I, like you, am a diehard Pinterest addict. It can be the most helpful vision board, recipe box, and inspiration rejuvenator of your life, and can also be a timesuck enabler. The latest Hour I Will Never Get Back was trolling for matte brown lipstick swatches. Really.
Enter, Land of Pinterest Quotes. Maya Angelou, Oscar Wilde, Louise Hay, Nelson Mandela and Eleanor Roosevelt pop up unexpectedly, offering gems that brighten my day, make me thing, or bring me to tears. They’ve gotten me through tough and joyful times, breakups and new romances, vague ennui and writer’s block-induced tantrums.
But there are a couple that really flipped the game. The ones that stuck with me. Some of them didn’t even come from Pinterest, but laid themselves before me while reading or doing research. They’ve burrowed into my consciousness and arise of their own accord nearly every day. They remind me to stay the course, to have faith, and to trust infinitely.
This one’s from A Course in Miracles, but also reminds me of reading Passionate Enlightenment by Miranda Shaw, where she tells of dakinis–female tantric adepts–posing as old women and hags to test their students and potential followers. If their students failed to look beyond their surface notions of what a guru should be, they weren’t taken on, and sometimes even punished!
If you subscribe to the idea that everyone has something to teach you, is saying something you need to hear, or needs to hear something from you, then this idea that every encounter is a holy one makes total sense. Imagine the presence and reverence you would pay to everyone you met. How engaged you could be.
I came across this in Passionate Enlightenment also, where Shaw references the Yogini Tantras. The Vajrayogini (the quintessential dakini deity) takes the female form so that women will see their own innate divinity in themselves and reflected to them through other women. What an incredible thought! When we criticize our own bodies or put others’ under scrutiny, it’s an act that is borderline blasphemous. To believe that every freckle, every jiggle, every follicle and stretchmark is divine–well that changes how you talk, how you move, how you nourish and treat yourself. Bam. Game changed.
Clive Barker has written stories that have disturbed me to my core. I still remember reading Books of Blood at a wildly inappropriate age and feeling the dread, the rawness, the terror well up within me as I tried to sleep. To this day, I write with the pointed goal of evoking that intense emotion in my readers.
Creatives are insane, in the most terrible, wonderful ways. The madness that plagues and blesses us is divinely inspired–it all depends where you take it. Spiritual, sexual, and drug-induced frenzies are intensely similar, and range from destructive to ecstatically transformative. The madness is the creative force, and the tugging that seems outrageous is the Source beckoning you to release, create, put truth out into the world. Heed the call.
As I heal and work through my own body issues, I came to this realization: my body is infinitely more wise than my mind. There is wisdom in every tense muscle, every twitch, every ache. Surrendering to that wisdom means moving when I want to move, napping when I want to nap, eating when I want to eat, going to be early if I’m sleepy. Also, not moving when I don’t want to move, not eating when I’m not hungry, not sleeping when I’m not tired. This has awakened an entirely new awareness in my day to day. I ask myself: am I hungry? What do I want to eat? How do I feel like moving today? I’ve stopped feeling guilty for sleeping “too late” and honor my daily, monthly, seasonal rhythms.
Shockingly, these four reminders aren’t the only ones that I like to keep in mind. Stay tuned for 4 more quotes that turned my world upside down.