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Inspirations - poems, writing, quotations and sayings which help to illuminate the essence of the human experience. Enjoy!

Our Deepest Fear

If I put nothing else on this page, I would put this poem. I think it captures the essence of what it is to be human. It is a huge thought to live up to!

The poem was quoted by Nelson Mandela at his inauguration as President of South Africa in May 1994. He had survived and transcended 27 years in a prison cell on the notorious Robben Island during apartheid. The poem is often attributed to him but is, in fact, by Marianne Williamson who I do not know at all.

Nelson Mandela led the liberation struggle from his prison cell and freed his people from oppression based on skin colour. This pearl of a poem embodies a message of liberation for each one of us.

Read it and read it again and allow its meaning to sink in...

INSPIRATIONS. mandela statue

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us;
It's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Begin it now

This poem is an inspired recognition of the power of intention and action by the great German writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832). Goethe is widely considered to be one of the most important thinkers in Western culture and the key figure in German literature and thought in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The thought that things fall in to place around determined intention links in with Carl Jung’s theory of 'synchronicity' – of apparent coincidences happening in a serenditpitous mannner; although perhaps perception is also involved here in seeing opportunity which would have gone unnoticed if the intention had not been present.

Until one is committed there is hesitancy:
the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all aspects of initiative and creation
there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which
kills countless ideas and and splendid plans;

That the moment one definitely commits oneself
then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one
That would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision
raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen
incidents and meetings and material assistance
which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

Whatever you do or dream you can,
begin it.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Begin it now.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

By Portia Nelson, this simple poem has profound wisdom. It seems so obvious to walk around the hole or down another street. But it can be so very difficult. Most of us need help. Counselling can help provide the support to do it.

I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost…I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in…it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.

Brief Quotes

One's Real Life

"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."
Oscar Wilde, L'Envoi, 1882, Irish dramatist, novelist, & poet (1854 - 1900)

"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through' narrow chinks of his cavern."

William Blake, (1757 -1827)poet, artist, and visionary

"A smile is a curve which sets things straight."
Quoted in an email to me from an Indian businessman

"Things do not change; we change."

Henry David Thoreau

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Howard Thurman

"When seen from outer space, our beautiful blue planet has no national boundaries."
Dalai Lama

"We must be the change we want to see in the world."

"There is no light without shadow and no psychic wholeness without imperfection. To round itself out life . . . calls not for perfection but for completeness; and for this the 'thorn in the flesh' is needed, the suffering of defects without which there is no progress and no ascent."
Carl Jung

"In every adult there lurks a child—an eternal child, something that is always becoming, is never completed, and calls for unceasing care, attention, and education. That is the part of the human personality which wants to develop and become whole.

Carl Jung

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