The Tao Te Ching: Verse Sixty-Four

When it is peaceful, it is easy to maintain
When it shows no signs, it is easy to plan
When it is fragile, it is easy to break
When it is small, it is easy to scatter
Act on it when it has not yet begun
Treat it when it is not yet chaotic
A tree thick enough to embrace
Grows from the tiny sapling
A tower of nine levels
Starts from the dirt heap
A journey of a thousand miles
Begins beneath the feet

The one who meddles will fail
The one who grasps will lose
Therefore, sages do not meddle and thus do not fail
They do not grasp and thus do not lose

People, in handling affairs
Often come close to completion and fail
If they are as careful in the end as the beginning
Then they would have no failure

Therefore, sages desire not to desire
They do not value goods that are hard to acquire
They learn to unlearn
To redeem the fault of the people
To assist the nature of all things
Without daring to meddle

                                                                                    Lao Tzu

There is a quote from an anonymous source that I keep close to my desk, What Would You Attempt If You Knew You Could Not Fail?” This simple question serves to keep me connected to the great truth that, all things are possible. This is also the message contained within the sixty-fourth verse of the Tao Te Ching. The only barriers standing in our path are those that we place there ourselves or allow others to place before us.

It takes more than courage to risk failure. It takes an internal confidence and conviction that your intuition about the action you are considering is on point even though prudent judgment and common sense counsel otherwise. But how can you reliably access that sixth sense? The answer is through silence and practice.

Gifting yourself the time to meditate provides the silence. It is difficult, perhaps impossible to connect with your intuition when you are battling the noise in your head. Should I? Shouldn’t I? What if? If only? Not now, this is not the right time. It’s too late! I really don’t need to. I’m OK! Let’s be practical… OMG! Eastern philosophical teachings call this noise in your head, monkey mind. The term is meant to describe the random, jumping, chaotic thought process that can occur when you have not yet learned to discipline your mind.

Meditation helps you get out of your own way by quieting the noise, providing much needed space between each thought and with practice; the ability to listen to your heart’s voice (your intuition). Once you are able to make that connection with your heart there is a knowing that settles over you. You just know you are on the right course.

So crave the quiet moments and don’t rationalize being content without making that time for yourself. Avoid the company of those who can only connect with the reasons why something cannot be done, especially if that person(s) is smiling and offering that advice for your own good. Never give away your power to another. Muster your courage, have faith and take that first step on that journey of a thousand miles.

 

 

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