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10 Quotes That Have Helped Shape My Life

I have always loved inspirational quotes and I use them in my life as tools to help me make the choices I make. I believe if a quote catches your eye, it's a message from the Universe.

So, I listen with my heart and eyes wide open. I love social media for this reason. I love seeing quotes and reading them, and letting them dance in my soul and help me make the choices in my life.  Today, I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes. Not in any particular order because as my life evolves, so does the importance each quote has in my life. I hope some of these quotes will inspire you as they have me. 

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote is framed in the hallway of my home.  My mom gave it to me many years ago.  I remember feeling that she understood me at that moment in a way that was very powerful and healing. I think that we live in a world now where we have so much access to so many things that it is hard to be yourself. We have constant “reminders” or what we should be, what we should look like, how we should eat, etc. It’s difficult to shut out the noise and be authentic to ourselves. But I think that is the purpose of life. There is a joy that arises when you learn to hear your own tune, and march to the beat of your own drum. It is not an easy task, no doubt, but there is a satisfaction that comes when you tuck yourself in bed at night, knowing you lived your day with integrity to your own unique self.  I actually think it is the uniqueness in us all the makes us beautiful.  

"The only journey is the one within." — Maria Rilke

As I’ve gotten older, I realize that it is important to look at yourself, to go deeply into who you are, not who your parents were, not who your friends are, not who your lover is, but rather see who you are.  It is through this journey towards self, that you will find understanding of the world around you because all that we see, all that we experience goes through the lens of ourselves.  We are the lens through which we see and experience the world.  If we understand ourselves, we understand the world.  If we accept and love ourselves, we accept and love those around us.  

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." — Henry David Thoreau

I sometimes feel like this is my mantra of life ... And I feel that it is a gift that I must share.  I think we are all born with certain truths that ring out in our soul and spirit, and we can’t deny them in our actions as we go through life.  For instance:  I can’t pass by someone who needs help without trying to help in some way.  And this one … I believe so strongly that we are put here on earth to pursue the dreams we have in our minds and hearts.  I don’t believe that God would give us a vision if it were not for us to enjoy or to live.  There are reasons for everything … everything is a sign, a signal, a message from the Universe or God ( depending on your beliefs), and I believe we are meant to listen to them and encourage others to do the same.  I believe we have the birthright to joy, and that God wants all of us to have a fulfilling life.  That doesn’t mean that each day is perfect.  It means that if we see something as a dream, I think we are meant to pursue it. I have found that when I take the first steps, no matter how scary they may be, the universe and God always assist.  

"The Universe is kind" — Unknown

I do not know where I learned this, or who said this first.  But I believe this with all my heart.  I believe that the universe is kind and compassionate, and that everything that comes to us is to help us live our best life. I believe that the universe wants us to feel joy, and will give us what ever we need to get us there.  

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquering of it.”  - Dan Millman

This quote comes from the book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior.  It is a powerful book that changed the way I saw the world.  I encourage those around me to read it.  The truth is I have felt a lot of fear in my life.  People ask me how I have been able to accomplish the things I have in my life.  Well, the only real way to answer that is to have courage. Courage is facing fears to get towards the life you want. It means facing down the voices of inadequacy. It means going head-to-head with the possibility of failure. It even sometimes means failing. But these are all temporary states … and creations of the mind.  Courage is facing your fears because you want to find, and live a beautiful life.  It means you have to focus on the positive, and go through the trials and tribulations.  They are a part of the journey that leads you to joy.  

"No Guts, No Glory. Go For It.”

This was on a t-shirt my brother had when we were growing up in Hawaii. I think I gave him the shirt.  He put it in his high school yearbook as his quote, but forgot to mention me (you know how those yearbook quotes and inserts meant so much).  It’s a funny memory of our childhood, but I do love this quote.  I hear it in my mind often, when I’m not sure what to do …. and I hear it in my brother Craig’s voice — Which reminds me of him and always makes me smile.  It’s a very Inaba thing to say. 

"If you love something, love it completely, cherish it, say it, but most importantly, show it. Life is finite and fragile, and just because something is there one day, it might not be the next. Never take that for granted." — R. Queen, Darkchylde: The Ariel Chylde Saga

5 years ago, my father suddenly passed away in his sleep.  He had just finished cancer treatments, and had moved back to Hawaii to recover. He had lived out in LA for the duration of the treatments.  I was going through a difficult time in my own life.  I was just diagnosed with some auto-immune disorders, and I had just bought a new home.  I actually chose this home with the idea in mind that my father was going to probably come and live with me, so I chose the appropriate home.  My dad called me to check on me and I had just got my diagnosis.  I was still processing it, and was going to call him when I got a little more settled.  I never got the opportunity.  He passed away three days later in his sleep. I still have his last message. His last words to me were, "I love you. Bye”. I never got to tell my dad I loved him. I never had the chance to say thank you for checking on me.  I never had the opportunity to let him know in person how much he truly meant to me. So, I don’t care if people can’t handle my truth, I tell people how I feel, openly and honestly.  I agree whole heartedly with R. Queen. LOVE FULLY.  LIFE IS FINITE and FRAGILE … please remember this.

"Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them." — Bruce Lee

I grew up in Hawaii watching Bruce Lee films.  He was such an incredible talent, and such a wise soul. And this quote has stayed with me. I  can honestly say that I find a certain joy in admitting my own mistakes. I feel lightness overtime when I admit a mistake to myself, or to the world, and even to my bosses. 🙂I think we find a camaraderie and connection with others when we admit our failures and shortcomings openly without judgement.  Most of us have made mistakes. Maybe all of us. And I think in that knowledge, we are connected and less alone in this world. 

"Truth is like the sun.  You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away." — Elvis Presley

This quote goes along with the last quote about mistakes. I think that the truth always works best, and that’s because truth is just truth.  It is simple, and it is everlasting. It is not always pleasant, but it doesn’t matter. You see, when you tell the truth, I believe, there is nothing you can do about it but accept it because it just is. I am just a big fan of the truth. You don’t have to be cruel, in fact, it’s a good exercise in caring to be able to tell a challenging truth to someone you love. You have to find the right words, you have to be careful … The way you tell your truth says a lot about you I think.

"Sharing is Caring."

I believe in sharing.  I try to share what I have with most people.  Not just material things, but any experience or challenges I have had as well, so that other may learn from my experience. I like to share.  It makes me feel good.  Even sharing the more difficult experiences gives me joy.  It's as if sharing something that was challenging or difficult turns it into a gift.  The whole experience then becomes positive.  I share in hopes that what I share will help others … and this the whole concept behind The Carrie Ann Conversations Blog.  I believe sharing is a way of loving people, and giving them the gift of you, and your own life and experiences.

With love xx Carrie Ann