The Tao Te Ching: Verse Eight

The highest goodness resembles water
Water greatly benefits myriad things without contention
It stays in places that people dislike
Therefore it is similar to the Tao

Dwelling with the right location
Feeling with great depth
Giving with great kindness
Speaking with great integrity
Governing with great administration
Handling with great capability
Moving with great timing

Because it does not contend
It is therefore beyond reproach

                                                             Lao Tzu

We are encouraged in verse eight to adopt the manner and nature of water. Water moves in response to the tides. It supports and nurtures all life forms. It follows the path of least resistance while shaping everything it encounters along the way. It is relentless. It sparkles in the sun and moon light. It responds to its environment by morphing into steam with heat and ice with the cold; yet it always remains its authentic self.

These qualities should come easily to us because 60% of the human body is water. Yet we seem to need structure far more that fluidity. We are shaped by our belief systems or managed by someone else’s belief system; and all too often these are ridged and judgmental. Perhaps this is the moment to get quiet, reflect and decide if it is time to make a course correction.

Deciding that it is time to change the way you think is not sacrilegious although it can dredge up feelings of guilt. Having the courage to decide that it is time to change the way you think signals growth. You are honoring your Right to free choice. The key is to acknowledge the value of your old beliefs and the role they played in getting you to this point on your path. Gently smile and say thank you to the things that have anchored you thus far; then turn, walk on and begin to flow.

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