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Words to Encourage – Inspire – Heal – Motivate!

I am what time, circumstances, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all. James Baldwin, Writer, Activist

Whether a person remembers the details of being abused is not important. When the consequence of that abuse is a feeling of worthlessness, they can still engage in a process of self-recovery by finding ways to affirm self-worth. bell hooks, All About Love

I found God…in myself…and I loved her fiercely. Ntozake Shange

Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural–you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow. Thích Nhất Hạnh

I limit by saying “I am this. I am that. The “I am” stuff is your distance from God. Steven Levine

The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy. Thích Nhất Hạnh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

Who am I? Why am I going to attack who I am? Steven Levine, Who Dies?

Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment. Thích Nhất Hạnh

Who you are…”has nothing to do with what you can see happening to my body; it’s what’s happening to my soul.” Paul Coelho

I believe that we’re all born with enough person self-esteem to last us a lifetime. But when these messages don’t get nurtured when we are children, they become almost nonexistent when we are adults. Just as our infant and childhood bodies need care, nurturing and stimulation in order to help us grow into healthy adult, our self- esteem need the same type of care in order to remain a healthy part of our lives. Julia Boyd

The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. Thích Nhất Hạnh

Sooner or later we must accept the fact that in a relationship, the only person you are dealing with is yourself. Your partner does nothing more than reveal your stuff to you. Your fear! Your anger! Your pattern! Your craziness! As long as you insist on pointing the finger out there, at them, you will continue to miss out on the divine opportunity to clear your stuff. Iyanla Vanzant, In the Meantime

For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” Thích Nhất Hạnh

Your grief should never be a private affair. You need other people as much as you need air to breathe. There is more than comfort sharing with others…there is the strength you need to endure the length and burden of your grief. Bob Diets

Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free. Thích Nhất Hạnh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge. They are chaotic, sometimes painful, but they come from deep within us. And we must key into those feelings. This is where new visions begin. Audre Lorde

You yourself, as much as anybody in the universe, deserve your love and affection. Buddha

How simple a thing it seems to me, that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mother’s names. Alice Walker

A Meditation

Our Field of Tall Grass – How We Stay True to Our Goals and Values

Imagine your goals and values on the other side of a field of tall grass. As you navigate toward your goals over and over, using a compassionate, intentional and mindful stance, you begin to create a path through the field. It becomes more obvious and easy to follow every time your retrace your steps. Even if you start in a slightly different place each time, you spend less effort fighting through the tall grass because you reach a familiar path more quickly.

When you begin to notice an uncomfortable emotion or thought, giving yourself permission to acknowledge it, become more curious about the thought or feeling, what meaning it may have for you, and then let it flow by without holding onto it or letting it drive your actions in that moment. In this way you can keep your self-defined values and goals in the driver’s seat, without letting them “drive” you.

So in that field of grass, we can notice the heat, the bugs, our thirst, our tiredness, or the heavy load we’re carrying, but we don’t allow those things to take us off the path. We don’t struggle through the field indefinitely, fighting or pursuing each distraction. We reach our destination — a life worth living. –Excerpt from ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

A helpful acronym to reduce suffering and become more mindful is RAIN:
R – Recognize what arises – What’s coming up?–thought/ feeling/ sensation
A – Accept what arises – Accept that this thought/feeling is painful/difficult
I – Investigate what arises – Become curious about what it means–is this a familiar thought/feeling/pattern?
N – Non-identification with what arises – “This is only one thought/feeling that I don’t have to attach to or become reactive around; this is not ALL of me, I can let it go.”