What if today was your last?

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“If today was it, would you die knowing you did your best?

If tomorrow never came, would you be proud of the last thing you said to each person you love?

If someday was only now, would you do everything you’ve always put off?

If you knew you had a choice about what kind of life you could be living, would you choose different?

If you knew failure is impossible, what would you do?

If it were true that everyone you meet is you in another body, how would you treat them?

If love was the true currency of the Universe and the more you gave away the more you received, how would you spend it?

If fear were the biggest illusion and the greatest lie of all time, how would you choose to live your life?

If the Universe always supported a life lived towards achieving dreams, how big would you dream?”

Jackson Kiddard

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Hindsight: seeing the beauty in suffering

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‘When you look back at your own life, you see that with the suffering you went through, you would have avoided it each time if you possibly could, yet when you look at the depths of your character now, and the fact that you’re sitting here doing this work, you see it’s all a product of those experiences.

Weren’t those experiences part of what created the depth of your inner being?
I look back over the times when I was suffering miserably. I certainly wouldn’t lay it on myself if I’d had a choice, but it happened. It was part of the working out of my life plan, and now when I look back in perspective, I see the power of those experiences. I see how they deepened something in me that was necessary for the moment.’

– Ram Dass

Embrace Life

 

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“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; and you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”

-Anne Lamott 

Spritual Practice -Bo Lozoff

There is no spiritual practice
More profound than
Being kind
To one’s family,
Neighbors,
The cashier at the grocery store,
An unexpected visitor,
The con in the next cell,
A stray cat or dog,
Or any other of the
Usually “irrelevant” or “invisible”
Beings who may cross our paths
In the course of a normal day. 

Certainly
There are spiritual mysteries
Beyond description
To explore,
But as we mature,
It becomes clear that
Those special experiences
Are only meaningful
When they arise from
And return to
A life of ordinary kindness.

Bo Lozoff

The Choice is Always Yours

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‘It’s up to you- its always up to you. You can deny, repress, distort, and bury your unresolved wounds all you want. You can re-frame them, pseudo-positivity them, detach from them, spiritual bypass them. You can re-name yourself, hide away in a monastery, turn your story around. And you can spend all your money on superficial healing practices and hocus pocus practitioners. But it won’t mean a damn thing, if you don’t do the deeper work to excavate and heal your primary wounds. Because the material is still there, right where you left it, ruling your life and controlling your choices.

This is the nature of unhealed material- it is alive, and one way or the other, it will manifest itself in your lived experience. It will language your inner narrative. It will obstruct your path and limit your possibilities. It lives everywhere that you live. And so you have to decide- excavate it and bring it into consciousness where it can be worked through and integrated, or repress it and watch it rule your life. It’s one of the hardest truths we have to face: If we don’t deal with our stuff, it deals with us. There is no way around this. Choose.’

-Jeff Brown 

Get out of your way!

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‘Each of us has something to do in this lifetime. We all have negative emotions to be purified and positive emotions to be cultivated. All of us need to reconnect to our source and drop our personal stories, don’t we? Men, women, old, young, from here, from there – it is the same.

All you can do is your practice. There is nothing else. Don’t get caught up. Don’t stop. We have to learn how to get out of our own way. Because ultimately, the only thing standing in our way is ourselves.’

Tenzin Palmo 

In Praise of Slowness-Carl Honore

“Now the time has come  to challenge our obsession with doing everything more quickly.  Speed is not always the best policy.  Evolution works on the principle of survival of the fittest, not the fastest.  Remember who won the race between the tortoise and the hare.  As we hurry though life, cramming more into every hour, we are stretching ourselves to the breaking point.

Before we go any further, though, let’s make one thing clear:  This is not a declaration of war against speed.  Speed has helped to remake our world in ways that are wonderful and liberating.  Who wants to live without the Internet or jet travel.  The problem is that our love of speed, our obsession with doing more and more in less and less time, has gone too far; it has turned into an addiction, a kind of idolatry. Even when speed starts to backfire, we invoke the go-faster gospel…. Yet some things cannot, should not, be sped up.  They take time; they need slowness.  When you accelerate things that should not be accelerated, when you forget how to slow down, there is a price to pay.”

-Carl Honore (excerpt from In Praise of Slowness)

Be Wise and Let it Go

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‘Everyone goes through hell, but not everyone stays there. Stop tormenting yourself by reliving the pain over and over.

Good people go through terrible things, but wise people know when and how to let it go. We all know that wisdom does not come easy, it often comes from painful experience.

Many of us are very unwise in how we handle our pain. Like an animal that struggles in a steel trap, we worsen our wounds the way we struggle, deny, and fight against what simply, is. When we refuse to learn the wisdom of acceptance, we become our own tormentors. When we refuse to let go we suffer, yet we cannot let go of something until it has taught us what we need to learn.

Letting go is a process of recognition, confrontation, acceptance, and healing. Letting go simply means not suffering any more than absolutely necessary, but just enough to expand and strengthen ourselves.

Some suffering is needed to deepen our compassion, to grow, and to learn. Letting go means you have learned enough, and now have compassion for yourself. Letting go means not touching that sore spot until it is infected, and instead letting it heal. Letting go means carrying a permanent scar, but not a permanent wound. Letting go means you may have walked through hell, but came out the other side ready to make your life a heaven. Letting go means you refuse to be a victim forever, by letting one moment define the rest of your life.

Letting go means you accept change, and you accept that your pain is not permanent. Letting go means you accept that you cannot take away the past, but you insist that the past cannot take away your future. Letting go means you are ready to move forward and live. Letting go means you are no longer afraid. It was always fear that held you prisoner; letting go means you are finally free.’

-Bryant McGill

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“We are in this together. None of us truly walk in isolation, even when we cannot sense the presence of another for miles upon miles. Even in the worst of our desolation. Even during our coldest 3am breakdown. Even when we shut out the world and spin in circles until we collapse. Even then the light still gets in. Even then the heart still opens and reaches, tendrils of hope curling and bending toward slivers of light. Upward, outward, in all directions – seeking light at all cost. One way or another, we all grow toward the light.” – Jeanette LeBlanc

Maya Angelou Wisdom


“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 bothhands; you need to be able to throw some things 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, orjust 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