see also introspection

Follow effective action with
quiet reflection.  From the
quiet reflection will come
even more effective action.

Peter F. Drucker (also
attributed to James Levin)


Only by much searching and mining are gold and diamonds obtained, and one can find every truth connected with one's being if that person will dig deep into the mine of his or her soul.

James Allen


Reflection is in many ways a lost art.  It is an eyepiece to a world hidden away, the world within ourselves which is alive with truths and beauties and darkness we have never glimpsed.  It seems sad that we slice our time too thin for dreaming long dreams and thinking long thoughts.  We've grown uncomfortable with that sort of thing.  For a long time I had been uneasy left alone.  I would snap on the television or grab a book or make brownies.  Anything.  I suppose we are restless all alone with ourselves, all alone in a room with a stranger.  What if we face ourselves and find we don't like the person we meet?  I didn't even want to spend much time in prayer because God might confront me and I'd have to look at myself.

Sue Monk Kidd


The stories of past courage. . . can offer hope, they can provide inspiration.  But they cannot supply courage itself.  For this each person must look into his or her own soul.

John F. Kennedy


A string of excited, fugitive, miscellaneous pleasures is not happiness; happiness resides in imaginative reflection and judgment, when the picture of one's life, or of human life, as it truly has been or is, satisfies the will, and is gladly accepted.

George Santayana


Seeing within changes one's outer vision.

Joseph Chilton Pearce


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The longest journey of any person is the journey inward.

Dag Hammerskjold

By three methods we may learn wisdom:  First, by reflection,
which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and
third by experience, which is the bitterest.


The real person smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress,
and grows brave by reflection.

Thomas Paine


There is one art of which we all should be master,--the art of reflection.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


The unexamined life is not worth living.


Only when the clamor of the outside world is silenced will you
be able to hear the deeper vibration.  Listen carefully.

Sarah Ban Breathnach


Reflection must be reserved for solitary hours; whenever
she was alone, she gave way to it as the greatest relief; and
not a day went by without a solitary walk, in which she might
indulge in all the delight of unpleasant recollections.

Jane Austen

see also introspection

Glowing moments of peaceful reflection kindle the growth of our minds and spirits.


I sincerely believe that there is a time in life for drifting.  There is a time
for sitting back and getting in touch with yourself.  Some of our most
interesting illuminations and ideas will come when we take time
to reflect, time to kick back and cruise awhile.

Rudolfo Anaya


When we withdraw from our immersion in doingness, we gain perspective,
and our worldly affairs assume their proper place in the service of spirit.
This is why all great spiritual masters have taken time to retreat. Lao Tse
left the city, literally and metaphorically, to reclaim his soul,
and he would urge us to take the same journey.

Alan Cohen
The Tao Made Easy



They who will not reflect are ruined people.

Asian Proverb

Most true happiness comes from one's inner life, from the
disposition of the mind and soul.  Admittedly, a good inner life
is difficult to achieve, especially in these trying times.  It
takes reflection and contemplation and self-discipline.

William L. Shirer



You turn inward.  There's nothing to distract you, so you begin to look at yourself.

Frank Bianco


We must, like a painter, take time to stand back from our work,
to be still, and thus see what's what. . . True repose is standing
back to survey the activities that fill our days.

William McNamara


What we really have to do is take a day and sit down and think.
The world is not going to end or fall apart.  Jobs won't be lost.
Kids will not run crazy in one day.  Lovers won't stop speaking to you.
Husbands and wives are not going to disappear.  Just take that one
day and think.  Don't read.  Don't write.  No television, no radio,
no distractions.  Sit down and think. . . . Go sit in a church, or in
the park, or take a long walk and think.  Call it a healing day.

Maya Angelou


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We can learn to trust ourselves by inquiring within.  To practice
doing this, sit quietly, close your eyes, and for a minute focus your
attention on your breathing.  Gently visualize your inner wisdom as
a graceful butterfly.  Admire her beauty, and encourage your
butterfly to sit on your shoulder and whisper her wisdom
in your ear.  Be still and listen.

Sue Patton Thoele


There are times when minds need to turn to simple things. Perhaps
for a few of these nights all of us might do well to leave the briefcases
at the office and to read again the pages of the Bible, and to re-read
the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United
States. We might do well to stay home a few days and walk over the
fields, or to stand in the shelter of the barn door and reflect upon the
relentless and yet benevolent forces of Mother Nature. The laws of
nature are relentless. They can never be disobeyed without exacting
a penalty. Yet they are benevolent, for when they are understood
and obeyed, nature yields up the abundance that blesses
those who understand and obey.

Wheeler McMillen


It's important to be heroic, ambitious, productive, efficient, creative, and
progressive, but these qualities don't necessarily nurture the soul. The
soul has different concerns, of equal value: downtime for reflection,
conversation, and reverie; beauty that is captivating and pleasuring;
relatedness to the environs and to people; and any
animal's rhythm of rest and activity.

Thomas Moore


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Just because we increase the speed of information doesn't mean we
can increase the speed of decisions.  Pondering, reflecting
and ruminating are undervalued skills in our culture.

Dale Dauten

I love people who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength
from distress, and grow brave by reflection.

Thomas Paine


I wrote in a song that in the long, long trip of growing, there
are stops along the way.  It's important to know when we
need to stop, reflect, and receive.  In our competitive world,
that might be called a waste of time.  I've learned that those
times can be the preamble to periods of enormous growth.
Recently, I declared a day to be alone with myself.  I took a
long drive and played a tape.  When I got to the mountains,
I read and prayed and listened and slept.  In fact, I can't
remember having a calmer sleep in a long, long time.  The
next day I went back to work and did more
than I usually get done in three days.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers

Go far enough on the inner journey, they all tell us--go past
ego toward true self--and you end up not lost in narcissism
but returning to the world, bearing more gracefully the
responsibilities that come with being human.

Parker J. Palmer
Let Your Life Speak


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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