Rachel Naomi Remen quotes

  • Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Communication #Healing #Acceptance

  • Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you - all of the expectations, all of the beliefs - and becoming who you are.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Inspirational #Motivational #Letting Go

  • The secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Secret #Answers #Good Company

  • The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Love #Inspirational #Powerful

  • A human life has seasons much as the earth has seasons, each time with its own particular beauty and power. And gift. By focusing on springtime and summer, we have turned the natural process of life into a process of loss rather than a process of celebration and appreciation. Life is neither linear nor stagnant. It is movement from mystery to mystery. Just as a year includes autumn and winter, life includes death, not as an opposite but as an integral part of the way life is made.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Summer #Death #Appreciation

  • Life offers its wisdom generously. Everything teaches. Not everyone learns.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Life #Teach #Offers

  • The willingness to consider possibility requires a tolerance of uncertainty.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Tolerance #Possibility #Willingness

  • Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain. It is a sorting process. One by one you let go of the things that are gone and you mourn for them. One by one you take hold of the things that have become a part of who you are and build again.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Letting Go #Pain #Grief

  • Most of us lead far more meaningful lives than we know. Often finding meaning is not about doing things differently; it is about seeing familiar things in new ways.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Positive #Meaningful #Way

  • In the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone, the unseen singing softly to itself and to you.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Silence #Listening #Singing

  • Of course love is never earned. It is a grace we give one another. Anything we need to earn is only approval.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Love #Giving #Grace

  • When we are seen by the heart we are seen for who we are. We are valued in our uniqueness by those who are able to see us in this way and we become able to know and value ourselves.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Heart #Who We Are #Able

  • Wounding and healing are not opposites. They're part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to to find other people or to even know they're alone with an illness. I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Loneliness #Healing #Thinking

  • Everybody is a story. When I was a child, people sat around kitchen tables and told their stories. We don't do that so much anymore. Sitting around the table telling stories is not just a way of passing time. It is the way the wisdom gets passed along. The stuff that helps us to live a life worth remembering.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Children #People #Community

  • When we know ourselves to be connected to all others, acting compassionately is simply the natural thing to do.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Kindness #Compassion #Bad Ass

  • Our listening creates a sanctuary for the homeless parts within another person.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Compassion #Listening #Sanctuary

  • Most people have come to prefer certain of lifes experiences and deny and reject others, unaware of the value of the hidden things that may come wrapped in plain and even ugly paper. In avoiding all pain and seeking comfort at all costs, we may be left without intimacy or compassion; in rejecting change and risk we often cheat ourselves of the quest; in denying our suffering we may never know our strength or our greatness
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Pain #Greatness #Compassion

  • Helping, fixing, and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. when you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Broken #Ego #Soul

  • Perhaps wisdom is simply a matter of waiting, and healing a question of time. And anything good you've ever been given is yours forever.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Life #Wisdom #Healing

  • Goose bumps happen when your soul is close to you, breathing lightly on the back of your neck, and wakes you up.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Breathing #Soul #Necks

  • To seek approval is to have no resting place, no sanctuary. Like all judgement, approval encourages a constant striving. It makes us uncertain of who we are and of our true value. Approval cannot be trusted. It can be withdrawn at any time no matter what our track record has been. It is as nourishing of real growth as cotton candy. Yet many of us spend our lives pursuing it.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Real #Track #Judgement

  • Life is known only by those who have found a way to be comfortable with change and the unknown. Given the nature of life, there may be no security, but only adventure.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Life #Adventure #May

  • There should be a word that means beginning/end because nothing begins without something dying.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Inspirational #Mean #Dying

  • Being alive is being aware, being able to be touched and moved and changed, being able to respond rather than to react, being able to see and hear.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Inspirational #Alive #Able

  • Sooner or later we will come to the edge of all that we can control and find life, waiting there for us.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Waiting #Coaching #Sooner Or Later

  • When you listen generously to people they can hear the truth in themselves, often for the first time.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Compassion #People #Firsts

  • Until we stop ourselves or, more often, have been stopped, we hope to put certain of life's events "behind us" and get on with our living. After we stop we see that certain of life's issues will be with us for as long as we live. We will pass through them again and again, each time with a new story, each time with a greater understanding, until they become indistinguishable from our blessings and our wisdom. It's the way life teaches us to live.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Wisdom #Blessing #Issues

  • Our wounds are our sources of growth.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Growth #Source #Wounds

  • The choice people have to make is never between slavery and freedom. We will always have to choose between slavery and the unknown.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Freedom #People #Choices

  • The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Powerful #Way #Persons

  • Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Giving #Important #Attention

  • Every great loss demands that we choose life again. We need to grieve in order to do this. The pain we have not grieved over will always stand between us and life. When we don't grieve, a part of us becomes caught in the past like Lot's wife who, because she looked back, was turned into a pillar of salt.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Pain #Loss #Past

  • If you carry someone else's fears and live by someone else's values, you may find that you have lived their lives.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #May #Live By #Values

  • From a good teacher you may learn the secret of listening. You will never learn the secret of life. You will have to listen for yourself
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Life #Teacher #Secret

  • Deep inside, our integrity sings to us whether we are listening or not. It is a note that only we can hear. Eventually, when life makes us ready to listen, it will help us to find our way home.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Integrity #Home #Listening

  • I had thought joy to be rather synonymous with happiness, but it seems now to be far less vulnerable than happiness. Joy seems to be a part of an unconditional wish to live, not holding back because life may not meet our preferences and expectations. Joy seems to be a function of the willingness to accept the whole, and to show up to meet with whatever is there. It has a kind of invincibility that attachment to any particular outcome would deny us.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Attachment #Expectations #Joy

  • Those who wish to change things may face disappointment, loss, or even ridicule. If you are ahead of your time, people laugh as often as they applaud, and being there first is usually lonely. But our protection cannot come between us and our purpose. Right protection is something within us rather than something between us and the world, more about finding a place of refuge and strength than finding a hiding place.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Spiritual #Lonely #Disappointment

  • Everybody is a story.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Stories

  • We bless the life around us far more than we realize. Many simple, ordinary things that we do can affect those around us in profound ways: the unexpected phone call, the brief touch, the willingness to listen generously, the warm smile or wink of recognition. All it may take to restore someone's trust in life may be returning a lost earring or a dropped glove.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Simple #Phones #Profound

  • Facts bring us to knowledge, but stories lead to wisdom.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Stories #Facts

  • For many years now I have listened to the stories of people with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses as their counselor. From them I have learned how to enjoy the minute particulars of life once again, the grace of a hot cup of coffee, the presence of a friend, the blessing of having a new cake of soap or an hour without pain. Such humble experience is the stuff that many of the very best stories are made of. If we think we have no stories it is because we have not paid enough attention to our lives. Most of us live lives that are far richer and more meaningful than we appreciate.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Meaningful #Pain #Cancer

  • Religion is a bridge to the spiritual, but the spiritual lies beyond religion.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Spiritual #Lying #Bridges

  • In our instinctive attachments, our fear of change, and our wish for certainty and permanence, we may undercut the impermanence which is our greatest strength, our most fundamental identity. Without impermanence, there is no process. The nature of life is change. All hope is based on process.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Change #Attachment #Identity

  • The sacred lives beyond labels and judgment, in the wood-of-no-names.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Names #Woods #Sacred

  • One of my patients told me that when she tried to tell her story people often interrupted her to tell her that they once had something just like that happen to them. Subtly her pain became a story about themselves. Eventually she stopped talking to most people. It was just too lonely. We connect through listening. When we interrupt what someone is saying to let them know that we understand, we move the focus of attention to ourselves. When we listen, they know we care. Many people with cancer talk about the relief of having someone just listen.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Lonely #Pain #Cancer

  • Most of us lead far more meaningful lives than we know. Often finding meaning is not about doing things differently; it is about seeing familiar things in new ways. When we find new eyes, the unsuspected blessing in work we have done for many years may take us completely by surprise. We can see life in many ways: with the eye, with the mind, with the intuition. But perhaps it is only those who speak the language of meaning, who have remembered how to see with the heart, that life is ever deeply known or served.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Meaningful #Eye #Heart

  • Is it possible to live so defensively that you never get to live at all?
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

  • The spiritual is inclusive. It is the deepest sense of belonging and participation.We all participate in the spiritual at all times, whether we know it or not.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Spiritual #Participation #All Time

  • When we pray, we don't change the world, we change ourselves.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Prayer #World #Praying

  • Anger is just a demand for change, a passionate wish for things to be different.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Anger #Wish #Passionate

  • People have the natural capacity to affirm and embrace life in the most difficult of circumstances.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Courage #People #Natural

  • We may need to let go of our beliefs and ideas about life in order to have life.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Life #Letting Go #Order

  • Fear is the friction in all transitions.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Fear #Transition #Friction

  • When we listen, we offer with our attention an opportunity for wholeness.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Opportunity #Attention #Offers

  • Life wastes nothing. Over and over again every molecule that has ever been is gathered up by the hand of life to be reshaped into yet another form. p 259
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Hands #Waste #Molecules

  • Just Listen an excerpt
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Listening #Just Listen

  • It has been my experience that presence is a more powerful catalyst for change than analysis.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Powerful #Coaching #Analysis

  • When we haven't the time to listen to each other's stories we seek out experts to tell us how to live. The less time we spend together at the kitchen table, the more how-to books appear in the stores and on our bookshelves. But reading such books is a very different thing than listening to someone' s lived experience. Because we have stopped listening to each other we may even have forgotten how to listen, stopped learning how to recognize meaning and fill ourselves from the ordinary events of our lives. We have become solitary; readers and watchers rather than sharers and participants.
    -- Rachel Naomi Remen

    #Book #Reading #Listening