Positive Matters: Words, Quotations, and Stories to Heal and Inspire

Positive Matters: Words, Quotations, and Stories to Heal and Inspire

by Helen Evrard

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475963618
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/15/2013
Pages: 186
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.43(d)

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Positive Matters

Words, Quotations, and Stories to Heal and Inspire
By Helen Evrard

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Helen Evrard
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-6361-8


Chapter One

THE WORDS

ABUNDANCE

DEFINITION:

an overflowing fullness; ample sufficiency; great plenty; profusion; copious supply; superfluity; wealth: strictly applicable to quantity only, but sometimes used of number.

ETYMOLOGY:

Latin, stem of abundare, to abound; from ab, from the beginning + undare, to flow in waves, from unda, a wave.

* * *

QUOTATIONS:

Talent is always conscious of its own abundance, and does not object to sharing.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger.

St. Basil

Whatever we are waiting for—peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance—it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

* * *

I never thought about this word much. In fact, sometimes I feel it's a bit overused. But it's more in the forefront of my mind now, especially when I think of the abundance of blessings and gifts I've received throughout my life. What came to mind first, though, when I thought about this word, seemed silly: my mother's hair has always been rather thin and sparse, very different from the thick crop I inherited from my father's side. It inspires me to be grateful for the abundance of hair I was born with, so I've got some to spare now that mine, too, has begun to thin as I grow older. My hair is straight—how funny that I always wanted curls or waves. I'm simply reminded that when we choose to take a deeper look, we can always find something that is plentiful in our lives.

* * *

DELIGHT

DEFINITION:

(noun) a high-wrought state of pleasurable feeling; lively pleasure; extreme satisfaction, joy. (verb) to give delight to; to please highly.

ETYMOLOGY:

Old French deliter and Latin delictare, to delight; frequentative of delicere, from de, fully + lacere, to allure.

* * *

QUOTATIONS

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

E. E. Cummings

Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition.

Alexander Smith

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?

Rose Kennedy

* * *

When I was a child, nothing beat the sheer delight of the ice-cream truck coming down the alley behind our backyard in the summer. The neighborhood kids, my sisters, and I would wait at the grass's edge while straining to hear its tinkling little melody, and I never ceased to marvel at the exotic taste of my favorite flavor—teaberry—as I held the dripping cone in my hand. This word brings to mind the innocence and freedom, the sense of letting go and being truly "in the moment," which seems so easy to achieve when you're young. Wouldn't it be nice to be delighted all the time? We need to recall those teaberry-ice-cream moments more often, to recreate those experiences in our mind and evoke those childlike feelings of delight once again.

* * *

DREAM

DEFINITION:

(verb) to anticipate vaguely as a coming and happy reality; to have a visionary notion or idea; to imagine; to see, or have a vision of, in sleep, or in idle fancy. (noun) a sleeping vision.

ETYMOLOGY:

German traum, from Teutonic dreugan, to deceive. Icelandic draugr, a ghost.

* * *

QUOTATIONS

Some look at things that are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?

George Bernard Shaw

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Harriet Tubman

There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

Douglas Everett

* * *

I dream every night and usually remember my dreams upon awakening, even if only for a brief moment or two. When I was very depressed though, my dreaming stopped. At that point the thoughts that I consciously generated while I was awake—notions of hope, possibilities, forgiveness, worthiness—assumed a much greater importance than my dreams. Slowly I realized that, with enough effort, conscious dreams can become reality. We don't need to search for magical answers while we sleep. Once I made progress on my path of self-improvement, I began to dream again. This didn't solve my problems in a fairy-tale fashion, but it gave me back the sense of being myself. I know that the dreams we generate, whether we're asleep or awake, can provide comfort, familiarity, hope, support, and sometimes—if there's a ghostly encounter—maybe even a good laugh.

* * *

POSSIBLE

DEFINITION:

capable of existing or occurring, or of being conceived or thought of; able to happen; capable of being done; not contrary to the nature of things.

ETYMOLOGY:

Latin possum (short for potissum) from potis, powerful, properly "lord" or "master."

* * *

QUOTATIONS

Hold on with a bulldog grip, and chew and choke as much as possible.

Abraham Lincoln

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Dalai Lama

Nothing is impossible. The word itself says "I'm possible."

Audrey Hepburn

* * *

When I look back on my life, it seems clear that I put a "not possible" stamp on many things, including my own potential and abilities. Early on in my career I avoided this word when caring for sick people, believing that the hard facts of medicine and science were immutable and a requisite part of a winning game plan. Unproven approaches weren't an option, and good outcomes were simply not possible for certain conditions. As time went by, though, I quickly revised my methods to include the idea of possibility. Finding solutions to a problem became more creative and fruitful. Little did I know that this change was a gift to myself—the very concept that I'm possible—allowing me to give more to others in the process.

* * *

GENEROSITY

DEFINITION:

the quality of being noble; liberality in giving; munificence.

ETYMOLOGY:

Latin, generosus, of noble birth.

* * *

QUOTATIONS

Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.

Khalil Gebran

It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert.

Jacques Yves Cousteau

No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.

Emma Goldman

* * *

I engaged in this very positive behavior a lot, often to my great detriment. I can still hear my mother's comment after giving her an expensive gift: "Helen, you're just too generous." How right she was! What precipitated this conduct? Deep down inside I harbored a childlike belief that this generosity would be magically reciprocated—that I would automatically get back as much as I gave. How crazy is that? It was only after I experienced major loss that I recognized the true meaning of generosity; I saw it in the unconditional kindness extended to me by virtual strangers. I still have a generous heart, yes, but have learned to set proper boundaries. Now I can give within my means with a freer attitude, one that's devoid of expectations. Quid pro quo is no longer the paradigm. If someone exhibits that attitude toward me, I've learned to just look the other way.

* * *

EMBRACE

DEFINITION:

(verb) to clasp in the arms with affection; to include as parts of a whole; to take in; to cherish; to accept with cordiality. (noun) intimate or close encircling with the arms; clasp; hug.

ETYMOLOGY:

Old French embracer, to embrace, seize; Latin in + brachia, from the two arms.

* * *

QUOTATIONS

Don't ignore the past, but deal with it, on your own pace.

Once you deal with it, you are free of it, and you are free to embrace your life and be a happy, loving person, because if you don't, the past will come back to haunt and keep coming back to haunt you.

Boris Kodjoe

Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.

Albert Einstein

We are each of us angels with only one wing; to fly we need only embrace each other.

Source unknown

* * *

This word always seemed so touchy-feely to me. "Embrace your plus size!" "Embrace your originality!" I thought that it was subtly urging us to accept something in ourselves that may be different to the point of unappealing, even repellent. But the origin of the word hints at something beyond an individual attribute: when we're embraced, we need someone else's arms to enfold us. It suggests the need to look outside ourselves, to move beyond our human bodies and egos. The presence of another is an implied requisite. I always enjoyed grabbing on to new ideas or dreams; I love learning new things. But most of all I like to embrace people. To express the love and emotion we feel for another, nothing beats a big, warm hug.

* * *

POTENTIAL

DEFINITION:

(noun) anything that may be possible; latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness; the possibility of something happening or of someone doing something in the future. (adjective) being potent; endowed with energy adequate to a result; influential.

ETYMOLOGY:

Latin potens, powerful, present participle of possum, I am able.

* * *

QUOTATIONS

Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back.

Princess Diana

Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!

Anne Frank

Your past is not your potential. In any hour you can choose to liberate the future.

Marilyn Ferguson

* * *

This word took on a vast new significance when I became a mother. I remember choosing to raise my twins in a very deliberate fashion, with the conviction that they could "be all that they could be." As I write this, they are both in college, working on degrees that reflect their talent and passion. Mothers possess the instinctive knowledge of a child's capacity to grow and mature, the certainty that her little one will succeed in even the simplest of tasks. I was so absorbed in my twins when they were young, and with fulfilling various other obligations, that I lost track of my own potential. Eventually, catastrophic circumstances took me to a place where I had to look ahead and I had to start the work of healing myself. While seeing the possibilities in others is indeed a noble habit to engage in, we mustn't lose track of ourselves in the process.

* * *

HARMONY

DEFINITION:

the just adaptation of parts to each other, or things intended to form a connected whole; concord or agreement in facts, opinions, manners, interests; peace and friendship; such an agreement between the different parts of a design or composition as to produce unity of effect.

ETYMOLOGY:

French harmonie; Latin harmonia; Greek [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (harmos), a joint, joining, proportion.

* * *

QUOTATIONS

Let tears flow of their own accord: their flowing is not inconsistent with inward peace and harmony.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

If life isn't about human beings and living in harmony, then I don't know what it's about.

Orlando Bloom

Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life's relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the windowpanes, which vanish in the warmth.

Søren Kierkegaard

* * *

I grew up in a musical family. If we weren't singing at church, we sang along with the radio or the record player, we sang on holidays, and we learned to play various instruments. To me, that music was a force that joined the seven of us together a bit more closely than if we'd lived in silence. Now I look for harmony in other places—in the beauty of nature, kids playing in a park, or just a good conversation over dinner. Sometimes we can't wait for it, though; we have to take the initiative and go out and create it.

* * *

UNIQUE

DEFINITION:

being without a like or equal; unmatched; unparalleled; single in a kind of excellence; sole.

ETYMOLOGY:

French unique; Latin unicus, single; unus, one.

* * *

QUOTATIONS

We need to continually look within ourselves. Contemplate our inner being and find our own unique voice and then learn to heed it and we will then have the life experience that we deserve.

Dirk Benedict

Cherish forever what makes you unique, 'cuz you're really a yawn if it goes.

Bette Midler

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.

Margaret Meade

* * *

This powerful word allowed me to reach many goals, including that of building a prosperous private practice. My conviction that each and every case was unique—that every problem needed a custom-designed approach—was an essential part of my formula for success in a competitive atmosphere that presented many obstacles to surmount. A tailor-made program was prepared for each person—one that was designed to make them better or give them answers—and I got busier in the process. Although I lost almost all the material things I acquired when I had money, I never lost my ability to see life through the prism of the unique. This outlook helps me remember I can request and receive what I need, those singular blessings that will help me along my path. I love the concise pronouncement of Margaret Meade. Yes, I'm unique, just like you!

* * *

NOURISH

DEFINITION:

to feed and cause to grow; to support; to maintain; to encourage; to foster; to cherish; to comfort; to promote the growth of in attainments; to bring up; to instruct.

ETYMOLOGY:

Old French norir; Latin nutrire, to suckle, feed, nourish.

* * *

QUOTATIONS

Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. Not all things are blest, but the seeds of all things are blest. The blessing is in the seed.

Muriel Rukeyser

The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.

Johannes Kepler

Pain nourishes courage. You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

* * *

W hat has this word meant to me over the years? Let me count the ways. I spent a lot of time feeding my brain from when I was small on, that's for sure. Twenty-seven years of my life involved school in one form or another. That's an awfully long time! I ate myself silly too, after the twins were born. Besides food, my sources of nourishment became the material things I worked for and procured—my successful practice, a house, a new car, presents and trips for me and the kids. I stopped nourishing the most important part of me—my very soul—and paid a huge price as a consequence. The lesson I learned is to take time every day to water my spiritual garden. I meditate, keep a journal, take a walk, or give someone a compliment or a helping hand if I can. I still struggle with my weight. Some days are harder than others, but I've made a firm commitment to never be so inwardly famished again.

* * *

INSPIRE

DEFINITION:

to breathe into; to animate; to infuse into the mind; to affect, as with a superior or supernatural influence; to fill with what animates, enlivens, or exalts.

ETYMOLOGY:

Old French enspirer; Latin in, into + spirare, to breathe.

* * *

QUOTATIONS

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.

Plato

A mediocre idea that guarantees enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.

Mary Kay Ash

Keep all special thoughts and memories for lifetimes to come. Share these keepsakes with others to inspire hope and build from the past, which can bridge to the future.

Mattie Stepanek

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Positive Matters by Helen Evrard Copyright © 2013 by Helen Evrard. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Contents

Preface....................ix
The Words....................1
Acknowledgments....................163
Appendix – Words by Alphabet....................165
References....................167

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Positive Matters: Words, Quotations, and Stories to Heal and Inspire 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Depression is a universal affliction and its victims often feel total isolation and helplessness. Through her personal example, Helen Evrard shares not only her crushing fall from an accomplished career and fulfilled personal life to the depths of failure and despair. Although brain chemistry and intense therapy are most often viewed as the “essentials” in treating depression, Helen also takes us through the step by step path that helps us see the beauty and joy of inspirational words and their positive meanings. This in not just a journey of semantics, but of personal relevance and it allows one to start taking control over depression. Helen understands that we are most often touched, affected, and inspired by “everyday life” and she helps us hear and interpret commonly used yet important words through her eyes and through the eyes of famous others. They all ultimately inspire us. This book is a joy to read and refer to – every day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!  I work in the Mental Health field and I will definitely use this book in my groups.  The words in this book are truly inspirational and will make a huge impact both in a grup setting and in a one one setting.  I would recommend this book to any one in social work or mental health.  I give this book five stars! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think It's great!  The etymologies are informative as they help one to understand each words deeper meaning  The quotes are fun and anecdotes interesting.  I suggest using  this book in a more creative way then just reading it through.  I open the book at random and like to see how the word mirrors my daily life.  I then use that thought to reflect on throughout my day.  Positive Matters would make a great gift!