I found this quote, in a tiny American book published in 1965 on Springs of Indian Wisdom, at a garage sale 10 years ago. I loved it. I came across the concept again yesterday in a book I am reading by Tama Kieves – Inspired and Unstoppable, where she describes doing our ‘inspired work’ (what we were born to do) as planting seeds, some of which take root immediately and others which need to store a lot of energy from the soil before they burst into something spectacular. Just because we can’t see what’s going on out of sight doesn’t mean it isn’t gathering force on our behalf. Tama says “Relax and take the long view. You know you will get there. You will succeed in what you are meant to do. You have been given a guarantee. Just add devotion and time.” To me the guarantee means a guarantee of happiness, of inner fulfillment in some shape or form if we are open to it.
I experience this concept of eventual reward for sowing a thousand seeds at work constantly. Every day I get to be nice to people for a living, on the phone and by email. It’s the best job in the world, helping people. Most often you don’t get any thanks or comeback but yesterday I got spectacular thanks, even when I didn’t think I had done anything different. Of course it depends on the person receiving your help, not necessarily what you have done for them. I find the angriest customers are the ones who will be the happiest in the end. I even got an invite to come and stay with a customer in Canada after protracted correspondence.
In the absence of outside reward, I generate inner reward. I appreciate my own good work. I enjoy sowing my seeds and tending to them. I give myself praise, a pat on the back, and encouraging words. I even get a little emotional when I know I am giving my all and coming up with inventive solutions. The first time as a teenager that I put my own money into a charity jar I got choked up, even a little teary. I remember it like yesterday and where I was (outside Sloane Square Tube station in London). It really surprised me, the strength of my emotion at that simple act. Why was I uncomfortable with it?
Anyway I digress. This quote is about Karma, the law of cause and effect, nothing new there. But the concept of timing and therefore the value of patience is laid out here in a way I can understand. Nature teaches us once again if we only examine it. Everything ripens at its hour, including us!
If we focus our time and attention on what we are inspired to do, we enjoy the process even though it looks like work in disguise. We need not wait for the harvest, though it will surely come, one seed at a time.