I have a lot of favorite authors, but one that tends to spark a welcome wave of inspiration and renewal every time I read his work is Rumi. Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet (1207-1273). Though his original works were written in Persian, they have also been translated into other languages and are still enjoyed by people in many countries today – even seven centuries after his death! Such timeless writings hold true gems of wisdom that we can rediscover and savor each time we ponder them.
With that thought in mind, I’d love to share five of Rumi’s quotes that I believe are truly brilliant. They are my personal favorites and I’ve shared a few thoughts about why they speak so strongly to my heart – but don’t take my word for it; ponder them yourself and let them speak to you. What insights do they hold for you?
“Let the beauty you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth.”
This quote immediately moves me into that fabulous state of passion and joy that can only come from following your heart! Every time I read it I feel like kicking off my shoes, grabbing a notebook and pen and heading out to the back yard to write some poetry. Not that I write much poetry. Besides, it’s winter here so my feet would get cold. But Rumi’s words make me want to do it anyway.
On a deeper level, this quote reminds me that our true happiness comes from having a purpose in life. Something that makes us feel like we’re doing worthwhile work – even if it’s only worthwhile to us. And I love the phrase, “kneel and kiss the earth” – it brings to mind thoughts of gratitude and appreciation for, well – everything. The world around us and all of its inhabitants from people to animals to plants and even the tiniest insects. What wonders surround us!
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
So many of us forget this simple wisdom in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. We’re so focused on what we have to do, need to do, almost forgot to do – that we end up living from our harried minds rather than the deeper place that makes everything so sacred.
Try an experiment yourself to feel the power in Rumi’s words: Choose one task, big or small and do it from your soul. Take a walk and make a point of moving your body slowly and reverently. Brush your hair as if it were made of spun glass that might break if you tug too hard. Revel in the sensation of the brush bristles massaging your scalp and softening your hair. Even simple activities, when done in a conscious spiritual state, can awaken you in such profound ways that you’ll never be the same.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
Nowadays we are becoming more aware of the power of our own thoughts and the role they play in forming our physical reality, and this quote is very revealing in that context! Every time I read it I’m reminded that lack does not exist except in my own mind. Whatever I think I don’t have enough of, I simply need to awaken to the ways I am blocking it from my perception. When I do that, suddenly it’s all there right before my eyes, as it always was – if only I had been willing to see it. This can apply not only to love but money, good health, joy, inner peace, and so much more.
“The universe and the light of the stars come through me.”
I don’t think Rumi was bragging about his own greatness with this line, but rather sharing the insight that all of us “give birth” to our reality (our own universe, really) through our perceptions. He also may have been referring to inspiration – I’ve often said that written words “come through me” at times, especially when I’m “in the flow” and the words just come out with little editing on my part.
“Burdens are the foundations of ease and bitter things the forerunners of pleasure.”
What a powerful message is contained in this gem! So often we resent the difficult moments in life and forget that they provide an important service for us. Not only do they lay a foundation and pave the way for better times later; they help us to become stronger, better people so we can appreciate those pleasant experiences when they arrive.
When I think back to some of the more difficult times I’ve had in life, I’m truly grateful for them now. They taught me a lot about myself and contributed greatly to the person I’ve become. I try hard to remember that when I find myself in tough situations these days – which makes them easier to bear.
In fact, that’s what I love so much about quotes like Rumi’s; they offer a moment of reprieve, a glimpse of grace, and a gentle reminder that the difficult moments will pass and the sun will shine once again. What more could we ask for?
by: Wendy Betterini