“I will finish what I set my mind to do before leaving it for something else. My word is my bond. So also is my resolution.”

(from Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda)

My Mum’s Perseverance

by Nayaswami Pushpa

Mum, 2008 age 89

My mother was a strong, tenacious woman. When she set her mind on something, she didn’t give up until she had achieved her goal. Perseverance is a quality she modeled well for me, and she was an example of Swami Kriyananda’s adage: “Never say that you failed; say instead that you haven’t yet succeeded.”

When she was in her early fifties, she decided she wanted to learn to drive. She took a series of driving lessons. She had to learn to drive using a stick shift; and Wales, where my parents lived, had extremely steep hills. Her two areas of difficulty were stopping and starting on a steep hill, and making a three-point turn.

The first time she took her test, she didn’t pass!
She took more driving lessons. The second time she took her test,
she didn’t pass!
She took more driving lessons. The third time she took her test,
she didn’t pass!
She took more driving lessons. The fourth time she took her test,
she didn’t pass!
She took more driving lessons. The fifth time she took her test,
she passed! 

She was 65 years old when she finally received her license. It had taken her more than ten years. She threatened to quit a couple of times, out of frustration and embarrassment, but she always came back to it. She never gave up! She was such a shining light. Her many examples of strength have served me well in my life and on the spiritual path.

“Though the sirens of distraction call me to turn aside and relax the sternness of my dedication, keep me steadfast on my path, Lord. My goal in life is Thee!”
(from Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda)

"Keep Calling Him"

This beautiful song by Maitri Jones was adapted from a poem by Paramhansa Yogananda.


by Nayaswami Pushpa

One of the characteristics of successful people is that they are willing to do the things they don’t like doing that are essential to their success. They are not governed by their likes and dislikes. They are willing to accept with equanimity the challenges that confront them.

When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013 my neurologist gave me one piece of advice. He said, “There will be blips along the way. Remember: they are just blips.” It was sage counsel, because “the way” is The Path, and there are blips of various sizes all along The Path designed to furnish us with individual opportunities to strengthen our weaknesses.

It’s like training for a marathon. You have to get strong enough so that you can go the distance, regardless of any unexpected obstacles that may pop up along the way. There is absolutely no benefit to whining, when you’re halfway along, “Nobody told me it was going to be this difficult!” 

It’s not important how many times we fall down, only that we get up one more time than we fall. We just need to take the blips in our stride and persevere. As Lahiri Mahasaya used to say, “Banat, banat, ban jai!” (“Doing, doing, at last, done!”)

Before she got very sick, Sister Gyanamata—Yogananda’s foremost woman disciple—received this message from God, “Endure what I shall send. That will be enough.” These words have consoled me many times. I believe God wants us to show up and do our best each day, evaluate our actions at the end of the day, and add what we’ve learned to tomorrow’s effort. He doesn’t care if we become bedraggled and weary. He waits with longing to welcome us home into His loving presence.


Perseverance - How to Actualize Your Ideas

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