I wrote this poem five years ago, when I turned 50. I read it when I spoke at the New Emanuel Minyan last week about my decision to leave Temple Emanuel at the end of June 2011, and pursue my deep interest in Jewish spiritual development. I will post my article which discussed the spiritual process I went through to make this decision soon.
Many people asked for the poem, so here it is.
Do not be afraid of giving your all,
Find friends who bring out the best in you, who make you laugh, even at yourself…
Accept your body,
Love and take care of yourself.
Create your own image of what and who is beautiful, worthy, and good enough,
Trust what you know to be true.
Leave a legacy of your best gifts – whatever they are, whoever you are,
Create your own dreams; and cling tenaciously to them.
Be the best at being yourself.
Only spend time with people who love your uniqueness, who laugh at your jokes, and who forgive your idiosyncrasies.
Protect those who are less strong, or who have little power…
Take risks, smell every flower (unless you have allergies…)
Bless the hummingbirds, notice the trees swaying in the wind, and the fragrance wafting through the air, stop running so fast…
love the process of growth and renewal.
Notice how death turns to life –
Pay attention to the voice in your heart…
Do not be afraid of failing, or looking stupid –
Know that if you don’t know something, others will be happy you spoke up.
Be willing to say, I’m sorry, I was wrong, and I’ll work on it. Then do it.
Put everything you have into a partnership that grows,
Be willing to walk through the pain – not around it.
Trust yourself. Listen deeply. Live with no regrets…
Believe in grace.
Say blessings every day. Be a blessing.