Finding Your Center Quotes

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Find your quiet center of life and write from that to the world.
Sarah Orne Jewett
If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine. You want to stay near the core of the thing - right in the hub of the wheel - not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you can get frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness - that's your heart. That's where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you'll always find peace.
Elizabeth Gilbert
But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.
John Piper (Don't Waste Your Life)
Babies are soft. Anyone looking at them can see the tender, fragile skin and know it for the rose-leaf softness that invites a finger's touch. But when you live with them and love them, you feel the softness going inward, the round-cheeked flesh wobbly as custard, the boneless splay of the tiny hands. Their joints are melted rubber, and even when you kiss them hard, in the passion of loving their existence, your lips sink down and seem never to find bone. Holding them against you, they melt and mold, as though they might at any moment flow back into your body. But from the very start, there is that small streak of steel within each child. That thing that says "I am," and forms the core of personality. In the second year, the bone hardens and the child stands upright, skull wide and solid, a helmet protecting the softness within. And "I am" grows, too. Looking at them, you can almost see it, sturdy as heartwood, glowing through the translucent flesh. The bones of the face emerge at six, and the soul within is fixed at seven. The process of encapsulation goes on, to reach its peak in the glossy shell of adolescence, when all softness then is hidden under the nacreous layers of the multiple new personalities that teenagers try on to guard themselves. In the next years, the hardening spreads from the center, as one finds and fixes the facets of the soul, until "I am" is set, delicate and detailed as an insect in amber.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Kent M. Keith
You don't realize how small you really are until you're faced with something like that. We live our lives as if we're at the center of our own universe, but we're just tiny pieces of a shattered whole.
Cora Carmack (Finding It (Losing It, #3))
Choosing with integrity means finding ways to speak up that honor your reality, the reality of others, and your willingness to meet in the center of that large field. It’s hard sometimes.
Terry Tempest Williams (When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice)
A Thirsty Fish I don't get tired of you. Don't grow weary of being compassionate toward me! All this thirst equipment must surely be tired of me, the waterjar, the water carrier. I have a thirsty fish in me that can never find enough of what it's thirsty for! Show me the way to the ocean! Break these half-measures, these small containers. All this fantasy and grief. Let my house be drowned in the wave that rose last night in the courtyard hidden in the center of my chest. Joseph fell like the moon into my well. The harvest I expected was washed away. But no matter. A fire has risen above my tombstone hat. I don't want learning, or dignity, or respectability. I want this music and this dawn and the warmth of your cheek against mine. The grief-armies assemble, but I'm not going with them. This is how it always is when I finish a poem. A great silence comes over me, and I wonder why I ever thought to use language.
Rumi
The center snaps the ball to the quarterback!" "No he doesn't!" "He doesn't?" "NO! Secretly, he's the quarterback for the other team! He keeps the ball!" "A traitor!" "Calvin breaks for the goal." "Wheeee! He's at the 30... the 20... the 10! Nobody can catch him!" "Nobody wants to! Your running toward your own goal!" "Huh?!" "When I learned that you were a spy, I switched goals. This is your goal and mine's hidden!" "Hidden?!" "You'll never find it in a million years!" "I don't need to find it as a traitor to your team, crossing my goal counts as crossing your goal!" "Ah, so you might think so..." "In fact, I know so!" "But the place I hid my goal is right on top of your goal, so the points will go to me!" "But the fact is, I'm really a double agent! I'm on your team after all, which means you'll lose points if I cross your goal! Ha ha!" "But I'm a traitor too, so I'm really on your team! I want you to cross my goal! The points will go to your team, which is really my team!" "That would be true... if I were a football player!" "You mean...?" "I'm actually a badminton player disguised as a double-agent football player!!" "And I'm actually a volleyball-croquet-polo player!" "Sooner or later, all our games turn into CalvinBall." "No cheating!
Bill Watterson
There is a deep desire in everyone to commit suicide for the simple reason, that life seems to be meaningless. People go on living, not because they love life, they go on living just because they are afraid to commit suicide. There is a desire to; and in many ways they do commit suicide. Monks and nuns have committed psychological suicide, they have renounced life. And these suicidal people have dominated humanity for centuries. They have condemned everything that is beautiful. They have praised something imaginary and they have condemned the real; the real is mundane and the imaginary is sacred. My whole effort here is to help you see that the real is sacred, that this very world is sacred, that this very life is divine. But the way to see it is first to enquire within. Unless you start feeling the source of light within yourself, you will not be able to see that light anywhere else. First it has to be experienced within one’s own being, then it is found everywhere. Then the whole existence becomes so full of light, so full of joy, so full of meaning and poetry, that each moment one feels grateful for all that god has given, for all that he goes on giving. Sannyas is simply a decision to turn in, to look in. The most primary thing is to find your own center. Once it is found, once you are centered, once you are bathed in your own light you have a different vision, a different perspective, and the whole of life becomes golden. Then even dust is divine. Then life is so rich, so abundantly rich that one can only feel a tremendous gratitude towards existence. That gratitude becomes prayer. Before that, all prayer is false.
Osho
But some people are just starfish--they need everyone to fill the roles that they assign. They need the world to sit around them, pointing at them and validating their feelings. But you can't spend your life trying to make a starfish happy, because no matter what you do, it will never be enough. They will always find a way to make themselves the center of attention, because it's the only way they know how to live.
Akemi Dawn Bowman (Starfish)
For Jenn At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts. I fought with my knuckles white as stars, and left bruises the shape of Salem. There are things we know by heart, and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke. I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos, but I could never make dying beautiful. The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself veins are kite strings you can only cut free. I suppose I love this life, in spite of my clenched fist. I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree, and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers, and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger. We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe. But my lungs remember the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat. And I knew life would tremble like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek, like a prayer on a dying man's lips, like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone… just take me just take me Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much, the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood. We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways, but you still have to call it a birthday. You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess and hope she knows you can hit a baseball further than any boy in the whole third grade and I've been running for home through the windpipe of a man who sings while his hands playing washboard with a spoon on a street corner in New Orleans where every boarded up window is still painted with the words We're Coming Back like a promise to the ocean that we will always keep moving towards the music, the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain. Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open. The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks. Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert, then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun. I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun. I know the heartbeat of his mother. Don't cover your ears, Love. Don't cover your ears, Life. There is a boy writing poems in Central Park and as he writes he moves and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart, and there are men playing chess in the December cold who can't tell if the breath rising from the board is their opponents or their own, and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn, and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun with strip malls and traffic and vendors and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect. I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon. I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic. But every ocean has a shoreline and every shoreline has a tide that is constantly returning to wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones, to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river that has to run through the center of our hearts to find its way home.
Andrea Gibson
If you are walking on a path thick with brambles and rocks, a path that abruptly twists and turns, it's easy to get lost, or tired, or discouraged. You might be tempted to give up entirely. But if a kind and patient person comes along and takes your hand, saying, "I see you're having a hard time- here, follow me, I'll help you find your way," the path becomes manageable, the journey less frightening.
Elyn R. Saks (The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness)
And yes,Percy,of course they are now in our United States. Look at your symbol,the eagle of Zeus. Look at the statue of Prometheus in Rockefeller Center,the Greek facades of our government builidings in Washington. I defy you to find any American city where the Olympians are not proeminently displayed, in multiple places. Like it or not-and believe me,plenty of people weren't very found of Rome,either-America is now the heart of the flame. It is the great power of the West.And so Olympus is here.And we are here.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
Find your rituals, develop your routines, create those practices that ground and center you. Stick to them, don't apologize for them, treat them, even the small things, like they're big things.
Rob Bell (How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living)
You have to read widely, constantly refining (and redefining) your own work as you do so. It’s hard for me to believe that people who read very little (or not at all in some cases) should presume to write and expect people to like what they have written, but I know it’s true. If I had a nickel for every person who ever told me he/she wanted to become a writer but “didn’t have time to read,” I could buy myself a pretty good steak dinner. Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life. I take a book with me everywhere I go, and find there are all sorts of opportunities to dip in … Reading at meals is considered rude in polite society, but if you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered anyway.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
I gave you Jake because you’re headstrong and accident prone, and he’s our medic and I trust him to patch you up. I gave you Jake because you’re the best map reader we’ve got, and he’s damn near blind. And I gave you Jake because you absolutely never believe in yourself—and he finds a way to believe in you every damn day.
Katherine Center (Happiness for Beginners)
Do you know how old the earth is, Quinn?” “No, but I bet I'm about to find out.” “Four and a half billion years old,” he says. His voice is full of wonder, like this is his absolute favorite thing to talk about. “Do you know how long ago our specific species appeared?” “No idea.” “Only two hundred thousand years ago,” he says. “Only two hundred thousand years out of four and a half billion years. It's unbelievable.” He grabs my hand and lays it palm down on his thigh. He begins tracing over the back of my hand with a lazy finger. “If the back of your hand represented the age of this earth and every species that has ever lived, the entire human race wouldn't even be visible to the naked eye. We are that insignificant.” He drags his finger to the center of the back of my hand and points to a small freckle. “From the beginning of time until now, we could combine every single human that has ever walked this earth, and all their problems and concerns as a whole wouldn't even amount to the size of this freckle right here.” He taps my hand. “Every single one of your life experiences could fit right here in this tiny freckle. So would mine. So would Beyonce's.
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
my final piece We’re born into the world As just one small piece to the puzzle That makes up an entire life. It’s up to us throughout our years, to find all of our pieces that fit. The pieces that connect who we are To who we were To who we’ll one day be. Sometimes pieces will almost fit. They’ll feel right. We’ll carry them around for a while, Hoping they’ll change shape. Hoping they’ll conform to our puzzle. But they won’t. We’ll eventually have to let them go. To find the puzzle that is their home. Sometimes pieces won’t fit at all. No matter how much we want them to. We’ll shove them. We’ll bend them. We’ll break them. But what isn’t meant to be, won’t be. Those are the hardest pieces of all to accept. The pieces of our puzzle That just don’t belong. But occasionally . . . Not very often at all, If we’re lucky, If we pay enough attention, We’ll find a perfect match. The pieces of the puzzle that slide right in The pieces that hug the contours of our own pieces. The pieces that lock to us. The pieces that we lock to. The pieces that fit so well, we can’t tell where our piece begins And that piece ends. Those pieces we call Friends. True loves. Dreams. Passions. Beliefs. Talents. They’re all the pieces that complete our puzzles. They line the edges, Frame the corners, Fill the centers, Those pieces are the pieces that make us who we are. Who we were. Who we’ll one day be. Up until today, When I looked at my own puzzle, I would see a finished piece. I had the edges lined, The corners framed, The center filled. It felt like it was complete. All the pieces were there. I had everything I wanted. Everything I needed. Everything I dreamt of. But up until today, I realized I had collected all but one piece. The most vital piece. The piece that completes the picture. The piece that completes my whole life. I held this girl in my arms She wrapped her tiny fingers around mine. It was then that I realized She was the fusion. The glue. The cement that bound all my pieces together. The piece that seals my puzzle. The piece that completes my life. The element that makes me who I am. Who I was. Who I’ll one day be. You, baby girl. You’re my final piece.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
Only in love can I find you, my God. In love the gates of my soul spring open, allowing me to breathe a new air of freedom and forget my own petty self. In love my whole being streams forth out of the rigid confines of narrowness and anxious self-assertion, which make me a prisoner of my own poverty emptiness. In love all the powers of my soul flow out toward you, wanting never more to return, but to lose themselves completely in you, since by your love you are the inmost center of my heart, closer to me than I am to myself.
Karl Rahner (Encounters With Silence)
I’m about to haul my packs into a tree to make camp when a silver parachute floats down and lands in front of me. A gift form a sponsor. But why now? I’ve been in fairly good shape with supplies. Maybe Haymitch’s noticed my despondency and is trying to cheer me up a bit. Or could it be something to help my ear? I open the parachute and find a small loaf of bread. It’s not the fine white of the Capitol stuff. It’s made of dark ration grain and shaped in a crescent. Sprinkled with seeds. I flashback to Peeta’s lesson on the various district breads in the Training Center. This bread came from District 11. I cautiously lift the still warm loaf. What must it have cost the people of District 11 who can’t even feed themselves? How many would’ve had to do without to scrape up a coin to put in the collection for this one loaf? It had been meant for Rue, surely. But instead of pulling the gift when she died, they’d authorized Haymitch to give it to me. As a thank-you? Or because, like me, they don’t like to let debts go unpaid? For whatever reason, this is a first. A district gift to a tribute who’s not your own. I lift my face and step into the last falling rays of sunlight. “My thanks to the people of District Eleven,” I say. I want them to know I know where it came from. That the full value of the gift has been recognized.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
The merchant increases the speed of the city. The musician slows it down. The merchant intensifies the urban stress, the noise, the chaos. The musician makes you slow down, find your center. This holds true in all cities and countries.
Nicos Hadjicostis (Destination Earth- A New Philosophy of Travel by a World-Traveler)
If you can approach the world's complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that important in the greater scheme of things. Keeping that awestruck vision of the world ready to hand while dealing with the demands of daily living is no easy exercise, but it is definitely worth the effort, for if you can stay centered , and engaged , you will find the hard choices easier, the right words will come to you when you need them, and you will indeed be a better person. That, I propose, is the secret to spirituality, and it has nothing at all to do with believing in an immortal soul.
Daniel C. Dennett (Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon)
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Mother Teresa
Peter pushed off from the roof and stalked a few feet away, his back to her. “Please tell me this is all some kind of a sick joke.” “It’s the truth. All of it. That’s why hunters are after me.” “How did they find out?” Peter asked, swiveling toward her now. “I think Beck ratted me out. I went to his house this morning and told him what had happened. He was furious, Peter. I’ve never seen anyone that angry.” “Duh! Now there’s a surprise,” her friend replied sarcastically. “I saw the way he looked at you at your dad’s funeral. Of course he’d be mad. You’re about the only one on the planet who doesn’t realize how he feels about you.” “He never said anything,” she retorted. “Hey, we guys don’t blurt out that kind of stuff,” he replied. “It’s against the man code. Beck may never have said how he felt, but everything he did for you should have been a big clue. I mean, come on, how slow are you?” She glowered at her friend. “I figured he was doing it because of my father.” “Maybe, but the guy is really into you, Riley.” “No way. If he’d liked me, he wouldn’t have blown me off and—” “Ancient history, girl!” he countered. “You were, what, fifteen? Your dad would have torn him apart if he’d touched you. Beck had no other choice.” “He didn’t have to be so mean.” “God, will you listen to yourself?” Peter retorted. “You have no idea how much he hurt me,” she shot back. “Give it up, will you? You’re my best friend, but you can be a real self-centered asshat sometimes.
Jana Oliver (Forgiven (The Demon Trappers, #3))
You must set forth and find the center of your interest. You are a creator, but you must find your interest and then dedicate yourself to that interest—not to the act of creativity. Merely to want to create will make it impossible for you to do so. You must find an interest greater than yourself—a love, perhaps—and then the power to create will set you on fire.
Pearl S. Buck (The Eternal Wonder)
Your greatest challenge is to not be distracted by that which happens in front of you, or is pulling on you or calling to you, but instead to find your center and magnetize to yourself all those things that are in alignment with your inner being
Sanaya Roman (Living with Joy: Keys to Personal Power and Spiritual Transformation)
Before you act, find your center. Ground yourself in Spirit. Set ego aside. Ask yourself, “How do I want to be about this? What would love do?” Then do that. With good intention and inspired action, good results follow. It’s karma.
Annette Vaillancourt (How to Manifest Your Soulmate with Eft: Relationship as a Spiritual Path)
Fate, however, has a way of finding your vulnerabilities where you least expect them, illuminating them so that you realize how glaringly obvious they are, and then mercilessly driving a spike straight into their most delicate center.
Tommy Lee (The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band)
And so I urge you to still every motion that is not rooted in the Kingdom. Become quiet, hushed, motionless until you are finally centered. Strip away all excess baggage and nonessential trappings until you have come into the stark reality of the Kingdom of God. Let go of all distractions until you are driven into the Core. Allow God to reshuffle your priorities and eliminate unnecessary froth. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, 'Pray for me that I not loosen my grip on the hands of Jesus even under the guise of ministering to the poor.' That is our first task: to grip the hands of Jesus with such tenacity that we are obliged to follow his lead, to seek first his Kingdom.
Richard J. Foster (Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World)
Society nowadays tells people that their happiness is all that matters but happiness is never found if it costs someone else’s theirs. That is not what happiness is, nor would such a person deserve it, because happiness is forged by the setting aside of self and in doing for others to make them happy first and foremost, so if you have to hurt another human being to “find your happiness,” then you have no clue what the word actually means or what it’s willing to do, and in being so self-centered and entitled, it’s veritably tragic that the only care and concern you have is for yourself.
Donna Lynn Hope
What is it that makes you cry? It is only your attachments. What is it that you miss when it is lost? It is the object of your attachment. Ponder over this. Find out what it is that grips your very life, without which you feel miserable and destitute; that is the center of your attachment. Here is what you should do: make an effort to find out what things it would hurt you to lose. Then, before they are lost, open your hands little by little, relax your grip on them. This is the method for conquering attachment. There is bound to be pain, but you must bear it; this is your penance. It is not necessary to renounce anything. It is not that you should leave your wife and run away to the Himalayas. Remain there, where you are, but gradually stop depending on her. There is no need to cause any pain; your wife need not even know it. There is no need to tell her. Seek out the attachments. Try gradually to live without the things that you now think you cannot live without. Create such a state within yourself that if and when these things are lost, there is not the slightest tremor within you. Then you will have attained victory over these attachments. This can be possible. It has been possible. And if it has happened to even one, it can happen to all.
Osho (Bliss: Living beyond happiness and misery)
Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened. One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street. “This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.” “And you,” she said to him, “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.” They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle. As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one’s dreams to come true so easily? And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, “Let’s test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?” “Yes,” she said, “that is exactly what we should do.” And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west. The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully. One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible inluenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggy bank. They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love. Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty. One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew: She is the 100% perfect girl for me. He is the 100% perfect boy for me. But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever. A sad story, don’t you think?
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
When you are soul-centered, you can focus your attention where and when you want to, easily, without distraction. You know to look for what you want to see and experience. You know that what you seek you shall find, and what you focus on in life will be more prominent in your awareness. You know your awareness is powerful and creative." ~ Sarah McLean
Sarah McLean (Soul-Centered: Transform Your Life in 8 Weeks with Meditation)
to do list (after the breakup) 1. take refuge in your bed 2. cry. till the tears stop (this will take a few days). 3. don’t listen to slow songs. 4. delete their number from your phone even though it is memorized on your fingertips. 5. don’t look at old photos. 6. find the closest ice cream shop and treat yourself to two scoops of mint chocolate chip. the mint will calm your heart. you deserve the chocolate. 7. buy new bed sheets. 8. collect all the gifts, t-shirts, and everything with their smell on it and drop it off at a donation center. 9. plan a trip. 10. perfect the art of smiling and nodding when someone brings their name up in conversation. 11. start a new project. 12. whatever you do. do not call. 13. do not beg for what does not want to stay. 14. stop crying at some point. 15. allow yourself to feel foolish for believing you could’ve built the rest of your life in someone else’s stomach. 16. breathe.
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
Nirvana is right here, in the midst of the turmoil of life. It is the state you find when you are no longer driven to live by compelling desires, fears, and social commitments, when you have found your center of freedom and can act by choice out of that. Voluntary action out of this center is the action of the bodhisattvas -- joyful participation in the sorrows of the world. You are not grabbed, because you have released yourself from the grabbers of fear, lust, and duties.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
Mother Teresa's Anyway Poem People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God; It was never between you and them anyway. Inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa's children's home in Calcutta.
Mother Teresa
People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people maybe jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today maybe forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Mother Teresa
My version of success is that my life is full, purposeful, beautiful and boundless. I attribute this success to my spirituality, my good health, and my community of positive relationships which have all come to me as a creation of choice. Success comes from finding your center and your self; being self-centered in a positive and peaceful way.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
The jet-fuel smell thick in the air, the flame and smoke surrounding you, you can only get to 011 and that's enough to make you foreign, to make you other, to make you Mexican. You take out your wallet and put an ID between your teeth so they can find you when it all collapses. Your flesh may burn but your teeth will remain and the ID will be there. It's a fake ID. Nobody will ever know you died. Nobody will ever know you lived.
Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (The Undocumented Americans)
The soul without a center finds its identity in externals. My temptation when my soul is not centered in God is to try to control my life. In the Bible this is spoken of in terms of the lifting up of one’s soul. The prophet Habakkuk said that the opposite of living in faithful dependence on God is to lift your soul up in pride. The psalmist says that the person who can live in God’s presence is the one who has not lifted their soul up to an idol. When my soul is not centered in God, I define myself by my accomplishments, or my physical appearance, or my title, or my important friends. When I lose these, I lose my identity.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
You’ve got to admit that you live at the center of a vortex that seems to funnel nothing but trouble your way.” ~FBI Special Agent Clive Poole to Maggie Mae Castro
Beth Yarnall (Find Me Maggie (The Misadventures of Maggie Mae, #3))
God was at the center of your life, everything else would find its proper place.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
You will find all the riches you ever need in the center of your heart. Go there. Explore.
Melody Lee (Moon Gypsy)
What type of flavor do you think I prefer?" She cocked her head. "The subtle, the delicately made. You're the type of person who wants the mystery inside the flower bud." I can still appreciate the different nuances of the stronger flavors." He studied the orchid in the center of the table. "With the very delicate, you sculpt something down to such a whisper of form, there's nothing else it can be. It's in strength you find surprises, variation.
Joey W. Hill (Ice Queen (Nature of Desire, #3))
Being Jesus doesn't mean that I am always at the center, always doing something, always making something spectacular happen. Being Jesus simply means that I show up to be "part of" something. Maybe being Jesus isn't so much about making it happen as it is letting it happen.
Jim Palmer (Being Jesus in Nashville: Finding the Courage to Live Your Life (whoever and wherever you are))
Turn off your phone, and your computer and your mind. Find your heart center and send it compassion. See the holiness in everyone you meet. Honor it. Know your worth. Know your worth. Know your worth. Accept no less. Become familiar with the space where compromise is unkind. Nurture your exquisite loneliness. Let it teach you. Light candles at every opportunity. Always wear perfume, it helps you remember yourself. Touch your inked ribs lightly when you forget who you are.
Jeanette LeBlanc
The call is to leave a certain social situation, move into your own loneliness and find the jewel, the center that’s impossible to find when you’re socially engaged. You are thrown off-center, and when you feel off-center, it’s time to go. This is the departure when the hero feels something has been lost and goes to find it. You are to cross the threshold into new life. It’s a dangerous adventure, because you are moving out of the sphere of the knowledge of you and your community.
Joseph Campbell (A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living)
You’re so pigheaded, Pa, that you’re convinced you’re the center of the universe and that without your blessing every evening star in heaven would snuff out its light and turn to ash,” she said.
André Aciman (Find Me (Call Me By Your Name, #2))
The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it. But if you break it, a surprising result will follow. If in your working hours you make the work your end, you will presently find yourself all unawares inside the only circle in your profession that really matters. You will be one of the sound craftsmen, and other sound craftsmen will know it. This group of craftsmen will by no means coincide with the Inner Ring or the Important People or the People in the Know. It will not shape that professional policy or work up that professional influence which fights for the profession as a whole against the public: nor will it lead to those periodic scandals and crises which the Inner Ring produces. But it will do those things which that profession exists to do and will in the long run be responsible for all the respect which that profession in fact enjoys and which the speeches and advertisements cannot maintain. And if in your spare time you consort simply with the people you like, you will again find that you have come unawares to a real inside: that you are indeed snug and safe at the center of something which, seen from without, would look exactly like an Inner Ring. But the difference is that its secrecy is accidental, and its exclusiveness a by-product, and no one was led thither by the lure of the esoteric: for it is only four or five people who like one another meeting to do things that they like. This is friendship. Aristotle placed it among the virtues. It causes perhaps half of all the happiness in the world, and no Inner Ring can ever have it.
C.S. Lewis
People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
K.C. Lynn (Resisting Temptation (Men of Honor, #3))
You know what I think the trick to dealing with family is? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.” “What?” I said, spreading strawberry jam on my toast. “Marrying your best friend.” He wiped his mouth with a napkin. “You marry your best friend, and at family gatherings you deal with your shitty relatives together. You laugh about it and have each other’s backs. Share looks and text each other from across the room when everyone else is being an asshole. And nobody else really matters because you have your own universe.” He held my eyes for a moment. “That’s what I want. I want someone to be my universe.” He’d have no problem finding that. No problem at all. Josh could have any woman he wanted. After all, he was the sun. Warm and vital. He would be the center of a big family one day, just like he wanted, and they’d all adore him. And I was just some passing comet. Momentarily distracting. Useless and unimportant. I was nice to look at, fun to observe, but I’d never give life or be the center of anything. I’d streak through and be gone, and Josh would forget me before we knew it.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
...he said:"To love, we need passion, but also respect. Once, someone told me that all you needed to build lasting happiness was a woman who admired and respected her man. But now, I know that's wrong. Happiness is much more difficult to attain. It's like crossing a suspension bridge; it's fragile, shaky, and there's no guardrail. You have to find your own equilibrium. And for that to happen, it has to rest on two centers of gravity, on both partners.
Dương Thu Hương (Beyond Illusions)
1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy 2. Submissive to everything, open, listening 3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house 4. Be in love with yr life 5. Something that you feel will find its own form 6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind 7. Blow as deep as you want to blow 8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind 9. The unspeakable visions of the individual 10. No time for poetry but exactly what is 11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest 12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you 13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition 14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time 15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog 16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye 17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself 18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea 19. Accept loss forever 20. Believe in the holy contour of life 21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind 22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better 23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning 24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge 25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it 26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form 27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness 28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better 29. You're a Genius all the time 30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven
Jack Kerouac
But on another, more potent level, the work of horror really is a dance—a moving, rhythmic search. And what it’s looking for is the place where you, the viewer or the reader, live at your most primitive level. The work of horror is not interested in the civilized furniture of our lives. Such a work dances through these rooms which we have fitted out one piece at a time, each piece expressing—we hope!—our socially acceptable and pleasantly enlightened character. It is in search of another place, a room which may sometimes resemble the secret den of a Victorian gentleman, sometimes the torture chamber of the Spanish Inquisition . . . but perhaps most frequently and most successfully, the simple and brutally plain hole of a Stone Age cave-dweller. Is horror art? On this second level, the work of horror can be nothing else; it achieves the level of art simply because it is looking for something beyond art, something that predates art: it is looking for what I would call phobic pressure points. The good horror tale will dance its way to the center of your life and find the secret door to the room you believed no one but you knew of—as both Albert Camus and Billy Joel have pointed out. The Stranger makes us nervous . . . but we love to try on his face in secret.
Stephen King (Danse macabre)
You may have a success in life, but then just think of it - what kind of life was it? What good was it - you've never done the thing you wanted to do in all your life. I always tell my students, go where your body and soul want to go. When you have the feeling, then stay with it, and don't let anyone throw you off…. The way to find out about your happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you really are happy - not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self-analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what I call "following your bliss"... There’s something inside you that knows when you’re in the center, that knows when you’re on the beam or off the beam. And if you get off the beam to earn money, you’ve lost your life. And if you stay in the center and don’t get any money, you still have your bliss.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
An imaginary circle of empathy is drawn by each person. It circumscribes the person at some distance, and corresponds to those things in the world that deserve empathy. I like the term "empathy" because it has spiritual overtones. A term like "sympathy" or "allegiance" might be more precise, but I want the chosen term to be slightly mystical, to suggest that we might not be able to fully understand what goes on between us and others, that we should leave open the possibility that the relationship can't be represented in a digital database. If someone falls within your circle of empathy, you wouldn't want to see him or her killed. Something that is clearly outside the circle is fair game. For instance, most people would place all other people within the circle, but most of us are willing to see bacteria killed when we brush our teeth, and certainly don't worry when we see an inanimate rock tossed aside to keep a trail clear. The tricky part is that some entities reside close to the edge of the circle. The deepest controversies often involve whether something or someone should lie just inside or just outside the circle. For instance, the idea of slavery depends on the placement of the slave outside the circle, to make some people nonhuman. Widening the circle to include all people and end slavery has been one of the epic strands of the human story - and it isn't quite over yet. A great many other controversies fit well in the model. The fight over abortion asks whether a fetus or embryo should be in the circle or not, and the animal rights debate asks the same about animals. When you change the contents of your circle, you change your conception of yourself. The center of the circle shifts as its perimeter is changed. The liberal impulse is to expand the circle, while conservatives tend to want to restrain or even contract the circle. Empathy Inflation and Metaphysical Ambiguity Are there any legitimate reasons not to expand the circle as much as possible? There are. To expand the circle indefinitely can lead to oppression, because the rights of potential entities (as perceived by only some people) can conflict with the rights of indisputably real people. An obvious example of this is found in the abortion debate. If outlawing abortions did not involve commandeering control of the bodies of other people (pregnant women, in this case), then there wouldn't be much controversy. We would find an easy accommodation. Empathy inflation can also lead to the lesser, but still substantial, evils of incompetence, trivialization, dishonesty, and narcissism. You cannot live, for example, without killing bacteria. Wouldn't you be projecting your own fantasies on single-cell organisms that would be indifferent to them at best? Doesn't it really become about you instead of the cause at that point?
Jaron Lanier (You Are Not a Gadget)
A very simple way to guard your soul is to ask yourself, “Will this situation block my soul’s connection to God?” As I begin living this question I find how little power the world has over my soul. What if I don’t get a promotion, or my boss doesn’t like me, or I have financial problems, or I have a bad hair day? Yes, these may cause disappointment, but do they have any power over my soul? Can they nudge my soul from its center, which is the very heart of God? When you think about it that way, you realize that external circumstances cannot keep you from being with God. If anything, they draw you closer to him.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
That night, Brazilian TV audiences saw the director of the Center for Physical Research welcome the Visiting Professor from the United States, but little did they know that the subject of their conversation was finding a girl to spend the night with!
Richard P. Feynman (Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character)
How do people get to this clandestine Archipelago? Hour by hour planes fly there, ships steer their course there, and trains thunder off to it--but all with nary a mark on them to tell of their destination. And at ticket windows or at travel bureaus for Soviet or foreign tourists the employees would be astounded if you were to ask for a ticket to go there. They know nothing and they've never heard of the Archipelago as a whole or any one of its innumerable islands. Those who go to the Archipelago to administer it get there via the training schools of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Those who go there to be guards are conscripted via the military conscription centers. And those who, like you and me, dear reader, go there to die, must get there solely and compulsorily via arrest. Arrest! Need it be said that it is a breaking point in your life, a bolt of lightning which has scored a direct hit on you? That it is an unassimilable spiritual earthquake not every person can cope with, as a result of which people often slip into insanity? The Universe has as many different centers as there are living beings in it. Each of us is a center of the Universe, and that Universe is shattered when they hiss at you: "You are under arrest." If you are arrested, can anything else remain unshattered by this cataclysm? But the darkened mind is incapable of embracing these dis­placements in our universe, and both the most sophisticated and the veriest simpleton among us, drawing on all life's experience, can gasp out only: "Me? What for?" And this is a question which, though repeated millions and millions of times before, has yet to receive an answer. Arrest is an instantaneous, shattering thrust, expulsion, somer­sault from one state into another. We have been happily borne—or perhaps have unhappily dragged our weary way—down the long and crooked streets of our lives, past all kinds of walls and fences made of rotting wood, rammed earth, brick, concrete, iron railings. We have never given a thought to what lies behind them. We have never tried to pene­trate them with our vision or our understanding. But there is where the Gulag country begins, right next to us, two yards away from us. In addition, we have failed to notice an enormous num­ber of closely fitted, well-disguised doors and gates in these fences. All those gates were prepared for us, every last one! And all of a sudden the fateful gate swings quickly open, and four white male hands, unaccustomed to physical labor but none­theless strong and tenacious, grab us by the leg, arm, collar, cap, ear, and drag us in like a sack, and the gate behind us, the gate to our past life, is slammed shut once and for all. That's all there is to it! You are arrested! And you'll find nothing better to respond with than a lamblike bleat: "Me? What for?" That's what arrest is: it's a blinding flash and a blow which shifts the present instantly into the past and the impossible into omnipotent actuality. That's all. And neither for the first hour nor for the first day will you be able to grasp anything else.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation V-VII)
The end is also the beginning. In order to arrive at your destiny, you must first accept the path that lies ahead. It is paved with loss, betrayal, and sorrow, but the circle is not at its end You must continue on until you find your true center and your peace.
Brynn Myers (The Echoed Life of Jorja Graham (Jorja Graham #2))
My Dear Lord, please help me. Place me in the Center of Your Perfect Will. Adoro te devote, latens Deitas. Bread of Life by bread concealed, speaking heart to heart. Tibi se cor meum totum subjicit. Let Your presence draw me in here my senses fail. Visus cactus, gustus in te falliti. This is truth enough for me. Peto quod petivit latro paenitens. Seeing You upon the Cross, flesh and blood, I find. Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor. I see not but name You still God and Prince of Life. O memoriale mortis Domini. How I thirst to meet Your gaze gloriously revealed. After life's obscurity, let me wake to see. Beauty shining from Your Face for eternity. Amen.
Gina Marinello-Sweeney (I Thirst (The Veritas Chronicles #1))
The worst thing you do when you think is lie — you can make up reasons that are not true for the things that you did, and what you’re trying to do as a creative person is surprise yourself — find out who you really are, and try not to lie, try to tell the truth all the time. And the only way to do this is by being very active and very emotional, and get it out of yourself — making things that you hate and things that you love, you write about these then, intensely. When it’s over, then you can think about it; then you can look, it works or it doesn’t work, something is missing here. And, if something is missing, then you go back and reemotionalize that part, so it’s all of a piece. But thinking is to be a corrective in our life — it’s not supposed to be a center of our life. Living is supposed to be the center of our life, being is supposed to be the center — with correctives around, which hold us like the skin holds our blood and our flesh in. But our skin is not a way of life — the way of living is the blood pumping through our veins, the ability to sense and to feel and to know. And the intellect doesn’t help you very much there — you should get on with the business of living.
Ray Bradbury
There can never be a clock at the center of the Universe to which everyone can set their watches. Your entire life can be the blink of an eye to an alien who leaves Earth traveling close to the speed of light, then returns an hour later to find that you have been dead for centuries.
Clifford A. Pickover (The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection, 250 Milestones in the History of Physics)
Conspiracy theories are really attractive. Figuring out patterns is one of the things that gets your brain to give you a nice dose of chemical reward, the little ping of dopamine and whatever else that keeps you smiling. As a result, your brain is pretty good at finding patterns, and at disregarding information that doesn’t fit. Which means it’s also pretty good at finding false patterns, and at confirmation bias, and a bunch of other things that can be fatal. Our brains are also really good at making us the center of a narrative, because it’s what we evolved for.
Elizabeth Bear (Ancestral Night (White Space, #1))
When you can find your own axis, you can revolve around it, for when you revolve your life on someone outside of you, you lose your own alignment. Just as the earth revolves around its own axis daily and through this eternal gentle revolving it also revolves around the sun, if you don’t find your own axis and you don’t gently revolve, you cannot be for anyone. Then, once you have centered on your axis and someone else who has also centered on theirs is brought into your world, the two of you can come together and there is a collision of axes and you shift from your center. This is the sensation of ‘falling in love’.
Malti Bhojwani (Don't Think Of a Blue Ball)
Someone shouted her name, making her startle and pull her horse to a quick stop. She turned to find Nicolae riding toward her, his familiar grin quick and easy despite the large gash that ran from the center of his forehead to the bridge of his nose and onto his left cheek. "Lada! Did you miss me?" She frowned, tapping her chin. "Have you been gone? I had not noticed." "You cried yourself to sleep every day." " I luxuriated in the blessed quiet that you left in your wake." He clapped a hand on her shoulder, still beaming, and she finally allowed herself a smile in return. In truth, she was overjoyed. "Tell me everything. Including how that happened." She nodded toward his scar. "This? Alas, my beautiful face. Is it not tragic?" "You should be grateful. For the first time in your life you have to eyebrows instead of one." Nicolae threw his head back, laughter roaring through the square. "My little dragon, always finding the bright side of life. Come. We drink.
Kiersten White (And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1))
West’s mouth slid from hers and followed the line of her throat. Finding the throb of her pulse, he kissed and nuzzled it ardently. “You’re not a possession,” he said raggedly. “You can’t be passed from one man to another like a painting or an antique vase.” Her voice was faint. “That’s not how it is.” “Has he told you he wants you?” “Not the way you mean. He . . . he’s a gentleman . . .” “I want you with my entire body.” West dragged his mouth over hers, shaping her lips before settling in for a rough and ardent kiss. He hitched her up against him until her toes barely touched the floor. “You’re all I think about. You’re all I see. You’re the center of a star, and the force of gravity keeps pulling me closer, and I don’t give a damn that I’m about to be incinerated.” He rested his forehead against hers, panting. “That’s what he should tell you.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels #5))
People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway. ~ Mother Teresa
Various (365 Days of Happiness: Inspirational Quotes to Live By)
He is also the founder and director of the cheekily named Center for Advanced Hindsight.
Jocelyn K. Glei (Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind)
It is in the center of a stable self-love that you will find the confidence and safety you want.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
If you put yourself in the center of your world, you will find plenty of things to complain about.
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
you can choose to reset and refresh your energy and start from a neutral place at the center of the graph.
Radha Agrawal (Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life)
The key to contagious grace—the grace that allows the margins to move to the center, the grace that commands you to never fear the future, the grace that reveals that what humbles you cannot hurt you if Jesus is your Lord—that grace is ours when we do what Mary says to do in this scene. She says to the servants (and the Holy Spirit says to us): “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). Simple, right? No. We cannot will ourselves into the deep obedience that God requires. We can’t obey until we ourselves have received this grace and picked up our cross. We can’t obey until we have laid down our life, with all our false and worldly identities and idols. We can’t obey until we face the facts: the gospel comes in exchange for the life we once loved. But when we die to ourselves, we find the liberty to obey. As Susan Hunt explains, “When God’s grace changes our status from rebel to redeemed, we are empowered by his Spirit to obey him. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2) into his likeness (2 Cor. 3:18). Joyful obedience is the evidence of our love for Jesus (John 14:15).”2
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World)
...each day I sit down in purposeful concentration to write in a notebook, some sentences on a buried truth, an unnamed reality, things that happened but are denied. It is hard to describe the stillness it takes, the difficulty of this act. It requires an almost perfect concentration which I am trying to learn and there is no way to learn it that is spelled out anywhere or so I can understand it but I have a sense that it's completely simply, on the order of being able to sit still and keep your mind dead center in you without apology or fear. I squirm after some time but it ain't boredom, it's fear of what's possible, how much you can know if you can be quiet enough and simple enough. I move around, my mind wanders, I lose the ability to take words and roll them through my brain, move with them into their interiors, feel their colors, touch what's under them, where they come from long ago and way back. I get frightened seeing what's in my own mind if words get put to it. There's a light there, it's bright, it's wide, it could make you blind if you look direct into it and so I turn away, afraid; I get frightened and I run and the only way to run is to abandon the process altogether or compromise it beyond recognition. I think about Celine sitting with his shit, for instance; I don't know why he didn't run, he should've. It's a quality you have to have of being near mad and at the same time so quiet in your heart that you could pass for a spiritual warrior; you could probably break things with the power in your mind. You got to be able to stand it, because it's a powerful and disturbing light, not something easy and kind, it comes through your head to make its way onto the page and you get fucking scared so your mind runs away, it wanders, it gets distracted, it buckles, it deserts, it takes a Goddamn freight train if it can find one, it wants calming agents and sporifics, and you mask that you are betraying the brightest and the best light you will ever see, you are betraying the mind that can be host to it... ...Your mind does stupid tricks to mask that you are betraying something of grave importance. It wanders so you won't notice that you are deserting your own life, abandoning it to triviality and garbage, how you are too fucking afraid to use your own brain for what it's for, which is to be a host to the light, to use it, to focus it; let it shine and carry the burden of what is illuminated, everything buried there; the light's scarier than anything it shows, the pure, direct experience of it in you as if your mind ain't the vegetable thing it's generally conceived to be or the nightmare thing you know it to be but a capacity you barely imagined, real; overwhelming and real, pushing you out to the edge of ecstasy and knowing and then do you fall or do you jump or do you fly?
Andrea Dworkin (Mercy)
Joan Williams at the Center for WorkLife Law said "My strongest advice to young women: Don't just try to find a man who's supportive of women. That's a threshold. But consider, what is his attitude toward himself and ambition? That's what determines your future. If he's ambitious and feels entitled to that ambition, you're going to end up embattled, marginalized, and divorced.
Darcy Lockman (All the Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership)
There’s a lot of scientific evidence demonstrating that focused attention leads to the reshaping of the brain. In animals rewarded for noticing sound (to hunt or to avoid being hunted, for example), we find much larger auditory centers in the brain. In animals rewarded for sharp eyesight, the visual areas are larger. Brain scans of violinists provide more evidence, showing dramatic growth and expansion in regions of the cortex that represent the left hand, which has to finger the strings precisely, often at very high speed. Other studies have shown that the hippocampus, which is vital for spatial memory, is enlarged in taxi drivers. The point is that the physical architecture of the brain changes according to where we direct our attention and what we practice doing.
Daniel J. Siegel (The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive)
You must find your own quiet center of life, and write from that to the world that holds offices, and all society... In short, you must write to the human heart, the great consciousness that all humanity goes to make up. Otherwise what might be strength in a writer is only crudeness, and what might be insight is only observation; sentiment falls to sentimentality - you can write about life, but never write life itself... To work in silence and with all one's heart, that is the writer's lot; he is the only artist who must be a solitary, and yet needs the widest outlook upon the world.
Sarah Orne Jewett
When you’re not around, even for a little while, I feel like I have to go find you. I just feel this pull to be near you. I want to know what you’re thinking, and what you’re up to, and how you feel. I want to take you places and show you things. I want to memorize you—to learn you like a song. And that nightgown, and the way you get so cranky when I leave my stuff all over the place, and the way you tie your hair back in that crazy bun. You make me laugh every single day—and nobody makes me laugh. I feel like I’ve been lost all my life until now—and somehow with you I’m just … found.
Katherine Center (The Bodyguard)
If you live, ego disappears. Life knows no ego, it knows only living and living and living. Life knows no self, no center; life knows no separation. You breathe - life enters into you; you exhale you enter into life. There is no separation. You eat, and trees enter into you through the fruit. Then one day you die, you are buried in the earth, and the trees suck you up and you become fruits. Your children will eat you again. You have been eating your ancestors - the trees have converted them into fruits. You think you are a vegetarian? Don't be deceived by appearances. We are all cannibals.
Osho (The Journey of Being Human: Is It Possible to Find Real Happiness in Ordinary Life?)
When we discover our Must, the brain’s most primal, protective center gets alarmed. The riot gear is called forth. Defense mechanisms go up. Because choosing Must raises very real and scary questions.
Elle Luna (The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion)
Let us not, however, exaggerate our power. Whatever man does, the great lines of creation persist; the supreme mass does not depend on man. He has power over the detail, not over the whole. And it is right that this should be so. The Whole is providential. Its laws pass over our head. What we do goes no farther than the surface. Man clothes or unclothes the earth; clearing a forest is like taking off a garment. But to slow down the rotation of the globe on its axis, to accelerate the course of the globe on its orbit, to add or subtract a fathom on he earth's daily journey of 718,000 leagues around the sun, to modify the precession of the equinoxes, to eliminate one drop of rain--never! What is on high remains on high. Man can change the climate, but not the seasons Just try and make the moon revolve anywhere but in the ecliptic! Dreamers, some of them illustrious, have dreamed of restoring perpetual spring to the earth. The extreme seasons, summer and winter, are produced by the excess of the inclination of the earth's axis over the place of the ecliptic of which we have just spoken. In order to eliminate the seasons it would be necessary only to straighten this axis. Nothing could be simpler. Just plant a stake on the Pole and drive it in to the center of the globe; attach a chain to it; find a base outside the earth; have 10 billion teams, each of 10 billion horses, and get them to pull. THe axis will straighten up, ad you will have your spring. As you can see, an easy task. We must look elsewhere for Eden. Spring is good; but freedom and justice are beter. Eden is moral, not material. To be free and just depends on ourselves.
Victor Hugo (The Toilers of the Sea)
Real poverty is when hunger pangs force from my mind all thoughts but those of food. Real poverty is when the children are not dressed warmly enough for winter. Real poverty is when the housing we can afford is not adequate to the needs of our families. On the other hand, real poverty is - equally - when I have eaten so much that I am uncomfortable, and again, my thoughts center on food. Or when I have so many clothes that I have to spend a lot of mental energy making choices among them or finding ways to store them. Or when, regardless of my living conditions, I am discontent and brooding about how to have more. Real poverty is when material things are uppermost and pressing - whether because we have too few or too many of them. It is poverty, because the human mind and spirit are made for higher things, worthier pursuits.
Maxine Hancock (Living on Less and Liking It More: How to Reduce Your Spending and Increase Your Living)
Where did this whole thing begin? If what we think of as reality is just a pattern that somebody brought Outside, and the universe just popped into bring, then whoever it was is probably still wandering around giving off universes wherever she goes So where did she come from? And what was there before she started doing it? And how did Outside come to exist, for that matter?” That's Inspace thinking,” said Olhado. “That's the way you conceive of things when you still believe in space and time as absolutes. You think of everything starting and stopping, of things having origins, because that's the way it is in the observable universe. The thing is, Outside there's no rules like that at all. Outside was always there and always will be there. The number of philotes there is infinite, and all of them always existed. No mater how many of them you pull out and put into organized universes, there'll be just as many left as there always were” But somebody had to start making universes.” Why?” asked Olhado. Because-because I-“ Nobody ever started. It's always been going on. I mean, if it weren’t already going on, it couldn’t start. Outside where there weren’t any patterns, it would be impossible to conceive of a pattern. They can’t act, by definition, because they literally can’t even find themselves.” But how could it have always been going on?” Think of it as this moment in time, the reality we live in at this moment, this condition of the entire universe-of all the universes-” You mean now.” Right. Think of it as if now were the surface of a sphere. Time is moving forward through the chaos of Outside like the surface of an expanding sphere, a balloon inflating. On the outside, chaos. On the inside, reality. Always growing-like you said, Valentine. Popping up new universes all the time.” But where did this balloon come from?” OK, you’ve got the balloon. The expanding sphere. Only now think of it as a sphere with an infinite radius.” Valentine tried to think of what that would mean. “The surface would be completely flat.” That’s right” And you could never go all the way around it” That’s right, too. Infinitely large. Impossible even to count all the universes that exist on the reality side. And now, starting from the edge, you get on a starship and start heading inward toward the center. The farther in you go, the older everything is. All the old universes back and back. When do you get to the first one?” You don’t” said Valentine. “Not it you’re traveling at a finate rate.” You don’t reach the center of a sphere on infinite radius, if you’re starting at the surface, because no matter how far you go, no matter how quickly, the center, the beginning, is always infinitely far away.” And that’s where the universe began.
Orson Scott Card (Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3))
Should a situation arise that you need to deal with now, your action will be clear and incisive if it arises out of present-moment awareness. It is also more likely to be effective. It will not be a reaction coming from the past conditioning of your mind but an intuitive response to the situation. In other instances, when the time-bound mind would have reacted, you will find it more effective to do nothing — just stay centered in the Now.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
I remember [my first meeting] like it was yesterday. A 24-year-old woman came to see me, sobbing. “Mr. Feinberg, my husband died in the World Trade Center. He was a fireman, and he left me with our two children, six and four. Now, I’ve applied to the Fund, and you have calculated that I’m going to get $2.8 million tax-free. I want it in 30 days.” I said, “Why do you need the money in 30 days?” She said, “Why 30 days? I have terminal cancer. I have 10 weeks to live. My husband was gonna survive me and take care of our two children. Now they’re gonna be orphans. I have got to get this money while I still have my faculties. I’ve gotta set up a trust. I’ve gotta find a guardian. We never anticipated this.” I ran down to the Treasury, we accelerated the processing of her claim, we got her the money, and eight weeks later she died. You think you’re ready for anything and you’re not.
Garrett M. Graff (The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11)
If the case isn't plea bargained, dismissed or placed on the inactive docket for an indefinite period of time, if by some perverse twist of fate it becomes a trial by jury, you will then have the opportunity of sitting on the witness stand and reciting under oath the facts of the case-a brief moment in the sun that clouds over with the appearance of the aforementioned defense attorney who, at worst, will accuse you of perjuring yourself in a gross injustice or, at best, accuse you of conducting an investigation so incredibly slipshod that the real killer has been allowed to roam free. Once both sides have argued the facts of the case, a jury of twelve men and women picked from computer lists of registered voters in one of America's most undereducated cities will go to a room and begin shouting. If these happy people manage to overcome the natural impulse to avoid any act of collective judgement, they just may find one human being guilty of murdering another. Then you can go to Cher's Pub at Lexington and Guilford, where that selfsame assistant state's attorney, if possessed of any human qualities at all, will buy you a bottle of domestic beer. And you drink it. Because in a police department of about three thousand sworn souls, you are one of thirty-six investigators entrusted with the pursuit of that most extraordinary of crimes: the theft of a human life. You speak for the dead. You avenge those lost to the world. Your paycheck may come from fiscal services but, goddammit, after six beers you can pretty much convince yourself that you work for the Lord himself. If you are not as good as you should be, you'll be gone within a year or two, transferred to fugitive, or auto theft or check and fraud at the other end of the hall. If you are good enough, you will never do anything else as a cop that matters this much. Homicide is the major leagues, the center ring, the show. It always has been. When Cain threw a cap into Abel, you don't think The Big Guy told a couple of fresh uniforms to go down and work up the prosecution report. Hell no, he sent for a fucking detective. And it will always be that way, because the homicide unit of any urban police force has for generations been the natural habitat of that rarefied species, the thinking cop.
David Simon
Xinxin Ming or Trust in the Heart The Perfect Way is only difficult for those who pick and choose; Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference, and heaven and earth are set apart. If you want the truth [of nonduality] to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease. When the Way is not understood, the mind chatters endlessly to no avail. The Perfect Way is vastness without holiness. Like infinite space it contains all and lacks nothing. Because you pick and choose, cling and reject, you can't see its Suchness. Neither be entangled in the world, nor in inner feelings of emptiness. Be serene in the oneness of things, And dualism vanishes of its own accord. Craving the passivity of Oneness you are filled with activity. As long as you tarry in dualism, You will never know Oneness. If you don't trust in the Heart, you fall into assertion or denial. In this world of Suchness there is neither self nor other-than-self. To be in accord with the Way, let go of all self-centered striving. Denying the world [of duality] is the asserting of it; Asserting emptiness [oneness] is the denying of it. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you go. To return to the root [the One] is to find the meaning, But to pursue appearances [the many] is to miss the source. At the moment of inner enlightenment there is a going beyond the one and the many. The mind clings to its image of the world; We call it real only because of our ignorance. Do not seek after the truth, merely cease to cherish your opinions. For the mind in harmony with the One, all selfishness disappears. With not even a trace of fear, you can trust the universe completely. All at once you are free, with nothing left to hold on to. All is empty, brilliant, perfect in its own being. In the world of things as they are, there is neither observer nor observed. If you want to describe its essence, the best you can say is "Not-two." Even to have the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Thoughts that are fettered turn from truth, sink into the unwise habit of "not liking." "Not liking" brings weariness of spirit; estrangements serve no purpose. In this "Not-two" nothing is separate, And nothing in the world is excluded. The enlightened of all times and places have entered into this truth. The One is none other than the All, the All none other than the One. Take your stand on this, and the rest will follow of its accord; To trust in the Heart is the "Not-two," the "Not-two" is to trust in the Heart. There is one reality, not many; Distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant. To seek Mind with the mind is the greatest of all mistakes. I have spoken, but in vain; For what can words say— Of things that have no yesterday, tomorrow, or today. Jianzhi Sengcan (aka Seng-Ts'an, 僧璨, ?-606)
Sengcan
Hazel sometimes had a fantasy daydream at school where the teacher walked into the classroom and yelled, ISN’T EVERYTHING HORRIBLE? DOESN’T THE PAIN OF THE WORLD OUTWEIGH THE JOY BY TRILLIONS? WOULD YOU LIKE TO PUSH ALL OF THE DESKS INTO THE CENTER OF THE ROOM AND BURN THEM IN A GIANT BONFIRE? THEN WE CAN RUN AROUND SCREAMING AND WEEPING AMIDST THE SMOKE IN A TRUTHFUL PARADE OF OUR HUMAN CONDITION. SINCE YOU ARE SMALL STATURED, CHILDREN, IT MIGHT HELP OTHERS TO FEEL THE FULL BRUNT OF YOUR AGITATION IF YOU WAVE STICKS AND SHRUBBERY OVER YOUR HEADS ALL THE WHILE. WE DON’T WANT TO KILL ANYTHING WE DON’T HAVE TO KILL; EVERYTHING LIVING THAT WE’VE EVER SEEN OR KNOWN WILL DIE WITHOUT OUR INTERVENTION, OURSELVES INCLUDED; THIS IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL LEAD BLANKET THAT EVEN OUR MOST PERVASIVE MOMENTS OF COMFORT CANNOT CRAWL OUT FROM UNDER AND ONE UNEXTINGUISHABLE SOURCE OF DESPAIR, SO WE WON’T BE PERFORMING ANY RITUALISTIC SACRIFICES; THAT’S NOT THE DIRECTION WE WILL GO IN JUST YET; HOWEVER, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL LAWRENCE IS ON THE PROWL FOR A ROAD CARCASS WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO USE AS A REPRESENTATIVE PROP BECAUSE NOWHERE IN OUR AUTUMN-THEMED POSTER BOARD DéCOR IS MORBIDITY OR DECAY SYMBOLIZED. OUR SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS CANNOT AGREE ON HOW BEST TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE BOUNDLESSNESS OF HUMAN CRUELTY. IN OUR SOCIETY SOME OF YOU ARE FAR SAFER AND MORE ADVANTAGED THAN OTHERS; AT HOME SOME OF YOU ARE FAR MORE LOVED; SOME OF YOU WILL FIND THAT CONCEPTS LIKE FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE WILL BE THIN, FLICKERING HOLOGRAMS ON THE PERIPHERY OF YOUR LIVES. OH, LOOK, CHILDREN—I SEE MR. LAWRENCE IN THE DISTANCE DRAGGING A PORTION OF A HIGHWAY-SLAUGHTERED DEER. LET’S GO HELP HIM LUG IT INSIDE AND BE REMINDED THAT WE TOO INHABIT BODIES MADE OF MEAT-WRAPPED BONES; LET’S MEDITATE ON THIS CORPOREAL TERROR. Whenever her mother had asked, Hazel always told her, School is great.
Alissa Nutting (Made for Love)
How to Survive Racism in an Organization that Claims to be Antiracist: 10. Ask why they want you. Get as much clarity as possible on what the organization has read about you, what they understand about you, what they assume are your gifts and strengths. What does the organization hope you will bring to the table? Do those answers align with your reasons for wanting to be at the table? 9. Define your terms. You and the organization may have different definitions of words like "justice", "diveristy", or "antiracism". Ask for definitions, examples, or success stories to give you a better idea of how the organization understands and embodies these words. Also ask about who is in charge and who is held accountable for these efforts. Then ask yourself if you can work within the structure. 8. Hold the organization to the highest vision they committed to for as long as you can. Be ready to move if the leaders aren't prepared to pursue their own stated vision. 7. Find your people. If you are going to push back against the system or push leadership forward, it's wise not to do so alone. Build or join an antiracist cohort within the organization. 6. Have mentors and counselors on standby. Don't just choose a really good friend or a parent when seeking advice. It's important to have on or two mentors who can give advice based on their personal knowledge of the organization and its leaders. You want someone who can help you navigate the particular politics of your organization. 5. Practice self-care. Remember that you are a whole person, not a mule to carry the racial sins of the organization. Fall in love, take your children to the park, don't miss doctors' visits, read for pleasure, dance with abandon, have lots of good sex, be gentle with yourself. 4. Find donors who will contribute to the cause. Who's willing to keep the class funded, the diversity positions going, the social justice center operating? It's important for the organization to know the members of your cohort aren't the only ones who care. Demonstrate that there are stakeholders, congregations members, and donors who want to see real change. 3. Know your rights. There are some racist things that are just mean, but others are against the law. Know the difference, and keep records of it all. 2. Speak. Of course, context matters. You must be strategic about when, how, to whom, and about which situations you decide to call out. But speak. Find your voice and use it. 1. Remember: You are a creative being who is capable of making change. But it is not your responsibility to transform an entire organization.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
There is point in your life when you come face to face with the reality that you cannot take another step on your own. For me, I had never experienced that point, but depression brought me there. I have slowly, painfully and continually been confronted by my brokenness. Coming to terms with the fact that I am broken has been at the center of my accepting my being loved. For me, now, there exists a sense of desperate need for what God brings to my spiritual and mental self. Without His voice I cannot cope with the darkness, but with His whisper of "you are My beloved", I can take a step each day away from the chasm. I am broken but not beyond mending, not beyond love. It has been this desperation that has opened a crevice in which I am seeing Him for the first time. He is why my soul can find some peace even when my mind is dark and numb. It is this love that continually has brought me back from the edge of the impostor to the honesty of my broken, inner self
David Hulon Hood (Soul Interrupted: A Journey of Simple Prayers and Poetry)
uses a method for organizing that centers on three nested narratives: the story of self, the story of us, and the story of now. He teaches organizers entering into any setting to start not with policy proposals or high concepts like justice but with biographies—their own, and those of the people they hope to mobilize. What are the stories you tell about yourself? Why do you tell them that way? How can we find connections across our stories of origin that build trust and common cause?
Eric Liu (You're More Powerful than You Think: A Citizen's Guide to Making Change Happen)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt. 11:28–30)
Scotty Smith (Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith)
About my interests: I don’t know if I have any, unless the morbid desire to own a sixteen-millimeter camera and make experimental movies can be so classified. Otherwise, I love to eat and drink – it’s my melancholy conviction that I’ve scarcely ever had enough to eat (this is because it’s impossible to eat enough if you’re worried about the next meal) – and I love to argue with people who do not disagree with me too profoundly, and I love to laugh. I do not like bohemia, or bohemians, I do not like people whose principal aim is pleasure, and I do not like people who are earnest about anything. I don’t like people who like me because I’m a Negro; neither do I like people who find in the same accident grounds for contempt. I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. I think all theories are suspect, that the finest principles may have to be modified, or may even be pulverized by the demands of life, and that one must find, therefore, one’s own moral center and move through the world hoping that this center will guide one aright. I consider that I have many responsibilities, but none greater than this: to last, as Hemingway says, and get my work done.
James Baldwin
Once you have an image of what the inside of your drawers will look like, you can begin folding. The goal is to fold each piece of clothing into a simple, smooth rectangle. First, fold each lengthwise side of the garment toward the center (such as the left-hand, then right-hand, sides of a shirt) and tuck the sleeves in to make a long rectangular shape. It doesn’t matter how you fold the sleeves. Next, pick up one short end of the rectangle and fold it toward the other short end. Then fold again, in the same manner, in halves or in thirds. The number of folds should be adjusted so that the folded clothing when standing on edge fits the height of the drawer. This is the basic principle that will ultimately allow your clothes to be stacked on edge, side by side, so that when you pull open your drawer you can see the edge of every item inside. If you find that the end result is the right shape but too loose and floppy to stand up, it’s a sign that your way of folding doesn’t match the type of clothing.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
And although better coverage of the outbreak’s evolution in the press couldn’t have stopped the influenza virus, a single newspaper headline in Philadelphia saying “Don’t Go to Any Parades; for the Love of God Cancel Your Stupid Parade” could have saved hundreds of lives. It would have done a lot more than those telling people, “Don’t Get Scared!” Telling people that things are fine is not the same as making them fine. This failure is in the past. Journalists and editors had their reasons. Risking jail time is no joke. But learning from this breakdown in truth-telling is important because the fourth estate can’t fail again. We are fortunate today to have organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization that track how diseases are progressing and report these findings. In the event of an outbreak similar to the Spanish flu, they will be wonderful resources. I hope we’ll be similarly lucky to have journalists who will be able to share necessary information with the public. The public is at its strongest when it is well informed. Despite Lippmann’s claims to the contrary, we are smart, and we are good, and we are always stronger when we work together. If there is a next time, it would be very much to our benefit to remember that.
Jennifer Wright (Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them)
The biggest mistake we make in Christianity is to make ourselves the center of our story. When we limit our longings to our own personal success stories, we limit perfection, beauty, and harmony. When we limit our desires to our own understanding, we miss out.
Lina Abujamra (Fractured Faith: Finding Your Way Back to God in an Age of Deconstruction)
Step 1. Find your dream. Step 2. Put it at the center of your life (not a distant goal). Step 3. Recognize everything else as froth. Note: 99% do the exact opposite and wonder why dreams take so long to come true... If your dream is at the end of a rainbow
Richie Norton
You might categorize your own fear as anxiety. But while the reality of fear is different for each of us, one thing remains constant: fear robs us of joy. When fear takes center stage, we find it impossible to live in the “what is” because of the “what might be.
Sheila Walsh (The Storm Inside: Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are)
You use your mind as a vining rod in search for the precious. But finding Buddhahood is nothing like gold dowsing. Drop all your creeds, for they are no more than bogus pendulums that point towards the center of gravity of your cunning ego. Drop the very idea of Buddhahood!
Lidija Stankovikj (Alexander's Infinity)
The doorknob twisted. “I’m coming with you.” I ran over and held it shut. “No, you are so not. We can’t carry your unconscious body around the Center. Besides, I need you here. If something goes wrong, I can’t handle you getting hurt.” “Wait, so it’s okay if I get hurt?” Jack asked. “Yes,” I snapped at the same time as Lend and Arianna. “As long as you’re sure, then,” Jack muttered. Lend jiggled the doorknob. “What about you getting hurt?” “I’ve already broken into the Faerie Realms and stabbed the Dark Queen. After that, a bunch of government suits? Not so intimidating.” “Please tell me stabbing does not factor into your strategy.” I laughed. “Of course it doesn’t. I left my knife in her neck, anyway. I think I’m just going to run around and punch people, see if I can’t find a teenage girl to tase me,” I knocked teasingly on the door.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
Are you falling asleep before midnight?" Cassie leaned over the edge of the couch to look at Jack. He was stretched out on the floor, his head resting against a pillow near the center of the couch, his eyes closed. She was now wide awake and headache free. He wasn't in so good a shape. "The new year is eighteen minutes away." "Come kiss me awake in seventeen minutes." She blinked at that lazy suggestion, gave a quick grin, and dropped Benji on his chest. He opened one eye to look up at her as he settled his hand lightly on the kitten. "That's a no?" She smiled. She was looking forward to dating him, but she was smart enough to know he'd value more what he had to work at. He sighed. "That was a no. How much longer am I going to be on the fence with you?" "Is that a rhetorical question or do you want an answer?" If this was the right relationship God had for her future, time taken now would improve it, not hurt it. She was ready to admit she was tired of being alone. He scratched Benji under the chin and the kitten curled up on his chest and batted a paw at his hand. "Rhetorical. I'd hate to get my hopes up." She leaned her chin against her hand, looking down at him. "I like you, Jack." "You just figured that out?" "I'll like you more when you catch my mouse." "The only way we are going to catch T.J. is to turn this place into a cheese factory and help her get so fat and slow that she can no longer run and hide." Or you could move your left hand about three inches to the right right and catch her." Jack opened one eye and glanced toward his left. The white mouse was sitting motionless beside the plate he had set down earlier. "Let her have the cheeseburger. You put mustard on it." "You're horrible." He smiled. "I'm serious." "So am I." Jack leaned over, caught Cassie's foot, and tumbled her to the floor. "Oops." "That wasn't fair. You scared my mouse." Jack set the kitten on the floor. "Benji, go get her mouse." The kitten took off after it. "You're teaching her to be a mouser." "Working on it. Come here. You owe me a kiss for the new year." "Do I?" She reached over to the bowl of chocolates on the table and unwrapped a kiss. She popped the chocolate kiss into his mouth. "I called your bluff." He smiled and rubbed his hand across her forearm braced against his chest. "That will last me until next year." She glanced at the muted television. "That's two minutes away." "Two minutes to put this year behind us." He slid one arm behind his head, adjusting the pillow. She patted his chest with her hand. "That shouldn't take long." She felt him laugh. "It ended up being a very good year," she offered. "Next year will be even better." "Really? Promise?" "Absolutely." He reached behind her ear and a gold coin reappeared. "What do you think? Heads you say yes when I ask you out, tails you say no?" She grinned at the idea. "Are you cheating again?" She took the coin. "This one isn't edible," she realized, disappointed. And then she turned it over. "A real two-headed coin?" "A rare find." He smiled. "Like you." "That sounds like a bit of honey." "I'm good at being mushy." "Oh, really?" He glanced over her shoulder. "Turn up the TV. There's the countdown." She grabbed for the remote and hit the wrong button. The TV came on full volume just as the fireworks went off. Benji went racing past them spooked by the noise to dive under the collar of the jacket Jack had tossed on the floor. The white mouse scurried to run into the jacket sleeve. "Tell me I didn't see what I think I just did." "I won't tell you," Jack agreed, amused. He watched the jacket move and raised an eyebrow. "Am I supposed to rescue the kitten or the mouse?
Dee Henderson (The Protector (O'Malley, #4))
I could say 'I love you'—and I do." Raising his lids, he met her gaze. "But it's not that simple… not for me. I never wanted a wife." He drew in a breath. "I never wanted to love—not you, not any woman. I never wanted to risk it—never wanted to be forced to find out if I could handle the strain. In my family, loving's not easy—it's not a simple sunny thing that makes one merely happy. Love for us—for me—was always going to be dramatic—powerful, unsettling—an ungovernable force. A force that controls me, not the other way about. I knew I wouldn't like it—" His eyes met hers. "And I don't. But… it isn't, it appears, something I have a choice about." His lips twisted. "I thought I was safe—that I had defenses in place, strong and inviolable, far too steely for any mere woman to break through. And none did,“not for years." He paused. "Until you. "I can't remember inviting you in, or ever opening the gates—I just turned around one day and you were there—a part of me." He hesitated, studying her eyes, then his face hardened, his voice deepened. "I don't know what will convince you, but I won't ever let you go. You're mine—the only woman I could ever imagine marrying. You can share my life. You know a hock from a fetlock—you know as much about riding as I do. You can be a partner in my enterprises, not a distant spectator standing at the periphery. You'll stand at the center of it all, by my side.
Stephanie Laurens (A Rogue's Proposal (Cynster, #4))
my issue with what they consider beautiful is their concept of beauty centers around excluding people i find hair beautiful when a woman wears it like a garden on her skin that is the definition of beauty big hooked noses pointing upward to the sky like they’re rising to the occasion skin the color of earth my ancestors planted crops on to feed a lineage of women with thighs thick as tree trunks eyes like almonds deeply hooded with conviction the rivers of punjab flow through my bloodstream so don’t tell me my women aren’t as beautiful as the ones in your country
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale” Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days. Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals. Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices. Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you. Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart. Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope, where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all the things you did and could have done. Remember treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.
Dan Albergotti (The Boatloads (New Poets of America Series))
The real prayer is your own soul-tending. It's not the writing that needs prayer - it's you. You need to find the center that is still and strengthening. You need to deal with whatever issue is dogging you today, whether it's anxiety about your teenager or resistance to the topic you are trying to write.
Vinita Hampton Wright (The Soul Tells a Story: Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life)
Ever since I was young I enjoyed solving puzzles and having the pleasure to see the bigger picture afterwards. But even after all that, I found that life could be the most challenging puzzle we have to face. It's one of those things that even if you have all the pieces and could see the whole picture, it still takes time and patience to solve it. At times, we feel more at ease not knowing the whole picture, not knowing the whole level of difficulty or number of pieces that we're missing, but just building up one piece at a time. The problem with this approach is that the only clues that we have for matching two pieces are the shape and a small glimpse of the image. We so often find comfort in building up the corners and the borders but very rarely do we adventure in the middle of the puzzle. We'd rather work little by little holding on to our safe border and only move towards the center when the pieces are still in touch with our borders or roots. On the other hand, you could be one of those people that just jumps in the middle and builds up on every piece you have in order to get small portions of the truth of the bigger picture every now and then. Not having your borders or corners in place might mean that you don't need to know your limits in order to realize that the puzzle will one day come to an end. Nevertheless, every piece is equally important and it gets handed to you at a time where you have at least some matching piece. That doesn't mean you should only focus on one point or piece and limit your possible connections. Spread out and you will find even more connections. The truth of the puzzle information comes in different shapes and colors but in the end it's all connected. Information might be divided, spread out in different areas, different people, different experiences. What's important to remember is that every piece is meant for you. You might throw it on the side now and use it later, but it will forever remain a part of your bigger picture. Work on your puzzle, with patience and care in moving forward and with a hopeful spirit that it will all work out in the end for your highest good!
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
Every hurricane seems endless from the center of the storm. That's why it's so important to talk to people—getting a different perspective can be just as valuable as finding a solution. Now tell me about the things that are troubling you. I may not solve your problems, but I might change how you feel about them.
Chris Colfer (A Tale of Witchcraft... (A Tale of Magic, #2))
There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children's book. The reason for that is that in adult literary fiction, stories are there on sufferance. Other things are felt to be more important: technique, style, literary knowingness. Adult writers who deal in straightforward stories find themselves sidelined into a genre such as crime or science fiction, where no one expects literary craftsmanship. But stories are vital. Stories never fail us because, as Isaac Bashevis Singer says, "events never grow stale." There's more wisdom in a story than in volumes of philosophy. And by a story I mean not only Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk but also the great novels of the nineteenth century, Jane Eyre, Middlemarch, Bleak House and many others: novels where the story is at the center of the writer's attention, where the plot actually matters. The present-day would-be George Eliots take up their stories as if with a pair of tongs. They're embarrassed by them. If they could write novels without stories in them, they would. Sometimes they do. But what characterizes the best of children's authors is that they're not embarrassed to tell stories. They know how important stories are, and they know, too, that if you start telling a story you've got to carry on till you get to the end. And you can't provide two ends, either, and invite the reader to choose between them. Or as in a highly praised recent adult novel I'm about to stop reading, three different beginnings. In a book for children you can't put the plot on hold while you cut artistic capers for the amusement of your sophisticated readers, because, thank God, your readers are not sophisticated. They've got more important things in mind than your dazzling skill with wordplay. They want to know what happens next.
Philip Pullman
Astrology is superstition. A remnant of the ignorant dark ages, when people knew nothing about how the world works. They believed the earth is flat and the center of the universe. Astrology might have made sense a long time ago, when people didn't know any better. Back then people believed that the stars were gods, with names like Zeus or Mars, the God of war, who had nothing better to do than to watch us down here on earth, and fuck with us. And gods have superpowers. So it would make sense for gods to be able to influence our lives or our decisions. Back then it sounded like there was an internal logic to it all. But nowadays we know better. Now we know that the earth is not flat and not the center of the universe. And now we know that the stars are not gods with superpowers, but simply suns and planets, millions of miles away. Big balls of gas and rock, flying through space, minding their own business. Mars is not the God of War. Mars is just a big red rock. There is simply no mechanism by which a big rock, flying through space millions of miles away, is gonna affect whether you're gonna get a raise tomorrow or not. Think about how self-centered and narcissistic that idea actually is. Astrology is the idea that this endlessly big universe and all the trillions of planets in it, are only here to affect whether you are gonna have a good day tomorrow. Because all these big rocks flying through space millions of miles away have nothing better to do than worry about you. Because you're so special, and everything is about you. The idea behind astrology is so stupid, it's actually kinda funny.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Bad Choices Make Good Stories - Finding Happiness in Los Angeles (How The Great American Opioid Epidemic of The 21st Century Began, #3))
How We Approach the New Testament We Christians have been taught to approach the Bible in one of eight ways: • You look for verses that inspire you. Upon finding such verses, you either highlight, memorize, meditate upon, or put them on your refrigerator door. • You look for verses that tell you what God has promised so that you can confess it in faith and thereby obligate the Lord to do what you want. • You look for verses that tell you what God commands you to do. • You look for verses that you can quote to scare the devil out of his wits or resist him in the hour of temptation. • You look for verses that will prove your particular doctrine so that you can slice-and-dice your theological sparring partner into biblical ribbons. (Because of the proof-texting method, a vast wasteland of Christianity behaves as if the mere citation of some random, decontextualized verse of Scripture ends all discussion on virtually any subject.) • You look for verses in the Bible to control and/or correct others. • You look for verses that “preach” well and make good sermon material. (This is an ongoing addiction for many who preach and teach.) • You sometimes close your eyes, flip open the Bible randomly, stick your finger on a page, read what the text says, and then take what you have read as a personal “word” from the Lord. Now look at this list again. Which of these approaches have you used? Look again: Notice how each is highly individualistic. All of them put you, the individual Christian, at the center. Each approach ignores the fact that most of the New Testament was written to corporate bodies of people (churches), not to individuals.
Frank Viola (Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices)
The qualities of a rebel are multidimensional. The first thing: The rebel does not believe in anything except his own experience. His truth is his only truth; no prophet, no messiah, no savior, no holy scripture, no ancient tradition can give him his truth. They can talk about truth, they can make much ado about truth, but to know about truth is not to know truth. The word about means around—to know about truth means to go around and around it. But by going around and around you never reach to the center. The rebel has no belief system—theist or atheist, Hindu or Christian, he is an inquirer, a seeker. But a very subtle thing has to be understood: That is, the rebel is not an egoist. The egoist also does not want to belong to any church, to any ideology, to any belief system, but his reason for not belonging is totally different from that of the rebel. He does not want to belong because he thinks too much of himself. He is too much of an egoist; he can only stand alone. The rebel is not an egoist; he is utterly innocent. His nonbelieving is not an arrogant attitude but a humble approach. He is simply saying, “Unless I find my own truth, all borrowed truths are only burdening me; they are not going to unburden me. I can become knowledgeable, but I will not be knowing anything with my own being; I will not be an eyewitness to any experience.” The
Osho (Living on Your Own Terms: What Is Real Rebellion?)
Receiving forgiveness when we know we’ve truly blown it is a humbling and growth-producing experience. It’s the only thing better than forgiving someone else. On the other hand, an unsafe person who is unable to forgive can be very destructive. Instead of forgiving, she condemns: She centers on my failings. She won’t let go of the past, even when I’ve confessed, repented, and made restitution. She uses my weaknesses to avoid looking at hers. She sees me as morally inferior to her. She desires justice more than intimacy. Unsafe people are often good at identifying your weaknesses. They can quote the minute and hour you hurt them, and recall the scene in intimate detail and living color. Like a good attorney, they have the entire case mapped out. And you are judged “guilty.” Yes, we need to be confronted with our weaknesses. Unsafe people, however, confront us not to forgive us, but to condemn and punish us. They remove their love until we are appropriately chastened. This, obviously, destroys any chance for connection or safety.
Henry Cloud (Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't)
Most of us have wrestled with feelings of disappointment in our Christian life. We live with the notion that if I do my part, God should do His. Instead of rightfully developing a healthy understanding of who God is, we’ve developed a Christian model where I am the center of my world and God is a puppet, waiting at my beck and call to fulfill my every whim.
Lina Abujamra (Fractured Faith: Finding Your Way Back to God in an Age of Deconstruction)
virus, a single newspaper headline in Philadelphia saying “Don’t Go to Any Parades; for the Love of God Cancel Your Stupid Parade” could have saved hundreds of lives. It would have done a lot more than those telling people, “Don’t Get Scared!” Telling people that things are fine is not the same as making them fine. This failure is in the past. Journalists and editors had their reasons. Risking jail time is no joke. But learning from this breakdown in truth-telling is important because the fourth estate can’t fail again. We are fortunate today to have organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization that track how diseases are progressing and report these findings. In the event of an outbreak similar to the Spanish flu, they will be wonderful resources. I hope we’ll be similarly lucky to have journalists who will be able to share necessary information with the public. The public is at its strongest when it is well informed. Despite Lippmann’s claims to the contrary, we are smart, and we are good, and we are always stronger when we work together. If there is a next time, it would be very much to our benefit to remember that.
Jennifer Wright (Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them)
Since writing the Scientific Guide, I’ve come to think of staying over your emotional center of gravity as the “sleepy hedgehog” model of emotion management. If you find a sleepy hedgehog in the chair you were about to sit in, you should • give it a name • sit peacefully with it in your lap • figure out what it needs • tell your partner about the need, so you can collaborate to help the hedgehog
Emily Nagoski (Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life)
They’re not worthy to rule. None of them. I will go and get the Half-Breed and prove to you just how untrustworthy they are. All of them know about her. Every last one. I challenge Prince Galen to deny it.” Galen locks eyes with Toraf. How could he do this to me? How could he do this to Emma? Now everyone present knows of her existence. She won’t be safe anywhere, not with Jagen in control. Especially because Toraf, the best Tracker in Syrena history, has just vowed to find her and bring her here. Which will be excessively easy, since he knows exactly where she is. She trusts him. Rachel trusts him. It will be so simple for him. And I have no way of warning her, of getting to her. All I can do is protect her when she gets here. Tandel quiets the crowd, one of his primary duties as of late. When he has achieved control, he turns to Galen. “Your Highness, would you like to address these accusations against you?” Galen swims to the center stone without taking his eyes off Toraf. “If something happens to her because of you,” he whispers to his one-time friend, his voice raw with hurt, “your death will be my priority.” Toraf opens his mouth to say something, but Galen cuts him off to address the crowd. There is nothing Toraf can say to him that will make this right. There is nothing Toraf can say to him that will hurt him more. “I have nothing at all to say to these accusations.” Tandel sighs. “Very well, Highness. Thank you.” Galen swims to the Trackers who hold his sister. His sister who now sobs uncontrollably. “Come on, minnow,” he says. “He’s not worth your tears.” “Yes, he is,” she wails. The Trackers release her to her brother. They’re distressed with the task of comforting a hysterical female. Galen squeezes her to him, but won’t let her turn around and look at Toraf. “He isn’t. In time you’ll see that.” “Why would he bring Emma here, Galen? Why would he do this to us?” Galen swallows the vomit creeping its way into his throat. “I don’t know, minnow. I don’t know.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
Try to write in a directly emotional way, instead of being too subtle or oblique. Don't be afraid of your material or your past. Be afraid of wasting any more time obsessing about how you look and how people see you. Be afraid of not getting your writing done. If something inside you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Don't worry about appearing sentimental. Worry about being unavailable; worry about being absent or fraudulent. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you're a writer, you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act - truth is always subversive.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
It is only when the mind, which has taken shelter behind the walls of self-protection, frees itself from its own creations that there can be that exquisite reality. After all, these walls of self-protection are the creations of the mind which, conscious of its insufficiency, builds these walls of protection, and behind them takes shelter. One has built up these barriers unconsciously or consciously, and one’s mind is so crippled, bound, held, that action brings greater conflict, further disturbances. So the mere search for the solution of your problems is not going to free the mind from creating further problems. As long as this center of self-protectiveness, born of insufficiency, exists, there must be disturbances, tremendous sorrow, and pain; and you cannot free the mind of sorrow by disciplining it not to be insufficient. That is, you cannot discipline yourself, or be influenced by conditions and environment, in order not to be shallow. You say to yourself, “I am shallow; I recognize the fact, and how am I going to get rid of it?” I say, do not seek to get rid of it, which is merely a process of substitution, but become conscious, become aware of what is causing this insufficiency. You cannot compel it; you cannot force it; it cannot be influenced by an ideal, by a fear, by the pursuit of enjoyment and powers. You can find out the cause of insufficiency only through awareness. That is, by looking into environment and piercing into its significance there will be revealed the cunning subtleties of self-protection. After all, self-protection is the result of insufficiency, and as the mind has been trained, caught up in its bondage for centuries, you cannot discipline it, you cannot overcome it. If you do, you lose the significance of the deceits and subtleties of thought and emotion behind which mind has taken shelter; and to discover these subtleties you must become conscious, aware. Now to be aware is not to alter. Our mind is accustomed to alteration which is merely modification, adjustment, becoming disciplined to a condition; whereas if you are aware, you will discover the full significance of the environment. Therefore there is no modification, but entire freedom from that environment. Only when all these walls of protection are destroyed in the flame of awareness, in which there is no modification or alteration or adjustment, but complete understanding of the significance of environment with all its delicacies and subtleties—only through that understanding is there the eternal; because in that there is no “you” functioning as a self-protective focus. But as long as that self-protecting focus which you call the “I” exists, there must be confusion, there must be disturbance, disharmony, and conflict. You cannot destroy these hindrances by disciplining yourself or by following a system or by imitating a pattern; you can understand them with all their complications only through the full awareness of mind and heart. Then there is an ecstasy, there is that living movement of truth, which is not an end, not a culmination, but an ever-creative living, an ecstasy which cannot be described, because all description must destroy it. So long as you are not vulnerable to truth, there is no ecstasy, there is no immortality.
J. Krishnamurti (Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti)
He may be doing it for you in this Advent season—graciously and tenderly frustrating you with life that is not centered on Christ and filling you with longings and desires that can’t find their satisfaction in what this world offers, but only in the God-man. What a Christmas gift that might be! Let all your frustrations with this world throw you onto the Word of God. It will become sweet—like walking into paradise.
John Piper (The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent)
A small story: A man was in prison for 20 years. On the day of his release, he appeared very worried and tense. His friend in the prison asked him, 'What has happened to you? Why are you so worried?' The man replied, 'I am afraid. What will I do when I go out?' The prison has created such a solid pattern of security for the man that he does not know what he will do when he goes outside! This is the danger of getting caught in patterns and security. A master will never offer you the security you are looking for. He will never offer you the patterns you are looking for. When you don't get the security you are looking for, you will grow with deep centering within yourself. You will grow fearlessly because you know there is nothing to lose. And when you know there is nothing to lose, you have no fear. To show you that there is nothing to lose, the master throws you upon utter insecurity. Out of his deep compassion for you, out of deep concern for your growth, he doesn't offer you security. When you don't find the mundane security, you will find God! All your fears are because you don't clearly know that there is nothing to lose. Just one encounter with near death can show you that there is nothing to lose and that all your fears are baseless. The master simply makes you understand this in his own way. So don't try to escape from the master. Understand that he is here only to show you what you actually are. Your inherent nature is fearlessness. Over years, you have been instilled with fear. The master tries to break the layers of conditioning that you have taken upon yourself. If you just allow him to work upon you, with trust and love, you will see yourself transform in front of your own eyes.
Paramahamsa Nithyananda (Guaranteed Solutions)
Our most surprising finding was a white spot in the left frontal lobe of the cortex, in a region called Broca’s area. In this case the change in color meant that there was a significant decrease in that part of the brain. Broca’s area is one of the speech centers of the brain, which is often affected in stroke patients when the blood supply to that region is cut off. Without a functioning Broca’s area, you cannot put your thoughts and feelings into words.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
You must give yourself enough time to get better.” “How much time will that take?” he asked bitterly. “I don’t know,” she admitted. “But you have a lifetime.” A caustic laugh broke from him. “That’s too damned long.” “I understand that you feel responsible for what happened to Mark. But you’ve already been forgiven for whatever you think your sins are. You have,” she insisted as he shook his head. “Love forgives all things. And so many people--” She stopped as she felt his entire body jerk. “What did you say?” she heard him whisper. Beatrix realized the mistake she had just made. Her arms fell away from him. The blood began to roar in her ears, her heart thumping so madly she felt faint. Without thinking, she scrambled away from him, off the bed, to the center of the room. Breathing in frantic bursts, Beatrix turned to face him. Christopher was staring at her, his eyes gleaming with a strange, mad light. “I knew it,” he whispered. She wondered if he might try to kill her. She decided not to wait to find out. Fear gave her the speed of a terrified hare. She bolted before he could catch her, tearing to the door, flinging it open, and scampering to the grand staircase. Her boots made absurdly loud thuds on the stairs as she leaped downward. Christopher followed her to the threshold, bellowing her name. Beatrix didn’t pause for a second, knowing he was going to pursue her as soon as he donned his clothes. Mrs. Clocker stood near the entrance hall, looking worried and astonished. “Miss Hathaway? What--” “I think he’ll come out of his room now,” Beatrix said rapidly, jumping down the last of the stairs. “It’s time for me to be going.” “Did he…are you…” “If he asks for his horse to be saddled,” Beatrix said breathlessly, “please have it done slowly.” “Yes, but--” Good-bye.” And Beatrix raced from the house as if demons were at her heels.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
You convinced us that this had to be done. And that you had to be at the center. You were prepared to make the sacrifice." He opens the document to a page in the back. The eyeball of his germ roves the page rapidly and finds the passage he wants. "Allow me to quote your own words to you: 'SCP-3125 represents an omniversal-scale threat. It threatens neighbouring realities to ours. It threatens microverses within our macroverse. It threatens universes which embed ours as fiction—
qntm (There Is No Antimemetics Division)
So, did you see that community center I was talking about?” “What? Where?” “We walked right past it, just before that grocery store. I mentioned it on the way to the city? You just drop in and take classes. They’ve got all sorts of stuff. I bet you can get a student rate, even.” “But I’m not a student—” “You’re young enough that they’ll assume—” “—and how am I supposed to find the time to take dance classes, now that I’m the dessert?” “I’m starting to really regret using that metaphor,” Silas says, grinning. “And let me explain something, Rosie.” He takes a swig of the coffee and presses his lips together, searching for words. “I’m from a long, long, long, long line of woodsmen. My brothers are all supertalented. They all built their own rooms. For god’s sake, Lucas built a freaking wooden hot tub in his bedroom with wooden monkeys pouring water into it.” “Monkeys?” “Don’t ask. Anyway, I can do some woodworking. I know my way around the forest, I can handle an ax better than most, I can make a tree grow where nothing else will, I can live off berries and hunt for my food, and I’ve known about the Fenris since I could crawl. I’m a woodsman, for all intents and purposes. But that doesn’t mean I live for it any more than the fact that you’re good at hunting means you have to live for that. So maybe breaking out of the hunting lifestyle for a few hours here and there will help you figure out if it’s really for you or not.” I shake my head, confused as to why he’d even think that was possible. “I can’t just not hunt, Silas. So yeah, I take a few random classes, and what if I decide that I hate hunting and want to quit? That doesn’t mean I can. I owe Scarlett my life, and if she wants to cash in by having me spend my life hunting beside her, so be it. It’d kill her if she ever thought I wanted to quit.” “Rosie,” Silas says quietly. “I’m not suggesting you drop your sister like a bad habit and take up intense ballet training.
Jackson Pearce (Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1))
I am interested in your opinion about the myth of the tortured artist, and its usefulness for a society badly in need of healthy models of creativity. Most of the writers I know are struggling to make important art, but they are also struggling, equally hard, to live healthly, connected, value-creating daily lives. Do you think we are moving past praising the glamour of the nonfunctioning creative genius? I hope that we are. I find the idea of unsupported genius deeply distasteful: it disrespects mothers, and fathers, and teachers, and lovers, and all the accidents and opportunities and coincidences that conspire, along the way, to help create and launch an artistic sensibility. We need a new model: one that doesn’t depend on outmoded gender norms, destructive values, and the profoundly ugly idea that to be indebted is to be demeaned. Kindness is a core value for any artist, but most especially for a fiction writer: a self-centered person can’t see the world from another person’s point of view.
Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries)
You may attempt to defy me, but I assure you, it is a waste of your energy." He spoke gently, that mocking male superiority setting her teeth on edge. "I am your lifemate, cherie, and I will give any order I deem necessary for your safety." She thumped his chest hard with her clenched fist. "You make me so mad, Gregori! I'm trying very hard to get along with you and your arrogant orders. You don't even change expression! We could be discussing the weather instead of having a fight." His eyebrows shot up. "This is no fight, ma petite. A fight is where we both are angry and have a contest of wills,a battle.There cannot be such a thing between us.I do not feel anger when I look at you,only the need to care for you and protect you. I am responsible for your health and safety, Savannah. I can do no other than to protect you,even from your own folly.You cannot hope to win.I know this absolutely, so there is no reason to become agitated over the issue." She thumped him again.He looked startled, then caught her flying fist in his hand and gently pried her fingers open.Very carefully he pressed a kiss into the exact center of her palm. "Savannah? Were you trying to hit me?" "I did hit you-twice,you scum.You didn't even notice the first time." She sounded very irritated with him. For some reason it made him want to smile. "I apologize,mon amour. Next time,I promise I will notice when you strike me." The hard edge to his mouth softened into a semblance of a smile. "I will even go so far as to pretend that it hurts,if you wish it." Her blue eyes flashed at him. "Ha,ha, ha, you're so funny,Gregori. Stop being so smug." "It is not being smug to know my own power, cherie. I am trying to care for you as best I know how.YOu do not make it easy for me. I find myself making poor decisions just to see that smile on your face," he admitted reluctantly. Savannah laid her head on his chest. "I'm sorry I'm so much trouble, Gregori." She wasn't certain if that was the strict truth.She rather liked stirring him up.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
As any good Buddhist will tell you, the only way to find permanent joy is by embracing the fact that nothing is permanent. Chapters 12 through 15 will discuss the “patterned disorder” that organizes the chaos of change, so that even on a road no one has traveled before, you’ll have some idea what dangers you face, and how to conquer them. I’m not going to tell you that all this is going to be painless, but I can assure you that it will be wonderful. Take it from Dan. You may recall that in his case, the way back to la verace via lay directly through Hell. Dante’s journey took him as low as a human being could sink, through his worst fears and most bitter truths, down to the very center of the earth. And then, by continuing straight “downward” through the center and beyond, he was suddenly headed up. Before him he could see “the beautiful things that Heaven bears,” things like purpose, fulfillment, excitement, compassion, and delight. He was still tired and scared, but he wasn’t sleepwalking, and he wasn’t lost. There
Martha N. Beck (Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming The Life You Were Meant To Live)
I charge every reader of this message to ask himself frequently what the Bible is to him. Is it a Bible in which you have found nothing more than good moral precepts and sound advice? Or is it a Bible in which you have found Christ? Is it a Bible in which Christ is all? If not, I tell you plainly, you have hitherto used your Bible to very little purpose. You are like a man who studies the solar system, and leaves out in his studies the sun, which is the center of all. It is no wonder if you find your Bible a dull book!
J.C. Ryle (Holiness)
Raquel? You coming?” “I honestly never thought I would see the light of day again.” “Aww, come on. With me on your side? Of course things worked out.” She tried to smile, but her eyes filled with tears. Thank you, Evie.” I threw my arms around her in a hug. “You don’t have to thank me.” “I really do. You wonderful girl. I’ve missed you so much.” “Well, now that we’re both unemployed fugitives, think of how much time we’ll have to hang out!” She laughed drily, and we walked with our arms around each other to the house. I opened the door and yelled, “Evie alert! Coming into the family room!” “You made it!” Lend shouted back. “Just a sex, I’ll go to the kitchen. Raquel’s with you?” “Yup!” “Good job! Jack and Arianna got back a couple of minutes ago.” I walked into the family room to find Arianna and Jack sitting on the couch, arguing. “But here would have been no point to you being there if it hadn’t been for my computer prowess.” “But your computer prowess wouldn’t have mattered if you couldn’t have gotten into the Center in the first place.” “Being a glorified taxi does not make you the bigger hero.” “Being a nerd who can tap on a keyboard or being able to navigate the dark eternities of the Faerie Paths . . . hmmm . . . which is a rarer and more valuable skill . . .” I put my hands on my hips. “Okay, kids, take it elsewhere. Raquel and I have work to do.” “Evie,” Raquel said. She was staring at Jack in horror. “Oh, that.” I waved a hand dismissively. “It’s all good. Jack’s been helping us.” “Don’t you remember how he tried to kill you?” Jack rolled his eyes. “Boring. We’ve all moved on.” “Really?” “Not really,” I said. “But he’s behaving. And everyone needs a glorified taxi now and then.” “Admit it: you all adore me.” Jack bowed dramatically as he left the room. Arianna smiled tightly at Raquel and left after him. Raquel collapsed onto the couch and closed her eyes. “You’re working with Reth and Jack? Have you lost your mind?” “Oh, that happened ages ago. But I’ve had to do a lot of rescuing lately, and those two come in handy.” “Do you trust them?” “No, we don’t,” Lend called from the kitchen.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
Inferno was for learning about the nature of our sins. Purgatorio is for learning how to overcome our tendencies to fall victim to them. Understanding our dilemma is important, but it's not enough. What we do with that understanding makes the difference between life and death. Humility is the foundation of all spiritual progress. Humility builds resilience. Stop thinking of yourself as the center of your world you will find it becomes easier to endure life's setbacks. Plus, you will in time become more grateful, more merciful, and more loving.
Rod Dreher (How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History's Greatest Poem)
Nietzsche’s words that relate to this with respect to masks and the processes of life. He speaks of three stages in the life of the spirit incarnate in each of us. Three transformations of the spirit, he calls it. The first is that of the camel which gets down on its knees and asks, “Put a load on me.” That’s the period of these dear little children. This is the just-born life that has come in and is receiving the imprint of the society. The primary mask. “Put a load on me. Teach me what I must know to live in this society.” Once heavily loaded, the camel struggles to its feet and goes out into the desert — into the desert of the realization of its own individual nature. This must follow the reception of the culture good. It must not precede it. First is humility, and obedience, and the reception of the primary mask. Then comes the turning inward, which happens automatically in adolescence, to find your own inward life. Nietzsche calls this the transformation of the camel into a lion. Then the lion attacks a dragon; and the dragon’s name is Thou Shalt. The dragon is the concretization of all those imprints that the society has put upon you. The function of the lion is to kill the dragon Thou Shalt. On every scale is a “Thou Shalt,” some of them dating from 2000 b.c., others from this morning’s newspaper. And, when the dragon Thou Shalt has been killed — that is to say, when you have made the transition from simple obedience to authority over your own life — the third transformation is to that of being a child moving spontaneously out of the energy of its own center. Nietzsche calls it a wheel rolling out of its own center.
Joseph Campbell (Trick or Treat: Hallowe'en, Masks, and Living Your Myth (E-Singles))
However, taking action based on what a given study recommends would require personal initiative on the part of individual healthcare providers. But as corporate culture goes, so goes medical culture. We live in the age of consensus and groupthink, where otherwise curious and capable professionals avoid being singled out by huddling in the center of the herd. The herd, in turn, waits for an authority figure to lead the way. So if there is no authority figure acknowledging the importance of a given article’s findings, nothing happens. It’s as though it were never written.
Catherine Shanahan (Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food)
When I speak of a religion of one’s own, I’m not talking about a selfish, ego-centered, loosely patched together spiritual concoction. I’m recommending a courageous, deep-seated, fate-driven, informed, and intelligent life that has sublime and transcendent dimension. It can be shared in a community. It can be accomplished inside or outside a traditional religious organization. It is suitable for pious members of a religious group and for agnostics and atheists. To be religious even in a personal way, you have to wake up and find your own portals to wonder and transcendence.
Thomas Moore (A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World)
Bruce head butted Hades in the center of his back. "Is he tasting me?" he asked when Bruce's tail snapped his thigh. "No. What would give you that idea?" I smiled, slapping at Bruce's head when he opened his massive jaws to take a bite out of Hades' delectable ass. That was my ass, thank you very much. "Go find your own ass, Bruce. Now go." I flicked my wrist at him. His look was grumpy, but Bruce always wore a grumpy look. He took an angry swipe at a passing red horned devil octopus, slurping it down in one mighty gulp. I grimaced. Okay, so maybe he had been tasting Hades.
Jovee Winters (The Sea Queen (The Dark Queens, #1))
I never went to college. I don’t believe in college for writers. I think too many professors are too opinionated and too snobbish and too intellectual. And the intellect is a great danger to creativity because you begin to rationalize and make up reasons for things instead of staying with your own basic truth--- who you are, what you are, what you wanna be. I’ve had a sign over my typewriter for twenty-five years now which reads, “Don’t think.” You must never think at the typewriter--- you must feel, and your intellect is always buried in that feeling anyway. You collect up a lot of data, you do a lot of thinking away from the typewriter, but at the typewriter you should be living. It should be a living experience. The worst thing you do when you think is lie — you can make up reasons that are not true for the things that you did, and what you’re trying to do as a creative person is surprise yourself — find out who you really are, and try not to lie, try to tell the truth all the time. And the only way to do this is by being very active and very emotional, and get it out of yourself — making things that you hate and things that you love, you write about these then, intensely. When it’s over, then you can think about it; then you can look, it works or it doesn’t work, something is missing here. And, if something is missing, then you go back and reemotionalize that part, so it’s all of a piece. But thinking is to be a corrective in our life. It’s not supposed to be a center of our life. Living is supposed to be the center of our life, being is supposed to be the center, with correctives around, which hold us like the skin holds our blood and our flesh in. But our skin is not a way of life. The way of living is the blood pumping through our veins, the ability to sense and to feel and to know, and the intellect doesn’t help you very much there. You should get on with the business of living. Everything of mine is intuitive. All the poetry I’ve written, I couldn’t possibly tell you how I did it. I don’t know anything about the rhythms or the schemes or the inner rhymes or any of these sorts of thing. It comes from 40 years of reading poetry and having heroes that I loved. I love Shakespeare, I don’t Intellectualize about him. I love Gerard Manley Hopkins, I don’t intellectualize about him. I love Dylan Thomas, I don’t know what the hell he’s writing about half the time, but he sounds good, he rings well. Let me give you an example on this sort of thing: I walked into my living room twenty years ago, when one of my daughters was about four years old, and a Dylan Thomas record was on the set. I thought that my wife had put the record on; come to find out my four-year-old had put on his record. I came into the room, she pointed to the record and said, ‘He knows what he’s doing.’ Now, that’s great. See, that’s not intellectualizing, it’s an emotional reaction. If there is no feeling, there cannot be great art.” 
Ray Bradbury
How odd. I had expected to find a cross," McGilliveray said with a wary expression. He let go of the bag so that Alan could tuck it back into his shirt. "The white man's cross is off-center. There is no sense of being centered, and the directions lead off to nothing, which is why all white men, all Christians are so unhappy, and want to have dominion. I saw the old roods, the Celtic crosses of your people in the long ago, which had circles around the center, but the directions go beyond the circle. They must have been close to the truth in those days, but even so, they never really knew peace.
Dewey Lambdin (The King's Commission (Alan Lewrie, #3))
Never mind. Elwin said I’m not supposed to tease you.” “We’ll see how long that lasts,” Ro said, shoving her way into the Healing Center. Her eyes scanned Fitz up and down. “So . . . you’re awake.” Fitz nodded. “I am.” “And you’re okay now?” Keefe asked. “Mostly,” Fitz admitted. “Good. Because you were out for a pretty long time, and some people were starting to worry—I mean, not me. I figured you were just playing it up for sympathy, but . . .” He cleared his throat. “Ugh, this is really hard if I can’t make fun of you.” Fitz laughed. “That almost makes it worth it.” “Oh, I’ll find a way,” Keefe promised.
Shannon Messenger (Flashback (Keeper of the Lost Cities #7))
They cut the umbilical cord, give you a slap on the ass, and presto! you're out in the world, adrift, a ship without a rudder. You look at the stars and then you look at your navel. You grow eyes everywhere–in the armpits, between the lips, in the roots of your hair, on the soles of your feet. What is distant becomes near, what is near becomes distant. Inner-outer, a constant flux, a shedding of skins, a turning inside out. You drift around like that for years and years, until you find yourself in the dead center, and there you slowly rot, slowly crumble to pieces, get dispersed again. Only your name remains.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
Let your attention glide           Through the centers of awareness along the spine                With adoring intent.           There is a song to each area of the body.           Resonating in sweet vortices,           Long rhythmic vowels and hums,           Ah . . . and . . . eee . . . ommmm . . . hummmm . . .           Resounding on and on.           Find the harmonies           Emanating from the circulation of life energies.           Listen to these as sounds,           Then more subtly, as an underlying hum.           Eventually as most subtle feeling.           Then diving more deeply,           Dissolve into freedom.
Lorin Roche (The Radiance Sutras: 112 Gateways to the Yoga of Wonder and Delight)
It is the mystery that the heart, which is the center of our being, is transformed by God into his own heart, a heart large enough to embrace the entire universe. Through prayer we can carry in our heart all human pain and sorrow, all conflicts and agonies, all torture and war, all hunger, loneliness, and misery, not because of some great psychological or emotional capacity, but because God’s heart has become one with ours. Here we catch sight of the meaning of Jesus’ words, “Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Matthew 11:29–30).
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Spiritual Life: Eight Essential Titles by Henri Nouwen)
Dystopia is not always an unhappy place. There are, as it happens, certain dystopias in which it's perfectly possible to be happy as a clam. Vast numbers of people go through life never even realizing that they're in one, might live through the real-time decay from freedom to tyranny and never notice the change. It basically comes down to wanderlust. Imagine your life as a path extending through time and society. To either side are fences festooned with signs: No Trespassing, Keep Off the Grass, Thou Shalt Not Kill. These are the constraints on your behavior, the legal limits of acceptable conduct. You are free to wander anywhere between these barriers-- but cross one and you risk the weight of the law. Now imagine that someone starts moving those fences closer together. How you react-- whether you even notice-- depends entirely on how much you wandered beforehand. A lot of people never deviate from the center of the path their whole lives, would never understand what all those fringe radicals are whining about; after all, *their* lives haven't changed any. It makes no difference to them whether the fences are right on the shoulder or out past the horizon. For the rest of us, though, it's only a matter of time before you wander back to a point you've always been free to visit in the past, only to find a fence suddenly blocking your way.
Peter Watts (Beyond the Rift)
If you spend all your time trying to be happy, you end up focusing all your attention on yourself and how “happy” you are and, as a result, you become a shriveled self who can’t live for some larger cause. Your life will center on yourself and your moment-by-moment focus will be on how you feel inside. Your sole criterion of evaluation for seeking a job, making friends, finding a spouse (or staying with a spouse!), and selecting a church will reduce to one overarching concern: How does this particular thing make me feel? The best way to be happy in the contemporary sense is to forget about it, to try to live a good life for a bigger purpose, especially for the cause of Christ.
J.P. Moreland (Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit's Power)
ESTABLISHING A DAILY MEDITATION First select a suitable space for your regular meditation. It can be wherever you can sit easily with minimal disturbance: a corner of your bedroom or any other quiet spot in your home. Place a meditation cushion or chair there for your use. Arrange what is around so that you are reminded of your meditative purpose, so that it feels like a sacred and peaceful space. You may wish to make a simple altar with a flower or sacred image, or place your favorite spiritual books there for a few moments of inspiring reading. Let yourself enjoy creating this space for yourself. Then select a regular time for practice that suits your schedule and temperament. If you are a morning person, experiment with a sitting before breakfast. If evening fits your temperament or schedule better, try that first. Begin with sitting ten or twenty minutes at a time. Later you can sit longer or more frequently. Daily meditation can become like bathing or toothbrushing. It can bring a regular cleansing and calming to your heart and mind. Find a posture on the chair or cushion in which you can easily sit erect without being rigid. Let your body be firmly planted on the earth, your hands resting easily, your heart soft, your eyes closed gently. At first feel your body and consciously soften any obvious tension. Let go of any habitual thoughts or plans. Bring your attention to feel the sensations of your breathing. Take a few deep breaths to sense where you can feel the breath most easily, as coolness or tingling in the nostrils or throat, as movement of the chest, or rise and fall of the belly. Then let your breath be natural. Feel the sensations of your natural breathing very carefully, relaxing into each breath as you feel it, noticing how the soft sensations of breathing come and go with the changing breath. After a few breaths your mind will probably wander. When you notice this, no matter how long or short a time you have been away, simply come back to the next breath. Before you return, you can mindfully acknowledge where you have gone with a soft word in the back of your mind, such as “thinking,” “wandering,” “hearing,” “itching.” After softly and silently naming to yourself where your attention has been, gently and directly return to feel the next breath. Later on in your meditation you will be able to work with the places your mind wanders to, but for initial training, one word of acknowledgment and a simple return to the breath is best. As you sit, let the breath change rhythms naturally, allowing it to be short, long, fast, slow, rough, or easy. Calm yourself by relaxing into the breath. When your breath becomes soft, let your attention become gentle and careful, as soft as the breath itself. Like training a puppy, gently bring yourself back a thousand times. Over weeks and months of this practice you will gradually learn to calm and center yourself using the breath. There will be many cycles in this process, stormy days alternating with clear days. Just stay with it. As you do, listening deeply, you will find the breath helping to connect and quiet your whole body and mind. Working with the breath is an excellent foundation for the other meditations presented in this book. After developing some calm and skills, and connecting with your breath, you can then extend your range of meditation to include healing and awareness of all the levels of your body and mind. You will discover how awareness of your breath can serve as a steady basis for all you do.
Jack Kornfield (A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life)
Howdy there, you’ve reached Boricio’s Center For Mental Fitness. Please listen to the following options: If you’re obsessive compulsive, press #1 over and over, 47 times or your mother will die. If you’re co-dependent, turn to the nearest asshole and ask them to press #2 for you. Multiple personalities, I will direct you to buttons #3, 4, 5, and 6. Press them all, one at a time. If you’re paranoid, we know who you are, and we will motherfucking find you. Delusionals press #7, then patiently wait for your transfer to Planet Zebot. Schizophrenics, listen for your inner assholes. Sufferers of short-term memory loss, try again later. And those afflicted with low self-esteem: Fuck you, no one wants to talk to you.
Sean Platt (Yesterday's Gone: Season Four)
It was December 15, 2012, the day after twenty-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I remember thinking, Maybe if all the mothers in the world crawled on their hands and knees toward those parents in Newtown, we could take some of the pain away. We could spread their pain across all of our hearts. I would do it. Can’t we find a way to hold some of it for them? I’ll take my share. Even if it adds sadness to all my days. My friends and I didn’t rush to start a fund that day. We didn’t storm the principal’s office at our kids’ school asking for increased security measures. We didn’t call politicians or post on Facebook. We would do all that in the days to come. But the day right after the shooting, we just sat together with nothing but the sound of occasional weeping cutting through the silence. Leaning in to our shared pain and fear comforted us. Being alone in the midst of a widely reported trauma, watching endless hours of twenty-four-hour news or reading countless articles on the Internet, is the quickest way for anxiety and fear to tiptoe into your heart and plant their roots of secondary trauma. That day after the mass killing, I chose to cry with my friends, then I headed to church to cry with strangers. I couldn’t have known then that in 2017 I would speak at a fund-raiser for the Resiliency Center of Newtown and spend time sitting with a group of parents whose children were killed at Sandy Hook. What I’ve learned through my work and what I heard that night in Newtown makes one thing clear: Not enough of us know how to sit in pain with others. Worse, our discomfort shows up in ways that can hurt people and reinforce their own isolation. I have started to believe that crying with strangers in person could save the world. Today there’s a sign that welcomes you to Newtown: WE ARE SANDY HOOK. WE CHOOSE LOVE. That day when I sat in a room with other mothers from my neighborhood and cried, I wasn’t sure what we were doing or why. Today I’m pretty sure we were choosing love in our own small way.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
Let the center be your home: To be centered is considered desirable; when they feel distracted or scattered, people often say, “I lost my center.” But if there is no person inside your head, if the ego’s sense of I, me, mine is illusory, where’s the center? Paradoxically, the center is everywhere. It is the open space that has no boundaries. Instead of thinking of your center as a defined spot—the way people point to their hearts as the seat of the soul—be at the center of experience. Experience isn’t a place; it’s a focus of attention. You can live there, at the still point around which everything revolves. To be off center is to lose focus, to look away from experience or block it out. To be centered is like saying “I want to find my home in creation.” You relax into the rhythm of your own life, which sets the stage for meeting yourself at a deeper level. You can’t summon the silent witness, but you can place yourself close to it by refusing to get lost in your own creation. When I find myself being overshadowed by anything, I can fall back on a few simple steps: • I say to myself, “This situation may be shaking me, but I am more than any situation.” • I take a deep breath and focus my attention on whatever my body is feeling. • I step back and see myself as another person would see me (preferably the person whom I am resisting or reacting to). • I realize that my emotions are not reliable guides to what is permanent and real. They are momentary reactions, and most likely they are born of habit. • If I am about to burst out with uncontrollable reactions, I walk away. As you can see, I don’t try to feel better, to be more positive, to come from love, or to change the state I’m in. We are all framed by personalities and driven by egos. Ego personalities are trained by habit and by the past; they run along like self-propelled engines. If you can observe the mechanism at work without getting wrapped up in it, you will find that you possess a second perspective, one that is always calm, alert, detached, tuned in but not overshadowed. That second place is your center. It isn’t a place at all but a close encounter with the silent witness.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
Our most surprising finding was a white spot in the left frontal lobe of the cortex, in a region called Broca’s area. In this case the change in color meant that there was a significant decrease in that part of the brain. Broca’s area is one of the speech centers of the brain, which is often affected in stroke patients when the blood supply to that region is cut off. Without a functioning Broca’s area, you cannot put your thoughts and feelings into words. Our scans showed that Broca’s area went offline whenever a flashback was triggered. In other words, we had visual proof that the effects of trauma are not necessarily different from—and can overlap with—the effects of physical lesions like strokes. All trauma is preverbal.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma)
Obviously, in those situations, we lose the sale. But we’re not trying to maximize each and every transaction. Instead, we’re trying to build a lifelong relationship with each customer, one phone call at a time. A lot of people may think it’s strange that an Internet company is so focused on the telephone, when only about 5 percent of our sales happen through the telephone. In fact, most of our phone calls don’t even result in sales. But what we’ve found is that on average, every customer contacts us at least once sometime during his or her lifetime, and we just need to make sure that we use that opportunity to create a lasting memory. The majority of phone calls don’t result in an immediate order. Sometimes a customer may be calling because it’s her first time returning an item, and she just wants a little help stepping through the process. Other times, a customer may call because there’s a wedding coming up this weekend and he wants a little fashion advice. And sometimes, we get customers who call simply because they’re a little lonely and want someone to talk to. I’m reminded of a time when I was in Santa Monica, California, a few years ago at a Skechers sales conference. After a long night of bar-hopping, a small group of us headed up to someone’s hotel room to order some food. My friend from Skechers tried to order a pepperoni pizza from the room-service menu, but was disappointed to learn that the hotel we were staying at did not deliver hot food after 11:00 PM. We had missed the deadline by several hours. In our inebriated state, a few of us cajoled her into calling Zappos to try to order a pizza. She took us up on our dare, turned on the speakerphone, and explained to the (very) patient Zappos rep that she was staying in a Santa Monica hotel and really craving a pepperoni pizza, that room service was no longer delivering hot food, and that she wanted to know if there was anything Zappos could do to help. The Zappos rep was initially a bit confused by the request, but she quickly recovered and put us on hold. She returned two minutes later, listing the five closest places in the Santa Monica area that were still open and delivering pizzas at that time. Now, truth be told, I was a little hesitant to include this story because I don’t actually want everyone who reads this book to start calling Zappos and ordering pizza. But I just think it’s a fun story to illustrate the power of not having scripts in your call center and empowering your employees to do what’s right for your brand, no matter how unusual or bizarre the situation. As for my friend from Skechers? After that phone call, she’s now a customer for life. Top 10 Ways to Instill Customer Service into Your Company   1. Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.   2. Make WOW a verb that is part of your company’s everyday vocabulary.   3. Empower and trust your customer service reps. Trust that they want to provide great service… because they actually do. Escalations to a supervisor should be rare.   4. Realize that it’s okay to fire customers who are insatiable or abuse your employees.   5. Don’t measure call times, don’t force employees to upsell, and don’t use scripts.   6. Don’t hide your 1-800 number. It’s a message not just to your customers, but to your employees as well.   7. View each call as an investment in building a customer service brand, not as an expense you’re seeking to minimize.   8. Have the entire company celebrate great service. Tell stories of WOW experiences to everyone in the company.   9. Find and hire people who are already passionate about customer service. 10. Give great service to everyone: customers, employees, and vendors.
Tony Hsieh (Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose)
And when you come to the point that you look in the face of every man and see deep down within him what religion calls "the image of God," you begin to love him in spite of. No matter what he does, you see God’s image there. There is an element of goodness that he can never sluff off. Discover the element of good in your enemy. And as you seek to hate him, find the center of goodness and place your attention there and you will take a new attitude. Another way that you love your enemy is this: When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it. There will come a time, in many instances, when the person who hates you most, the person who has misused you most, the person who has gossiped about you most, the person who has spread false rumors about you most, there will come a time when you will have an opportunity to defeat that person. It might be in terms of a recommendation for a job; it might be in terms of helping that person to make some move in life. That’s the time you must do it. That is the meaning of love. In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Bezos had seemingly made up his mind that he was no longer going to indulge in financial maneuvering as a way to escape the rather large hole Amazon had dug for itself, and it wasn’t just through borrowing Sinegal’s business plan. At a two-day management and board offsite later that year, Amazon invited business thinker Jim Collins to present the findings from his soon-to-be-published book Good to Great. Collins had studied the company and led a series of intense discussions at the offsite. “You’ve got to decide what you’re great at,” he told the Amazon executives. Drawing on Collins’s concept of a flywheel, or self-reinforcing loop, Bezos and his lieutenants sketched their own virtuous cycle, which they believed powered their business. It went something like this: Lower prices led to more customer visits. More customers increased the volume of sales and attracted more commission-paying third-party sellers to the site. That allowed Amazon to get more out of fixed costs like the fulfillment centers and the servers needed to run the website. This greater efficiency then enabled it to lower prices further. Feed any part of this flywheel, they reasoned, and it should accelerate the loop. Amazon executives were elated; according to several members of the S Team at the time, they felt that, after five years, they finally understood their own business. But when Warren Jenson asked Bezos if he should put the flywheel in his presentations to analysts, Bezos asked him not to. For now, he considered it the secret sauce.
Brad Stone (The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon)
How do you last a torrid time in Life? 1. Accept the reality that you are in the throes of a crisis. Stop wishing that it didn’t exist. Acceptance always delivers inner peace. 2. Know that the storm will always be strong. By even thinking of its ferocity, you are only going to feel debilitated. At the epicenter of a storm, it is always calm. Find that center, your center. That’s where you will find strength. 3. Your center is where you lose sense of time, place and thought. Art – anything inherent that makes you come alive – often leads you there. 4. Trust the process of Life. Do what you can do without losing your inner peace – daily, diligently. 5. No matter how intense it is, no storm lasts forever. All storms pass. So, be patient, surrender completely, let go…and offer yourself to be led by Life…
AVIS Viswanathan
The heart of the engine is the one part that I can’t help you find, unfortunately. There is just no way for me to document its location; it’s different in every car. I could barely find the heart of my VW-it was too confusing, and there were too many routes. Every time I thought I’d reach the center point I realized I was lost, not where I thought I was, following the wrong sunrise yet again. I wonder: Does the heart move around or something? The geographic arrangement of the engine compartment doesn’t make things any easier- some of the mechanical parts are underground, nestled in the hills, and others are hidden behind the hustle and lathe of small mechanical cities. But don’t cloudy-day! We’ll find the heart eventually- I don’t care if we need to tear the engine down to every bolt and moment to do so.
Christopher Boucher (How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Novel)
When, shortly afterward, I stopped at the top of the hill and saw the town beneath me, my feeling of happiness was so ecstatic that I didn’t know how I would be able to make it home, sit there and write, eat, or sleep. But the world is constructed in such a way that it meets you halfway in moments precisely like these, your inner joy seeks an outer counterpart and finds it, it always does, even in the bleakest regions of the world, for nothing is as relative as beauty. Had the world been different, in my opinion, without mountains and oceans, plains and seas, deserts and forests, and consisted of something else, inconceivable to us, as we don’t know anything other than this, we would also have found it beautiful. A world with gloes and raies, evanbillits and conulames, for example, or ibitera, proluffs, and lopsits, whatever they might be, we would have sung their praises because that is the way we are, we extol the world and love it although it’s not necessary, the world is the world, it’s all we have. So as I walked down the steps toward the town center on this Wednesday at the end of August I had a place in my heart for everything I beheld. A slab of stone worn smooth in a flight of steps: fantastic. A swaybacked roof side by side with an austere perpendicular brick building: so beautiful. A limp hot-dog wrapper on a drain grille, which the wind lifts a couple of meters and then drops again, this time on the pavement flecked with white stepped-on chewing gum: incredible. A lean old man hobbling along in a shabby suit carrying a bag bulging with bottles in one hand: what a sight. The world extended its hand, and I took it.
Karl Ove Knausgaard
Once the habit is ingrained and you become the starter, the center of the circle, you will find more and more things to notice, to instigate, and to initiate. Momentum builds and you get better at generating it. If you go to bed at night knowing that people are expecting you to initiate things all day the next day, you’ll wake up with a list. And as you create a culture of people who are always seeking to connect and improve and poke, the bar gets raised. What might be considered a board-level decision at one of your competitors’ companies gets done as a matter of course. What might be reserved for a manager’s intervention gets handled at the customer level, saving you time and money (and generating customer joy). This incredibly prosaic idea, the very simple act of initiating, is actually profoundly transformative. Forward motion is a defensible business asset.
Seth Godin (Poke the Box)
My own heartbeat was slowing under my hand, under the deep rose silk, the color of a baby’s sleep-flushed cheek. When you hold a child to your breast to nurse, the curve of the little head echoes exactly the curve of the breast it suckles, as though this new person truly mirrors the flesh from which it sprang. Babies are soft. Anyone looking at them can see the tender, fragile skin and know it for the rose-leaf softness that invites a finger’s touch. But when you live with them and love them, you feel the softness going inward, the round-checked flesh wobbly as custard, the boneless splay of the tiny hands. Their joints are melted rubber, and even when you kiss them hard, in the passion of loving their existence, your lips sink down and seem never to find bone. Holding them against you, they melt and mold, as though they might at any moment flow back into your body. But from the very start, there is that small streak of steel within each child. That thing that says “I am,” and forms the core of personality. In the second year, the bone hardens and the child stands upright, skull wide and solid, a helmet protecting the softness within. And “I am” grows, too. Looking at them, you can almost see it, sturdy as heartwood, glowing through the translucent flesh. The bones of the face emerge at six, and the soul within is fixed at seven. The process of encapsulation goes on, to reach its peak in the glossy shell of adolescence, when all softness then is hidden under the nacreous layers of the multiple new personalities that teenagers try on to guard themselves. In the next years, the hardening spreads from the center, as one finds and fixes the facets of the soul, until “I am” is set, delicate and detailed as an insect in amber.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
Neliss, why is this rug wet?” Legna peeked around the corner to glance at the rug in question, looking as if she had never seen it before. “We have a rug there?” “Did you or did you not promise me you were not going to practice extending how long you can hold your invisible bowls of water in the house? And what on earth is that noise?” “Okay, I confess to the water thing, which was an honest mistake, I swear it. But as for a noise, I have no idea what you are talking about.” “You cannot hear that? It has been driving me crazy for days now. It just repeats over and over again, a sort of clicking sound.” “Well, it took a millennium, but you have finally gone completely senile. Listen, this is a house built by Lycanthropes. It is more a cave than a house, to be honest. I have yet to decorate to my satisfaction. There is probably some gizmo of some kind lying around, and I will come across it eventually or it will quit working the longer it is exposed to our influence. Even though I do not hear anything, I will start looking for it. Is this satisfactory?” “I swear, Magdelegna, I am never letting you visit that Druid ever again.” “Oh, stop it. You do not intimidate me, as much as you would love to think you do. Now, I will come over there if you promise not to yell at me anymore. You have been quite moody lately.” “I would be a hell of a lot less moody if I could figure out what that damn noise is.” Legna came around the corner, moving into his embrace with her hands behind her back. He immediately tried to see what she had in them. “What is that?” “Remember when you asked me why I cut my hair?” “Ah yes, the surprise. Took you long enough to get to it.” “If you do not stop, I am not going to give it to you.” “Okay. I am stopping. What is it?” She held out the box tied with a ribbon to him and he accepted it with a lopsided smile. “I do not think I even remember the last time I received a gift,” he said, leaning to kiss her cheek warmly. He changed his mind, though, and opted to go for her mouth next. She smiled beneath the cling of their lips and pushed away. “Open it.” He reached for the ribbon and soon was pulling the top off the box. “What is this?” “Gideon, what does it look like?” He picked up the woven circlet with a finger and inspected it closely. It was an intricately and meticulously fashioned necklace, clearly made strand by strand from the coffee-colored locks of his mate’s hair. In the center of the choker was a silver oval with the smallest writing he had ever seen filling it from top to bottom. “What does it say?” “It is the medics’ code of ethics,” she said softly, taking it from him and slipping behind him to link the piece around his neck beneath his hair. “And it fits perfectly.” She came around to look at it, smiling. “I knew it would look handsome on you.” “I do not usually wear jewelry or ornamentation, but . . . it feels nice. How on earth did they make this?” “Well, it took forever, if you want to know why it took so long for me to make good on the surprise. But I wanted you to have something that was a little bit of me and a little bit of you.” “I already have something like that. It is you. And . . . and me, I guess,” he laughed. “We are a little bit of each other for the rest of our lives.” “See, that makes this a perfect symbol of our love,” she said smartly, reaching up on her toes to kiss him. “Well, thank you, sweet. It is a great present and an excellent surprise. Now, if you really want to surprise me, help me find out what that noise is.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
Suppose he really is in love. What about her? She never has anything good to say about him.” “Yet she blushes whenever he enters a room. And she stares at him a good deal. Or hadn’t you noticed that, either?” “As a matter of fact, I have.” Gazing up at him, she softened her tone. “But I do not want her hurt, Isaac. I must be sure she is desired for herself and not her fortune. Her siblings had a chance of not gaining their inheritance unless the others married, so I always knew that their mates loved them, but she…” She shook her head. “I had to find a way to remove her fortune from the equation.” “I still say you’re taking a big risk.” He glanced beyond her to where Celia was talking to the duke. “Do yo really think she’d be better off with Lyons?” But she doesn’t love him…If you’d just give her a chance- “I do not know,” Hetty said with a sigh. “I do not know anything anymore.” “Then you shouldn’t meddle. Because there’s another outcome you haven’t considered. If you try to manipulate matters to your satisfaction, she may balk entirely. Then you’ll find yourself in the sticky position of having to choose between disinheriting them all or backing down on your ultimatum. Personally, I think you should have given up that nonsense long ago, but I know only too well how stubborn you can be when you’ve got the bit between your teeth.” “Oh?” she said archly. “Have I been stubborn with you?” He gazed down at her. “You haven’t agreed to marry me yet.” Her heart flipped over in her chest. It was not the first time he had mentioned marriage, but she had refused to take him seriously. Until now. It was clear he would not be put off any longer. He looked solemnly in earnest. “Isaac…” “Are you worried that I am a fortune hunter?” “Do not be absurd.” “Because I’ve already told you that I’ll sign any marriage settlement you have your solicitor draw up. I don’t want your brewery or your vast fortune. I know it’s going to your grandchildren. I only want you.” The tender words made her sigh like a foolish girl. “I realize that. But why not merely continue as we have been?” His voice lowered. “Because I want to make you mine in every way.” A sweet shiver swept along her spine. “We do not need to marry for that.” “So all you want from me is an affair?” “No! But-“ “I want more than that. I want to go to sleep with you in my arms and wake with you in my bed. I want the right to be with you whenever I please, night or day.” His tone deepened. “I love you, Hetty. And when a man loves a woman, he wants to spend his life with her.” “But at our age, people will say-“ “Our age is an argument for marriage. We might not have much time left. Why not live it to the fullest, together, while we’re still in good health? Who cares about what people say? Life is too short to let other people dictate one’s choices.” She leaned heavily on his arm as they reached the steps leading up to the dais at the front of the ballroom. He did have a point. She had been balking at marrying him because she was sure people would think her a silly old fool. But then, she had always been out of step with everyone else. Why should this be any different? “I shall think about it,” she murmured as they headed to the center of the dais, where the family was gathering. “I suppose I’ll have to settle for that. For now.” He cast her a heated glance. “But later this evening, once we have the chance to be alone, I shall try more effective methods to persuade you. Because I’m not giving up on this. I can be as stubborn as you, my dear.” She bit back a smile. Thank God for that.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
What do you see when you look at me?” “I see you,” he answered as if it was obvious. “It’s not like I see a place, or a time, or a name: just you. Your essence. Your soul. That’s how I find you every time you come back. I know it’s hard to understand, but your soul calls me…and I’m drawn to it. I couldn’t keep away if I tried.” Sage raised his hand to my cheek, cupping it gently. I closed my eyes, resting against the warmth of his palm. When I opened them he had moved closer. I closed the distance between us and kissed him. I felt dizzy and hot and floaty, like every cliché…but it was true. I couldn’t feel my feet. I finally felt like I was where my soul belonged. There was only one problem. The gearshift was digging into my side. “Ow!” I winced. “You okay?” “Yeah…it’s just…” I gestured down, feeling like an idiot for ruining the moment. Sage didn’t seem to mind. He reached down and moved his seat back to its maximum leg room, then held out his hand. I grabbed it and clambered over the center console, clumsily ducking and folding myself until I finally settled onto his lap, straddling his legs. It was the least coordinated act of seduction ever. “Better?” he asked. “Better.” He kissed me, sliding his hands up the back of my shirt. It felt incredible. Without breaking away from his lips, I reached underneath his tee and felt his bare, sleek chest. My breath came faster, caught up in the frenzy of finally letting go and doing what I’d been dying to do from the second I’d seen Sage on the beach. “Wait,” he said. He reached down and pulled a lever. I let out a little scream as his seat back dropped all the way and I fell on top of him. I loved the feel of his body under mine. I didn’t want a single part of us not touching. “Better now?” Sage murmured into my ear. It wasn’t fair of him to ask me a question when he was doing that. I could barely function, never mind put together an answer. “Much better,” I said. “It’s practically a bed.” “Is it?” Sage agreed, and in his eyes I saw exactly what that could mean. “Oh,” I said, suddenly nervous. “But…we can’t. I mean, we don’t have…” “I do,” he said, leaning down to kiss the hollow where my neck met my shoulder. “You do?” I tensed up. Why did he have one? For who? The corner of Sage’s mouth turned up. “For us, Clea. The drugstore in Rio? I kind of had a feeling…” He moved his lips back to my neck. He nibbled on my earlobe, and I whimpered. “Oh,” I managed. “Well…then…” “I love you, Clea.” Everything tunneled in, and I heard the words echo in my head. Sage loved me. Me. I didn’t even realize I’d stopped breathing until he said my name, concerned. “Clea?” I looked at him and immediately relaxed. “I love you, too.” We kissed, and I actually felt myself melting into him as my last coherent thoughts gave way to pure sensation.
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
The problem, Augustine came to believe, is that if you think you can organize your own salvation you are magnifying the very sin that keeps you from it. To believe that you can be captain of your own life is to suffer the sin of pride. What is pride? These days the word “pride” has positive connotations. It means feeling good about yourself and the things associated with you. When we use it negatively, we think of the arrogant person, someone who is puffed up and egotistical, boasting and strutting about. But that is not really the core of pride. That is just one way the disease of pride presents itself. By another definition, pride is building your happiness around your accomplishments, using your work as the measure of your worth. It is believing that you can arrive at fulfillment on your own, driven by your own individual efforts. Pride can come in bloated form. This is the puffed-up Donald Trump style of pride. This person wants people to see visible proof of his superiority. He wants to be on the VIP list. In conversation, he boasts, he brags. He needs to see his superiority reflected in other people’s eyes. He believes that this feeling of superiority will eventually bring him peace. That version is familiar. But there are other proud people who have low self-esteem. They feel they haven’t lived up to their potential. They feel unworthy. They want to hide and disappear, to fade into the background and nurse their own hurts. We don’t associate them with pride, but they are still, at root, suffering from the same disease. They are still yoking happiness to accomplishment; it’s just that they are giving themselves a D– rather than an A+. They tend to be just as solipsistic, and in their own way as self-centered, only in a self-pitying and isolating way rather than in an assertive and bragging way. One key paradox of pride is that it often combines extreme self-confidence with extreme anxiety. The proud person often appears self-sufficient and egotistical but is really touchy and unstable. The proud person tries to establish self-worth by winning a great reputation, but of course this makes him utterly dependent on the gossipy and unstable crowd for his own identity. The proud person is competitive. But there are always other people who might do better. The most ruthlessly competitive person in the contest sets the standard that all else must meet or get left behind. Everybody else has to be just as monomaniacally driven to success. One can never be secure. As Dante put it, the “ardor to outshine / Burned in my bosom with a kind of rage.” Hungry for exaltation, the proud person has a tendency to make himself ridiculous. Proud people have an amazing tendency to turn themselves into buffoons, with a comb-over that fools nobody, with golden bathroom fixtures that impress nobody, with name-dropping stories that inspire nobody. Every proud man, Augustine writes, “heeds himself, and he who pleases himself seems great to himself. But he who pleases himself pleases a fool, for he himself is a fool when he is pleasing himself.”16 Pride, the minister and writer Tim Keller has observed, is unstable because other people are absentmindedly or intentionally treating the proud man’s ego with less reverence than he thinks it deserves. He continually finds that his feelings are hurt. He is perpetually putting up a front. The self-cultivator spends more energy trying to display the fact that he is happy—posting highlight reel Facebook photos and all the rest—than he does actually being happy. Augustine suddenly came to realize that the solution to his problem would come only after a transformation more fundamental than any he had previously entertained, a renunciation of the very idea that he could be the source of his own solution.
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
LOVING-KINDNESS MEDITATION PLEASE PUT THE ATTENTION on the breath for just a moment to become centered. Take a look into your heart and see whether there is any worry, fear, grief, dislike, resentment, rejection, uneasiness, anxiety. If you find any of those, let them float away like the black clouds that they are… Then let warmth and friendship arise in your heart for yourself, realizing that you have to be your own best friend. Surround yourself with loving thoughts for yourself and a feeling of contentment within you… Now surround the person nearest to you in the room with loving thoughts and fill that person with peace and wish for that person’s happiness… Now surround everyone here with loving thoughts… Let the feeling of peacefulness extend to everyone here, and think of yourself as everyone’s good friend… Think of your parents, whether they are still alive or not. Surround them with love. Fill them with peace and gratitude for what they have done for you, be their good friend… Think of those people who are nearest and dearest to you. Embrace them with love, fill them with peace as a gift from you, without expecting them to return it to you… Think of your friends. Open up your heart to them, to show them your friendship, your concern, your love, giving it to them without expecting anything in return… Think of your neighbors who live near you, the people you meet at work, on the street, in the shops, make them all your friends; let them enter into your heart without any reservation. Show them love… Think of anyone for whom you have dislike or with whom you may have had an argument, who has made difficulties for you, whom you do not consider your friend. Think of that person with gratitude, as your teacher, teaching you about your own reactions. Let your heart go out to that person because he or she too has difficulties. Forgive and forget. Make him or her your friend…
Ayya Khema (Being nobody, going nowhere : meditations on the Buddhist path)
Every challenge we take on has the power to knock us to our knees. But what’s even more disconcerting than the jolt itself is our fear that we won’t withstand it. When we feel the ground beneath us shifting, we panic. We forget everything we know and allow fear to freeze us. Just the thought of what could happen is enough to throw us off balance. What I know for sure is that the only way to endure the quake is to adjust your stance. You can’t avoid the daily tremors. They come with being alive. But I believe these experiences are gifts that force us to step to the right or left in search of a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Let them help you adjust your footing. Balance lives in the present. When you feel the earth moving, bring yourself back to the now. You’ll handle whatever shake-up the next moment brings when you get to it. In this moment, you’re still breathing. In this moment, you’ve survived. In this moment, you’re finding a way to step onto higher ground.
Anonymous
EAGLE The East direction is represented by eagle and condor, who bring vision, clarity, and foresight. Eagle perceives the entire panorama of life without becoming bogged down in its details. The energies of eagle assist us in finding the guiding vision of our lives. The eyes of condor see into the past and the future, helping to know where we come from, and who we are becoming. When I work with a client who is stuck in the traumas of the past, I help her to connect with the spirit of eagle or condor. As this energy infuses the healing space, my client is often able to attain new clarity and insight into her life. This is not an intellectual insight, but rather a call, faint at first, hardly consciously heard. Her possibilities beckon to her and propel her out of her grief and into her destiny. I believe that while everyone has a future, only certain people have a destiny. Having a destiny means living to your fullest human potential. You don’t need to become a famous politician or poet, but your destiny has to be endowed with meaning and purpose. You could be a street sweeper and be living a destiny. You could be the president of a large corporation and be living a life bereft of meaning. One can make oneself available to destiny, but it requires a great deal of courage to do so. Otherwise our destiny bypasses us, leaving us deprived of a fulfillment known by those who choose to take the road less traveled. Eagle allows us to rise above the mundane battles that occupy our lives and consume our energy and attention. Eagle gives us wings to soar above trivial day-to-day struggles into the high peaks close to Heaven. Eagle and condor represent the self-transcending principle in nature. Biologists have identified the self-transcending principle as one of the prime agendas of evolution. Living molecules seek to transcend their selfhood to become cells, then simple organisms, which then form tissues, then organs, and then evolve into complex beings such as humans and whales. Every transcending jump is inclusive of all of the levels beneath it. Cells are inclusive of molecules, yet transcend them; organs are inclusive of cells, yet go far beyond them; whales are inclusive of organs yet cannot be described by them, as the whole transcends the sum of its parts. The transcending principle represented by eagle states that problems at a certain level are best solved by going up one step. The problems of cells are best resolved by organs, while the needs of organs are best addressed by an organism such as a butterfly or a human. The same principle operates in our lives. Think of nested Russian dolls. Material needs are the tiny doll in the center. The larger emotional doll encompasses them, and both are contained within the outermost spiritual doll. In this way, we cannot satisfy emotional needs with material things, but we can satisfy them spiritually. When we go one step up, our emotional needs are addressed in the solution. We rise above our life dilemmas on the wings of eagle and see our lives in perspective.
Alberto Villoldo (Shaman, Healer, Sage: How to Heal Yourself and Others with the Energy Medicine of the Americas)
Very few entities are powerful enough to create Patinas, and those that can guard them closely. The library is here. But Arriane’s right. We’ll need to figure out the way in.” “I heard you need an Announcer to get through one,” Arriane said. “Cosmic legend.” Annabelle shook her head. “Every Patina is different. Access is entirely up to the creator. They program the code.” “I once heard Cam tell a story at a party about how he accessed a Patina,” Rolan said. “Or was that a story about a party that he threw in a Patina?” “Luce!” Daniel said suddenly, making all of them startle in midair. “It’s you. It was always you.” Luce shrugged. “Always me what?” “You’re the one who always rang the bell. You’re the one who had entry to the library. You just need to ring the bell.” Luce looked at the empty street, the fog tinting everything around them brown. “What are you talking about? What bell?” “Close your eyes,” Daniel said. “Remember it. Pass into the past and find the bellpull-“ Luce was already there, back at the library the last time she’d been in Vienna with Daniel. Her feet were firmly on the ground. It was raining and her hair splayed all across her face. Her crimson hair ribbons were soaked, but she didn’t care. She was looking for something. There was a short path up the courtyard, then a dark alcove outside the library. It had been cold outside, and a fire blazed within. There, in the musty corner near the door, was a woven cord embroidered with white peonies hanging from a substantial silver bell. She reached into the air and pulled. The angels gasped. Luce opened her eyes. There, in the center of the north side of the street, the row of contemporary town houses was interrupted at its midpoint by a single small brown house. A curl of smoke rose from its chimney. The only light-aside from the angel’s wings-was the dim yellow glow of a lamp on the sill of the house’s front window. The angels landed softly on the empty street and Daniel’s grip around Luce softened. He kissed her hand. “You remembered. Well done.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
ASPARAGUS WITH ROASTED GARLIC AND OLIVE OIL Asparagus packs a lot of health benefits into a little package. The little bit of extra effort required to roast the garlic will be more than worth it to liven up a batch. Makes 2 servings 1 head garlic Extra-virgin olive oil ½ pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces 1 tablespoon ground pecans or almonds ½ teaspoon onion powder Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel off the papery layers from the garlic head, then slice off the top ¼ inch to expose the garlic cloves. Place in the center of a square of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Seal the garlic in the foil and place in a shallow pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the foil and let cool. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring, until bright green, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the ground pecans or almonds and then the onion powder. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins into the pan. Continue to cook the asparagus, stirring, until the asparagus is crisp-tender, 1 to 2
William Davis (Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back To Health)
I'm talking about the cycle of life. I'm talking about finding some alien creature and deciding to marry her and stay with her forever, no matter whether you even like each other or not a few years down the road. And why will you do this? So you can make babies together, and try to keep them alive and teach them what they need to know so that someday *they'll* have babies, and keep the whole thing going. And you'll never draw a secure breath until you have grandchildren, a double handful of them, because then you know that your line won't die out, your influence will continue. Selfish, isn't it? Only it's not selfish, it's what life is for. It's the only thing that brings happiness, ever, to anyone. All the other things--victories, achievements, honors, causes--they bring only momentary flashes of pleasure. But binding yourself to another person and to the children you make together, that's life. And you can't do it if your life is centered on your ambitions. You'll never be happy. It will never be enough, even if you rule the world." (Theresa Wiggin)
Orson Scott Card (Shadow of the Hegemon (The Shadow Series, #2))
It's hard to have empathy and remember that, as the saying goes, everyone you meet is fighting a great battle when your attention is all taken up by being on fire right now. It's hard to find the energy to be calm and kind and to consider the divergence of experience of others when you're exhausted and trying to keep your own head above the waves and you're swallowing salt water and you have no idea where you are going to find the energy to keep kicking. Another thing about having your own shit going on is that until you get some perspective on it, that shit feels enormous. Like the center of the universe. And it kind of is, in that nobody who is excavating a pile of trauma like that has the energy for anything except shoveling. But it becomes so all-consuming that it's easy to forget that you - and your trauma - are not the only thing on anybody else's mind, or even the most important one, because they're all really busy thinking about their own shovels. ----------"Erase, Erase, Erase" / The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September/October, 2019
Elizabeth Bear
If we stay with animal analogies for a moment, owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are god. (Cats may sometimes share the cold entrails of a kill with you, but this is just what a god might do if he was in a good mood.) Religion, then, partakes of equal elements of the canine and the feline. It exacts maximum servility and abjection, requiring you to regard yourself as conceived and born in sin and owing a duty to a stern creator. But in return, it places you at the center of the universe and assures you that you are the personal object of a heavenly plan. Indeed, if you make the right propitiations you may even find that death has no sting, and that an exception to the rules of physical annihilation may be made in your own case. It cannot be said often enough that this preachment is immoral as well as irrational.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
You must, in order that it shall speak to you, take a thing during a certain time as the only one that exists, as the only phenomenon which through your diligent and exclusive love finds itself set down in the center of the universe. . . . Don’t be frightened at the expression “fate” … I call fate all external events (illnesses, for example, included) which can inevitably step in to interrupt and annihilate a disposition of mind and training that is by nature solitary. . . . That went through me like an arrow, when I learned it, but like a flaming arrow that, while it pierced my heart through, left it in a conflagration of clear sight. There are few artists in our day who grasp this stubbornness, this vehement obstinacy. But I believe that without it one remains always at the periphery of art, which is rich enough as it is to allow us pleasant discoveries, but at which, nevertheless, we halt only as a player at the green table who, while he now and again succeeds with a “coup”, remains none the less at the mercy of chance, which is nothing but the docile and dexterous ape of the law.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Paranormal investigation has been labeled a pseudoscience and discredited as fantasy by traditional scientists for decades. Most traditional scientists believe that paranormal researchers read crystal balls, hold hands in a circle, or conjure up false spirits through cheap parlor tricks with smoke and mirrors at carnivals for profit. Can you feel the love between the two fields? Traditional science is anything but flawless. At some point in history, science tried to convince us that the world was flat, the world was the center of the universe, and that tobacco was not harmful. It’s not that traditional science is full of idiots, but that their conclusions were based on incomplete information. I feel that both traditional scientists and paranormal investigators seek to find answers to the same questions and can compliment each other through comparative research. There are phenomena in this world that we cannot explain and it doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you’re on—believer or skeptic—we all want the same thing: the truth. I really hope we all can work together to find these answers in the future.
Zak Bagans (Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of the Ghost Adventures Crew)
Prayer and Meditation Matthew 14 AND HE WENT UP INTO THE MOUNTAIN APART TO PRAY This was always the practice of Jesus when he would move into the masses, the crowd, afterwards he would go alone into deep prayer and meditation. Why did he do this? If you have been meditating, you will understand. You will understand that once you start meditating, a very fragile and delicate quality of consciousness is born in you. A flower of the unknown, of the beyond, starts opening, which is delicate. And whenever you move into the crowd, you lose something. Whenever you come back from the crowd, you come back lesser than you had gone. Something has been lost, some contact has been lost. The crowd pulls you down, it has a gravitation of it's own. You may not feel it if you live on the same plane of consciousness. Then there is no problem, then you have nothing to lose. In fact, when you live in the crowd, on the same plane, alone you feel very uneasy. When you are with people, you feel good and happy. But alone, you feel sad, your aloneness is not aloneness. It is loneliness, you miss the other. You do not find yourself in the aloneness, you simply miss the other. When you are alone, you are not alone, beacuse you are not there. Only the desire to be with others is there - that is what loneliness is. Always remember the distinction between aloneness and loneliness. Aloneness is a peak experience - loneliness is a valley. Aloneness has light in it, loneliness is dark. Loneliness is when you desire others; aloneness is when you enjoy yourself. When Jesus would move into the masses, into the crowd, he would tell his disciples to got to the other shore of the lake, and he would move into total aloneness. Not even the disciples were allowed to be with him. This was a constant practice with him. Whenever you go into the crowd, you are infected by it. You need a higher altitude to purify yourself, you need to be alone so that you can become fresh again. You need to be alone with yourself, so that you become together again. You need to be alone, so that you become centered and rooted in yourself again. Whenever you move with others, they push you off centre. AND WHEN THE EVENING WAS COME, HE WAS THERE ALONE Nothing is said about his prayer in the Bible, just the word "prayer". Before God or before existence, you simply need to be vulnerable - that is prayer. You are no to say something. So when you go into prayer, don't start saying something. It will all be desires, demands and deep complaints to God. And prayer with complaints is no prayer, a prayer with deep gratitude is prayer. There is no need to say something, you can just be silent. Hence nothing is said about what Jesus did in his aloneness. It simply says "apart to pray". He went apart, he became alone. That is what prayer is, to be alone, where the other is not felt, where the other is not standing between you and existence. When God's breeze can pass througn you, unhindered. It is a cleansing experience. It revejunates your spirit. To be with God simply means to be alone. You can miss the point, if you start thinking about God, then you are not alone. If you start talking to God, then in imagination you have created the other. And then you God is a projection, it will be a projection of your father. A prayer is not to say something. It is to be silent, open, available. And there is no need to believe in God, because that too is a projection. The only need is to be alone, to be capable of being alone - and immediately you are with God. Whenever you are alone, you are with God.
Swami Dhyan Giten (The Way, the Truth and the Life: On Jesus Christ, the Man, the Mystic and the Rebel)
Hey!” a voice calls out behind us, and we turn to find Ryder standing beside the row of orange lockers outside Mr. Jepsen’s classroom. I have no idea why he’s out of class early, and I don’t care. “I just heard the announcement--congrats.” “Thanks,” Morgan chirps. “This is epic, right? Both of us.” Ryder nods, his gaze shifting from Morgan to me. I duck my head, averting my eyes. This is worse than when I hated him, I realize. At least then, it wasn’t awkward. I could just ignore him and go about my business. Now I feel all queasy and mad and breathless and guilty. I need to get away from him. Fast. Mercifully, Morgan glances down at her watch. “We gotta get going. There’s a meeting in the media center.” “Right,” Ryder says. “But, uh…Jemma, could I talk to you for a second after school today? Before practice, maybe?” My gaze snaps up to meet his. “I…um, I don’t think that’s a good idea.” “I’ll be quick,” he says. “Actually, maybe I’ll come over to your house after dinner. That way I can say hi to Nan.” “She’s…really not up to visitors.” “Really?” He fixes me with a stare, one brow raised in disbelief. “’Cause your mom said just the opposite.” Crap. Now what? I’m out of excuses. Besides, the last thing I want to do is pique Morgan’s curiosity. “Oh, fine. Whatever.” “Great. See you then.” He turns and heads back into the classroom without a backward glance. I have no clue what he wants to talk about. Things are already uncomfortable enough between us as it is. No use making it worse by discussing things that don’t need to be discussed. We made out, even though I hadn’t bothered to break up with Patrick first. It was a mistake--a big mistake. End of story. The memory of that night hits me full force--his shirt was off; mine was close to it. My cheeks flare with sudden heat as I recall the feel of his fingertips skimming up my sides, moving beneath my bra as he kissed me like no one’s kissed me before. Ho-ly crap. Stop. “What was that about?” Morgan asks me as we continue on our way. “He was acting kinda weird, wasn’t he?” “I didn’t notice,” I say with a shrug, going for nonchalance. “Anyway, we should hurry. We’re probably late already.” “Maybe he wants you to ask him to escort you,” she teases, hurrying her step. I match my pace to hers, needing to take two steps for every one of hers. “Yeah, right,” I say breathlessly. “Hey, you never know.” She looks at me and winks. “Weirder things have happened.” Oh, man. She has no idea.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
I’ll forgive you for ignoring us if you tell me one thing.” She grinned when Sophie nodded. “So all that one-on-one time with Fitz in the Healing Center—anything happen?” Sophie’s face burned, and she looked away, mumbling the only answer she could truthfully give. “We’re friends.” “Still in denial—got it,” Marella said. “You guys seriously need to make it official. It’s getting kind of ridiculous. Plus, you’re not the only one who’d be happy to snatch that up, you know? So unless there’s someone else . . .” Sophie turned to head down the stairs, done with this conversation. Marella blocked her. “Just promise me you’re not going to get all ‘I don’t know who I love’ and spend months angsting about it, ’kay? ’Cause I might have to smack you.” Sophie rolled her eyes. “We’d better get down there before Bo gives Linh the same speech he gave me the first time I met him. I don’t think Tam would take it as well as I did.” “There’s a Bo and a Ro?” Marella clarified. “Yep—and if you’re looking for gossip, you should focus on them. They have some sort of weird history, but neither of them will tell us what it is. Keefe even made a bet with Ro about it—that’s why he’s not here. If he comes to Havenfield before I find out the story, Ro gets one unlimited dare.
Shannon Messenger (Flashback (Keeper of the Lost Cities #7))
In the early grey of the morning they reached the headquarter of General Genarius and found him working in a mountain of paperwork. Joey and Maya informed the general in detail about Libertine’s report. General Genarius closed his eyes and thought for a long moment until he said, “Wait a minute! Are you telling me that you want to enter the belly of darkness and liberate the mermaids and the unicorns?” “Yes Sir, we are determined to attack the center of demonic powers and believe in the great opportunity to liberate the mermaids and the unicorns from the cruel grip of the Empire!” Maya said. “Dangerous, dangerous…but the more I think about it, the more I can see that it could really work. However…this mission has to be well organized and of course…you must find the secret door to the Underworld… in time or you will be in big trouble. It is very risky but I will support this venture! Let me share with you some of my ideas and how this attempt could work. Take your six unicorns, all the equipment you need and leave the city of Selinka as soon as possible with Captain Goran and my assistant Captain Armstrong. You must cross the Thordis River behind the city, stay close to the Lagoon and move directly east from there. Let me take my map and show you exactly the way and… let me talk to Captain Armstrong. He is indeed a man with a strong arm, a clear mind in battle and he knows the way to Duanes Gate very well because his family lives somewhere in that area.
Gloria Tesch
humans have dozens of additional adaptations in our muscles and bones for endurance running whose traces first appear in fossils of H. erectus. Most of these features allow us to use our legs like giant springs to jump efficiently from one leg to another in a manner totally different from walking, which uses the legs like pendulums. As figure 7 shows, when your foot hits the ground during a run, your hips, knees, and ankles flex during the first half of stance, causing your center of mass to drop, thus stretching many of the muscles and tendons in your legs.43 When these tissues stretch, they store up elastic energy, which they release while recoiling during the second half of stance, helping you jump into the air. In fact, a running human’s legs store and release energy so efficiently that running is only about 30 to 50 percent more costly than walking in the endurance-speed range. What’s more, these springs are so effective that they make the cost of human endurance running (but not sprinting) independent of speed: it costs the same number of calories to run five miles at a pace of either 7 or 10 minutes per mile, a phenomenon many people find counterintuitive.44 Since running uses the legs like springs, some of our most important adaptations for running are literally springs. One key spring is the dome-shaped arch of the foot, which develops from the way ligaments and muscles bind together the foot’s bones as children start to walk and run. As discussed
Daniel E. Lieberman (The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease)
WHM PROTOCOL: BASIC MINDSET EXERCISE The greatest accomplishment you can achieve is stillness of the mind. It is only when your mind is still that you can go from external to internal programming. In the absence of thoughts, this stillness brings your feelings into alignment with your innermost being, reflecting the true self in a direct mirror. This is how I was able to set all of my records, and you can do it too. First, take a step away and find a comfortable place to sit down. Then begin to follow the breath. Deeply in, letting go. Deeply in, letting go. Peacefully following the breath. Deeply in, letting go. Deeply in, letting go. A sense of calm will begin to settle over you, and it is in this moment that you can set your mind. Begin to scan your body while visualizing what it is you are going to do. Perhaps you want to stay longer in the cold shower or achieve a new personal record for push-ups. Maybe you want to hold a particularly challenging yoga pose or take a longer bike ride than you ever have before. Now is the time to scan your body and set your intention. Take your time with it. Tell your body what you expect it to do. Scan yourself for how you feel. You will be able to detect any misalignment of your intention and your body’s feeling. Just remain calm, keep breathing, and wait for the moment in which there is a sense of trust, of centered energy, of alignment. Give power to that feeling with your breath and then go and do what you intend to do. Success.
Wim Hof (The Wim Hof Method: Activate Your Full Human Potential)
It doesn’t matter what they think. Dance with me.” He took her hand, and for the first time in a long while, she felt safe. He pulled her to the center of the floor and into the motions of the dance. Ronan didn’t speak for a few moments, then touched a slim braid that curved in a tendril along Kestrel’s cheek. “This is pretty.” The memory of Arin’s hands in her hair made her stiffen. “Gorgeous?” Ronan tried again. “Transcendent? Kestrel, the right adjective hasn’t been invented to describe you.” She attempted a light tone. “What will ladies do, when this kind of exaggerated flirtation is no longer the fashion? We shall be spoiled.” “You know it’s not mere flirtation,” Ronan said. “You’ve always known.” And Kestrel had, it was true that she had, even if she hadn’t wanted to shake the knowledge out of her mind and look at it, truly see it. She felt a dull spark of dread. “Marry me, Kestrel.” She held her breath. “I know things have been hard lately,” Ronan continued, “and that you don’t deserve it. You’ve had to be so strong, so proud, so cunning. But all of this unpleasantness will go away the instant we announce our engagement. You can be yourself again.” But she was strong. Proud. Cunning. Who did he think she was, if not the person who mercilessly beat him at every Bite and Sting game, who gave him Irex’s death-price and told him exactly what to do with it? Yet Kestrel bit back her words. She leaned into the curve of his arm. It was easy to dance with him. It would be easy to say yes. “Your father will be happy. My wedding gift to you will be the finest piano the capital can offer.” Kestrel glanced into his eyes. “Or keep yours,” he said hastily. “I know you’re attached to it.” “It’s just…you are very kind.” He gave a short, nervous laugh. “Kindness has little to do with it.” The dance slowed. It would end soon. “So?” Ronan had stopped, even though the music continued and dancers swirled around them. “What…well, what do you think?” Kestrel didn’t know what to think. Ronan was offering everything she could want. Why, then, did his words sadden her? Why did she feel like something had been lost? Carefully, she said, “The reasons you’ve given aren’t reasons to marry.” “I love you. Is that reason enough?” Maybe. Maybe it would have been. But as the music drained from the air, Kestrel saw Arin on the fringes of the crowd. He watched her, his expression oddly desperate. As if he, too, were losing something, or it was already lost. She saw him and didn’t understand how she had ever missed his beauty. How it didn’t always strike her as it did now, like a blow. “No,” Kestrel whispered. “What?” Ronan’s voice cut into the quiet. “I’m sorry.” Ronan swiveled to find the target of Kestrel’s gaze. He swore. Kestrel walked away, pushing past slaves bearing trays laden with glasses of pale gold wine. The lights and people blurred in her stinging eyes. She walked through the doors, down a hall, out of the palace, and into the cold night, knowing without seeing or hearing or touching him that Arin was at her side.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Maria managed to avoid Oliver for most of St. Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t difficult-apparently he spent half of it sleeping off his wild night. Not that she cared one bit. She’d learned her lesson with him. Truly she had. Not even the beautiful bouquet of irises he’d sent up to her room midafternoon changed that. Now that she was dressing for tonight’s ball, she was rather proud of herself for having only thought of him half a dozen times. Per hour, her conscience added. “There, that’s the last one,” Betty said as she tucked another ostrich feather into Maria’s elaborate coiffure. According to Celia, the new fashion this year involved a multitude of feathers drooping from one’s head in languid repose. Maria hoped hers didn’t decide to find their repose on the floor. Betty seemed to have used a magical incantation to keep them in place, and Maria wasn’t at all sure they would stay put. “You look lovely, miss,” Betty added. “If I do,” Maria said, “it’s only because of your efforts, Betty.” Betty ducked her head to hide her blush. “Thank you, miss.” It was amazing how different the servant had been ever since Maria had taken Oliver’s advice to heart, letting the girl fuss over her and tidy her room and do myriad things that Maria would have been perfectly happy to do for herself. But he’d proved to be right-Betty practically glowed with pride. Maria wished she’d known sooner how to treat them all, but honestly, how could she have guessed that these mad English would enjoy being in service? It boggled her democratic American mind. Casting an admiring glance down Maria’s gown of ivory satin, Betty said, “I daresay his lordship will swallow his tongue when he sees you tonight.” “If he does, I hope he chokes on it,” Maria muttered. With a sly glance, Betty fluffed out the bouffant drapery of white tulle that crossed Maria’s bust and was fastened in the center with an ornament of gold mosaic. “John says the master didn’t touch a one of those tarts at the brothel last night. He says that his lordship refused every female that the owner of the place brought before him.” “I somehow doubt that.” Paying her no heed, Betty continued her campaign to salvage her master’s dubious honor. “Then Lord Stoneville went to the opera house and left without a single dancer on his arm. John says he never done that before.” Maria rolled her eyes, though a part of her desperately wanted to believe it was true-a tiny, silly part of her that she would have to slap senseless. Betty polished the ornament with the edge of her sleeve. “John says he drank himself into a stupor, then came home without so much as kissing a single lady. John says-“ “John is inventing stories to excuse his master’s actions.” “Oh no, miss! John would never lie. And I can promise you that the master has never come home so early before, and certainly not without…that is, at the house in Acton he was wont to bring a tart or two home to…well, you know.” “Help him choke on his tongue?” Maria snapped as she picked up her fan. Betty laughed. “Now that would be a sight, wouldn’t it? Two ladies trying to shove his tongue down his throat.” “I’d pay them well to do it.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
What you call ‘Western civilization.’ Do you think it’s just an abstract concept? No, it’s a living force. A collective consciousness that has burned bright for thousands of years. The gods are part of it. You might even say they are the source of it, or at least, they are tied so tightly to it that they couldn’t possibly fade, not unless all of Western civilization were obliterated. The fire started in Greece. Then, as you well know—or as I hope you know, since you passed my course—the heart of the fire moved to Rome, and so did the gods. Oh, different names, perhaps—Jupiter for Zeus, Venus for Aphrodite, and so on—but the same forces, the same gods.” “And then they died.” “Died? No. Did the West die? The gods simply moved, to Germany, to France, to Spain, for a while. Wherever the flame was brightest, the gods were there. They spent several centuries in England. All you need to do is look at the architecture. People do not forget the gods. Every place they’ve ruled, for the last three thousand years, you can see them in paintings, in statues, on the most important buildings. And yes, Percy, of course they are now in your United States. Look at your symbol, the eagle of Zeus. Look at the statue of Prometheus in Rockefeller Center, the Greek facades of your government buildings in Washington. I defy you to find any American city where the Olympians are not prominently displayed in multiple places. Like it or not—and believe me, plenty of people weren’t very fond of Rome, either—America is now the heart of the flame. It is the great power of the West. And so Olympus is here.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
Build houses and make yourselves at home. You are not camping. This is your home; make yourself at home. This may not be your favorite place, but it is a place. Dig foundations; construct a habitation; develop the best environment for living that you can. If all you do is sit around and pine for the time you get back to Jerusalem, your present lives will be squalid and empty. Your life right now is every bit as valuable as it was when you were in Jerusalem, and every bit as valuable as it will be when you get back to Jerusalem. Babylonian exile is not your choice, but it is what you are given. Build a Babylonian house and live in it as well as you are able. Put in gardens and eat what grows in the country. Enter into the rhythm of the seasons. Become a productive part of the economy of the place. You are not parasites. Don’t expect others to do it for you. Get your hands into the Babylonian soil. Become knowledgeable about the Babylonian irrigation system. Acquire skill in cultivating fruits and vegetables in this soil and climate. Get some Babylonian recipes and cook them. Marry and have children. These people among whom you are living are not beneath you, nor are they above you; they are your equals with whom you can engage in the most intimate and responsible of relationships. You cannot be the person God wants you to be if you keep yourself aloof from others. That which you have in common is far more significant than what separates you. They are God’s persons: your task as a person of faith is to develop trust and conversation, love and understanding. Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare. Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you. Welfare: shalom. Shalom means wholeness, the dynamic, vibrating health of a society that pulses with divinely directed purpose and surges with life-transforming love. Seek the shalom and pray for it. Throw yourselves into the place in which you find yourselves, but not on its terms, on God’s terms. Pray. Search for that center in which God’s will is being worked out (which is what we do when we pray) and work from that center. Jeremiah’s letter is a rebuke and a challenge: “Quit sitting around feeling sorry for yourselves. The aim of the person of faith is not to be as comfortable as possible but to live as deeply and thoroughly as possible—to deal with the reality of life, discover truth, create beauty, act out love. You didn’t do it when you were in Jerusalem. Why don’t you try doing it here, in Babylon? Don’t listen to the lying prophets who make an irresponsible living by selling you false hopes. You are in Babylon for a long time. You better make the best of it. Don’t just get along, waiting for some miraculous intervention. Build houses, plant gardens, marry husbands, marry wives, have children, pray for the wholeness of Babylon, and do everything you can to develop that wholeness. The only place you have to be human is where you are right now. The only opportunity you will ever have to live by faith is in the circumstances you are provided this very day: this house you live in, this family you find yourself in, this job you have been given, the weather conditions that prevail at this moment.
Eugene H. Peterson (Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best)
Down every aisle a single thought follows me like a shadow: Brand Italy is strong. When it comes to cultural currency, there is no brand more valuable than this one. From lipstick-red sports cars to svelte runway figures to enigmatic opera singers, Italian culture means something to everyone in the world. But nowhere does the name Italy mean more than in and around the kitchen. Peruse a pantry in London, Osaka, or Kalamazoo, and you're likely to find it spilling over with the fruits of this country: dried pasta, San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, jars of pesto, Nutella. Tucked into the northwest corner of Italy, sharing a border with France and Switzerland, Piedmont may be as far from the country's political and geographical center as possible, but it is ground zero for Brand Italy. This is the land of Slow Food. Of white truffles. Barolo. Vermouth. Campari. Breadsticks. Nutella. Fittingly, it's also the home of Eataly, the supermarket juggernaut delivering a taste of the entire country to domestic and international shoppers alike. This is the Eataly mother ship, the first and most symbolically important store for a company with plans for covering the globe in peppery Umbrian oil, and shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano Vacche Rosse. We start with the essentials: bottle opener, mini wooden cutting board, hard-plastic wineglasses. From there, we move on to more exciting terrain: a wild-boar sausage from Tuscany. A semiaged goat's-milk cheese from Molise. A tray of lacy, pistachio-pocked mortadella. Some soft, spicy spreadable 'nduja from Calabria. A jar of gianduja, the hazelnut-chocolate spread that inspired Nutella- just in case we have any sudden blood sugar crashes on the trail.
Matt Goulding (Pasta, Pane, Vino: Deep Travels Through Italy's Food Culture)
Work on yourself and never react to the condition. This is the freedom you've got from dharma and karma. When you begin to see the truth in yourself, automatically you will be picked up by the Power That Knows The Way, and you'll be placed in a position or place where you are supposed to be at this time. This is why I tell you so often, there are no mistakes. It appears complicated to the finite mind, but you are in your right place, going through those experiences that are right for you at this time. Only if you are thankful and you bless the position you're in, do you become a higher being, do you lift yourself up, and finally you find liberation. But it begins and ends with you. Never pray to God for release of your problems. Never pray to God to change your life, and to give you something better. This is wrong prayer. If you have to pray to God, pray to God to give you the strength and the wisdom and the courage that you need to be able to handle the situation that you're in. This is correct prayer. Do not try to change anything. Be yourself. Work on yourself. Begin to see things in a new light. See your situation differently. There are no bad things, there are no good things. But thinking makes it so. Stop thinking of the extremes, good and bad, right and wrong. Rather look at yourself in the moment. Stay centered. See yourself as a Divine Being, an Infinite Being, totally free and liberated. Do not feel sorry for yourself because you are in a position and in a situation you don't like. This just holds you there more. And again as we mentioned before, even if you run away from a situation, you will attract some of the circumstances elsewhere. Running away is never the answer. Changing yourself is the answer. (p. 185)
Robert Adams (Silence of the Heart: Dialogues with Robert Adams)
Grayson, I’m going to dance on the day that you swing.” “If he swings, I swing with him.” Joss rose to his feet. Gray drilled his brother with a glare. “Joss, no.” Sit down, damn you. Think of our sister. Think of your son. “I’m the captain of the Aphrodite.” Joss’s voice rang through the courtroom. “I’m responsible for the actions of her passengers and crew. If my brother is a pirate, then I’m a pirate, too.” Gray’s heart sank. They would both die now, he and his idiot of a brother. Joss walked to the center of the courtroom, the brass buttons of his captain’s coat gleaming as he strode through a shaft of sunlight. “But I demand a full trial. I will be heard, and evidence will be examined. Logbooks, the condition of the ships, the statements of my crew. If you mean to hang my brother, you’ll have to find cause to hang me.” Fitzhugh’s eyebrows rose to his wig. “Gladly.” “And me.” Gray groaned at the sound of that voice. He didn’t even have to look to know that Davy Linnet was on his feet. Brave, stupid fool of a boy. “If Gray’s a pirate, I’m a pirate, too,” Davy said. “I helped him aim and fire that cannon, that’s God’s truth. If you hang him, you have to hang me.” Another chair scraped the floorboards as its occupant rose to his feet. “And me.” Oh God. O’Shea now? “I boarded the Kestrel. I took control of her helm and helped bind that piece of shite.” The Irishman jutted his chin at Mallory. “Suppose that makes me a pirate, too.” “Very good.” Fitzhugh’s eyes lit with glee. “Anyone else?” Over by the window, Levi stood. His shadow blanketed most of the room. “Me,” he said. “Now, Levi?” Gray pulled at his hair. “Seven years in my employ, you don’t say a single goddamned word, and you decide to speak now?” Bloody hell, now they were all on their feet. Pumping fists, cursing Mallory, defending Gray, arguing over which one of them deserved the distinction of most bloodthirsty pirate. It would have been a heartwarming display of loyalty, if they weren’t all going to die.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Where’s the baby?” “I just fed and changed him,” Haven said. Hardy lifted Luke’s carrier and gave it to Jack, who took it with his free hand. “Thank you.” I gave Haven a woeful glance as she handed me the diaper bag. “I’m sorry.” “For what?” “For falling asleep like that.” Haven smiled and reached out to hug me. “There’s nothing to be sorry about. What’s a little narcolepsy among friends?” Her body was slim and strong, one small hand patting my back. The gesture surprised me in its naturalness and ease. I returned the embrace awkwardly. Haven said over my shoulder, “I like this one, Jack.” Jack didn’t answer, only nudged me out into the hallway. I trudged forward, nearly blind with exhaustion, staggering with it. It took extreme focus to keep one foot in front of the other. “I don’t know why I’m so tired tonight,” I said. “It’s all caught up with me, I guess.” I felt Jack’s hand descend to the center of my back, guiding me forward. I decided to talk to keep myself awake. “You know, chronic sleep deper . . . dep . . .” “Deprivation?” “Yes.” I shook my head to clear it. “It gives you memory problems and raises your blood pressure. And it results in occupational hazards. It’s lucky I can’t get hurt doing my job. Unless I fall forward and hit my head on the keyboard. If you ever see QWERTY imprinted on my forehead, you’ll know what happened.” “Here we go,” Jack said, loading me onto the elevator. I squinted at the row of buttons and reached for one. “No,” he said patiently, “that’s the nine, Ella. Press the upside-down one.” “They’re all upside-down,” I told him, but I managed to find the 6. Propping myself up in the corner, I wrapped my arms around my midriff. “Why did Haven tell you ‘I like this one’?” “Why shouldn’t she like you?” “It’s just . . . if she says it to you, it implies . . .”— I tried to wrap my foggy brain around the idea—“. . . something.” A quiet laugh escaped him. “Don’t try thinking just now, Ella. Save it for later.” That sounded like a good idea. “Okay.
Lisa Kleypas (Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3))
Finding herself on the way to the village center again, she pulled over, intending to negotiate a three-point turn. The cottage was slightly out of the village, so she needed to get back onto the opposite side of the road and go back up the hill. Glancing over Hannah’s instructions again, she swung the car to the right—straight into the path of a motorcyclist. What happened next seemed to happen in slow motion. The rider tried to stop but couldn’t do so in time, although he did manage to avoid hitting her car. As he turned his handlebars hard to the right, his tires lost grip on the wet road and he flew off, sliding some way before coming to a halt. Layla sat motionless in her car, paralyzed temporarily by the shock. At last she managed to galvanize herself into action and fumbled for the door handle, her shaking hands making it hard to get a grip. When the door finally opened, another dilemma hit. What if she couldn’t stand? Her legs felt like jelly, surely they wouldn’t support her. Forcing herself upward, she was relieved to discover they held firm. Once she was sure they would continue to do so, she bolted over to where the biker lay, placed one hand on his soaking leather-clad shoulder and said, “Are you okay?” “No, I’m not bloody okay!” he replied, a pair of bright blue eyes meeting hers as he lifted his visor. “I’m a bit bruised and battered as it goes.” Despite his belligerent words, relief flooded through her: he wasn’t dead! “Oh, I’m so glad,” she said, letting out a huge sigh. “Glad?” he said, sitting up now and brushing the mud and leaves off his left arm. “Charming.” “Oh, no, no,” she stuttered, realizing what she’d just said. “I’m not glad that I knocked you over. I’m glad you’re alive.” “Only just, I think,” he replied, needing a helping hand to stand up. “Can I give you a lift somewhere, take you to the nearest hospital?” “The nearest hospital? That would be in Bodmin, I think, about fifteen miles from here. I don’t fancy driving fifteen miles with you behind the wheel.” Feeling a little indignant now, Layla replied, “I’m actually a very good driver, thank you. You’re the first accident I’ve ever had.” “Lucky me,” he replied sarcastically.
Shani Struthers
On my next weekend without the kids I went to Nashville to visit her. We had a great weekend. On Monday morning she kissed me goodbye and left for work. I would drive home while she was at work. Only I didn’t go straight home. I went and paid her recruiting officer a little visit. I walked in wearing shorts and a T-shirt so my injuries were fully visible. The two recruiters couldn’t hide the surprise on their faces. I clearly looked like an injured veteran. Not their typical visitor. “I’m here about Jamie Boyd,” I said. One of the recruiters stood up and said, “Yes, I’m working with Jamie Boyd. How can I help you?” I walked to the center of the room between him and the female recruiter who was still seated at her desk and said, “Jamie Boyd is not going to be active duty. She is not going to be a truck driver. She wants to change her MOS and you’re not going to treat her like some high school student. She has a degree. She is a young professional and you will treat her as such.” “Yes, sir, yes, sir. We hold ourselves to a higher standard. We’ll do better. I’m sorry,” he stammered. “You convinced her she can’t change anything. That’s a lie. It’s paperwork. Make it happen.” “Yes, sir, yes, sir.” That afternoon Jamie had an appointment at the recruitment center anyway for more paperwork. Afterward, she called me, and as soon as I answered, without even a hello, she said, “What have you done?” “How were they acting?” I asked, sounding really pleased with myself. “Like I can have whatever I want,” she answered. “You’re welcome. Find a better job.” She wasn’t mad about it. She just laughed and said, “You’re crazy.” “I will always protect you. You were getting screwed over. And I’m sorry you didn’t know about it, but you wouldn’t have let me go if I had told you ahead of time.” “You’re right, but I’m glad you did.” Jamie ended up choosing MP, military police, as her MOS because they offered her a huge signing bonus. We made our reunion official and she quit her job in Nashville to move back to Birmingham. She had a while before basic training, so she moved back in with me. We were both very happy, and as it turned out, some very big changes were about to happen beyond basic training.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
He is thinking if there is any way by which he can explain just how and what it is he suffers. He is wondering if there is anyone in the whole wide world with a heart big enough to comprehend what it is he wants to tell. There are so many little things to say first, and will anyone have the patience to listen to the end? Suffering is no one thing: it is composed of invisible atoms infinite in number, each one a universe in the great macrocosm of pain. He could begin anywhere, with anything, with a silly word even, a word such as flapdoodle, and he could erect a cathedral of staggering dimensions which would not occupy so much as a pocket in the crevice of the tiniest atom. To say nothing of the surrounding terrain, of the circumambient aura, of things like coast lines, volcanic craters, fathomless lagoons, pearl studs and tons of chicken feathers. The musician has an instrument to work with, the surgeon has his implements, the architect his plans, the general his pawns, the idiot his idiocy, but the one who is suffering has everything in the universe except relief. He can run out to the periphery a trillion times but the circle never straightens out. He knows every diameter but no egress. Every exit is closed, whether it be an inch away or a billion light years distant. You crash a gate made of arms and legs only to get a butt blow behind the ear. You pick up and run on bloody, sawed-off stumps, only to fall into an endless ravine. You sit in the very center of emptiness, whimpering inaudibly, and the stars blink at you. You fall into a coma, and just when you think you've found your way back to the womb they come after you with pick and shovel, with acetylene torches. Even if you found the place of death they would find a way to blow you out of it. You know time in all its curves and infidelities. You have lived longer than it takes to grow all the countless separate parts of a thousand new universes. You have watched them grow and fall apart again. And you are still intact, like a piece of music which goes on being played forever. The instruments wear out, and the players too, but the notes are eternal, and you are made of nothing but invisible notes which even the faintest zephyr can shake a tune out of.
Henry Miller (The Air-Conditioned Nightmare)
He is thinking if there is any way by which he can explain just how and what it is he suffers. He is wondering if there is anyone in the whole wide world with a heart big enough to comprehend what it is he wants to tell. There are so many little things to say first, and will anyone have the patience to listen to the end? Suffering is no one thing: it is composed of invisible atoms infinite in number, each one a universe in the great macrocosm of pain. He could begin anywhere, with anything, with a silly word even, a word such as flapdoodle, and he could erect a cathedral of staggering dimensions which would not occupy so much as a pocket in the crevice of the tiniest atom. To say nothing of the surrounding terrain, of the circumambient aura, of things like coast lines, volcanic craters, fathomless lagoons, pearl studs and tons of chicken feathers. The musician has an instrument to work with, the surgeon has his implements, the architect his plans, the general his pawns, the idiot his idiocy, but the one who is suffering has everything in the universe except relief. He can run out to the periphery a trillion times but the circle never straightens out. He knows every diameter but no egress. Every exit is closed, whether it be an inch away or a billion light years distant. You crash a gate made of arms and legs only to get a butt blow behind the ear. You pick up and run on bloody, sawed-off stumps, only to fall into an endless ravine. You sit in the very center of emptiness, whimpering inaudibly, and the stars blink at you. You fall into a coma, and just when you think you've found your way back to the womb they come after you with pick and shovel, with acetylene torches. Even if you found the place of death they would find a way to blow you out of it. You know time in all its curves and infidelities. You have lived longer than it takes to grow all the countless separate parts of a thousand new universes. You have watched them grow and fall apart again. And you are still intact, like a piece of music which goes on being played forever. The instruments wear out, and the players too, but the notes are eternal, and you are made of nothing but invisible notes which even the faintest zephyr can shake a tune out of.
Henry Miller (The Air-Conditioned Nightmare)
The rose is a symbol of the inner mysteries of Witchcraft. A red rose symbolizes the mysteries as they reside in Nature, within the living things. The white rose symbolizes the Otherworld and the mysteries hidden in secret places. When a single rose appears with white petals in the center of red petals, this represents the mysteries joined together within one reality. Thorns appearing with the rose represent challenges and the dedication required to fully grasp the enlightenment of the rose. One of the symbolisms associated with the rose reveals the covenant between the Witch and the Faery. In this, we find that both are stewards of the portal that opens to the inner mysteries. The Faery holds the celestial key, and the Witch bears the terrestrial key. When the two are joined together, they form an X—the sign of the crossroads. In this formation, where the keys cross we find a third point, the in-between place at the center. This is where the portal exists, and this is where it opens between the worlds. Look at the shape of the X and you can see four pointed tip markers (the V shapes). The upper half of the X points down, and the lower half points up. On the sides of the X, you can see that the left and right halves point to the center. This shows us that when the celestial and terrestrial realms join, they pull together the left ways and the right ways. These are occult terms for esoteric and exoteric modes of consciousness. In the fusion, everything briefly loses its distinction, its ability to mask the opposite reality, and in doing so, the secret third reality emerges in the center of it all. If this sounds confusing or nonsensical, then the guardian of that portal is doing its job well. The material in this book will connect you with an entity connected to the rose and its mystery. This is the previously mentioned She of the Thorn-Blooded Rose. With her guidance, you can be directed to the portal, and through it you can meet a variety of beings and entities. However, her primary task is to connect you with the Greenwood Realm and the plant spirits within it. In your journey to encounter these spirits, you will pass through the organic memory of the earth. You'll walk upon roads of mystical concepts and be accompanied by the Old Ones of
Raven Grimassi (Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch: Mastering the Five Arts of Old World Witchery)
DRY SAUNA Numerous cultures use sweat lodges, steam baths, or saunas for cleansing and purification. Many health clubs and big apartment buildings have saunas and steam baths, and more and more people are building saunas in their own homes. Low-to-moderate-temperature saunas are one of the most important ways to detoxify from pesticide exposure. Head-to-toe perspiration through the skin, the largest organ of elimination, releases stored toxins and opens the pores. Fat that is close to the skin is heated, mobilized, and broken down, releasing toxins and breaking up cellulite. The heat increases metabolism, burns off calories, and gives the heart and circulation a workout. This is a boon if you don’t have the energy to exercise. It is well known in medicine that a fever is the body’s way of burning off an infection and stimulating the immune system. Fever therapy and sauna therapy are employed at alternative medicine healing centers to do just that. The controlled temperature in a sauna is excellent for relaxing muscular aches and pains and relieving sinus congestion. The only way I made it through my medical internship was by having regular saunas to reduce the daily stress. FAR-INFRARED (FIR) SAUNAS FIR saunas are inexpensive, convenient, and highly effective. Detox expert Dr. Sherry Rogers says that FIR is a proven and efficacious way of eliminating stored environmental toxins, and she thinks everyone should use one. There are one-person Sauna Domes that you lie under or more elaborate sauna boxes that seat several people. The far infrared provides a heat that increases the body temperature but the surrounding air is not overly heated. One advantage of the dome is that your head remains outside, which most people find more comfortable and less confining. Sweating begins within minutes of entering the dome and can be continued for thirty to sixty minutes. Besides the hundreds of toxins that can be removed through simple sweating, the heat of saunas creates a mild shock to the body, which researchers feel acts as a stimulus for the body’s cells to become more efficient. The outward signs are the production of sweat to help decrease the body temperature, but there is much more going on. Further research on sauna therapy is destined to make it an important medical therapy.
Carolyn Dean (The Magnesium Miracle)
Bored with Pisit today, I switch to our public radio channel, where the renowned and deeply reverend Phra Titapika is lecturing on Dependent Origination. Not everyone’s cup of chocolate, I agree (this is not the most popular show in Thailand), but the doctrine is at the heart of Buddhism. You see, dear reader (speaking frankly, without any intention to offend), you are a ramshackle collection of coincidences held together by a desperate and irrational clinging, there is no center at all, everything depends on everything else, your body depends on the environment, your thoughts depend on whatever junk floats in from the media, your emotions are largely from the reptilian end of your DNA, your intellect is a chemical computer that can’t add up a zillionth as fast as a pocket calculator, and even your best side is a superficial piece of social programming that will fall apart just as soon as your spouse leaves with the kids and the money in the joint account, or the economy starts to fail and you get the sack, or you get conscripted into some idiot’s war, or they give you the news about your brain tumor. To name this amorphous morass of self-pity, vanity, and despair self is not only the height of hubris, it is also proof (if any were needed) that we are above all a delusional species. (We are in a trance from birth to death.) Prick the balloon, and what do you get? Emptiness. It’s not only us-this radical doctrine applies to the whole of the sentient world. In a bumper sticker: The fear of letting go prevents you from letting go of the fear of letting go. Here’s the good Phra in fine fettle today: “Take a snail, for example. Consider what brooding overweening self-centered passion got it into that state. Can you see the rage of a snail? The frustration of a cockroach? The ego of an ant? If you can, then you are close to enlightenment.” Like I say, not everyone’s cup of miso. Come to think of it, I do believe I prefer Pisit, but the Phra does have a point: take two steps in the divine art of Buddhist meditation, and you will find yourself on a planet you no longer recognize. Those needs and fears you thought were the very bones of your being turn out to be no more than bugs in your software. (Even the certainty of death gets nuanced.) You’ll find no meaning there. So where?
John Burdett (Bangkok Tattoo (Sonchai Jitpleecheep #2))
SNAPPY TURTLE PIE   1 chocolate cookie crumb pie shell (chocolate is best, but shortbread or graham cracker will also work just fine) 1 pint vanilla ice cream 4 ounces ( of a 6-ounce jar) caramel ice cream topping (I used Smucker’s) ½ cup salted pecan pieces 4 ounces ( of a 6-ounce jar) chocolate fudge ice cream topping (I used Smucker’s) 1 small container frozen Cool Whip (original, not low-fat, or real whipped cream) Hannah’s Note: If you can’t find salted pecans, buy plain pecans. Measure out ½ cup of pieces, heat them in the microwave or the oven until they’re hot and then toss them with 2 Tablespoons of melted, salted butter. Sprinkle on ¼ teaspoon of salt, toss again, and you have salted pecan pieces. Set your cookie crumb pie shell on the counter along with your ice cream carton. Let the ice cream soften for 5 to 10 minutes. You want it approximately the consistency of soft-serve. Using a rubber spatula, spread out your ice cream in the bottom of the chocolate cookie crumb crust. Smooth the top with the spatula. Working quickly, pour the caramel topping over the ice cream. You can drizzle it, pour it, whatever. Just try to get it as evenly distributed as you can. Sprinkle the salted pecan pieces on top of the caramel layer. Pour or drizzle the chocolate fudge topping over the pecans. Cover the top of your pie with wax paper (don’t push it down—you don’t want it to stick) and put your Snappy Turtle Pie in the freezer overnight. Put your container of Cool Whip in the refrigerator overnight. Then it’ll be spreadable in the morning. In the morning, remove your pie from the freezer and spread Cool Whip over the top. Cover it with wax paper again and stick it back into the freezer for at least 6 hours. If you’re not planning to serve your pie for dinner that night, wait until the 6 hours are up and then put it into a freezer bag and return it to the freezer for storage. It will be fine for about a month. Take your Snappy Turtle Pie out of the freezer and place it on the countertop about 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve it. When it’s time for dessert, cut it into 6 pieces as you would a regular pie, put each piece on a dessert plate, and place one Snappy Turtle Cookie (recipe follows) on the center of each piece, the head of the turtle facing the tip of the pie. Yield: 6 slices of yummy ice cream pie that all of your guests will ooh and ahh over.
Joanne Fluke (Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #16))
The Biggest Property Rental In Amsterdam Amsterdam has been ranked as the 13th best town to live in the globe according to Mercer contacting annual Good quality of Living Review, a place it's occupied given that 2006. Which means that the city involving Amsterdam is among the most livable spots you can be centered. Amsterdam apartments are equally quite highly sought after and it can regularly be advisable to enable a housing agency use their internet connections with the amsterdam parkinghousing network to help you look for a suitable apartment for rent Amsterdam. Amsterdam features rated larger in the past, yet continuing plan of disruptive and wide spread construction projects - like the problematic North-South town you live line- has intended a small scores decline. Amsterdam after rated inside the top 10 Carolien Gehrels (Tradition) told Dutch news company ANP that the metropolis is happy together with the thirteenth place. "Of course you want is actually the first place position, however shows that Amsterdam is a fairly place to live. Well-known places to rent in Amsterdam Your Jordaan. An old employees quarter popularised amang other things with the sentimental tunes of a quantity of local vocalists. These music painted an attractive image of the location. Local cafes continue to attribute live vocalists like Arthur Jordaan and Tante Leeni. The Jordaan is a network of alleyways and narrow canals. The section was proven in the Seventeenth century, while Amsterdam desperately needed to expand. The region was created along the design of the routes and ditches which already existed. The Jordaan is known for the weekly biological Nordermaarkt on Saturdays. Amsterdam is famous for that open air market segments. In Oud-zuid there is a ranging Jordan Cuypmarkt open year long. This part of town is a very popular spot for expats to find Expat Amsterdam flats due in part to vicinity of the Vondelpark. Among the largest community areas A hundred and twenty acres) inside Amsterdam, Netherlands. It can be located in the stadsdeel Amsterdam Oud-Zuid, western side from the Leidseplein as well as the Museumplein. The playground was exposed in 1865 as well as originally named the "Nieuwe Park", but later re-named to "Vondelpark", after the 17th one hundred year author Joost lorrie den Vondel. Every year, the recreation area has around 10 million guests. In the park can be a film art gallery, an open air flow theatre, any playground, and different cafe's and restaurants.
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As I write this, I know there are countless mysteries about the future of business that we’ve yet to unravel. That’s a process that will never end. When it comes to customer success, however, I have achieved absolute clarity on four points. First, technology will never stop evolving. In the years to come, machine learning and artificial intelligence will probably make or break your business. Success will involve using these tools to understand your customers like never before so that you can deliver more intelligent, personalized experiences. The second point is this: We’ve never had a better set of tools to help meet every possible standard of success, whether it’s finding a better way to match investment opportunities with interested clients, or making customers feel thrilled about the experience of renovating their home. The third point is that customer success depends on every stakeholder. By that I mean employees who feel engaged and responsible and are growing their careers in an environment that allows them to do their best work—and this applies to all employees, from the interns to the CEO. The same goes for partners working to design and implement customer solutions, as well as our communities, which provide the schools, hospitals, parks, and other facilities to support us all. The fourth and most important point is this: The gap between what customers really want from businesses and what’s actually possible is vanishing rapidly. And that’s going to change everything. The future isn’t about learning to be better at doing what we already do, it’s about how far we can stretch the boundaries of our imagination. The ability to produce success stories that weren’t possible a few years ago, to help customers thrive in dramatic new ways—that is going to become a driver of growth for any successful company. I believe we’re entering a new age in which customers will increasingly expect miracles from you. If you don’t value putting the customer at the center of everything you do, then you are going to fall behind. Whether you make cars, solar panels, television programs, or anything else, untold opportunities exist. Every company should invest in helping its customers find new destinations, and in blazing new trails to reach them. To do so, we have to resist the urge to make quick, marginal improvements and spend more time listening deeply to what customers really want, even if they’re not fully aware of it yet. In the end, it’s a matter of accepting that your success is inextricably linked to theirs.
Marc Benioff (Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change)
This is what sin does to us all. At a deep and often unnoticed level, sin replaces worship of God with worship of self. It replaces submission with self-rule. It replaces gratitude with demands for more. It replaces faith with self-reliance. It replaces vertical joy with horizontal envy. It replaces a rest in God’s sovereignty with a quest for personal control. We live for our glory. We set up our rules. We ask others to serve our agenda. We curse whatever gets in our way. We hate having to wait. We get upset when we have to go without. We strike back when we think we have been wronged. We do all we can to satisfy our cravings. We think too much about our own pleasure. We envy those who have what we think we deserve. We pout when we think we have been overlooked. We hate suffering of any kind. We manipulate others for our own good. We attempt to work ourselves into positions of power and control. We are obsessed about what is best for us. We demand more than we serve, and we take more than we give. We long to be first and hate being last. We are all too concerned with being right, being noticed, and being affirmed. We find it easier to judge those who have offended us than to forgive them. We require life to be predictable, satisfying, and easy. We do all these things because we are full of ourselves, in awe more of ourselves than of God. This is what Paul is talking about when he writes that Christ “died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves” (2 Cor. 5:15). Here we see the great replacement again. It is what sin does to us all; no longer living for God, we live for ourselves. The myriad of dysfunctions of the human community can be traced to this one thing: awe. When we replace vertical awe of God with awe of self, bad things happen in the horizontal community. You see it played out in a thousand ways every day. If you listen, you will discover that the universal language of sinners in this broken world is complaint. When you’re at the center, when you feel entitled, when your desires dominate your heart, and when it really is all about you, you will have much to complain about. It is amazing how much more natural complaint is for us than thanks or how much more we tend to grumble than we tend to praise. We talk much more about what we want than about what we have been given. Notice how much we compare what we have to what others have and how little of the time we are satisfied. Listen to people very long, and you’ll hear the drone of complaint far more frequently than you’ll hear the melody of thankfulness. You see, we don’t first have a grumbling problem. No, we have an awe problem that results in a life of personal dissatisfaction and complaint. When awe of self replaces awe of God, praise will be rare and grumbling plentiful.
Paul David Tripp (Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do)
Most of my friends put their preferred pronoun in their Instagram bios—he/she, him/her, they/their—but I respond to any and all of them. I like to think of it as collecting pronouns: the more I get, the more fun I’m having. To get the obvious out of the way, because that’s apparently important to people, I think of myself as post-gender. I was trying to figure out how to explain that because sometimes it’s a paragraph and sometimes it’s a term paper depending on who I’m talking to, and I have no idea who will be reading this in the aftermath. Then I noticed that one of my fellow passengers has a cat with him, and that’s perfect. When you visit a friend and find they have a cat, you just see it as a cat in all its pure catness, it doesn’t require further definition. You’ll probably get a name, and if you ask, whether it was born male or female, but even after you have that information you still don’t think of it any differently. It’s not a He-Cat or a She-Cat or a They-Cat. It’s just a cat. And unless the cat’s name has any gender-specific connotations you’ll probably forget pretty fast which gender it was born into. My name is Theo, and by that logic, I am a cat. What I was or was not born into has nothing to do with how I see myself. It’s not about going from one gender to another, or suggesting that they don’t exist. Some of my friends say that the moment you talk about gender you invalidate the conversation because you’re accepting the limits of outmoded paradigms, but I’m not sure I agree with that. I just think gender shouldn’t matter. If you’re a man, aren’t there moments when you feel more female, like when you’re listening to music, or your cheek is being gently stroked, or you see a spectacularly handsome man walk into the room? If you’re a woman, aren’t there moments when you feel more male, when you have to be strong in the face of conflict, or stand behind your opinion, or when a spectacularly beautiful woman walks into the room? Well, in those moments, you are all of those things, so why deny that part of yourself? For me, it’s not about being binary or non-binary. It’s about moving the needle to the center of the dial and accepting all definitions as equally true while remaining free to shift in emphasis from moment to moment. It’s about being a Person, not a She-Person or a He-Person or a They-Person. (...) When you go into a clothing store, you don’t just go to the “one size fits all” rack. You look for clothes that fit your waist, hips, legs, chest, and neck, clothes that complement your form and shape, and reflect not just how you see yourself but how you want to be seen by others. If it’s still not quite right, and you can afford it, you get the clothes tailored to fit exactly who you are. That’s what I’m doing. Post-gender is one term for it. Another might be tailored gender. Maybe bespoke gender. But definitely not one-size-fits-all. The world doesn’t get to decide what best fits who I am and how I choose to be seen. I do.
J. Michael Straczynski (Together We Will Go)
MONKEY BREAD   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. 1 and ¼ cups white (granulated) sugar 1 and ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon 4 cans (7.5 ounce tube) unbaked refrigerated biscuits (I used Pillsbury) 1 cup chopped nuts of your choice (optional) 1 cup chocolate chips (optional) (that’s a 6-ounce size bag) ½ cup salted butter (1 stick, 4 ounces, ¼ pound) Hannah’s 1st Note: If you prefer, you can use 16.3 ounce tubes of Pillsbury Grands. If you do this, buy only 2 tubes. They are larger—you will use half a tube for each layer. Tony’s Note: If you use chocolate chips and/or nuts, place them between each biscuit layer. Spray the inside of a Bundt pan with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. Set your prepared pan on a drip pan just in case the butter overflows. Then you won’t have to clean your oven. Mix the white sugar and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl. (I used a fork to mix it up so that the cinnamon was evenly distributed.) Open 1 can of biscuits at a time and break or cut them into quarters. You want bite-size pieces. Roll the pieces in the cinnamon and sugar mixture, and place them in the bottom of the Bundt pan. Sprinkle one-third of the chopped nuts and one-third of the chocolate chips on top of the layer, if you decided to use them. Open the second can of biscuits, quarter them, roll them in the cinnamon and sugar, and place them on top of the first layer. (If you used Pillsbury Grands, you’ll do this with the remainder of the first tube.) Sprinkle on half of the remaining nuts and chocolate chips, if you decided to use them. Repeat with the third can of biscuits (or the first half of the second tube of Grands). Sprinkle on the remainder of the nuts and chocolate chips, if you decided to use them. Repeat with the fourth can of biscuits (or the rest of the Grands) to make a top layer in your Bundt pan. Melt the butter and the remaining cinnamon and sugar mixture in a microwave safe bowl on HIGH for 45 seconds. Give it a final stir and pour it over the top of your Bundt pan. Bake your Monkey Bread at 350 degrees F. for 40 to 45 minutes, or until nice and golden on top. Take the Bundt pan out of the oven and let it cool on a cold burner or a wire rack for 10 minutes while you find a plate that will fit over the top of the Bundt pan. Using potholders or oven mitts invert the plate over the top of the Bundt pan and turn it upside down to unmold your delicious Monkey Bread. To serve, you can cut this into slices like Bundt cake, but it’s more fun to just let people pull off pieces with their fingers. Hannah’s 2nd Note: If you’d like to make Caramel Monkey Bread, use only ¾ cup of white sugar. Mix it with the cinnamon the way you’d do if it was the full amount of white sugar. At the very end when you melt the butter with the leftover cinnamon and sugar mixture, add ¾ cup of brown sugar to the bowl before you put it in the microwave. Pour that hot mixture over the top of your Bundt pan before baking and it will form a luscious caramel topping when you unmold your Monkey Bread. Hannah’s 3rd Note: I don’t know why this is called “Monkey Bread”. Norman thinks it has something to do with the old story about the monkey that couldn’t get his hand out of the hole in the tree because he wouldn’t let go of the nut he was holding in his fist. Mike thinks it’s because monkeys eat with their hands and you can pull this bread apart and eat it with your hands. Mother says it’s because monkeys are social animals and you can put this bread in the center of the table and everyone can sit around it and eat. Tracey says it’s because it’s a cute name. Bethie doesn’t care. She just wants to eat it.
Joanne Fluke (Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #16))
Lady Thornton, how very good of you to find the time to pay us a social call! Would it be too pushing of me to inquire as to your whereabouts during the last six weeks?” At that moment Elizabeth’s only thought was that if Ian’s barrister felt this way about her, how much more hatred she would face when she confronted Ian himself. “I-I can imagine what you must be thinking,” she began in a conciliatory manner. He interrupted sarcastically, “Oh, I don’t think you can, madam. If you could, you’d be quite horrified at this moment.” “I can explain everything,” Elizabeth burst out. “Really?” he drawled blightingly. “A pity you didn’t try to do that six weeks ago!” “I’m here to do it now,” Elizabeth cried, clinging to a slender thread of control. “Begin at your leisure,” he drawled sarcastically. “here are only three hundred people across the hall awaiting your convenience.” Panic and frustration made Elizabeth’s voice shake and her temper explode. “Now see here, sir, I have not traveled day and night so that I can stand here while you waste time insulting me! I came here the instant I read a paper and realized my husband is in trouble. I’ve come to prove I’m alive and unharmed, and that my brother is also alive!” Instead of looking pleased or relieved he looked more snide than before. “Do tell, madam. I am on tenterhooks to hear the whole of it.” “Why are you doing this?” Elizabeth cried. “For the love of heaven, I’m on your side!” “Thank God we don’t have more like you.” Elizabeth steadfastly ignored that and launched into a swift but complete version of everything that had happened from the moment Robert came up behind her at Havenhurst. Finished, she stood up, ready to go in and tell everyone across the hall the same thing, but Delham continued to pillory her with his gaze, watching her in silence above his steepled fingertips. “Are we supposed to believe that Banbury tale?” he snapped at last. “Your brother is alive, but he isn’t here. Are we supposed to accept the word of a married woman who brazenly traveled as man and wife with another man-“ “With my brother,” Elizabeth retorted, bracing her palms on the desk, as if by sheer proximity she could make him understand. “So you want us to believe. Why, Lady Thornton? Why this sudden interest in your husband’s well-being?” “Delham!” the duchess barked. “Are you mad? Anyone can see she’s telling the truth-even I-and I wasn’t inclined to believe a word she said when she arrived at my house! You are tearing into her for no reason-“ Without moving his eyes from Elizabeth, Mr. Delham said shortly, “Your grace, what I’ve been doing is nothing to what the prosecution will try to do to her story. If she can’t hold up in here, she hasn’t a chance out there!” “I don’t understand this at all!” Elizabeth cried with panic and fury. “By being here I can disprove that my husband has done away with me. And I have a letter from Mrs. Hogan describing my brother in detail and stating that we were together. She will come here herself if you need her, only she is with child and couldn’t travel as quickly as I had to do. This is a trial to prove whether or not my husband is guilty of those crimes. I know the truth, and I can prove he isn’t.” “You’re mistaken, Lady Thornton,” Delham said in a bitter voice. “Because of its sensational nature and the wild conjecture in the press, this is no longer a quest for truth and justice in the House of Lords. This is now an amphitheater, and the prosecution is in the center of the stage, playing a starring role before an audience of thousands all over England who will read about it in the papers. They’re bent on giving a stellar performance, and they’ve been doing just that. Very well,” he said after a moment. “Let’s see how well you can deal with them.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
At least tell me the truth about Blakeborough,” he said hoarsely. “Do you love him?” “Why does it matter?” His eyes ate her up. “If you do, I’ll keep my distance. I’ll stay out of your life from now on.” “You’ve been doing that easily enough for the past twelve years,” she snapped. “I don’t see why my feelings for Edwin should change anything.” “Easily? It was never easy, I assure you.” His expression was stony. “And you’re avoiding the question. Are you in love with Blakeborough?” How she wished she could lie about it. Dom would take himself off, and she wouldn’t be tempted by him anymore. Unfortunately, he could always tell when she was lying. “And if I say I’m not?” “Then I won’t rest until you’re mine again.” The determination in his voice shocked her. Unsettled her. Thrilled her. No! “I don’t want that.” His fingers dug into her arm. “Because you love Blakeborough?” “Because love is a lie designed to make a woman desire what is only a figure of smoke in the wind. Love is too dangerous.” He released a heavy breath. “So you don’t love him.” His persistence sparked her temper, and she pushed free of him. “Oh, for pity’s sake, if you must know, I don’t.” She faced him down. “Not that it matters one whit. I don’t need love to have a good marriage, an amiable marriage. I don’t even want love.” It hurt too much when her heart was trampled upon. Dom had done that once before. How could she be sure he wouldn’t do it again? Eyes gleaming in the firelight, he said in a low voice, “You used to want love.” “I was practically a child. I didn’t know any better. But I do now.” “Do you? I wonder.” He circled her like a wolf assessing its prey’s weaknesses. “Very well, let’s forget about love for the moment. What about passion?” “What about it?” she asked unsteadily as he slipped behind her. Nervous, she edged nearer the impressively massive pianoforte that sat in the center of the room. “What part does passion play in your plan for a safe and loveless marriage?” She pivoted to face him, startled to find that he’d stepped to within a breath of her. “None at all.” He chuckled. “Does Blakeborough know that?” “Not that it’s any of your concern, but Edwin and I have an arrangement. He’ll give me children; I’ll help him make sure Yvette finds a good husband. We both agree that passion is…unimportant to our plans.” “Really?” He raised an eyebrow. “It certainly aids in the production of those children you’re hoping for. To quote a certain lady, ‘You can set a plan in motion, but as soon as it involves people, it will rarely commence exactly as you wish.’ You may not want passion to be important, sweeting, but it always is.” “Not to us,” she said, though with him standing so close her legs felt like rubber and her blood raced wildly through her veins. “Not to me.” With his gaze darkening, he lifted his hand to run his thumb over the pounding pulse at her throat. “Yes, I can tell how unimportant it is to you.” “That doesn’t mean…anything.” “Doesn’t it?” He backed her against the pianoforte. “So the way you trembled in my arms this morning means nothing.” It meant far too much. It meant her body was susceptible to him, even when her mind had the good sense to resist. And curse him to the devil, he knew it. He slipped his hand about her waist to pull her against him. “It means nothing that every time we’re together, we ignite.” “People do not…ignite,” she said shakily, though her entire body was on fire. “What an absurd idea.” She held her breath and waited for his attempt to kiss her, determined to refuse it this time. But he didn’t kiss her. Instead he fondled her breast through her gown, catching her so by surprise that she gasped, then moaned as the feel of his hand caressing her made liquid heat swirl in her belly. Devil take the man.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))