Studies have shown that writing down thoughts and inspirations of gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to make us feel happier and to create more meaningful and joyful experiences in our lives. By expression gratitude on a regular basis, the impact can last for months and deepen one’s own well being.
A few months ago, I was part of a creative writing class; a community of writers from around the world. We had weekly assignments where we would critique, inspire and empower each other. Our last assignment was to imagine ourselves living to the ripe age of 110.
Knowing that we were nearing the end of our life, we were to write an encomium –
an expression of high praise for the life we had lived.
We were not only sharing our life, (as well as what we imagined our future life would look like and be) but we were also expressing gratitude for all the experiences; the many colors of joy, sorrow, elation and anguish because all of our experiences have their lessons to teach us. Give it a try and notice where you feel more joyful in your life and subsequently, more at peace.
I chose to write my encomium in the form of a poem. Enjoy!
Firefly they call you
Lighting up the night
Your tender belly illuminating your flight
What a majestic tapestry you are weaving
Of a well lived life.
Shine on, sweet one. Shine bright.
As you grew more curious, the seeker that you are
You reach high through the treetops to the glittering stars
And when the turmoil within your family seemed too great to bear
I gently murmured to your aching wounds –
Take heart, dear one. Take care.
The chaos of the world grew louder
At times, you were distraught
But you kept listening, hearing my voice
You, a Phoenix rising
Continued to soar.
Fly on, free spirit. Fly on.
Building bridges beyond borders
Your conviction and joy unbound
An ambassador of peace; your mission discovering and creating
Compassion for common ground.
Lead on, gentle one. Lead on.
As your tapestry of light flourishes
A splendor of colors and deep, sumptuous hues
Your weaving strands connecting others
Their light shining with you.
You raise your voice for others
Standing with them in unity; their time long overdue
Honoring them with your actions and words
You stand for their truth.
Stay strong, dear one. Stay strong and true.
And even when doubt would cloud your mind
You remembered the riches of being alive
Were the experiences that cannot be changed
With the passing of time.
The thoughtful conversations with your father, hours on end
Mom tending to her garden and your child’s first grin.
Gentle kisses from your lover under a shooting star
And cool summer raindrops caressing your warm skin —
Yes, these are the moments you will remember by far.
Remember, kind one. Remember and rejoice on.
Your love ones now encircle you
With heartfelt messages and tearful farewells
Your eyes fixated towards the heavens
You know it’s your time
You know this all too well.
For your grand life is before you
Luminous and dazzling
A blazing fire in the evening night
It comforts and soothes, it radiates and glows
As you say your last goodbye
And as your tapestry continues to unfold,
Its fiery embers float towards the infinite sky
I stroke your silvery, long mane of hair
Whispering sweetly in your ear
One last time.
Thank you dear love, for this glorious tapestry of your life.
Thank you dear love, for shining so bright.
Peace, love and blessings,