Dear Mindful Readers,
I would like to share with you an excerpt that hangs on a wall in my study:
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of a man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture or to carve a statue and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it far more glorious to carve or paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
The excerpt is from Henry David Thoreau’s classic, Walden (1854). It inspires me in all areas of my life: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. How do I elevate the quality of my life by a conscious effort? By working on myself as if I were a block of granite. My goal is to carve my authentic self as long as it takes.
A quarter of a century ago, I set the quarried block in my study to carve this statue. I have observed this shapeless block from every angle. At first it seemed indifferent to my life. Then slowly, very slowly a scarcely discernible outline showed itself to me. When the outline began to grow stronger I started to carve.
My “conscious endeavor” requires both, journaling as well as meditation. In writing I pour my insides out. And in meditation I contemplate and receive intuitive thoughts and insight. I express my feelings and thoughts with playfulness that consolidates my vital energy.
Recently, the block has begun to form a shape. The statue inside, my authentic self strains, no, yearns to come out! But that time is not here yet. So with a singleness of purpose I work at chipping away resentment, anger, regrets, fear, guilt, greed, envy and so on. What then remains will be, must be, the statue, my authentic Self I am striving to become.
Chipping away is neither easy nor quick. “It cannot be done in a week or by the weak,” writes Eknath Easwaran in the Introduction to God Makes the Rivers to Flow: An Anthology of the World’s Sacred Poetry & Prose. He goes on to say, “But the task is clear: remove what is petty and self seeking and all that is glorious and mindful of the whole will come forth.”
Revise Your Day! The mantra of Mindful Writes echoes Easwaran’s thoughts.
Each one of us can make an effort to carve our authentic Self using the tool of Writing Meditation Method. We can find the purpose and the meaning of our lives. We must. Because without this goal every other aspiration or achievement loses its significance. So, step back and look at your life with a carver’s vision. Hew away all unwanted chips and strive to bring forth the authentic creative and spiritual being you really are.
Have a healthy, joyous and wish fulfilling year!