This Moment

There’s nothing but this moment. The past has gone and cannot be changed. The past is for us to learn from. No more. And the present? It’s to be lived to the full, every moment, one at a time. If I’m willing to be present, attentive and ready to learn, I can suck the juice out of every experience. Whether it feels good or bad, it always has something to teach me.

And the future? Well it isn’t here yet, is it, and if I dwell on it I’ll miss this moment and will never catch it again. I may think I can catch up, but I never can. Each moment I miss by worrying about the past or dreaming of the future robs me of the wonder and beauty of now….

Change is a constant. Nothing stays the same, but it can all get better. Even the experiences we don’t like are teaching us valuable lessons. Certainly I haven’t liked some of the changes in my life, and there’ve been times when I would have loved things to stay as they were. But that’s not what being alive is about. In the end it’s more comfortable and sensible to relax and allow change to occur with an open mind, welcoming whatever we can learn from it.

— Dr. Brenda Davies, Unlocking the Heart Chakra, p. 80-81


If you’re going through something in your life that isn’t what you planned, a transformation is at hand. While we might prefer to be transformed in the twinkling of an eye, it usually doesn’t happen that fast. It takes all the moments added together, and sometimes those moments go on and on. But one day when you least expect it — a phoenix rises from the ashes. That phoenix is you.

Some of us encounter a lot of pain. Some of us have less. If I could sit across from you right now, I’d look into your eyes and say these words to you: “I know you’ve been through a lot. But there’s a new cycle coming. You’re going to learn about joy.”

— Melody Beattie, More Language of Letting Go, p. 380


Perhaps the healing of the world rests on just this sort of shift in our way of seeing, a coming to know that in our suffering and our joy we are connected to one another with unbreakable and compelling human bonds. In that knowing, all of us become less vulnerable and alone. The heart, which can see these connections, may be far more powerful a source of healing than the mind.

— Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom, p. 140

Power in Waiting

Sometimes, the picture isn’t finished yet. Ideas, possibilities, hopes, dreams float around, circling us like asteroids around a planet. We may think events in our lives are happening aimlessly, without purpose. All we see are disconnected, floating blobs. We reach for them, try to grab them in our hands so we can connect them, force them into a whole, force them into a picture we can see, something that makes sense.

Let the pieces be. Let yourself be. Let life be. Sometimes, chaos needs to precede order. The pieces will come together in a picture that makes sense, in a beautiful work of art that pleases.

You don’t have to force the pieces to fit together if it’s not time. You don’t have to know. There is power sometimes in not knowing. There is power in letting go. Power in waiting. Power in stillness. Power in trust. There is power in letting the disconnected pieces be until they settle into a whole. The action you are to take will appear. Timely. Clearly. What you’re to do will become clear.

— Melody Beattie, Journey to the Heart, p. 356

A New Adventure Every Day

We’re all beautiful and unique, but none of us is perfect, thank God. What a pain that would be!…

So all this striving for perfection is a bit sad. How about settling for being a great human being with flaws like everything else, including your Persian carpet? The need to be perfect does nothing but restrict us: restrict us in our creativity, in relationships, in work, in dealing with our children (whom we then also expect to be perfect) and in dealing with others who can never live up to our expectations. Look at all we’re losing. Not satisfied to be ourselves, we’re in constant competition with others, looking over our shoulder at what everyone else is doing and how much better or worse it is than our effort, and the moment, the experience, the wonder and the juice are lost forever.

Try to accept life and yourself as a constantly changing masterpiece with shape and color and texture that offer you a new adventure every day. Not perfect. Not complete. But developing and exciting, with every day a new brushstroke and a step towards perfection. The masterpiece is not meant to be complete until the final brushstroke has been placed upon it and the artist finally retires.

So experiment with life and don’t worry about getting it wrong. You can’t! Whatever you do, no matter how it turns out, you’ll have learned something that you wouldn’t have learned had you done it differently. Nothing is a failure. And nothing is lost.

Dr. Brenda Davies, Unlocking the Heart Chakra, p. 80

Thinking About Thoughts

There’s nothing to fear from thought itself, once we understand that it’s just thought.

Perhaps the greatest misinterpretation of this principle is to believe that the goal is to control what you think about. It isn’t. The goal is to understand thought for what it is: an ability you have that shapes your reality from the inside out. Nothing more, nothing less. What you think about is not ultimately going to determine the quality of your life, but rather the relationship you have to your own thinking — the way you manufacture your thoughts and respond to them. Do you hear your thinking as reality, or as thought?

— Richard Carlson, PhD, You Can Be Happy No Matter What, p. 16

Real Intimacy

At the heart of any real intimacy is a certain vulnerability. It is hard to trust someone with your vulnerability unless you can see in them a matching vulnerability and know that you will not be judged. In some basic way it is our imperfections and even our pain that draws others close to us.

— Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., Kitchen Table Wisdom, p. 113