Monthly Archives: May 2011

The day was counting up its birds and never got the answer right. ~Author Unknown

And upsidedown in the earth a dead man walks upon my soles when I walk. ~Bill Knott, “(End) of Summer (1966)” (Thanks, Laurie)

Night and morning are making promises to each other which neither will be able to keep. ~Richard Shelton

I imagine that yes is the only living thing. ~e.e. cummings

Ink smears, as thoughts sometimes do. ~Terri Guillemets

Never mind. The self is the least of it. Let our scars fall in love. ~Galway Kinnell

Her hearing was keener than his, and she heard silences he was unaware of. ~D.M. Thomas

Silence moves faster when it’s going backward. ~Jean Cocteau

We are asleep with compasses in our hands. ~W.S. Merwin

If only I could leave everything as it is, without moving a single star or a single cloud. Oh, if only I could! ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Sharp nostalgia, infinite and terrible, for what I already possess. ~Juan Ramon Jimenez

[T]he departing world leaves behind… not an heir, but a pregnant widow. ~Alexander Ivanovich Herzen, Other Shore

Two and two the mathematician continues to make four, in spite of the whine of the amateur for three, or the cry of the critic for five. ~James McNeill Whistler, Whistler Versus Ruskin, 1878

We are never prepared for what we expect. ~James A. Michener, Caravans

The universe is simmering down, like a giant stew left to cook for four billion years. Sooner or later we won’t be able to tell the carrots from the onions. ~Arthur Bloch

As I was walking up the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today.
I wish, I wish he’d go away.
~Hugh Mearns

It has been said repeatedly that one can never, try as he will, get around to the front of the universe. Man is destined to see only its far side, to realize nature only in retreat. ~Loren Eiseley, “The Innocent Fox,” The Star Thrower, 1978

We have met the enemy and they are us! ~Walt Kelly, Pogo, 1971

Our dream dashes itself against the great mystery like a wasp against a window pane. Less merciful than man, God never opens the window. ~Jules Renard, Journal, 1906

Fear is a cloak which old men huddle about their love, as if to keep it warm. ~William Wordsworth

You can owe nothing, if you give back its light to the sun. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

the high cost of
living isnt so bad if you
dont have to pay for it
~Don Marquis, Archy and Mehitabel, 1927

Take the so-called standard of living. What do most people mean by “living”? They don’t mean living. They mean the latest and closest plural approximation to singular prenatal passivity which science, in its finite but unbounded wisdom, has succeeded in selling their wives. ~e.e. cummings, Introduction, Poems, 1954

You’re only as sick as your secrets. ~Author Unknown

Those who gave away their wings are sad not to see them fly. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Clouds, birds, tree tops
The freedom of being on high
Closer to the sun
Further from the slum,
But farther to fall when they die.
~Carrie Latet

All that we know is nothing, we are merely crammed waste-paper baskets, unless we are in touch with that which laughs at all our knowing. ~D.H. Lawrence, “Peace and War,” Pansies, 1929

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
~T.S. Eliot, 1943

The beginning of all wisdom is to look fixedly on clothes, or even with armed eyesight, till they become transparent. ~Thomas Carlyle

I believe if I should die, and you were to walk near my grave, from the very depths of the earth I would hear your footsteps. ~Benito Perez Galdos

You are sad because they abandon you and you have not fallen. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Another way of approaching the thing is to consider it unnamed, unnameable. ~Francis Ponge

Invent a past for the present. ~Daniel Stern

My great day came and went, I do not know how. Because it did not pass through dawn when it came, nor through dusk when it went. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Nothing is not only nothing. It is also our prison. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

A hunter of shadows, himself a shade. ~Homer

The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

Within your lifetime will, perhaps,
As souvenirs from distant suns
Be carried back to earth some maps
Of planets and you’ll find that one’s
So hard to color that you’ve got
To use five crayons. Maybe, not.
~Marlow Sholander, “Maybe”

Let your working ideas go for a picnic – sometimes the fresh air and ant bites are just what they need. Many great ideas were bitten a little at the beginning. ~Carrie Latet

No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it. ~Terry Pratchett

I wish I could have known earlier that you have all the time you’ll need right up to the day you die. ~William Wiley

I am the vessel. The draft is God’s. And God is the thirsty one. ~Dag Hammarskjold, Markings, 1964

The first step… shall be to lose the way. ~Galway Kinnell

Psychoanalysis and Zen, in my private psychic geometry, are equal to nicotine. They are anti-existential. Nicotine quarantines one out of existence. ~Norman Mailer

The Great Way has no gate.
Clear water has no taste.
The tongue has no bone.
In complete stillness, a stone girl is dancing.
~Seung Sahn

He who does not fill his world with phantoms remains alone. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

I would go to heaven, but I would take my hell; I would not go alone. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Love, she said, should be said more slowly, and ran from the house. Words could not catch her as such. Honesty is so slow, that is the trouble. ~Author Unknown

They have stopped deceiving you, not loving you. And it seems to you that they have stopped loving you. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

It is known that there is an infinite number of worlds, but that not every one is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so if every planet in the Universe has a population of zero then the entire population of the Universe must also be zero, and any people you may actually meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination. ~Douglas Adams, The Original Hitchhiker Radio Script

Learning is not easy, but hard; culture is severe. The steps to Parnassus are steep and terribly arduous. ~John Jay Chapman

He who holds me by a thread is not strong; the thread is strong. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Alas! must it ever be so?
Do we stand in our own light, wherever we go,
And fight our own shadows forever?
~Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken,” 1916

You think you are killing me. I think you are committing suicide. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered. ~Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

You purchase pain with all that joy can give, and die of nothing but a rage to live. ~Alexander Pope

My heaviness comes from the heights. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
~Robert Frost, In the Clearing, 1962

I have figured for you the distance between the horns of a dilemma, night and day, and A and Z. I have computed how far is Up, how long it takes to get Away, and what becomes of Gone. I have discovered the length of the sea serpent, the price of priceless, and the square of the hippopotamus. I know where you are when you are at Sixes and Sevens, how much Is you have to have to make an Are, and how many birds you can catch with the salt in the ocean – 187,796,132, if it would interest you. ~James Thurber, Many Moons

If you come to a fork in the road, take it. ~Yogi Berra

My whole life is waiting for the questions to which I have prepared answers. ~Tom Stoppard


“commissioner”…”commissioner”…this word continues to ring in my ears….i can’t remember who mentioned it to me. Mmmmmmm….let me see….yes! it was my brother who did it! And what was it about? …….mmmm…okay let me tell my story and see if you can figure it out yourself.

It’s about this leader who wanted to reap where he has not sown. He forgot the simple principle that, “if you do not work, you do not eat”. He ruled over big states for only  four years after he has succeeded his elderly brother.

During his reign, he only took delight in pleasing his fanatics. He again, forgot this saying that, “if you try to please everyone, no one will like it.” He did all he could to please even his enemies but hey, that was just like squeezing water from a dry stone, I guess. He did all within his means to win their heart but it was to no avail. He only succeeded in cutting his own throat.

His fanatics deceived him into believing that everyone now likes him like never before.  What could he do in return for such a ‘kind gesture’?… wanna know?…..okay, let me tell you. He started cutting sod and commissioning projects that are even already in existence.

He started touring every nook and cranny of his state. Wherever he went, he either commissions a project or cuts sod for the commencement of a project. He was able to win some hearts by these deceptive acts. Why am i saying ‘deceptive act’? Haven’t i told you that his tour was named  DECEPTIVE TOUR by his close allies and advisors?

His primary aim was to let the people believe that, at least, he is performing some ‘action.’ Quite pathetic!

My brother told me a story that made me laugh my head off. he said one day, when he closed from work and he was on his way back home, he felt some kinda discomfort in his stomach so he decided to attend to nature’s call. Because he was a bit far from home, he decided to zoom into one of the public toilets in the area to free himself.

Whiles he was on it, he heard a sudden voice, commanding everyone to get out of the toilet because the leader(president) is coming to commission the forty-year-old public toilet. This is funny, isn’t it. This toilet had been built and commissioned by his predecessor a very very long time ago, and look at him now, trying to reap what he has not sown. Sophomoric act!

When everyone was out of the toilet, they respectfully invited the president to come and commission the toilet so that it can now be ‘officially usable.’ The humble president performed his duty conscientiously. The sycophants and hypocrites around him gave a tumultuous applause amidst honorifics and appellations.

Deception at the highest order!

I guess you now know the meaning of ‘commissioner’…..or at least, you can figure out the person I am talking about. Well, if you can’t tell, that would not be my problem because i only came to tell you a story about the PRESIDENT COMMISSIONER and not to explain to you, who he is.


dwomoic quotes

Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves.
Brendan Behan
There is nothing more beautiful than believing in yourself.
Sam Kao

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt

It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.
Sally Field

Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie
Which we ascribe to heaven.
William Shakespeare
All’s Well That Ends Well.

Dreams do come true if you keep believing in yourself. Anything is possible.
Jennifer Capriati

Celebrate all the things you don’t like about yourself – love yourself.
Lady Gaga

To be a champ, you have to believe in yourself when nobody else will.
Sugar Ray Robinson

Just go out there and do what you’ve got to do.
Martina Navratilova

If you don’t ask because you might be refused, you’ve already refused yourself.
Nisandeh Neta

You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.
Michael Jordan

Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching. and live like it’s heaven on earth.
Mark Twain

Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death but to inspire yourself to life.
Adele Brookman

It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.
Henry James

Fear kills everything. Your mind, your heart, your imagination.
Cornelia Funke

You’re only a victim when you allow yourself to be one.
Primadonna Angela

The mind should dance with the body, and the whole universe is your stage. Try to feel that whatever you are doing is the most beautiful thing, the prettiest dance, because you are dancing with the whole Universe.
Yogi Bhajan

Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic.
Jean Sibelius

Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.
Henry Ford

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
Vincent Van Gogh

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spirit can walk, spirit can swim, spirit can climb, spirit can crawl. There is no terrain you cannot overcome.
Irisa Hail

I quit being afraid when my first venture failed and the sky didn’t fall down.
Allen H. Neuharth

Knock the “t” off the “can’t.”
George Reeves

Don’t let anyone steal your dream. It’s your dream, not theirs.
Dan Zadra

Men harm others by their deeds, themselves by their thoughts.
Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare
Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers.

Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.
Truman Capote
Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.
William Shakespeare
Measure for Measure.

What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates his fate.
Henry David Thoreau

A person can grow only as much as his horizon allows.
John Powell

Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be.
Karen Ravn

Never dull your shine for somebody else.
Tyra Banks

Oliver Wendell Holmes once attended a meeting in which he was the shortest man present. “Dr. Holmes,” quipped a friend, “I should think you’d feel rather small among us big fellows.” “I do,” retorted Holmes, “I feel like a dime among a lot of pennies.”
Author Unknown

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.
Thomas Alva Edison

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s me who is my enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence.
Paula Cole
Me, from This Fire album.

I am not a has-been. I am a will be.
Lauren Bacall

Always act like you’re wearing an invisible crown.
Author Unknown

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.
Edmund Hillary

I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know. Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly.
Buckminster Fuller

God wisely designed the human body so that we can neither pat our own backs nor kick ourselves too easily.
Author Unknown

At Your BEST

People often ask me what I’ve noticed in working with people during the recent difficult times. Even though I work with very successful, empowered people, I see them struggling to stay at their best – focused, positive and productive – in this climate. And I must admit that my gremlins are more active and rowdy than usual! However, the other thing I notice is people are still thriving. When my clients do stay focused on what they can control and manage their reactions to bad news and media hype of situations, they find that there is still good news and abundant opportunity, even now. I know that the current situation can make you feel like being in a little life raft tossed mercilessly by angry seas. Yet more than even, our world needs people to be performing at their best, not in a state of fear or avoidance. The world needs YOU: At Your Best!

When you learn how to be at your BEST, even in the raging storm, imagine how unstoppable you will be when things turn around and the sun shines again!

Here are a few ideas for being “YOU: At Your BEST:”

B for Balanced
Holding on for dear life in your little raft, the idea of balance might seem impossible. Yet I think it’s one of the most important things we can do for ourselves in challenging times. Find your “center of gravity” with even the smallest of self-care steps. For example, novice meditators who participated in six weeks of meditation training reported being less stressed, more optimistic, and better able to handle challenges. People who engaged in once-per-week gratitude exercises (simply writing five things they were grateful for) reported higher levels of happiness, even six months after the study ended. So find your own little practices that bring balance to your life physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

E for Empowered
It may feel like the waves and the world circumstances hold all the power, and all you can do is react. However, I encourage you to focus on what you CAN control. You have already overcome incredible challenges in your life. What are some challenges in your past that seemed daunting, yet you were able to overcome them? How did you successfully work through those situations? How could you take control of even a small part of your circumstances, rather than reacting to them? Researchers have discovered that people who take some action, no matter how small (such as making donations to their favorite causes), feel less stressed and better about themselves than those who take no action.

S for Systematic
Being bounced around in the waves can make people lose touch with rituals and success strategies that have worked in the past. The book “The Power of Full Engagement” describes how people achieve higher levels of performance through rituals. I find that my most successful clients have systematic approaches to their critical success activities. What systems or rituals would allow you to operate at your best, rather than being buffeted around by the waves? What are even small steps you can take consistently to start achieving new results?

T for Trust
Although today’s challenges are unprecedented in many ways, the very nature of our evolving civilization means we continue to have new challenges and opportunities. Futurists and economists have been predicting this situation for years. And the same futurists are predicting that we will move past this current situation to a new set of opportunities and challenges. I imagine how bleak things must have looked right before the end of World War II, with so many countries involved in battles, the sacrifices being made at home, and whole European countries being ravaged. Today’s situation doesn’t seem so bad in comparison! How would developing a stronger sense of trust serve you? What practices could you engage in that would expand your trust that things will work out? Dozens of studies have been performed on the power of prayer, and there are many who have achieved amazing shifts through visualization exercises (See “The Intention Experiment” by Lynne McTaggart). How can you build more trust into your life, and maybe even into your community?

You: At your BEST. That’s how I believe the current situation will improve. It won’t be world leaders, or financial institutions, or lawmakers who calm the waves and turn the storm. I believe it will be the citizens of the world, being their individual best, that will make the biggest difference.


Karen Van Cleve

courtesy of

6 Keys to Assertive Communication

Communication is so important that it can make or break a relationship, is critical to success, and instantly reflects your self-esteem to listeners — for better or for worse. Assertive communication commands respect, projects confidence, and inspires influence. It’s respectful, direct, honest, open, non-threatening and non-defensive. It’s not demanding, aggressive, or manipulative.

Communication is learned. With practice you can learn to communicate assertively, which will raise your self-esteem and self-assurance and improve your relationships and professional performance. Research has established that even fetuses can learn to communicate with their mothers. To learn the keys to assertiveness discussed below, remember the 6 C’s:

1. Congruency
2. Courtesy
3. Conciseness
4. Clarity
5. Cognizance
6. Claim yourself

Communication has many elements. You communicate with more than your words. You relay information with your entire body through:

1. Gesture
2. Eye contact, movement, moisture, expression, and focus
3. Posture
4. Physical appearance
5. Voluntary and involuntary bodily movement, including muscular tension
6. Facial expression
7. Skin color (e.g. blushing) and perspiration
8. Body smell

Additionally, your voice communicates through:

1. Volume
2. Pitch
3. Cadence
4. Tone and emphasis
5. Fluidity
6. Enunciation

What you don’t say, your body reveals. Customs’ agents are expert at reading body language to spot liars. Key to effective communication is authenticity, meaning honesty and congruence. Truthfulness is about facts. Honesty has more to do with intent and feelings. Say what you think or feel, and mean what you say. You probably assume you already do this, yet dishonesty is more common than you might guess. I’m not referring to overt lies, but about times you outwardly agree, but inwardly don’t. Some reasons are:

1. You want to spare someone’s feelings.
2. You want to avert conflict.
3. You want to be liked and avoid judgment or criticism.
4. You’re afraid of making a mistake.
5. You don’t want to impose or burden someone.
6. You don’t want to jeopardize a relationship, or
7. You don’t want to spend the time.

The last one is tricky. Imagine you’re at a party and someone asks you a personal question that you don’t want to get into then and there. You might avoid the question in many ways, including ignoring it and changing the subject, or walking away to get a drink. You might think the reason is no. 7, but ask yourself why you wouldn’t directly say, “I prefer not to talk about that now (or here),” or “I don’t know you well enough to discuss that.” If you think the real answer is no. 1, think again. The foregoing assertive answers are less hurtful than impolite behavior.

When your words don’t match your insides, you’re sending a mixed message. A common example is when you say you’re fine, but your body language reveals the truth that you’re unhappy. Or, the opposite — you smile while imparting a sad story. In either case, your listener is confused and doesn’t know how to respond and/or may not feel that he or she can trust you.

The purpose of communication is to impart information and feelings, not to vent, avenge, or scold. If you’re discourteous to listeners, you’ll lose them. To be effective, you want to engage your listener. To do so, treat him or her with respect. Criticism that is constructive and delivered assertively is more likely to be heeded.

The impact of your speech is inversely related to its duration. Your impact wanes with words. Your listener will want you to cut to the chase and get to the point. When you beat around the bush, it belies insecurity and/or lack of knowledge. When you’re afraid for any of the reasons mentioned above regarding incongruence, you might be tempted to have a long introduction or disclaimer. Don’t. If you’re fearful, sort out the reasons why, practice what you’ll say out loud, and weigh the long term repercussions of saying nothing or what you want.

Be direct. Don’t ask questions, give hints, or speak in the abstract. Instead of “Do you want to go to a movie?” which is ambiguous as to whether you want to go, state, “I’d like to see a movie tonight.” Make a clear statement of what you think, feel, need, or want. Most communication comes down to those four essentials. You can also explain why.

Cognizance of your audience is essential. You must hear in order to be heard. To be an effective communicator, listen with attention and respect to what others have to say. Genuine listening engages them and helps you attune your message so that others will be receptive. This is attentive, active listening. Paraphrasing and repeating what was said to you will show them that you care and are interested. In turn they’ll be more receptive when they believe they matter to you.

Timing is critical. Don’t start an important conversation in the car, or when he or she is watching TV, is on the computer, or otherwise occupied, without his or her permission. You’re being discourteous and interrupting their attention. You’ll be disappointed and are setting yourself up for an argument.

Claim Yourself
This is the hardest element. You must take responsibility for your opinions, thoughts, feelings, and needs. That means you don’t blame or talk about the other person. Don’t tell them what they should do, or what some expert said. Use “I” messages and claim what you think and feel. That doesn’t mean to say, “I think you’re inconsiderate,” which labels and judges their behavior, without revealing how you feel or how it affects you. Applying all these rules, you might say “I feel disregarded (or “unimportant” or “angry”) when you didn’t return my calls,” or “I don’t like it when you…” When you state your feelings or take a position, others don’t feel as great a need to defend and justify themselves, because you are only talking about yourself. This is particularly difficult to do when you’re emotional. It’s better to wait and think about what you feel and what outcome or behavioral changes your want before having the conversation. Consider your bottom line.

Learning assertiveness so that it comes naturally can take years of practice, but it is empowering and worth starting now. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll begin raising your self-esteem.

By Darlene Lancer