Archive for January, 2011

Be Joyful!

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Joy is our goal, our destiny. We cannot know who we are except in joy. Not knowing joy, we do not know ourselves. When we are without joy, we grope in the dark. When we are centered in joy, we attain our wisdom. A joyful woman, by merely being, says it all. The world is terrified of joyful women. Make a stand. Be one anyway.

— Marianne Williamson, A Woman’s Worth, p. 46

The Skill of Gratitude

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Gratitude is not an attitude that comes to most of us easily. It is a learned skill. It is the ability to see and say thank you for the many gifts in our life as they are unfolding. In order to have a grateful heart, we must be willing to open the lens of our vision far enough to take in what is actually being given to us. We cannot just stay focused on the one thing we demand and seem to be denied. No, gratitude involves looking at our lives more holistically. There is always some small thing for which we can be grateful — and often many larger things as well.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 81

Of the Race of the Singers

Monday, January 10th, 2011

It is nature’s decree that all youths and maidens shall, for a period, be it long or short, become aware that they too are of the race of the singers, and, in the journey of their life, at least pass through the zone of song. Some of them recognize it as the region of truth, and continue to believe in it still when it seems to have vanished from around them; others scoff as it disappears, and curse themselves for dupes.

— George MacDonald, Wisdom to Live By, p. 178

Knowledge and Power

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

“Please give me knowledge of your will for me and the power to carry it out.” It is in the knowledge of God’s will for us that we begin to discover our true nature. God’s will and our will are not at opposite ends of the table, although we may fear that they are. It is God’s will for us to be happy, joyous, and free and just what will make us that way is what we are out to discover. Things may make us happy that we do not credit with the power to give us happiness. Things may make us unhappy that we falsely believe will make us happy. When we turn our will and our life over to the care of God, the key word there is care. In God’s care, we discover ourselves and our true nature. We learn to see which of the many things on life’s menu might be appropriate to our own genuine appetites — and as we pray for knowledge of God’s will, we may find our tastes shifting. We can cooperate with where and how we are being led. The chief means by which we are able to cooperate is through our gratitude. Gratitude leads us to alertness to God’s involvement with our lives.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 80-81

Shine

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

And why are we always trying to figure out how to be more attractive to men, anyway? Why shouldn’t they work a little and try to figure out how to be attractive to us? Not every man knows how to handle a woman who is full of passion, glory, power, and intelligence. So what should we do? Shrink? Many, many women do. And then perhaps they’re married or hitched. But they’re not necessarily happy, and neither are their men. It is better to be alone than to be living at half throttle.

— Marianne Williamson, A Woman’s Worth, p. 36

Faith and Patience

Friday, January 7th, 2011

One of the principal parts of faith is patience, and the settings of wrong things right is so far from easy that not even God can do it all at once.

— George MacDonald, Wisdom to Live By, p. 174

A Personal God

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

It is the idea of God “being involved” that is often the sticking point. Many of us prefer to think of our relationship with God as being unrequited. Most of us are not really comfortable with the idea of a personal God, one interested in all our affairs. We think that there are areas beneath God’s concern, and those are the areas, particularly finance and romance, that we tend to try to run ourselves. Very often it is the area that we declare beneath God’s interest where we could use the most divine help. Stubbornly isolationist, often more than a little self-pitying, rather than open our eyes to the help all around us, help that has been divinely sent, we try to go it alone. In so doing, we shut out many of the intended helpers sent in our direction.

When a gift horse is sent our way, we not only look it in the mouth, we slap it on the rump to get it out of our vicinity as soon as possible. “It’s just a coincidence,” we say when something transpires that seems an answered prayer.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 78

The Keys to Beauty and Happiness

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

I do know this: On the days when I feel love and compassion and forgiveness in my life, I’m happier and more attractive to other people. Those feelings are the mystical keys to beauty and happiness. It is so simple, and it doesn’t cost a thing. From pseudosophisticated corners, there is resistance to such an easy message. For if women were really to believe these things — that love in our hearts could renew our lives — billions of dollars would be spent elsewhere.

— Marianne Williamson, A Woman’s Worth, p. 36

The Wonder and Humor of Mathematics

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

When writing this book, my motivation was at all times to communicate the excitement and wonder of mathematical discovery. I also wanted to show that mathematicians can be funny. They are the kings of logic, which gives them an extremely discriminating sense of the illogical. Math suffers from a reputation that it is dry and difficult. Often it is. Yet math can also be inspiring, accessible and, above all, brilliantly creative. Abstract mathematical thought is one of the great achievements of the human race, and arguably the foundation of all human progress.

— Alex Bellos, Here’s Looking at Euclid, p. xi

God of Our Dreams

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

When we hide from God our true goals and agendas, we cannot really hide them, but we can prevent ourselves from enjoying the comfort of knowing that God is “on the case” and working on our behalf. We can rob ourselves of the comfort of an ongoing collaboration with God, in which we both try to work to meet “our” goals. The problem, of course, is that we often assume that our personal goals and God’s goals for us are at opposite ends of the table. We do not trust that our dreams come from God and that God has the power to accomplish them. Instead, we act as though every idea we have is born out of self-will, and even in the most willful of us, this is never the case. God inspires us with desires and dreams. God gives us goals and agendas. God is prepared to help fulfill our goals and dreams. One more time it comes back to the questions of prayer. When we pray, “Please give me knowledge of your will for me and the power to carry it out,” we are often shocked by the fact that what is clarified for us is some very personal intention. We pray for God’s will only to discover how sharply we long for a partnership of our own with another human being. We pray for God’s will, thinking we will be pointed toward heaven, only to find that we are pointed squarely back into our career with a clear idea of what it is that we must do next to move ahead further.

God is not otherworldly. God is not flaky and airy-fairy. God is grounded in reality, and as we pray to God, we become more grounded, not less. As we ask to have our life run by God, we become more comfortable, not less, with the actual details of that life.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 76-77