Sraddha Mata (1895–1984) met Paramahansa Yogananda in 1933, and joined the Self-Realization Fellowship monastic order shortly afterwards. She was later appointed to the Board of Directors of Self-Realization Fellowship by Paramahansa Yogananda, and she served in that capacity for the rest of her life. This essay was originally written by her for Self-Realization Fellowship’s magazine in 1935, but its message will always be relevant — now at the start of the new year or at any time you want to seize the precious opportunity the present moment is giving you.
Have you a secret ambition? If the choice were given you that this day you might begin life anew, what would you do?
Life is offering you that choice. The plastic clay of Time is in your hands to mold as you will. Often the seemingly impossible achievement is the most logical one. That which you thought you could not do — BEGIN IT!
Throw off the self-placed shackles of thought-habits which are your only limitations. Hearken to the inner whisper. Life holds happy surprises for him who digs deeply into the well of Self.
No goal is attained in a day. The one thing essential is that you start now—not tomorrow. BEGIN! This magic moment is the key to the treasure caves of opportunity.
Tap the reservoir of your ingenuity, whose source lies in the Infinite. Take the first step, however small. Your power released, will, like the snowball, gather more of itself.
“Ability is responsibility to the last degree.” Your latent talent is a fruitful seed entrusted into your keeping. Have you the right to let it wither in the arid soil of procrastination? Life asks only that you faithfully harvest that which she has implanted within you.
All things needful to the task are at hand. Recognize them with the eyes of your awakened awareness.
Work not with tense, desireful striving, but with ease and joy. Love not the goal more than the doing. With alert mind and loving hands, weave the glistening threads of Now into the pattern of Eternity.
And if the shimmering vessel of your fashioning should become shattered by a careless touch or wayward wind, weep not. With heart made richer by understanding, with hand more pliable and eye more true, BEGIN AGAIN! Only begin! In that alone lies genius.
“It hath not yet appeared what ye shall be" (I John 3:2). In the heart of the seed sleeps the blossom. But does the seed know its own beginning or its own end? Gathering what it may of warmth and moisture, the expanding heart of its own being bursts forth in joy to greet the sun.
Life is coaxing, entreating, commanding you to action. This day, become conscious of its urge within you. Break the shell of your limitations. Turn your face to the Light, and step forth, a risen Son of man.
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