life - life 2 - life 3 - life 5 - life 6

Life is a moment-to-moment happening;
any attempt to possess it, save it,
or store it, is to lose the present moment.

A Spiritual Warrior


Life is short.  Each year passes more quickly than the previous one.  It’s easy to deny yourself many of life’s simple pleasures because you want to be practical.  Forget about practical and decide instead to become a joy collector.  Always be on the lookout for gifts without ribbons.  God is strewing them across your path right now.  His gifts come tagged with a note:  “Life can be wonderful.  Do your best not to miss it!”  Enjoy what it is before it isn’t anymore. . . . Dare to slip on a pair of bunny slippers once in a while!  Surprise yourself!  Enjoy the little things because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things!

Barbara Johnson


Life is learning which rules to obey, which rules not to obey, and the wisdom to tell the difference between the two.


Life is.  I am.  Anything might happen.
   And I believe I may invest my life with meaning.
   The uncertainty is a blessing in disguise.
   If I were absolutely certain about all things, I would spend my life in anxious misery, fearful of losing my way.  But since everything and anything are always possible, the miraculous is always nearby and wonders shall never, ever cease.

Robert Fulghum

Life is not something to be lived through:  it is something to be lived up to.  It is a privilege, not a penal servitude of so many decades on earth.

William G. Jordan


We must cultivate and defend particularity, individuality, and irregularity—life.
Human beings do not have a future in the collectivism of bureaucratic states
or in the mass society created by capitalism.  Every system, by virtue as much
of its abstract nature as of its pretension to totality, is the enemy of life.
As a forgotten Spanish poet, José Moreno Villa, put it with melancholy
wit:  “I have discovered in symmetry the root of much iniquity.”

Octavio Paz


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To recognize your capacity to affect life is to know yourself
most intimately and deeply, to recognize your real value and
power, independent of any role that you may have been given
to play or expertise you may have acquired.  It is possible
to strengthen or diminish the life around you in almost any role.
One of the ways in which we become dangerous to others is
to assume that our role or our expertise has in it such an inherent
capacity for good that we, occupying that role, can do no harm.
There is no role that absolves us of the responsibility to listen,
to be mindful that life is all around us, touching us.

Rachel Naomi Remen

Life just is.  You have to flow with it.  Give yourself
to the moment.  Let it happen.

Jerry Brown

Life is good and is always trying to do us a good turn if we will
only allow it to do so.

Henry T. Hamblin


Life is the ability to start over again.

Joan Chittister

Life is really simple,
but people insist on making it complicated.


The real trick is to stay alive as long as you live.

Ann Landers

Life was never meant to be a struggle;
just a gentle progression from one point
to another, much like walking through
a valley on a sunny day.

Stuart Wilde

You're only here for a short visit.
Don't hurry, don't worry, and stop
to smell the flowers along the way.

Walter Hagen


Life, like any other exciting
story, is bound to have
painful and scary parts,
boring and depressing
parts, but it's a brilliant
story, and it's up to us
how it will turn out
in the end.

Bo Lozoff


life - life 2 - life 3 - life 5 - life 6

It is a pity that the words "spiritual life" were ever invented,
for they have caused so much confusion.  For, in truth, there is
only life--everyday life--which is simply what is at every moment.

Robert Powell

Are we all living like this?  Two lives, the ideal outer life and
the inner imaginative life where we keep our secrets?

Jeanette Winterson


The difference is great between one's outside "life," the things which
happen to one, incidents, pains and pleasures, and one's "living."

Charlotte Perkins Gilman


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Life begins when a person first realizes how soon it ends.

Marcelene Cox

I don’t want to be a passenger in my own life.

Diane Ackerman


I have never given very deep thought to a philosophy of life, though I have
a few ideas that I think are useful to me.  One is that you do whatever comes
your way as well as you can, and another is that you think as little as possible
about yourself and as much as possible about other people and about things
that are interesting.  The third is that you get more joy out of giving joy to others
and should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.

Eleanor Roosevelt

It is fair to say that the world around you is a mirror.  Therefore
you have a lot more control over the future than you might think,
because you can shape your world just by being true
to what you really care about.

Bradley Trevor Greive

The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible,
to groom one's curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard,
and gallop over the thick, sunstruck hills every day. . . . It began as mystery,
and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.

Diane Ackerman


There is never a frozen moment.
Life flows and so must we.

Stephen C. Paul


To be alive is the biggest fear humans have.  Death is not
the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk
to be alive--the risk to be alive and express what we really are.

Don Miguel Ruiz


I wanted a perfect ending.  Now I've learned, the hard way,
that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have
a clear beginning, middle, and end.  Life is about not knowing,
having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it,
without knowing what's going to happen next.

Gilda Radner


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There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence
of a high, pure, simple, and useful life.

Booker T. Washington


I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

Dawna Markova


"Life, we think, measures us by how well we've succeeded, or how miserably we have failed," Old Hawk continued.  "On the other hand, perhaps life doesn't measure us at all, at least not in the same ways we measure ourselves.  Perhaps it doesn't expect us to succeed or fail.  Life may simply want us to make the journey in order to add to or detract from the whole.  To put it another way, when we reach the end of the journey that is each of our lives, we will be examples to those who come behind us.  Some of us, unfortunately, but perhaps necessarily, will be examples of how not to live life.  Others of us will be examples of how to live life."

Joseph M. Marshall III


Give the best you have received from the past to the best that
you may come to know in the future.  Accept life daily not as a cup
to be drained but as a chalice to be filled with whatsoever things are
honest, pure, lovely, and of good report.  Making a living is best
undertaken as part of the more important business of making a life.
Every now and again take a good look at something not made with
hands—a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream.  There will come
to you wisdom and patience and solace, and above all the assurance
that you are not alone in the world.

Sidney Lovett

life - life 2 - life 3 - life 5 - life 6

Out of the cacophony of random suffering and chaos that can mark
human life, the life artist sees or creates a symphony of meaning
and order. A life of wholeness does not depend on what we
experience. Wholeness depends on how we experience our lives.

Desmond Tutu

I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I
don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my
life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and
dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car
with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night
laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I
want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat
ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and
down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh,
glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.

Shauna Niequist
Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the
Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life

Rules for Being Human
Cherie Carter-Scott

1.  You will receive a body.  You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period.

2.  You will learn lessons.  You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called “life.”

3.  There are no mistakes, only lessons.  Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation.  The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”

4.  Lessons are repeated until they are learned.  A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it.  When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.

5.  Learning lessons does not end.  There’s no part of life that doesn’t contain its lessons.  If you’re alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.

6.  “There” is no better a place than “here.”  When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”

7.  Other people are merely mirrors of you.  You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

8.  What you make of your life is up to you.  You have all the tools and resources you need.  What you do with them is up to you.  The choice is yours.

9.  Your answers lie within you.  The answers to life’s questions lie within you.  All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

10.  You will forget all this.  You can remember it if you want by unraveling the double helix of inner-knowing.

from If Life Is a Game, These Are the Rules
If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything 
I was trying to say both as a novelist and a preacher, it would be
something like this:  Listen to your life.  See it for the fathomless
mystery that it is.  In the boredom and the pain of it no less than in the
excitement and the gladness:  touch, taste, smell your way to the holy
and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments
are key moments and life itself is grace.

Frederick Buechner
Now and Then

It is the simple things of life that make living worthwhile,
the sweet fundamental things such as love and duty,
work and rest, and living close to nature.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

The trouble with many of us is that we just slide along in life.  If we
would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what
we want out of life that we give to the question of what to do with
a two weeks' vacation, we would be startled at our false standards
and the aimless procession of our busy days.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Just when summer gets perfect--fresh nights, soft sun, casual breezes,
crushingly full and quietly cooling trees, empty beaches, and free weekends-
it ends.  Life is like that too.  Just when we get it right, it starts to change.
The job gets easy and we know just how to do it, and they tell us we're
retired.  The children grow up and get reasonable and they leave home, just
when it's nice to have them around. . . . That's life on the edge of autumn.
And that's beautiful--if we have the humility for it.

Joan Chittister


It is never quite safe to think we have done with life.  When we
imagine we have finished our story fate has a trick of turning
the page and showing us yet another chapter.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

To some degree we all find life difficult, perplexing, and oppressive.  Even
when it goes well, as it may for a time, we worry that it probably won’t
keep on that way.  Depending on our personal history, we arrive at
adulthood with very mixed feelings about this life.  If I were to tell you that
your life is already perfect, whole, and complete just as it is, you would
think I was crazy.  Nobody believes his or her life is perfect.  And yet there
is something within each of us that basically knows we are boundless,
limitless.  We are caught in the contradiction of finding life a rather perplexing
puzzle which causes us a lot of misery, and at the same time being dimly
aware of the boundless, limitless nature of life.
So we begin looking for an answer to the puzzle.

Charlotte Joko Beck
Everyday Zen: Love and Work




Articles and book excerpts on life:

Born with Love      Marianne Williamson
Embracing Life      Rachel Naomi Remen

Good and Bad      Benjamin Hoff

Gratitude:  Why and for What?     Bernie Siegel

His Kind of Odds      Robert Fulghum

from Prescriptions for Living      Bernie Siegel

Pruning a Tree      Bernie Siegel

from Walden       Henry David Thoreau

A Complete and Balanced Life      Helaine Iris

Creating Your Own Life      Author Unknown

Developing a Reflective Life in the Midst of Turmoil      Asoka Selverajah

Edmund Pollard      Edgar Lee Masters

Emotional Response Primer      Louise Morganti Kaelin

Finding a Balance      Brian Dyson

Give Your Life Direction      T.W. Winslow

Living with the Heart of a Child      Joe Mazzella

How to Get More out of Life      Unknown Author

I Believe      John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

I'd Pick More Daisies      Don Herold

In This Day      Bob Perks

It's Your Life to Live      tom walsh

A Life of Choices:  The Choice That Is Life      Jane Mullikin

Living Fully      Laura Russell

Living Life Fully      tom walsh
Proverbs for Abundant Living      Brian Cavanaugh
A Psalm of Life      Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Start Living in Prime Time      Denis Waitley

Start Today      Joe Mazzella

Top Ten Principles to Live by--Plus One!      Louise Morganti Kaelin

What I Hope      Paul Harvey

What's Your View?      Ray Whiting
Rules for Being Human      unattributed
Life Is All Too Short:  Ways to Make It the Best It Can Be     Dennis Tesdale
Take a Deep Breath, Decide to Enjoy Life, and Feed the Birds     Brian Dickinson