12 Quotes and Some Reflection for Living Well All Year Round.

Welcome to The New Year!

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2014 is almost over and I can hardly believe that the calendar will read 2015. That sounds like I am living in the future.

Time passes, and current events that were a big part of our life, like the turn of the millenium, suddenly become part of a distant history. Technology moves us along even faster.

The internet has changed the world so quickly; I remember when they brought email into our workplace in the second year of my career (16 years ago). Now, I am sure that most North American children can’t even conceive of a world without their IPods and X-Boxes.  

This all makes me sound very old, but I am not. I am 42. Hey, I still see that as relatively young.

The world today moves so fast, and sometimes it seems to be in such a mess. Yet, it can also be so beautiful, and acts of hope and kindness are everywhere. Life is hard, and demanding, and sad. Life is joyful, wondrous and beautiful. Success, failure. All of it. That struggle is life itself.

A Time for Renewal

So we celebrate New Year as way of wiping the slate clean. It’s a way of saying “let’s all agree to pause now”, to process what has happened in the last year, so we can start again with renewed enthusiasm, courage and optimism.  A new beginning, when all our experiences are hopefully elevated into lessons that arm us with wisdom and strength for the upcoming year.

Time Flies

New Year reminds us that time is passing. Time is finite, and we better get to the business of living well. Let go of worries, of petty gripes, of fears. Enjoy the moment. Celebrate the joys in life, the successes – no matter how small – take them in. Be kind to ourselves and be kind to others, not just humans, but other species, too. Forgive ourselves and forgive others. Think less; don’t overanalyze.  Think more; act mindfully.

We are all just doing our best. Remember that when you want to lose patience with the cashier or the person driving slowly in the fast lane.  You don’t know what they might be going through.

If we keep trying and don’t give up, our efforts will amount to something – to positive change for us and for the planet.

Finding Wisdom

Here are 12 of my favourite quotes from a book called “Wisdom”, by Andrew Zuckerman. The quotes are about life, in general. “Wisdom” is a big, beautiful book filled with interesting ideas and advice, shared by accomplished and famous senior citizens. It’s a book that reminds us that age brings a deeper understanding of life.

Maybe listening to the wisdom of those who have lived a long time is one way to hear, in the words of Bernice Johnson Reagon, “…the part of the universe that continues after we are gone.”

12 Quotes for the New Year: Words of Wisdom.

“Don’t take yourself so seriously” ~Bernice Johnson Reagon

“Life is not perfect; it never will be. You just have to make the very best of it and you have to open your heart to what the world can show you. Sometimes it’s terrifying and sometimes it’s incredibly beautiful. And I’ll take both, thanks.” ~Graham Nash

“Following the seasons is very important, to follow the seasons as they come and to enjoy the food as it is. Small portions, simply prepared” … “Cook with love. Sit down around the table and share food with your children and your family.” ~Jacques Pepin

“I’m curious about life, period.” ~Graham Nash

“…Where people of goodwill get together and transcend their differences for the common good, peaceful and just solutions can be found even for those problems which seem most intractable.” ~Nelson Mandela

“The heart is what matters most. The act of compassion, of being able to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes…” ~ Kris Kristofferson

“People have always said of my whole life… “You are too kind, Bryce.” Well … (being) pleasant and nice- you’re going to be conned, absolutely, for sure – but in the long run, over seventy-five years, it’s a better journey and in the end you win more. In hard fact you actually win more: you win more friends, you win more opportunities, you win more life, you win more joy, you win more character.” ~Bryce Courtenay

“Be here. Be present. Wherever you are, be there.” ~Willie Nelson

“We are in a culture that asks for that quick assessment. I have students sometimes that say, “I like hearing Harriet Tubman better than Sojourner Truth.” And I say, “They’re both dead, and you can have them both. Why are you going to pick one?” ~Bernice Johnson Reagon

“Exercise is very important to my mental well-being.” ~Madeleine Albright

“…just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.” ~Chuck Close

“I don’t want you to compromise, but be careful. It’s your life you are living and nobody else’s. Find out who you are and find out what you really believe in.”… I got this incredible advice, to watch out very carefully and find out where I felt myself attracted and where I felt myself uncomfortable. I think this is what we can call on to approach wisdom: that your experiences of bad things, of good things, of your own mistakes, of your shame… if you have built up knowledge about yourself, you get to have not only dreams, but visions.”       ~Kurt Masur on the advice given to him by his father.

ALL THE BEST IN 2015!!!

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