Soul Food for Thought

by mandy lipka

As I was spring cleaning for the third time, I came across a stellar pamphlet on mindfulness tucked away in the “mood lifting” folder of notes from friends and family in my accordion file folder (believe it or not, I do keep a small paper trail). Couldn’t recall where it came from, but imagined a dear spiritual friend of my mother who’s been like a soul sister to me sent it over the years. Somehow she always knows just the moment when you could use some kind words and encouragement. Guessing it followed me from college.

Anyway, the front page opens with Quotations to Think About from various literature.

To winners time is precious. Winners don’t kill it but live it here and now. Living in the now does not mean that winners foolishly ignore their own past history or fail to prepare for the future. Rather winners know their past, are aware and alive in the present, and look forward to the future. – Muriel James in Born to Win

My ego stays preoccupied with the world through circular thinking. I make a mistake, then dwell on the mistake, then feel guilty for my new mistake of dwelling, then dwell on my new mistake, and so forth. ‘See?’ my ego says, ‘You’ll never learn this spiritual stuff.’ But the only thing to learn is that the ego is a dog chasing its tail. Don’t spend one second chewing on a mistake. It’s a meatless bone. – Hugh Prather in Spiritual Notes to Myself

Life is not a spelling bee, where no matter how many words you have gotten right, if you make one mistake you are disqualified. Life is more like a baseball season, where even the best team loses one-third of its games and even the worst team has its days of brilliance. Our goal is not to go all year without losing a game. Our goal is to win more than we lose, and if we can do that consistently enough, then when the end comes, we will have won it all. – Harold Kushner in How Good Do We Have to Be?

Looking deeply at our lives, without judgment, offers us a chance to see ourselves and the world we live in more clearly. As we see more clearly we understand life more fully and from this understanding comes compassion and freedom. – Narayan Libenson Grady in When Singing Just Sing

Part of the problem is that everyone is in such a hurry. People haven’t found meaning in their lives, so they’re running all the time looking for it. They thin the next car, the next house, the next job…Then they find those things are empty, too, and they keep running. – Morrie Schwartz speaking in Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

By far the greatest cause of stress in the workplace is not time, lack of control or other people. It’s you. What’s inside your head. – Paul Wilson in Calm at Work

Personally, some of these thoughts can hit close to home at tough times. Now that I’ve discovered this little book of thoughts, I try to reinforce these ideas at least once a week. It helps. Keeps me grounded and moving forward. Which quotations do you refer to often to keep you optimistic or motivated? Please share them below.

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