light in the darkness

•29 January 2009 • 3 Comments

“Don’t curse the darkness – light a candle.” — Chinese Proverb
(we all have light to lend & light sources to draw from, find what ignites you)
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“There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light
of even one small candle.” — Robert Alden
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“We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on
his or her own light.” — Earl Nightingale
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“We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without
brightening our own.” — Ben Sweetland

The Dying Candle

The Dying Candle -- also a blog post

“Our task is not merely one of itemizing Republican failures. Nor is that wholly necessary. For the families forced from the farm do not need to tell us of their plight. The unemployed miners and textile workers know that the decision is before them in November. The old people without medical care, the families without a decent home, the parents of children without a decent school: They all know that it’s time for a change.

We are not here to curse the darkness; we are here to light a candle. As Winston Churchill said on taking office some twenty years ago: If we open a quarrel between the present and the past, we shall be in danger of losing the future.

Today our concern must be with that future. For the world is changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do.”

~John F. Kennedy in his DNC Acceptance Address, 1960

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Light a Candle
Drawing the Light from Within: Keys to Awaken Your Creative Power
Tales of a Broken Man: When Darkness Falls, the Light Must Come from Within
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“Let nothing dim the light that shines from within.”
— Maya Angelou —

I let my self fall into the dark abysses of my mind too often. I allow life’s “bumps in the road” mask the light that lies within me. A failure, as small and insignificant as it is, would throw me in the darkness. I admit it. So would a vicious critical comment, an unintentional remark or an harmless joke (it isn’t harmless, isn’t it?!).

Finding the light again isn’t easy. Believing in myself, in my abilities and capabilities — are mostly not natural and automatic. vice-versa.

However, I do have a glorious spot inside me. A spot filled with light and belief. A place full of love and acceptance. A place in which my accomplishments are not long forgotten, but very much alive. This is a place I seek in times of darkness.

For this week’s inspiration prompt I invite you to call upon your illuminant magnificence. Find your inner light together with me. It doesn’t come easy for me. Sometimes I keep going for days and cannot find it. So promise me you’d keep on looking, even in times like these.

~Avital, “Inspiration Prompt – Find Your Inner Light

The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. - William James

A Chinese proverb — ‘Don’t curse the darkness – light a candle.’ — was used by Adlai Stevenson (1900-65), praising Eleanor Roosevelt in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in 1962: “She would rather light candles than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world.”

I just loved looking one of my favorite sayings up in preparation for this blog and discovering that one of my all time heroines, Eleanor Roosevelt had been described this way. We all have our frustrations. Many of us who deal with people every day sometimes joke about hating people or put down the noobs who annoy us. Sometimes we have to put up with some pretty annoying stupidity, find ways to not let it get to us or take breaks from dealing with it. It helps to remind ourselves that we are all sometimes stupid noobs in some aspect of our lives. But it is also true that we all know people who spend way too much time cursing the darkness, hating people and then whining about how unhappy they are with life. I really believe that if each of us is not part of the solution, we are part of the problem.

~Josi in “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness

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“You can’t have a light
without a dark to stick it in.”
— Arlo Guthrie —
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Triple ta, Dorian aka coffeesister |_|)
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Take a moment to Drink Deeply @ coffeesister.net
Freshly brewed warmth & wisdom poured into every post..

PS: Getting these via e-mail yet?! Request it here!? Rest assured your address won’t be used for anything else & there’s only one e-mail each day so try it out.

think by questioning

•19 January 2009 • Leave a Comment

“A great many people think they are thinking when
they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” — William James
(tho’ts not questioned are biases)
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“Two quite opposite qualities equally bias our minds – habits and novelty.”
— Jean de la Bruyère —

Close up of The Thinker

“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among rocks.” — Charlotte Bronte

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Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking
Don’t Believe Everything You Think:
The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking

Think for Yourself!: An Essay on Cutting through
the Babble, the Bias, and the Hype (Speakers Corner)

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Auguste Rodin’s classic statue “The Thinker” is one of my favourites. It’s hard to look at it (or one of its many replicas) without being moved by it. … Perhaps we have such reverence for this kind of deep thinking because it’s so uncommon. Having thoughts does not constitute thinking. We all have thoughts. We all have opinions and beliefs, usually lots of them.

William James once wrote, “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” Just because there’s mental activity going on in our minds doesn’t mean we’re thinking.

Bob Proctor, in his book “You Were Born Rich,” writes, “Thinking is the highest function of which a human being is capable.” He goes on to say that what passes for thinking for most people is really just the faculty of memory, playing old movies and rehashing past events. Clearly, this is not what Rodin’s great work of art depicts.

Thinking is hard work. Maybe that’s why so few people do it. Edison went even further: “There is no expedient to which a man will go to avoid the real labour of thinking,” and Emerson, “What is the hardest task in the world? To think.”

Why don’t we think more? I believe one reason is that we’re so busy doing that we don’t have time to conceive, cogitate and consider. We’re used to being entertained. We’re bombarded with information. It comes at us so fast that we have little time to reflect on much of it, if any at all.

~Michael Angier in “The Lost Art of Thinking
[DO click thru to read the rest..]

QUESTION EVERYTHING

Bias is a sort of “blind spot” in a person’s thinking – a place where their assurance of being right makes them vulnerable to imagining the world to be different from how it truly is. It is, in short, a minor delusional state.

As Mark Twain is reported to have said: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” So it is the blind spot of bias that gets people into trouble. Ignorance is merely a need for information or education; error — especially when it is believed wholeheartedly — is a calamity waiting to happen.

A good analogy would be a map. If your map of reality has blank spots, you are likely to be more cautious in those areas. You’ll ask questions, listen to what people who have been there have to say and keep you eyes open. On the other hand, if your map has roads where there are none and smooth plains where there are cliffs and pits, then you are walking into trouble.

Bias can lead to self-deception (more about that later) when it convinces a person to ignore good information because it conflicts with their pre-formed (and self-corroborated) view of reality. … While it would be nice if we could all look reality in the face at all times, this simply is not the human condition. Failing a complete refit of the human psyche, what can we do to avoid self-deception?

1. Check your ideas with someone else.
2. Be skeptical of everything you hear, especially if you agree with it.
3. Occasionally step back and ask yourself, “What would it take to make me believe/not believe this?”

~Prometheus in “The Power of Critical Thinking: Bias and Self Deception
[click thru for more on bias, self-deception & these 3 suggestions]

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“Fortunately for serious minds,
a bias recognized is a bias sterilized.”
— Benjamin Haydon —
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Triple ta, Dorian aka coffeesister |_|)
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Take a moment to Drink Deeply @ coffeesister.net
Freshly brewed warmth & wisdom poured into every post..

PS: Getting these via e-mail yet?! Request it here!? Rest assured your address won’t be used for anything else & there’s only one e-mail each day so try it out.

holiday hiatus

•23 December 2008 • Leave a Comment

Season’s Greetings!
May your blessings outnumber your difficulties, the moments of joy outshine those of frustration & contentment eclipse any disappointment..
(|_|*to miracles in the making*|_|)

Whatever this season may or may not mean to you,
it’s an opportunity I encourage you to make the most of..
My Xmas post is a great place to start: Happy Damn Holidays!

The “Demitasse” is on hiatus into the new year. Upon its return, it will no longer be daily or even dailyish. I absolutely love doing quotationaries & will continue to text a daily tho’t (if you can receive 1 text a day & aren’t yet, just contact me — your mobile # will not be used for anything else) yet each post here represents hours of research. In order to regain my balance, “Dorian’s Demitasse” will most likely be weekly hereafter.

[upsidedown] balance

During the hiatus, I’ll be sorting what changes should take place here & how best to remain consistent without ignoring my other blogs.😮 There’s “Drink Deeply” with its coffee for the soul. Then there’s “Drink Deeply [of me])” with.. me. Do drink deeply of them (that we may grok). As for this endeavor, please comment at any time if you have ideas for the future of these offerings or sites to recommend I share; suggestions will always be implemented as possible.

Thanx for having your virtual demitasse cups at the ready! ☕

Triple ta, Dorian aka coffeesister |_|)
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Take a moment to Drink Deeply @ coffeesister.net
Freshly brewed warmth & wisdom poured into every post..

PS: Getting these via e-mail yet?! Request it here!? Rest assured your address won’t be used for anything else & there’s only one e-mail each day so try it out.

create new possibilities

•20 December 2008 • 2 Comments

“Small opportunities are often
the beginning of great enterprises.” — Demosthenes
(each moment seized creates pathways to new possibilities)
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“I held a moment in my hand, brilliant as a star, fragile as a flower, a tiny sliver of one hour. I dripped it carelessly, Ah! I didn’t know, I held opportunity.” — Hazel Lee

Start by doing what's necessary, then do what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

“Now is the only time. How we relate to it creates the future. In other words, if we’re going to be more cheerful in the future, it’s because of our aspiration and exertion to be cheerful in the present. What we do accumulates; the future is the result of what we do right now.”
— Pema Chodron —

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Opportunity: Optimizing Life’s Chances
new beginnings — big & small: inspirations to help light the way
Small Change: It’s the Little Things in Life That Make a Big Difference!
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This day is filled with tremendous possibilities for growth and achievement.

We can choose to dwell on yesterday’s hurtful memories, or we can see through the eyes of a child — with newness, joy, and the thrill of adventure.

Pause now. Experience deeply all the sights and sounds around you. Allow yourself to feel each emotion that this day brings. Take a moment to relax and let your imagination flow without limitation. Allow the possibilities of this day to become clear in your mind.

Then walk through this day in keen awareness, mindful of the miracles and possibilities it offers. Today we can build new dreams and discover solutions to unsolved problems. There will be chances to see, hear, touch, taste, feel, laugh, and love that we’ve never had before.

This moment can be a new beginning. There will be thrilling possibilities to see if you will stop, look, and listen with your mind and heart. Inside each person are infinite possibilities. Living with intentional awareness will expand your vision of possibilities.

~Steve Brunkhorst in “Expand Your Vision of Possibilities

Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears.

Consider for a moment dreams or goals you’ve had that have been realized. Think back on those accomplishments or successful experiences that are the most meaningful for you to remember. I’m willing to guess that more than one of them had a rather tentative, inglorious start.

When we look carefully at the path that led to a personal success, we often realize that it began with a modest step forward, that in time reaped a much greater harvest than we anticipated. …

The Challenge of Small Beginnings

While taking the small first step can make all the difference, there are two factors which can keep us from appreciating an opportunity to move forward that we actually have. One is that, because of its apparent insignificance, we may not even recognize the small beginning that’s available for us to make. …

[A] second factor that can keep us from recognizing the chance to make a small beginning is the fact that we may look with contempt upon what we have to do. … We need, in short, a greater esteem for the small beginnings of life.

~M. Blaine Smith in “The Greatness of Small Beginnings

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“The secret to a rich life is to have
more beginnings than endings.”
— Dave Weinbaum —
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Triple ta, Dorian aka coffeesister |_|)
~=~=-=~=-=-=-=~=-=~=~
Take a moment to Drink Deeply @ coffeesister.net
Freshly brewed warmth & wisdom poured into every post..

PS: Getting these via e-mail yet?! Request it here!? Rest assured your address won’t be used for anything else & there’s only one e-mail each day so try it out.

seize the moment

•19 December 2008 • Leave a Comment

Everything comes too late
for those who only wait.” — Elbert Hubbard
(there aren’t perfect moments,
just moments perfectly seized; grab one)
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“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.” — Lee Iacocca

If you wait too long for the perfect moment, the perfect moment will pass you by.

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.
Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that
these obstacles were my life.”
— Fr. Alfred D’Souza —

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Carpe Diem: Seize the Day
Moments: Making Your Life Count For What Matters Most
Seizing the Moments: Making the Most of Life’s Opportunities
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[“Carpe Diem”] entails the message not to waste a single moment. It means giving our all, being the best we could possibly be. It means dropping what still holds us back, dissolving the resistance to what we are and to what could be. It means to free ourselves from what we are not and to set free that what we really are. Let’s have a look together at how we can seize the day and make this happen …

1. Stop waiting. Start living.

“Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” — ‘Braveheart’

Why getting ready to live instead of living? It may seem that there is this to do or that to achieve. Or it feels like there is something lacking: skill, money, resources, courage, self-esteem, preparation, readiness. There is a name for it: procrastination. Ultimately there is no need for more preparation for life. Procrastination is really the fear to start now, to start living.

But this is it! This is the life we are here for. We must realize that the time to live fully is now. Not tomorrow when we are more rested, not next month when we are through with the exams and not next year when the kids have left the house (or fill in anything suitable thing for your current situation).

It takes some courage to say completely “yes” to life. It is loosening the brakes and putting ourselves out there, for having fun and experiencing life now.

~Myrko Thum in “Carpe Diem — How to Seize the Day
[click thru for great quotes & 9 more ways to seize the moment]

Carpe Diem - 'And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.' - Abraham Lincoln

So take action today.

Action will always triumph over constant analysis of information because when you take action, you accrue experience and knowledge from the get go, rather than try to figure out every possible scenario via paralysis analysis.

Don’t ask yourself “What if it doesn’t work?”

Ask yourself: What if it does?

Taking consistent action everyday (even it if is small) will yield results. Just look at the Japanese and how they implemented the philosophy of kaizen to produce the quality automobiles we all enjoy today. It would’ve never happened if they just tried thinking of coming up with the best design and analyzing it to death and taking no action until they did. When you take action, you learn far more than just through analyzing.

You may feel like you’re experiencing failure along this journey when things don’t go your way but remember that:

Failure is not to be feared. It is to be revered

The moment you decide to follow your dreams and take consistent action toward them, they come true in that moment. As long as you decide where you want to go, and keep on heading there everyday, you will get there.

~Brian Kim in “Follow Your Dreams NOW: The Time Will NEVER Be Just Right

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“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right,
you’ll probably never do much of anything.”
— Win Borden —
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Triple ta, Dorian aka coffeesister |_|)
~=~=-=~=-=-=-=~=-=~=~
Take a moment to Drink Deeply @ coffeesister.net
Freshly brewed warmth & wisdom poured into every post..

PS: Getting these via e-mail yet?! Request it here!? Rest assured your address won’t be used for anything else & there’s only one e-mail each day so try it out.

the important moment’s now

•17 December 2008 • 1 Comment

“Never let yesterday use up
too much of today.” — Will Rogers
(the most important moment’s the 1 you’re in..
it’s the only 1 you can change)
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“Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating.
You are creating your next moment. That is what’s real.” — Sara Paddison

live in the moment

Presence
Where is your mind right now? Are you caught in the expectation of the future or in the memories of the past? Life is playing to us right now, in this very moment, and most of us are missing the most important moment: Now! Our mind is constantly worrying about what may or may not happen next or indulging in the feelings of already past experiences. In the process, life passes by and we miss living the full potential of the moment. Stop for a second, look around, look inside. How is your body feeling right now? How is the space that surrounds you? Take a big breath and listen. Life is here and this moment is perfect as it is. Surrender.

~Elias Scultori in “Life — a Journey or an Endless Expectation?

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Yesterday, Now, and Tomorrow:
Your Present Moment Determines Your Future

Present Moment Awareness:
A Simple, Step-by-Step Guide to Living in the Now

No Regrets: A Ten-Step Program for
Living in the Present and Leaving the Past Behind

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This is the moment to live, to create the life that you have imagined moment by moment and enjoy the greatest peace. Live in this moment and you will have a peaceful life, and you can direct the source of flow for everything that you want and goals that you are inspired towards. The present moment is a quick brief breath. It is the only moment that you have to do the work, to dream, to create, to inspire, to lead, to pick yourself up. Do you think that you have some day or tomorrow? No, there is no other day. Because when the next day comes it is today once again. Your life is made up of increments of present moments that flow together to create another present moment, and another.

Your actions in this present moment determine your future. Is your present moment one of complaining? So change it in the next present moment. Is your present moment one of gratitude? Take it to the next higher level. In this present moment you are perfectly fine. You don’t need anything. You do not need to change. You are peaceful. If you choose to change, then you can do so by focusing on what you want to become. If you are worrying or fretting, then you are not exactly in the present moment but you are concerned about a projected moment somewhere in the future or a moment that has already passed. These are projected future moments that may never come to pass. A past moment is done, but it keeps going on in your mind and your heart. I wasted a lot of my life worrying about the past and the future. I realized how much I missed because I was preoccupied with that future or what was already done that I wanted to go back in time to change. You can’t change what is behind you. You can only readjust, readapt, recreate yourself now. Don’t wait.

~Katheryn Hoban in “Present Moment

'There is only one time that is important - NOW!! It is the most important time because it is the only time that we have any power.' -Leo Tolstoy

If you let your mind drift to the past and the future, you’re not living in the present. You are missing out on living fully in the present moments that can never be re-captured. You miss out on the beauty all around you. You are not focused on the activity you are engaged in. You’re not tuned in to the person talking to you. You are not making the most of the gifts of life.

If you find you are living less in the present than you would like, here are some things you can do:

  1. Sit quietly and experience your five senses.
  2. Check in with your feelings.
  3. Stop doing and start being.
  4. Breathe slowly and deeply.

~David B. Bohl in “The Only Moment is Now: Where Are You Living?
[click thru for more info on these 4 means of staying present]

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“The past is a ghost, the future a dream,
and all we ever have is now.”
— Bill Cosby —
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Triple ta, Dorian aka coffeesister |_|)
~=~=-=~=-=-=-=~=-=~=~
Take a moment to Drink Deeply @ coffeesister.net
Freshly brewed warmth & wisdom poured into every post..

PS: Getting these via e-mail yet?! Request it here!? Rest assured your address won’t be used for anything else & there’s only one e-mail each day so try it out.

it’s not too late to start

•15 December 2008 • Leave a Comment

“It’s never too late to be
what you might have been.” — George Eliot
(learn from the past & plan for the future
but start creating a life NOW)
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“What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn’t have done it. Who was it who said, “Blessed is the man who has found his work”? Whoever it was he had the right idea in his mind. Mark you, he says his work — not somebody else’s work. The work that is really a man’s own work is play and not work at all. Cursed is the man who has found some other man’s work and cannot lose it. When we talk about the great workers of the world we really mean the great players of the world. The fellows who groan and sweat under the weary load of toil that they bear never can hope to do anything great. How can they when their souls are in a ferment of revolt against the employment of their hands and brains? The product of slavery, intellectual or physical, can never be great.”
— Mark Twain —

go confidently in the direction of your dreams & live the life you've imagined

[C]hange for me came when I realized that I am the only person with direct control over my life. I make my own choices. Even when it seems like I have no control, I’ve really decided to let others have control over me and make my decisions for me. Once I accepted responsibility for my life and started making decisions based on my values, my life changed dramatically.

I can remember several times over the past 20 years when I’ve longed for a life like I’m living today. We really do create our own reality; we just have to believe that we can. For me, it was a matter of finally deciding to take responsibility for my own life, stop waiting for someone else to do things for me, and to take charge of my life in every way. We waste time wishing and hoping for our circumstances to change; our actions must follow what we say we desire or our desires will not manifest.

~Debra Moorhead in “Wake up and Create the Life You Want

~=~=-=~=-=-=~=related reading=~=-=-=~=-=~=~
Never Too Late
Never Too Late: A Memoir
It’s Only Too Late If You Don’t Start Now:
How to Create Your Second Life at Any Age

~=~=-=~=-=-=~=sales support the site=~=-=-=~=-=~=~

Some people my age (62) believe it is too late to follow their dream. You don’t have to be 62 to believe it is too late. In fact, I was only 26 when I felt that way. You see, a friend asked me to join him in going to university. “But I’m too old,” I said, “Everyone GRADUATES when they’re 22; I’m already 26 and haven’t even started.”

“However,” he said, “In four years, you will be four years older whether you go to the university or not. Which would you rather be, four years older with a degree, or four years older without one?” Those words changed my life. I suddenly realized you’re never too old to follow your dream. So, I started school. After cramming four years of study into three, I got my degree, then decided to continue and went on to graduate school. See, it’s never too late. Unless you don’t start.

Is it really true that you’re never too old to start a new career or make a dramatic change in your life? What if you’re 72, or 82? Isn’t that too old to learn a new language? Not so. Two thousand years ago, the Roman Statesman, Cato, learned Greek at age 80.

Can you be creative in old age? How about Goethe? His greatest Work, Faust, wasn’t completed until he was 80. And Michelangelo was 71 when he painted the Sistine Chapel.

More examples? Luigi Cornaro, a Venetian scholar, started writing on geriatrics at the age of 83. His classic treatise, The Joys of Old Age, was written in 1562, when he was 95. In modern times, the great philosopher, mathematician, and pacifist, Bertrand Russell, participated and was arrested in an antinuclear demonstration when he was 89.

We mustn’t forget about Grandma Moses, who started painting at 80. Did you know twenty-five percent of her more than 1,500 paintings were done after she was one hundred?

~Chuck Gallozzi in “Never Too Late

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul. - Ella Wilcox

It’s never too late to jump back in the game of life.

A quote that I have on a wall in my bedroom reads: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot

I love this quote because it reminds me that the possibilities for my life are endless. It reminds me to hang on to my dreams and not become discouraged because some might consider me too old — too foolish or, because I’ve made mistakes and bad decisions in the past.

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Wow! I’m reminded of times when I didn’t trust my own intuition. — Of times when I stopped short because I was afraid of what others might think. — Of times I gave up because I did not understand my own power.

I’m stronger now. I’m wiser now. I now know that it is never too late to jump back in the game of life. I can dream again — dream big and accomplish big and wonderful stuff. I now know that ‘it ain’t over ’til I say so’.

~Wambui Bahati, “It’s Never Too Late

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“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity.
They seem to be more afraid of life than death.”
— James F. Byrnes —
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Triple ta, Dorian aka coffeesister |_|)
~=~=-=~=-=-=-=~=-=~=~
Take a moment to Drink Deeply @ coffeesister.net
Freshly brewed warmth & wisdom poured into every post..

PS: Getting these via e-mail yet?! Request it here!? Rest assured your address won’t be used for anything else & there’s only one e-mail each day so try it out.