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Gladys Taber

"We need time to dream, time to remember, and time to reach the infinite.  Time to be."

American Writer

1899 - 1980

In the fast paced, always connected world in which we live, we sometimes forget about the importance day dreaming.  Do you take  time to day dream?  To rethink your life?  To remember why you are here?  To simply be?  As the old saying goes: stop and smell the roses.    Easy to say and hard to follow.  We are so busy staying in touch via our cell phones that we don't experience the world around us.  During this next year, take time to dream and remember.  Take time to be.  
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Gary Zukav

"Changing the world  begins with the very personal process of changing yourself.  The only place you can begin is where you are, and the only time you can begin is always now."

American Writer/Speaker

1942 -

Painting and writing is about re-creating and re-structuring the world the way we would like it to be.  The creative process is about changing ourselves and in the process of changing ourselves we change the world.  How have you changed in the past year?  How have you grown and developed as a person and as a creative leader?  What choices have you made in the last year to change your life?  Do you understand yourself better today than you did a year ago?  What have you learned about yourself?  What are your plans for next year?  What do you want to be doing a year from now?

Here is Gary Zukav discussing change.

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Joye Moon

"Every day is a gift — a new beginning . . . bound out of bed with the enthusiasm of a child."

American Painter

How do you begin your day?  With a cup of coffee?  A cold beer?  With steak and eggs?  Or a doughnut?  Do you drag yourself out of bed wishing you could spend the day sleeping?  Are you wide awake and full of energy?  Some people get up in the morning and say:  "Good morning, Lord.  It is great to be alive!"  Other people get up and say: "O Lord, it's morning again."  Which are you?  Someone who appreciates each day she has been given?  Or someone who finds no joy in living?  How you begin your day can have a positive or negative impact on your creative work. 

Do you begin your day with meditation?  Or prayer?  Do you take a walk?  Or lift weights? Do you eat a healthy breakfast or do you skip the most important meal of the day?  Be thankful for every day you wake up.  The alternative to waking up is being six feet under.  Celebrate the day and give thanks for all you have been given.
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George C. Scott

"The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it."

American Actor

1927 - 1999

The world usually has its fair share of doomsayers who predict the end of civilization as we know it.  Like Chicken Little, they are constantly claiming the sky is falling.  But what few people consider is how strong the human spirit is.  No matter what is thrown at us, we pick ourselves up and keep going.

I don't care what kind of challenges you are currently facing in your life.  I don't care what has happened to you in the past.  The difference between the winners and the losers is that the winners pick themselves up and keep going.  You are stronger than anything that has happened to you.  You can overcome any difficulty or challenge you are currently facing.  You are a winner.  Believe in yourself.  
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Louis Armstrong

"My whole life, my whole soul, my whole spirit is to blow that horn."

American Musician

1901 - 1971

Do you put all of yourself into your art or do you hold a part of yourself back?  The more you give of yourself, the more powerful your art becomes.  Painting and writing are not nine-to-five jobs.  You must be involved in your art 24/7.   Every conversation and every book you read impacts your creative expression.  Every broken relationship and every love affair affects the art you create.  So are you blowing your horn with your body and soul?  Are you giving everything you have?

Listen to Satchmo sing "What A Wonderful World" and enjoy the photos.

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Howard Aiken

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas.  If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats."

American Professor/Computer Engineer

1900 - 1973

Writers sometimes worry about someone stealing their ideas or their work.  And while this may happen from time to time, it is not as prevalent as people might think.  In fact, truly original ideas are almost never stolen because nobody believes in them.  Today the Impressionists painters are celebrated throughout the world, but in their day there were considered failed artists.  Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime and that was to his brother.

Today the light bulb is taken for granted, but in the late 1800's most people would have thought you were crazy if you told them that you came from a world lighted by electricity and light bulbs.  In fact, Thomas Edison originally developed the light bulb to light baseball fields. 

Howard Aiken knows of what he speaks.  He was the conceptual designer in 1944 behind the Mark I computer originally called the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator.  Think about what it would take to sell the concept of a computer when it had not even been invented.  Nobody would steal the idea.  You would have to ram it down their throats.

What truly original ideas do you have?  Don't worry if nobody believes your idea will work.  That only means it must be original and only you can bring the idea to life.  Don't live in fear of someone stealing your ideas.  Live in fear that you will not give birth to an original idea.

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Marcel Proust

"Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."

French Novelist

1871 - 1922

In this holiday season when families come together in fellowship, friends share toasts of happiness, and lovers make vows of eternal love, we should be grateful and give thanks for all we have been given.  If you don't have someone this holiday season, I encourage you to reach out.  Don't hide in the attic, or the basement or the closet.  Make new friends.  Choose new directions.  How you spend this season of joy is your choice.  Celebrate what you have been given.
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Inspirational Quotes for Women and their Personal Development

These quotes are for the women who seek encouragement and motivation to face their fears and overcome obstacles in their daily lives.  By reading these inspirational quotes may these women come to a higher understanding and opinion of themselves.

“A pure, faithful love is the creative spirit
Which makes women angels!” Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“For attractive lips,
Speak words of kindness.” Sam Levenson

“This warrior woman is taking back her life,
taking back the respect that was taken from her
throughout the years ever so slow.
This warrior woman is removing pain and hurt from within the heart
caused by the knife,
from all those who are both family and foe.” Lady J-Ann

“ learn to look at people as they really are and not as you would want them to be, and you are careful not to project your neediness or insecurities onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name….not everyone can always love you the way you would want them to. So you stop appraising your worth by the measure of love you are given.” Sony Carroll

“…make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every wonderful opportunity and exciting possibility.” Sonny Carroll

“Man is buffeted by circumstances so long as he believes himself to be the creature of outside
conditions, but when he realizes that he is a creative power, and that he may command
the hidden soil and seeds of his being out of which circumstances grow; he then
becomes the rightful master of himself.” James Allen

“Every great work, every big accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding to the vision, and often just before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement.” Florence Scovel-Shinn

“Someone has said that courage contains genius and magic. Face a situation fearlessly,
and there is no situation to face; it falls away of its own weight.” Florence Scovel-Shinn

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Placido Domingo

"I hope I have given back half the joy music has given me."

Spanish Musician

1941 -

Does your creative work give you joy?  When you have completed a session of painting or writing, do you feel good?  I think it is a privilege to be a creative leader.  Our work brings us so much happiness and joy.  Celebrate your work.  And remember that creativity is about giving back a little joy to others.

Listen to Domingo sing.  You can feel the emotion even if you don't understand the words.

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John Keats

"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart's affections and the truth of imagination."

English Poet

1795 - 1821

One of the most powerful forces available to creative leaders is their imagination.  Your imagination will open up new worlds and provide you answers to many of the challenges you face in your creative work.  You must learn to cultivate your imagination.  You must nurture it and feed it.  Imagination grows through exposure to various ideas and various experiences.  

Steve Jobs, after dropping out of college, audited a course on calligraphy because he was interested in the subject.  What he learned in that single course gave rise more than a decade later to the multiple fonts available on the Mac computer.  And since Windows adopted much of its style and look from Mac, the computer world was given an array of fonts from which to choose.  How much different life would have been if computer users could not change fonts.

What are you doing to expand your imagination?  What ideas are you exposing yourself to?  How are you growing your imagination.  If you don't use it, you may lose it.  Feed your imagination today.
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Diane Arenberg

"Being true to yourself is what feeds creativity, not self-doubt and criticism."

American Artist

First Light

Over the eight years that I have watched American Idol, one of the most common comments from the judges involved being true to oneself.  Young artists are often encouraged to be themselves, but many spend years imitating someone they love.  At some point you must step beyond your mentors and show the world the artist you are.  

Don't paint what others want you to paint.  Don't write novels that you think will sell.  Paint and write what you want whether it sells or not.  Someday the world will catch up with you.  You are probably ahead of your time.  Remember to be true to yourself.

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Sufi Story : A Black Bird And Peaceful Sky

A black bird found a piece of food in a village and flying into the sky with the meal in his beak.

A flock of his brother chasing him and seizing the food greedily, pull it off from his beak.

The black bird then left them with a piece of food in his beak, and the crazy herd of birds leave him alone.

When the black bird flew with striking and diving, he thought, "I miss the food, but I get a peaceful sky again."

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Emile Zola

"The artist is nothing without a gift, but the gift is nothing without work."

— Emile Zola

French Writer

1840 -1902

Many have wasted the gifts they have been given.  Some will go a lifetime and never realize the gifts they have been given.  A gift by and of itself is not enough.  Even the gifted have to work to perfect their art.  One cannot get by on just the gift.  Hours of work and preparation are needed to create the masterpiece that will live for centuries in the hearts of others.  Often those without a gift can produce great work if they work hard.  When I was in college the question on the mind of every want-to-be artist and writer was: "Do I have talent?  Am I gifted?"  We sought the answer in the words of our professors.  Unfortunately, they often could not predict who had the gift and who was willing to work hard enough to perfect their craft.  Nobody else can answer the question for you.  Only you can answer the questions:  Do you have the talent?  Are you willing to work hard to perfect that talent?

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Tom Robbins

"When they tell you to grow up, they mean stop growing."

American Novelist

1936 - 

Adults can be so mean to kids without even knowing it.  And sometimes they will stifle creativity. Be aware of what you say to others.  Whose light are you extinguishing with your words and actions?  We don't mean to hurt those we love but often we do.  This holiday season take stock of your words and actions.
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Samuel Butler

"Life is like music, it must be composed by ear, feeling and instinct, not by rule."

English Novelist

1835 - 1902

Do you create by following rules?  Or do you create by ear, feeling and instinct?  I believe the best artists, writers and musicians create by their gut — ear, feeling and instinct.  The best creative leaders know the rules but also know when and where to break the rules or throw them out the window.  When the rules are telling you one thing and your gut is telling you another, follow your gut.  You will be the better artist for it.
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Richard Wilbur

"All that we do

Is touched with ocean, yet we  remain

On the shore of what we know."

— Richard Wilbur

American Poet

1921 - 

There is a vast world of knowledge and wisdom that we know little or nothing about.  We choose to live our lives on the shore of what we have learned.  We judge everything in light of what we think we know and seldom venture out of our safe haven.  Try to see  the world from new angles.  Explore the unknown and come away a better person because of it.  Change who you are by increasing your knowledge and wisdom.
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Anti Bullying Quotes

These anti bullying quotes are effective for anyone who is a target of bullying.  Bullying is an ongoing problem that needs to be put to a stop.  These quotes will encourage parents, educators, children and anyone who is the target or witness of this horrible act.

“I think anything we do to promote equity and inclusion and an opportunity or a place for students to express themselves in a way that makes them comfortable is a positive thing for all of the students in our schools.” Larry Hope

Your kids learn a lot about power relationships from watching you. When you get angry at a waiter, a sales clerk, another driver on the road, or even your child, you have a great opportunity to model effective communication techniques. Don’t blow it by blowing your top! Any time you speak to another person in a mean or abusive way, you’re teaching your child that bullying is ok.”

“…teach your children what to do -- kindness, empathy, fair play, and turn-taking are critical skills for good peer relations.”

“…kids who witness bullying feel powerless and seldom intervene. However, kids who take action can have a powerful and positive effect on the situation.”

“Studies have shown that boys who have positive, loving relationships with one or more adults outside of the home (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) report more positive experiences as a child than those who do not have these additional relationships.” Ted Zeff

“Bullying is different from aggression. Whereas aggression may involve a single act, bullying involves repeated attacks against the target…” Washington State Department of Labor

Regain control by:
• Recognizing that you are being bullied;
• Realizing that you are NOT the source of the problem; and
• Recognizing that bullying is about control, and therefore has nothing to do with your performance.” Washington State Department of Labor

“You can find strength in numbers and you can beat the feeling that you are alone or that you deserve to have someone bully you by sharing your struggles with other people.”

“Bullies go after the sweet and shy kids, so stand up for yourself! Show them that you are not afraid of them. Remember that they can't hurt you. Bullies like to show their "power" by teasing and hurting other kids, but in reality they are cowards. Strong people use their power for something else, not by bullying.” Hannah Henry

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Roger Fry


"Art is a passion or it is nothing."

English Artist

1866 - 1934

Are you passionate about your creative work?  Do you love what you do?  If you are not passionate about your work, then I suggest you look for another line of work.  Creative leaders need to be passionate about what they do.  There are plenty of naysayers in your way who will keep you from succeeding if you are not passionate.  Passion is one of the key ingredients to your success. 

River with Poplars

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Jim Rohn

"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment."

American Author, Motivational Speaker

1930 - 2009

We all have dreams and goals but many of us never achieve them because we have not mastered the art of self-discipline.  I define self-discipline as sacrificing short-term pleasure for the achievement of long-term goals.  If you want to be a novelist but you never seem to find the time to write, you will never write your novel.  If you want to be a painter but spend your time partying with friends and not painting, you may never produce any great paintings.  The arts require a lot of self-discipline.  We need to be able to sacrifice the pleasure of the moment for the achievement of long-term success.
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Ethel Barrymore

"You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself."

American Actress

1879 - 1959

Many of us take ourselves too seriously.  We need to learn to laugh at ourselves.  We all make mistakes.  We all screw-up.  When we learn to laugh at our mistakes, we begin to heal the pain.  None of us are perfect, even those of us who try to be.  For years perfection has been one of my goals whether I was speaking or writing and I have had to learn a hard lesson that it is okay to make a mistake.  I have had to learn to relax and to laugh at myself.  In fact, mistakes make us better people, more human.
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Mark Twain

"A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it."

American Writer

1835 - 1910

Do you tell everything in your stories or do you leave somethings to the readers imagination?  The best writing does not tell everything.  The best writing allows the readers to read between the lines.  The same is true of art.  A painting shouldn't tell everything.  Some things should be left to the imagination.  What are you leaving out of your creative work?  Do you know what should and what should not be left out?
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Otto Dix


"Everybody thinks they know what art should be.  But very few of them have the sense that is necessary to experience painting, that is the sense of sight, that sees colors and forms as living reality in the picture."

German Painter

1891 - 1969

I am fascinated by the artist's ability to see the world in terms of shapes and colors.  It is like having a second sight.  What is even more remarkable is that the artist is then able to reproduce on canvas what his mind sees.  For a writer, the equivalent may be his ability to hear words and how they flow together to form a story.  Or maybe there is no equivalent.  How do you see the world?  Through the eyes of an artist?  Or through the eyes of a writer?  Can you see shapes and colors when you look at the world?  Do you hear the words in your mind as you put them on paper?

Parents of the Artist

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Stanley Spencer


"I love to dwell on the thought that the artist is next in divinity to the saint.  He, like the saint, performs miracles."

English Painter

1891 - 1959

Do you perform miracles with your art?  I think creativity is a miracle of the highest order — to be able to create something that previously did not exist.  Creative leaders are rare people who generate new worlds and variations on existing worlds.  Creativity is composed of spiritual energy.  Every time we put brush to canvas or pen to paper, spiritual energy flows through us.  We are in touch with a power greater than ourselves.

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Adages of Wisdom Quotes by Master Sheng Yen

To crave your likes but reject your dislikes will plunge you into constant anxiety. Once there, you are prey to vexations.


Those content with few desires will never want.


Bodily ailments do not necessarily constitute suffering. An unsettled mind does.


To eliminate the suffering induced by an unsettled mind, just start reciting Guanyin's name to restore your inner peace.


What we have now is the best. He who can never be satisfied is a poor man, no matter how much he owns.


Don't try to control your negative emotions by suppressing them. Rather, dissolve them through contemplation, reciting the Buddha's name, or praying.

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"When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.  Give thanks for your food and the joy of living.  If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself."

Shawnee Chief

(1768 - 1813)

This week someone in one of my audiences expressed concern about all the negativity we hear  in our society.  She was concerned about the future.  And it is easy to see why she feels that way.  We live in a time when many of our leaders gravitate towards the negative.  Turn on any news channel and all you hear are negative stories and even worse — negative opinions.  Much of what passes for news today is actually opinion.  Read any newspaper and your heart fills with dread.  It takes a lot to remain positive and thankful in this negative world.  And yet thankful we must be for we are still alive.  Thankful we must be for we woke to see the sun again.  So give thanks every day this week that you have been given another day to write a poem, paint a picture or write a story.  No one knows if he will wake up tomorrow morning.  Be thankful that you can see another sunrise.
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Stanley Kubrick

"The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning."

— Stanley Kubrick

American Filmmaker

1928 - 1999

Do you sometimes feel that life is meaningless?  Do you ever wonder why you have been born into this world?  Do you know what your purpose for being is?  The creation of artistic work is one way that we can find meaning in our lives.  We can find hope and meaning in our writing, painting and storytelling.  

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Sympathy Quotes

Sometimes when circumstances in your life are unbearable words of sympathy from someone can be helpful.  Read these sympathy quotes to help you in get through the hard times.

“…to be a judicious and sympathetic listener will go far toward making you an agreeable companion, self-forgetful, self-possessed, but not selfish enough to monopolise the conversation.” Jack O’brien

“…nature has given to man one tongue, but two ears, that we may hear from others as much as we speak.” Epictetus

“Sympathy is an emotional response that involves both understanding and being moved by the suffering or joy of another.” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences | 2008 |

“And I will light a candle for you.
 To shatter all the darkness and bless the times we knew.
 Like a beacon in the night
 The flame will burn bright and guide us on our way.” Paul Alexander

“When it seems that our sorrow is too great to be borne, let us think of the great family of the heavy-hearted into which our grief has given us entrance. And inevitably, we will feel about us their arms, their sympathy and their understanding.” Helen Keller

“Please don’t cry
Don’t run and hide
When you need a shoulder to lean on
I’ll be by your side” Joe Green

“Your time has come to shine. All your dreams are on their way.
See how they shine, Oh, if you need a friend I'm sailing right behind.
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will ease your mind.
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will ease your mind.” Paul Simon

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” Kenji Miyazawa

“Sympathy does not think. It acts. It acts to remove. The ceaseless sufferings. Of the world.” Sri  Chinmoy

“Only when the sense of the pain of others begins does man begin.”
Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Image: SOMMAI /
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Rudyard Kipling

"I always prefer to believe the best of everyone; it saves so much trouble."

— Rudyard Kipling

English Writer

1865 - 1936

Do you look for the good in others?  Or are you a fault finder?  Do you point out the weaknesses of others?  Or do you pay them compliments?  Do you believe in people or do you think that everyone is out for himself?  How we view others impacts how we live our lives.  If we learn to find the good in others, we will be happier and more successful.  If we spend our lives finding fault with others, we will be unhappy and cyncial.  The easiest thing to do is to find fault in others.  It is much harder to look for the good.  Sometimes we have to dig deep.  So spend the day looking for the good in the people you meet.
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Jim Henson

"My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here."

— Jim Henson

American Puppeteer

1936 - 1990

Everyone should desire to leave the world better than they found it.  For me that is why we are here.  We are here to help others in their time of need.  How are you leaving the world better than you found it?  Did you plant a tree?  Give someone a ride?  Write a story that made someone cry?  Paint a picture that touched someone's heart?  We will all reach the end of the road some day.  What is your legacy?  How will you leave the world a better place?  What gifts have you given back?  Did you make someone smile today?  Did you give someone a hug?  Did you listen to someone who needed to get something off her chest?  Did you say thank you to your parents, your mentors and your friends?
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Thomas Carlyle

"A strong mind always hopes, and has always cause to hope."

— Thomas Carlyle

Scottish Writer

1795 - 1881

Hope is a crucial ingredient to leading the creative life.  Without hope we have no reason for living.  There is little meaning to life.  Hope is the breath of life.  Breathe deeply and you will live a much happier life.  In these troubled economic times it is easy to become discouraged.  Read some history and you will learn that this too shall pass.  Nothing stays the same; everything will change.  In the 1970's with the emergence of a united OPEC, gas prices soared higher than they are today if you take inflation into account.  We lived through a period of years of high inflation with interest rates running in the teens.  Today you can get a mortgage interest rate of under 4%.  This too shall pass.   Have hope.  Believe in your future and the world's future.  Read the history of the Great Depression and/or the novel, The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck and be grateful that you are living in these times.  Cultivate an attitude of hope.
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Inspirational Smile Sayings and Quotes

“A smile has no monetary value yet it's priceless. No amount of money can buy you one. It's given away for free. You neither have to beg, steal, or borrow it.” Jeff Cohen

“A smile is like a jewel worn on the face. It is the gateway to your personality. Wear a smile every minute and hour of the day, and you won't need anything else.” Jeff Cohen

“I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.” Mother Teresa

“When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them. Smile lots and you will draw people to you.” Mark Stibich

“A deep inner smile spreads like a relaxing elixir making us receptive to transform negative energy into positive.” Caroline Robertson

“…sending ourselves loving smiling energy empowers us towards strength and restoration.” Caroline Robertson

“Often times we just don't feel like smiling. If we try it doesn't feel sincere. Though a deeply felt smile is more beneficial even a surface smile triggers the brain to release hormones that make us feel better. Even imagining yourself smiling can trigger this. Our energy follows our thoughts. If we think something then we are doing that, at least on a subtle level.” Ric Chamberlin

“I'm not "always" in a state of balance, rather my intention is to move myself back to a state of balance as soon as possible when I get out of balance. To do that, I pay attention to my feelings and measure my smile.” Jeanie Marshall

“Once given, smiles can travel for miles and miles without significant interruption.” Robert Curtis

Photo Credits-

Image: markuso /
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