Periodically, I publish quotes that can motivate, encourage, and sometimes bring a smile when feeling funky. People inspire me. Animals inspire me. Nature inspires me. Even when my body does not cooperate with my intentions for the day, I find inspiration that – at the very least – makes me smile.
My husband gave me a Kindle for my birthday. I decided a reading tablet is easier than carrying books on planes, to and from the library, and exchanging books at our favorite used book store. I now am reading books I had never considered or seen before and some are really good. And most of my kindle reading has been free. These are not typically bestsellers but topics range from historical to bad romance and everything in between.
One book, Thomas Jefferson: Lessons from a Secret Buddha, by Suneel Dhand, inspired me. I am not fully convinced the publication is totally non-fiction but the concept is interesting.
First, let me say that Dhand does not claim that Jefferson believed in any religion other than Christianity. What the author suggests is that Jefferson met a stranger during a very difficult time in his youth and as a result, Jefferson practiced principles of Buddhism. Second, it does not matter to me whether the book is a work of fiction or true. Dhand says that he wrote the book based on letters he received from a small village in the Himalayas.
Many may question if the letters from the Secret Buddha are real. While the historical concept intrigues me, this post is not about historical facts or religion. What fascinates me is Jefferson’s life long commitment to health and wellness. Thomas Jefferson, according to his own writings, walked every morning, farmed and ate an abundance of fruits and vegetables, and practiced life long learning. Jefferson also lived into his 80’s at a time when most people rarely lived past 40.
An important piece of the Web of Life is personal development. Reading, learning a hobby, practicing religion, or finding a career that you love can give us an inner strength. It can even inspire us. While the notion that Jefferson learned and practiced Buddhist principles is debatable, his own writings show that Jefferson’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle and life learning. When it comes to health, our third president was 200 years ahead of his time. That amazes me.
Below are some quotes in Dhand’s book from Thomas Jefferson’s own writings that inspire me:
“No one know, till he tries, how easily a habit of walking is acquired. A person who never walked three miles will in the course of a month become able to walk 15 or 20 without fatigue…Should you be disposed to try it, as your health has been feeble, it will be necessary for you to begin with a little and to increase it by degrees.”
“It is your future happiness that interests me, and nothing can contribute more to it than the contracting a habit of industry and activity.”
“Interesting occupations are essential to happiness.”
More information on the Web of Life and resources for living with chronic illness, visit my website: http://lbwebbcoach.com