Here are a few of the quotes and wise words that light my path…
“I pray to the birds because I believe they will carry the messages of my heart upward. I pray to them because I believe in their existence, the way their songs begin and end each day – the invocations and benedictions of Earth. I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear. And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen.”
~Terry Tempest Williams
“You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.”
“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”
“Love both your light and your dark. This creates wholeness and balance. These aspects are like young orphan children coming home for the first time. Love yourself with arms wide open. This will unlock any blocked energy. Hidden talents, gifts and abilities abide in these orphan aspects of self. Embracing your shadow will empower you. You will have more energy when you forgive your imperfections.”
by Naomi Shihab Nye
A man crosses the street in rain,
stepping gently, looking two times north and south,
because his son is asleep on his shoulder.
No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow.
This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo
but he’s not marked.
Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,
HANDLE WITH CARE.
His ear fills up with breathing.
He hears the hum of a boy’s dream
deep inside him.
We’re not going to be able
to live in this world
if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing
with one another.
The road will only be wide.
The rain will never stop falling.
“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
~Thich Nanh Hahn
“Community is not a talent show in which we dazzle the world with our combined gifts. Rather, community is the place where our shared poverty is acknowledged and accepted as a true source of new life.”
“If I can create from the heart, nearly everything works, if from the head, almost nothing.”
~ Marc Chagall
“If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.”
~ Edward Hopper
“I feel that the essence of dance is the expression of man–the landscape of his soul. I hope that every dance I do reveals something of myself or some wonderful thing a human can be.”
~ Martha Graham, Blood Memory
“Find a new way. A better way. Your way. The unknown, uncharted path through this wild new world that allows you – yourself in your uniqueness – to reclaim the full measure of your true nature.”
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
“The art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”
“Do what you love. It’s gonna lead to where you wanna go.”
Take wrong turns. Talk to strangers. Open unmarked doors. And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they’re doing. Do things without knowing how they’ll turn out. You’re curious and smart and bored and all you see is the choice between working hard and slacking off. There are so many adventures that you miss because you’re waiting to think of a plan. To find them, look for tiny interesting choices. And remember that you are always making up the future as you go.”
“Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.”
“may my mind come alive today
to the invisible geography
that invites me to new frontiers
to break the dead shell of yesterdays
to risk being disturbed and changed
may I have the courage
to live the life that I would love
to postpone my dream no longer
but do at last what I came here for
and waste my heart on fear no more.”
~John O’Donohue, “A Morning Offering” (by way of Elizabeth MacCrellish, SAW 2011)
“Experts say our brains need boredom so we can process thoughts and be creative. I think they’re right. I’ve noticed that my best ideas always bubble up when the outside world fails in its primary job of frightening, wounding or entertaining me.”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
~Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown for going out, I found, was really going in.”
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
~Roald Dahl (The Minpins)
“…blessings are things that are so good, so unexpected, they can’t be found on a list, or wished for in the traditional ways. They are blessings precisely because they are better than you could have imagined. They come to us when we’re not paying attention, when we are not in control, when there is room for magic.”
“I’m thinking that all it takes to make fantasy become a reality are two words: yes, please.”
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
~from The Life and Work of Martha Graham
“It is in all of us
to defy expectations,
to go into the world and
to be brave,
and to want to
hunger for adventure,
to embrace change and chance and risk
so that we may breathe and know what it is
to be free.”
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
“The world breaks everyone and afterwards many are strong at the broken places.”
“When I was 5 years old, my mom told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us “the universe,” a part limited in time and space. [She] experiences [her]self, [her] thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
“We are all cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
“At some point I believe one has to stop holding back for fear of alienating some imaginary reader or real relative or friend, and come out with personal truth.”
~Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton
“Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine; you want to stay near the core of the thing – right in the hub of the wheel – not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place where you can get frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness -that’s your heart. That’s where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you’ll always find peace.”
~Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
“Spiritual life is not a process of seeking or gaining some extraordinary condition. Even the most exceptional spiritual accomplishments are unimportant if we cannot be happy, if we cannot touch one another and the life we have been given with our hearts.”
“She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go. She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around in her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go. There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that. In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone on her.”