A Lovely Quote about Realization

I came across this quote which got me to thinking:

“Our lives change externally as we change internally.” – Caroline Myss

As a therapist, I have the privilege of seeing this almost every day. The ability to change something structurally comes only when we have found the courage to explore.

When we give ourselves permission to really examine something, that is when realization works to change our thought patterns, our core beliefs, and consequently the energy we release into the world. We are no longer burdened by the internal dialogue that may have seemed real, but in fact was working against our own intuition.

The first step to structural change is to simply be curious; to ask ourselves “Does it have to be this way?” When the internal shift happens, we know it and those realizations help to inform us and guide us to greater growth.

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A Quote About the Storms of Life

Thank you to my friend Gurlie who sent this quote my way:

“Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.” – Unknown

When we are in the midst of a storm, we are often preoccupied. We are focused on what is happening outside, we are at times anxious, wondering if we should be taking greater shelter, we are focused on the unknowns and we worry about the aftermath.

When we are challenged by a storm in our own life, we often focused on the unanswered question of “why?” This is a natural response as we are curious creatures; we also feel comforted by knowledge and understanding. Sometimes we will never get the why question answered. Sometimes we get the answer years later.

It is important while in the midst of the storm to not get too preoccupied with the storm itself; rather to try and ride the storm, seeking shelter in our support system and having faith that we are going to be okay. If we never weather the storm, we also won’t see the rainbow when we step outside.

Photo credit: http://Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

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The Wisdom of Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was a civil rights activist and celebrated author. She is someone that naturally exuded grace, simplicity and wisdom. Here are three of my favourite quotes (although it was very hard to choose only three, so I squeezed an extra one in!):

  • “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou
  • “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. ” – Maya Angelou
  • “My mission in life is not to simply survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some compassion, some humour and some style.” – Maya Angelou

The themes of Maya Angelou’s advice was about living your best life; to love life; both for its beauty and richness and in spite of its challenges and times of suffering. She was a big advocate in being in charge of your own existence in the world, being both true to yourself and compassionate towards others. As she best said it, “Precious jewel, you glow, you shine, reflecting all the good things in the world. Just look at yourself.” – Maya Angelou

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A Little Reminder About Rest

I love this quote by Morgan Harper Nichols:

“A restful approach to restless uncertainty provides strength and endurance for the rest of the journey.”

– Morgan Harper Nichols

Very often, we seek rest at the end of our day. Our work and home duties completed, kids off to bed, we sink into the couch for a good dose of Netflix, catch up with a friend, relax with a book, take a bath. We reward ourselves with rest.

But what about the days that catch up to us? What about the stressful days? The restless ones? It is on those days that carving out time to rest is essential for our self-care, for those are the days we need it the most. Sometimes it may not seem possible, but it is. It may mean consciously putting every thing aside for some quiet time outside with your face to the sun, or taking 20 minutes for a leisurely stroll in the park. It may mean taking a power nap, or spontaneously calling a friend to meet for lunch. It may mean unplugging for a solid 30 minutes.

Making rest an important part of our day, regardless of its tone, builds our resilience; providing strength and endurance for the rest of the journey 🙂

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A Little Quote About Faith

I came across this quote:

“When I finally let go of having to totally control everything around me and let my life unfold, I was stunned by the results. How could I have ever thought I could outsmart the universe?” – Geri Larkin

Sometimes our anxiety or fears can lead us to over control. If we can just get everything tickety-boo with no room for error, all will be fine. But not all of our paths are straight. Sometimes they are narrow and crooked, sometimes we have hills to climb, and the skies become stormy. In designing our own lives through the choices we make, we must also make room for some chance and fate. We can acknowledge that some of our successes and failures were supposed to happen that way and that we can weather life’s challenges with grace. We can have faith in the mysterious yet infinite energy of the universe.

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A Lovely Quote About Light and Dark

I love this quote by Og Mandino:

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” – Og Mandino

I often remind clients that we learn just as much about ourselves from what hurts us as from what loves us. This quote by Mandino can remind us that although we strive to feel light, to make our choices and goals line up for movement and growth, to design our lives with a focus on meaning and purpose, we can also not deny the dark.

We cannot get through life without challenge, without pain, without being hurt, without struggle. In accepting the dark, we make way for the stars; those pinpricks of light that allows us to remember that without the dark, we would also not feel the infinite possibility of light. 🙂

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The Wisdom of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, best known for leading the resistance to South African apartheid, was incarcerated for almost 20 years, and then become President of South Africa from 1994 – 1999. Today we turn to some of his wisdom for inspiration:

  • “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
  • “If you want the cooperation of humans around you, you must make them feel they are important – and you do that by being genuine and humble.” – Nelson Mandela
  • “It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.” – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was a lovely example of how one person has the ability to help create greater compassion and love for human kind. He was able to rise above his fears to tirelessly pursue his goals. As Nelson Mandela would say “Fools multiply when wise men are silent.”

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A Good Message About “Letting it Go”

One of my all time favourite soundtracks is Great Big Sea; Something Beautiful. One of my favourite songs from the album is called “Let It Go.” I especially like the chorus:

“Let it go, let it go
This is smaller than you know
No bigger than a pebble lying on a gravel road
Let it go, let it go
Got to leave it all behind you
Give the sun a chance to find you
Let it go”

Sometimes when we are told to “let it go” it doesn’t seem possible. In the context of this song, it is meant as a way to not sweat the small stuff, to not get too caught up on the things that you can’t change, to not let little things that might have annoyed you during the day continue to bother you.

I especially liked the line “give the sun a chance to find you” as it is often the case that getting caught up on the little things can lead us to feeling dark and stormy. Thanks Great Big Sea for that little reminder about giving ourselves permission to “let it go.” 🙂

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Seeking Peace

I love this quote by Morgan Harper Nichols:

“Above endless worries, she pursues endless peace.” – Morgan Harper Nichols

What an absolutely lovely reminder that we can choose peace as our goal. That we can rise above the daily worries, that we can push past the niggling fears, that we can face a challenge with grace, that we can lean into what feeds our comfort system, that we can seek the feeling of contentedness, that we can pause to enjoy the calm moments in our day, that we can recognize our blessings.

Yes, we can choose peace as our goal. 🙂

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A Good Little Reminder About Gratitude

I came across this saying by Amy Weatherly:

“Some people could be given an entire field of roses and only see the thorns in it. Others could be given a single weed and only see the wildflower in it. Perception is a key component to gratitude. And gratitude is a key component to joy.”

– Amy Weatherly

We all have days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Feeling prickly, it might be harder for us to see the things in our day that make us smile and easier to stay locked in misery, building on the bad mood that found us somewhere along the way.

This is where some focus and perception can come into play as we recognize that perhaps we have some say in the direction of our mind sight. Purposefully and consciously deciding to look for the blessings in our day will allow us to feel thankful, which in turn creates a greater sense of contentedness. We always feel whole when in a grateful state.

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