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On courage (Quotes to live by)

Yesterday we talked about living with integrity. To live with integrity, we need courage, which is today's quote from Maya Angelou.

Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.

Courage, let us remind ourselves is not the absence of fear.

As Nelson Mandela said
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.

Courage is also to keep doing the work you were meant to do, despite fear the fear you feel:

Finding the courage to write does not involve erasing or 'conquering' one's fears. Working writers aren't those who have eliminated their anxiety. They are the ones who keep scribbling while their heart races and their stomach churns.
Ralph Keyes

What areas of your life are you letting your fear get the best of you?

Here is...

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On doing the right thing (Quotes to live by)

We are exploring wisdom from Maya Angelou this week.

Today's quote is about doing the right thing.

Just do right. Right may not be expedient, it may not be profitable, but it will satisfy your soul. It brings you the kind of protection that bodyguards can't give you. So try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue and inertia and timidity. Take up the battle. Take it up. It's yours. This is your life. This is your world.
Maya Angelou

She also said:
We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror? And, according to our light, our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yay, or nay – and rise!

Activists such as MLK have said similar words:

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.
Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Doing though difficult, is the...

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Learning from history (Quotes to live by)

Continuing with our series on Quotes to live by, this week lets explore some words of wisdom from Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. A prolific writer, she published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years.

Maya lived a rich and varied life. She was also a journalist who worked in Africa, a historian, songwriter, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer and singer. And as an activist, she was one of the Civil Rights Movement's most prominent women, who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and devoted her life to being a tireless voice for women and black people — and for an open-hearted vision of humanity where all could find their place.

One of the great spiritual voices of our time, Maya left behind a legacy of simple but powerful practical wisdom to inspire us.

Today's quote...

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Whose business are you in? (Quotes to live by)

Byron Katie, developer of a method of self-inquiry called The Work, teaches that our time can be occupied worrying about one of three businesses: someone else's business, God's business or OUR business.

To minimize suffering and maximize effectiveness, we want to stay out of other people's business and we want to stay out of God's business and focus exclusively on our own business – things that we have control over, that is only our own thoughts and behaviours.

This reminds me of The Serenity Prayer which is today's "quote to live by":

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

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The way of love (Quotes to live by)

And another favourite from Rumi today:

The way of love

The way of love is not
a subtle argument.

The door there
is devastation.

Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.
How do they learn it?

They fall, and falling,
they're given wings.

Isn't that beautiful? How do you understand these verses?

Here is one interpretation (there are many more of course – the beauty of Rumi is that he can speak about Divine love and earthly love using the same words)

True love is a demanding thing...and it is an argument...with yourself and your lover...an argument because you are desiring love and afraid of love in the same breath...an argument because you and your lover are different and are trying to become more like one within each other...

"the door there is devastation"...the entry way to love is passed through by holding yourself open to great risk...risk of vulnerability, of rejection, of being hurt, of being out of control, of "falling"...

For Divine love, and for earthly love to...

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Live up to your potential (Quotes to live by)

Today's is about fulfilling your potential

You sit here for days saying, "This is strange business."
You're the strange business.
You have the energy of the sun in you, but you keep knotting it up at the base of your spine. You're some weird kind of gold that wants to stay melted in the furnace, so you won't have to become coins.

Are you ready to get out of the furnace??

Here is a great introduction to Rumi's timeless verses:
The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

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Feel your feelings! (Quotes to live by)

Today's is about the value in acknowledging and feeling our emotions – a very modern concept expressed some centuries ago!

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning is a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor...
Welcome and entertain them all.
Treat each guest honorably.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

Here is a great introduction to Rumi's timeless verses:
The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

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Growing through hardships (Quotes to live by)

This week we are sharing some favourite excerpts from Rumi.

Today's is about the necessity of hardship and difficulty to polish and unearth the diamond within.

Rumi says:
If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?

He also talks about welcoming rather than escaping from sorrow:

Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place. (<3)

There is a beautiful passage about the potential of spiritual growth in adversity in Elizabeth's Lesser's delicious book Broken Open. (HIGHLY recommended reading!)

She writes:
May you listen to the voice within the beat even when you are tired.
When you feel yourself breaking down, may you...

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Recognize the yearning for the Divine (Quotes to live by)

This week we will be sharing some favourite excerpts from Rumi.

Here is today's excerpt about yearning and connecting with the Divine:

There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.
You feel it, don't you?

Rumi

And another favourite about finding the spiritual amongst the mundane:

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Rumi

Here is a great introduction to Rumi's timeless verses:
The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

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Believe in magic (Quotes to live by)

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.

From Roald Dahl's last children's story, The Minpins. It is the very last line of that very last story.

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