September 6th, 2018
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Victoria Magazine PumpkinPhoto Courtesy of Victoria Magazine

When I recently flipped my desk calendar over to the month of September, I also looked back to the previous summer months and the multitude of handwritten notes that were scattered on and around the pages reminding me about appointments and things to do.

While I didn’t get as much accomplished during Summer as I had thought I would, I made pretty good progress.

I’m sure I’m not alone in finding that projects don’t evolve as quickly or as easily as you would like them to.  There always seems to be unexpected steps that pop up and things just don’t happen in a straightforward way.  I thought technology was supposed to make our lives easier but to me that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Other roadblocks to getting started can be feelings of self-doubt or fatigue that can take over and make you lose your focus.  You just don’t have your mojo working the way you want it to so you keep putting stuff off, procrastinating and then the thing  ends up getting delayed.  Or a friend or relative might get sick or needs your help and people always take priority over anything else going on in life.

Life comes at us fast these days and staying focused can be hard.

There is a lot going on in the world, in your neighborhood and in your family and it’s a struggle to keep your energy and attention on the the things that matter.  Negativity and coarse junk competes for our attention and it’s draining to constantly tune it out.  Our brains can feel fried by the rapid pace of competing thoughts and that’s when it needs to find a quiet place to gain strength.

Poems can help guide your soul through troubled times.  I recently discovered the beautiful piece of prose featured below, Desiderata by the American writer, Max Ehrmann and wanted to share it with you.

It is loaded with inspiration and lovely thoughts.  Reading Desiderata resets my mood, helping me feel refreshed and ready to get going.  May it fill you with hope, tranquility and positive feelings!



By Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.


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One Response to “Staying Focused”

  1. Debbie smith

    Mary Kate, I loved Desiderata back in high school days!! When you included it, I was so happy to read it again. It had not come across my radar in forever. Thanks for making my day!


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