What if the world is holding its breath - waiting for you to take the place that only you can fill?

— David Whyte

The most lust David Whyte quotes to get the best of your day

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.


The antidote to exhaustion isn't rest. It's wholeheartedness.


Gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us.


To have a firm persuasion in our work - to feel that what we do is right for ourselves and good for the world at exactly the same time - is one of the great triumphs of human existence.


Sometimes everything has to be inscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you.


Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation.

Pay attention to everything in the world as if it's alive. Realize everything has its own discrete existence outside your story. By doing this, you open to gifts and lessons that the world has to give you.


Our work is to make ourselves visible in the world.

This is the soul's individual journey, and the soul would much rather fail at its own life than succeed at someone else's.


Enough. These few words are enough If not these few words, this breath If not this breath, this sitting here This opening to the life we have refused again and again Until now Until now.


I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living falling toward the center of your longing.


Silence is like a cradle holding our endeavors and our will;

a silent spaciousness sustains us in our work and at the same time connects us to larger worlds that, in the busyness of our daily struggle to achieve, we have not yet investigated. Silence is the soul's break for freedom.


If in your mind it was possible to take a year's sabbatical from work to reassess your life, what would you do and where would you go?


There's a fierce practicality and empiricism which the whole imaginative, lyrical aspect of poetry comes from.


About David Whyte

Quotes 101 sayings
Profession Poet
Birthday November 2, 1955

Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work, a future.


There is a lovely root to the word humiliation - from the latin word humus, meaning soil or ground. When we are humiliated, we are in effect returning to the ground of our being.


We sabotage our creative possibilities because the world revealed by our imagination may not fit well with the life we have taken so much trouble to construct over the years. Faced with the pain of that distance, the distance between desire and reality, we turn just for a moment and quickly busy ourselves.


I believe that human beings are desperate, always, to belong to something larger than themselves.


Honesty is reached through the doorway of grief and loss.


When your eyes are tired the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone no part of the world can find you. Time to go into the dark where the night has eyes to recognize its own. There you can be sure you are not beyond love.


Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation.

The kettle is singing even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots have left their arrogant aloofness and seen the good in you at last. All the birds and creatures of the world are unutterably themselves. Everything is waiting for you.


All of our great traditions, religious, contemplative and artistic, say that you must a learn how to be alone - and have a relationship with silence. It is difficult, but it can start with just the tiniest quiet moment.


Being a good parent will necessarily break our hearts as we watch a child grow and eventually choose their own way, even through many of the same heartbreaks we have traversed.


Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone.


A sure sign of a soul-based workplace is excitement, enthusiasm, real passion;

not manufactured passion, but real involvement. And there's very little fear.


The frail, vulnerable sounds of which we are capable seem to be essential to a later ability to roar like a lion without scaring everyone to death.


I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat. I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God.


The fear of loss, in one form or another, is the motivator behind all conscious and unconscious dishonesties.


Shedding the carapace we have been building so assiduously on the surface, we must by definition give up exactly what we thought was necessary to protect us from further harm.


I returned to poetry as a more precise way to describe the world, more precise than science.


Poetry is the art of overhearing ourselves say things from which it is impossible to retreat.


For the personality, bankruptcy or failure may be a disaster.

For the soul, it may be grist for its strangely joyful mill, and a condition it has been secretly engineering for years.


When I recite poems onstage, I put myself into the very personal struggle and it grants tremendous perspective. At the same time you get another perspective on the poem you're reciting.


Genius is becoming something you were all along.


What we strive for in perfection is not what turns us into the lit angel we desire what disturbs and then nourishes has everything we need.


Poetry for me has been a long pilgrimage, a journey and a growing relationship with the unknown.


Absent the edge, we drown in numbness.


The marvelous thing about a good question is that it shapes our identity as much by the asking as it does by the answering.


It might be liberating to think of human life as informed by losses and disappearances as much as by gifted appearances, allowing a more present participation and witness to the difficulty of living.


A real conversation always contains an invitation.

You are inviting another person to reveal herself or himself to you, to tell you who they are or what they want.


To feel a full and untrammeled joy is to have become fully generous;

to allow our selves to be joyful is to have walked through the doorway of fear, the dropping away of the anxious worried self...the vulnerability of happiness felt suddenly as a strength, a solace and a source, the claiming of our place in the living conversation.


The tragedy with velocity as the answer to complexity is that, after awhile, you cannot see or comprehend anything that is not traveling at the same speed you are. And you actually start to feel disturbed by people who have a sense of restfulness to their existence.


By definition, poetry works with qualities and dynamics that mainstream society is reluctant to face head-on. It's an interesting phenomenon that by necessity, poetry is just below the radar.


To give generously but appropriately and then, most difficult of all, and as the full apotheosis of the art, with feeling, in the moment and spontaneously, has always been recognized as one of the greatest of human qualities.


To seek out beauty in our work is to make a pilgrimage of our labors, to understand that the consummation of work lies not only in what we have done, but who we have become while accomplishing the task.


Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.


Poetry is a street fighter. It has sharp elbows. It can look after itself. Poetry can't be used for manipulation; it's why you never see good poetry in advertising.


The art form has to do with the mystery and the hidden invitation that's in the room. And that's when the magic happens, that's when the deep silence emerges to the surprise of all the attentively listening ears. In a way, you're following that silence. You go where the silence is deepest.


Shyness means you are in the hallway of a greater presence.

You just don't know how to take the conversation another step. It's a lovely indication.


If I don't have time for the writing, it's because I'm not making that time.

It's really just a question of whether you want to or not, whether you feel you deserve to write or not.


Being young and trying to catch a glimpse of the depths, of the true self, of the soul, or whatever human beings have called it over the centuries, we often find ourselves surrounded by bossy, hectoring voices trying to short-circuit our personal experience by super-imposing their own disappointments. Much of this bossiness masquerades as an education.