A set of 7 cards with hand-drawn illustrations on them. The largest in the centre has a drawing of an open book with blank pages showing
Navigating with Kindness by Lydia Bevan

Navigating with Kindness series – poetry reflections from Carly Jennings

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18 June 2020

In this response to our Navigating with Kindness series, poet Carly Jennings shares some personal reflections through her poetry.

Carly Jennings is a writer, author and poet. Her health crisis (of over 20 years) has been the catalyst for her creativity, kickstarting her passion for exploring wellbeing and mindfulness. Her knowledge – and resolve –  has grown over the time she has been largely housebound, affected by CFS/ME/Autoimmune Disease. She talks of how this experience has both immensely challenged her and, at the same time, gently expanded her.

In her own words:

“There is a growing sense of clarity and confidence emerging – within my bones, within my work, within myself – for which I credit my writing. And yet, ironically the uncertainly within my health situation is simultaneously as present as ever. More so infact. And what I have come to fully realise is that – dark can and does co-exist with light – all of the time. And that it is okay to acknowledge both within our circumstances.”

Carly got in touch with People United via Instagram to share some of her poetry with us in response to our Navigating with Kindness series. She was happy for us to share it with you, so we selected three of her poems which we felt reflected the prompt card “Reflect and Evaluate” (pictured above).

“She believed that she could

so she tried

and when she failed

she knew not to force it

but to surrender

and gently meet herself

exactly where she was at.

She believe that she could

rise in a whole new way.

She believed that she could

keep the faith without proof.

She believed that she was brave enough

to greet the fear of the unknown.

And she KNEW

that she could quietly

re-write any story.

*And So She Did.

A take on the classic “She believed she could, so she did” quote.”

“Even when the moon

is just – half

or just – quarter

she knows


that she will be whole again.

Trust like the moon”

“To soften

whilst I swim

against the tides

is one of my greatest



Chronic illness warrior-

Carly Jennings”

Funded by

Arts Council England
Paul Hamlyn Foundation