need to get rid of this idea of a man as a financial provider and change this to that of one true partner.

Allow the balancing strengths to fall outside the gender norms

To where they naturally form

The goals is to complement each other

And support one another through the storms

So take a little closer look at his heart, soul and mind

Discover someone who is truly gentle and kind

For that is worth more than any gold mine
Update: I recently read the findings of Dr Gottman’s extensive research on  married couples. His major finding – kindness and generosity were the two most important factors in determining whether  a marriage would stay together. 

Check out the article here: https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/372573/ 

Waiting

Waiting is a rather strange experience

You notice things you may not have noticed before

You become more aware of your own feelings and thoughts

You become more aware of what’s working and what’s not

Waiting

Breathe in, breathe out

This is something I could do without 

I Will Sing

I Will Sing

Verse: G C G C F C F C G
Chorus: G C G C F C F C D C G
Bridge: Em D Em D Em D

Verse
I will sing to the morning
I will sing to the evening
Of our lives, of our lives, of our lives
Chorus
Even when life doesn’t turn out quite right
Even when life doesn’t turn out quite as we’d like
I will keep on learning
As this world it keeps on turning
Around, around, around, around, around
Bridge
As this world keeps on turning
I will keep on learning
Plant my feet on ground
Find the goodness to be found
Verse
I will with the laughter
I will sing with tears
I will, I will sing through all my years!

 

Stomping on Stigma 

Stigma exists in  all kinds of forms

Marginalized people are treated with scorn

Those most need of compassion

Are treated with what is a truly shameful reaction

Stigma

It can be tackled in a number of ways 

Often it can be as seemingly simple as giving it a name and a face

For someone to come out and say “I have HIV and yes you can hug me”

“My same sex partner proposed. He gave me a ring and I want people to see”

“I am experiencing depression and I have down days. Even though Im sad, with the right help Ill find my way.”

“I may be old and grey. Don’t forget I have a say. I have lived decades beyond what you have seen. This is about the integrity of my voice. Its about honoring I have a choice.”

Four mini stories of often stigmatized groups in our society 

Those facing challenges with their  physical and mental health

Those of different sexual orientations and senior populations.

We can all do better in stomping on our own stigma, prejudice and distorted views

We can all do better to share stories to reclaim the brilliant lives of those whoe were once marginalized 

Now is the hour

Now is the day

Let’s use our say

To stomp on stigma

And chart a different more compassionate way

Hope springs

Hope springs

Gratitude swells

Thinking clears

As friends draw near

The dreams you thought had disappeared

Are not nearly as distant as you once feared

You breathe more easily now

Alive with the knowledge of how far you’ve come

Knowing you were the one that navigated the turbulent seas

You were the one to gather round a formidable team

You learned the skills and willed yourself forward to live the life you truly want to live

One that gives and receives with such a greater understanding of what it means to be a human being

 

 

Storytelling will never grow old

It is the place where understanding, compassion and renewal unfolds

It is the place where our day to day lives find deeper meaning as we skillfully confide

Share your many stories near and wide so we might all become more courageous and step out of the places we tend to hide

To experience the healing power when compassionate ears hear the stories we bring to light

Resilient Spirit

It is our deepest suffering

Thats plants the seeds of our greatest actions, thoughts and feelings

Yet surprisingly, we are caught off guard when these seeds begin to grow

We became so use to the pain

That the normal day to day

Seems now pleasantly strange

The pain is starting to fade away

It’s without a doubt

When suffering is faced with courage, loving and knowledgable support and strength

There is so much that is gained

Now to just clear out the cob webs

Bring in the harvest

Be free to dance and jest

To live a normal day

And simply say

Thank you

Thank you to the resilient spirit inherent in me and you

Thank you

 

Faithful Furry Friends

DSC_0390 - cropped

Woof woof wag wag bark bark

These furry animals sure can make a place in your heart.

Sit, stay, lay down, high five

Dogs bring a few more smiles to our lives

Then there are their almost vocalized needs

“Let’s go for a walk if you please

Nevermind we just came in the door

I sure would like to go for one more

And is it not that time again

To feed your faithful furry friend?

These ears could sure use some scratching

A tummy rub would be next thing to heaven”

The toys they have these days

Can have you lost in a maze

Toys that go squeek

Toys that spin round

Toys that stay tough

When your dog wrestles them to the ground

Its all worth it at the end of the day

When they’re all done with play

They cuddle up close to your feet

And remind us of the joys we gratefully meet