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Real Self-Care: Poetry

This post is part of a month-long series on Real Self-Care for world-changers. It’s about the experimentation: figuring out what works for you and following your heart. Simple, messy and everything in between. Self-care should be custom, intuitive, feasible and kind – to serve your actual life.

Poetry: healing words

Today’s real self-care practice is simple: find words (or whole books!) that inspire and nurture you, and keep them close by. I was a poetry major, so my interests skew toward poets like David Whyte, Joy Harjo, Mary Oliver, Rumi, Khalil Gibran and Billy Collins. (Plus many more.) I also enjoy texts on yoga philosophy, Buddhism and Tao.

I keep at least a handful of these on my bedside table, so when I’m winding down before bed or relaxing there in the afternoon, they’re easily accessible. These dog-eared, worn copies with faint pencil underlining are dear companions and provide what I consider essential emotional support. They are reminders of what I believe in my core: that we are all one, that love rules, and that joy and awe (even in the midst of grief) are possible.

Poetry may not be your “thing,” per se, but I urge you to find books, quotes or passages that can serve as guide-posts for difficult times. What will you want to remember when you feel the heaviness of your work? Find words that provide that.

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