“To know the way,
we go the way,
we do the way.
The way we do,
the things we do,
it's all there in front of you.
But if you try too hard to see it,
you'll only become confused.
I am me and you are you.
As you can see;
but when you do
the things that you can do,
you will find the way.
The way will follow you.”
- Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
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Are you happy to say Adios to April?
I am welcoming May with open arms. April was just one of those months when I spent way too much time in my head and not enough time in heart. It was full of thinking, trying, and striving, and not enough being and receiving all the abundance life grants us every single day.
When that happens, it never ends well. Towards the end of the month I felt physically exhausted and emotionally drained.
One of my favorite practices I use every month around the new moon is the new moon detox. I get off social media by deleting the apps from my phone. I take time to slow down for at least a day or two to practice deep listening, journaling, and clearing out negative thoughts and impressions from the weeks prior that are taking up unnecessary space in my mind, body, and heart. It's an opportunity to reflect and reset.
Truth be told, I don't excel at this home practice. It's easier to do when you go to a meditation or yoga retreat or take a vacation, but slowing down in your normal day to day life can be a real struggle.
But, let's face it, the reason we go on retreat is to learn how to apply the practices to modern and daily life. That's the real practice!
Even though it's challenging, I know the only way to truly receive the wisdom that is trying to bestow itself upon me is by slowing down and surrendering my agenda for what is trying to come through.
Our breath, bodies, and minds are always giving us hints when we are out of alignment and out of the natural flow of life. Whether we listen and make adjustments or not is our responsibility.
There’s a concept in Taoism called Wu Wei. It means non-interference or without exertion.
Benjamin Hoff writes in The Tao of Pooh, “When we learn to work with our own inner nature and the natural laws around us we reach the level of wu wei. Then we work with the natural order of things and operate on the principle of minimal effort. Since the natural world follows that principle, it does not make mistakes. Mistakes are made- or imagined- by man the creature with the overloaded brain who separates himself from the supporting network of natural laws by interfering and trying too hard.”
Do you flow or do you force?
I have discovered forcing comes when we do not allow ourselves to feel emotions fully. We stifle them down and cover them up. Anxiety builds up like water in a dam. It only wants out. When you flow with the current of your emotions you resist nothing. You just observe and it passes. You may feel like you will sink but that is not the natural law- you may exert unnecessary energy treading the water when you could just float. If you can float you can flow. You just have to quiet your mind and trust the natural law. This takes practice.
Take time everyday to move and open up your body and then be still and just breathe for at least 5 minutes.
Where in your life are you forcing an outcome? When was the first time you felt the need to do that? How can you trust life more fully?