Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekly Quotes 2014 #7

How much formal meditation is general recommended?  The usual length of time is 30 to 45 minutes daily.  (52)

[D]ifficult feelings are part of everyone’s life, so we need to deal with them in the best possible way.  We’ll never be able to relax if we’re fugitives from our own feelings.  (61)

Labeling emotions is a powerful way to manage them and to behave skillfully in relationships.  It helps us stay calm so we can make rational decisions. . . .  Brain research has revealed that finding words for feeling deactivates the part of the brain that initiates a stress response. (71)

How do we practice labeling in daily life?  Follow the basic structure of the mindfulness exercises you’ve been doing: stop, observe, return.  Whenever you’re seized by a strong emotion, stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, bring your attention to your chest region, observe what feeling you’re having, and name it two to three times in a gentle, loving manner. Shift your attention between your anchor and the label until the emotion loses its grip on you.  (77)

Loving-kindness is wishing happiness for another person.  Compassion is wishing for that person to be free from suffering.  We can experience loving-kindness anywhere and anytime, but suffering is a prerequisite for compassion.  (82)

[T]hey would teach me that love doesn’t come with a fairy-tale ending of happily ever after.  (xii)

Although when my mother died, she had practically nothing in her bank account, she was the wealthiest woman I’d ever known.  (21)

Another way I coped was by attracting friends who sought comfort, who needed someone to talk to about their problems.  The comfort I could not give myself, I was now giving to others, hoping that some of it would be returned to me.  And it was.  I felt needed and valued.  That, of course, would develop into a lifelong pattern.  On some level, I held on to the belief that vulnerability was risky and that perfection could protect me against my pain.  (51)

I think that the isolation so many people experience is a result of that same separation from parts of themselves that have been disowned.  (54)

I have everything I need to write this book. But I lack one thing:  confidence.  And the reason I lack confidence is that I think I am going to do it on my own.  I am forgetting that I Have inner support, inner allies, inner knowledge that comes from something beyond me, and I need to trust it.  If I am open to receiving this assistance, all sorts of support will come my way. (69)

One study suggested that eliminating clutter would cut down the amount of housework in the average home by 40 percent.  (25)

[A]lthough we presume that we act because of the way we feel, in fact we often feel because of the way we act.  (35)

I’d always followed the adage “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,” which meant, in practical terms, that I scrupulously aired every annoyance as soon as possible, to make sure I had my chance to vent my bad feelings before bedtime.  I was surprised to learn from my research, however, that the well-known notion of anger catharsis is poppycock.  There’s no evidence for the belief that “letting off steam” is healthy or constructive.  In fact, studies show that aggressively expressing anger doesn’t relieve anger but amplifies it.  On the other hand, not expressing anger often allows it to disappear without leaving ugly traces.  (64)

I enjoy the fun of failure.  (79)

The fact is, life is more fun when I keep my resolutions.  (93)

Write a letter from your happy, serene, contented . . . Authentic Self five years from now, and let Future Self give today’s inner gal a heads-up about choices she’ll make, where she’ll be living, the work that she’ll be doing, which she loves.  (239-240)

A sudden windfall is a wonderful thing and you immediately want to share it, but keeping your relationship with money intimately private is the beginning of wealth wisdom.  (301)

Secrets of any kind are toxic to our soul.  (370)

[E]valuate the importance of . . . 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?  (377)
We think that it’s dresses, skirts, and pants hanging in our closets, but really it’s our past, for most item of clothing are associated, for good or ill, with people, places, and periods of our lives.  (377)

Quoting Helen Mirren:  Being a sexual object is mortifying and irritating, yet it’s giving you power—an awful power you’ve done nothing to deserve, a powerless power. . . . I think some young women fall in love with that power, and it’s really objectifying.  And when it starts falling away, it’s an incredible relief.  (3)

I don’t want to be identified by my chronological age.  Especially now, because I have so much to stay about “aging.”  Before they jump to any conclusions , I want people to know something about my state of mind, to enter into conversation with me about experiences we share—“Yes, I know what she means” or “For me it is this way. . . .”  I want to be seen for who I am, before anyone factors in what age I am.  (8)

How . . . could we move forward if we couldn’t identify a driving force. . . .  (23)

A common problem is that we defeat ourselves before we start by replacing old unrealistic expectations with new ones.  (26)

Career consultant Carole Hyatt, who is very good at helping people get unstuck professionally, has devised an exercise that I find especially liberating.  She asks her clients to list all the skills they have, as they have done a thousand times before.  Then she shakes it all up by telling each client to cross of the skills she hates.  (31)


  1. I love the isolation quote from Unbinding the Heart...

    1. There are several lovely ideas in the book. I didn't love it but I liked it enough to give it to a friend for her birthday. My friend's been talking about writing a memoir and I think the author did a lovely job of sharing her story and being positive.