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“Every breath we draw is a gift of God’s love; every moment of existence is a grace.” ~Thomas Merton

It was my birthday a couple of days ago, and I took a moment to reflect and count my blessings. (Also got my hair cut, so there’s that.)

And though my knees ain’t what they used to be, one advantage to the passage of years is the ability to sift through more data and identify patterns more quickly and clearly, as well as being more aware of the cyclical nature of life.

I’ve lived long enough to see clients marry, mature, have children and send them off to university, to change jobs, be promoted, lose loved ones, and leave countries.

People I’ve coached, or who’ve attended my programs, or read my books or this blog, are now scattered across the globe.

And many have stayed in touch or reached out when milestones occurred, and so I have been blessed to be able to witness the efficacy of my approach and the impact of my words longer term.

My focus has been on emotional intelligence and personal development and its applications to leadership and I have written a weekly blog for over a decade in an effort to support my clients.

Before that, it was a monthly newsletter for over a decade.

Hopefully, they are words that inspire, inform and uplift; that is my intention.

This week I offer you someone else’s words with the same intent.

One of those previous clients passed this poem along to me. (Thank you Sonja Carr – in the cyclical nature of life, I eventually became her client.)

Written by Chelan Harkin, it strays from the shallows of EQ, personal development and leadership—where our spirit shows up—and ventures into deeper waters of feeling, faith and freedom, where our spirit lives.

And though the words sprang from another’s pen, they reflect a song from my heart.

It’s my birthday week and this is my blog.

I get to post what I want.

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~

The Worst Thing
by Chelan Harkin

The worst thing we
ever did
was put God in the sky
out of reach
pulling the divinity
from the leaf,
sifting out the holy from our bones,
insisting God isn’t bursting dazzlement
through everything we’ve made
a hard commitment to see as ordinary,
stripping the sacred from everywhere
to put in a cloud man elsewhere,
prying closeness from your heart.

The worst thing we ever did
was take the dance and the song
out of prayer
made it sit up straight
and cross its legs
removed it of rejoicing
wiped clean its hip sway,
its questions,
its ecstatic yowl,
its tears.

The worst thing we ever did is pretend
God isn’t the easiest thing
in this Universe
available to every soul
in every breath.


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