Winter and early spring are the most difficult months for me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I know this about myself, so I prepare with extra inspiration and self-care. I drink gallons of tea; black tea with cardamon is my morning drink, and then I switch to herbal teas the rest of the day. I apply essential oils on my skin and in diffusers to uplift my mood. I venture outside (when it’s not freezing!) and gather at least one found object—a stick, stone, dried leaf or mushroom, to place on my altar. And I light candles frequently, tea lights on my altar and a few on the kitchen table for meal times. These tiny practices make a huge difference in my overall wellness. They are by no means a cure-all for serious issues, but they can be a little added boost to lift my spirit.
I also love words. I write in journals, I add words to paintings, collages, and other art creations. I collect quotes and I have a serious book addiction. Intentional words are like whispers of a magical incantation or a blessed prayer. A few lines of poetry, an inspired quote, or a special passage from a thought-provoking book can have a magical affect on my thinking mind.
As a collector of words I have gathered 14 magical quotes and five inspired books to uplift your spirit and find courage when you feel the darkness:
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life—and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”
“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”
“You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.”
“I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.”
“I wish I could do whatever I liked behind the curtain of ‘madness.’ Then: I’d arrange flowers, all day long, I’d paint; pain, love and tenderness, I would laugh as much as I feel like at the stupidity of others, and they would all say: ‘Poor thing, she’s crazy!’ (Above all I would laugh at my own stupidity.)”
“I am my own muse, I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.”
“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”
bell hooks (intentional lower case)
“For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?”
“Living simply makes loving simple.”
“No black woman writer in this culture can write “too much.” Indeed, no woman writer can write “too much”…No woman has ever written enough.”
“When we experience this vital sense of connectedness, life becomes engaging and meaningful. In a living cosmovision, humanity is bonded with the heavens and the living Earth—an embodiment of the starlight from which all things flow.”
“Love and creative energy circulates through the world, rising up in the living imagination.”
“It is not the power to observe nature that is so important, but the power to worship it.”
Five books that are inspiring me right now:
How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Arielius, by Donald Robertson
The Faithful Gardener, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Restoring the Soul of the World, by David Fideler
Things That Join the Sea and the Sky, by Mak Nepo
The Unwinding and Other Dreamings, by Jackie Morris
May you find ways to stay creatively inspired during these long, cold, pandemic days.
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Photo: Gaman Alice via Unsplash; Joanna Kosinka via Unsplash