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A Chance to Pause and Breathe

gallery and poetry below to help soothe the soul

Some thoughts or reminders on how to take care of you...

Taking care of self...

Kindness, compassion, self care, acknowledge self, stay in contact.  Listen to music.  Think positively.  Create a gentle mantra...

Taking care of parts of self...

Lots of reassurance, lots of listening to parts.  Offer warmth and hope.  Taking time to be with any worried parts.  Slow down.  Be with.

Taking care of body...

Gentle movement, walk or exercise, lengthen spine.  Spend time outside in the countryside or garden if it is safe to do so.  Eat healthily, drink plenty of water and rest...

Extra care, be aware...

Introduce or extend mindfulness practice.  Notice self, notice your behaviour and habits, notice your posture, notice sensations, notice and take care of your emotions.  Be creative, use your time as positively and as playfully as you can, watch a fun movie, do some colouring, paint, create, make.  Read a book...something hopeful and helpful.

Connect with others either to offer support or to ask for support.

Make your own self care list or routine...

And go gently...


A selection of poems below which may offer comfort, curiosity

hope and inspiration...

Safe and well copy.jpg


To Journey


Those dark places,

you must pass through them, child.

The warrior will guide you.


You must not allow fear to stop you.

For this fear; this fear has already passed.


Don’t you see?

You have passed this way before?


This time. These travels.

They can be observed.


Hold tight child!

Allow the darkness to flow through you.


Some storms.

They are greater than others.

You’ll see.


You must keep going.

For it is beautiful here.


Sue Berry



For a New Beginning


In out of the way places of the heart
Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.


For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.


It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this.


Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.


Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of new beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.


Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

John O’Donohue




Hope hangs from a leaf like a droplet of dew,

hope scatters the leaves from a broom or a shoe.

Hope lands on a lily pad like a frog or a newt

and flies in the wind like a red parachute.


Hope whispers in the trees

brings us to our knees.

It lights up our dreams and

it shines ‘til it gleams.

It breaks us and makes us, and

tears us in three, it shakes us

and grates us and holds onto me.


And we wait and we shiver and we beg it to stay…

and hope stands at the door and

it bids us good day.


Then it stands

and it waits….

‘Til we ask it to stay.


 Sue Berry


I Rise


You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.


Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.


Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I'll rise.


Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?


Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don't you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.


You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.


Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I've got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?


Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.


Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

 I rise.

Maya Angelou


What if There is No Need to Change?


What if there is no need to change?

No need to transform yourself

Into someone who is more compassionate, more present, more loving, or wise?

How would this affect all the places in your life where you are endlessly trying to be better, or different?

What if the task is simply to unfold

To become who you already are in your essential nature –

Gentle, compassionate,

and capable of living fully and passionately present?

What if the question is not,

Why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be?

But ‘why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?’

How would this change what you think you have to learn?

What if becoming who and what we truly are happens not through striving and trying

But by recognising and receiving the people and places and practices

That are for us the warmth of encouragement we need to unfold?

How would this shape the choices you make about how to spend today?

What if you know that the impulse to move in a way that creates beauty in the world

Will arise from deep within

And guide you every time you simply pay attention

And wait.

How would this shape your stillness, your movement,

Your willingness to follow this impulse

To just let go

And dance?


Oriah Mountain Dreamer




Look, look at me,

Eyes that burn like coal

seeing into your soul

as you shiver and turn away,

enveloped in fear.


Fidgeting, fighting,

busy, tired.

Pushing, ignoring,

too much,

too little.


Too many excuses.

Not even knowing.

Where are you?

When did you lose

this moment?

This breath?

 This being with?

Look, look at me.

Eyes that invite you in.





How did it get to this?

Too scared to be. 

Too busy to sit,

and watch the sun

as it rises?

Melting the morning dew,

one droplet at a time.


Look, look at me.


Sue Berry


Hope is the thing with feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Emily Dickinson

The Place Where We Are Right

From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.

The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.

But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.

Yehuda Amichai



A Thousand Stars


Who knew that underneath the darkness

lay such delicate slivers of crystal?

Glistening with a clarity that blinds

all but the bravest explorer.


Layers overlapping layers.

Taunting me with hope and longing.

Both elusive and seductive

in their bid to claim every part of me.


The light continuous and inviting

encourages me to delve into their depths

Deeper and deeper

And yet deeper still.


One by one I explore and examine.

Twisting and turning I study their intricate patterns.

As gradually the slivers connect.

Like a child’s jigsaw,

with far too many pieces.


And there they expose their delicate beauty

That echoes within.

Bursting to explode 

into a thousand stars…


Sue Berry


I  had a paint box

I had a paint box, each color glowing with delight.

I had a paint box with colors warm

With colors cool and bright.      

I had no red, red for wounds and red for blood.
I had no black for an orphaned child.
I had no white, for the face of the dead.
I had no yellow for burning sands.

But I had a paint box, each color glowing with delight.
I had a paint box with colors warm,
With colors cool and bright.

I had orange for joy and life. 
I had green for buds and bloom.
I had blue for clear bright skies.  
I had pink for dreams and rest.

I had a paint box, each color glowing with delight.
I sat down and painted peace.

Words by Tali Shurel – 13 years old



Just waiting


Imagine if butterflies were too scared

to stretch their wings and explode

into the bright shining sky?


A caterpillar tightly cocooned

Never again to feel the breath of air,

or the lightness of day.

How many stolen opportunities

would be missed?


No chance to marvel at the flowers growing wildly

Or time to dance.

No delightful explosion of colour

Or declaration of beauty

No careless abandon,

nor exclamations of “Look at me!”


Just imagine such a world where a caterpillar

is too scared to ever leave the safety of home?

Instead to remain in the cover of darkness.

Never to evolve.

Blindly unaware of the light that awaits them.


What might they miss?

Not knowing that if they were to stretch 

Just a little

there is a world outside...

Just waiting.

Sue Berry

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