A couple of years ago I was reading "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami and I came across this wonderful passage known as "Sandstorm". It immediately took me back to the loss of my mother when I was a little boy, how it felt at that time and the years that followed. The passage became special to me and I now know it by heart, word by word. The book was given to me by someone that will forever be in my heart - you know who you are.
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. A passage from the 1922 children's book "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams where in a very simple yet beautiful way she describes what being real and wholehearted is all about. To claim the truths about who we are, where we came from, what we believe, and the very imperfect nature of our lives, we have to be willing to give ourselves a break and appreciate the beauty of our cracks or imperfections. And once you are real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.
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A piece of the wonderful speech delivered by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910 in Paris that really inspired me - it's better known as "The Man in the Arena" quote. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, never be ashamed of who you are. Don't be fazed by the critics, listen to your authentic self and choose to be in the arena. Stumbles and falls are part of this great adventure called life, learn with your mistakes but live a brave life. It's not so much what you do, but why you do it that counts.
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