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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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Renewing Dreams

Dreams can be battered and bruised

Hopes can be dashed and dettered

Goals can be moved off course

The very aspirations that kept you going can be twisted beyond recognition

Do not forget the origin of your dreams even when others have been surreptitiously mean

The origin of your dreams is always you

Of course you may be inspired by what you see

Yet, you are the point of renewal

Full stop.

Do not let others’ mistakes change the courageous steps you will take

Your dreams are beautiful

Your dreams are worth fighting for and caring for

Your dreams can be held with honor and integrity

You do not have to do this on your own

Don’t be swayed by captivating tales nor misplace doubt upon those whose word has not failed

Share your dreams with those who are true and stand by you through and through and through

Your dreams are yours

Keep your head up and eyes trained as you move forth

Your dreams may not appear exactly as you hold dear

They are worth walking through the fear to hear the song only you can sing

Let it ring and ripple and ring

Pause in the joy your dreams bring

I didn’t fall in love. I chose to be in love.

I didn’t fall in love with you

I choose to be in love with you

When I saw you, I didn’t “just know”

Yet when I saw you I thought some day if we showed up for one another again and again

I knew I could know you were the one for me

Love is a journey

In our first meeting, we planted seeds

Tending them mindfully

Our love is not blind

Our eyes are wide, back straight and hands open

Our love is magical in moments and graciously ordinary in others

He is not always on my mind

Nor am I always on his

Yet we think of each other often – mind, body and soul

Our hands are made for holding, yet they too let go

To pursue our interests, talents and our own unique roads

We are two pillars of a bridge connected by the love, trust and experiences we share

Our love did not just appear from thin air

It is not just about the moment we found our pair

Our love is a journey

It builds as we move forward

As we grow together, learn together, discuss together and weather the weather together

No, we are not pop-cultures magical dream

We are real

We have built our relationship from the ground up

Eyes wide, back straight and hands open

Willing to caste away story tale notions and embrace true love with intention and insight.

Recognizing this means embracing the ordinary at times, the domestic and routine. This phase is often long after the last Hollywood scene.

Yet there is something undeniably beautiful in being embraced after a long day by those same gentle and strong arms. To be kissed goodnight and goodmorning night after night

To live a simple, yet deeply meaningful life

This is the kind of love I’m realizing has arrived

Do Less. Take Time to Rest

So many balls in the air

Sighting, tracking, predicting, feeling, moving

Draining

As the balls are caught and layed in their temporary resting place

Swirling, breathing, grounding, hurting, sitting

It’s strange how it is when you pause that you notice what aches. Of course, I understand the evolutionary case.

Yet, we are in an age where we do not stop

A mom of an infant recently told me she is still busy, yet it is a different kind of busy. It centers on her child, rather the many, many students she was previously teaching.

She was busy and perhaps more significantly she was present

I don’t know how often I can say that. I’m focused on a task and can reach a state of flow. Yet, other times a lot of projects pull my attention. There’s no clear way to go and Im stuck in the paradox of too many choices. I prioritize and push through, yet there’s no doubt it’s a push.

I want to discover the right number of balls to juggle to be focused in the act, challenged by the task and connected to each ball that reaches my hand.

I understand this number is not fixed. It changes with the space and effort I give it.

We have limits and there are cases of too much of a good thing

So let us be mindful of what we are juggling at home, work and play. This old analogy may have new insights to bring.

For one, don’t just “do more”

Do less and take time to rest

Before picking up the balls and skillfully juggling, creating and collaborating once again

Mental Health Advocacy

Today is Let’s Talk Day.
A day dedicated to mental health awareness.
Watch the 2-min video below for your on how we can make changes towards a healthier society for all:
Are you interested in supporting a loved one with their mental health?
Here are a few tips:
1) Listen – really listen. Create a supportive, patient and empathetic space to be with them where they are.
2) Educate Yourself – caring for our mental health is a skill like any other. Use reputable sources to discover evidence-based strategies to improve and support mental health.
3) Research Local Mental Health Supports – not all supports are created equal. There is still more regulation and oversight needed in this area. Yet, the right supports can make all the difference. Research the variety of supports available. Ensure they have the proper credentials and professional affiliations. Remember what is supportive, may not be geared towards “mental health.” Joining the gym, going to a community-oriented club, reconnecting with friends builds up social supports.
4) Have a Growth Mindset – mental health recovery is not linear. Learn alongside your loved one through the ups and downs. It is not static. It requires tremendous personal growth. Be willing to grow alongside them (ex. emotional awareness, personal insight, signs of being well/unwell etc.)
5) Recognize When To Share and When Not To – Don’t try to “fix” or be too quick to give advice. This can alienate others. At the same time, be willing to share when you are concerned, give space for their feedback and try to move forward together.
If you don’t know what to do. Many times just being present and showing you care makes a far greater difference than you think.
Also, there is a Mental Health First Aid training provided by professional and community-based organizations. Check out your local area for upcoming training.

 

Silence

Sitting in silence while two hearts beat can be beautifully gratifying

Yet silence is not always so warm; there can be a chill distance in the air that is hard to give shape or form

Silence is vulnerable and uncertain, yet to a degree, it is a necessity of the paths we are on