Spring beckons but once a year. Did you smile and say “hello”? Choose to paint the mind’s canvass with the beauty of Nature splashed around, why choose to see “in memory” a scowl or a frown?

Stress cannot be avoided in an achievement oriented life. So, how to deal with stress effectively is an important life management skill taught in the Bhagavad Gita. You cannot change the direction of the wind but can adjust your sails. No object in the world has stress as a component. Stress is only one’s reaction to any object, person or situation. An overvalued sense of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ invades the inner sanctuary of joy and abducts our smiles. It is we who lend a whip to the desired object or situation and empower it to lash us. When we place an exaggerated value on anything, we choose slavery to it.

A smile, even if forced, de stresses the agitated mind, never hurts and costs nothing. It helps in achieving equipoise and balance , (sama) as advocated by the Gita. Patanjali in his Yoga Shastra advises deep slow and regulated breathing to calm the mind. The Gita says that a lot of stress can be avoided by surrendering to that superpower that sustains and governs the universe so immaculately. Faith has tremendous healing power and so has the lap of Mother Nature. Joy floods the heart when you ‘choose’ to flood the spaces of your mind with the wonderful smile of Spring. It gently wipes out stress.

Watch a bird, even when she doesn’t find the proverbial ‘worm’ her song doesn’t die. Surging her whole body she reaches out to the nebulous peach brilliance of a morning cloud, singing, not because she has the ‘worm’, but because she has a song in her heart. Cannot man have a song and a smile?

Prarthna Saran is President, Delhi Chinmaya Mission

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