Tag Archives: optimism

Our conscious choice

“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we shall tend.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach Every day I wake up with a mixture of thoughts, some pleasant and some not.  There are always things I look forward to doing that day, and …

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Age has no reality

“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom.” — Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez Ah, but the physical world …

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A wonderful position

“I’m in a wonderful position: I’m unknown, I’m underrated, and there’s nowhere to go but up.” ― Pierre S. DuPont IV I loved this quote the moment I saw it, and I thought immediately of how it feels to be a child or a young person.  Though few, if any, children will think in precisely …

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The way you see

“Your past is important because it brought you to where you are, but as important as your past is, it is not nearly as important as the way you see your future.” ― Tony Campolo Some of us are fascinated with history, seeing many lessons in the past, and finding much to like there.  Others …

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In the heart

“Truth is not reflected in a mirror, but contained in the heart. It is often obscured by reality.” — Alan A. Malizia One year ago today, my post mentioned Don Quixote, a literary character I’ve been hearing about all of my life. Our father is a fan of Quixote, especially as brought to life in …

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Our highest business

“We are involved in a life that passes understanding and our highest business is our daily life.” — John Cage The post that published one year ago today (linked below) is perhaps the one that has the greatest personal significance to me.  Since I wrote that post, one of the three in that picture is …

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One of those March days

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” — Charles Dickens Today (two weeks before this is published) Michael commented that spring had been flirting with us.  That’s a perfect description of the past …

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Your own kind of music

“You’ve gotta make your own kind of music Sing your own special song Make your own kind of music Even if nobody else sings along.” — Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil This 1969 hit is a favorite of mine, as recorded by one of my all-time favorite vocalists, Mama Cass Elliot.  I play this song …

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The best remedy

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. …

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On his darkest day

You have to believe in happiness, Or happiness never comes … Ah, that’s the reason a bird can sing – On his darkest day he believes in Spring. —  Douglas Malloch I’ve done a lot of walking through snow and ice the past few days, and already there’s a part of me that is eager …

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History that teaches

“The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It …

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Other springs

When we began this endless trek, I feared I saw a darkened door, Through which a line of marching sick Were heading for some winter shore. But now the news the doctor brings Seems to promise other springs. — Jane Yolen One year ago today, Jeff went into the local emergency room with sudden, acute …

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Estimating our limits

“How many ships didn’t sail because of the belief that the earth was flat? How much progress was impeded because man wasn’t supposed to breathe underwater, fly through the air, or venture into outer space? Historically, we’ve done a remarkably poor job of estimating our limits.” — Gary Keller Okay, so the skeptical cynic in …

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Pay attention

“Choice of attention, to pay attention to this and ignore that, is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer.” – W. H. Auden Auden captures a truth here that has always been evident to me, yet remains elusive in the ongoing rush of life.  When one is distractible or detail-oriented, …

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Hope is at the root

“Hope is at the root of all the great ideas and causes that have bettered the lot of humankind across the centuries.” — Ronald Reagan Touring the beautiful grounds of the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, it isn’t hard to understand why he was such an optimist.  There’s something about California that always …

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A light from within

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross I love stained glass, from tiny sun-catchers hanging in kitchen windows, to magnificent soaring panels in cathedrals.   Whenever I see …

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Brilliantly disguised

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations…” — Charles Swindoll I will always remember the first time I saw this quote.  It was fairly recently, in an email I got from an extraordinary person, Dr. Anitha John. She specializes in adult congenital cardiology, a relatively new field …

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Rejoicing that I’m still here

“Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me.  I wake up every morning rejoicing that I’m still here with an opportunity to begin again and be better.”  — Oprah Winfrey A long life is a decidedly mixed blessing.  Those of us who make it to our eighth and ninth decades will do …

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Daylight in the mind

“Cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” —  Joseph Addison Have you ever had one of those days when you felt angry at the world?  Maybe even for no particular reason?  It’s awful to be caught in that cycle of negativity that seems …

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More than logical

“If we were logical, the future would be bleak, indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope…” — Jacques Yves Cousteau I’m a great fan of logic.  My highest scores on the GRE and other standardized tests were always in the “analytical thinking” category.  …

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Built in hope

“The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.”  — Marian Zimmer Bradley I love the book Life of Pi, especially the ending where Pi asks the skeptics a valid but often overlooked question: which is the better story? There …

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Start again

The birds they sang at the break of day Start again I heard them say — Leonard Cohen I can’t recall a single time when hearing the birds singing did not lift my spirits. Sometimes they sound cheerful and perky, sometimes insistent, almost alarmed, but they never sound depressing. Birdsong goes perfectly with the other …

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A Little Nonsense

“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” — Joseph Addison Happy April Fool’s Day! Laughter is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves or others.  I hope you will indulge in some light-hearted fun today — look up a joke or two to share, sing silly songs, watch a …

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One of the great helps

“One of the great helps to success is to be cheerful; to go to work with a full sense of life; to be determined to put hindrances out of the way; to prevail over them and to get the mastery. Above all things else, be cheerful; there is no beatitude for the despairing.” —  Amelia …

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Teach your moods

“Now Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes…This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That …

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