Joy, Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Interbeing

Today is the shortest day of the year. We are celebrating the Winter Solstice with this lovely prose poem by Jen Louden. It touched me in places that inspire me to tune into my true nature and be my best self.

I first heard of Jen through her Shero’s School For Revolutionaries, which was an online virtual conference that took place September 23-28, 2013. I got on her mailing list and received this lovely poem from her.

This poem combines may themes that have appeared in Meditation Practices for Healing and Well-being. These themes are mindful breathing, joy, gratitude, forgiveness, and interbeing.

I see all the times you followed your desires, without guilt or second-guessing or demanding a particular outcome. Even if only for a few breaths. 

I see all the times you stopped hurrying, played in the field of creative joy, took a nap, flowered with self-kindness.

I see the kisses you savored, the connections you took in, the evanescent beauty of life you let break you open.

I see the days you started with reverence and ended with gratitude.

I see the times you nodded briskly at your fears, said “I hear you; we’ll talk later” and turned away to pick up the pen, the paintbrush, the business plan.

I see all the times you bit your tongue when you wanted to say something cruel, all the times you took a deep, slow breath and found your heart instead of your anger.

I see all the times you softened your heart, forgave yourself, forgave someone else, dropped the grudge, the blame, your defenses.

I see all the times you turned away from comparison and envy at the curated lives parading on the screens that surround you, turned off the din and settled back into your sovereignty.

And all the ways you have allowed life to temper you, faced your shadow with tenderness, dared vulnerability, loved greatly.

The times you dug deep to serve – from the money given when the month was tight to the petition signed to the soup made. Yes, I see that. And yes, it was enough. 

Please imagine us in a circle that stretches – literally – around the globe. We join hands. We do not sing “Kumbaya.” We do, however, look to the right and then to the left. We nod at each other. Maybe we tear up a little. We are, after all, fiercely awesome.

We bow to each person’s fierce desire to be whole and to heal the whole.

We are ennobled by each other.

Thank you, we whisper, thank you. 



Interbeing is the interconnected of us all and Jen expresses this as “a circle that stretches – literally – around the globe.”

What do you think of Jen Louden’s lovely prose poem about joy, gratitude, forgiveness, and interbeing? Please share.

About Jen Louden

Jen Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement with her first book The Woman’s Comfort Book. She’s the author of 5 additional books on well-being and whole living, including The Life Organizer, that have inspired more than a million women in 9 languages. Jen has spoken around the world on self-care, written a national magazine column, and even sat on Oprah’s couch talking about the power of retreats. She believes self-love + world-love = wholeness for all. Visit for fab free goodies and upcoming retreat schedule.

The Woman’s Comfort Book The Life Organizer

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