"One ought, everyday at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and speak a few reasonable words." --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Raise your Sail

Illustration: Mary Engelbreit
Quote: Sri Ramakrishna
Lately, I have been pondering a lot on the idea presented in this quote—specifically the importance of Action.

I’m sure everyone else already has this figured out, but I just recently discovered that when I’m feeling down in the dumps, I feel better instantly if I can find one thing to ACT on.

For instance, I recently had a shift in my community of friends. Not a big change, yet it affected my mental state. I noticed myself slipping into some type of depressed longing for my old, comfortable community. 

I felt sorry for myself for a little while before I started praying to be delivered from my sadness. That’s when I was blessed with a sudden, inspired change of perspective. I stopped seeing my life as happening to me and started seeing it as a fertile field. And what does one do with a fertile field? Sit around lamenting the lack of plants? No, one plants the field! Ah-hah! What I needed to do was ACT!

And that’s exactly what I did. I baked a batch of homemade bread, took a loaf to one of the ladies I didn’t know in my new community, offering friendship. While the act didn’t exactly start a new friendship as I hoped, I did discover that it wasn’t so much about the reward; it was the ACT that made me feel better! And come to think of it, even the prayer was an act. Grace was there, like the quote says, I just had to raise my sail and ask for it.

Since learning this lesson, I have found it useful and effective whenever I get a little blue about anything—life, family, friendship, difficulty, disappointment, that heavy overwhelmed feeling, you name it. Action has been an instant escape button – a miracle cure – every time!

So next time life gets ya down, pick your preferred metaphor (“Raise your Sail,” “Plant your Field,” or the old standby, “Make Lemonade”) and just ACT. It may just heal your heart like it does mine.

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