Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

–Anais Nin

Ah, sultry Anais Nin. This is a come-hither quote if ever I heard one. From her lips, it’s seduction. Life is a temptress; are you man enough to take her on?

From the lips of, say, Dr. Martin Luther King, the words would sound very different.  They might make me puff up my chest and stand ready to meet the future. The late Christopher Reeve might make me nod with somber understanding. From Tony Robbins, the quote might sound canned.

But Anais Nin…that’s different. She sounds like she is opening a door from a nice room to a miraculous garden, bigger than the world, with flowers the size of hubcaps and rivers like diamonds in the sun. She is holding the door and looking at you expectantly. Do you walk through the door?

The garden is lovely. But you’ve never seen it before. And maybe there are tigers hidden in the woods. Or you might get lost. Or end up Soylent Green.

Are you brave enough to step through to a big, beautiful unknown, or do you stay within these four perfectly nice walls, where you’re safe?

Life is full of doors and doors and doors. Every time you step through one, your life gets bigger. You find another room or another garden, or maybe something else altogether, that you didn’t even know was out there. Every door leads to something new.

Which is not to say there aren’t tigers in the woods. There might be. That’s why you need courage.

Well? What’s it to be? Anais is waiting.


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    Last reviewed: 19 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Dembling, S. (2012). Life As A Seductress. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 29, 2015, from



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