Inspirational Quotes

Acceptance

“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” – Carl Jung

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” – Joseph Goldstein

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” – Randy Pausch

“What you resist, persists.” – Carl Jung

“Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they’re alive and human.” – Albert Ellis

“The highest spiritual practice is self-observation without judgment.” – Swami Kripalu

“I’m not perfect….but I’m enough” – Carl Rogers

Anger

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha

“Look at children. Of course they may quarrel, but generally speaking they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do. Most adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings deep inside? Children don’t usually act in such a manner. If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished. They can still play with that person the following day.” – Dalai Lama

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain

“Anger is just anger. It isn’t good. It isn’t bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters. It’s like anything else. You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice.” – Jim Butcher

“There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.” – Plato

Anxiety

“The largest part of what we call ‘personality’ is determined by how we’ve opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness.” -Alain de Botton

“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.” -Dan Millman

“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” -Walter Anderson

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Awareness

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” – Carl Jung

The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” – Abraham Maslow

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.” – Carl Jung

“Despair is the price one pays for self-awareness. Look deeply into life, and you’ll always find despair.” – Irvin Yalom

“Lose your mind and come to your senses.” – Fritz Perls

Becoming

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”– Carl Jung

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” – Brené Brown,

“If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.” – Brene Brown

“The most common form of despair is not being who you are.”  Søren Kierkegaard

“Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.” – Eckhart Tolle

If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” – Abraham Maslow

Change

The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”
– Nathaniel Brandon

“Life, at its best, is a flowing, changing process in which nothing is fixed.” – Carl Rogers

“As long as he denies his own agency, real change is unlikely because his attention will be directed toward changing his environment rather than himself.” – Irvin Yalom

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl

“Nothing endures but change.” – Heraclitus

“We cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are. Then change seems to come about almost unnoticed.” – Carl R. Rogers

Confidence
TEN RULES FOR WINNING THE GAME OF CONFIDENCE: 1. The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later. 2. Genuine confidence is not the absence of fear; it is a transformed relationship with fear. 3. Negative thoughts are normal. Don’t fight them; defuse them. 4. Self-acceptance trumps self-esteem. 5. True success is living by your values. 6. Hold your values lightly, but pursue them vigorously. 7. Don’t obsess about the outcome; get passionate about the process. 8. Don’t fight your fear: allow it, befriend it, and channel it. 9. Failure hurts—but if we’re willing to learn, it’s a wonderful teacher. 10. The key to peak performance is total engagement in the task.” – Russ Harris

Courage

“The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it’s conformity.” – Rollo May

One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” – Abraham Maslow

Death

“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.” – Terry Pratchett

“Though the physicality of death destroys us, the idea of death may save us.” – Irvin Yalom

“Some refuse the loan of life to avoid the debt of death.” – Otto Rank

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” – Mark Twain

Depression

“Depression is like a woman in black. If she turns up, don’t shoo her away. Invite her in, offer her a seat, treat her like a guest and listen to what she wants to say.” – Carl Jung

“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” – Madeleine L’Engle

Emotion

Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.”Mark Twain

We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” – Brené Brown

“Feelings are not to be suppressed or fixed — they’re to be acknowledged.” – Jennifer Lane

Failure

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K. Rowling

“A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” John A. Shedd

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius

Freedom

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor Frankl

The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” – Viktor Frankl

Humour

“It is well known that humour, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.” – Viktor Frankl

“God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.” – Terry Pratchett

“Stop shoulding on yourself” – Albert Ellis

The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.” – Alfred Adler

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” Anonymous

“That was always the dream, wasn’t it? ‘I wish I’d known then what I know now’? But when you got older you found out that you now wasn’t the you then. You then was a twerp. You then was what you had to be to start out on the rocky road of becoming you now, and one of the rocky patches on that road was being a twerp.” – Terry Pratchett

Life

“Nietzsche’s message to us was to live life in such a way that we would be willing to repeat the same life eternally.” – Irvin Yalom

“I realize that if I were stable, prudent and static; I’d live in death. Therefore I accept confusion, uncertainty, fear and emotional ups and downs; because that’s the price I’m willing to pay for a fluid, perplexed and exciting life.” – Carl Rogers

“…live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!” – Viktor Frankl

“What surprises me most is “Man”, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present; The result being he doesn’t live in the present or the future; He lives as if he’s never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.” – Dalai Lama

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost

“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.” – Eckhart Tolle

Life is indeed difficult, partly because of the real difficulties we must overcome in order to survive, and partly because of our own innate desire to always do better, to overcome new challenges, to self-actualise. Happiness is experienced largely in striving towards a goal, not in having attained things, because our nature is always to want to go on to the next endeavour.” – Albert Ellis

Loneliness

“Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all.” – Rollo May

“Loneliness does not come from having no people around, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.” – Carl Jung

Loss

“So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.” – E.A. Bucchianeri

“Everyone who lives long enough to love deeply will experience great losses. Don’t let fear of loss, or the losses themselves, take away your ability to enjoy the wonderful life that is yours.” – Barbara “Cutie” Cooper

“Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realise that nothing really belongs to them.” – Paulo Coelho

Love

“To love means to be actively concerned for the life and the growth of another.” – Irvin Yalom

“To love means to open ourselves to the negative as well as the positive – to grief, sorrow, and disappointment as well as to joy, fulfillment, and an intensity of consciousness we did not know was possible before.” – Rollo May

“Love obsession often serves as a distraction, keeping the individual’s gaze from more painful thoughts.” – Irvin Yalom

Meaning / Purpose

“A sense of life meaning ensues but cannot be deliberately pursued: life meaning is always a derivative phenomenon that materializes when we have transcended ourselves, when we have forgotten ourselves and become absorbed in someone (or something) outside ourselves.”  – Irvin Yalom

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.” – Viktor Frankl

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” – Wayne Dyer

“Inhale meaninglessness….On the other side of that, on the other side of meaninglessness, there is life.” – Steve Hayes

Responsibility

“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” – Sigmund Freud

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realise that you control your own destiny.” – Albert Ellis

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Success

“It is only in your mind that you have to excel, at anything or everything. Of course, it would be very nice to excel at most things. Indeed, we recommend that you try and do your best. But realistically, you are entitled to do the bare minimum to get by. All your accomplishments are just a bonus, something to enjoy, not requirements. You don’t have to do anything to prove that you are worthy of existing.” – Albert Ellis

Suffering

“The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt.” – Thomas Merton

“The pain is there; when you close one door on it, it knocks to come in somewhere else…” – Irvin Yalom

“The principle aim of psychotherapy is not to transport one to an impossible state of happiness, but to help (the client) acquire steadfastness and patience in the face of suffering.” – Carl Jung

“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.” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Uncertainty

“Uncertainty is not a pleasant condition; but certainty is absurd.” – Voltaire

“Madness is the result not of uncertainty but of certainty.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.” – William Congreve

“The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.” – Erich Fromm

“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.” Eckhart Tolle

“I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few.” – Brene Brown

Willingness

“If you aren’t willing to have it, you will.” – Steven C. Hayes

 

Hokusai Says – Roger Keyes

Hokusai says look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.
He says look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing, you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat yourself as long as it’s interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says every one of us is a child, every one of us is ancient, every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.
He says everything is alive –shells, buildings, people, fish, mountains, trees.
Wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.
He says it doesn’t matter if you draw, or write books.
It doesn’t matter if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home and stare at the ants on your veranda or the shadows of the trees and grasses in your garden.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.
Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength is life living through you.
Peace is life living through you.
He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.

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