This is a compilation of thoughts and quotes that I have found or written recently, as well as many that I've collected throughout the years. Most thoughts are posted randomly, as I feel inspired. A listing of quotes can be found alphabetically (check the 2008 and 2009 archives listing), or by source.

Feel free to suggest additions!

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

Monday, January 26, 2015

I Can See Clearly Now by Wayne Dyer - Excerpts, Part 1

These are excerpts that I have chosen - great words of wisdom that speak to me - from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's book I Can See Clearly Now, which is a memoir of his life's formative experiences.  It shows how life has taught him the wisdom that he shares.

"If we stop for a moment, it is possible to perceive a pattern in our lives; the motivators that have influenced us become more obvious. We are able to see life unfolding from both ends at once, coming into the present moment." -  by Reshad Feild


We all have a mission of some kind to fulfill at the moment we make the shift from nowhere to now here, from Spirit to form.

We can turn this whole thing around by laughing rather than being upset.

I can see clearly today this entire universe is on purpose.I see now that our earliest personality traits and predilections are expressed because they represent our highest selves.

...childhood experience [helps] guide explore and realize the power we possess to accomplish anything that we place our attention on with love rather than fear as our anchor.

When I speak with confidence and kindness, I'm listened to.

A positive attitude is the antidote to all suffering.

Life is not restricted to what I see and hear with my senses.

I am given a gift that is immensely beneficial. The gift is awareness of my secret garden - the place within me that has no restrictions, no obstacles, and where I can create for myself a way of living that is immune to any and all influences that might bring me down.

I have something inside of me that trumps what goes on outside of me - my own secret garden where all things are possible.

There are no limits to what one can accomplish if one tunes in to the powers of the invisible world that is our birthright.

Two ideas that were guideposts for the journey that was to become my destiny... 
1.  People will respond for the benefit of all concerned if you speak to them with confidence and in a nonjudgmental manner.
2.  There's a secret garden where miracles and magic abound, and it's available to anyone who makes the choice to visit there.

The violence and plunder of kings could not compare with the productive and peaceful lives of those who minded their own business and cultivated their own garden (paraphrasing the message at the end of Voltaire's Candide).

No one has the ability to make me feel bad or cajole me into feeling guilty over their powerlessness.

Learn how to be independent of the need for approval.

I know that how I feel is something I can choose in any circumstance, and that no one can take that away from me, unless I allow them to do so.

Every single encounter, every challenge, and every situation are all spectacular threads in the tapestry that represents and defines my life, and I am deeply grateful for all of it.

From this vantage point I see it as the hand of Divine providence on my shoulder guiding me to behave in compassionate ways early on, in order that I might write and speak about the importance of extending love to all as a part of a lifetime mission.

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." - Henry David Thoreau

We are never alone and...we can call in the spiritual essence of any teacher who has ever breathed a breath on this planet, and fulfill our own destiny with their assistance.

By following my instincts and my good feelings that always arose when I took pen in hand and declared myself to be a writer - even if no one else yet shared that same opinion - I was following my soul's calling.

Everything shows up in Divine time. We get what we need on the schedule of a force much larger than ourselves. This invisible force moves the pieces around in its own way, in its own time, to harmonize with the perfect precision that defines every cubic inch of space and time.

...turn to a new kind of Divine love practiced only by great spiritual masters and God himself - a love awash in forgiveness.

I know with certainty God works in mysterious ways - but not accidental ways.  Indeed, it is, and always has been, perfect in every way. I am so grateful.

In order to come to know and understand something spiritually, one must experience it - there is no other way.

If I know it is wrong and not in harmony with the Divine love espoused by our most revered spiritual masters, then regardless of what I have been taught, I must think for myself and come always from a place of love. If we are told that God is love, then we shouldn't just say it in our place of worship during a ceremonial weekly religious service. We must live it.

There are no accidents or coincidences in a universe that is truly created and guided by invisible forces that elude rational explanation.

Albert Einstein was right: "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." Or as Buddha said, "If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change."

I think often of these words of St. Paul: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Romans 12:2).

Sage wisdom: "If you follow the herd, you'll end up stepping in shit". The shit I refer to is living with yourself when you ignore what you know to be right and true and instead follow the "offal" instructions of others who are afraid to leave the herd and want you to be just like everyone else.

Don't ever give up, trust in yourself, know that you can change the world, be fearless, reach out and serve those who are in need.  And don't let anyone restrict you from what you feel deep within you, especially when they attempt to intimidate you.

Everything that shows up in our lives does so for a reason, though it sometimes takes 20/20 hindsight to view it this way.

In a universe where everything is happening at once, there's no past or future, and everything exists simultaneously. I didn't know it at the time, but I was living what Lao-tsu expressed so succinctly: "You are not doing anything, you are just being done."

When you have a choice to be right or kind, always pick kind. Living from your highest spiritual sense is the essence of what it means to be a self-actualized person.

What I know today is to treat everyone with love and kindness, even when they're behaving in ways that I dislike.

Live so as to be detached from outcome. Do it all because it resonates with your highest self and responds to your beseeching inner voice - not because of rewards that might come your way.

Taming the ego, which defines itself on the basis of its reputation and what it accomplishes and owns, has been one of the top lessons of my life.

Within everyone resides a no-limit person who can accomplish anything they place their attention upon.

President Kennedy's vision for a country populated by citizens who want to give and to serve more than [they] take and receive, is a vision that I share as well. That he had to die in order to move the entire country in a new more compassionate direction is a part of the perfection of our universe.

A voice from the universe [was] saying to me, "Observe this carefully, feel the pain, and make a commitment based on what you are feeling to learn from this..."

A person standing in front of an audience without enthusiasm for his subject and his actions is disconnected from his spirit; that is, the God within. In fact, the root meaning of the word enthusiasm is "the God within."

I've learned that when I surrender and allow myself to be guided by a Divine Source, everything seems to fall into place.

I repeat this line from A Course in Miracles to myself: "If you knew who walked beside you at all times on this path that you have chosen, you could never experience fear or doubt again."

I've learned over the years that greatness is really a function of what I choose to believe about myself and my abilities. I know that I have the capability of excelling at anything I choose.

I would live my passion, loving what I did, and there was nothing to hold me back except my own beliefs in my limitations.

I understand that every experience of my life, regardless of how I chose to process it at the time, had something extremely valuable to teach me.  There are lessons in every moment, and now I know for sure that there is no such thing as an uninteresting subject or an ordinary moment. There are only disinterested people.

I made up my mind that I was capable of creating anything that I put into my imagination and kept there enthusiastically.

There was no reason I couldn't begin to train my mind to believe in all manner of staggering accomplishments.

The body is the servant of the mind.

Every thought I had contained a kind of enormous potential for change.

I love the idea of having high standards that are not based on what the culture dictates, but on what I feel within myself to be possible.

It is so clear to me today that everything - every event, every person - is in some inexplicable way connected. There is no time; 1968 and 2018 are all one, even though our body-mind sees them as separated by 50 years. We are all connected to everyone and everything in the universe.

Today, anytime I feel compelled to do something - something that I experience passionately - I pay attention. When I recognize that it is a calling from my soul, I know for certain that it is something that I must do. It is God calling me in a way that is uniquely and bewilderingly mysterious.

I am connected to you, dear reader - though we may have no physical linkage, there's an energy flowing between the two of us. Neither of us knows how mind-altering it may be, or how far-reaching its extent. I know this for certain as I see more clearly.

The core unrealistic beliefs that most people carry from childhood into adulthood that cause emotional disturbances include: 
(1) I must perform well to be approved by any significant others in my life;
(2) I must be treated fairly, and if not, then it is a catastrophe and I simply could not bear it; and
(3) Conditions must go my way, and if they don't, then it is horrible and I will be distressed and unable to bear it.

We are responsible for the way we feel, and have within us the capacity to change the way we view the events in our lives.

It is unnecessary to be emotionally disturbed or upset.

Most emotional upsets are caused  by a set of insane beliefs, that when changed result in a disappearance of the unsettledness.

Change your thinking: attack the logic that supports your continued annoyance and basically change your philosophy, and you will improve everything about your life. By changing the way you process any and all events as they crop up in your life, you can live a happy, fulfilled life devoid of emotional disorder.

Never again will I blame anyone for any emotional upset that I experience.  Blame is gone from my life.  I know that if I change the way I process any event...then I can get myself righted almost immediately.

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at anytime." - Marcus Aurelius

We simply need to just get out of our own way and overcome the conditioning we've become accustomed to believe is how our lives are supposed to be. Then we can reprogram our self-concepts and live from a new perspective. 

God works in mysterious ways, and what may seem like an insignificant coincidence can be the impetus for a monumental shift as a result of what appears to be an inconsequential act of giving.

Think of every single person as a Divine being capable of self-actualization if treated with love and affection, even if they don't deserve it.

Self-actualizing people see the unfolding of God in everyone that they meet. They go beyond appearances. They are friendly with anyone and everyone regardless of class, education, political belief, race, or religious affiliation.

I came here with music to play, and the idea of getting to the end of my life and dying with that music still reverberating within me was more than I could bear.

I can see clearly now that there are guardian angels who show up in our lives at crucial times.

When we are in fear, there is no room for love, and when we are in love, there is no room for fear.

I know from my perspective today that love is what's left when I let go of fear.

When a push-pull comes up that involves indecision and doubt, I remind myself that the anxiety is an emotional response, and therefore it must be coming from either lover or fear - and since love is not stressful, it must be fear that is at play. I then simply go to a loving place within, and the indecision is resolved. I find that if I let myself get quiet and meditate on the issue, the loving guidance shows up.

"Fear knocked on the door; love answered, and no one was there." - Ancient adage

"They can conquer who believe they can." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you lived 75 years, or have you lived one year 75 times?

I know now how important it is to avoid the pitfall of evaluating success and happiness on the basis of outer measures.

I choose to do all that I can personally to be surrounded by and encapsulated by love rather than fear.

How powerful a picture in your mind can be, especially when you act as if the picture is already a reality.

There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

Jesus reminds us in Luke 6:27, "But I tell you who hear me: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you." And in Luke 6:28, "Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." These are only two of hundreds of such biblical admonitions.  I can see clearly now there is great power in truly living this way.

When I was able to forgive and send love where hatred previously dominated, everything in my life shifted.  The right words were there, the right people began to show up, the circumstances magically appeared, all scarcity dissolved, my health returned, my energy  reignited, and my life became flooded with abundance - all because of a profound moment of forgiveness that was orchestrated by forces beyond my human ability to explain.

From this vantage point I can see that God is love, and forgiveness is a tool that's available to get us back to a God-realized life.

St. Augustine: "Forgiveness is the remission of sins.  For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found again, is saved from being lost again."

Once I was found and saw how it offered me a U-turn in my life away from pain toward self-actualization and God-realization, I was never lost again.

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds, on the heel that has crushed it." - Mark Twain

Indeed we send love in response to hate and become spiritual alchemists. 

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." - Buddhist proverb
Success will in fact chase after you if you stay aligned with the highest vision you have for yourself. This alignment process is key. Stay connected to your creative Source and you gain the power of that Source, because you and God are one.

"Arrange whatever pieces come your way." - Virginia Woolfe

Take the pieces that show up for you, and arrange them in such a way that you live fearlessly, and the one universal Divine mind will handle all of the details for you.
The inner mantra of my higher self...asks How may I serve? rather than focusing on What's in it for me?

Our original nature is love, kindness, gentleness, and service to others. This is what God looks and acts like - never asking for anything, always serving by providing fresh air, water, food, flora and fauna. All given freely. When we ignore our ego and listen to our highest self, we align with our Source of being, God, and consequentially acquire the power of our Source as well.

When we come from an attitude of How may I serve? ...the universal Source seems to recognize itself in that energy, and asks right back, How may I serve you?

I smile inwardly at the enigma I'm living, as I close my eyes and listen tot he sounds of nature. I fell the sun on my face, and bask in the healing energy it seems to bring to my anxiety-ridden stomach. I hear the sounds of birds, crickets, dogs in the park, and the wind as it moves the branches and leaves above me. I open my eyes slowly, appreciating the brilliant colors dancing through the tress as the magnificence of autumn transformation plays itself out right before me - all done so effortlessly.
I realize that I've discovered that I have a place of freedom within me as well.  I can soar above it all and look down at the tumult with clearer vision, just by accessing my own eagle -in-flight imaginings.

"All man's trouble derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone." - Blaise Pascal

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
A few quiet moments in nature can bring about a radical shift in the most disagreeable of circumstances.

See more excerpts in I Can See Clearly Now - Excerpts Part 2  

It's All About Character

It's all about character.

Cavett Robert, founder of the National Speakers Association, once asked a college professor for the definition of "character." Here's what he said, "It is the will to carry out your resolve long after the mood in which you made it has left you."

Most people let their moods manage their behavior. And most people don't realize their full potential. Rise above your moods; don't let emotion drive your choices.
The most important decision in life is to decide what is most important.
So, decide what is most important to you, and then go after it even when you don't feel like it. These words from Frank Outlaw can help us focus on what ultimately matters ... our character. 

Watch your thoughts; 
they become your words.

Watch your words; 
they become your actions.

Watch your actions; 
they become your habits.

Watch your habits; 
they become your character.

Watch your character; 

It becomes your destiny.

by Lee J. Colan

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Be Imperfect Yet Perfectly Happy

by Kim Manfredi
I am broken and that's OK ... because we all are.
When I was 18, I broke my spine in four different places. But now at 50, with partial paralysis in my right leg and severe immobility in my back, I run seven successful yoga studios, train yoga teachers year round and move my body every day. I have not overcome my injuries, I am my injuries and my brokenness is what makes me ... me
When I embrace who I really am, that's when true happiness occurs.
Here are five ways to embrace imperfection, to help you realize the perfect being that you truly are:
1. Love your imperfect body. This is where the heart lives.
It has become clear throughout the quest to overcome my injury, that it's never going to fully happen. No matter how good I am, no matter how hard or often I practice, and no matter how many workshops I take — I am just not going to be able to bend my spine.
The miracle of this realization is the recognition that my heart lives in this imperfect body. Embracing my body has helped me to learn how much pushing and striving is not only valuable, but also highly destructive. I've learned the incredible value of accepting and embracing my body during any practice, and that it creates safety, health and compassion.
Dwelling in my imperfect body has made me a more understanding teacher. Had my body been perfect (whatever that means) how would I have ever known these places of love?
2. Have fun with your imperfect mind. This is where freedom lives.
If only I could do a backbend, then I would be happy.
When I first started practicing yoga I read the book How Can I Help by Ram Dass. He explained how the "wounded healer" is effective at helping others. I realized that healing from my back injury has enabled me to help others heal. My brokenness is what makes me REALLY valuable and of service to others.
I can see now that the charade of moving past my injuries is a denial of who I truly am. I am not being truthful with the needs of my body when I deny that I require special care. Getting enough rest and practicing modifications in yoga had once existed only in the realm of failure, to me. I became proficient at judging myself — laziness, not good enough, not hard enough.
I was creating my own suffering instead of enjoying and accepting my body as it is. My body requires ease. When I learned to embrace the imperfections not only in my body but also in my thinking, I can see where I keep myself bound and then I can set myself free.
3. Be imperfect in action. This is where the ability to help others lives.
I regularly have tape on my shoulder and am currently trying a new lift inside of my right shoe. I managed to hurt my rotator cuff when I changed my practice to protect my back. I had challenged myself with handstands, but I hurt my shoulder because there is no give in my back and my joints don't like to go beyond their limits.
My teacher has always said that although our actions are imperfect, you still must act anyway. And despite my limitations, my practice is an exploration. When move my body I can find space in my joints, strength in my muscles and ease in my mind. But along that journey of exploration I can still sometimes make mistakes. I understand that sometimes I get it right, while other times I get it wrong. Sometimes I injure myself practicing yoga, sometimes I injure myself taking a walk. And once while laying over a bolster, I injured myself by banging my head as I stood up! I am imperfect in my actions but I still get up each day and move.
This movement is the momentum of my life. When I help students practice yoga, I remember my own mistakes. I look at my own actions and the fearlessness, curiosity and enthusiasm required to keep me on the path. All action is imperfect and inaction is action. So smile and take action in order to help others learn and grow.
4. Be imperfect in speech. This is where inspiration lives.
The first time I studied with Mathew Sanford he said something that touched me: "If you are in the present moment, happiness arises." He went on to say, "Being in a wheel chair isn't that great, I just make it look great." I was completely overcome — the power of what he said shook me.
As a paralyzed yoga practitioner for 18 years, he is imperfect and is continuing to working with that. And it's his imperfections that are his tools for teaching. His voice is so full of light, life, hope and promise. He inspired me. I recognized that real, authentic speech arises when we share our imperfection— when we share who we really are.
Each day when I work on my lectures and my blog posts, I hear their imperfections. And I listen to myself with an open heart. This practice gives me the inspiration to write and speak again tomorrow. If I said everything perfectly, then what would be left to share?
5. Enjoy your imperfect life. This is where happiness lives.
I'll say it again: We are all broken. I have experienced great happiness since I surrendered to my injuries. And I want you to find a way to embrace your brokenness, too. I want you to spread your wings and flop around on the floor in an ecstatic dance of imperfection. It is only in this embodiment that we can make space for whom we really are.
Because only then can we make room for the imperfections of others. I will never achieve backbends or forward folds as a result of persistence and perseverance, but I do live as a unique being in a diverse world, where everyone has a place and our value is not dependent upon anything. I am happy and perfectly imperfect.