Inspirational Quotes to Change Your Life

I love quotes, especially those found in movies where you don’t expect them. Today’s post is a list of quotes to inspire and motivate. (And probably make you want to watch a movie or two.) Enjoy.

“Activity suggests a life filled with purpose.” – The Sound of Music; One of my favorite movies. One of my favorite lines. Our world tells us we must always be busy. Busy is what makes us important. This quote reminds me it’s okay to slow down.

“The things you used to own, they now own you.” – Fight Club; Possessions take money, time, and our lives. Think about what you own, and what you really need.

“Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it’s the moments that take your breath away.” – Hitch; Still love this quote. It makes me think how important every moment of our life is. Enjoy each one.

“I figure life’s a gift, and I don’t intend on wasting it.”– Titanic;
You only have one life. Live it to the fullest.

“I guess you never know if the last time you see someone is going to be the last time you ever see someone.” – A Thousand Words;
If you haven’t seen this movie, you seriously need to. You will think twice about your words, and about life.

“Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you were born to stand out?” – What a Girl Wants; Always be who you are.

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole.” – It’s a Wonderful Life;
I think we forget how our life impacts so many others. Every smile, every touch, every deed, affects another being.

“When something is too hard, there is always another way.” – Finding Dory; I like the hard. It inspires me to keep going. It inspires me to look beyond the obvious, and use my imagination.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off;
I’ve never seen this movie, and don’t intend to. However, I like this quote. Life moves way too fast. Sometimes we just need to slow down and enjoy the moment.

“The past can hurt. You can either run from it, or learn from it.” – The Lion King; No doubt, we all have hurts. We can let them pull us down, or we can use them to build ourselves up. Not saying it’s easy, but sometimes life gives us hurts to teach us. And sometimes, I think it’s the very hurts that make us stronger.

“You can’t live your life for other people.” – The Notebook; It’s true. I’ve tried. You can’t dress how others want you to, have the career others choose, decorate your home, drive a car, or live a life for anyone else. You were created to be unique.

“It’s what you do right now that makes a difference.” – Black Hawk Down; Everything you do matters. I’m learning this more and more. I can waste time, or use my time well. What I do this moment can change my whole future.

Hope this finds you inspired! What movie will you be watching tonight? Any great quotes to share?

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The Stories in Our Stuff

This is a story of clutter and confusion, a brain muddled by too much stuff.

Inside a pocket sits a story, a place where a child’s toy once rested, a spot for a special gift given to a special someone. Shoes tell stories of trips to malls, journeys to other countries, trips down a hospital corridor, runs on a sandy beach.

Our stuff is our story. Objects turned to fragments of our lives. Inside a book once read, now soaked with tears. Barrettes worn by a little girl. Bracelets given by loved ones no longer on earth.

I once owned a lot of stuff, which held a lot of stories. Closets and cabinets overflowed with items I didn’t need. But after my brain injury, I could no longer comprehend what everything in my home was for, and clutter became nothing more than a source of tension for me. Piece by piece I let go, books, papers, a pile of material, though at the time, I didn’t understand why, or what I was doing.

A few years later, my husband and I moved. I looked around our new home and all we owned, and decided, more than anything, I wanted a life of less. I began to purge.

Even then, I didn’t understand the true impact of my actions. With each item placed in a box or bag, emotions overwhelmed me. I cried, shedding tears for a vase bought on vacation, dresses worn to weddings, tiny paper ornaments created by children now grown.

My stuff was being given away bit by bit, my life, my stories, my memories.

Memories are hard for me, holding pain and grief, and most of all, loss. After my injury, I lost many memories, falling from some obscure slit in my brain. I have worked hard to try and get them back. That day, as I placed items in a bag, I was scared. What if I lost these memories, just as I’d lost the others?

But that’s not what happened.

When I released bags and boxes from my life, needless to say, my physical world changed. My home was cleaner. But what happened next was unexpected. I experienced a clarity I hadn’t had in a long time. A freedom came over me. I could think. Reminisce. Remember. Recall. Images appeared, remnants of a life I thought I’d forgotten. Doctors’ visits, a son’s far-away move, another child’s career change. Memories I didn’t know I had.

My brain had been cluttered by all I owned. When I let go of clutter, it let go of me.

I don’t have all my memories back, and probably never will. But I have more than I once had, more than I could hope for.

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Enjoy the Now

Sometimes a day trip is all that’s needed to remind me what life is about.

Sunday morning, the sun rose high in the sky, grass glittered like tiny wet diamonds, little buds burst from trees, and daffodils spread their yellow cheer. My husband and I packed a lunch and set out on our first day trip of the year. No plan. No calendar. No list. No reminders of what needed to be done.

It was a badly needed day away, one that hadn’t been planned. Sad to say, that’s how my life usually is – one plan followed by another. I plan everything – vacations, meals, career ambitions, errands, home improvements – my calendar is a list of goals for this year, and even years beyond. It’s safe to say my life often feels like one big planning session.

I like plans, the anticipation, the wonderment, thinking about the next big adventure. I love dreaming about what’s to come. But sometimes when I plan, I forget to enjoy where I am.

The road trip reminded me.

Grass bowed as we sped the rural highway. Tall evergreens stood majestic against a background of a snow-capped mountain. My husband and I spoke of many things, enjoyed the scenery, the parks, the life around us. Nothing existed but the moment we were in. I had forgotten what that was like.

It is true, plans need to be made. We’d never go on vacations if we didn’t think ahead. Careers would fail. Family would get neglected. But sometimes, it seems as if we are so busy thinking of the future, we forget about the life in front of us.

Believe me, I’m as guilty as anyone. I plan next week’s meals while eating dinner, think about vacations while watching a documentary. I’m half here, half someplace else. Distracted, always looking forward.

The road trip reminded me what I knew all along. That to truly enjoy life, we must stop and enjoy the moment.

It got me wondering, what if we didn’t wait for a road trip? What if we stopped every day to enjoy the now? What would happen?

The world wouldn’t end, I guarantee it. But maybe it would change.

We could make our own little worlds calmer, quieter, full of what really matters. I want my life to feel that way.

So, as silly as it sounds, I’m making a plan to not plan. My calendar now contains three little words, “Enjoy the now.” It is my reminder to take time each day to remember where I am. Because in this crazy-busy society, sometimes we need to plan for the quiet.

It won’t be easy. I’m always thinking ahead. Most of us are. But I don’t want the road trip to be the only reminder that life is right here in front of me. Right now.

Life is in front of you, too. In the friend on the phone, the spouse next to you, the child in your arms. It’s in your dishes, your work-out routine, and the meal you prepare.

I encourage you, stop constantly thinking ahead. Enjoy where you are at.

Enjoy the Now

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A New and Simpler Life

The more I delve into minimalism, the more I see what it means to have a simple life.

I began my journey into minimalism because, quite honestly, I was tired of stuff. That, and a brain injury made it nearly impossible for me to tolerate tiny little trinkets and tons of things I had to sift through to find what I needed.

But brain injury aside, I am glad this happened. More than that, I am ecstatic. Minimalism has taught me a lot. It’s taught me to release pointless things in my life, like extra clothes and shoes, and books I’ll never read, and it’s taught me that things are not as important as I once thought they were.

If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you’ll remember I let go of over $8000 worth of stuff from my life. Because of that, my life is changing. I expected a transition, at least somewhat. With less stuff, there had to be less to clean. With less junk in the drawers, what could I possibly have to organize?

But with all those obvious changes, what I didn’t expect was a new and better life.

I am living the simple life. Not an I’m-on-a-farm-making-my-own-jam kind of life, because for me, that wouldn’t be simple. That would be insanely hard. No, my life is the simple kind of life where I can rise in the morning, shower, and lazily eat my breakfast. I can sip tea while reading my favorite blogs. I can do yoga or work-out before starting my day of work. And even while I work, my life feels much less complicated.

Because of minimalism, I truly have acquired a simpler, and quieter, life. And the funny thing is, the more I delve into a minimalism, the simpler my life gets.

My life is not perfect, because life will never be that way. I am a work-in-progress, but with less in my life to worry about, I have more time to work on me.

Are you ready for a simpler life?

Minimalism isn’t about stuff. It’s about life. It’s about living.

Please feel free to share this with others.

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Simply Let Life Happen

Years ago, I sat in the office of my new employer, watching her softly creased face as she recited the expectations of my new job. She paused for a moment and looked me in the eye. “There will be times you can’t make it to work, when something beyond your control occurs. Remember, there’s always someone here to take your place, to help. Because sometimes, life happens.”

She was right. Life happens. I’d seen it many times in my own life. Family sickness, accidents, death. I’d felt one too many times the effects of life’s happenings. And to be honest, I didn’t always handle it well.

I wasn’t the type of person to let everything slide off me, though that’s what most people thought. No, I hid my feelings well, letting them fester inside, until I became depressed and angry, stopped eating, or just slid away from the world. But usually, I overdid everything – work, housecleaning, cooking.

Like when my father got sick, I worked harder than ever, cooking for him, doing his paperwork, running to see him every day. And when my mom was ill, I worked extra hours at my job. I started a new business before my dad passed away, and then worked more than ever after his death, ignoring the pain in my heart.

It might be safe to say I wanted to prove myself. Mostly, I think I was trying to hide.

But this woman in front of me, who’d seen more pain than I ever had, was so confident, so quietly assured, and reminded me that often, “Life happens.” There was a soft sadness in her voice when she spoke, even as her eyes sparkled like gems beneath the sun. She spoke calmly as she stated, “Bad things happen to all of us.”

I wondered what heartache she’d felt, what blows life had dealt her. I wondered if she’d ever run away the way I had, or hid behind hours of work. I wondered how she’d turned years of sorrow into a lifetime of joy.

A lot of life has happened since I first met that woman. I’ve had my own share of life’s happenings since then. My biggest was my brain injury. That injury taught me a lot about how to face life, that ignoring the pain, or trying to hide, doesn’t make the sorrow go away.

It taught me to face life head-on, to look for the hidden jewels inside the sand. It taught me that life is a series of lessons, of joy in pain, of beauty in grief.

Life happens. It always does. It’s what we do with it that matters. Click To Tweet
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