Written by Pelka Evdenic Kuzelka

“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” Thich Nhát Nhan

Happy New Year. 

I love this wise monk and his messages, these pearls that sum up a yogi philosophy of life that made sense of my resolutions for this year and life. 

SMILE: Life lived with joy fills both, the heart of the owner and all those around him. A genuine smile is a window to a joyful heart, full of love, sunshine and compassion. 

Smiling rejuvenates us, calms our mind and keeps our attention in the present moment. A heartfelt smile nourishes the soul and carries with it deep gratitude, for every experience and every contact deserves gratitude. Everything that happens to us, every person we meet and everyone in our lives deserves our best smile. We ourselves also deserve it, because this physical body does wonders for us, at every moment. 

A smile is the food for the soul, it is the sun that warms our existence and nourishes our relationships with others.

BREATH: Without breathing there is no life. Without quality breathing, there is no quality life.

This is a simple truth. We are so used to looking for external solutions that we completely ignore that we hold the magic key. Let us imagine a safe, big, and heavy. We know that this safe is full of treasures, but we can’t even begin to imagine how many, and which ones are in it. …. We are dragging this safe around, suffering under its weight, without finding a solution… until we decide to look inside ourselves and start by learning to breathe. Breathing is the secret key to this safe opening because it calms our mind and allows us to retrieve our hidden treasures. As in the mythological story of Orpheus, who, playing his lyre, put to sleep the terrible Cerberus, the three-headed dog of Hades. With his music he managed to soften the hearts of Hades and Persephone, who agreed that Eurydice should return with Orpheus to the world of the living, but on the condition that Orpheus would not look back until they came to the surface of the earth and the sunbathed them both. Despite his eagerness, Orpheus did not turn his head the whole way: he did not even turn back to make sure Eurydice was all right when they passed a demon or were in any other danger. Orpheus and Eurydice finally reached the surface. Then, already out of despair, Orpheus turned his head to see his beloved; but she had not yet been completely bathed by the sun, and still had one foot on the path to the underworld, so she vanished into thin air, and that time forever. 

GO SLOWLY: This purpose unites and completes the previous two. To go slowly means to live in the present moment, completely absorbed in it and allowing one’s Self to permeate the lived experience. If Orpheus had not fallen into impatience at the end, he would have been reunited with his beloved. If we learn to do things in a calm and focused way, we will be able to calm our minds and move forward on our spiritual path.

Then… let’s smile, breath and go slowly.

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