Quotes from “The Genesee Diary: Report from a Trappist Monastery” by Henri J. M. Nouwen

As often occurs, I read this book at the request of a friend I admire who would like to discuss it. This particular individual touts the diary of a catholic priest’s 7 month monastic sabbatical as her favorite book of all time. While I am not quite so captured, I did find myself embracing this work at a deeper level as I journeyed through the months. I chose my words in that last sentence carefully. It’s not that I ‘liked’ the book more as I read on; it’s more like a sense of self-reflection began to occur as the days and various thoughts were contemplated.

Worry/Anxiety:

When God is my only concern, when God is the center of my interest, when all my prayers, my reading, my studying, my speaking, and writing serve only to know God better and to make him known better, then there is no basis for anxiety or stage fright.

Beauty/Loneliness:

On this earth the experience of great beauty always remains mysteriously linked with the experience of great loneliness.

Continue reading “Quotes from “The Genesee Diary: Report from a Trappist Monastery” by Henri J. M. Nouwen”

Quotes from “Elite Minds” by Dr. Stan Beecham

There is nothing more important to your health – and, ultimately, your life – than what you believe to be true.

The full title of this book is “Elite Minds – How Winners Think Differently to Create a Competitive Edge and Maximize Success”. That full title, along with a recommendation from a friend, is what brought this book into my reading queue. However, I was quite skeptical that this would be yet another rehash of the same content floating in the self-help success genre for the past 20 years. I was pleasantly surprised. Continue reading “Quotes from “Elite Minds” by Dr. Stan Beecham”

“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz

Tom Brady is among the best quarterbacks in the history of football. Though that statement is argued by professional analysts and armchair quarterbacks, results matter. Tom Brady’s results speak loud a clear.

After a controversial ending to the 2015 NFL season, Tom Brady was preparing for his 5 week late entry into the 2016 schedule. Headed into his return to lead the New England Patriots, Brady accepted an ESPN interview. Brady was asked how he continues to perform at such a high level at an age when most professional athletes have either retired or are seeing their best days in the rearview mirror. Brady talked about keeping his mind right. He specifically stated that he rereads one book every year to help him with that.

So, Tom Brady says there is one book worth rereading every year, and that one book has been a primary key to his success! Naturally, I ordered the book quite immediately.

The book presents Toltec ideology for practical application. While some of the spiritual elements required me to take pause, the wisdom shared is of value to any person seeking life lived well.

The Four Agreements are:

  1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Through the word you express your creative power. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid speaking against yourself or others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of where they are in life.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions. Be willing to express your desired. Communicate clearly. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
  4. Always Do Your Best: Know that your best may be different at different times. Wherever you are, give your best that day and you will have nothing to regret.

A few quotes that I underlined while reading are:

  • Everything is made of light, and the space in-between isn’t empty. Everything that exists is one living being, and that light is the messenger of life, because it is alive and contains all information.
  • Everything in existence is a manifestation of the one living being we call God.
  • Everything is God.
  • What you are seeing and hearing right now is nothing but a dream.
  • To have faith is to believe unconditionally.
  • Even if the Book of Law is wrong, it makes you feel safe.
  • How many times do we pay for one mistake? The answer is thousands of times. The human is the only animal on earth that pays a thousand times for the same mistake. The rest of the animals pay once for every mistake they make. But not us. We have a powerful memory. We make a mistake, we judge ourselves, we find ourselves guilty, and we punish ourselves. If justice exists, then that was enough; we don’t need to do it again. But every time we remember, we judge ourselves again, and again, and again. If we have a wife or husband he or she also reminds us of the mistake, so we can judge ourselves again, punish ourselves again, and find ourselves guilty again. Is this fair?
  • Impeccability means “without sin”.
  • A sin is anything you do which goes against yourself.
  • Being impeccable with your word is not using the word against yourself.
  • How much you love yourself and how you feel about yourself are directly proportionate to the quality and integrity of your word.
  • If you don’t take it personally, you are immune in the middle of hell.
  • We have the habit of dreaming with no basis in reality.
  • It is not important if the answer is correct; just the answer itself makes us feel safe. This is why we make assumptions.
  • The best way to say, “I love you, God,” is to live your life doing your best.
  • The best way to say, “Thank you, God,” is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now.
  • Whatever life takes away from you, let it go.
  • Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.
  • The first three agreements will only work if you do your best.
  • True freedom has to do with the human spirit – it is the freedom to be who we truly are.
  • Just like hell, heaven is a place that exists within our mind.
  • Forgiveness is the only way to heal.
  • How are we to become a warrior?… The warrior has awareness… The warrior has control… The big difference between a warrior and a victim is that the represses, and the warrior refrains.
  • Only love has the ability to put you in that state of bliss.
  • Love in action only produces happiness.
  • Love will give you inner peace.

“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens

Dickens is among my very favorite authors. While his stories are indeed outstanding, the language by which he tells them is what captivates me. The well known opener, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” begins this most excellent literary prose of genius.

The political relevance of this book could not be more apropos of our various institutionalized mindsets seeking to rise from their own collective oppression.

Even while exploring the darkest of human themes, the story is eloquently told. If Robin Williams is right and language was given for the purpose of wooing women, I am confident that Dickens would’ve had no trouble filling his harem.