Monday, October 2, 2017

Politically Segregated

“As people seek out the social settings they prefer—as they choose the group that makes them feel the most comfortable—the nation grows more politically segregated—and the benefit that ought to come with having a variety of opinions is lost to the righteousness that is the special entitlement of homogeneous groups... Like-minded, homogeneous groups squelch dissent, grow more extreme in their thinking, and ignore evidence that their positions are wrong. As a result, we now live in a giant feedback loop, hearing our own thoughts about what's right and wrong bounced back to us by the television shows we watch, the newspapers and books we read, the blogs we visit online, the sermons we hear, and the neighborhoods we live in.” — Bill Bishop, “The Big Sort”

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

True Relationships

"An intimate relationship is one in which neither party silences, sacrifices, or betrays the self; each party expresses strength and vulnerability, weakness and competence in a balanced way."

Harriet Lerner

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Contour

"Believe in the holy contour of life."

Jack Kerouac

Word organize reality

"I have always used songwriting as a way to help me organize reality."

Jason Mraz

Land Art

Land really is the best art.



-Andy Warhol

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Chiaroscuro

"All the diversity, all the charm, and all the beauty of life are made up of light and shade."

Leo Tolstoy

Your armor

"I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in you ear: I'm not screwing around. It's time. All of this pretending and performing--these coping mechanisms that you're developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt -- has to go.

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you're still searching and you're more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can't live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It's time to show up and be seen.

Brene Brown

It is not weight; it is wings

"Some Christians carry their religion on their backs. It is a packet of beliefs and practices which they must bear. At times it grows heavy and they would willingly lay it down, but that would mean a break with old traditions, so they shoulder it again. But real Christians do not carry their religion, their religion carries them. It is not weight; it is wings. It lifts them up, it sees them over hard places, it makes the universe seem friendly, life purposeful, hope real, sacrifice worthwhile. It sets them free from fear, futility, discouragement, and sin--the great enslavers of men's woulds. You can know a real Christian, when you see him, by his buoyancy."

Harry Emerson Fosdick

Invisible

"It's the things inside us that feel the most real, but are the most unknown from the outside looking in."

@alimakesthings

Give up control and trust the soil

"It’s more about trusting your own instincts — recognizing that, even in your messiness, you are perfectly made, that you have these seeds, these gifts, that must be planted and trusted.
In many ways, eradicating self-doubt is the pathway to a deeper humility. When you don’t doubt the seed you have planted, you, in a sense, give up control. You admit how little you have to do with the fruits of your own labor. It’s the water and the air and the photosynthesis and maybe, depending on your belief system, it’s an inexplicable, jaw-dropping miracle. You trust that your biggest gifts may actually conspire to exist even without your careful cultivation, that perhaps they will have an even greater chance of appearing if you don’t obsess over them.
I’m going to try to heed Alonzo’s call. I’m going to try to forget time, like Maya. I’m going to try to trust the soil, like Louise. I’m going to give up thinking that I can micromanage miracles — big or small."

Too many considerations

"The singing intent dies a slow death. Our most basic fear is intellectualized and called “revision.” This is not watering the seed; it is poisoning the dirt with too many considerations. "

Courtney Martin, On Being

Keep the seed underground

“Self-doubt has to be eradicated. If you plant a seed, you don’t dig it up to see if it’s growing. You plant it. You believe in it. You nurture it. You go with it.”

Alonzo King interview, via OnBeing

A Real Picture of Hope

"Hope and the future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields...but in the impervious and quaking swamps."

-Henry David Thoreau

Get used to it

"Substantive change is anxiety provoking-- even those changes we are actively pushing for."

Harriet Lerner

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Doubt is the handmaiden of truth

"Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth. Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery. A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error, for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief. Doubt is the touchstone of truth; it is an acid which eats away the false. Let no [person] fear for the truth, that doubt may consume it; for doubt is a testing of belief. The truth stands boldly and unafraid; it is not shaken by the testing; for truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing stronger, more secure. [They] that would silence doubt [are] filled with fear; the house of [their] spirit is built on shifting sands. But [they] that fear no doubt, and know its use, [are] founded on a rock. [They] shall walk in the light of growing knowledge; the work of [their] hands shall endure. Therefore let us not fear doubt, but let us rejoice in its help: it is to the wise as a staff to the blind; rout is the handmaiden of truth."

Robert T. Weston

Love is an Art

“Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.” 

"Falling in love is chemical...but to stay in love is an art. And like any art it requires understanding its theory, and then mastering its application."


― Erich FrommThe Art of Loving


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Peace Out Offense

"Don't take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering."

-Don Miguel Ruiz

Monday, May 29, 2017

Faith is Magnetism

"Faith is the magnetism of divine power interfacing with our desire to believe God and believe that He will help us."

Megan Goates, To Our Survival

Monday, May 22, 2017

The danger of a single story

"Until the lion learns to write, every story will glorify the hunter."
-African proverb

A book must be

"A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."

-Kafka





Monday, May 1, 2017

Last Lines Shift

"When I teach writing I tell my students that the invisible, unwritten last line of every essay should be and nothing was ever the same again. By which I mean the reader should feel the ground shift, if only a little bit, when he or she comes to the end of the essay. Also, there should be something at stake in the writing of it. Or, better yet, everything."
Cheryl Strayed 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Triumph is Trying

"There's no end to the thread that I pull, it's electric like fire and light. It's an anthem majestic I weave, sing, shout, dabble in words or with easels. I see triumph as trying, not seeking appraisals so the heart is enabled."

Amelia Bethel

Bloom Anyway

"The sunset doesn't care if we watch it or not. It will keep on being beautiful, even if no one bothers to look at it."

Gene Amole

Look Up

"I avoid looking forward or backward and try to keep looking upward."

Charlotte Bronte

The Broom and the Mess

"Sometimes, I'm the mess. Sometimes, I'm the broom. On the hardest days, I have to be both."

Rudy Francisco

Sing Anyway

"On those days when we feel a little out of tune...remember, it is by divine design that not all the voices in God's choir are the same."

-Elder Holland LDS Conference April 2017

Walk Away and Grow

"You cannot seek water from the one who drained your seas, and you cannot build a home for your worth inside another being. The medicine is when you return to yourself, where you will remember your strength, reclaim your rhythm and write your new song."

-Victoria Erickson

Small Concessions

"When your life is built on a thousand and one small concessions you have made because things didn’t go as planned, then life itself is tethered to what happened before. I couldn’t leave the past behind because I was living some flimsy, upside-down version of it."

Meg Fee

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sea Glass

Now I long for simplicity. It’s all I want.
I do not think this makes me old. I think it makes me pummeled, like sea glass.
Sea glass is pretty.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Story Biopsy

"A story is a kind of biopsy of human life."

-Lorrie Moore

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

A Sunday Kind of Love

"I want to be with someone, who dreams of doing everything in life, and nothing, on a rainy Sunday afternoon."

Atticus

Intuition

"Intuition is not a single way of knowing - it's our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we've developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason."

-Brene Brown

March

"And then her heart changed, or at least she understood it; and the winter passed, and the sun shone upon her."

JRR Tolkien

Friday, March 10, 2017

Hungry Heart

"If you get hungry enough, they say, you start eating your own heart."

Margaret Atwood

Dirt Blooms

"When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower."

Alexander Den Heijer

Pay Attention to

"Pay attention to what you pay attention to."

-Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Nature for Body + Soul

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."

John Muir

That Vulnerable Moment

"The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself - that's the moment you may be starting to get it right."

Neil Gaiman, University of the Arts commencement speech

Vibe

"Ain't what you do - it's the way that you do it."

Ella Fitzgerald

The Journey - Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
What you had to do, and began,
Though the voices around you
Kept shouting
their bad advice,
Though the whole house
Began to tremble
And you felt the old tug
At your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
Each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
Though the wind pried
With its stiff fingers
At the very foundations,
Though their melancholy
Was terrible.
It was already late
Enough, and a wilde night,
And the road full of fallen
Branches and stones.
But little by little,
As you left their voices behind,
The starts began to burn
Through the sheets of clouds,
And there was a new voice,
Which you slowly Recognized as you won,
That kept you company
As you Strode deeper and deeper
Into the world,
Determined to do
The only thing you could do,
Determined to save
The only life you could save.

Mary Oliver

Great Hopes

"My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return."

-Maya Angelou

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Grace and Love

"Grace is when you aren't striving or controlling or trying to change or manipulate or make something happen. Grace is when you find yourself carried along, when all that's left to do is receive. Grace is when you know you're loved, exactly as you are. Grace is an entirely different way of experiencing life. Another word for grace is gift."

-Rob Bell, The Zimzum of Love


To Judge

"To judge someone before understanding that person is a form of human rejection and feeds upon itself. It intensifies personal insecurities, necessitating more judgment (prejudice) and less understanding. The processes continue in this vicious cycle."

-Stephen R. Covey, Spiritual Roots of Human Relations




Sunday, February 26, 2017

Infinite Distances

"...once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky."

-Rilke

Made of Layers

"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another, unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made of layers, cells, constellations."

-Anais Nin

Of Monsters

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster."

-Nietzsche

Transcendent Love

"By synthesis of all the colors, men can make whiteness, they cannot make light. By synthesis of all the virtues, men can make virtue, they cannot make Love. How then are we to have this transcendent living whole conveyed into our souls? We brace our wills to secure it. We try to copy those who have it. We lay down rules about it. we watch. We pray. But these things alone will not bring Love into our nature. Love is an effect And only as we fulfill the right condition can we have the effect produced. Shall I tell you what the cause is?

Because He first loved us."

-Henry Drummond | The Greatest Thing in the World (1870)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Growing Up Costs the Earth

"Most people don't grow up. It's too damn difficult. What happens is most people get older. That's the truth of it. They honor credit cards, they find parking spaces. They marry, they have the nerve to have children, but they don't grow up. Not really. They get older. But to grow up costs the Earth, the Earth. It means you take responsibility for the time you take up, for the space you occupy. It's serious business. And you find out what it costs us to love and to lose, to dare and to fail. And maybe even more, to succeed. What it costs, in truth. That's what I write. What it really is like. I'm just telling a very simple story."

-Maya Angelou

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Faith and Talking to Yourself

"Faith begins with how you talk to yourself."

"Dwelling obsessively on what we do wrong is one of the greatest sources of interference to maximizing our potential."

-Craig Manning, BYU

Beautiful Hurt

"There are a few things in life so beautiful they hurt: swimming in the ocean while it rains, reading alone in empty libraries, the sea of stars that appear when you're miles away from the neon lights of the city, walking in the wilderness, all the phases of the moon, the things we do not know about the universe, and you you."

-Beau Japlin

Sunday, January 29, 2017

It's Never Wasted

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we came here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”

Orson F. Whitney

Because that's the sort of thing I'm always saying...

" People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened. My store is closing this week. I own a store, did I ever tell you that? It's a lovely store, and in a week it will be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap. Soon, it'll just be a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it's a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that's the sort of thing I'm always saying. But the truth is... I'm heartbroken. I feel as if a part of me has died, and my mother has died all over again, and no one can ever make it right."

You've Got Mail, Nora Ephron

Good Night Dear Void

"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void."

You've Got Mail, Nora Ephron

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Tragedies to Stories

“The tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next.” - Nora Ephron

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women March

"There is no noise as powerful as the sound of the marching feet of a determined people."

-MLK JR.

We are Water

"She is water--soft enough to offer life. Tough enough to drown it away."

-Rupi Kaur

Stars are Silent

"All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems...But all these stars are silent. You - You alone will have stars as no one else has them...In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night...You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me...You will always be my friend. you will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure...It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number or little bells that knew how to laugh."

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

Concentrated Hue

"A thimbleful of red is redder than a bucketful."

-Henry Matisse

Friday, January 20, 2017

Francis of Assisi Prayer

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace,
that where there is hatred, I may bring love;
that where there is wrong,
 I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;
that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
that where there is error, I may bring truth;
that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
that where there is despair, I may bring hope;
that where there are shadows, I may bring light;
that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to
comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Faith Includes

“My scientist friends have come up with things like 'principles of uncertainty' and dark holes. They're willing to live inside imagined hypotheses and theories. But many religious folks insist on answers that are always true. We love closure, resolution and clarity, while thinking that we are people of 'faith'! How strange that the very word 'faith' has come to mean its exact opposite.”

-Richard Rohr

― Richard Rohr

Monday, January 16, 2017

Tangled Path

"You'll never untangle the circumstances that have brought you to this moment."

Leonard Cohen

Blow the rest away...

"Oh, the comfort- the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."

Dinah Maria Craik

Simply Words

"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple."

Jack Kerouac

Woman's Scepter

"Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's scepter, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming around its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison."

Mary Wollstonecraft, 1792

Orbit of Your Soul

"The final mystery is oneself. When one has weighed the sun in the balance, and measured the steps of the moon, and mapped out the seven heavens star by star, there still remains oneself. Who can calculate the orbit of his own soul?"

Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Mercilessly

"Don't bend; don't water it down;
don't try to make it logical;
don't edit your own soul according to the fashion.
Rather, follow your  most intense obsessions mercilessly."

-Franz Kafka

Happiness

"Happiness, not in another place but this place...not for another hour, but this hour."

-Walt Whitman