"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)

Aristotle Inspirational Quotes

by Steve M Nash
(Huddersfield, UK)

Weekly Wonder Online: 32

Aristotle wonders...

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."

Listen to my thoughts about Aristotles' free inspirational quote in the video below. You'll also discover a bit more about a favourite part of West Yorkshire, this time Greenhead Park, Huddersfield in West Yorkshire.

What I Wonder...

(NOTE: Yes, I wrote any captions you see in this video. It's called self-deprecation, and it's mostly a healthy thing (I think!).)

So, as I say in the video - I hope you remembered to play the video! - this Aristotle inspirational quote is all about the importance of knowing who you are. Because once you know what's going on for you, what's really going on for you in your core, then and only then can you truly know what, if anything, needs to change.

So, in the example I share about myself I have sadness, and I felt sad the day I filmed this video. Yes, there is a deep sadness in me the causes of which I have yet to unravel.

Now most of the time, in the past, I shut myself off from this sadness - sadness is 'wrong', or shameful - and I pretend (like lots of people out there, I guess) that all is well in the world of Steve.

And most times I get away with it, too.

But every now and then, the sadness returns - my mood changes, ever so subtly, and there is a 'disturbing' darkness in me.

All I know about this sadness - which is neither wrong nor right, it just is - is that it must be acknowledged, and accepted, for it to be eventually transformed (I hope).

But transformation can never occur whilst I am in denial of how things are for me...

Now I'm not suggesting that you also have this sadness in you, or that there is anything disturbing in you at all.

What I am suggesting is the benefit of truly knowing what's going on with you, though, of listening to your body and your mood - and of being okay with what you find.

Aristotle's wisdom is just another way of saying that you cannot plot a path to where you want to go WITHOUT knowing where you are right now.

And of course that makes perfect sense, doesn't it. How can you go to Paris for the weekend (ooh, how I wish!) if you don't know whether you're starting out in London, Leeds, Louisiana or some other place beginning with L!

I mean, you might already be in Paris. And wouldn't you feel a bit daft planning a trip to the place you already where. Daft or smug, maybe!

Anyway, that's what Aristotle's inspirational quote means to me. But I'd love to know how his words feel for you, too.

So please share your wisdom, your thoughts, regarding this Aristotle inspirational quotation! :-)

Thanks, as ever, for reading,

PS And don't worry about my sadness. Sad isn't bad or good, remember, it just is... And most of the time, I'm really quite a happy person :-)

PPS And here are 4 more Aristotle inspirational quotes

"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self."

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit."

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

"What is a friend? A single soul in two bodies."

PPS Now please comment, please have your say - thanks.

Comments for Aristotle Inspirational Quotes

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Mar 07, 2011
by: Sandy

This morning I went the gym and felt something I identified as "happiness" and I was able to pedal faster and felt like exchanging a couple of words with others.

But then it goes away. I did a journal on this. And it came to me that the sunlight in the universe is often covered by the clouds. And isn't it beautiful when the clouds move out and the sunlight comes through.

But those clouds come back. I wondered: am I the clouds with the occasional sunlight or am I the brightness of the day with the interference of the clouds.

I dug deep. And something said to me: it is what it is. I saw that to mean that you are both: the sunlight, the clouds, the rains, the storms. It's just that I hitch myself to what "I think" is beautiful.

But it is all apart of life. I notice my best meditation (period of silence) is when I go towards what I have identified as "pain" or "sadness". I sit with it. I observe it. I don't judge it. And then sometimes it stays for the day(s) or hour(s) or minute(s) and then it lifts again.

The sadness could be the prompt for the stillness we need. It could be something calling out to you to stop and pay attention.

oops...you won't believe it. But that cloud is coming back again.

I heard a You Tube Video the other day and you may be interested in this one:
Here is the link; let me know what you think...

Mar 07, 2011
by: Anonymous

Yes wow !!! I think it so brave of you to describe your feelings and in fact to share them, Thank you Steve

Mar 08, 2011
by: Steve

Thanks anonymous and Sandy for your thoughts.

I bet most of us, at some point, feel this sadness. It's just good to be with it, as Sandy says.

And I did check out the YouTube video - left a comment, too, thanks.



Mar 09, 2011
by: JJ

Steve thanks for sharing and being so "real". it is difficult sometimes to know where emotions and feelings come from and learning to accept them.
I often feel sadness and try my utmost to overcome it but a lot of times to no avail. I try to think of reasons why I should feel this way and tell myself that I have no reason for feeling sad instead of just accepting it. I have it in my head that I should be happy all the time, not possible! I still believe that a lot of what we put into our bodies affects our thinking, so eating healthy I feel is very important. Tomorrow will be a brighter day!!

Mar 09, 2011
by: Sandy

"I have it in my head that I should be happy all the time, not possible! I still believe that a lot of what we put into our bodies affects our thinking, so eating healthy I feel is very important."

JJ you want to be happy all the time but it is in "your head" as you eloquently stated. Have you noticed over the years how thoughts and situations that use to make you "happy" no longer do? And how "happiness" has been redefined in some ways. That is because, as with everything in life, things are "relative" and they change.

How would we know what "happy" is without "sadness"? I put these terms in quotes because happy and sadness is what is defined by you. You may be "happy" when you eat ice cream and "sad" when you are sick of the same old flavor.

What I found for myself is to start being aware of a range of feelings. I can in some situations experience what I call "happy" and in other fulfilling situations "joy" and in other situations "fulfillment" and in some situations "love". So what is happy but a feeling on a continuum?

There is a great book by Gendlin on Focusing and perhaps Steve can put one of his links to it on Amazon or may have a copy with some of the quotes. I think this focusing technique will help you to get in touch with a range of feelings. Your choice of course.

I've found for me that even when I'm sad, there are still other feelings which give me fulfillment. It's important I think to explore this, because I have been in that place where I perceived that I basically was an unhappy person and for me it was a "dark" place to be.

Also, I agree with you about nutrition. There are days when I feel super energetic and focused. And through keeping a journal I can connect some of those times with diet. But then again there are days I eat healthy but feel "off beat".

It took me many years to come to the place where I just observe the feelings, sensations in the body and not "qualify" them but be able to see the varying range of feelings.

From that point I realized that "feelings" and "sensations" and "perceptions" are so fleeting(coming and going) that I wanted to learn to meditate and get familiar with the place that never changes and where I can see the feelings objectively and when appropriate(for me) distance myself from some of them.

It's hard to explain. But I found a place of equilibrium which continues to enrich my life.

Let me know what you think,

Mar 10, 2011
to Sandy
by: Anonymous

I am definitely interested in the book you mentioned and thank you for your response, it is all very interesting and I am willing to explore this, thank you for your reply Sandy.

Mar 10, 2011
by: Papri

It was a nice video Steve.
Sometimes I feel sadness if it stays within, is very painful..
Its good to share it, heart feels lighter..but frankly speaking im not very social person and I'm not good at making friends either and so I share my sad thoughts with my diary.
Have a great weekend.

Mar 10, 2011
Being Social and getting out sadness
by: Sandy

Often times we are feeling a range of feelings from sadness to anger but underneath it all is some painful experience. And sometimes its an experience we'd rather not face nor acknowledge because it makes us feel bad about ourselves or highlights some embarassing behavior.

Here's the issue: If you knew better would you have done better(a paraphrase from Maya Angelou).

And then there is the pain associated with some aspect of our past involving being a "victim". Though it is hard to forget and forgive, at some time it is necessary for your "own" cleansing, so you can move out of a place of stagnation. That is not to say that all the feelings of shame or doubt will leave overnight; but we must allow some light into a dark situation.

Often time we think that to "forgive" and "forget" makes us callous or cold and even a "pushover". But I think if you're done you're done. You don't have to relive the experience until you are ready. And you will know whether it is wise to bring up past things again. In some cases yes. In others "no". You must do what is best for you.

The other reality is that perhaps at the time you were emotionally or physically dependent on this person who hurt you and thus you did what you thought was "the path of least resistance".

Now you must no longer be a victim. And in many instances people find the courage to confront and "move on". Some pains will resolve themselves over time, or at least to a degree where you can function.

As far as socializing with others, I think we are hard on ourselves. At minimum one can "smile" and greet people and treat them with overall respect. But who says that you must sit down with others and become "friends" overnight.

I have some "acquintaces", "associations" but not necessarily people who fit in the "friend" category. Yet I live a fulfilled life.

One thing that is nice about forums such as this one(Thanks Steve) is you can anonymously use this to post some feelings and get feedback. You don't have to share any details or anything real painful; but just ask general questions and get feedback.

If you feel you must have a great social life and or many "friends" then start slow. Very slow. If you're shy just work up the courage to "smile" and say hello. And when people talk to you, listen and become interested in what they have to say.

I find it easy to concentrate on what they are saying, if I have the attitude that this person's experience may tell me something about myself. What can I learn from them? Why are they in my life at this time? What resources or information do they have that could be helpful to me? what information or resources do I have which could help them?

"Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.."
by Mother Teresa

Mar 11, 2011
to Sandy
by: jj

sorry, the reply was from me not anonymous :)

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