Smile Again

Is what you should be doing right now the opposite of what you think you should be doing?

The three most striking, beautiful things I’ve read this past week have each posed this question in their own very different ways.

Here they are in the order in which I came to them.

Firstly, it was a delight to see the great Sarah Miller return to blogging this week – and with one of her best posts yet. I love these words:

“I have never looked at a plant that has survived an Adelaide summer and thought, “if only it had pushed itself harder.” I don’t know why I keep looking in the mirror and saying the same thing to myself." 

Second, Raksha Khilosia shares a simple truth in her latest post:

"Doing less can produce more.”

Raksha’s post is hugely generous in spirit. It includes a report from a talk by Arianna Huffington, with the following paraphrased words expanding on the view that we can be more productive through doing less:

“The more relaxed and well rested we are, the better we will perform. The more creative we allow ourselves to be.”

The third set of words came via a wonderful book by Paulo Coelho, entitled Like the Flowing River. I happened across this title on the book-lending shelf at my work last week, and I will be returning it to said shelf tomorrow, in the hope that someone else will get as much from it as I did.

Much of Coelho’s book is thought-provoking. I particularly liked the story of the unlikely circumstances through which he was introduced to the work of Japanese poet and calligrapher Mitsuo Aida (in a short piece entitled Meeting in the Dentsu Gallery, which you can find on pages 177 to 179). Coelho shares the following poem from Mitsuo Aida. I, in turn, would like to share it here:

“You don’t always have to pretend to be strong,

there’s no need to prove all the time that everything is going well,

you shouldn’t be concerned about what other people are thinking,

cry if you need to,

it’s good to cry out all your tears

(because only then will you be able to smile again).”

I love coming across writers of whom I’d never heard in such unexpected ways. I’ve just ordered a beautiful-looking book of Mitsuo Aida’s calligraphy and words, entitled The Here and Now.

A question for you, here and now:

  • Is there something that you should be doing right now that is actually the opposite of what you think you should be doing?

Do the thing that you should be doing.

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