Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekly Quotes Part 12

You Can Beat the Odds!

Quoting Roland Nolen
Expecting fairness in life is a gigantic energy waster.  The fact is, once you’re done with the fairness hang-up, you can really make serious progress.  (223)

Reframing a tragic situation or tuning up an unproductive worldview buffers some of the crushing effects of calamities that befall us.  Questioning our automatic assumptions builds a repertoire of positive self-beliefs that support us during periods of crisis and change.  (241)

It is not unusual to react in a time of crisis but, when we choose to live more consciously, more responsively (and responsibly) than reactively, we allow ourselves to make better choices.  Just because we beat ourselves up in the past, doesn't mean we need to do it again.  Just because we didn't duck the first time the shit hit the fan, doesn't mean we shouldn't duck next time.  And just because we're standing, covered in shit, doesn't mean we have to beat ourselves up now.  Just remember to duck next time.

[F]eeling guilty isn’t particularly helpful.  Giving yourself a hard to for not exercising, for example, rarely results in a workout.  More often, negative self-talk is followed by a heavy sigh and a trip to the fridge. . . . (243)

Focusing on our faults and our flaws may actually bring us more of what we don’t want.  By focusing on what we do want more of, maybe more compassion, tolerance, or peace, we’ll be moving in the direction of our goals.  (248)

1.  Is this line of thinking how I want to create my future?
2.  Is it productive?  Is it true?
3.  Is it helping me now? (248)

This is a wonderful list of questions to use when trying to shift from reacting to responding.  Odds are, especially at first, you'll react and then later remember the questions.  But with time, and practice, and more time and a lot of practice, the questions will no longer be necessary because responding will be the knee-jerk reaction rather than an unconscious reaction.

Our meaning is defined in part by our perspective.  (258)

The following are five ways we can interpret illness depending on the meaning we assign to it:
1.  a challenge to be met
2.  a form of punishment
3.  an opportunity for personal growth
4.  an event signifying irreparable loss or damage to ourselves
5.  a welcome escape from responsibilities   (259)

I think this is very interesting because it pretty much covers most of the ways we approach illness.  I was especially intrigued by the second one, "a form of punishment", because this is unfortunately very true.  In a culture where sin and disease are so strongly connected, it should come as no surprise that often the person with a disease feels a guilt and shame associated with it and that some people, even very close friends and family, blame the person for being sick.

Facing our own mortality allows us to appreciate the present, live in the moment, and create a new way of being.  Designing a life that suits us, that stimulates us, one that makes us feel vibrantly and passionately alive, may be our greatest work.  (264)

I just love that last sentence!  I highly recommend this book!  But you already know that if you read my review.

Garland of Love

When we’re afraid it’s because we’ve lost or haven’t yet found the common thread, that which at the center is alike in all of us: that we are human, that we suffer, that we change, that we die.  (March 21)

[A]lthough we all tend to hope that life will be simple, that things will stay as they are, we also need to welcome the changes of life–of growth, of loss, of altered circumstances.  (March 23)

During my Qigong practice this morning, the teacher mentioned how working with energy, doing energy practices like qigong or yoga, helps the person to flow with the changes in life.  The internal work of moving energy in the body, of sitting in silent meditation, etc., grounds the self so that when changes in life come, as they inevitably will, the self is untouched, unmoved, even in the face of change.

Romancing the Ordinary

[E]valuate the importance of wearable clothing by asking each piece these four questions:
When were you last used or worn?
Did I feel beautiful or comfortable in you?
When and how could you be used or worn in the future?
If I were moving instead of cleaning, would I take you with me?   (137)

I really need to clean out my closets but I am still hoping I'll lose weight.

Quoting Dominique Browning
Let go of the people who cause you constant pain; let go of the negativity that colors a room more darkly than any coat of paint.  Keep close the people you love, the ones who stay engaged and open to life, who bring joy and peace to the house and garden.  (140)

I think it's important to recognize the darkness we carry within, to consciously choose to let it go as best we can.  There is a time and place.  Sometimes we need to set aside our grief or anger just long enough to get through the moment.  Going to work angry won't make the day go by faster and going to a party depressed won't make the sadness go away.  But when we can set these aside, nurture these emotions in the right time and place, then we can trust that we aren't carrying this kind of darkness with us everywhere we go.  Whenever I have sensed people pulling away from me, it is not because they did not care to connect but could not reach me, typically because I was so consumed with my own feelings that I wouldn't let them touch me.  Too raw in my own emotions, connecting in any way seemed like an invitation to more pain.

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