The Quiltmakers Gift

Customize picture quotes about friendship - You give but little when you give of your..

The author Jeff Brumbeau wrote a most insightful children’s book titled The Quiltmaker’s Gift—a message also beneficial for adults.

The story he tells is of a greedy king who has every material thing he could ever want, yet his possessions do not make him happy. The king hears of an old woman who makes the most beautiful quilts in the world and who gives them away for free to people who can’t afford them. She works all day on her quilts, and although she has few material possessions, she is very happy with her simple life. So the king decides he wants one of her quilts more than anything else, and is stunned when she won’t sell him one for any amount of money. She explains that they are only for those who can’t afford them. He is livid, but the old woman won’t bend, no matter what he does to threaten or punish her… and he certainly tries! Finally she makes a deal with the king, since she knows how selfish he is and how he doesn’t like to share any of his beautiful things. She tells him for each possession he gives away, she will make a square for his quilt. He reluctantly agrees because, though he loves all of his treasures, her beautiful quilt is the one thing he can’t have.

At first, he can’t find anything in all his treasures he can part with, but finally he decides to give away a single marble. To his surprise, the boy who receives it is so happy that the king decides to find other things to give away, and each time when he sees the joy on the face of the receiver, he can’t resist smiling. “How can this be?” the king cries. “How can I feel so happy about giving my things away?” Though he doesn’t understand why, he orders his servants to “bring everything out! Bring it all out at once!” And so each time he gives a gift away, the quiltmaker adds another piece to his quilt. After everyone in his kingdom has received a gift from him, he begins giving away his things to people all around the world, trading his treasures for smiles. Soon the king has nothing left to give, and the old woman finishes his beautiful quilt and wraps it around him, since his royal clothes are now in tatters. “As I promised you long ago,” the old woman says, “when the day came that you, yourself, were poor, only then would I give you a quilt.”

“But I’m not poor,” protests the king. “I may look poor, but in truth my heart is full to bursting, filled with memories of all the happiness I’ve given and received. I’m the richest man I know.” And so from then on, the quiltmaker sews her beautiful quilts by day, and at night the king takes them down to the town, searching out the poor and downhearted, never happier than when he is giving something away.

The biggest barrier to positive change is identity conflict.

The more deeply a thought or action is tied to your identity, the more difficult it is to change it…… The biggest barrier to positive change at any level—individual, team, society—is identity conflict. Good habits can make rational sense, but if they conflict with your identity, you will fail to put them into action….

Over the long run, however, the real reason you fail to stick with habits is that your self-image gets in the way. This is why you can’t get too attached to one version of your identity. Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.

James Clear from Atomic Habits

Living Fully in this Hour

Finding Enormous Vitality

Try it. Live for one day, one hour, as though you were going to die, actually going to die the next hour.

If you knew you were about to die, what would you do? You would gather your family together, put your money and property in order, and draw up a will. Then, as death approached, you would have to understand all that you had been. If you were merely frightened because you were dying, you would be dying for nothing. But you would not be frightened if you said, ‘I have lived a dull, ambitious, envious, stupid life, and now I am going to wipe all that totally from my memory. I am going to forget the past and live in this hour completely.

If you can live one hour as completely as that, you can live completely for the rest of your life.

But to die is hard work – not to die through disease and old age, that is not hard work at all. That is inevitable, it is what we are all going to do, and you cushion yourself against it in innumerable ways. But if you die so that you are living fully in this hour, you will find there is an enormous vitality, a tremendous attention to everything because this is the only hour you are living.

You look at this spring of life because you will never see it again; you see the smile, the tears, you feel the earth, you feel the quality of a tree, you feel the love that has no continuity and no object. Then you will find that in this total attention the ‘me’ is not, and that the mind, being empty, can renew itself. Then the mind is fresh, innocent, and such a mind lives eternally beyond time.

– J Krishnamurti

Photo by trail on Unsplash

(Contributed by Mr Balasunder)

The Flow of Abundance

The flow of abundance can get blocked at any one of six steps:

  1. Clarify your purpose. Have a clear sense of what your life is about and what you value most.
  2. Look for lessons in your areas of shortage. The aspects of your life where there is a lack exist to teach you something.
  3. Learn to be grateful for what you do have. Move beyond distorted perceptions and see clearly the parts of your life where you are greatly blessed.
  4. Give what you can. By joyfully and freely giving, you redefine yourself as someone whose life is abundant.
  5. Expect and accept the good that comes to you. Be alert to the necessary resources in whatever form they may come—expected or unexpected.
  6. Giving and receiving – build community. Be open to building or reinforcing interpersonal relations based on mutual care.

Look over the list of six points. Which one of them seems weakest in your life? That is, which one is most in need of further application?

The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Creating Your Future

Carrying our Heaven Within

Once the Sun and a Cave struck up a conversation. The Sun had trouble understanding what ‘dark’ meant and the Cave didn’t quite get the hang of ‘light’ so they decided to change places. 

The Cave went up to the Sun and said, ‘Ah, I see, this is beyond wonderful. Now come down and see where I have been living.’

The Sun went down to the cave and said, ‘Gee, I don’t see any difference.’ When the sun went down, it took its light along and even the darkest corners were illuminated. That’s why the Sun couldn’t see any difference. 

There is a quote from an old book that says, ‘The enlightened ones can never be sent to hell or pushed into darkness, they carry their heaven with them wherever they go.’

We think that heaven is a place one should aspire for, perhaps it is a state of mind which can be achieved. 

If we are full of darkness within, full of negativity, fear and doubt, we become a Cave, a dark hell inside. Instead, if we are illuminated, like the Sun, then the darkness of the cave wouldn’t matter. We’ll be able to find a blessing even in the worst of circumstances as we’ll be carrying our Heaven within.“`

– Sufi Story

(Contributed by Mr. Balasunder)

When we decide, we’re always worrying- ‘did I think this over long enough?’

“When we decide, we’re always worrying- ‘did I think this over long enough? did I take enough data into consideration?’- and if you think it through you find that you never could take enough data into consideration. The data for a decision in any given situation is infinite. So what you do is: you go through the motions of thinking about what you will do about this, and then when the time comes to act you make a snap judgment. But we fortunately forget the variables that could have interfered with this coming out right. It’s amazing how often it works.” –Alan Watts