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I believe that life is a journey,
often difficult and sometimes
incredibly cruel, but we
are well equipped for it if only
we tap into our talents and gifts
and allow them to blossom.

Les Brown

   

Many authors and poets use the metaphor of a journey for the lives we lead,
and we thought it would be interesting to explore what they have to say about
this journey that we're all going through.  You might say that "The Garden of Life"
is the sister (or brother--okay, sibling) page to this one.

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.  Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.

H. Jackson Browne

      
A word grows to a thought, a thought to an idea, an idea to an act.  The change is slow, and the present is a sluggish traveler loafing in the path tomorrow wants to take.

Beryl Markham

  
  
If I lose my direction, I have to look for the North Star, and I go to the north.  That does not mean that I expect to arrive at the North Star.  I just want to go in that direction.

Thich Nhat Hanh
  

Whenever two ways lie before us, one of which is easy and the other hard, one of which requires no exertion while the other calls for resolution and endurance, happy are those who choose the mountain path and scorn the thought of resting in the valley.  These are the men and women who are destined in the end to conquer and succeed.

Anonymous

   
Though it is but by footsteps ye do it,
And hardships may hinder and stay;
Walk with faith, and be sure you'll get through it;
For "Where there's a will there's a way."

Eliza Cook
  

The tree which needs two arms to span its girth sprang from the tiniest shoot.
Yon tower, nine stories high, rose from a little mound of earth.  
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao-tzu

   

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Find a path or make one.

Seneca

  

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

   

It has not been, and never will be, easy work! But the road that
is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road
built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.

Marian Zimmer Bradley

   

Time is not measured by the years that you live
But by the deeds you do and the joy that you give--
And each day as it comes brings a chance to each one
To love to the fullest, leaving nothing undone
That would brighten the life or lighten the load
Of some weary traveler lost on Life's Road--
So what does it matter how long we may live
If as long as we live we unselfishly give.

Helen Steiner Rice

  

Find your true path.  It's so easy to become someone we don't want
to be, without even realizing it's happening.  We are created by
the choices we make every day.  And if we take action in order
to please some authority figure, we'll suddenly wake up down the
road and say, "This isn't me.  I never wanted to be this person."

Bernie Siegel

   

I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will
go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.

Muriel Strode

  

All paths are the same:  they lead nowhere. . . . They are paths going through
the bush, or into the bush.  In my own life I could say I have traversed long,
long paths but I am not anywhere.  My benefactor's question has meaning now.
Does this path have a heart?  If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't it is of
no use.  Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't.  One
makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it.  The
other will make you curse your life.  One makes you strong; the other weakens you.

Carlos Castaneda

  

Life isn't a destination--it's a journey.  We all come upon unexpected
curves and turning points, mountaintops and valleys.  Everything
that happens to us shapes who we are becoming.  And in the
adventure of each day, we discover the best in ourselves.

from the back of a greeting card

  

Live your life each day as you would climb mountains.  An occasional glance
towards the summit puts the goal in mind.  Many beautiful scenes can be observed
from each new vantage point. Climb steadily, slowly, enjoy each passing moment;
and the view from the summit will serve as a fitting climax to the journey.

Harold V. Melchert

   

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It can be tempting to blame others for our loss of direction.  We get lots of information
about life but little education in life from parents, teachers, and other authority figures,
who should know better from their experience.  Information is about facts.  Education is
about wisdom and the knowledge of how to love and survive.  But no matter how much
advice you get, you are the one who chooses which train to board.  As you pass through life,
pay attention to the signs and stations; if you don't like the scenery, pull the emergency cord
and get off the train.  There is no other conductor in charge.  There is no one who needs
to give you permission to transfer.  This is your life.  Your journey.  Your trip to conduct.

Bernie Siegel
   

The journey through life has many valleys that we can't just skip
over, and also many mountains to climb that we can't just jump
over.  It is also true that we need the space and the freedom to
make our own mistakes. Trial and error seem to bethe only way
we can learn and grow.  Life is first and foremost a process.
And this process is a zig-zag process at that.

John Powell

   

If seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful roses, what might not
the heart of the human become in its long journey toward the stars?

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

  

  

Choose always the way that seems the best, 
however rough it may be; 
custom will soon render it easy and agreeable.

Pythagoras

  

Right now I know that I am standing on the threshold of a breakthrough--
a spiritual journey that will take me further along in my growth than
I could ever possibly imagine.  This is a journey on which I will be filled
with a peace that far surpasses anything I have ever experienced,
and I begin it by knowing and living the truth of my divine potential.
I am on a journey of positive thinking, praying, and living.  If ever I find myself
falling into a rut of negative thinking, I can't break down--I break through!
I break through the barriers of those negative thoughts and that
less-than-positive attitude.  I break through and discover that
I am a spiritual being on a divine journey.

unattributed

  
  

 If we are spiritual beings on a human path rather than
human beings who may be on a spiritual path, then life is
not only a journey but a pilgrimage or quest as well.

Jean Shinoda Bolen

  

The grand difficulty is to feel the reality of both worlds, so as
to give each its due place in our thoughts and feelings, to keep
our mind's eye ever fixed on the Land of Promise, without looking
away from the road we are to travel towards it.

Augustus Hare

  

If we don't change the direction we're going,
we're likely to end up where we're headed.

Chinese Proverb

  

  
If your love is for the left lane, swing on over there and feel
the wind flying through your hair, and the bugs splatting against
your dark glasses.  But if the right lane beckons you, indulge
your penchant for counting wildflowers in the field or discarded
tennis shoes on the freeway.  Most important, we must all remember,
left-laners or right-laners, we are to be tender with each other.

Marilyn Meberg
   

Sometimes, while traveling on life's journey, we get stopped by a bad attitude,
which can cripple us.  It's like having a flat tire that needs changing
before we can continue on the road.  With our destination firmly in our minds,
we must first pull over and admit that something in our lives needs to change.
Then we must jack the wheel off the ground and life that situation to God
in prayer.  After that we must remove the flat tire and replace it with
a new one, substituting the wrong attitude with a positive one.

Barbara Johnson

  

You cannot tread the Path before you become the Path yourself.

Zen saying

   

   

They who are outside the door have already
a good part of their journey behind them.

Dutch Proverb

   

It is good to have an end to journey towards;
but it is the journey that matters in the end.

Ursula K. LeGuin

   

The joy is in the journey.
Don't be in too great a hurry to arrive.
What are you going to do when you get there?
The moment you arrive, the game is up!

Leonard Jacobson

   
  

Any path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or
to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you. . . .
Look at every path closely and deliberately.  Try it as many
times as you think necessary.  Then ask yourself, and yourself
alone, one question. . . . Does this path have a heart? 
If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't it is of no use.

Carlos Castaneda

  

Never look down to test the ground before taking your next
step; only they who keep their eye fixed on the
far horizon will find their right roads.

Dag Hammarskjold

   

   

Whatever course you have chosen for yourself, it will not
be a chore but an adventure if you bring to it a sense
of the glory of striving. . . if your sights are set far
above the merely secure and mediocre.

David Sarnoff

    
Articles and book excerpts on the journey of life:

Give Your Life Direction      T.W. Winslow

    

Over the years I have learned that life is a voyage of discovery and
not a safe harbor.  It is on the voyage that we learn how to steer our own
lives and with them the life of the nation we love.  We learn to coexist
with our fears, to surmount the obstacles before us.  We find ways to
defy danger, even as we reach deep within ourselves for solutions
to the challenges of the age.

Katherine D. Ortega

  

When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan
our journey too far ahead.  No need to burden ourselves with doubts
and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress.
We cannot take more than one step at a time.

Orison Swett Marden

    
     

To take a life, your life, and steer it in the direction you would like,
toward the career you want and the fulfillment of your dreams, is
the journey--the only real journey.  No matter how rich or successful
you think you are, unless you harness your dreams and continue to grow
and develop, a boring, sedentary life will set in.  Similarly, those who think
they are at the bottom of the barrel, who feel apathetic and numb or
think their lives have no chance--they, too, can turn it around and change.
Whether you feel you're unsuccessful, at the bottom of the barrel, or
somewhere in between, it's time to shake yourself into action
and onto the road of your dreams.

Milton Katselas

   
Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the
roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled,
and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the
roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and,
carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into
another direction.  If the new choice is also unpalatable, without
embarrassment, we must be ready to change that one as well.


Maya Angelou
    

The truth is that as our real power grows and our knowledge
widens, ever the way we can follow grows narrower; until
at last we choose nothing, but do only and wholly what we must do.

Ursula K. LeGuin

   

The path is difficult because it has not been carved;
and it has not been carved because I have not lived before.

Sally Palain

   
   

What is more beautiful than a road?  It is the symbol and
the image of an active, varied life.

George Sand

   

The pure in heart will avoid the struggles, detour the tar pits, blind
their eyes to the sirens.  The problem is that in avoiding the paths
that contain the tar, you may never reach any destination; in avoiding
temptation, you remain pure, but irrelevant.  Life is tar pits and sirens.

Donald A. Norman

    







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It may be when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.

Wendell Berry

  

You are in the driver's seat of your life and can point your life down any
road you want to travel.  You can go as fast or as slow as you want to
go--and you can change the road you're on at any time.

Jinger Heath

    

The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning;
and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary in order
to reach my goal.  Failure I may still encounter at the thousandth step,
yet success hides behind the next bend in the road.  Never will I know
how close it lies unless I turn the corner.
Always I will take another step.  If that is of no avail I will take another
and yet another.  In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult.

Og Mandino
The Greatest Salesman in the World

   

Paths in life are sometimes difficult to get a grasp of.  I think that we all
often get the idea that life is a journey and that we're traveling on some
sort of path to get where we're going, but do we really know what that
path is like?  Do we really know if the path that we're on is one of our own
choosing, or one that someone else has somehow pushed us down, one way
or another?  It's a fascinating question, and one with potentially
a very important answer.
Since we get on most of our paths from other paths originally, perhaps the
best thing that we can do for ourselves is to ask, "How did I get on the
path I'm on?  Did I choose to take this path, or did someone
or something else push me onto it?"

tom walsh

   

What happens to us on the journey of life is not nearly as
important as how we handle what happens.  Life sometimes
takes unexpected twists and turns that can throw us off course
for a time.  We may have experienced an unhappy childhood in a
broken home or with parents who were alcoholics.  We may have
been considered the "black sheep," the one who just never fit in
with the others.  Almost anyone can find reasons for not doing
as well as he or she thinks they should have.  The key to
successful living, however, is to learn from our experiences,
good and bad, and go on from there.  If we choose, we can try
to move forward and forge the kind of life we desire to live in
spite of some of the falls we may have taken.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

   

Find the journey's end in every step.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

  

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving..

Lao-tzu

   

If we are facing in the right direction,
all we have to do is keep walking.

Buddhist saying

    



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We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never lose
sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a
chance to see a rainbow on the way.

Gloria Gaither

   

Note that this journey is uniquely yours, no one else's. So the path
has to be your own. You cannot imitate somebody else's journey
and still be true to yourself. Are you prepared to honor
your uniqueness in this way?

Jon Kabat-Zinn

   

Once we become aware that we are on a journey--that we are
all pilgrims--for the first time we can actually begin to
cooperate consciously with God in the process.

M. Scott Peck
The Different Drum

   

There is no glimpse of the light without walking the path.  You can't
get it from anyone else, nor can you give it to anyone.  You can take
whatever steps seem easiest for you, and as you take
a few steps it will be easier to take a few more.

Peace Pilgrim

  

It is as hard to get the children herded into the car pool and down
the road to the bus as it is to chant sutras in the Buddha-hall on
a cold morning.  One move is not better than the other, each can
be quite boring, and the both have the virtuous quality of repetition.
Repetition and ritual and their good results come in many forms.
Changing the filter, wiping noses, going to meetings, picking up
around the house, washing dishes, checking the dipstick--don't let
yourself think these are distracting you from your more serious
pursuits.  Such a round of chores is not a set of difficulties we hope
to escape from so that we may do our "practice" which
will put us on a "path"--it is our path.

Gary Snyder
The Practice of the Wild

   

    

  

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