Explore Your Prison

August 27 2012
A Quotation Worth Considering

Jail Cell

“We are prisoners, wrapped in our biography, our history, our trauma, our psychology, our narrative.”

— Author Unknown

We may not feel as though we are “prisoners,” but it is an interesting term to use when describing the manner in which we are constrained in how we see the world.

Today, I encourage you to think about how you are blocked in by all the things that have influenced you.

If you were to actually take time to consider this — the kind of suggestion that is easy to ignore — what would be at the top of your list?

 Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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What Have I Learned That I Can Pass On?

June 25, 2012
Words of wisdom can come from individuals of any age.

What Have I Learned That I Can Pass On?

The following words of advice are excerpted from the book, Live and Learn and Pass It On by H. Jackson Brown.

I’ve learned that you should never eat the cafeteria food when it looks like it’s moving.
– Age 12

I’ve learned that there is nothing better than to sit
in the straw and hold a new foal’s head in my lap.

Chestnut foal

– Age 15

I’ve learned that what I call clean, my mom calls messy.

– Age 11

I’ve learned that when you tell your younger brother that he can fly, he’ll try it.

– Age 12


I’ve learned that you should never tell your little brother that you’re not going to do what your mom told you to do.
— Age 12

I’ve learned that a good cook never lacks friends.

— Age 42


I’ve learned that no matter how old I get, I like my mom taking care of me when I’m sick.

— Age 25

Strawberry Ice Cream

I’ve learned that you should never mention ice cream when you’re baby-sitting if you’re not sure there’s some in the refrigerator.

— Age 11

I’ve learned that if someone asks “How are you doing?” it’s not necessary to give them a full health report.
— Age 65

I’ve learned that when I’m angry, my mouth works faster than my brain.

— Age 58


I’ve learned that there is no feeling quite so nice as your child’s hand in yours.
— Age 37
Baby and Daddy

I’ve learned that wearing anything too small is a sure way to ruin my day.

— Age 44

I’ve learned that the older I get, the more I say “I don’t know.” When I was younger, I thought I knew it all.
— Age 65

I’ve learned that the worse thing in life to be without
is love, but toilet paper comes in a close second.

— Age 59


I’ve learned that shouldn’t cry over anything that can’t cry back.
— Age 60

I’ve learned that you should never leave your one-year-old Dalmatian alone in a room with a black permanent marker and real clean carpet.

— Age 11

I’ve learned that someone who has never said “I’m sorry” after a five-year relationship is not someone I want to spend the rest of my life with.
— Age 22


I’ve learned that happiness is not how much you have but your capacity to enjoy what you have.
— Age 44

Morning LightI’ve learned that working in a garden
at sunrise has a tremendous effect on the soul.

— Age 32

I’ve learned that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
— Age 16


I’ve learned that when you buy a car for the first time, your number of friends increases dramatically.
— Age 16

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t hold a baby above your head after he has eaten.

— Age 14


PicnicI’ve learned that when you’re at a family picnic, you shouldn’t say you don’t like what you’re eating because the person sitting next to you might have prepared it.
— Age 18

I’ve learned that every woman
is beautiful when she smiles.

— Age 66

I’ve learned that it’s not a good idea to try to break in a new bra during a transcontinental flight.
— Age 46


I’ve learned that having someone tell you he loves you and having someone show you he loves you are two completely different things.
— Age 18

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t ask for anything that costs
more than five dollars when your parents are doing taxes.

— Age 9

I’ve learned that I can’t dust the table with the photo albums
on it without stopping it look at the pictures.

— Age 42

I’ve learned that when I am feeling terribly unloved
by someone, I need to ask myself what I’ve done
recently to show I love them.

— Age 29

Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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Happiness and Acceptance on a Very Warm Day

June 25, 2011
What do you have a hard time accepting today?

This week we have gone from June-gloom to real Southern California summer, though not as hot as it will be later. And I am sitting here in my office determined to write a post, but the bed is inviting me to take a nap so I’ll be ready for the opening night of “Twist” at the Pasadena Playhouse this evening — including Hors d’œuvres.

So to keep it short, I have decided to give you a quotation from Ken Keyes, Jr., a personal growth author and lecturer, quoted in Raising Brandon: Creating a Path to Independence for Your Adult “Kid” with Autism & Special Needs, a book I mentioned in a recent post.

Happiness is experienced when life gives you what you are willing to accept.

This is similar to a quotation by Eckhart Tolle (also from the book):

Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.

How much are you willing to accept that you would rather not?

Today I am accepting this short — and not particularly great — post because I want to get that nap even though my perfectionist is trying to make me stay here and continue working.

I am ignoring her. My recovering perfectionist applauds. I am keeping to my goal of writing three posts a week AND my goal to not feel I have to have every one the best I can possibly make it.

A Serendipitous Encounter With an Inspirational Author

June 21, 2011
How has serendipity affected your life recently and how can love and compassion affect your life today?

Last Friday at the Post Office I had finished buying stamps when I moved over to the side to gather my purchases while another woman stepped up to the counter. I noticed the name of the book she was mailing and asked her what it was about.

Raising Brandon: Creating a Path to Independence for Your Adult “Kid” with Autism & Special Needs was the story of how Amalia Starr raised a boy who had Asperger’s Syndrome, epilepsy and learning problems, yet he has been able to live on his own for the past twelve years. We got talking about my book, Letting Go of Our Adult Children: When What We Do Is Never Enough, and discovered we have several things in common, especially the challenge of raising children who don’t always “turn out” the way we planned.

I was pleased that she gave me a copy of the book; and I’ll be sending her a copy of Healing Relationships is an Inside Job. When I got home and started reading, I found she had distilled her experience in a way that made it very understandable. I highly recommend it for anyone with a child who has a diagnosis of autism or Asperger Syndrome. So if you know someone who is dealing with those kinds of problems, check out the book.

Another reason I want to tell you about the book is that the information in each chapter is preceded with a wonderful, inspirational quotation. And that is part of how this serendipitous encounter at the post office is related to this blog. You see, I am now going to use the quotes for the next several posts in order to make writing them easier and quicker.

I need to do this because I am behind the 8-ball in trying to turn the letting go book into ebook format. (People have asked for this for a very long time and I’m finally doing it.) However, this has meant that I had to buy the latest edition of InDesign . . . which means I have to learn the new version and discover how Adobe has changed their software . . . which means I don’t have time to spend on creating new posts, even though I have a target of producing three posts week . . . which means a quotation will fit in nicely in keeping with the recent post of A Quickly Chosen Quotation for a Busy Day and the earlier post of A Quotation Worth Considering.

Besides, this gives you about enough to think about on lazy summer days. And if you want to share some quotes you particularly like, I’d love to hear about them.

Along the way I’ll tell you how I’m progressing, since I have about 30 products I am creating and want them completed by the beginning of October. Of course, when something real exciting or important happens, I’ll write about that.

In any case, here is the first quote from the book:

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
—The Dalai Lama

You have likely heard this a number of times, but what would happen if today you decided to claim that quotation as your own and create an affirmation to support all your actions? You might change the quotation to:

Whatever I do today, I will do it with love and compassion, even when I am in conflict with another person. I will do that because I want the humanity that lies within my sphere of interaction to survive.

I would love to have you share your interpretation of this quotation.

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A Quickly Chosen Quotation for a Busy Day

June 15, 2011
How often do you repeat something you’ve heard that you wouldn’t want others to know you’ve said?

Like lots of writers, over the years I’ve collected loads of quotations in the expectation that I will need them one of these days. The problem is that I add them to a file without taking time to organize them. The consequence is that when I want to find one, I have to look through a whole bunch. Don’t have time for that today.

Today my assistant is coming to help me plan a major revamping of Support4Change. So I have to get breakfast, clean off my desk so she has a place to put her laptop, and write this post in keeping with my intention — not promise, but an intention — to write three posts a week.

As I sat down at the computer, I wondered what short topic I could squeeze in before she comes. That’s when I remembered my post on Quotations Worth Considering.

This should be quick and easy, I thought. I’ll find a great quotation to share on a busy day. But then my pesky perfectionist tried to make this more complicated than it needed to be. Fortunately, my recovering perfectionist popped up her little head and made a suggestion; pick the quotation blindly.

It was a perfect idea. If I took a lot of time to find the “best” quotation, it may not fit you at all. Picking it “blindly” may not be any worse.

So right now I’m going to open a page of quotations from my quotation folder, close my eyes, scroll up and down for a few seconds, and point my cursor to some place on the page. That’s the quote you’ll get!

Here it is:

How often do you repeat something you’ve heard that you wouldn’t want others to know you’ve said?

Now that I give this quick quote some thought, I can see that I have sometimes been guilty of repeating something I wouldn’t want posted on the front page of the Los Angeles Times. I better take this quotation to heart.

How about you?

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