Words that inspire, cheer, encourage, nourish, tickle you

For years I’ve collected quotes that inspire or move me in some way. Ken jokes about the number of quotes I have stuck on the wall behind my computer, my office bulletin board, and the bathroom mirror. Recently, I’ve taken to writing some of my favorites into a tiny journal that has become a portable source of inspiration and encouragement. Unlike a wall or a big mirror, it can go anywhere with me!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
• “Just start dancing and the band will find you.” Tama Kieves

• “…one good word is bread for a thousand. “ David Whyte, from his poem “Loaves and Fishes”

• “Be unafraid to believe in yourself.” On a card my sister Jean made for me more than 20 years ago, which is now on my bulletin board

• “What do you want to do with this one, wild, precious life of yours?” Mary Oliver, poet

• “You’re never too old to do goofy stuff.” Ward Cleaver, Beaver’s dad

• “You need to be a realist to believe in miracles, because one can only see the real truth with the heart and not with the eyes.” Allan Hamilton, MD, in The Scalpel and the Soul

• “You have to give up the life you have to get to the life that’s waiting for you.” James Hillman

Each of these quotes says something very different to me and each fills a need at different times. Some make me laugh because of their truth (Ken will tell you I’m definitely not too old to do goofy stuff), some fill me with purpose, some nourish my soul, and others keep me afloat when the air starts to leak out of my balloon.

Have you found some quotes that inspire you, or that make you laugh and think at the same time? When you get discouraged or down, do you have a source of encouragement you can carry around in your pocket?

Borrow some of the quotes above. Find your own. Post them on your bathroom mirror or a place you will see them often. Copy a favorite quote in your journal and then write about what it means to you or describe how you feel about it.

If you like, add a favorite quote to the Comment section below this post and share it with others. Be sure to include the author’s name if you know it.

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Upcoming Workshops in Tucson

• Care for Yourself While Caregiving: A Journal Workshop for Family Caregivers of People with Brain Injury

Wednesdays, March 10 – April 14, 6-7:30 p.m.

For more information, click here.

• After Brain Injury: Telling Your Story

Wednesdays, May 12 – June 16, 4-5:30 p.m.

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern Arizona

1921 W. Hospital Drive, Tucson, Arizona

For more information, click here and scroll down to the third workshop.

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Today’s journaling exercises

If you’re ready to do some private writing in your journal, choose one or more of these prompts to get started. Try to write for at least five minutes, and I encourage you to write for 20 minutes if you’re able. Remember, though, if the topic feels too uncomfortable or scary, don’t force yourself to write.

If you’ve had a brain injury:

• A favorite quote of mine is: (insert quote). I like it because…

• I don’t have a favorite quote yet, but if I did it would say…

• Rather than be inspired by words from someone else, I can inspire myself by…

If you’re a family caregiver:

• A quote that has helped keep me going during this time is: (insert quote). It’s helpful because…

• If something I said inspired someone else, it would be…

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8 Comments on “Words that inspire, cheer, encourage, nourish, tickle you”


  1. Hi Barb

    You’ve given us some great quotes to think about. My favorites……

    • “What do you want to do with this one, wild, precious life of yours?” Mary Oliver, poet
    • “You have to give up the life you have to get to the life that’s waiting for you.” James Hillman

    I’m going to put them on the refrigerator next to my other favorite–”Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what is right and true and perfect will of God.”
    I’m not really a Bible reader–but I like this one–it comes from the New Testament–Matthew, I believe.

    HAPPY JOURNALING
    Madonna
    Author–Brain, Heal Thyself and Eureka! Memories and Motivations

  2. Jean Says:

    Just sitting here on a Sunday night reading your blog and the beautiful, encouraging comments your readers make. All of you truly inspire me.
    Since you are sharing quotes, this is one of my favorites:

    “Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall, and falling, they are given wings.” -Rumi

    Have a great week, Barbara.


  3. It seems u actually understand quite a lot regarding this particular
    issue and that demonstrates with this blog, called “Words that inspire,
    cheer, encourage, nourish, tickle you Journal After Brain Injury”.
    Regards -Thurman


  4. Appreciate the follow- am following back. Great to meet you in Scottsdale. I enjoy your book and your ability to give a voice for caregivers and people with brain injuries. Thank you, Barbara! “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible.’”


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