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From The Girls' Book of Wisdom


When women come together in one place to share their experiences, their dreams and wisdom, a very special resonance-a powerful energy-is created.
—Marion Woodman, psychologist

What if you could assemble hundreds of wise and accomplished women and girls who've lived in the past two centuries, and just listen to them share their pearls of wisdom? You would probably come away awed by their ideas, amazed by the similarities of some of their observations, and eager to try out their strategies yourself. Well, here's your chance.

This book is filled with positive advice and perceptive observations from more than four hundred exceptional women and girls. Every included quote was selected for its ability to inspire you. Some of these "pearls" are witty and entertaining, some are brilliant, and some are just plain helpful. Many are suggestions that women wish they'd been given when they were girls. These powerful quotes can change the way you see yourself and perceive the world.

The people quoted in this book are young and old, from the past and the present. They're scientists, musicians, business executives, activists, writers, athletes, actors, doctors, Internet pioneers, artists, moms, world leaders, daughters, and more. What they have to share can help you:

  • Understand yourself
  • Accept your body
  • Feel confident
  • Handle bad moods
  • Overcome challenges
  • Get motivated
  • Break out of ruts
  • Build good relationships
  • Achieve great feats
  • Have fun!
Of course, as a woman named Yula Moses once observed, "Wisdom is harder to DO than it is to know." It's easy to get all fired up, but putting ideas into practice takes effort.

However, knowing WHAT you can do, and being reminded that YOU CAN DO IT, is the fuel you need to get the fire started and keep it burning.

If you read this book from beginning to end, you'll see that it has a natural progression, but you can skip around, too. If you're looking for perspective on a certain issue, pick the chapter that most closely seems to match. Close your eyes and open the book to a random page when you want a little mood boost. Or read a few quotes every day. Soon, the most meaningful ideas for you will become familiar and lodge themselves in your brain, where you can recall them anytime.

Having "inherited" this valuable wisdom, you'll be better prepared to make any decisions, get through any situations, and live your life with conviction, enthusiasm, and joy.—Catherine Dee

I love [quotes] because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognizedly wiser than oneself.

—Marlene Dietrich, actor, 1901-1992

Chapter 1: Beginnings

When you wake up in the morning, do you make a mental note to enjoy the day?

When you're a kid, there's plenty of life to enjoy, because time seems to move in slow motion. But as you grow up, you'll feel like time is speeding up. That's why it's important to savor right now.

There are so many things to enjoy when you're young - your energy, - - your free time, your new experiences. So when you wake up each morning, remind yourself to appreciate every moment. Relish the basic activities, such as taking a hot shower,as well as the anticipated events, such as a friend's surprise party; and the unexpected delights, such as seeing a field of wildflowers. You've got a whole interesting day - and a whole - - fabulous life - ahead of you.

It's so quiet in the early morning darkness....
Then the sun breaks....
Fingers of light on the horizon....
[I] just want to start singing or
shout, "Glory Hallelujah!"

—Nora Dott Warren, shrimper

I rise from sleep and say: Hail to the morning!
Come down to me, my beautiful unknown.

—Jessica Powers, poet, nun, 1905-1988

Surely it's better to sleep late in the morning only when it's a rare
privilege, not an everyday occurrence.

—Lauren Bacall, actor

I have come to understand that every day is something to cherish.

—Kerri Strug, gymnast

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

—Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady, humanitarian, 1884-1962

Each day I look for a kernel of excitement. In the morning, I say: "What is my exciting thing for today?" Then, I do the day.

­­Barbara Jordan, attorney, congresswoman, educator, 1936-1996

I wake expectant, hoping to see a new thing.

—Annie Dillard, writer

The preciousness of every ordinary moment is emphasized with every tick of the clock. Isn't it a magnificent day today?

—Bel Kaufman, writer, educator

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.

—Mary Jean Irion, writer, teacher
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