IQ: Inspiring Quotations

As much as Karen and Kate enjoy dancing and teaching they also love to read. Passages are posted below:

"We do not see things as they are.  We see things as we are."
 --The Talmud

"Artistic Growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness.  The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is."
--Willa Cather

“By happiness I mean here a deep sense of flourishing that raises from an exceptionally healthy mind. This is not a mere pleasurable feeling, a fleeting emotion or a mood, but an optimal state of being. It’s like someone who is well-built physically. He’s not going to win a medal at the Olympics just because he was born stronger; he has to train an enormous amount. Of course a gifted guy will do much better than someone like me who cannot jump anything, but without training you can’t succeed at anything. You don’t really train on the skill of happiness on its own, however. Rather happiness is the byproduct, the overall result of a cluster of skills that combined give wisdom, inner freedom and compassion.” Matthieu Ricard, author of Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. – Chinese Proverb

About writing and the brain:
“The ability to use language not just to communicate but to plan and direct future action is at the core of humanity. Language improves and refines our thoughts, allowing us to remove ourselves from the present, to symbolically hold objects in our minds and manipulate them into different potential sequences before taking action. ” John Ratey, A User’s Guide to the Brain, p. 253

Michael Stone, author of Yoga for a World out of Balance, says:
"I think Western psychology has been unclear of its goal. If you ask a group of two hundred therapists, which I have done, what the goal of therapy is, they give you many, many different responses. But Patanjali, for example, is very clear about the goal of yoga, which is to see through the illusion of self. To see through the inherent emptiness of self-image. And that it’s not enough for us just to rework our understanding of our problems. Most of our approaches to our psychological symptoms are based on the assumption that if you go back into the past, somewhere in your personal memory, you will be able to find the root of your present problem. Of course, when you go back into the past, you’re going to find a good story. There is an assumption that the story will have such explanatory power that it will make the symptom go away in the present. Western psychotherapy is caught in the delusion that our problems are primarily derived from memories in our personal past. So we go looking to the storehouse of memory in our personal past to heal our wounds in the present. Yoga disagrees. I’ve seen a lot of people who have done so much therapy they can talk about their problems from a Freudian perspective, a Jungian perspective, a feminist perspective, and so on. But yet, even though they know about their problems, they still don’t know how to let them go. They don’t know how to work with them because what they are missing is the present experience. When a symptom arises in present experience, it’s in present experience; it’s not in the past." full interview here

In Born to Run, a book about the Tarahumara in Mexico who can run extremely long distances, Christopher McDougall writes “They remembered that running was mankind’s first fine art, our original act of inspired creation. Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees, we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain…" Maybe some of the wild popularity of professional athletes today can be traced to this primal and deeply affirming sensation. Even if we cannot achieve extraordinary speeds and heights, we still desire to see others make the attempt. Later in the book the author quotes William James: “Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction.”