The Tao Te Ching: Verse Fifteen

The Tao masters of antiquity
Subtle wonders through mystery
Depths that cannot be discerned
Because one cannot discern them
Therefore one is forced to describe the appearance

Hesitant, like crossing a wintry river
Cautious, like fearing four neighbors
Solemn, like a guest
Loose, like ice about to melt
Genuine, like plain wood
Open, like a valley
Opaque, like muddy water

Who can be muddled yet desist
In stillness gradually become clear?
Who can be serene yet persist
In motion gradually come alive?

One who holds this Tao does not wish to be overfilled
Because one is not overfilled
Therefore one can preserve and not create anew

                                                                                                                        Lao Tzu

It is hard to image life 500 years before the time of Christ as hectic. Yet, it must have been. Why else would Lao Tzu compose a verse of the Tao Te Ching reminding everyone to slow down and be mindful of all that is around you?

I am concerned about the pace of life today. I am concerned that I can’t keep up. I’m concerned that I am not certain I want to keep up. I am concerned that I arrive at work all too often not remembering the ride in the car. However lately, I am troubled by the thought that I am not walking my path but running down my path at such a speed that I am going to fly by my intended destination.

Slowing down is not something that comes easily to me and I am going to venture, does not come easily to most professional or family caregivers. The thought does drift through my conscious mind every now and then but customarily, I ignore it. I continue at the same pace or faster; ignoring the signals that I need to rest until the Universe slaps me in the head with sickness, the flare up of an old knee injury or even a fender bender and asks, “Do you hear me now?”

Is living and working under a sense of urgency necessary to accomplish anything meaningful in the mundane world? Do I really need 2 phones and several other Internet accessible devices to be productive? In an age when we are all expected to be outcome oriented is it sacrilegious to be concerned about the process and the people involved in that process? Is the journey no longer of any value; is it just about the destination? I believe that it is possible to be active, engaged and yet calm and patient. Now, if I could only figure out how to manifest my belief.

As a recovering Catholic, I think the first step is to tell my Ego, the voice of my insecurities, to shut the hell up. Enough with the relentless thoughts of doom and retribution for venturing to consider that there may be an alternative to living in the fast lane. You can have a great work ethic without having to make yourself sick to convince yourself or anyone else that you are capable and competent.

Embracing your Yin (Feminine) Energy is also a good place to start. Till some soil, plant your hopes and dreams, and watch them take root. Nurture them to be yielding and adaptable to the winds of impermanence.  Be patient and receptive to whatever shows up. I realize that is like asking water from the moon but try to sway. Be patient and mindful.

I honor the Law of Attraction. I honestly believe that you can create the life you envision but remember it is not the Law of Insistence. All will come when it is supposed to. Nothing could or will ever change this. I sometimes think that when prayers are answered it is because you’ve somehow aligned your request with the intended timetable for the manifestation.

Slow down, don’t be hurried or harried. Breathe, look around you and be in each step to the best you are able. See the synchronicity of life. You will be amazed how your life will flow to you and how you will flow with it.

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