Brave and Startling Truth: We are the Miraculous

This big news is confirmed:

Every interaction changes your brain.

When author Roger Housden claims that a poem can change your life, he is speaking the truth. Reading anything changes your brain. How do you want your life to change? How do you want your world to change? In the short film “Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks”, director Tiffany Shlain narrates a journey illustrating how every interaction changes our brains.

Repeatedly thinking about your intentions and deciding on your actions is a form of mental training that helps keep your attention on what you are bringing to life. Reading your self-care intentions and following your plans on a daily basis acts like water flowing, dissolving barriers and spilling over dams to continue your journey. In her book “Train your Mind, Change your Brain”, author and researcher, Sharon Begley shares the research studies on mindfulness showing that mental training alters brain circuits. Mental training can change self-perception. With mental training it becomes easier to reappraise your self-talk.

With mental training and attention change is much, much easier. One simple change will have a ripple effect. Because I wanted to enrich my thoughts and revitalize my connection to Earth and Spirit I decided to adopt a daily morning self-care practice of reading The Celtic Spirit ~ Daily meditations for the turning year. This simple choice rippled into livelier and richer conversations with my family. What do you read to strengthen your spirit and sense of connection?


Poet Maya Angelou wrote this life-changing masterpiece in honor of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.
When you read this poem notice what changes in you. As an exercise read it everyday for a week and journal your thoughts and feelings. Rereading your journal will give you insights and confirm that “every interaction changes us.” Self-care is being mindful of this reality.

A Brave and Startling Truth

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.
-Maya Angelou

May we each come to it for our children and the lives and families of those who have made it possible for us to live as we do.


Care for Our Wounded Warriors



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