Honoring Queen Elizabeth II

Earlier today, Queen Elizabeth died peacefully at Balmoral.

The longest-reigning monarch in Great Britain, Queen Elizabeth leaves an extraordinary legacy. A steadying force through many crises during the seventy years of her reign, she oversaw the transition from a British Empire and Dominion to a Commonwealth of equal nations. She became the most well-traveled monarch in history, visiting over 100 countries. Her message of continuity and stability has resonated with millions worldwide.

My Favorite Quotations from Queen Elizabeth II

“It’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.”

”It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult.”

“When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.”

“I have to be seen to be believed.”

“It is through this lens of history that we should view the conflicts of today, and so give us hope for tomorrow.”

“Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves–from our recklessness or our greed.”

“We may hold different points of view but it is in times of stress and difficulty that we most need to remember that we have much more in common than there is dividing us.”

“By being willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together, we honour the freedom and democracy once won for us at so great a cost.”

“With age does come experience and that can be a virtue if it is sensibly used.”

“Even when your life seems most monotonous, what you do is always of real value and importance to your fellow men.”

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Honoring Olivia Newton-John

A pop culture icon and activist for environmental and animal rights, Olivia Newton-John bravely shared her three-decade battle with cancer.

Olivia was born in England and emigrated to Australia as a child. She achieved early success in music competitions and sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. She shot to global fame when she was cast as Sandy in the musical Grease.

After receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer, Olivia became a leading advocate for cancer research. In addition to promoting plant-based treatments and spearheading fundraising walks, she created the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

Her philanthropic efforts were recognized by Queen Elizabeth in 2020.

Dame Olivia Newton-John passed away yesterday at the age of 73.

My favorite quotations from Olivia Newton-John:

I believe love is what makes the world go round. No matter how old or young, love is why we are here. It is the very essence of one’s being.

I love that quiet time when nobody’s up and the animals are all happy to see me.

I do have high standards, but I don’t expect anything from anyone that I don’t expect from myself.

We wake up and are grateful for the day. Not taking away from the pain, because the pain will be there. But you live on.

I look at my cancer journey as a gift: It made me slow down and realize the important things in life and taught me to not sweat the small stuff.

My biggest mistake was my best lesson…you don’t learn anything when everything is going perfectly.

My memories are inside me – they’re not things or a place – I can take them anywhere.

To ‘be loved’ is the most basic of human needs. Like a flower, it waters the human soul. But ‘to love’ is a true blessing.

Cancer got me over unimportant fears, like getting old.

Once you face fear, nothing is ever as hard as you think.

My favorite song

Honoring Madeleine Albright

A woman of great passion and intelligence, Madeleine Albright served as the first female Secretary of State in American history. During her tenure (1997- 2001), she worked to advance human rights, curb nuclear weapons, enlarge NATO, and mend Arab-Israeli relations. A fierce advocate for democracy, she received many awards and accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Madeleine Albright passed away yesterday (March 23, 2022) at the age of 84.

My favorite quotations from Madeleine Alright:

It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.

Our collective experience has shown that when women have the power to make their own choices, good things happen.

I have very set and consistent principles, but I am flexible on tactics.

I was taught to strive not because there were any guarantees of success but because the act of striving is in itself the only way to keep faith with life.

Whatever the job you are asked to do at whatever level, do a good job because your reputation is your résumé.

There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.

The difference between humans and other mammals is that we know how to accessorize.

The best book, like the best speech, will do it all—make us laugh, think, cry and cheer—preferably in that order.

History is written backwards but lived forwards.

The real question is: Who has the responsibility to uphold human rights? The answer to that is: Everyone.

Beyond Spilled Milk

Today is National Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, a day set aside to move beyond past disappointments and setbacks.

In its oldest form, the proverb was “No weeping for shed milk,” first coined by James Howell in 1659. While the proverb has evolved, it still retains its original intent: One cannot change what is done and crying over it serves no purpose.

Here are my Go-To quotations whenever I encounter setbacks:

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. Aristotle

When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in. Kristin Armstrong

Life is all about setbacks. A life lived without disappointment is a life lived in a cocoon. People have recovered from far worse setbacks. Tony Clark

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Thomas Edison

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
Martin Luther King

The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire, the size of your dream, and how you handle disappointment along the way. Robert Kiyosaki

What do you do when disappointment comes? When it weighs on you like a rock, you can either let it press you down until you become discouraged, even devastated, or you can use it as a stepping-stone to better things. Joyce Meyer

The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality. Conan O’Brien

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.
Beverly Sills

Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it. Eliza Tabor

Do you have a Go-To quotation? Please share in the comments.

Five Quotes that Will Calm Your Mind When You’re at a Crossroads

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

A long-time fan of bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff, I look forward to reading their emails and blog posts. Here are five inspirational quotes from a recent email:

1. Talk like you are blessed. Walk like you are blessed. Think like you are blessed. Work like you are blessed. And you will be.

2. It’s often our own thinking that hurts us the most. There’s no reason to imprison yourself. Don’t think outside the box. Think like there is no box.

3. Letting go isn’t forgetting, it’s remembering without fear. It’s stepping forward with a present mind and a lesson learned.

4. Our character is often most evident at our highs and lows. Be humble at the mountaintops, strong in the valleys, and faithful in between.

5. It’s funny how we outgrow what we once thought we couldn’t live without, and then we fall in love with what we didn’t even know we wanted. Embrace life’s gradual evolution…

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.

Honoring Betty White

Betty White passed away on Friday, less than three weeks away from celebrating her 100th birthday. Actress, comedienne, author, and animal rights activist, she is one of Hollywood’s most beloved icons. Best known for her roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, Ms. White had a television career that spanned more than eight decades. In the 2014 edition of “Guinness World Records” she was certified as the longest ever female entertainer.

My favorite quotations from Betty White:

Butterflies are like women — we may look pretty and delicate, but baby, we can fly through a hurricane.

In my head, I’m the ultimate cougar. Animal lover that I am.

I just make it my business to get along with people so I can have fun. It’s that simple.

The older you get, the better you get. Unless you’re a banana.

Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren’t going to get rid of me that way.

You don’t fall off the planet once you pass a given age. You don’t lose any of your sense of humor. You don’t lose any of your zest for life, or your lust for life.

I know it sounds corny, but I try to see the funny side and the upside, not the downside. I get bored with people who complain about this or that. It’s such a waste of time.

Everybody needs a passion. That’s what keeps life interesting. If you live without passion, you can go through life without leaving any footprints.

It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.

I have no regrets at all. None. I consider myself to be the luckiest old broad on two feet.

Happy National All or Nothing Day!

Celebrate this day by throwing caution to the wind and going for broke.

Think of one goal you would like to accomplish but feel fearful or hesitant to do so. It could be writing a novel, running a marathon, eschewing sugar, improving your technology skills, learning a new craft, decluttering your home…

Decide to make the necessary changes and then take that first small step.

Here are ten quotations to inspire you:

Even the greatest was once a beginner. Don’t be afraid to take that first step. Mohammed Ali

The most effective way to do it, is to do it. Amelia Earhart

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. Anne Frank

Well done is better than well said. Benjamin Franklin

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.
Estée Lauder

Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned. Peter Marshall

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Mark Twain

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Lao Tzu

You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great. Zig Ziglar

Honoring President Abraham Lincoln

Born this day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He led the country through its Civil War and preserved the Union. He also abolished slavery, strengthened the Federal Government, and modernized the economy.

An extraordinary man and leader, he is consistently ranked among the greatest American presidents.

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I’m honoring his birthday by sharing 10 favorite quotes:

Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then… find the way.

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.


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.

More Inspiration from Cheryl Strayed

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

I highly recommend Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed. This delightful collection contains more than 100 inspirational quotations from Cheryl’s books.

Here are some of my favorites: