Message of Self-Mastery: Inner quietude; inner strength in confrontation of difficulties; clear communication skills; unblocked creative expression; success in undertakings; decisiveness; ability to speak one’s truth; concentration.
Pattern of Disharmony: Restlessness; too many thoughts at once; inability to concentrate; excitability; troubled emotions; agitation; propensity toward anger; nervousness; inability to make decisions; repression; emotional congestion; repeats self in conversation.
I am calm. I am free. In undistrubed stillness, I find my true home.
|Creative||Patient in parenting|
|Certain||Healthy in interpersonal|
|Clear in communication skills||relationships|
|Quiet||Trusting of inner guidance|
|Withdrawn in nature||Emotionally steady|
|Able to speak one’s truth|
|Restless||Unable to concentrate|
|Advice-seeking||Troubling, disturbed emotions|
|Thinking too many thoughts at once||Agitated|
|Lacking in focus||Angry|
The positive Lettuce state is a joy to behold. Here we see the sailboat personality forging “full speed ahead” into creative projects such as writing, painting, woodworking or calligraphy. In the performing arts, one in the positive Lettuce state breezes across that fine transition line between the actual creative process and its presentation before an audience. Thus we see the annihilation of the performing artist’s most painful dilemma-stage fright. “Will they like me? Will my work, representing the essence of my being, be accepted?”
In a state of inner certainty, Lettuce offers the antidote to an indecisive mind. Remove the anxiety, fear and attachment to the outcome of a decision, and we see an individual with all the knowledge-or the ability to gather it-needed to resolve most any problem.
On a less grandiose scale, the highest octave of Lettuce manifests as a calm mind. A great saint of South India, Thayumanavar, put it rather succinctly:
You may control a mad elephant;
You may shut the mouth of the bear and the tiger;
Ride the lion and play with the cobra;
By alchemy you may earn your livelihood;
You may wander through the universe incognito
Make vassals of the gods; be ever youthful;
You may walk on water and live in fire:
But control of the mind is better and more difficult.8
In the positive Lettuce state, we are able to speak up for ourselves instead of “stuffing it” when we feel mistreated. All too often, repression creates resentment and anger that can later manifest as emotional outbursts. Repression is also the host for snide comments that often become increasingly more difficult to trace back to their source. It is better to be “up front” and nip problems in the bud in the positive Lettuce state through the simple act of clear, direct communication. For example: “You know, son, it’s a good idea to ask before taking the car in case Mom or I need it.” Or, “I was really hurt when you made that comment about my hair. Can you explain what you meant?”
The negative Lettuce state manifests much like a stampede of hors-es-a mind running wild with thoughts shooting out in several directions at once-or with emotions that do us harm, anger in particular. Of all human emotions, anger is probably the most destructive. It is actually known to destroy brain cells, not to mention causing deep agitation in each and every bodily system. An angry person breathes spasmodically, aborting every attempt to feed oxygen to the body. It’s best not to eat when angry; food is literally poisoned with indigestion-producing chemicals.
“I am convinced that Lettuce saved my marriage,” wrote Simon. “I was about to strike my wife, but took Lettuce instead and calmed down instantly.”
Restless thoughts and emotions can be likened to sediment stirred in a pond. In such a mental state, decision-making is impossible. Although individuals in the negative Lettuce state may be well informed and highly intuitive, it is possible that they will be unable to reconcile even the simplest decisions-such as what to order from a dinner menu! For this reason, they seek advice from sources outside themselves, perhaps investing in costly therapies. Or they may stretch the patience of their friends by wavering back and forth on decisions, finally spinning themselves into the ground with energy spent and answers unresolved.
What can we do with a mind that is not within our control? In the negative Lettuce state marked by agitated thoughts or emotions, success is virtually impossible. Attainment of even minor goals remains an illusive dream without the necessary ingredient of concentration; and concentration is the fruit of calmness.
Do the following breathing exercise: inhale, hold the breath, and exhale, each to a count of ten. Gradually increase to twenty-five counts. Meditate. Spend time alone. Create a peaceful and inviting environment at bedtime with soft music, candles, an inspiring book of quotes or seed thoughts (I highly recommend the line of Secrets books by J. Donald Walters). Take time to cultivate a creative pursuit that you have been postponing.
Imagine yourself in a setting of pure tranquility. It is a calm, sunny spring morning and you are seated on the bank of a still pond. The water, a reflection of complete quiescence, is neither cloudy nor clear. What first strikes you is the absence of any breeze, the still life quality of nearby wildflowers and the crispness of the artfully paletted hillside. Color is everywhere, bursting into myriad greens beneath your bare feet.
Now, see yourself merging with the scene before you, your very body dissolving and expanding into its environs. By an act of creative will, bring movement into this pastel still life-much as a composer would add different movements to a symphony-all the while maintaining a sense of complete calm. A bird glides overhead, the subtle song of its wings grazing the sky. A small fish peeks out of the glass-like layer of water that now splinters into a medley of ripples.
Motion without movement is a song without a single superfluous note. This is your self-portrait, painted with brush strokes of calmness.