I took Brenda Ueland's collection of writings titled, Strength to Your Sword Arm to the pool yesterday. This time I skipped here and there throughout the book, finding inspirational reminders. I am still in awe of this woman's brilliance and conviction especially for being a woman of her era (Ueland was born in 1891).
On the back of my particular copy a reviewer writes, "To read Brenda Ueland is to feel you are in her presence, talking to her, arguing with her, and listening, half-mesmerized, with a mixture of admiration and irritation, curiosity and amusement, and laughing-out-loud pleasure." I can't think of a better way to sum it up (less any or all desire to argue let alone have feelings of irritation).
Brenda Ueland continues to be a breath of fresh air to me - every time I read her. As far as I know, she only published three books (I have them all) and they are the kind of books I keep close at hand, that I need to reference often.
In this particular collection, Ueland writes on a variety of themes. Yesterday, I spent a lot of time reviewing her philosophy.
"The Divine ego is an eternally-moving-onward stream that says: 'I am in calculably mysterious and wonderful and this is what I think and believe and care about, and tomorrow it will be something different and better, I hope...'"
"I believe that we should all have a reckless, indomitable, arrogant, joyful blaze of self-esteem, self-trust, self-belief. You cannot have enough pride or egotism or energy or bravery, but it must be centrifugal (generous) and not centripetal (greedy)."
Like attracts like. Ueland also writes of many experiences she had in the presence of others. When attending a lecture of Walter Russell at the School of Divine Science, she quoted Russell as saying,"If you just hate to do a thing, that hatred develops body-destructive toxins and you become fatigued soon. You must love everything you must do...joy and happiness are the indicators of the balance." Yes, I double and triple checked. Russell did refer to it as "the balance"...
Ueland also believed in continuing to enrich her life by reading, researching, and discovering - everything and all she could. She quotes Dostoevsky and Berdyeav and discovers "they said the same thing"! "'Beauty will save the world.'"
Amen to that (for now). Stay tuned for more (later).
And if you "like" what you've read so far, you can also read excerpts from Ueland's collection on Well Being here.