“Sing your heart out”

Sky's the limit! (my son, Wil, age 5)

I have this quote written on a piece of paper and taped to my bathroom mirror:

“Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is so easy to get caught up in the “bad” and not see the good. We lose so much time in blame and worry, and use our energy barking at the bad, that all we end up doing is blaming and worrying even more. We can get ourselves so deep in it, that turning our minds to the beauty of good is near impossible.

Ever hear a dog start barking, then the whole neighborhood is full of barks? That is exactly what happens when we bark. Barking is loud and gets attention, and may even scare a few people, but it takes a lot of energy and doesn’t really do much but get people riled up.

I’ve barked before, and it can feel good, it even puffed up my ego for a little while, but it ended up draining me of energy after some time, and it never really got me anywhere. I’m too busy for that, now, and I have three kids to take care of, including one with special needs. Getting my ego riled up is a detriment to them, as my ego is all about my own bark and how good it sounds to me. I no longer give power to my own personal drama or anyone else’s. It is both the most difficult and freeing experience I’ve known.  I have gone on to live my own personal truths, chanting the beauty above my inner barks, and anyone else’s barks.

Do not misunderstand that this is avoidance of the bad, or even arrogance. Quite the contrary. Chanting the good actually staves off those barks, and when we chant the beauty, we are actually humbling ourselves and focusing on the big picture, not our own little world. Chanting beauty, is both an exercise that actually fills you with energy and invites people to chant your song along with you. No one gets riled up, instead they want to join you in your song. They want to help you and walk along with you in your journey.

Of course, there will be some who do not agree with your course of action, because the drama is what feeds them, and you are not participating in it, but if you are chanting the beauty of life, you can be confident you are on the right path and rejection is not a concern. Rejection means nothing to you, as you are confident in your forward movement. It is so freeing to be devoid of rejection and the need to bark.

I have had some firm discussions about my son, Wil, who has Down syndrome. It is a difficult task to keep my bark out of it, especially the conversations I’ve had to have with those close to me. I have written down what I’m going to say to keep on task. But, it is for Wil that I do this, because if I don’t, my ego will take over and I will start to bark. Then it becomes an argument over who is right and wrong, and who barked the loudest, not a progressive discussion about what is best for Wil.

I am not free of problems and turmoil, and it takes a lot of stamina some days to chant the beauty. But, I have had a taste of the freedom it brings me, so I will continue to dig deep to find the energy to chant, and my reward is always to be filled with more energy to sing my heart out.

Here’s to living your life with passion, purpose and delight,


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