Bite-sized Wisdom: Hellman

In the midst of creating new patterns for yourself? Make sure you have the first ingredient.

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“Things start out as hopes and end up as habits.”

- Lillian Hellman

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Letting the Heart Have Its Say

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The mind delights in lofty pursuits -
Tête-a-têtes in bilingual prose
And dissections of unsatisfying denouements -
Just to prove it can.

But when words grow weary
And wits tire of the unending race,
May you learn to sing of your longing.

For the soul rejoices in hearing its song,
Strains of melody painting delicate truths,
All heart affirmed, all opposition abandoned
With no chance to be mistaken.

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Because the World Belongs to Those That Begin

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There is something truly invigorating about being a beginner, or beginning again.

The first is a path without preconceived notions, all optimism, all possibility.

The latter requires a different kind of strength – to recognize the obstacles that have already obstructed the way, and to continue on with a new commitment to try again.

Here’s to your new beginnings, wherever they may take you.

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Time To Fly

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Once upon a time

You scooped up your dreams that lay about and presented them to me one by one.

Each one lit your eyes as you passed it from your lips

To let it hang, for three long seconds, before it hit my ears.

Each thought a marvel of ingenuity,

Aloft with a joy untainted by anything other than anticipation.

“How beautiful,” I thought,

But must have forgotten to say,

For soon you gathered them up,

and tucked them in your chest.

Let me say now that hope is my favorite color on you,

Unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

So pull out the dreams, however dusty, and speak them once again.

And this time when I listen,

I will tell you how they make you shine.

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Fear Shows You a Path, Love Allows You to Walk It

Of all the four letter words,
Fear hurts the most
Not the ears, but the soul
As it freezes passageways to what might have been

“I fear what might happen”

A future paved with ice is hard to traverse

Each step unsure as the foot lightly presses

Anxiously awaiting a plunge

But oh, when letters take new form

And one word shifts its place

To allow room for another

“I love what might happen”

Of all the four letter words,
Love means the most
A flame hidden in unassuming shroud
That melts worry and reveals a path below

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If the Road is Life, Patience is the Best Travel Companion

We are charged to play the pieces we are given in life.

Like a thousand-piece puzzle of only clouds, we arrange and rearrange images with promise,

Only to come undone as we force a four-pronged segment into a home built for two.

“How tiresome” we say, irked by the challenge of completing a task so daunting, so detailed.

But the pieces? They’re all there. That perfect end-result? That is there too –

A reward for those who lend their eye to detail, who worry not about the concerns of time.

“It will get finished.”

So continue on. Rotate those small parts through your anxious fingers until they find their place.

For to abandon your work halfway through, is to give up your chance to finally see the sky.

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Bite-sized Wisdom: Simon

If it’s been a while since you’ve done something for the very first time, challenge yourself to find a new way. You never know what  surprise it may bring.

“If no one ever took risks, Michaelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor.”

- Neil Simon

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Have to Let Yourself Down in Order to Rise Up

As you sit suspended, halfway between a thought and a feeling,

You keep your eyes level, unwilling to let your glance take in the depth below you.

You fear that its chill may stall you, its bottomless shadows may swallow you whole,

So you dangle midair above its vastness.

Easy to return, you think, but you’ve come this far.

Echos of “I can’t” seem deafening although no one speaks.

But as you breathe you find a new reserve -

A hidden store of courage, tucked away behind doubt and worry.

You inch yourself down into the darkness and take in its musk

You fill your lungs with all the things that scared you and plunge deeper into the crevasse.

And even as your feet find their footing beneath you, your eyes can still find the light above.

No unhappy end, just newfound fearlessness that propels you up again.

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Don’t Box Yourself In

You may think that the walls you’ve placed around you define you,

or  protect  you, or at least provide some sort of structure  to  your

life. But in reality? You don’t need ‘em. Break down those walls and

explore  the  parts  of  yourself  that   you’re  unsure  of,  that  you’re

tentative  to  trust,   that  you’ve  always  dreamed  of  being  able  to

embellish.  Don’t just step, but  leap  outside  of  your  comfort  zone

and  see  what  happens.   Something  unexpected,  no  doubt.    Seek

out  those  things you  never thought you’d be  good  at,  and play in

the wide open spaces which once scared you…            and, oh yeah…

don’t

                  box

                                                 yourself

                                                                            in.

Image from Phillip Schumacher

Seven Good Reasons to Stop Whatever You’re Doing and Go for It

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. 

- Samuel Beckett

What is it that stops us from doing exactly what we want to in life? Most of it can be chalked up to some sort of fear – of failure, of reproach, of uncertainty. Here’s a quick list to help determine if that big risk of yours is worth trying.

1. You can’t stop thinking about it. The idea pervades your thoughts. You smile every time it crosses your mind. You’ve already worked out the best-possible scenario in your head, and you think you have the tools to make it work.

2. You’re unhappy with the status quo. Remember that little voice in your head? The one that reminds you when you’re feeling down and that now is the time to do something about it? Yeah, listen this time.

3. You’re willing to put in the work. No doubt what you’ve been dreaming about will require you to put in some effort. But that’s what has made it so elusive thus far right? It’s up to you to decide whether you want to live a life where you look back and say “I’m so glad I tried that” or one where you admit “I really wish I had done that.”

4. You’re clinging to an illusion of safety.  You’ve created a false cocoon of security in a world where no such thing actually exists. “But this way I don’t get hurt!” you convince yourself. Well, newsflash: you hurt yourself more by holding yourself  back than by mustering up the courage to change. Do what you actually want to do. Be who you actually want to be.

5. You want to. Passion is the number one ingredient in making a dream a reality. And ultimately the decision is yours, and yours alone. If you’re taking the leap solely for the reason that it will impress someone else, reevaluate.

6. You attempted to before but it didn’t work out. As a baby, did you give up on walking after the first few times resulted in a happy marriage of your forehead and the hardwood floor? Nope. You pushed yourself and tried again. Somewhere along the line, in our efforts to grow up and act like adults, we learn to stop “trying again”. We rid ourselves of the spirit that allows us to tackle anything in favor of one that promotes mental barriers and excuses. Chances are you learned something from that failed attempt. Time to put those lessons to good use.

7. It completely terrifies you. Good. You will grow 1 million times over if you look that fear in the face and mutter through gritted teeth: “bring it on.” Who knows, you may surprise yourself. And what beauty there is in such surprises.


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