Tranquil-line-selsey-chichesterInspirational quotes

This is an ever growing collection of inspirational quotes that speak to me: ones to look at for inspiration, re-assurance, reflection and learning:

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey” (Kenji Miyazawa)

“And I have felt a presence that disturbs me with joy; of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime. Of something far more deeply interfused , whose dwelling is the light of setting suns , and the round ocean, and the living air, and the blue sky, and in the mind of man, a motion and a spirit, that impels all thinking things, all objects of all thought, and rolls through all things….” (William Wordsworth Lines written at Tintern Abbey)  

In essential things; unity. In non-essential things; liberty. In all things; charity (Moravian Church, Brockweir, Forest of Dean)

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved – loved for ourselves – or rather loved in spite of ourselves.” (Victor Hugo)

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom” (William Blake)

” Mistakes are the portals of discovery”  (James Joyce)

“Certain people have a way of saying things that shake us at the core. Even when the words do not seem harsh or offensive, the impact is shattering. What we could be experiencing is the intent behind the words. When we intend to do good, we do. When we intend to do harm, it happens. What each of us must come to realise is that our intent always comes through. We cannot sugarcoat the feelings in our heart of hearts. The emotion is the energy that motivates. We cannot ignore what we really want to create. We should be honest and do it the way we feel it. What we owe to ourselves and everyone around is to examine the reasons of our true intent” (Thurgood Marshall)

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen”. (Elizabeth Kubler Ross)

“Ancient legends and myths abound with the struggle for our human spirit to evolve, to grow, and to learn through struggles, through reflection, and completing what is sometimes referred to as The Hero’s Journey. When we are courageous enough to encounter disorienting dilemmas and try and make sense of our lives through reflective learning, we often find unknown guides or mentors who appear when we need them, we find struggles on the journey that seem insurmountable, and yet if we are brave, if we push on, and resist the force to return from the quest, then we may find ourselves transformed by the time we have completed the quest. Others may not be aware of our personal transformation, but we will know inside that we have fundamentally changed in how we see ourselves, how we see others, and how we may now make sense of the world in a different way.” (Dirkx – Soul & Meaning Making)

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but
for the heart to conquer it.” (Tagore)

‘What shames us, what we most fear to tell, does not set us apart from others; it binds us together, if only we can take the risk to speak it’ (Starhawk)

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown; for going out, I found, was really going in.” (John Muir)

“Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye” (Antoine de Saint Exupery; the little Prince)

“ It is not happiness – it is joy. It is something different. Joy develops out of the soul as soon as we are in tune with the movements of the soul; in whatever direction they take us. Sometimes this path may be an illness, a challenging task or perhaps an unavoidable adventure. If we are in tune with the movement of the soul then we feel connected to something great. And this is full of joy.

Joy has a quality of completeness, of fullness, that comes from this connection. This joy is quiet, it rests, and it has weight and shines.

So, if we are in the presence of people who experience this joy, we ourselves become quiet, collected and centred.  And this joy has no purpose, no wishes, and no regrets. It is in tune, even with guilt and the consequences of guilt. Strange as it may seem, guilt has a divine quality. If we are in tune with guilt it connects us to something very deep and very strong.

When we are faced with difficult situations, which demand much of those involved, then we too must not feel any regret or desire to change the situation. There is very often greatness in those involved, no matter how terrible their circumstances may appear to us. Once we agree to our own destinies, fates and entanglements, and also to the entanglements and difficulties, the guilt and suffering of those whom we love……Then we experience joy.

It’s very strange. It’s a very deep contentment. In this way, today, I wish you this deep inner joy. “ (Bert Hellinger: London Workshop, April 2000)

“It costs so much to be a full human being…. One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover, and yet demand no easy return of love. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying”. (Morris West, The Shoes of the Fisherman)

“After living with their dysfunctional behaviour for so many years (a sunk cost if ever there was one), people become invested in defending their dysfunctions rather than changing them.” (Marshall Goldsmith: Mojo)

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” (James Thurber)

“If you say something it needs to be an improvement on the silence” (Guy Euston)

“The secret is not to be in the know, but remain in the mystery” (Unknown)

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” (Buddha)


“We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home any who have lost their way.” (Saint Francis)

“But you can’t get to any truths by sitting in a field smiling beatifically, avoiding your anger and damage and grief. Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth. We don’t have much truth to express unless we have gone into those rooms and closets and woods and abysses that we were told not go in to. When we have gone in and looked around for a long while, just breathing and finally taking it in – then we will be able to speak in our own voice and to stay in the present moment. And that moment is home”. (Anne Lamott)

“The greatest sweetener of human life is friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment, is a secret which but few discover”. (Joseph Addison)

A Cherokee is telling his grandson about a fight that is going on inside himself. He said “It is between 2 wolves. One is evil:  Anger, envy sorrow, regret, fearful thinking, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.The other is good:  Joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought at it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” (Two Wolves – a Cherokee Tale)

“In all our individual states,we are always communal. There is always a point where a hand reaches out to another hand”. (Ali Smith)

130_road_and_stormy_sky“It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness” (The Christopher’s)

“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt” (Bertrand Russell)

Poco a poco se anda lejos; little by little one travels far (Spanish saying)

“I am weak, then I am strong” (The Bible)

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man” (Heraclitus)

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time” (TS Eliot)

 “Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment” (Rumi)

Change leaves“Learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when you touch the miracle of the living soul” (Carl Jung)

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”
(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

“You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without want and a grief. But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound” (Khalil Gibran)

“Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in” (Leonard Cohen)

“Our greatest vulnerability is the very door through which we must pass in order to open the next horizon of our lives” (unknown)

“A beautiful human person, fumbling & stumbling to refresh the irritation because growth does not reside in a place called comfortable” (Pip Wilson)

“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” (Pema Chödrön)

“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.” (Rumi)

“The cure for pain is in the pain” (Rumi)

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back- concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”  (Goethe)

“Far off in the red mangroves an alligator has heaved himself onto a hummock of grass and lies there, studying his poems.” (Mary Oliver)

“When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety; if I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it.” (Rumi)

“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick. Vulnerability is the glue that holds relationships together. It’s the magic sauce.” (Brene Brown)

“We get to be our full selves when we understand that damage is no longer feared as total destruction; a good experience doesn’t mean heaven forever. Its loss is not the end of the world but a real manageable grief mitigated by hope for good experiences in the future” (a counselling training course quote)