Embracing Winter

The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, as well as the official start of winter. While winter can be a challenging season—especially for those of us living in northern climes—there can be moments of beauty and majesty during those months.

Prepare yourself for winter by reading these inspiring quotes:

“While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.” — Tom Allen

“Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” — Pietro Aretino

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” — William Blake

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.'” — Lewis Carroll

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”
— Anton Chekhov

“Snow was falling, so much like stars filling the dark trees that one could easily imagine its reason for being was nothing more than prettiness.” — Mary Oliver

“A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder.” — Susan Orlean

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for a home.”
— Edith Sitwell

“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” — Paul Theroux

“The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.” — Gary Zukav

Happy Winter Solstice!


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Happy Bodhi Day!

Today, we celebrate the transformation of Siddhartha Gautama into the spiritual leader we know as the Buddha.

A bit of history…

Born a prince in Nepal, Siddhartha lived a comfortable and sheltered life. While he could easily have enjoyed those circumstances, he traveled about the country witnessing the misery of old age, sickness, and suffering. Profoundly affected, he chose to leave his palatial home and seek the meaning of life.

He spent six years living the life of an aesthetic and served six teachers. Still unsatisfied, he tried different disciplines, among them surviving by eating only one grain of rice each day.

Frustrated, he vowed to sit under the Bodhi tree until he had answers. After fasting and meditating for an entire week, he woke up on the morning of the eighth day and experienced enlightenment. Those realizations became the basis of modern-day Buddhism.

Here are ten of my favorite quotes from the Buddha…

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

The mind is everything. What you think you become.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.


In Praise of Quotes

In my late teens, I started a quote collection. I would underline sentences (and sometimes entire paragraphs) in books and jot down inspiring thoughts from other print media. I would then copy these words of wisdom into a journal. When I joined Pinterest, I set aside a page—Words I Love— where I recopied these words of wisdom. To date, I have accumulated over 400 quotes.

Maintaining a personal collection of quotes has helped me immensely. Here are some of the benefits I have discovered:

• Quotes have the power to transform moods. While books and movies can accomplish the same goal, quotes do it faster. I don’t have to invest hours of my time to experience the same effects. Whenever I need a quick jolt of inspiration, I click on my Pinterest page or visit one of many twitter hashtags devoted to quotes, among them #Quoteoftheday, #Inspirationalquotes, and #quotes.

Continue on reading on the Island Confidential blog.


10 Favorite Dream Quotes

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Christine Grabowski to the Power of 10 series. Today, Christine shares her dream quotes and her debut novel, Dickensen Academy.

Here’s Christine!

I released my debut novel, Dickensen Academy, last month. Without giving away the premise, the book deals with multiple variations of the meaning for dreams.

Today, I’m sharing my favorite dream quotes. (Some of these are used in so many places, the original author is unknown.)

1 – A dream is a wish your heart makes when it’s fast asleep. ~ Cinderella

2 – Cherish yesterday. Dream tomorrow. Live today.

3 – Don’t dream your life, live your dreams.

4 – Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. Dreams are Forever. ~ Tinkerbell

5 – If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse. ~ Walt Disney

6 – All of your dreams can come true, if we have the Courage to pursue them. ~ Walt Disney

7 – Dream as if you could live forever… Live as if you only have today.

8 – Dreams don’t work unless you do.

9 – It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

10 – If you work hard, your dreams may become your reality. ~ Josh from Dickensen Academy

Blurb

Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.

Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.

When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?

Book Trailer

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Bio

After graduating from the University of Washington, Christine earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.

She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA).

When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.

Where to find Christine…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub


Honoring Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin has passed away at the age of 76. A talented pianist with a powerful voice, Ms. Franklin is considered one of the best-selling musical artists of all time. She achieved commercial acclaim and success with such songs as “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” and “Spanish Harlem.”

The recipient of many accolades—among them 18 Grammy Awards and 112 charted hits—she also earned the “Queen of Soul” title and stood as a symbol of black empowerment during the Civil Rights Movement.

One of the truly amazing voices of our time!

My favorite quotations from Aretha Franklin:

I sing to the realists. People who accept it like it is.

Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, it’s uplifting, it’s encouraging, it’s strengthening.

Never take the music for granted…whether you have a hit or not.

Sometimes, what you’re looking for is already there.

People really don’t have to give you anything, so appreciate what people give you.

It really is an honor if I can be inspirational to a younger singer or person. It means I’ve done my job.

My faith always has been and always will be important to me.

Every birthday is a gift. Every day is a gift.

Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.

Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I’m using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use. I’m happy with that.

My favorite song …


Honoring Amelia Earhart

Born this day in 1897, author and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. For this flight record, she received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross.

Ms. Earhart continued to set record after record demonstrating that women could aspire to the same heights as men. And even more amazing she was able to transform her hobby into a career going on to become an author, lecturer, poet, and airline industry vice-president.

A powerful role model, she continues to inspire girls and women of all ages.

My favorite quotations from Amelia Earhart:

Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?

Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.

Some of us have great runways already built for us. If you have one, take off! But if you don’t have one, realize it is your responsibility to grab a shovel and build one for yourself and for those who will follow after you.

There’s more to life than being a passenger.

Never do things others can do and will do if there are things others cannot do or will not do.

Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture.

The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do.

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.

Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying.

Happy National Amelia Earhart Day!


Happy Birthday Dalai Lama!

Today, the Dalai Lama celebrates his 83rd birthday. The recipient of numerous awards, among them the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, he continues to inspire us with messages of non-violence and universal compassion.

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Here are ten of my favorite quotes from His Holiness…

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.

Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.

In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.

Someone else’s action should not determine your response.

Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.

Anger or hatred is like a fisherman’s hook. It is very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by it.

I always say that people should not rush to change religions. There is real value in finding the spiritual resources you need in your home religion.