So, today is September 26th. Which you probably already know. Stay with me, I have a point here. One of the first books that stayed with me (and yes, I will post these lists on Facebook…soon…I promise) was Sarah Ban Breathnach’s (pronounced “Brannock”) book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. If you’ve never read this book, it is for women (and, yes, she did write a Simple Abundance for men) and it is a daily meditation book. You can actually pick it up at any time but it does help to read January to understand the Simple Abundance principles. February is devoted to excavating your Authentic Self (a subject she returns to in her follow up book, Something More, and yes, there always is Something More).
But today’s meditation has always been close to my heart. It is titled The Tao of Success and there are two quotes in this particular meditation (I have a whole file for her quotes from this book). The first is from Calvin Coolidge:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more commonplace than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent.”
Patience, Breathnach says in her meditation, “…is the art of waiting. Like all high arts, it takes time to master, which shouldn’t be surprising, since patience is the knowledge of time. How to use time to your advantage, how to be at the right place at the right time, how to pick your moments, how to bite your tongue. Patience is discovering the mysterious pattern of cycles that cradle the Universe and ensure that everything that has happened once will recur.
“Perseverance in life is being steadfast; persistence is being stubborn. Persistence is grittier than perseverance. Perseverance is achievement’s perspiration, persistence is its sweat. Persistence is knocking on Heaven’s doors so often and so loudly on behalf of your dreams that eventually you’ll be given what you want, just to shut you up…
“The potent alchemy of patience and persistence, which together become endurance, must have been what the Lebanese poet Hoda al-Namani was meditating on when she wrote:
“I have not withdrawn into despair,
I did not go mad in gathering honey,
I did not go mad,
I did not go mad,
I did not go mad.”
If you are determined to gather life’s honey, to stick your hand into the hive again and again, to be stung so many times that you become numb to the pain, to persevere and persist until those who know and love you become unable to think of you as a fairly normal woman, you will not be called mad. You will be called authentic.”
Those who know me know that I have never given up and refuse to consider failure as an invitation to quit. The echo of my father’s voice in my head telling me I’ll never amount to anything is enough incentive to prove him wrong that I must keep on. I did go mad for a brief period when I lost my job and spent two weeks in the mental ward deciding whether to go on. It’s more difficult for people to give up on themselves than most perceive. But that will be another post for another time. In the meantime, I wont quit if you don’t.