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Poem and Journal Prompt: Shifting from Disgrace to Esteem

Layers of Disgrace 

Where oh where is that thing ?
Why can’t I swim ?
Why can’t I fly away ?
I wait and wait for a brighter day 

Buried in the sand 
Beneath the vacant land 
No roots in this ground 
Just rubble and turf and lots of earth 

What a messy, messy place
A place filled with layers of disgrace 
A dusty, dusty land 
Untouched by feelings of grand 

No grand in this land 
No labour cultivated by this hand 
Just a dusty, dusty place 
With a feeling of disgrace 

Written by Zoe LL 

How to work with this poem: Layers of Disgrace 

There are many ways to work with poems. You can read it over and over again and see what comes up. You can read it and then meditate on the core message and see what comes up for you in silence or you can read it before you go to bed and see what comes up in your dreams. Below is a list of questions and action points to help you work with the poem to dive a little deeper.

What is the meaning of disgrace? 

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, this is the meaning of disgrace:

Some common synonyms of disgrace are dishonor, disrepute, ignominy, and infamy. While all these words mean “the state or condition of suffering the loss of esteem and of enduring reproach,” disgrace often implies humiliation and sometimes ostracism. sent home in disgrace.

The Opposite / Polarity / Antonym of Disgrace

Honour, admiration, esteem, respect, and approval. I suggest you google to find the one that sits best with you as there are many many options.

Journal Questions / prompts for working with the Poem, Layers of Disgrace

  • Is this your meaning of disgrace or what does disgrace mean to you? 
  • This poem suggests that nothing will grow on this land, as it’s uncultivated by the hand. Where in your life do you feel that you are not dealing with certain elements of your life yourself? Where do you feel the energy/feeling of disgrace?
  • Are you forgetting, or burying in the sand something that is your responsibility?  Are there layers and layers of guilt and disgrace sitting on top of what it’s time for you to take responsibility for? 
  • What areas of your life need better foundations? What needs to be more rooted in your daily life/lifestyle? Nutrition, exercise, rest, work? 
  • Where is more balance needed in your life? 
  • What do you need to let go of? Activities, behaviors, thinking patterns? 


  • Begin by identifying the areas of your life, that you need to make more structured, and organized from the foundation level. 
  • Break them down into small pieces of what needs to be done. The lists are great. Trello is a great tool for this. 
  • Start working through this list yourself. Decide what’s a priority and what you need to look at first, what is something that’s best outsourced, and then start ticking them off as you do them. 
  • Sometimes it’s good to have a friend, family member or a mentor to sense check your list with you and to check in with and tell them what you have done and achieved. Saying it out loud helps with esteem and also if it’s regular gives you the feeling that you have a goal to work towards. 
  • Once you have started working on these last points, notice you feel. Has this helped you in any way to feel like you have risen your esteem, your honor, or your self-admiration in any way? 

Sometimes we can be too quick to outsource things or have others deal with things because it’s easier, we think they know better, etc. By not dealing with these “things” ourselves and educating ourselves on shifts that need to happen in our lives, problems that need to be dealt with, etc, we can allow ourselves to be taken advantage of, persuaded, and/or mistakes can happen, as the other person/company may not have our best interest at heart. 

It’s especially hard if we have difficulty concentrating, get easily seduced by other more exciting things to do, and /or have a condition like ADHD or a brain injury. However, dealing with our to-do list, even the most boring things like administration can help us to set the foundations in our lives and reach higher levels of esteem. 


Love to hear your feedback on the above exercise. Did you find it useful? Do you have anything new that you wish to add that I’ve not covered here?

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