Tag Archives: A Psalm for Life

A Psalm for Life

On days when I am blessed to thoroughly enjoy my morning ritual, before entering the world, I generally delight myself with the benefits of solitude, a nice cup of coffee and a dabble of daily affirmations. My fav usually comes from a second hand book i purchased years ago by Sarah Breathnach titled “Simple Abundance, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy”. I’ve shared pieces of this book, on my blog, before and today I’d like to do the same. Because, as it is relevant to my life and my current state of restlessness… I presume there are others, like me, who may also benefit from these simple words of wisdom…

“Let us, then, be up and doing

With a heart for any fate;

Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait. “

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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“Here, in four lines, is the essence of mystical moxie: the secret to achieving what you want out of your life. Written more than a hundred years ago, this wisdom is as relevant today as when it was penned . This psalm to life is one of my favorite poetry meditations, especially when I’m discouraged because I’m not seeing results as quickly as I’d like to. I know that if you mull over Longfellow’s advice, you’ll receive an emotional and spiritual boost today.

“Let us, then, be up and doing…”

“Dreams are not enough. They must be backed up with effort. Success is as simple and as profound as that. Always remember that striving and struggle precede success, even in the dictionary. We must be doing something about bringing our dreams into the world every day, even if we only have fifteen minutes out of every twenty-four hours to concentrate on our calling. Is there a phone call you can make? A letter you can send? One page that you can write? A mailing list you can get yourself on? Five pages of a book you can read? An organization in your dream field that you can volunteer your way into? You’ll be amazed at the power of fifteen focused minutes.

“With a heart for any fate…”

“Opening our hearts to the possibility of failing is easier said than done. That’s why we have to surrender expectations, delivery details, and the world’s reception to Spirit. Become open to Divine fine-tuning or finishing touches. Birthing a dream is a collaborative effort.

“Still achieving, still pursuing…” 

“As long as you’re actively pursuing your dream with a practical plan, you’re still achieving, even if it feels as though you’re going nowhere fast. It’s been my experience that the very moment I feel like giving up, I’m only one step from a breakthrough. Hang on long enough and circumstances will change, too. Trust in yourself, your dream and Spirit.

“Learn to labor and to wait.”

“This is the most difficult of Longfellow’s suggestions. Most of the time we wait much longer for a dream to manifest itself in our lives than we ever imagined we would have to at its conception. That’s because our concept of time and Spirit’s are not the same. Be extra kind to yourself while waiting, making it as pleasurable as possible. Remember, the longer it takes for a dream to make itself manifest, the more comfortable you’ll feel owning your talent.” -Sarah Ban Breathnach (Simple Abundance, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy)

A Psalm of Life

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow