In The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, by Robin S. Sharma, one of the enlightening rituals he shares is to stare at the center of a rose.

When you start this practice you find it hard to concentrate for more than a few minutes, without becoming distracted. However with daily practice you get better at focusing and develop a more disciplined mind.

This is the same benefit you receive from learning to draw. However if you are going to draw that same rose you will look even closer. You will see where each petal intersects with the next as you see every subtle difference in shadow from each petal. This concentration teaches you to switch to the right side of your brain. When you are on the right side of your brain, you have no sense of time and experience really being in the moment.

After a time you realize that you are now seeing so many things so much clearer than you ever did before and without even trying. It is a major gift you have given yourself. Your vision isn’t better, yet you now seem to see so many more things.

My mother had her stroke eleven years ago now and since that time I have taken the hour and a half drive to see her once a week. Early on I decided that this would soon become a chore if I didn’t learn to enjoy the “journey.”  So I got off the interstate and started taking the lesser traveled country road. I now find that even though this trip does take a chunk of time out of my weekend, I enjoy the trip almost as much as the visit with Mom.

When the seasons change and the first new leaves of spring arrive, I love to see the trees with their new bright green growth, while you can still see every branch and twig of the tree. Learning to draw gave me a gift that I carry with me whether traveling down a country road or just looking out the window while I use my treadmill.

I do recommend The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, it provides some very positive life advice in an entertaining way. Yet to achieve the really full and rich life he promises a person needs to take bigger steps than he suggests. I don’t know why people assume that monks who live a very isolated, self-centered life in the Himalayas have an answer for others. The answers in life continue to be what Jesus taught almost 2,000 years ago – be of service to others.

And if you have a choice, take that road less traveled with your elder and enjoy the scenery.

A Thank You to all the readers who are recommending this blog on their Twitter and Facebook sites – You are making it grow – God Bless You and Keep You.

Virginia Garberding, R.N.

Director of Education, The Wealshire, Lincolnshire, Illinois

Author: Please Get To Know Me – Aging with Dignity and Relevance

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