Hands to Earth

The labor of the body relieves us from the fatigues of the mind; and it is this which forms the happiness of the poor. -La Rouchefoucald

On my way to speak at a conference, I shared the back seat of a car with a Middle-Eastern man who was also scheduled to lecture there. When he asked me about myself, I proudly told him I had written several books. Then I asked him, "What do you do for a living?" expecting him to tell me he owned a falafel stand in Manhattan. I'm a brain surgeon," he answered dryly.

Feeling somewhat intimidated, I tried to keep the ball rolling: "So, how did you get into brain surgery?" I asked, not unlike the way I would have asked someone else, "How did you develop an interest in needlepoint?"

"It's part of my religion," he answered. (I know there is a joke that doctors think they are God, but this was taking it too far.) "In the Sufi religion, there is a rule that everyone must take a profession in which they work with their hands. This is the vocation I chose."

It seems like a wise rule. I know many people who work with their heads and many people who work with their hands, and by far, I find that the people who use their hands are a happier lot. The elements of nature ground and heal us. All of the principles of Spirit are reflected in nature. To work with the elements is to be constantly reminded of our source. When we live in our intellect, we lose touch with the power of nature. When the European culture moved west and overcame the indigenous peoples, a great treasure was ravaged. We must re-establish harmony with the earth that nourishes us.

Welcome opportunities to work with your hands. Gardening, pottery and crafts, massage, carpentry, and any earth-oriented endeavor will restore balance and harmony in a way that thinking alone cannot.

I pray to live in harmony with the elements. Great Spirit, restore my connection with nature.

As I touch the earth, I am healed and I give healing.

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