Three weeks at Yandara Yoga Center in Baja Mexico have once again broken my heart wide open, A friend mentioned the Desiderata and I remembered how I appreciated it years and years ago. I share it with you now during this holiday season. May you find an oasis of calm amidst the activity, and  may we share gifts of love and compassion with all.

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.

by Max Ehrmann, written 1927.


14 thoughts on “Desiderata

  1. J

    Thanks for reminding me of this. I remembered it as a “pop” radio hit in the 1970s, but my mother internalized it and framed a copy of it to hang at home, so it has influenced me at least indirectly for most of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, J. I remembered the Leonard Cohen recording as well. I also remember having a copy of it on some apartment wall. I am glad you enjoyed it. Good words to make part of our lives.


  2. Gloria Esenwein

    Julianne, I too had a copy of this on my wall when I was in my 20s, finishing student teaching, moving to Cincinnati, from Bloomington, IN, via Indianapolis. It is beautiful and so true. Love it that you have posted it. Congrats on finishing another “part” of your yoga training and all it has given you!
    Love and Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

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