Monthly Archives: December 2014

Selected Georgia O’Keeffe Quotations

  • To create one’s own world, in any of the arts, takes courage.
  • Making your unknown known is the important thing.
  • Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.
  • I said to myself, I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me — shapes and ideas so near to me — so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down. I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.
  • I know I cannot paint a flower. I cannot paint the sun on the desert on a bright summer morning, but maybe in terms of paint color I can convey to you my experience of the flower or the experience that makes the flower of significance to me at that particular time.
  • When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.

Dag Hammarskjold

“A closed mind is a weakness, and he who approaches persons or painting or poetry without the youthful ambition to learn a new language and so gain access to someone else’s perspective on life, let him beware….”


Opening Gateways to New Growth

Life is a journey, there is no competition and no competitors despite what others may say. No one is really in front and no one really left behind. You are where you are on the journey, accept this, its fine. We are all here to learn and this is a lifetime undertaking.

Self-correction, the ability to reflect, examine, evaluate and adjust your life, is a vehicle for self-awakening which ultimately you, and only you alone, must undertake. And to ignore this aspect, to deny it’s importance in your life will only help to diminish it. As Socrates said: “ The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Avoid approval seeking behaviour which implicitly weakens your own position. It falsely acknowledges that others are somehow ‘ better,’ more knowledgeable, more able than us thus undermining our confidence and status. Simply put we are explicitly or implicitly asserting that others are somehow right and we are somehow wrong, a position that can only erode and diminish our standing.

Humility can never be forced, coerced or summoned up, that’s impossible, for humility is a natural, free flowing expression of gratitude that arises spontaneously within us when we feel our interconnectedness to every living thing. Humility is an expression of our respect for life in all its magnificent unfolding.

Listen to your inner voice, your inner calling then follow. This expression of intuition has greater judgement than what you think and will lead you to wherever you need to be. Just trust this process of new becoming.

Death is a reality of life, we all die and we must all come to terms with this. We may not have a choice over our death but we certainly have a choice on how we should live. So, live well, live truthfully, honestly, authentically and savour every moment of it. Invest all you can in its enrichment, in its expansion – before it’s too late.

You shouldn’t really show loyalty to someone who doesn’t show loyalty to you. It’s that simple. Loyalty is defined and marked by reciprocity and mutuality.

In truth we are all lost, lost in life with all its uncertainties and unpredictability. Accept this dynamic and adjust to its rhythms.

The deepest feelings in prayer come from the deepest feelings of gratitude.

Most of our decision making process is blind; there is simply no real way of fully knowing what the outcomes will be for a given decision. There are simply too many variables at work for us to weigh up and assess. Accept this reality, do the best that you possibly can but let go of the consequences of your actions, these have been worked out on a higher plain that is not for you to challenge and question.

Enjoy the fruits of your success, all that you have achieved, all that you have strived for but show appreciation for the gifts you have received and never forget the contributions, however small, others have made to your life.

Money should be used as a vehicle to gain valued experiences. In itself it is nothing; it has no real currency per se but a well spent, well lived life always has currency.

Patience emerges from a peaceful, relaxed mind that is prepared to wait. And wait we must if we are to finish the course, our life path.

Never REACT ( often a thoughtless, automatic, knee-jerk experience )

Just RESPOND ( a considered, thoughtful, fitting response ).

Open up an Awareness Journal of Self-Reflection that draws on what you are evaluating, re-evaluating and learning about life and the world around you. Give full attention and recognition to your perceptions, your feelings, your vision on life, befitting the pilgrim that you are.

Change your thinking and change your world – it’s as simple as that.

Remaining fixed in a non-negotiable position prevents us from moving forward. Renewal is available to us in every waking moment, if only we open our hearts and minds to it.

Michael Lewin

James Hollis


“ We can be driven by what we do not understand about ourselves.  The liberating power of Greek tragedy was that through suffering the hero came to wisdom, that is, a revised relationship between inner truth ( character ) and outer truth ( the gods or fate ). Our lives are tragic only to the degree that we remain unconscious of both the role of the autonomous complexes and the growing divergence between our nature and our choices.  Most of the sense of crisis in midlife is occasioned by the pain of that spilt. The disparity between the inner sense of self and the acquired personality becomes so great that the suffering can no longer be suppressed or compensated. What psychologist call Decompensation occurs. The person continues to operate out of the old attitudes and strategies, but they are no longer effective. Symptoms of midlife distress are in fact to be welcomed, for they represent not only an instinctually grounded self underneath the acquired personality but a powerful imperative for renewal.” 


“ From a therapeutic  standpoint symptoms are to be welcomed, for they not only serve as arrows that point to the wound, they also show a healthy, self-regulating psyche at work. “

“ Projections embody what is unclaimed or unknown within ourselves. Life has a way of dissolving projections and one must, amid the disappointment and desolation, begin to take up responsibility for one own satisfaction.  There is no one else out there to save us, to take care of us, to heal the hurt. But there is a very fine person within, one we barely know, ready and willing to be our constant companion . Only when one has acknowledged the deflation of hopes and expectations of childhood and accepted direct responsibility for finding meaning for oneself, can the second childhood begin.”


“ …so the turbulence of the Middle Passage may resemble a psychotic break wherein the person acts ‘ crazy ‘ or withdraws from others. If we realize that the assumptions by which a person as lived his or her life are collapsing, that the assembled strategies of the provisional personality are decompensating, that a world view is falling apart, then the thrashing about is understandable. In fact, one might even conclude that there is no such thing as a crazy act if one understands the emotional context. Emotions are not chosen, they choose us and have a logic of their own.”


“ One of the most powerful shocks of the Middle Passage is the collapse of our tacit contract with the universe- the assumption that if we act correctly, if we are of good heart and intentions, things will work out. We assume a reciprocity with the universe. If we do our part the universe will comply. Many ancient stories, including The Book of Job, painfully reveal the fact that there is no such contract, and everybody who goes through the Middle Passage is made aware of it. “


“ If I have not had my worth affirmed I will fear failure, avoid success and programme myself to a repetitive cycle of evading the tasks of life. Even if I feel no floor beneath me, I still must take step after step, laying down a strip of accomplishment each time until I have built my own floor.”


“ If the meaning of life is directly related to the scope of consciousness and personal development, then the invasions of the shadow at midlife are necessary and potentially healing. The more I know about myself, the more of my potential I can incarnate, the more variegated the tones and hues of my personality will be and the richer my experience of life.”

“We build a set of would-based behaviours and live out our handicapped vision and rationalizations and self-justifications.”


 “ When increasing pressure from within becomes less and less containable by the old strategies, a crisis of selfhood erupts. We do not know who we are really, apart from social roles and psychic reflexes. And we do not know what to do to lessen the pressure. Such symptoms announce the need for substantive change, and from new consciousness new life may follow. The task is daunting, for one must first acknowledge that there is no rescue, no parent to make everything better and no way to go back to an earlier time. The self has sought growth by exhausting the tired strategies of the ego. The ego structure which one worked so hard to create is now revealed to be petty, frightened and out of answers. At midlife the Self manoeuvres the ego assemblage into crisis in order to bring about a correction of course.”


“ Fear of our own depth is the enemy. We do not feel we have permission at midlife but permission must be seized, not requested. Fear, not others, is the enemy. But if we are afraid of our own depth, our passionate capacities, we ought to be even more afraid of the unlived life. Here are some axioms:

ONE  Life without passion is life without depth.

TWO  Passion, while sometimes dangerous to order, is the expression of the life force.

THREE One cannot draw near the gods, the archetypal depths, without risking the largeness of life which they demand and passion provides.

FOUR  Finding and following one’s passion serves ones individuation.

FIVE  When we become conscious of the largeness of our lives and reach beyond the confines of childhood and ethnocentricity, we then must say yes to our journey and risk all.” 


“ It is perfectly natural at midlife to feel distress about the diminution of energy and the undoing of all we have laboured to secure. But underneath the distress there is an invitation. The invitation is to shift gears for the next part of the journey, to move from outer acquisition to inner development.”



Thoughts on Wisdom

“ We become wise only when we come to regard all human beings as equal.  There can be no wisdom in prejudice. “ ANON

“ Age doesn’t always come with wisdom. Sometimes age comes all by itself.” Anon

“ Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers. “ Alfred Lord Tennyson

“ Wisdom is not wisdom unless it comes through making mistakes.” Anon

“ Those who are wise forever seek wisdom;  those who are foolish believe they have found it.” Anon

“ No man is born wise. Wisdom cannot be learned, for it is a journey of discovery where the destination remains unknown.” Anon

“ Time ripens all things;  no person is born wise.” Cervantes

“ Don’t try to predict the future instead try to invent it. “ Anon

“ Those who would be constant in happiness and wisdom must change often.” Confucius

“ Those who wish to sing will always find a song.” Anon

“ I long to accomplish a great and noble task but my chief duty is to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” Helen Keller

“ Don’t let your triumphs go to your head or your failures go to your heart.” Anon

“ The fool waits for something wonderful to happen, the wise man finds wonder in the everyday.”  Anon

“ If you are wise you will you can accommodate yourself to all the many contingencies of life; if you are a fool, you will struggle against them, like a swimmer against the tide. “ Anon

“ The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting;  by doubting we come to the question, and by seeking we may come upon the truth.” Pierre Abelard

“ The doors of wisdom are never shut.” Benjamin Franklin

“ Believe those who are seeking the truth, doubt those who find it. “ Andre Gide

“ The art of being wise is ther art of knowing what to overlook.” William James

“ A mistake is just another way of doing things.” Katharine Graham

“ Nothing in life is to be feared It is only to be understood.” Marie Curie

“ No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.“ Voltaire


The purity and power of love will heal any wound

Love frees us from the heartache of not belonging

To live and love are the greatest of rewards

Whatever the problem, at the deepest level the response must always be one of love

To live fully and completely one must love with all one’s heart

Love is not beholding to anyone or anything, it is complete within itself

Love always places us in a safe haven, a refuge from the storms of life

Love is the only power that can speak of kindness

Love absorbs, encompasses everything. It knows of no opposition

A life live without love is a wasted life

To experience an all encompassing love is to experience a tremendous release from the stresses and strains of this turbulent and restless world

Everything we do should come out of love

Love places us in a spaciousness of being that  feels a completeness and wholeness like no other

Make a full commitment to love. Let it fill your heart, your thoughts your entire being because life without it is not worth living

No questions arise from the spirit of love

Love only grows when it is shared

Love, in its fullness of being, is complete and fulfilled requiring nothing else

Love becomes fully itself when it forgets its very name

Everything in life, if allowed to follow a natural course, will eventually lead to love

Love is the only thing that is big enough to empower our lives for full, rich, deep living

Love, in full flow, breaks open our hearts to embrace everything

Love, at the deepest level knows of no opposition

Love expands us, makes us ‘ bigger ,‘  more able to absorb the  pain in our lives

Love provides firm anchorage in turbulent seas

Love embraces does not divide. Love unites does not separate

Love means overlooking the shortcomings in people in order to touch them at a deeper level

The supreme challenge is to love everyone despite everything

There is no reward outside of love, love  IS  the reward

We should not consider living our lives in a world without love

Love is the only thing worth living for. To nurture it in oneself and offer it up to others is the finest of gifts

Love is the only real response to the issues that confront the human condition

Become the person that you can love then you will be in a position to love others

Without love and compassion in our hearts we would remain in darkness

As one, single candle can light so many others without being diminished, so our love can carry a flame to many

In our journey through love we find the possibility of unity. In our journey through fear we find nothing but separation

I called for love and it came and danced at my feet

There is nothing really worthwhile outside of love

A loveless life is no life at all

The greater the love the greater the eventual loss

At the deepest level there are no more questions, only one solitary answer – and that is love

 Michael Lewin