Tag Archives: Self-discovery

10 Steps on Your Journey to Personal Spiritual Growth

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10 Steps on Your Journey to Personal Spiritual Growth

Spirituality is a belief system in which a person seeks to relate to the rest of existence (whether that is God, humanity, the universe, nature or life itself). It is a pursuit of peace, love and understanding. Many people want you to believe that the secret to spiritual growth and development can be found in a book, a lecture or some other product that will magically unlock the doors to happiness. But the truth about spiritual growth is that it comes from within. It is all about you and the way that you view the world. Here are 10 steps to help you on your journey of personal spiritual growth, and none of them cost a thing.

1.  Want Change
It may sounds silly, but the first and most important step toward personal spiritual growth is the desire to grow. All of the self-help classes, spiritual gurus and inspirational books in the world won’t make a lick of difference until you make a conscious decision to change. Spiritual growth and development is not a goal; it is a lifelong journey that requires time, energy and dedication. If you are looking for a quick fix or overnight results, you will be disappointed. When the novelty of your new spiritual growth technique wears off, you may be tempted to give up. It is much easier to let life carry you along as it pleases. The only difference between people who exist and people who really live is motivation. If you are properly motivated,2.  Start Small
There are many spiritual practices out there, and information is readily available over the Internet. But don’t make the mistake of trying to take on too much too soon. It is best to start with one new practice. Begin a meditation, prayer routine or yoga class at your gym. Attend a lecture on reiki at your local community college. Once you are comfortable with your new skill, add another element.

3.  New Adventures
One of the great joys in life lies in learning new skills. If you never tried anything new, your life would grow stagnant. Take up an activity that you are curious or passionate about, such as writing poetry, practicing yoga or painting water colors. Enjoy the process of learning and improving your new skills. By embracing people and things that are outside of your ordinary routine, you open yourself to personal and spiritual growth, and you diminish your fear of the unknown.

4.  Release the Past
The past is history, and there is nothing you can do to change it. Holding on to past events keeps you from experiencing new ones, and the emotional baggage will only weigh you down. Accept these past events, both good and bad, as learning experiences and move on with life.

5.  Take Responsibility
Sometimes you cannot control the events that happen to you or the people who do them. But you always have control over how you respond. Focusing your attention on what or who caused a problem does not offer any solutions. Instead, concentrate on your response and what you can do to improve the situation and prevent it from occurring again.

6.  Pause and Reflect
Life moves so fast that sometimes it is important to stop, take a step back and really examine yourself and what you are doing. You can do this by practicing meditation. Meditation allows you to quiet your mind and clear your thoughts. Through meditation, you can step outside yourself and observe your life. Are you using your time wisely? Are you taking proactive steps to reach your goals? Are you happy? These quiet moments of reflection, when performed regularly, can help you right yourself on your spiritual path.

7.  Stay Open
From a young age we are taught to judge and label actions, thoughts, words and people as “good,” “bad,” “right” or “wrong.” Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly judging others by how they look, what they say and more. But to feel connected to everything around you, first accept people and things as they are. It takes a conscious effort to stop looking through the lens of a critical eye, but if by looking for the possibilities and potential resources in life, you begin to grow spiritually.

Consider the difference between these two life philosophies: “Everyone is out to get me” and “Everyone is doing the best they can.” Imagine how much more stressful the first person’s life must be? Allow others to be themselves around you. Treat their uniqueness with respect rather than criticism. Remember, love is the heart of spirituality.

8.  Appreciate the Present
It is easy to get caught up in a materialistic mindset and focus on wants, needs and desires. When you begin pursuing possessions, you lose sight of what you already have. The world becomes an obstacle, standing between you and what you desire. Increase your personal spiritual growth by developing what you already have. When you do this, the world becomes an ally in helping you achieve your goal.

9.  Accept Unhappiness
We all know someone who seems perpetually happy. She is always smiling, and her can-do attitude never fails. You might envy this person or even resent her. You might think, She’s so lucky. I wish I could be that happy. In reality, happiness is not a personality trait. It is not a gene that some people are born with and others aren’t. Happiness is a choice. And unhappiness is a natural part of life.

Everyone has their good days and bad days. It is how you deal with those bad days when they come along that matter. You are quick to treat your physical ailments, so don’t hesitate to treat your emotional and spiritual ailments (such as depression, insecurity, fear, mood swings and bad tempers). Use meditation, yoga, prayer or relaxation techniques to soothe your soul when you find yourself unhappy.10. Don’t Fear MistakesMistakes and bad decisions are some of our greatest teachers. If you never did anything wrong, you would never learn anything new. Think of mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow, and give yourself full license to make them. We are all imperfect people. If you are able to embrace your imperfections and laugh at yourself, you will become more flexible and open-minded. Remember: We live in an imperfect world so that we can better understand perfection.Have patience on your quest for spiritual growth. The process toward enlightenment is slow and unnoticeable at first, and you may feel compelled to give up. Just keep in mind that spiritual growth is a lifelong commitment to love, peace and understanding, and it is meant to be taken one day at a time. Like so many other things in life, spirituality is about the journey, not the destination. To quote the Buddha, “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”
http://www.lifescript.com

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A Fearless Self Discovery

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A Fearless Self Discovery

A Fearless Self-discovery
Written by Sen on August 5th, 2012

If you are on this journey towards self-discovery, you are inevitably also on a journey towards a fearless expression, what I also call your natural expression unfolding. The mind immediately will associate something “spiritual” with these terms, basically because we always seem to associate this journey of self-discovery with some deluded notion of becoming unworldly – most of us have a very screwed up idea about what “spiritual” even means. Though a good part of self-discovery is about understanding your nature as the “spirit” (life-energy or stream of consciousness), that you are in your essence, this understanding is then used to burn through all the “hang ups” you have in your human nature, which you’ve created through holding on to fear-based/limiting thoughts, and thus realize your authentic expression – each of us is unique in our human nature, and so this discovery is very personal, and only you can explore this discovery in yourself, you can’t trust anyone else (not even your intimate spouse or your therapist of 10 years) with it because only you can meet yourself 100%, no-one else can do that for you.

The deal is that in order to discover yourself you have to be willing to be fearless of what you discover, and how your life will change with these discoveries; of course, the more you discover yourself the more aligned you feel, and the more abundant your experience of life is. It’s a fair warning that as you delve into this journey of self-discovery, you will reach a point (soon enough) where you realize there is no “U turn”; basically, when you see a truth about yourself, clearly enough, you can’t “un-know” it again, ever – it becomes a point of no return. Of course, there is nothing more liberating than the truth, and you will discover that the more you simply go with your truth the more interesting/enjoyable, and aligned, your life becomes – so this is not a “risk” rather it’s a path towards the freedom your being/heart desires so much. Basically there are two ways to live

1. You trade your inner freedom, or inner alignment, for a sense of pseudo-security

2. You don’t compromise on staying true to yourself

Both these choices are valid ways of living life, I am not saying one is higher than the other, it’s just a choice you are making based on your present state of understanding/awareness, and it’s where you are right now – of course, when you have a deeper awareness of your true nature as life-energy, you can’t help but make choice 2 as your default choice, and a conscious movement towards choice 2 is a natural path of growth. Also, when make the choice 2, long enough, choice 1 is no longer available to you because you lose the grip of your mind’s fear-based pull (which is required to live choice 1). Choice 2 also takes you into the realm of fearless expression, but by “fearless” I don’t mean “reckless”, a better way of putting it would be that you live an expression aligned with your true nature which includes operating from a place of inner wisdom.
Freedom from suppressing your natural expression

Basically, when you understand that what you call “your mind” contains a lot of thought patterns which are not really yours, rather they were fed externally by the outside influences or created through some misguided interpretation, you realize that you may be living a very disconnected life by following these conditioned patterns blindly. So many beliefs get seeded in the mind, and take roots because we don’t question them. Your journey of self-discovery will inevitably make you see all these unwanted weeds (some in the form of deeply rooted trees) growing in the space of your mind/being, and seeing them is a point of no-return, because when you see something false in you, you can’t go back to believing it fully.

When you make a commitment that you only want the truth, above anything else, this journey of self-discovery becomes a living movement in you. I can just give you an assurance that the truth is what really sets you free, the truth is what makes you feel liberated, it’s what makes you feel alive, makes you live what you desire to live in your heart. However, it’s very normal to have a strong fear towards discovering the truth, especially about yourself, about your human nature, about your non-physical nature, and about the reality of life in general. So how do you know what’s the truth? It’s quite simple, by it’s very nature, your being only finds interest/resonance in the truth, and the truth is what “sticks” when you let go of all forms of fear-based suppression – it’s only your fear-based grip that keeps you from seeing/discovering the truth on a constant basis.

A few ways in which you keep yourself from discovering/living from a place of truth, are as below

– You feel the need to keep convincing yourself about something. (truth doesn’t need convincing, it just sticks), for example, you may keep trying to convince yourself that you enjoy your job or that you need to be a millionaire

– You get scared if someone opposes a certain thought/belief in you (this fear just indicates doubt, and doubt indicates you are not clear about the truth).

– You find yourself “trying” to convince others about your beliefs (or your way of being), the inherent strategy being that the more people you can convince about your “beliefs” the stronger you will feel about the truth of it.

– You try to find groups who believe in the same things you do, and find security in this group. There is also fear about leaving a certain group that you associate your identity with.

– When you discover some truth about yourself, you try to “hold on” to it with all your might instead of being open to a constantly evolving expression. For example, you may discover that your expression is to be monogamous right now, but it’s possible that in a couple of years you may want to experience being polygamous – if you try to make “I am monogamous” as a conceptual truth about yourself which you hold onto, you end up creating resistance to what feels like a natural flow of inspiration.

– You are not flexible in incorporating new understandings. You don’t realize that the moment you try to hold on to a certain understanding, you’ve already missed the point of the process of awareness; it’s never about holding-on, it’s always about being open to discovery – anything that’s really true will remain true even if you don’t hold on to it.

– You give in to your fears and cling to what feels like “familiar” grounds, rather than develop the trust in your life-stream’s intelligence to fully take care of your well-being/abundance as you live your truth. You don’t realize that when you live your truth, you can’t help but feel abundant.

The primary step towards living your truth is to reduce your mind momentum. If you have a high mind momentum, there is a constant resistance, and emotional pressure, created by the negativity in the mind which keeps blurring out, and opposing, your movement towards self-discovery or your natural expression. Reducing the mind momentum takes time, and it’s very similar to a “detox” program, only here you are weaning off from your addiction towards your own mind – like any detox/rehabilitation period, it’s not very pleasant at-times, especially when there is an inner war between the mind’s fear-based pull and your space of being. The way you reduce the mind momentum is through coming to a state of inner allowing, where simply allow a free movement of mind/emotional-space in your open awareness, without attaching to these movements. (A lot of posts on this blog give a deeper understanding of the process of allowing – the practice of relaxed awareness, the state of total allowing, the space of being and reducing mind momentum are just some posts you may want to start with).
Beyond ideas of spirituality

Since Siddhartha Buddha became popular as someone who discovered his truth, the whole process of self-discovery has taken on a “sitting under a tree, in spiritual garments, with a divine smile and an angelic halo” tint, which is actually the reason for a lot of spiritual imagination around this process. It’s strange, but a lot of teachers who talk about self-discovery usually fit in (or try to fit in) with the “spiritual imagination” (the deal of a slow way of speaking, a sweet tone, a beatific smile, a larger than life charisma, slow gestures), mostly because this is the image of an “enlightened being” the masses associate with – I am not saying that these teachers are pretending/projecting, it could well be that this is their natural human personality, just like Siddhartha Buddha or Ramana were living their natural personality. It’s just that this type of “spiritual” personality can create a lot of false ideas in the minds of their students/seekers about how one would be after growing in awareness. These ideas can severely inhibit your process of self-discovery; always remember it’s a process of discovering who “you” are, not a process of making yourself into some image of who you think you should be.

Awareness is a process of “honest discovery”, the word “honest” is of essence here – if you don’t have the courage to be honest, within, you can’t really know yourself. It’s so easy to idolize personalities that we admire or feel in awe of, and it’s not long before we start trying to emulate this person’s way of being. If you truly want to grow in self-discovery you have to be willing to stand alone without holding anyone/anything as a model for your life – as long as you stay a “follower” you can never connect fully with yourself. It may seem easy to just stay a follower, and it’s totally fine if that’s what your present state of being is, but if you want to go on this journey of self-discovery you can’t hold on to the comfort of depending on the outside to tell you how to be.
The aloneness of self-discovery

A lot of people who get on this journey talk about feeling a sense of being alone, and of course you can’t help but feel this way because that’s the reality, life inherently is alone because it’s all there is, and you being the same life-energy are bound to sense this aloneness when you start sensing your reality/truth – once you embrace this feeling of aloneness you realize the freedom of it, it doesn’t mean you have to be alone and secluded on the outside, it’s just an inner feeling, it’s just a sense that you will always have your own individual journey to stay true to. This also means that you no longer cling to your “group” or even the sense of belonging to a certain ideology – only in this total inner aloneness can you really start seeing yourself clearly – it’s a total intimacy with yourself.

It’s mostly this sense of inner aloneness that people fear, and it’s one of the fears you need to transcend if you really wish to be true to the highly personal nature of self-discovery, especially in your human nature. If you fear being alone with your journey, you will eventually start making a fear-based choice towards clinging to a sense of belonging. This is definitely an initial challenge for many, but as you let go of this fear and continue on the journey you soon realize the sense of inner wholeness that lies beyond the feeling of aloneness – you stop feeling isolated, rather you feel fully connected with all there is, a sense of deep oneness, a state of real belonging, and this can reflect on the outside with you finding compatible relationships.

The fear of being alone is just one of the major fears you will contend with, as a human, as you venture on this journey of self-discovery, the other fears would be the fear of becoming dysfunctional, of being ridiculed/ostracized, of being different, of being financially un-supported, of becoming a failure/loser, of messing up your life, of becoming reckless, of becoming “bad”, of staying confused and unproductive, etc – you can imagine that it’s quite a challenge to move through these fears, but eventually you notice that these are just the fears of the mind based on its imagination; the process of self-discovery, of coming to your truth is nothing like what your mind fears, rather it brings you to living your true potential, and nature, in a fearless and abundant manner. http://www.calmdownmind.com/a-fearless-self-discovery/

How to Attract People You Can Count On

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How to Attract People You Can Count On

Article by http://www.alexandrafranzen.com/2013/03/11/how-to-attract-people-you-can-count-on/

I aspire to be the kind of person that Mr. Rogers would be proud of.

The kind of person who gets dressed up — and shows up.
The kind of person that friends feel comfortable calling at 4am, with a genuine crisis.
The kind of person who never (ever!) cancels a commitment at the last minute via text message, without a trace of remorse.
I’m getting there.

I’ve noticed, though, that over the past couple of years, I’ve started to attract increasingly steady, sane & reliable people into my life. And (not surprisingly) this phenomenon is directly proportionate to my own ever-increasing steadiness, sanity & reliability.

Here’s how I’ve learned to attract people I can count on — including some of the language I use, to hold commitments in place.

❤ Lay down the law — with a dash of love.

It’s an unfortunate truth, but when you give people even a little bit of wiggle room — they usually take (advantage of) it. I know, because I’ve seen it. Annnd I’ve done it.

At the beginning of this year, I established a new policy for workshop registrations. It looks a little somethin’ like this:

Once you make your payment, your workshop registration is non-refundable.

If you are unable to come, you can absolutely give or sell your ticket to somebody else. If we have a waiting list for the event, I’ll do my best to help match you up with that ‘somebody’.

But, except for highly unusual circumstances (think: illness, divorce, heartbreaking catastrophe) I don’t offer straight-up refunds. Thank you for understanding.

It’s sensible, sane & humane. And, it helps me keep a rock-solid headcount for each workshop. WIN!

❤ Model the behavior you want to see.

Un-flaky people are attracted to their fellow un-flaky people. The easiest way to become … less flaky? Use resentment as a litmus test to guide you into projects & relationships that genuinely light you up.

When you commit to something you love, that’s a commitment you tend to keep.

❤ Use shame … sparingly.

Once upon a time, when I was a shamefully flaky 18 year old, my then-sister-in-law invited me over for dinner. In my spongy adolescent brain, this meant “come over, or not, it’s cool, whatever.” But to her, this meant, “buy a special organic Cornish Game Hen, lovingly roast it for hours, set out the nice china.”

When I texted (I know, I know, it’s heinous) to cancel a few hours before dinner, she was understandably upset. And she gave me a schoolin’ I will never forget. And you know what? Her shamestorm genuinely affected me. I resolved to grow up, on the spot.

❤ Trust the beginning.

Buddhists often say: “As in the beginning, so in the middle, so in the end.” Which basically means: if someone seems unreliable the first time you meet them, that’s probably how they’re going to be … for the duration of your relationship.

Of course, people do change — all the time. They change their minds. They change their jobs. They change their haircuts. But when it comes to deeply-embedded habits — chronic tardiness, disorganization, lying — people rarely change overnight. So the question becomes: how many nights are you willing to wait?

❤ Express your appreciation.

Mr. Rogers used to sign off his hand-written letters (and later, emails) with four simple words: “I’m Proud Of You.”

His friends, family & TV production staff completely adored him — and were deeply devoted to him, right through the end.

The lesson? Expressing your affection & gratitude inspires people to rise to the occasion, to stick by your side, and to bend over backwards for you.

I’m a big fan of tangible gifts (I’ve been sending out BirchBox subscriptions & Vosges chocolate, lately — people are rarely disappointed!). I’m also a staunch advocate for courageous compliments, unexpected love notes, and purposeful praise.

Try starting with: “I can always count on you to …” / “It’s so refreshing how you …” / “I really appreciate the way you …”

❤ Know what you want.

Is there anything sexier than clarity? Nope.

If you make precise declarations – “I’m looking for an assistant who knows more about WordPress than God himself, and can proofread like an English major hopped up on a gallon of green tea.” — then people have a chance to step up, and deliver.

If you’re vague & open-ended with your requests, well … that’s what you’re gonna get served.

❤ When all else fails: accept flaws & fold them into your rhythm.

Let’s say you’ve got an amazing friend who is chronically fifteen minutes late (to everything!) but incredible in every other way. You know what? You can probably handle it.

You can try giving her a deceptively-early arrive time (“Oh yes, it begins at 10:35am. Sharp.”) and then bring a nice book, just in case. She’s worth it. You’ll live.

How Much Do You Trust Yourself

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How Much Do You Trust Yourself

How Much Do You Trust Yourself? by Cynthia Wall Please visit her website at http://www.cynthiawall.com/index.html

If you were frequently shamed, betrayed, or suffered significant loss as a child, you may have difficulty knowing when to trust your own feelings. This often causes simple misunderstandings to flood you with self-doubt. Changing old beliefs that undermine your self-confidence is a necessary step toward developing more self-trust.

Take the following quiz to find out how you balance self-doubt and self-trust. Give yourself a score of 0 to 5 for each statement. 0 means it doesn’t apply at all, and 5 reflects a thought or feeling that affects you often enough to be troublesome.

____ I often sacrifice my own needs for others.

____ I feel ashamed when I have strong reactions like anger, fear, and depression.

____ I worry there is something wrong with me, even if I don’t know what it is.

____ I am not as capable or “good” as others think I am.

____ I play down my mistakes, fearing others will think less of me.

____ I am out of control about food, spending, drugs, or alcohol, and too ashamed to seek help.

____ I often think I’m being selfish when I resent that others are not contributing what I think is their fair share of work or money.

____ I believe that others are more open and honest about what they think and feel.

____ I want to do something big, like write a book, go back to school, or relocate, but can’t speak of it or explore how to proceed.

____ I am afraid of failing this quiz.

Scoring: This quiz points to aspects of self-confidence you may want to strengthen or change in some way. It is not another means to fail! Wait a month and take it again. You will be surprised how much just taking this quiz can boost your self-trust. Here are what the numbers mean:

31-50 Distrust of yourself is destroying your self-confidence.
20-30 Indicates a level of honest self-doubt. More confidence would be nice.
0-19 You are independent and confident, but do you sometimes feel lonely?

Self Discovery Questions | The Process of Self Discovery

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Self Discovery Questions | The Process of Self Discovery

Self Discovery Questions | The Process of Self Discovery.
Consider the following questions, one at a time, taking plenty of time to explore it fully. If the questions cause you to come up with more questions write those down as well so that you can go back and explore them. Use a journal to record your responses, feelings, thoughts, etc.

Questions for Self-Discovery:

Who am I? Outside of my role as parent/child/worker etc.
When I am alone all by myself, who am I?
What are my unique talents and traits I offer?
What am I afraid of and why?
Do I fear death? Avoid the thought? How do I handle the concept of Death?
What does it mean to be alive?
What person do I admire the most and why? Do I see these qualities within myself?
Which Person do I least admire and why? Do I see these qualities within myself?
What are my dreams? Do I actively pursue them?
What is my life purpose? Do I recognize my higher calling? If not why?
Create an image for your perfect inner sanctuary. Describe this place. What does it look like? Feel like? Etc. Bring it to perfect detail.

The above are just a small sampling of questions for self-discovery that can open up doors to new discoveries and inner peace. Work on these questions and see what other ideas/questions come up.

Self-Discovery Quotations

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People
often say that this or that person has not yet found himself.  But the self is
not something one finds, it is something one creates.  ~Thomas Szasz, “Personal
Conduct,” The Second Sin, 1973

You have to leave the
city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you’ll
discover will be wonderful.  What you’ll discover is yourself.  ~Alan
Alda

Never mind searching for who you are.  Search for the person you
aspire to be.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

Man cannot remake himself
without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.  ~Dr. Alexis
Carrel

The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as
long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart.  ~Julien Green

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the
bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.  ~Anaïs
Nin

The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes
purpose.  ~Richard Grant
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the
questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very
foreign tongue.  Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because
you would not be able to live them.  And the point is, to live everything.  Live
the questions now.  Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it,
and live along some distant day into the answer.  ~Rainer Maria Rilke,
Letters to a Young Poet

All men should strive
to learn
before they die
what they are running from, and to, and why.
~James
Thurber

I know well what I am fleeing from but not what I
am in search of.  ~Michel de Montaigne

If you don’t get lost, there’s
a chance you may never be found.  ~Author Unknown

I went to
the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential
facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when
I came to die, discover that I had not lived.  ~Henry David Thoreau,
1854

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and
returns home to find it.  ~George Moore

It is good to feel
lost… because it proves you have a navigational sense of where “Home” is.  You
know that a place that feels like being found exists.  And maybe your
current location isn’t that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy
feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it.  ~Erika Harris, empathicwriter.com

If
in the last few years you haven’t discarded a major opinion or acquired a new
one, check your pulse.  You may be dead.  ~Gelett Burgess

Endurance
is frequently a form of indecision.  ~Elizabeth Bibesco, Haven, 195

Man never knows what he wants; he aspires to penetrate
mysteries and as soon as he has, he wants to reestablish them.  Ignorance
irritates him and knowledge cloys.  ~Amiel, Journal,
1884

The man who views the world at fifty the same as he
did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.  ~Muhammad
Ali

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.  ~Wallace
Stevens

One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is
more distant than any star.  ~G.K. Chesterton, “The Logic of Elfland,”
Orthodoxy, 1908

If you resist reading what you
disagree with, how will you ever acquire deeper insights into what you believe?
The things most worth reading are precisely those that challenge our
convictions.  ~Author Unknown

It is only when we silent the blaring
sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth
that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.
~K.T. Jong

I met a lot of people in Europe.  I even encountered
myself.  ~James Baldwin

There are chapters in every life which are
seldom read and certainly not aloud.  ~Carol Shields

To the question
of your life, you are the only answer.  To the problems of your life, you are
the only solution. ~Jo Coudert, Advice From A Failure  (Thanks,
Elizabeth!)

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand
ourselves.  ~Henry David Thoreau

A single event can awaken within us
a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born. ~Antoine de
Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942, translated from
French

In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own.  ~Alice
Walker

Why should we honour those that die upon the field of battle?
A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.
~William Butler Yeats

If you haven’t had at least a slight poetic
crack in the heart, you have been cheated by nature.  ~Phyllis
Battelle

Learning how to operate a soul figures to take time.
~Timothy Leary

I’ve left Bethlehem
and I feel free…
I’ve left
the girl I was supposed to be
and some day I’ll be born.
~Paula
Cole

Resolve to be thyself; and know that he who finds himself, loses
his misery.  ~Matthew Arnold, “Self-Dependence,” Empedocles on Etna, and
Other Poems
, 1852

To dare to live
alone is the rarest courage; since there are many who had rather meet their
bitterest enemy in the field, than their own hearts in their closet.  ~Charles
Caleb Colton, Lacon, 1825

No one remains quite
what he was when he recognizes himself.  ~Thomas Mann

Every
one of us has in him a continent of undiscovered character.  Blessed is he who
acts the Columbus to his own soul.  ~Author Unknown

There’s
a period of life when we swallow a knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either
good or sour inside.  ~Pearl Bailey

I can teach anybody how to get what
they want out of life.  The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me
what they want.  ~Mark Twain

He who knows others is learned;
He
who knows himself is wise.
~Lao-tzu, Tao te
Ching

[Y]ou
must learn what life is now, not from me, but from life itself; but, if you will
hear an old man’s opinion, I will give it you.  If you think you can temper
yourself into manliness by sitting here over your books, supposing you will grow
into it as a matter of course by a rule of necessity, in the same way as your
body grows old, it is the very silliest fancy that ever tempted a young man into
his ruin.  You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge
yourself one.  Go out into life, you will find your chance there, and only
there.  ~James Anthony Froude, The Nemesis of Faith, 1849, commonly
misattributed to Henry David Thoreau