Today is Anais Nin’s 111th Birthday. Let’s celebrate with some of her revolutionary words about living
a hot, free, brave, beautiful life!

 

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“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”

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“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”

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“How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?”

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“There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don’t work.”

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“You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you’re not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn’t a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.”

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“I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live.”

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“When one is pretending, the entire body revolts.”

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“I’m awaiting a lover. I have to be rent and pulled apart and live according to the demons and the imagination in me. I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.”

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“It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.”

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“Life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage.”

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“Don’t let one cloud obliterate the whole sky.”

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“Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.”

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“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”

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“I don’t really want to become normal, average, standard. I want merely to gain in strength, in the courage to live out my life more fully, enjoy more, experience more. I want to develop even more original and more unconventional traits.”

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RESOURCES to find your bloom:

LOVE AND MAKING IT & BABES IN GODLAND

BE: Life and the Rest of It and STORY 101

(BE and Story 101 are “Buy one / Get one” until March 2 – go here to get BOTH)