Poem: This Morning, I Smiled #NaPoWriMo 20

Last night, I was happy when my head hit the pillow

This morning, I smiled when the sun hit my window

And I whistled as I started my day

Then people said what people will say

Then the inevitable challenges came my way

I laughed and said, Oh Hey!

You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!

I still haven’t learned this??


I will someday

Thank you

You relentless Way

Then I saw pain and horror

And I let it in

I held it tight

And let it be

And I took a small step

To make it right

I walked with a friend

We talked and then

It was night

And when I laid my head down

And turned off the light

I knew

That was a good day

And good days


A good life

I stretch and I yawn

And see another day gone

And I smile

As my head hits the pillow




About the poem:

Of all the things we learn, why aren’t we taught how to have a good life. Not how to chase a good life. Not how to make money or gain power. But how to have a single good day, every day, and thus, voila, a good life! (ps It requires no money, no special training, no friends, no good luck, no religion.)


About the poet:

Joan Gregerson is author of Tuning In to Inner Peace: The Surprisingly Fun Way to Transform Your Life.


Poem: Steps to Peace (NaPoWriMo 11)

2012-12-01 Gaksan Hike (7)

oh no! oh my god! pathetic!
holy shit! those idiots!
accusations bounced off the sidewalk
and the street
and inside my skull

i know i must get out and walk
but panic is my place of birth
it’s hard to go

even though i resist
i pull my boots on
And i open the door
one step then another

Within seconds
the ranting disappears
one step then another
one step then another
one step then another



About the poem:

I’m lucky that I get to walk most Sunday mornings. I do it because I’m addicted to it and my friend is waiting so I go. But sleep and laziness always tempt me to skip it. I go mostly because I feel crappy when I don’t, and I feel much better when I do.

This is a fascinating article about how hiking reduces obsessive thinking and depression and how urban living increases it. Word!



Upcoming classes in Denver at Violet Hive Art Therapy & Healing:

Wednesday Wellness Workshops

Poem a Day Writing Workshop

One World Wellness

…it’s wellness time!…

We’ll work for Peace! …how Inner Peace and World Peace are linked #PeaceDay


The news is full of people suffering from violence around the world, as well as in our own towns and neighborhoods. It seems hopeless, but it’s not.

I recently watched the Nelson Mandela movie, Long Walk to Freedom. Two things really impressed me:
1 – He is living proof that one person really can make a difference, and
2 – This was the case even though he spent 27 years in prison.

On watching, I realized that the prison experience did not ruin his life, as most of us would expect a nearly three-decade prison sentence to do. Instead, it was critical in developing his ability to withstand pain, injustice and humiliation, and still maintain compassion. That time likely gave him the depth of character to choose peace then and as he led South Africa to overturn apartheid. But, being peaceful does not mean being passive. Mandela did not sit idly, quietly. He continued to fight for justice but even as others called for violence, he consistently chose peace.

The message here is that if we want to become powerful forces for peace in our world, we must deepen our ability to remain calm and hopeful. From that place, we can speak clearly and advocate for justice. Let’s not wish for easy lives. Instead, let’s appreciate those experiences that strengthen our ability to be unwavering in peace. Let’s learn about being peaceful, and let’s teach it.

That’s what the 29-Day Inner Peace Experience is all about! If you’ve already signed up, THANK YOU! So far, we have registrants from Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Denmark and beyond so we’re already have a world peace gathering!

If you haven’t registered, you are welcome to sign up today for this free eCourse. You’ll get 29 mini-lessons that will help you become aware of your state of inner peace, and improve your skills for keeping your cool, no matter what.

Here’s the link for more info:

Thanks for taking time to consider world peace, with a hopeful heart. What will we do to celebrate the International Day of Peace on September 21,
2014? We’ll work for peace!

Peace hug!

p.s. Can I contribute as a guest on your blog? Can I speak to your group? Would you like to interview me on your podcast or radio show? Book me! Email joan (at) positiveenergyworks.com. Thanks!

p.s.s. If you want to share your thoughts on socia media, please use hashtag
#29DayPeace. Find me on twitter at https://twitter.com/joangregerson or http://Facebook.com/JoanGregerson

#IAmPeace Join the 29-Day Inner Peace Experience #PeaceDay

It’s tempting to give up on the idea of World Peace. As a small child, you knew it was possible. It is. And it begins with each of us being able to maintain Inner Peace. From there, anything’s possible.

Join me to deepen your focus on peace. With 29 days of inspiration delivered to your inbox, we can together build toward the goal of creating a Culture of Peace. You’ll receive a daily nugget: a quote, journaling prompt, poetry, short video or a tip or trick to help you learn to be calm and content. Each lesson is based on a chapter in my book, “Tuning In to Inner Peace.”

The series will run from August 24 until the International Day of Peace September 21.

I was having technical challenges when I posted this link earlier. (Apparently, I followed Marie Forleo’s advice to “start small and sucky”!) Sorry for any confusion with that and thanks for your patience. I think it’s now working but if you experience any difficulties, just drop me a line at joan (at) positiveenergyworks.com

This will be fun! Shall we? And bring a friend! FREE and open to all. (Free for all!?! Sure, why not!)

The 29-Day Inner Peace Experience with Joan Gregerson

Poem: Just Happy

2013-09-29 Boulder County Views Mountains (4)

I’m just happy
To live here
I’m just happy
To have good work to do
I’m just happy
Thinking about my friends
I’m just happy
Thinking about my family
I’m just happy
When I look out the window
I’m just happy
When I step outside
I’m just happy
When I wake up in the morning
I’m just happy
When I turn out the light
I’m just happy

About the poem:
I’ve traveled around a lot, and changed jobs and homes a lot. It’s easy to arrive somewhere and be dissatisfied. In my experience, while some situations are better than others, in general, everywhere has its advantages and disadvantages. The ability to be just happy today is an art form worth perfecting.

So many people complain about their jobs, and every aspect of their lives. Let’s find jobs we love and enjoy our work and our lives.

It doesn’t mean that we might not choose something different for our future, but that’s another issue. To be just happy with your day is something people rarely do. Then their whole life passes by. Today, I’m just happy. How about you?

This is not a silly little thing. This is it.

Ok, and I’ll admit that today was so gorgeous, it was easy to love!

Poem: No One to Fight


I spent my life
Quick to fight
Trying to be right

I was a Jedi warrior
Looking for battles,
Day and night

But now
I’m sure
There is no one to fight

The real battle
The only way to win
Is always within

The peace of the warrior
The peace of the winner
Is the peace within

Now I’m sure
There is no one to fight

About the poem:

The problems in our world, are a magnification of the problems of each of us as individuals. If I can not make peace in my family, and in my work, and in my heart, how can I make peace in the very, oh so complicated world. We must become the Jedi of a peaceful heart if we want to be powerful warriors for good in the world.

Poem: Steep Spires

2013-09-22 Cathedral spires

The steep spires
The stained glass
The carved statues
The old books
The unhappy people
Posed questions
They couldn’t answer

When all along
The answers I sought
Were in a patient part
I simply needed
To unlock the lock
And listen quietly
To a peaceful heart

About the poem:
I don’t have a religion, but if I did, it would probably be Buddhism. I like the idea that the main goal is to control your mind so that you can get out of your own way, and let the divine stuff you are here to do, happen! I was raised Catholic, and likely misinterpreted everything people tried to teach me. So, if that was part of it, I missed it.

I think life is at the core very simple. Love is the key. What makes it complicated is how to do that best in the variety of situations we find ourselves in every day. Others can give me guidance, but I do my best when I am calm and peaceful, and remember that I am here to love and grow.

I would hope that adults in all capacity teach kids (and each other) the idea of being responsible for having a peaceful heart, and learning how to do it. And there are many, many ways to do it.

This photo is of the Cathedral church in Downtown Denver. For years, what I remembered most about this church is that they served donuts and chocolate milk in the basement, whereas our home parish did not. See what I mean? I might have missed the most important lessons someone tried to teach me.


Poem: Peaceful, Powerful



When I am peaceful,

Then I am powerful

When I am peaceful,

Then I am Love

About the poem:

There’s no other way to do good in the world, than to maintain that peaceful feeling in your heart first. Then you can be the superhero of your life and others, with peace as the foundation of every interaction, every step.

Poem: A Quiet Hope …a Haiku


The caterpillar

Stops eating, stops crawling, then

Spins a quiet hope


About the poem:

It’s not continuing the same busy way of life that brings change. It’s the stopping, the quiet, the hope that things can be different …much different, much better. This is what allows the changes we seek.

Poem: A Happy Place

2013-06-05 BaekChunSa Temple Sacheon (1)


When you look at me

What do you see?

Is my face

A happy face?

And how does it feel

Sitting next to me?

Is it

A happy place?


About the poem:

Inner peace is outwardly obvious. I wrote a book about this! Buy it on Amazon and Kindle!



Poem: Look Into My Eyes …a Haiku


I’m an open book

I am not a mystery

Look into my eyes

About the poem:

When we finally and clearly realize that our state of inner peace is outwardly obvious, it’s a constant reminder to be aware of that in all of our interactions.  You ain’t foolin’ nobody!

About the author:

Joan lives in a country where people look into her eyes and see “Blue!”. Some days I, too, think blue eyes look a bit eerie here in Korea. If you want to look deeper into my eyes, visit my blog or buy my books on Amazon and Kindle!

Poem: I Will Keep Trying …a Haiku

I will keep trying /

I tried giving up, but then /

Love’s knocking again

About the poem

Relationships are where we hash out the spiritual evolution work that needs to be done. I don’t have relationship drama anymore, except very rarely. It is these rare relationships that challenge me. I was not satisfied with the advice friends gave, to give up.  I tried that though, indeed, I tried to give up.

But, then, I thought, I need a super-mentor now. So, I went to the mountain. My mentor, a Buddhist nun, counseled me differently than others.  She told me to let go of friendship as a transaction. You just want to see someone as their Light. That’s it.

With this approach, all the stories drop away. I can’t get hurt by loving someone. I can’t order a made-to-order friend online to meet my every specification (…or can I! haha).  I can appreciate the love we share. Yep, that’s it.

Go to him. Talk. Go often. …that’s the message I got. That’s what I’m doing now and it seems to work. I’ll probably relapse a few times into neediness. But, I feel a heck of a lock better trying, than when I simply give up.

I find no peace when I give up on love.

About Joan

Joan Gregerson hopes you will choose to give up worrying and enjoy life! Author of:

Poem: No Vacancy …does the universe give guidance in neon?

Floating merrily

Heading to a motel

At the end of our first day

“No vacancy”

We tried another

And another

Then, in a pool of light

I saw us

Wandering the alleys

Breaking my own rules

In a flash, I knew, “No way”

“I am precious.”

“No discount sale, no rush”

I thanked my lucky stars

For those few minutes of delay

I woke the next morning

It seemed all a dream

But swooning with peace and blessings

I felt at home, at home

Does the universe give guidance

In blinking neon

“No Vacancy”

About this poem:

I don’t believe in ‘bad luck.’ This poem is about one such example. I do think I get signs from the universe. On a good day, I follow them.

Sex is a powerful tool for expressing love, but also promotes bonding. I do best when I slow down.

Joan Gregerson lives and teaches in South Korea. She hopes you will choose to give up worrying and enjoy life! Author of:






Poem: Gorgeous in Spring

In winter, I put on layer over layer before I ventured out.

I hunched my shoulders up and tucked my face down

I stopped on my way to wipe my running nose

I fumbled in my purse for a tube of gloss

To coat my cracking lips.

You greeted me

With a mug of hot water

I needed a hand warmer

And I needed someone

I thought that someone was you

I was wrong

I braced myself against the winter wind

I made my way home

Standing inside my doorway

Tears streamed down my cheeks


But now it’s spring

And I feel springy

Months have passed

And I have found someone and someone else, and someone else

The heaviness of the winter

Became cherry blossom petals

That flitted and danced away lightly

It’s spring

And I don’t need a thing

It’s spring

And just stepping outside

All the world plays with me

And spring is in my every step

And I feel gorgeous

All the elements of spring have conspired for my glamour shot

The sun provides just the perfect lighting

The wind whisps my hair just right

The cherry blossoms show off the color in my cheeks

I’m gorgeous

When you saw me, you said it too

But I already knew

Days later, I stop by to say hi, let’s go for a walk!

I hop off my bicycle, but you’re not there

I don’t care

I go alone

I walk up the staircase, lined with cherry trees in full bloom

I sit on the granite steps

The petals frollick around me

I close my eyes

I feel safe under the canopy above me

I would love it if you were sitting next to me

But you’re not

So, I hope that you too feel gorgeous

That spring has sprung in your day, and in your heart

But, even if you were sitting right here,

I could not feel any better than I do right now

It’s spring

And I don’t need a thing

Gorgeous in spring 2013-04-03

“I like being prepared” …a chaos buster!

Last year, I was in a meeting where one member recounted how another was such a good person to work with. He said it was because she was always so prepared, and she chimed in, “I like being prepared.”

The speaker said he began using that motto, not only in his work, but in his way of living. Before he met someone, he tried to be prepared. If he saw someone walking toward him, he quickly tried to be mentally prepared to be able to greet the person kindly, to focus on the person, and not be distracted by other concerns.

Wow, I totally agree with this approach. Especially, when it comes to greeting people or beginning a class or a meeting. I want to look forward to that interaction.

But, what I hadn’t acknowledged before, was that in my work, yes, I too like to be prepared! 

I realized that I tend to take on too much, so have gotten better at limiting my “To Do List”. Or laughing at it!

But, I realized that for me to feel comfortable, I do enjoy being prepared and thus enjoy preparing!  It is a kick-ass chaos buster!

For example, whereas the previous teacher in this position took 1-2 hours per week for planning, I take 4-5 hours. I tried with fewer hours, but all week I was fumbling for enough activities to meet the ever-changing class composition and last-minute shifts. Instead of cursing those, I figured out that those are ‘normal’, so by preparing more options, I’m able to teach something fun, comfortably …no matter what!

So, making the extra effort to be prepared is an important part of being able to be peaceful, joyful and comfortable when class after class of kids wander into my room. When I’m prepared, I can meet them excitedly knowing we will have fun in the coming hour.

In the past few weeks, I had another example of this. I decided to participate in an Open Mic event to perform some of my poetry. I had only done this one previous time, on the spur of the moment that time, so I know I’m really a beginner.

So, even though the time slot was just 7 to 12 minutes, I spent weeks preparing. I memorized about eight poems, though I knew I’d have time for only about four. I translated one into Korean so it wouldn’t be all English … here in Korea! I practiced some of the poems with different friends and got great insights about the importance of giving some background and connecting to the listener.

As a result of all that preparation, I wasn’t stressed out that day. When my name came up as the last of 15 poets, I felt calm and happy. I had fun, and think the audience did too.

I used to really rebel against that extra effort, but now I can welcome it:

  • as part of my way to enjoy life,
  • as an effective chaos crusher,
  • as part of my spiritual path, and
  • as a way to inner peace!

Yep, I like being prepared! 


By spending a few extra hours of prep time, I’m ready for anything all week long! And last minute schedule changes don’t bother me!

Eat your way to inner peace

I just had a refreshing simple salad and some watermelon. In the crock pot, garbanzo beans, fresh spinach, with sauteed carrots, onions and garlic are melding with tomatoes …minestrone is on the way. Aww… wonderful.

Eating is part of my spiritual path. Choosing, preparing and eating mindfully bring me in balance. When I ignore this, I swing out of balance. And the internal  bickering begins, throwing my inner peace out.

When I was in Ghana, there were times we didn’t have a lot of food or money. I was amazed that my friends there would wait for several hours for good food, rather than eat cheap cookies and crappy food. This taught me something about patience and valuing the food we eat.

Eating junk food creates a junk body and a junk mind. Is there any other way it could be?