“When I was a boy and I would see scary things….my mother would say to me; Look for the Helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers
This not only great advice for children, but for adults as well. If you feel yourself stuck or in need of a lift, look for the people who are out there helping – you can spiritually and energetically shift yourself to a different vibration when you align with the beauty and good that is yours to embrace. And Pema Chödrön is a helper if we’ve ever seen one.
Help yourself to a healthy dose of wisdom as we share some of Pema’s most notable insights – we’re printing this out and tacking it on the office wall:
1. “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.”
2. “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.”
3. “The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”
4. “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
5. “The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”
6. “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.”
7. “Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look.”
8. “We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart.”
9. “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.”
10. “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
11. “I used to have a sign pinned up on my wall that read: Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us…It was all about letting go of everything.”
12. “Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear? ”
13. “A further sign of health is that we don’t become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what’s threatening us. ”
14. “We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.”
15. “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. ”
16. “If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart…”
17. “Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.”
18. “We can spend our whole lives escaping from the monsters of our minds.”
19. “As long as our orientation is toward perfection or success, we will never learn about unconditional friendship with ourselves, nor will we find compassion.”
20. “No one ever tells us to stop running away from fear…the advice we usually get is to sweeten it up, smooth it over, take a pill, or distract ourselves, but by all means make it go away.”
21. “We are all capable of becoming fundamentalists because we get addicted to other people’s wrongness.”
22. “The more we witness our emotional reactions and understand how they work, the easier it is to refrain.”
23. “At the root of all the harm we cause is ignorance.”
24. “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”
25. “Without giving up hope—that there’s somewhere better to be, that there’s someone better to be—we will never relax with where we are or who we are.”
You can support Pema and her mission at the Pema Chödrön Foundation. Pema Chödrön is a beloved Buddhist teacher, author, nun and mother, and has inspired millions of people around the world who are touched by her example and message of practicing peace in uncertain times.
ARTWORK: Lynn Cornish – check out her beautiful work at: http://www.lynncornishwatercolors.com/lynnhome.aspx
Did we miss any of your favorites? Share your favorite Pema quote or clip below!
If you enjoyed this article, you will also appreciate: “Smile at Your Fear: How to be Fearless”.