Saturday, January 4, 2014

Plunging into the New Year

“Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.”
- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

I wear a necklace bearing the first phrase of this quote nearly every day. I purchased it a few years ago when I was feeling sad and dispirited. It reminds me to pay closer attention to my life, to taste the sweet and sour of it, to appreciate all of its aspects - even those that cause me discomfort from time to time.

I stumbled on the quote again when I went searching for reflections on exploration a couple of days ago. As I mentioned in my last post, I thought about choosing "explore" as my word of the year for 2014.  However, with a few more days of reflection, I concluded "plunge" is the better choice. The type of exploration I have in mind - spiritual, physical, emotional, and creative - involves immersing myself in things that matter to me - not tentatively, but with abandon - so that I may follow where my heart and soul lead. 

I hasten to add that I took seriously the suggestions of those who responded to that post by encouraging me to consider making self-care a greater priority in 2014. I assure you I will do my best to make my plunges into life are as joyful, healthy and balanced as possible. 

As part of this quest, I borrowed the idea of starting a photographic gratitude journal from and launched a new blog entitled "Janice's Gratitude Journal". (Daily photos will appear on the sidebar of this blog as well.) I hope the exercise of documenting a gift from each day will deepen and expand my appreciation of the many good things in my life while providing insights into what truly motivates, moves and inspires me. For the sake of simplicity, the photos will mostly be taken with my phone camera but I am optimistic the journal will encourage me to pick up my Nikon 5100 more often as well. 

As I plunge into 2014, here are a few more quotes to inspire: 

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste it, to experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
- Eleanor Roosevelt"

“The camera basically is a license to explore.”
― Jerry Uelsmann

“Writing is all at once an exploration of what is, and what is not. Of the known, and the unknown. A journey into the depths of self, and all of humankind.”
― Madelaine Standing, Heaven In The Meat Packing District

“The depth of a man is a limit only he can know, should he have the courage to explore into the dark.”
― Kyle Schmalenberg

“Adventure is allowing the unexpected to happen to you. Exploration is experiencing what you have not experienced before.”
― Richard Aldington, Death of a Hero

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
 - T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets, Little Gidding

“We can't be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don't have something better.”
― C. JoyBell C.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
― André Gide

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
- Mark Twain

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it.”
- Rosalia de Castro

“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.”
- Wildred Peterson

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
- JRR Tolkien

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”
- Confucius

Best wishes to each and everyone of you for the year ahead. Namaste.


  1. Great word, Janice! And some really fabulous quotes, too! Good luck on your 2014 journey - sounds like it will be one filled with exploration and growth :)

    Now, off to check out the new blog!

    1. Thanks for reading and providing such wise advice, Janet. This word feels like more of a challenge than the previous two - maybe because it's hard to generate much enthusiasm for anything in the midst of the weather we've been having. :-(