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"The Promised Land always lies on the other side of the wilderness." -Havelock Ellis

If you know me, you can acknowledge my obsession with books. But if you really know me, you know how much I love Sarah Ban Breathnach, truly one of my most favorite authors. I've started reading her books again, because they give me such a lift and remind me to have a more grateful heart.

Ty hasn't been feeling well, so he fell asleep early. Back home at my apartment now, I'm listening to Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" and perusing some of my favorite books, Sarah's included, and wanted to share some of my favorite thoughts (and probably songs as the playlist moves on).

"Wilderness--a bleak, numbing word that instantly calls to mind a feeling of hopelessness, nothingness, barrenness, and most of all, a sense of powerlessness. There's a reason that the biblical expression "the voice of one crying in the wilderness' has come to mean abject abandonment. You can wail and gnash your teeth all you want, but in the Wilderness no one hears your heart tearing asunder except God, who presumably sent you there. Ironically, according to ancient legend, the world Wilderness didn't conjure up a place of punishment, but rather a place of learning, spiritual growth, understanding, healing, and accomplishment. It referred to a wellspring of Divine energy in the guise of despair, hardship, and pain; your experience in the Wildernes was designed to prepare or propel you toward your destiny. Or pry you loose from whatever was keeping you from it." - Sarah Ban Breathnach, Something More pg. 176

There's no such thing as chance
And what to us seems merest accident
Springs from the deepest source of destiny

"Here's what I caught myself thinking about in meditation this morning.
"I was wondering where I should live once this year of traveling has ended. I don't want to move back to New York just out of reflex. Maybe a new town, instead. Austin is supposed to be nice. And Chicago has all that beautiful architecture. Horrible winters, thought. Or maybe I'll live abroad. I've heard good things about Sydney...If I lived somewhere cheaper than New York, maybe I could afford an extra bedroom and then I could have a special meditation room! That'd be nice. I could paint it gold. Or maybe a rich blue. No, gold. No, blue...
"Finally, noticing this train of thought, I was aghast. I thought: Here you are in India, in an Ashram in one of the holiest pilgramage sites on earth. And instead of communing with the divine, you're trying to plan where you'll be meditating a year from now in a home that doesn't yet exist in a city yet to be determined. How about this, you spastic fool--how about you try to meditate right here, right where you actually are?
"I pulled my attention back to the silent repetition of the mantra.
"A few moments later, I paused to take back that mean comment about calling myself a spastic fool. I decided maybe that wasn't very loving.
"Still, I thought in the next moment, a gold meditation room would be nice."
- Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love pg 171-172

“Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.” - Sarah Ban Breathnach
"Every time we remember to say 'thank you,' we experience nothing less than heaven on earth." - Sarah Ban Breathnach
"Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend."
— Elizabeth Gilbert

"Look for God. Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water." - Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray Love

"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts." - Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

"Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be... a prudent insurance policy." - Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

"Life's metaphors are God's instructions." - Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

"I thought about one of my favorite Sufi poems, which says that God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. I was never not coming here. This was never not going to happen." - Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
"...God never slams a door in your face without opening a box of Girl Scout cookies..." - Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Just for fun:
"As David once put it, 'You have the opposite of a poker face. You have, like . . . miniature golf face.'"
- Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love pg 41

And a good song to end with: "Boulders" by New Found Glory ("Coming Home" album)

2 Responses so far.

  1. Ann says:

    Wow...I really love that wilderness thought. Thanks :)

    Love ya!

  2. You're welcome! :) Love you too!


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