Mantra for the Cowering Soul

“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.”

Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi

You have gifts to share with this world;
Good within
which can do so much more
if only you push your light out.

hard as it may be,
let go of the fear.

Let go of worrying about
    what others will think,
    what they will (or won’t) say,
    what they’ll do.
How they may perceive your efforts.

Hold zero expectations of others –
for external validation,
(though nice)
should never be the reason you do anything of value.

Do this simply for yourself,
and the good you may spread
even if you never see results with these earthly eyes.

Let go of procrastination.

And fear not the challenges
that may come on the path ahead,
for obstacles are necessary blockages
    to break you,
    to build you,
    to teach you,
before you rise once more.

Follow your dream
even if , right now,
you doubt you’ll ever achieve it.

You have only two things:
for the outcome is never in your control.

Just start walking.

And when Resistance
rears its ugly head – again and again,
dismiss it,
with all the contempt you hold
for your most despised enemy.

Keep walking.

Step out of the storm of your mind,
and direct your inner vision
to the horizon ahead:
    a realm beyond current circumstances,
    a place of imagination,
    a land where all things are possible.

Know that your journey must go on,
for your success awaits
even when you can’t see it –
just as the moon is always whole,
even when you see only part of it.

Push your light out,
O cowering soul,
and start to walk,
and see the way emerge,
and keep walking,
and walking,
and walking…

for success is in the journey,
not the outcome.



I wrote this a few weeks ago, as an encouragement that I myself needed on my road to publishing my next book. It wasn’t driven so much imposter syndrome – in doubting my abilities to produce something of value…something that others would be inspired by, or take some benefit from. Rather, what was weighing on me was a fear of putting in so much hard work to produce a book, then having it fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. Of putting this thing out into the world – a thing I poured my heart into – and having it met with silence…zero authentic interest from the wider public, but also from even those who I know support me.

Maybe it was an irrational fear, but it’s a recurring one.

And a post by author Asmaa Hussein sparked to life an outpouring of sentiments I had long held, but had never expressed in this way. And so I wrote this. For myself, and for everyone else struggling with such doubts. It’s a reminder that, regardless of any external response or validation – we need to push ahead with work we find meaningful. Because actions are judged by intentions, and we will never know the full impact of our efforts…not until Judgement Day.

In a world full of superficiality, external judgements, and short attention spans, we must remember that the deeper work we do matters far more than the fluff that consumes the attention of the masses that float (and sometimes drown) in the ocean of social media.

The Rumi quote was initially going to be the epigraph for the book, but it became the theme of empowerment for this poem.

So, I post this here as a reminder for myself – that I need to come back to regularly – but also as an advice for anyone who comes across it and needs this little push.

Believe in yourself and the value you have to offer to the world…even if you never see tangible results.

It’s what’s inside that matters most. And you have beautiful light to shine.

One thought on “Mantra for the Cowering Soul

  1. Thank you for this, Yacoob. There are days—and longer—when my spirit hungers for inspiration and encouragement. I will save this bookmark for those days, my friend. So very grateful, Kitty

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