Connected and Encouraged

Photo by JB in Pacifica

Do not keep the alabaster boxes of your love and tenderness sealed up until your friends are dead. Fill their lives with sweetness. Speak approving, cheering words while their ears can hear them and while their hearts can be thrilled by them. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

There are different ways of feeling kinship and connection.

Spiritually, we’re all waves in the same ocean, we’re air, we’re light, we’re dust motes and raindrops. I breathe you in, you breathe me out.

We all resonate to different frequencies, feel connected to people, places, creatures, concepts, sensations and objects, but what happens when we become disconnected from ourselves?

I’ve been feeling that a lot  recently, but comments I’ve received in the boxes here over the last few days have not only made me feel connected and encouraged, but re-aligned to myself, my mission and the people I care about. The flu’s nearly gone. My writing voice feels healthier again, too.

Maybe it’s because of the origins of the word, but encouragement makes its home in my heart. The words I received in response to a tired plea have kept a flame alight that was threatening to flicker out and die. Thanks  to everyone who wrote to help me.

And thanks to my husband, who held everything together when I was ill.  If I were to write a list about encouragement, it would include these:

Encouragement is a hand on my shoulder….

Encouragement is a cup of coffee laid by the computer…

Here are a few quotes that sang to me today:


Friendship is not essentially a union of personalities, it is an attraction and magnetism of souls. ~ Thomas Moore


Every soul that touches yours—
Be it the slightest contact—
Gets therefrom some good;
Some little grace; one kindly thought;
One aspiration yet unfelt;
One bit of courage
For the darkening sky;
One gleam of faith
To brave the thickening ills of life;
One glimpse of brighter skies-
To make this life worthwhile
And heaven a surer heritage. ~George Eliot


Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.
Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.
Be good friends who love deeply;
practice playing second fiddle….
Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy;
share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other;
don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies;
don’t be the great somebody.
Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. ~Romans 12:9-10, 15-17 (The Message)


This above all: to thine own self be true
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man. ~ Shakespeare


In our whole life melody the music is broken off here and there by rests, and we foolishly think we have come to the end of time. God sends a time of forced leisure, a time of sickness and disappointed plans, and makes a sudden pause in the hymn of our lives, and we lament that our voice must be silent and our part missing in the music which ever goes up to the ear of our creator. Not without design does God write the music of our lives. Be it ours to learn the time and not be dismayed at the rests. If we look up, God will beat the time for us. ~ John Ruskin


Do not close yourself off from life because of fear. Do not build walls of expectations or dictate terms for who, what, how and when the Universe will deliver. Expect miracles and see miracles, even in the simple, mundane round of life. Love each moment as it comes. Embrace it fully. Immerse yourself in this moment, this reality. Be aware. Be yourself. Be brave and dare to live from the very centre of your being. ~ Candy Paull


Any favourites?

Try writing your own  Encouragement is… list.


  1. Janice: Glad to hear you are on the mend. Our bodies are machines that will let us know when we need to make adjustments. Connection from the core is synchronicity at its best. However, to disconnect from self we view in our family as a hiccup or a growing pain that is a sign that an adjustment needs to be made. It is what pushes us to to grab the next rung and continue to be proud of the person we want to be. Rest and be well. Your voice is always there and a reprieve can catapult your soul to new altitudes.

    Cindy´s last blog post..Knock, Knock…

  2. Thanks, Cindy. I feel a lot clearer today, warmer inside. I needed to snuggle up and read so I did – and as always, found some lovely quotes I wasn’t looking for. I’m planning to sit down this weekend and work out a new healthier writing and blogging routine that fits round my family life instead of leeching from it. Tonight’s pizza and DVD night so I’ll be logging off soon. Have a lovely weekend!

  3. Here is one of my favorite quotes on friendship and encouragement:
    “There is no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.” George Matthew Adams

    I also like this one:
    “I believe that any man’s life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement, if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day, and as nearly as possible reaching the high water mark of pure and useful living.” Booker T. Washington

    I loved the picture you chose to go with this post. I am so glad you’re getting better each day. Take care my friend. We need you.

    Randi´s last blog post..Thoughts of a Twitterless Thinker

  4. Thanks, Randi!
    The rainbows made me think of you and Cindy when I found that photo. I thought, too, of Chania Girl and the comment I wrote to her about waves on my last post.

    “Pure and useful living.” Lovely phrase! But your first quote says so much about why I love the people who visit this wee community of ours. I am glad that you and the others here have become part of my life mosaic.

  5. Very nice to hear that you are feeling better…great news.
    I enjoyed reading this post today. I so enjoyed the quotes and of course they gave me some good writing ideas! Thank you

    I think I am walking in Scotland this summer to find out more about my own self, exploring an archived region of the self.

    getting in balance is such a key to allowing the spirit room to dance and play

    Patricia´s last blog post..Thinking About My Dad

  6. Hi Janice,

    I love all the quotes and the subject of encouragement is something I have not given much thought. Reading your post along with the beautiful quotes made me realize that encouragement is unconditional love.

    When someone loves us without condition, it enables a person to soar and nothing is better than to be loved like that. I think God/the Universe loves us without condition but humans are not so forgiving and I think that is one reason why there is so much pain and suffering in the world.

    We all want to feel worthy and to be good but sometimes we need validation and we look to others to give us that validation. Personally, I am all for the importance of loving ourselves and relying on our own inner validation but I am also well aware that I think the world would be a very different place if unconditional love was given freely without fear.

    Happy to hear that you are feeling much better! Love and hugs!

    Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog post..Be Your Own Guru

  7. Janice,
    I saw on Davina’s blog that you have thought of quitting your blog. No, no no! You have to much talent to quit. I’ve enjoyed your writing and our blogging community would be at a loss without your wisdom and caring.

    “The road to a friends is never long.” That’s my favorite today.

    Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..10 Powerful Tips for Financial Freedom

  8. Hi Janice,

    First, I love the photo you chose for this post. I love the ocean. It’s like the waves speak to me.

    And second, I’m happy to hear you’re feeling better. It’s never being sick.

    I love the quote you opened this post with. It’s such a wonderful reminder for all of us to be positive and see the best in others. One of my favorite quotes is, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. It always reminds me that we all start our journeys the same – with that first step. And if we don’t take that step, we’ll never know what we may have missed out on.

    Barbara Swafford´s last blog post..When The Conversation Moves Off Of Your Blog

  9. @Patricia,
    You’ll love Scotland – there’s space enough to lose yourself or find yourself, enough gems to craft your own inner jewellery. I ran wild a kid; it’s only now that I realise how good it was for me, how much of the elemental made a home in my soul. We dance differently when we have poise and balance as well as inner freedom.

    @Positively present,
    One of the decisions that I made when I was ‘wobbly’ was that one quote from the heart every day is better than dragging a weary soul around, feeling I should be doing more. Less ‘shoulding’ all over myself was another decision!

    @Chania Girl,
    Glad I could help. Blogging’s an eco system. Balm’s good!

    I agree that we find our bliss and our balance when we love ourselves enough, but on the days when our mirrors of self are distorted, or when we’re soul weary or struggling, isn’t it inspiring how the kind words of loved ones, strangers and friends are mirrors of our best selves! You do this naturally without thinking, encouraging people through your writing and emails; maybe that’s why you’d never thought about it in terms of ‘encouragement’. My coach training had me investigate it from all angles, finding ways to acknowledge, co-create, fortify, uplift, inspire, invite expansion, build on achievement and elicit a person’s greatness. It’s my favourite part of coaching; I can do goal work and am brave enough to challenge folk when they’re hiding behind stories, but championing people…that’s my passion. I’ve felt the power of being championed myself this week. Thank you for your part in it!

    Thank you. My reolve to sort myself out has been strengthened this week. I love writing, love the best bits of blogging. It’s up to me to work out the balance and keep a sense of perspective.

    One of the life goals on my bucket list is to visit online friends. What a journey that would be – it makes me glow just thinking about it!

  10. @Frank
    Thank you – nice to ‘meet’ you. Greek background?

    It’s a pleasure to have you over for coffee! I’m glad you like the photo; I’m my own worst enemy – really picky about photos – so finding them is a real challenge for me. So’s cropping them to size. At the moment I do maths and alter the ratios in Paint. I loved this one.

    I’m not impatient by nature, but I’ve come to realise that there’s an element of blogging that always makes me feel like I’m permanently ‘challenged’, ‘behind’, struggling to learn all the tools and tips I know I need. I’ve started to be kinder with myself, apply my Kaizen coaching approach to myself and blogging. I LOVED your post on blogging as an addiction, linked to it here once. It really could become one for me if I let it. As well as being more ruthlessly focused on my family’s needs, I need to let go more, go with my ebbs and flows.

  11. I am glad you are feeling better. I really enjoy this blog because it talks to me about life, and everything that it involves. It inspires and makes me reflect on things. It is spiritually uplifting. Thank you for sharing your journey. This post gave me an idea for a writing prompt for my Just To Write blog, I will post it on June 24th. Keep up the great work!


    1. Thanks, Ana. I really appreciate your support. I’m feeling a bit better every day. It was a yucky bout and I’m prone to post-viral blues, which doesn’t help. The roller coaster seems to have come to a halt and I’m feeling much more inspired and serene again. I’m twitching to post something today, but I decided to cut down on posts this week, just to give myself and everyone else here some breathing space. I look forward to reading your post; it’s always lovely to hear that something here has inspired or supported.

  12. Thank you for sharing these quotes. An excellent way to start the day.

    “Spiritually, we’re all waves in the same ocean, we’re air, we’re light, we’re dust motes and raindrops. I breathe you in, you breathe me out.”

    Very well put.

    jack´s last blog post..Your Personal Path with a Heart

  13. You know Janice I wasn’t all that surprised to hear you were ill, but like others I am glad you’ve turned it into a positive experience.

    Encouragement is…
    two fellow Celts helping each other grow 🙂

    Marc´s last blog post..SEO 101.1 Keyword Research

  14. Hi guys,
    Sorry for not responding sooner. I’m trying to leave big blocks of time when I don’t log on and these slipped though the net.

    That was my favourite bit, too! I worry that folk might think I’m lazy when I post quotes I love, but it actually takes me as long to find the ones I want in my quotebooks and type them up as it does to write a longer post. It’s always a heartwarming relief to hear that folk appreciate them. I’m a quote addict!

    Thank you! Every single subscription makes me happy and strengthens my resolve to create something that will make people feel they it was worth subscribing.

    I’ve seen so many blogging friends burn out. I’m heeding the warning signs I’ve had. My health isn’t exactly vibrant at the best of times, so I need to listen to my body’s wisdom. It’s a balance. Reading and writing inspires me, makes me glow. Too much, and the balance gets out of whack.

    Thank you! You nailed it – my gratitude to folk who’d reached out and helped me did well up and overflow. It often works like that.

    I like your husband quote. We have the start of a tag poem. We could do something with that, methinks 😉

    I couldn’t read your book yesterday as I made a pact with myself not to log on at all till late. But I’m looking forward to it. My daughter has the lead role in a school play this evening, so it may have to be tomorrow. I’m trying to be firm with myself, but when I log off, I twitch like an addict in need of a fix. All the more reason to wean myself off long bouts online.

  15. Hi Janice,
    Great and inspiring post! And great to hear that you’r fine after little illness!
    I’m little wary of my blog which takes lot of time to publish the text than writing it. It really is a pain to set the font size and things like that.
    And again, what to write about about writing, or about my own interesting topics on life – these questions do put me in a fix.
    the reason why I’m not visiting any blog is to not to show the same dull post I had in my blog. 🙂

    The quotes are so wonderful and and I’ve become quote-addict after reading your posts. I really like each of your quotes published in your posts. Keep more quotes and your simple yet powerful snippets of experience and knowledge coming regularly.
    Pls. don’t quit blogging you’re so great and have to give so much to the world… seriously.

    Solomon´s last blog post..Ride the crest of the writer’s learning curve!

    1. @Solomon,
      Nice to see you back! Please don’t stay away from people’s blogs because of Comment Luv; I bet folk are always glad to hear your warmth. If you want to comment without showing your last post, just scroll down the Comment Luv boxes until you get the error message. That way nothing will show.

      I’m so glad you like the quotes and I really appreciate your encouragement; I can tell it comes from the heart.

      May I offer some advice? If you’re stuck for ideas, write about the neighbourhood where you live, without naming names or endangering your privacy. Describe the sounds, smells, sights and colourful daily activities of the people. Many folk can’t afford to go away on holidays this year, so reading about interesting places and other people’s lives and cultures is like having a little blogging day trip.

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