I often read the poem: Wild Geese by Mary Oliver fairly early on in a Mindfulness Course. The reason is that so many of us find the idea of choosing to accept ourselves just as we are, so radical! Many participants admit that they have been rejecting parts of themselves all of their life, which they have believed are ‘not good enough’ ‘unworthy’ ‘inadequate’ … whatever the story they have often unconsciously adopted.
Maybe, someone told them a long time ago. Certainly, they have been telling themselves ever since. But, the practice of Mindfulness gives people space to see themselves and all around with new eyes.
The practice of Mindfulness nurtures self acceptance, self appreciation and compassion
It is wonderful to witness during the duration of the course how this hard critical self rejecting perception softens and people develop self compassion and an ability to accept and appreciate their own innate perfection and goodness.
It has been my own experience and one of the reasons I enjoy facilitating courses so much…
… more on self compassion to come and in the meantime, here is this wonderful poem:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
from Dream Work by Mary Oliver
This blog was written by Joanne O’Malley, Mindfulness and Compassion. We offer organisational and individual: 1 : 1 Mindfulness Training, Customised Mindfulness Programme and a range of Mindfulness / Compassion Courses.
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