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The Right Words at the Right Time

Eight Sources of Inspiration Twenty Years Later...

by Carolyn A. Romano, Bliss Healing Arts
February 2008

In writing the introduction to this month’s newsletter, I started to think about the quotes I might meticulously print on index cards and hang in my high school locker if I were there today. Yes, the nerd lives on!  It didn’t take long for several quotes (eight to be exact) to come to mind. These “right words” and their impact on me are described below.

1.  “Follow your bliss and the Universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”  —Joseph Campbell. 

We’ve all heard this one, right?  In the PBS special, “The Power of Myth” which first aired in 1988, journalist Bill Moyers asked renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell what he would tell his students when they asked him what they should do with their lives.  Campbell’s answer was always the same: “Follow your bliss.”  The idea that our purpose for being on the planet is to do just that was a wake-up call for me and set in motion my journey to figure out just what was my bliss.  When I learned that there was a second half to this quote about the Universe showing up to support you when you are living “on purpose,” again I felt the call to action, the call to bliss. Amazing things have happened as a result. My question for you:  What bliss are you meant to follow?

2.  “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” —Anthony Robbins

Sounds so simple, I know, but raise your hand if you’ve known for a long time that you need to break some patterns in your life that just aren’t working for you. It shouldn’t be a news flash to us, but change doesn’t happen without a commitment to change and then, well, changing.  “But, I’m trying!” I hear someone protest.  Wait, is that coming from inside my own head?  Indeed, it is.  It makes me think that maybe I should add Yoda’s wisdom to Right Words No. 2, “There is no try, only do.”  We change or we do not change.  It is up to us.  My question for you:  Are you willing to do something different this time?

3.  “To get to the fruit of the tree, you’ve got to go out on a limb.”  —Will Rogers. 

I used to describe myself as risk-aversive.  For many years, I would immediately shoot down any suggestion—mine or someone else’s—that I stretch beyond my comfort zone.  After all, something might happen! I’d protest.  It took a while for my inner risk-taker to be heard above my frightened protestations, but she persevered and whispered, “You’re afraid something might happen? Isn’t that the point?”  Oh yeah.  This simple quote about the relationship between risk and reward reminds me to keep creeping further and further out on that branch, even when it seems awfully flimsy, or I hear the cracking sound of the branch straining under unaccustomed weight.  Why do this?  There’s nothing quite like biting into a juicy piece of fruit you’ve risked so much of yourself to pick.  My question for you:  When was the last time you took a risk?

4.   “Perspective is everything. To a worm, digging in the ground is more relaxing than going fishing.”  —Clyde Abel

Initially, you might think that casting a line on a quiet pond is much more enjoyable than digging a trench in the backyard, right?  Sure, if you’re human!  Now, imagine you’re an earthworm.  It’s ok.  No one is looking.  Can you see your pink, worm self twisting and turning in that cool, moist soil?  Notice how good you feel covered in slime. Now, imagine that same little guy twisting and turning on that cool, silver hook just before it becomes dinner?  Doesn’t feel quite so hot, does it?  You see my point.  My question for you:  From what perspective do you view the circumstances of your life and your ability to impact them?

5.  “Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”  —Joseph Campbell. 

I’ll admit Joseph Campbell is a favorite of mine, and here he is again showing up for me with more right words at the right time. I love the idea of finding gold when you’re flat on your face on the pavement. There is power in the mistakes we make, in the obstacles we overcome.  Indeed, great wisdom, humility, and patience often come from our most difficult experiences.  My question for you:  Are you willing to stumble?

6.  “Sometimes, the only way out is through.”  —Author Unknown

And when I’m in the throes of some of those difficult experiences, I have been known to resist.  I don’t want things to be the way they are.  I rail! I want to control, but there’s nothing I can do about it.  I can’t go around it, over it, or under it.  No other means of escape exists; I just gotta go through it.  Often when I finally accept that, I am instantly calm and able to move ahead.   My question for you:  What are you ready to face?

7.  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  —Margaret Mead, anthropologist

The synergy that comes from people joining together for a common purpose has been proven to me time and again.  Whether it’s my family and I working side by side on a project, the non-profit board of which I am a part marshalling resources to bring new life to a struggling organization, or my shamanic journeying circle sharing and benefiting from each other’s experiences, I am often humbled by what I witness when people gather to achieve a goal.  My question for you:  Are you surrounding yourself with other people who are committed to living full, meaningful lives?

8.  “Just do it.”  —Nike

Maybe Yoda was part of the marketing team that came up with this slogan.  It seems to take his wisdom from Right Words No. 2 to the next level.  At a certain point, all the thinking and feeling and gut checks in the world don’t mean a thing if you never act, never take a chance.  We don’t have all the time in the world to make our mark; we will eventually shuffle off this mortal coil.  There is a time to weigh and consider, and there is a time to act.   My challenge for you?:  Just do it.


© 2008 Carolyn A. Romano.  All Rights Reserved.  www.blisshealingarts.com



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