Catalyst Quotes

Compiled by Alex Pena ~ ‘Catalyst’: “to spark, to ignite, energize, mobilize; something that accelerates a reaction (DDI)." Thought-provoking & motivational quotes and stories for you to read, reflect on and move forward in making creative and positive changes in your life.

“Go Inside and Listen to Your Body”


“Imagine you are walking in the woods and you see a small dog sitting by a tree. As you approach it, it suddenly lunges at you, teeth bared. You are frightened and angry. But then you notice that one of its legs is caught in a trap. Immediately your mood shifts from anger to concern: You see that the dog’s aggression is coming from a place of vulnerability and pain.
This applies to all of us. When we behave in hurtful ways, it is because we are caught in some kind of trap. The more we look through the eyes of wisdom at ourselves and one another, the more we cultivate a compassionate heart.”   (Tara Brach)




“Every time I judge someone else, I reveal an unhealed part of myself.” (Anonymous)




“And how deceived was I to think that what I feared was in the world, instead of in my mind.”   (A Course in Miracles)




“Do we all have monsters?”
“Why does God give us so many monsters?”
“You want to know my theory?”
“I think it’s other people who give us monsters. Maybe God doesn’t have anything to do with it.”  (Benjamin Alire Saenz, Last Night I Sang to the Monster)




“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.”   (Pablo Casals)




“Go inside and listen to your body, because your body will never lie to you. Your mind will play tricks, but the way you feel in your heart, in your guts, is the truth.” (Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)



“Change Into Who You Are”

“Close the door. Remove the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.” (Paulo Coehlo)


“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” (J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)



”First realize that the world is only a reflection of yourself. 
Then stop finding fault with the reflection.” (Nisargadatt Marahaj)



“I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. 
I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. 
I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. 
While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.” (Max Lucado)



“It’s up to me to use the power of my mind to put my thoughts to better use.” (Affirmation for the Day)



Your Golden Heart

”You have seen your own strength.

You have seen your own beauty.

You have seen your golden heart.

Why do you worry?” (Rumi)

“Thank You”

(Re-post from November 21, 2012)


“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.” (Edward Sandford Martin)



“Encourage one another.  Many times a word or praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept people on their feet.” (Charles Swindoll)




“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” (Brian Tracy)




“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” (Meister Eckhart)




“If you are really thankful, what do you do?  You share.” (W. Clement Stone)




Thanksgiving Day is primarily an American holiday celebrated on November 22; however, Canada has a Thanksgiving Day celebrated in October and many other countries throughout the world set aside a day to give thanks and show gratitude. Regardless of whether there is a formal day to celebrate either as a cultural or religious holiday, giving thanks and showing gratitude is ingrained in all of us. Tell those around you “Thank You.” ~ GM Universe

“How We Spend Our Lives”


“I count myself lucky, having long ago won a lottery paid to me in seven sunrises a week for life.” (Robert Brault)




“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.  (Annie Dillard)




“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”   (William Arthur Ward)




“Good advice…

is priceless. Not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. Not imaginary, but practical. Not based on fear, but on possibility. Not designed to make you feel better, designed to make you better.

Seek it out and embrace the true friends that care enough to risk sharing it.

I’m not sure what takes more guts—giving it or getting it.”   (Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog 5.14.14)




“Like it or not, the main way we learn is by falling flat on our face, just as we did when we first learned to walk. Our parents may tell us a million times not to touch that hot stove, but it’s only after we actually burn ourselves that we really understand why it’s not such a great idea. The learning opportunities provided by failure can actually help us to achieve our dreams. In the words of restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, ‘I learned more from the one restaurant that didn’t work than from all the ones that were successes.’

Yes, failure is frustrating. But it’s also temporary and eventually yields wisdom. We can think of failure as part of life’s apprenticeship. If we were perfect and had all the answers, we’d never get to ask questions, and we wouldn’t be able to discover anything new.”   (Kristen Neff, Self-Compassion)




“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.”  (Paulo Coelho)




“I Have Seen Life as it Is”



“I have lived nearly fifty years, and I have seen life as it is. 

Pain, misery, hunger … cruelty beyond belief.  I have heard the singing from taverns and the moans from bundles of filth on the streets.  I have been a soldier and seen my comrades fall in battle … or die more slowly under the lash in Africa.  I have held them in my arms at the final moment.  These were men who saw life as it is, yet they died despairing.  No glory, no gallant last words … only their eyes filled with confusion, whimpering the question, “Why?”  I do not think they asked why they were dying, but why they had lived.  

When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?  Perhaps to be too practical is madness.  To surrender dreams — this may be madness. To seek treasure where there is only trash.  Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all:  to see life as it is, and not as it should be!”          (Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, Miguel Cervantes)




“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”   (Edith Wharton)




“An old Grandfather, whose grandson came to him with anger at a schoolmate who had done him an injustice, said, ‘Let me tell you a story.   I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.   But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy.   It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die.   I have struggled with these feelings many times.’

He continued, ‘It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm.   He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended.  He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.  But the other wolf, ah!  He is full of anger.   The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper.   He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason.   He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great.   It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.’

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, ‘Which one wins, Grandfather?’

The Grandfather solemnly said, ‘The one I feed.’”     (Azriela Jaffe)




“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”   (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)




“When you understand that what most people really, really want is simply to feel good about themselves, and when you realize that with just a few well-chosen words you can help virtually anyone on the planet instantly achieve this, you begin to realize just how simple life is, how powerful you are, and that love is the key.     (signed)   The Universe”   (Mike Dooley, Notes from the Universe, 9.1.14)




“Are you scared?  Or are you not ready?  There is a difference.”   (Unique Quietness)




“Grow, Grow. Shine”

“Do you think if someone deeply believed that they and I were one – that I stirred in their heart, ran through their veins, and shone from their eyes – they’d wait for the part of me that existed ‘outside’ of themselves to make their dreams come true?

Or would they seize each moment of every day, assured of their inevitable success?

Phew, I work through you, not for you.   (signed)   The Universe”     (Notes from The Universe, Mike Dooley, 5.19.17)




“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”   (Confucius, Confucius: The Analects)




“Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow.’”   (The Talmud)




“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.”   (St. Augustine)





Live purely.  Be quiet.

Do your work with mastery.

Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds!

Shine.”   (Buddha)



“Sometimes Things Become Possible”


“How is it possible, I think, to change so much and not be able to change anything at all?”   (Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall)




“The world is a possibility if only you’ll discover it.”   (Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man)




“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”   (Arthur C. Clarke)




“Let’s go back in time.  Way back.  Before there was even a ‘you’.  Good.  Now further back. Before there were mountains.  Right.  Now before there were oceans. Cool.  Now before there were planets.  Bravo.  Now before there was time and space. Wow.

What’s left?

Right, there was only me, Universal awareness.  And what is awareness, but thought?

Love it.

So, if where there was only ‘thought,’ there are now suns and moons and planets. Mountains and rivers and oceans.  People and places and pets.  What must they all be made of?


And look who’s thinking now… You?  You are thinking now?  Are you sure?  But if ‘where’ there was only me there’s now you, who must you really be?

Nice roots.   (signed)    The Universe”    (Notes from the Universe, Mike Dooley, 5.24.17)




“So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.”   (Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth)




“Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.”   (T. S. Eliot)



“The Universe / Things Do Not Change”


“Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”   (Dr. Seuss)




“The truth is you live in an infinitely kind and unspeakably wise Universe that you are a part of, not apart from; where you, yourself, are a creator.  And of your countless creations, your life is one.  You chose to be here.  And infinitely benign and intelligent yourself, your choice was impeccable.

In this greatest adventure of all adventures, whatever you wish for is my command. I am your most faithful servant and constant companion.  Whatever you once dreamed of for yourself, can still come to pass.  It’s never too late to come from behind, and things can literally change for the better in the twinkling of an eye – as you have so often shown us in the past.

You are a supernatural being whose thoughts become things and for whom all things are possible.  This, being a creation amongst your own creations, is as good as it gets, because whenever you don’t like what’s before you, you can simply recreate it… without hindrance from the past or so-called contracts you no longer remember.  There are no other rules.  There are no hidden agendas.  And there are no unknown variables working against you in this paradise you call home, where manifesting change most certainly couldn’t be any easier than getting what you think about.

Oh yeah, way better than winning the lottery. Huh?   (signed)    The Universe”   (Notes from the Universe, Mike Dooley, May 4, 2017)




“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”   (Alan W. Watts)




“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”   (Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist)




“Things do not change; we change.”   (Henry David Thoreau, Walden)



“Apply Within”



You once told me

You wanted to find

Yourself in the world –

And I told you to

First apply within,

To discover the world

within you.

You once told me

You wanted to save

The world from all its wars –

And I told you to

First save yourself

From the world,

And all the wars

You put yourself

Through.”   (Suzy Kassem)




“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”   (Maya Angelou)




“Close your eyes and let the music set you free.”   (The Phantom of the Opera)




“For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.

From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.

Unable to see, I heard my name being called.

Then I walked outside.”    (Jalaluddin Rumi, Open Secret:  Versions of Rumi)




“Anyone can plot a course with a map or compass; but without a sense of who you are, you will never know if you’re already home.”   (Shannon L. Alder)




“. . . None of us are born as passive generic blobs waiting for the world to stamp its imprint on us.  Instead we show up possessing already a highly refined and individuated soul.

Another way of thinking of it is:  We’re not born with unlimited choices.

We can’t be anything we want to be.

We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny.  We have a job to do, a calling to an act, a self to become.  We are who we are from the cradle, and we’re stuck with it.

Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”   (Steven Pressfield, The War of Art:  Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles)




“Control your own destiny or someone else will.”   (Jack Welch)



“Unless Someone Like You Cares”

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”  (Dr. Seuss, The Lorax)




“Most good things have already been said far too many times and just need to be lived.”   (Shane Clairborne)




“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.  Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist.  Be curious.  And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.  It matters that you don’t just give up.”   (Stephen Hawking)




“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?  Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet.  Funny, it seems to by keeping it’s dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air.  Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.”   (Tupac Shakur, ‘The Rose That Grew from Concrete’)




‘Good Bones’

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.

Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine

in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,

a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways

I’ll keep from my children.

The world is at least

fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative

estimate, though I keep this from my children.

For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.

For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,

sunk in a lake.  Life is short and the world

is at least half terrible, and for every kind

stranger, there is one who would break you,

though I keep this from my children.  I am trying

to sell them the world.  Any decent realtor,

walking you through a real shithole, chirps on

about good bones:  This place could be beautiful,

right?  You could make this place beautiful.   (Maggie Smith)




“Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”   (Socrates)




“Do one thing every day that scares you.”   (Eleanor Roosevelt)


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