I cannot tell if what the world considers ‘happiness’ is happiness or not.
All I know is that when I consider the way they go about attaining it,
I see them carried away headlong, serious and obsessed,
in a general rush,
unable to stop themselves or to change their direction.
And all the while they claim to be
just on the point of attaining happiness….
Chuang-tzu, Chinese philosopher, 4th century BC
What a gift when we can finally make peace with ourselves.
It is time to apply some self-acceptance whenever we find ourselves trying to impress others, wondering whether we’re good enough, or trying too hard to say the right thing.
I never tire of birdsong and sky and weather.
Stanley Kunitz 1905 – 2006, American Poet
See with every turning day,
how each season makes a child
of you again, wants you to become
a seeker after rainfall and birdsong,
David Whyte, Coleman’s Bed
The propensity to feel sorry for ourselves, the propensity to be jealous, the propensity to get angry — our habitual, all-too-familiar emotional responses are like seeds that we just keep watering and nurturing. But every time we pause and stay present with the underlying energy, we stop reinforcing these propensities and begin to open ourselves to refreshingly new possibilities.
As you respond differently to an old habit, you may start to notice changes. In the past when you got angry, it might have taken you three days to cool down, but if you keep interrupting the angry thoughts, you may get to the point at which it takes only a day to drop the anger. Eventually, only hours or even one and a half minutes. You’re starting to be liberated from suffering
Pema Chodron, Free yourself from the story of You
May anxiety never linger about you. May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul. Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention. Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul. May you experience each day as a sacred gift, woven around the heart of wonder.
John O’Donohue, For Presence