If, as Herod, we fill our lives with things, and again with things; if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds? Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us, there is a desert to travel. A star to discover. And a being within ourselves to bring to life.
-Author Unknown, quoted in Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach
Quotes on gratitude
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
“I joined the wrestling to have fun and learn. I didn’t join for my team or the coach or for people to say ‘OMG she’s a girl. She can’t wrestle.’ I’m not expecting anyone to take it easy on me. What some people might say doesn’t bother me, I have my teammates’ support and just want to be seen as any other member of the team – just one with mad skills and her hair in a bun.”
Josefita Trujillo, Taos High School, NM
“Whenever we deny our need to say “no,” our self-respect diminishes. It is not only our right at certain times to say no – it is our deepest responsibility. For it is a gift to ourselves when we say no to those old habits that dissipate our energy, no to what robs us of inner joy, no to what distracts us from our purpose. And it is a gift to others to say no when their expectations do not ring true for us, for in so doing we free them to discover more fully the truth of their own path. Saying no can be liberating when it expresses our commitment to take a stand for what we believe we truly need.” ~In Search of Balance: Discovering Harmony in a Changing World
When I loved myself enough..I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self loving.
When I loved myself enough…I could tell the truth about my gifts and my limitations.
I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. Clarissa Pinkola Estes
One thing I learned is that it never hurts to try no matter what it is. Bobsled is never something I thought would be doing, but I overcame the fear of failing and pushed myself to try it.
The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet. Mohadesa Najumi
As long as people are going to call you a lunatic anyway, why not get the benefit of it?
It liberates you from convention.
-Wicked witch of the West
From the book Wicked, by Gregory Maguire.
“It is important to have a vision. Women can use their words as powerful vessels to heal. They can use the power of the tongue and pen to make a difference.” ~ Lucinda Cross, Entrepreneur and Author
“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” ― Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
“I sing and everything because when I’m up on that stage… for that hour or even just those five minutes, it’s like I have so much confidence and I feel like I can just take on the world and that’s why I do it.” ~Danielle Aument, Singer
“Hang around positive people who uplift you. Hang around people who are like yourself. Don’t hang around people who break you down,” ~ Sheena Williams, Founder of SheWill, Inc.
“SELF-DEVELOPMENT IS A HIGHER DUTY THAN SELF-SACRIFICE.” ~Suffrage activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton told a reporter to quote her in capital letters.
“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” ~Madonna
“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.” ~Gloria Steinem
“Something which we think is impossible now is not impossible in another decade.”
~Constance Baker Motley –First Black Woman in the U.S. to become a Federal Judge
“The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race.“ ~Susan B. Anthony
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” ~Louisa May Alcott, Author
“One cannot consent to creep when one has an impulse to soar.”
“In fully accepting your creative power, you honor and respect your soul and remind others to do the same.”
~Sonia Choquette, Soul Lessons and Soul Purpose
“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.”
“I’m cool, confident and know what I want. And I’m going to get it.” ~From our Swagger Survey
(Take the survey here!)
“What do I risk to tell you this, which is all I know? Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.”
~Mary Oliver, Evidence
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute.”
~Rebecca West, “Mr Chesterton in Hysterics: A Study in Prejudice,” The Clarion, 14 Nov 1913, reprinted in The Young Rebecca, 1982
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
“Sex is difficult, yes. But they are difficult things with which we have been charged…If you only recognize this and manage out of yourself, out of your own nature and ways, out of your own experience and childhood and strength to achieve a relation to sex wholly your own (not influenced by convention and custom) then you need no longer be afraid of losing yourself and becoming unworthy of your best possession.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
“My excitement for the Swagger project comes from its potential to redefine the meaning of “strength” or “power,” starting with women and extending to the rest of humanity. With this new kind of swagger, we can find a way to power that does not require any kind of destruction, discover strength that is great enough to encompass compassion and broad-mindedness as its central tenets. I am excited to witness thousands of women learning how to walk with this new kind of swagger, to see them confidently shaping the world according to the justice in their hearts and the ideas they are on the verge of bringing to light.”~Liz Wolfert
“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what want.” ~Margaret Young
“Girls who stay true to themselves manage to find some way to respect the parts of themselves that are spiritual. They work for the betterment of the world. Girls who act from their false selves are often cynical about making the world a better place. They have given up hope. Only when they reconnect with the parts of themselves that are alive and true will they again have the energy to take on the culture and fight to save the planet.” ~Mary Pipher, Reviving Ophelia
“Please know that I am quite aware of the hazards. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” ~ Amelia Earhart, d. 1937 (Letter to her husband before her last flight).
“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.“ ~Helen Keller
“What does swagger look like? When I’m helping someone else – it looks like sunlight radiating from within me.” ~Swagger Survey
“You’ve got to forget all about punishments and all about rewards and all about self-styled obligations and duties and responsibilities, and remember one thing only: that it’s you – nobody else – who determines your destiny and decides your fate. Nobody else can be alive for you, nor can you be alive for anybody else.” ~e.e. cummings, poet
“Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.” ~Clare Boothe Luce
“If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.” ~Emile Zola
“Don’t let yourself be thrown away….Continue on no matter what….Continue to make a positive effort for the good.” ~Writing Coach, Natalie Goldberg