I recently found my original copy of A Light in the Attic. It had been there all the time, tucked away out of my periphery, for too many years. As I reached out for this old friend I felt a sudden urge of childish pleasure as my fingers and eyes travelled across the well-worn pages and all too familiar images and words. I was immediately taken back to my youth where I’d sit alone in my bedroom reading aloud his words, giggling to myself about these zany characters, with not a care in the world. Pure loveliness.
How Many, How Much
How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thick you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live ’em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give ’em.
I am pretty sure I used to sleep with my Shel Silverstein books when I was a child. I remember reading them over and over, cover to cover, cherishing every last quirk, every last rhyme. What I’ve always loved best about Mr. Silverstein’s writings is that they are fun, to the point, whimsical, and applicable to any one at any age and any stage of life.
“How Many, How Much” caught me right away. How much simpler and sweeter can it be than this. Life is all about perspective, give and take, about how you choose to wake up every day and face the world. It’s about setting intentions and believing that this day will be one of the good ones, no matter what gets stirred up. It’s about smiling in the face of fear and saying “nope, not today, you’re not getting the best of me.” It’s about making love your guiding force and honoring every person you meet as a holy being whether you like them or not.
It’s tough work, don’t get me wrong, but it can be done–with practice.
Yoga teaches us that with practice and effort comes revolutionary results. Some may call it The Secret or The Law of Attraction others may call it plain old optimism. I’d say it’s about being the change you wish to see in the world just as Gandhi said. Whatever way you slice it, it all comes back to practice, putting your pure intentions into action and striving to be a better human being. We can all use a little more practice every day and eventually with enough hard work, it becomes easier, the veil lifts a little more, the mirror is a little less foggy, and we see more clearly that we are all in this together.
So live, laugh, love, and cherish each breath you take. Make today the day you decide to permanently turn that frown upside down no matter what lemons get thrown at you.
And if you fall my friend, get back up, and start again.