Here is an ancient Vietnamese proverb I translated from a scroll I bought from the Temple of Literature gift shop during our mother-daughter trip to Hanoi November 2011.
The name of this scroll is Nhẫn, which means “patience, to endure.”
When I asked for my mother’s help, her translation was “to yield.”
After struggling with the direct and awkward translation, I decided to replace “patience” and “to yield” with “holding your mood,” which gave the proverb new life.
It now felt more evolved, relevant, powerful and consistent with the Modern Geisha philosophy.
Holding Your Mood
If you can hold your mood in the moment of anger,
You will be free from worry for 100 days.
If you want to have harmonious relationships with everyone,
Swallow the bitter pill.
Among the 100 virtues,
Holding your mood is the highest of them all.
When father and children hold their mood,
This is the perfect way and principle.
When husband and wife hold their mood,
Children will not suffer and become lonely.
When brother and sister hold their mood,
The home will become warm, cozy and peaceful.
When friends hold their mood,
Their friendship is never ending.
Practice self-control and holding your mood
And everyone will love you dearly.
The person who has not learned how to hold their mood
Has not become a person of esteemed character.
Similarly, there is a Chinese proverb saying, “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape one hundred days of sorrow.”
My mother picked this one out for me even though she knows nothing about my work other than I am a dating coach for women.
I never bothered to explain my philosophy, yet she picked the right one.
I am smiling because the Universe is watching over me.