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Monday, 31 October 2011

48/365 - Plenty of Kittens

“No matter how much the cats fight, 
there always seem to be plenty of kittens. ” 

- Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, 30 October 2011

47/365 - The Whole of Life

“The whole of life is just like watching a film.
Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.” - Terry Pratchett (Moving Pictures)

Saturday, 29 October 2011

46/365 - I've Learned

“I've learned 
that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, 
life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. 

I've learned 
that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: 
a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned 
that regardless of your relationship with your parents, 
you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned 
that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."

I've learned 
that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned 
that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; 
you need to be able to throw something back. 

I've learned 
that whenever I decide something with an open heart, 
I usually make the right decision.
I've learned 
that even when I have pains, 
I don't have to be one.
I've learned 
that every day you should reach out and touch someone.
People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned 
that I still have a lot to learn. 

I've learned 
that people will forget what you said, 
people will forget what you did, 
but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

- Maya Angelou

Friday, 28 October 2011

45/365 - Like it's your Birthday

“The way I see it, you should live everyday like its your birthday.” 
- Paris Hilton ;-)

44/365 - Smile Because

“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”
- Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

43/365 - Be a Child Again

“Be a child again.
Flirt. Giggle. 
Dip your cookies in your milk. 
Take a nap. 
Say you're sorry if you hurt someone. 
Chase a butterfly. 
Be a child again.” 

- Max Lucado
(When God Whispers your Name)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

42/365 - The Friend who Cares

“When we honestly ask ourselves 
which person in our lives mean the most to us, 
we often find that it is those who, 
instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, 
have chosen rather to share our pain 
and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, 
who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, 
who can tolerate not knowing, 
not curing, not healing 
and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, 
that is a friend who cares.”

- Henri J. M. Nouwen 
(The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey)

Monday, 24 October 2011

41/365 - Charlie's Rainbow

“You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down.” 
- Charles Chaplin

Sunday, 23 October 2011

40/365 - Doing what you're told

“Every now and then I like to do as I'm told, just to confuse people.”
- Tamora Pierce (Melting Stones)

Saturday, 22 October 2011

39/365 - The Green Man's Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you:
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

Friday, 21 October 2011

38/365 - Growing up

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” 
- E.E. Cummings

Thursday, 20 October 2011

37/365 - Roads Go Ever On

“Roads Go Ever On
Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on,
Under cloud and under star.
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen,
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green,
And trees and hills they long have known.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone.
Let others follow, if they can!
Let them a journey new begin.
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.” 

- J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

36/365 - The End

“When I despair, 
I remember that all through history 
the way of truth and love have always won. 
 There have been tyrants and murderers, 
and for a time, 
they can seem invincible, 
but in the end, 
they always fall. 
Think of it
- Mahatma Ghandi

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

35/365 - Overcoming Painful Lessons

"When experience is viewed in a certain way, 
it presents nothing but doorways into the domain of the soul. 
- Jon Kabat-Zinn

Openness means being receptive.  Life will present you with innumerable lessons, none of which will be useful to you unless you recognize them and are open to their inherent value.  These lessons will show up every day of your life, and as difficult as some of them may be you need to change your perception and come to see them as gifts, or guides along your path toward living as your authentic self.

[...] I am often asked how people can recognize their lessons.  My response is that each person's lessons are always self-evident; it is just a matter of what lenses the person is wearing at the time.  If they are wearing the lenses of resistance, they may become angry or bitter and this stubbornness will prevent their personal growth.  If they are wearing lenses of openness and clear discernment, they will gain a deeper understanding of what different life situations can teach them.

[...] How can we move from resistance to openness?  By first recognizing the feeling of resistance.  Resistance usually manifests itself physically in a clenched jaw, a tightness in the chest, or sighing.  Mentally, it shows up in thoughts like, "Why do I have to deal with this issue?  I don't want this, I don't need it, I don't like!"  Once you discover where in your mind or body resistance anchors itself, you can more easily identify it in the future.

The next step is to remind yourself that you have a choice.  You can either continue with this resistance and feel badly or you can learn whatever the lesson is there to teach you.  Presenting yourself with a choice allows you to see that you have control over your resistance and how you choose to deal with life's challenges.

The last step is to ask yourself, "Am I willing to give up the resistance and learn whatever lesson is presenting itself?"  Remember, if you want to truly live from your authentic self, you must be open to learning all the lessons you are given so that you may grow into the person you want to become."  - Cherie Carter-Scott Ph.D. (If Life is a Game, These are the Rules)

Monday, 17 October 2011

34/365 - What is Family?

“What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, and the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them perfect, and we couldn't expect them to be. You can't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build your world from it.”
- Sarah Dessen, Lock and Key

Sunday, 16 October 2011

33/365 - Be Yourself

“Be who you are and say what you feel, 
because those who mind don't matter, 
and those who matter don't mind.”
- Dr. Seuss

Saturday, 15 October 2011

32/365 - On Meditation - Karma & Mindfulness

"There are people, however, whose karmic roots are sharp and deep; that is, they have practiced well for many lifetimes.

Such people will make speedy progress whether they have the guidance of a master or not.  

For instance, [...] you should be mindful in all situations.  Whether you are doing something you like or dislike, whether it is  to your advantage or disadvantage, you don't put yourself at center stage.  
Put aside self-centeredness; cultivate compassion.  Be helpful to others in everything you do; this will help decrease self-centeredness.

Most importantly: whenever you do something, just do it with focused awareness.  Do not be lazy and allow your mind to wander.  This is daily practice.  This is mindfulness." - Chan Master Sheng-Yen (Zen Wisdom)

Friday, 14 October 2011

31/365 - What Survives

What Survives

Who says that all must vanish?
Who knows, perhaps the flight
of the bird you wound remains,
and perhaps flowers survive
caresses in us, in their ground.

It isn't the gesture that lasts,
but it dresses you again in gold
armor --from breast to knees--
and the battle was so pure
an Angel wears it after you.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, 13 October 2011

30/365 - Karma: Balancing of Energy

"You receive from the world what you give to the world.

Karma is not a moral dynamic.  Morality is a human creation.  The Universe does not judge.  The law of karma governs the balancing of energy within our system of morality and within those of our neighbors.  It serves humanity as an impersonal and Universal teacher of responsibility.

Every cause that has not yet produced its effect is an event that has not yet come to completion.  It is an imbalance of energy that is in the process of becoming balanced.  That balancing of energy does not always occur within the span of a single lifetime." - Gary Zukav (The Seat of the Soul) 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

29/365 - The Rebel

"People are afraid, very much afraid
of those who know themselves.

They have a certain power, a certain aura and a certain magnetism, a charisma that can take our alive, young people from the traditional imprisonment.

The enlightened man cannot be enslaved - that is the difficulty - and he cannot be imprisoned.

Every genius who has known something of the inner is bound to be a little difficult to be absorbed; he is going to be an upsetting force.  The masses don't want to be disturbed, even though they may be in misery; they are in misery, but they are accustomed to the misery.  And anybody who is not miserable looks like a stranger.

The enlightened man is the greatest stranger in the world; he does not seem to belong to anybody.  No organization confines him, no community, no society, no nation.

[...] The Rebel challenges us to be courageous enough to take responsibility for who we are and to live our truth." - Osho (Zen Tarot)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

28/365 - Life Lessons

"You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life.

Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons.  You may like the lessons or hate them, but you have designed them as part of your curriculum.

[...] The lessons you are presented with are specific to you; learning these lessons is the key to discovering and fulfilling the meaning and relevance of your own life.

Once you have learned the basic lessons taught to you by your own body, you are ready for a more advanced teacher: the universe."  - Cherie Carter-Scott PhD (If Life is a Game, These are the Rules)

Monday, 10 October 2011

27/365 - Peace, an attribute in you

"Peace is an attribute in you.

You cannot find it outside.  Illness is some form of external searching.  Health is inner peace.  

[...] When you are afraid of anything, you are acknowledging its power to hurt you.  Remember that where your heart is, there is your treasure also.  You believe in what you value.  If you are afraid, you are valuing wrongly.  Your understanding will then inevitably value wrongly, and by endowing all thoughts with equal power will inevitably destroy inner peace." - A Course in Miracles

Sunday, 9 October 2011

26/365 - Law of Attraction

"The greatest teachers who have ever lived 
have told us that the law of attraction 
is the most powerful law in the Universe.

[...] It is the law that determines the complete order in the Universe, every moment of your life, and every single thing you experience in your life.  

It doesn't matter who you are or where you are, the law of attraction is forming your entire life experience, and this all-powerful law is doing that through your thoughts.  

You are the one who calls the law of attraction into action, and you do it through your thoughts." - Rhonda Byrne (The Secret)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

25/365 - Change of Self

"And then, we see that the earth as it is is not too wonderful,
we would have it change, but we have become sceptical also of universal panaceas and of movements, of parties, of theories.  
We take our road at zero point, that is, begin with ourselves; it is not much, but this is all we have, and it is this little bit of the world we are going to try to change before attempting to save the other.  
And perhaps this is not so foolish after all, for who knows whether to change the one is not the most efficacious means of changing the other?" - Satprem (Sri Aurobindo, or the Adventure of Consciousness)

Friday, 7 October 2011

24/365 - Pleasure

"Pleasure is the physical manifestation of Joy.

[...] The only secret to learning the lesson of pleasure is to make time and space for it in your life. [...] Many people have an invisible quota in their minds for the amount of joy they will permit themselves to experience.  They become so busy living life that they view pleasure as a luxury they simply do not have time for.  

[...] However, your life simply will not work as well when you deny yourself pleasure.  The old adage of all work and no play making you dull is quite true; you may find yourself living a rather colourless life if you do not pause every now and then to indulge your senses.  Pleasure is like the oil that keeps the machine of your life running smoothly.  WIthout it, the gears stick and you will most likely break down.

Sometimes I forget the importance of pleasure as I race through the demands and commitments of my life.  I forgo a day at the beach with my husband in order to finish a project, or I cancel my appointment for a massage so I can take care of errands.  Inevitably, I begin to feel irritable and tense, which is a signal to me that I need to slow down and let in a little joy.

[...} What brings you pleasure?  Do it, and do it often, for it will give lightness to your heart and do wonders for your soul." - Cherie Carter-Scott Ph.D. (If Life is a Game, These are the Rules)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

23/365 - Immortal Soul

"Your Soul is that part of you that is immortal.

Every person has a soul, but a personality that is limited in its perception to the five senses is not aware of its soul, and, therefore, cannot recognize the influences of its soul.

As a personality becomes multisensory, its intuitions - its hunches and subtle feelings - become important to it.  It senses things about itself, other people, and the situations in which it finds itself that it cannot justify on the basis of the information that its five sense can provide.  It comes to recognize intentions, and to respond to them rather than to the actions and the words that it encounters.  It can recognize, for example, a warm heart beneath a harsh and angry manner, and a cold heart beneath polished and pleasing words." - Gary Zukav (The Seat of the Soul)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

22/365 - On Meditation, With Persistence

"Student: Most of us have hectic lives and schedule.

When we try to meditate we are extremely scattered in the beginning.  You say we should tell ourselves to feel happy and relaxed about what we are going to do, but thoughts and feelings are two different things.  You can tell yourself to settle down, but that doesn't mean you are going to.

[...] Shih-Fu: As I've said, you have to cultivate this skill.  To use an analogy, if you are learning to play tennis, initially you may feel frustrated and discouraged because you are missing the ball or hitting it poorly.  But with practice you will improve.  With persistence, at some point it becomes natural and enjoyable, and you look forward with enthusiasm to playing.  The health benefits of tennis becomes a free bonus.

You have to turn sitting practice into a habit.  Give yourself a hint subconsciously.  Tell yourself sitting is a pleasure, a good time.  Create this attitude, this atmosphere, even though you know you will not really feel this way all the time. If you do it over and over, you will train yourself.  Tell yourself this kind of enjoyment is better than other kinds of enjoyment.  It is a precious, spiritual time.  Train yourself.  At first it will be difficult.  You might fail in the beginning.  But keep trying.  This too, is practice."   - Ch'an Master Sheng-Yen  (Zen Wisdom)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

21/365 - Entry into the Mysterious

"Really, the experience of Creativity is an entry into the mysterious.

Technique, expertise and knowledge are just tools; the key is to abandon oneself to the energy that fuels the birth of all things.  This energy has no form or structure, yet all the forms and structures come out of it.

[...] Remember that we don't possess our creations, they do not belong to us.  True creativity arises from a union with the divine, with the mystical and the unknowable.  Then it is both a joy for the creator and a blessing to others."  - Osho (Zen Tarot)

Monday, 3 October 2011

20/365 - State of Mind

"Happiness is determined more by one's state of mind
than by external events.

Success may result in a temporary feeling of elation, or tragedy may send us into a period of depression, but sooner or later our overall level of happiness tends to migrate back to a certain baseline.

Psychologists call this process adaptation, and we can see how this principle operates in our everyday life; a pay raise, a new car, or recognition from our peers may lift our mood for a while, but we soon return to our customary level of happiness.  In the same way, an argument with a friend, a car in the repair shop, or a minor injury may put us in a foul mood, but within a matter of days our spirits rebound.

[...] This is because our moment-to-moment happiness is largely determined by our outlook.  In fact, whether we are feeling happy or unhappy at any given moment often has very little to do with our absolute condition but, rather it is a function of how we perceive our situation, how satisfied we are with what we have." -  Howard C. Cutler, M.D.  (The Art of Happiness)

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Saturday, 1 October 2011

18/365 - Respect - Body Truth

"Your body is your vehicle for life.
As long as you are here, live in it.
Love, honor, respect and cherish it, treat it well, and it will serve you in kind. 
- Suzy Prudden

Every person's body has a specific formula that works for it.  It is your responsibility to become acquainted with your body's individual requirements.  No one diet works for everyone, nor does any one sleep or exercise regimen.

True respect comes from learning what your body needs to run at optimum performance, and then making the commitment to honoring those needs.

[...] How many times do you need to indulge and compromise your body's truth before you learn to respect its limitations?  Not too many, I hope, for your own sake.  Treat your body with deference and respect, and it will respond accordingly.  Listen to your body and its wisdom; it will tell you what it needs if you ask, listen, and take heed."  - Cherie Carter-Scott Ph.D. (If Life is a Game, These are the Rules)