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Angie #935489 12/03/21 01:29 PM
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The difference between misery and happiness depends on what we do with our attention.

Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg is a spiritual leader and meditation teacher who helped introduce Buddhist practices into Western culture in the 1970s. After a tumultuous childhood, Salzberg discovered meditation as a way to temper the chaos in her life. Her interest led her first to India for years of study, and then back to the U.S. where she co-founded the Insight Meditation Society. This quote comes from Salzberg’s book “Lovingkindness,” which encourages self-compassion as the first step to changing our perspective. We have more control over our outlook than we think, if we can learn to choose where to focus our energy.

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Angie #935491 12/04/21 10:01 AM
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If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s life was anything but normal. At the age of 16, she became the first Black woman to drive a San Francisco cable car. Later, after training as a dancer, actress, and singer, she toured with the musical “Porgy and Bess.” She also recorded an album of calypso music, wrote and acted in plays, composed film soundtracks, and organized protests against racial discrimination. Though she is now known primarily as a poet and autobiographer, she never limited herself to just one identity. Even Angelou’s writing practice might seem a bit eccentric: She would check herself into a hotel room in the morning with a legal pad, deck of cards, Bible, thesaurus, and a bottle of sherry, and write until early afternoon. The goal, as she put it, was to “enchant” herself: to "relive the agony, the anguish,” and to feel at last the ecstatic relief of telling her truth.

Angie #935499 12/05/21 09:00 PM
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The art of life is not controlling what happens to us, but using what happens to us.

Gloria Steinem

A key figure of the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem co-founded “Ms.” magazine (along with activist Dorothy Pitman Hughes), the first national feminist magazine in the U.S. Steinem also worked as a political columnist for “New York” magazine, and much of her reporting on women’s issues was groundbreaking: She wrote boldly on the societal pressure on women to choose between career and marriage, and went undercover to expose working conditions at the Playboy Club. Steinem has continued to tour the country as a speaker and women’s rights activist, pushing to elect more women to public office and promoting positive images of women in the media. Her lifelong commitment reminds us that we get to decide the impact our experiences have on our lives. While we may not control every outcome, we do have a choice in what motivates our actions.

Angie #935505 12/06/21 07:20 PM
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I remember Helen Keller. What an awesome person.

A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.
Helen Keller
Helen Keller knew more than her fair share of hardships. After a series of illnesses, she lost her sight and hearing before her second birthday. Instead of letting her struggles define her, Keller became famous for her unique ability to overcome. Her first teacher, Anne Sullivan, introduced her to language and taught Keller how to read and write. Keller later qualified for Radcliffe College of Harvard University, where she became the first deaf and blind person to receive a college diploma in the United States. As she often said, she found happiness in life by facing adversity with remarkable hope and optimism.

Angie #935508 12/07/21 11:33 AM
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I change myself, I change the world.

Gloria Anzaldúa

Gloria Anzaldúa was a Chicana poet and feminist theorist whose work often centered on intersectional identities. Born to a family of field workers on the Texas-Mexico border, Anzaldúa worked hard to earn a master’s degree in English and became a professor, simultaneously working with political groups such as farm worker collectives and feminist organizations. Anzaldúa’s writing often grapples with identity, and how it can shape not only our place in a community, but also our outlook on the world. The words above, from her 1987 book “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza,” are a reminder that working on our own personal development is the first step to shifting the world around us. In breaking down our own barriers, we make ourselves more effective vessels for change.

Angie #935520 12/09/21 09:46 AM
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Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

Will Durant

Historian and philosopher Will Durant is best known for co-authoring “The Story of Civilization,” an 11-volume series on Western history that he wrote with his wife Ariel Durant, originally published in 1935. His writings often synthesized complex philosophy concepts and historical events into digestible narratives for the modern reader. Though he was a professor and doctorate holder, Durant’s life wasn’t governed solely by studying. His material support of women’s suffrage and fairer working conditions equally guided his ideas about intolerance, morality, and justice. His words here encourage us to draw wisdom from our experiences as much as from learned knowledge.

Angie #935522 12/09/21 05:37 PM
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Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.

Pericles

Reading almost like a Russian nesting doll of wisdom, this quote from the ancient Greek statesman Pericles gives us a step-by-step understanding of how to achieve happiness, which, for him, begins with courage. In this formula, Pericles posits that in order to find joy and contentment in this life, we must have the liberty of choice, and to achieve and maintain that freedom, we must have ironclad will and unwavering devotion to our convictions.

Angie #935526 12/10/21 03:34 PM
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Life is a collection of moments. Mindfulness is beautification of the moments.

Amit Ray

Author and spiritual teacher Amit Ray often uses meditation as a technique to teach compassion and peace — within oneself and toward others. In this quote, Ray encourages living in the moment. Unless we are mindful of the present, time can slip past us without our awareness. But when we become more intentional about taking in and appreciating every moment, life takes on more beauty. Every occasion has the potential to be breathtaking — we just have to notice it.

Angie #935531 12/11/21 10:13 AM
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Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.

Ron Shelton

Known as America's pastime, baseball is a game full of superstitions and stories. This quote is given by a fictional pitcher, Nuke LaLoosh (played by Tim Robbins), in the movie “Bull Durham,” written by screenwriter and director Ron Shelton. A former minor leaguer himself, Shelton accurately spoke about the unpredictability of the game — and life itself. Sometimes the ball bounces your way, sometimes the better team loses, and sometimes, it rains.

Angie #935536 12/12/21 09:05 AM
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In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.

Alex Haley

Writer Alex Haley explored family deeply in his work, namely in his book “Roots,” which was adapted into the 1977 award-winning TV miniseries of the same name. The book depicts Haley’s own ancestors, who were abducted from Gambia and sold into slavery in the American South, and follows that lineage until Haley himself. Often focusing on Black stories and communities in his writing, Haley was adamant that family history is crucial in shaping one’s identity. Though family can be complicated, those ties can tell us plenty about ourselves — and where we want to go from here.

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