Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Inspiring Quotes on Life, Love, and Passion from 75 Brilliant Women


Nobel Peace Laureates: Tawakkul Karman, Leymah Gbowee, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Would the world be different if women were in charge?  Read these 75 inspiring quotes on how to live a rich and meaningful life from the some of the most amazing women of our times and see what you think.

Then, consider, for a moment, the wars, violence, poverty, starvation, corruption, human slavery, drug trafficking, environmental devastation, and other unsavory realities that plague our world under male domination.

Does any of the above give you confidence in male leadership?

This earth could provide enough for everyone if we chose cooperation instead of competition and generosity over greed.  There is another way if we embrace an “us” mindset instead of a “me” mindset.  But, I don’t think this sensible approach is foremost in the minds of our predominantly male leaders and its certainly not the prevailing marketing philosophy.

Is it time to listen to women for a change?  Is it time to elevate more women into leadership positions?  Not just a few, but many?

75 Quotes to Celebrate the Wisdom of Women

I’m offering these 75 bold and inspiring quotes from famous female writers, scientists, leaders, and spiritual luminaries to remind us that women have important wisdom to share.

  • “I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott
  • “People believe they can achieve everything by human effort, but truly nothing can happen without God’s grace.”- Amritanandamayi
  • “This is what I am learning, at 82 years old: the main thing is to be in love with the search for truth.” – Maya Angelou
  • “Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation.”  – Susan B. Anthony
  • “You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can decide how you’re going to live now.” – Joan Baez
  • “People see God every day, they just don’t recognize him.” – Pearl Bailey
  • “Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • “Change Your Life Today.  Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.”  Simone de Beauvoir
  • “Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” – Joan Borysenko
  • “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.“ – Charlotte Bronte
  • “Connection gives purpose and meaning to our lives.“ – Brene Brown
  • “Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way.” – Eileen Caddy

    Rachel Carson

    Rachel Carson

  • “We stand now where two roads diverge.  But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair.  The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster.  The other fork of the road—the one ‘less traveled by’—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.” – Rachel Carson
  • “Use your life to wake you up.” – Pema Chodron
  • “What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Colette
  • “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”  – Marie Curie
  • “I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.” – Emily Dickinson
  • “The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.”  – Isak Dinesen
  • “If everything is noted, all your emotional difficulties will disappear. When you feel happy, don’t get involved in happiness. When you feel sad, don’t get involved with it. Whatever comes, don’t worry, just be aware of it.” – Dipa Ma
  • “Adventure is worthwhile.” – Amelia Earhart
  • “What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?” – George Eliot
  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank
  • “Aging is not ‘lost youth,’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength. It’s a different stage of life, and if you are going to pretend it’s youth, you are going to miss it. You are going to miss the surprises, the possibilities, and the evolution that we are just beginning to know about because there are no role models, no guideposts, and no signs.”- Betty Friedan
  • “I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time.” – Anna Freud
  • “You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.” – Indira Gandhi
  • “You can tell people of the need to struggle, but when the powerless start to see that they really can make a difference, nothing can quench the fire.” – Leymah Gbowee
  • “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” – Jane Goodall
  • “Courage is like a muscle.  We strengthen it with use.”  – Ruth Gordon
  • “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.” – Martha Graham
  • “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” – Katharine Hepburn

Quotes from women to inspire + empower you.

  • “It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.” – Lena Horne
  • “If you haven’t forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others?” – Dolores Huerta
  • “I believe we would be happier to have a personal revolution in our individual lives and go back to simpler living and more direct thinking. It is the simple things of life that make living worthwhile, the sweet fundamental things such as love and duty, work and rest, and living close to nature.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • “The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
  • “Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” – Janis Joplin
  • “The fullness of Joy is to behold God in everything.” – Julian of Norwich
  • “I have accepted fear as a part of life – specifically the fear of change…. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says:  turn back.”  – Erica Jong
  • “Women are no longer victims. They have become leaders. They are at the forefront of the demonstrations. We will share a role in all aspects of life, side by side with men.” – Tawakkul Karman
  • “Stress is an alarm clock that lets you know you’re attached to something not true for you.” – Byron Katie

    Helen Keller - Quote

    Helen Keller

  • “Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” – Helen Keller
  • “I want to live my life, not record it.” – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
  • “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” – Elizabeth Kübler-Ross
  • “Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.” – Anne Lamott
  • “When I dare to be powerful — to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde
  • “Never doubt the power of a small group of committed people to change the world for, indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Meade
  • “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.“ – Golda Meir
  • “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” – Mother Teresa
  • “Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.” – Caroline Myss
  • “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” – Anais Nin
  • “It is only through disruptions and confusion that we grow, jarred out of ourselves by the collision of someone else’s private world with our own.” – Joyce Carol Oates
  • “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
  • “Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it and it darts away.” – Dorothy Parker

    Rosa Parks - Quote

    Rosa Parks

  • “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks
  • “Figure who you are; then do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton
  • “If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim
  • “Only do what your heart tells you.” – Princess Diana
  • “Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “You will never truly know yourself or the strength of your relationships until both have been tested by adversity.” – J.K. Rowling
  • The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.  Remember this:  We be many and they be few.  They need us more than we need them.”  – Arundhati Roy
  • “I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay
  • “There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” – George Sand

    Margaret Sanger - Quote

    Margaret Sanger

  • “Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.” – Margaret Sanger
  • “The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.” – Aung San Suu Kyi
  • “We need 4 hugs a day for survival.  We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.  We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” – Virginia Satir
  • “What is it you want to change? Your hair, your face, your body? Why? For God is in love with all those things and he might weep when they are gone.” – St. Catherine of Sienna
  • “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” – Coretta Scott King
  • “Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.” – Gertrude B. Stein
  • “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker
  • “The future is made of the same stuff as the present” – Simone Weil
  • “A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.” Eudora Welty
  • “Everything’s in the mind. That’s where it all starts. Knowing what you want is the first step toward getting it.” – Mae West
  • “There are two ways of spreading light…To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton
  • “Some people believe it’s naive to think we can make love our new bottom line.  What I believe is naive is thinking human civilization as we know it will survive another two hundred years if we do not.”  – Marianne Williamson
  • “As a woman, I have no country.  As a woman, I want no country.  As a woman, my country is the world.” – Virginia Woolf
  • “You can tell how high a society is by how much of its garbage is recycled.” – Dhyani Ywahoo

I hope my questions and these life quotes from such an array of incredible women have given you pause for thought. Of course, it’s not just famous women who count.  Your voice matters too.  I hope you own and express it as often as you can.

Anything is possible in this world.  We could have heaven on earth.  But it means adopting a new way forward.  Would you be willing to listen to and follow women for a change?

What do you think?  Do you think the world would be different if women were at the helm?

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra


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  1. Hi Sandra,

    Very inspiring indeed! Each one communicates love and life! How beautifully Elizabeth Kübler-Ross has summed up all that lies within! Thank you for sharing this chest of most valued treasure.

    You are so right…the power of women has not been fully felt and recognised in all the societies on this globe. Many people are unaware of the atrocities that are heaped upon them even in this age of ‘freedom’, they don’t even know the meaning of this word.

    Just elevating few more women to leadership positions is not the answer for if power intoxicates men, it does the same in the case of women. A healthy and equal mixture, with change in mindsets could make a better world. Who raises men? Who sows the seeds of you are better? So the onus comes back to women!

    Thanks for sharing Sandra, your articles always raise such profound questions.

    • Hi Balroop,

      You’re very welcome! I love how you appreciate the beauty they contain. It’s a complex question, isn’t it? I think the key is a change in mindsets as you suggest and that would, in my mind, include more women in visible leadership positives. But, the answer isn’t just more women in a system that’s not working and not viable.

      You have me thinking too!

  2. Sandra Darling,
    This is beyond empowering! I love the collection of quotes you have here and feel a deeper need to BE so much more.
    Ah…such is the power of the posts 🙂
    Much love,

    • Oh dear Zeenat,

      I so agree with you on the need to BE so much more. That, I feel, is a crucial key to unlocking the power of kindness, love, and compassion within. Thank you for saying this.

  3. Thanks so much for compiling and publishing this collection of inspirational quotes.

    Your question is: What do you think? Do you think the world would be different if women were at the helm?

    My answer is an unequivocal no.

    I’m keenly aware that our countries, political institutions, societies and corporations are the offspring of paternalism. The world over we witness that the same all powerful institutions are hierarchically structured in such a manner that competitive people rise to the top positions. By people I mean all genders and by top positions I mean those with the most sweeping power and influence over the majority.

    Millenniums of systematic suppression, oppression and abuse of women have prevailed the world over due to the upholding of these these abusive structures and the thinking that underlies them. It’s mind boggling that the majority of women uphold the every same paternalistic structures that are founded on continuing those patterns. Statistical analysis indicates the majority of all women in developed nations have yet to demonstrate that they vote any differently than their male counterparts do.

    I support universal equality and collaborative political structure. I’m opposed to gender bias and don’t believe the answer to correcting imbalance is a pendulum swing to the opposite side. It’s my contention that there are just as many compassionate men on the planet as there are compassionate women. Moreover, lest we sweep this aside there are many people who do not identify with either gender or their traditional roles.

    I think any movement that leads women to defensively respond by believing that at their core they are beings who are different from and superior to their fathers, sons, uncles, brothers, etc. is a harmful one for humanity as a whole. I won’t be joining the legions of women are encouraging one another to buy into the inverted pyramid model by fantasizing that world would be a better place if our gender replaces males in the structures because I don’t believe that goal is worthy of my support.

    Until people the word over unite and replace the oppressive paternalistic and hierarchical religious, political, corporate and societal structures we are currently upholding, I contend that there will be no significant or actual “progress” for humanity as a whole.

    • timethief,

      Thank you for this very clear and logical argument for a deeper, more fundamental change. I agree with you that we need to look for a more pervasive change in the paternalistic structures that persist. As long as we buy into them as women or men, they will continue to oppress.

      This is so well articulated. “It’s mind boggling that the majority of women uphold the every same paternalistic structures that are founded on continuing those patterns. Statistical analysis indicates the majority of all women in developed nations have yet to demonstrate that they vote any differently than their male counterparts do.”

      It’s a complex question to consider: how to make the world a better place for all. You’ve raised so many good points. I’m very appreciative of your thoughts. At the same time, we are far from gender equality and I think it could help to elevate more women who are aligned with the positive force of cooperation into leadership positions. Thanks for your thoughts!

  4. As a quote junkie these are so precious Sandra. I have no definitive response to your large question, all I feel is that we must BE the change before we will see it. Evidence follows…it doesn’t precede our awareness. And your very post raises the awareness in us all. Beautifully done.

    And as Zeenat said before me, I’m reminded to keep my focus on being.

    • Hi Elle,
      I’m glad I’ve been able to feed your quote addiction. 🙂 Yes, you are so right: we must be the change we would like to see. I like the way you connect change to raising awareness. And that’s why we’re writing our blogs, isn’t it?

      This reminder from Zeenat for focus on being is so precious indeed!

  5. Jean Sampson

    Hi, Sandra, I really enjoyed the quotes and they were certainly inspiring! As far as the question is concerned, I think timethief has a great argument for not expecting “magical” changes to happen if the world were run by women. I hope the future will bring an end to women’s oppression in its many forms (some quite deadly). That alone will bring a huge energetic change to the earth that will bring about many positive changes. That is what I think, at least 🙂

    • That’s a beautiful aspiration, Jean. I’m with you and would like to see the end of women’s oppression as well. I think you’re right, that would be a huge change to this earth and life would probably be very different. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  6. Thanks to MarcAndAngel’s blog for opening your blog here. I have come after reading a comment by you there.

    I’m totally speechless seeing such a great collection of quotes by women. These are inspirational quotes, undoubtedly. Thanks so much for this collection of quotes, for everybody loves them, I bet. I have shared this on my social media profiles. Thanks again.

    • Hi Abdul,

      It is amazing to see all these wise words collected together, isn’t it! May all this goodness prevail in the world! Thanks for your very kind thoughts.

  7. What a poweful quote by Rosa Parks – now I know why she was able to inspire the civil rights movement. She knew what needed to be done and did it regardless of fear 🙂 Empowering quote Sandra.

    I don’t know if I can say this but I have a feeling there would be more compassion, peace, justice and love if women ran the world 🙂

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