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Diane Dreher's Tao Leadership Blog

One Step at a Time

The Tao Te Ching tells us that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.And that's how we will get through this Covid-19 Coronavirus crisis.

 

Not so long ago, we had busy schedules with plans, work projects, deadlines, appointments, meetings with friends, and familiar routines. Then everything changed.

 

A fearful invisible threat entered our lives. Now we are told to stay home, shelter in place, work remotely, and go out only for essential activities. Schools, restaurants, theaters, gyms, and local shops are closed. Sporting events are cancelled and all our plans are gone. What was predictable and familiar is no more.

 

We've entered an empty space of waiting and uncertainty, frightening statistics on the news, and rumors on social media. Many of us feel lost and alone.

 

We venture out to the grocery store to find that shelves are bare, looted by people desperately hoarding toilet paper, paper towels, and essential food supplies. Overcome with fear, some of our neighbors have become compulsive hoarders.  

 

Those of us who've become successful by setting goals, planning, and persevering need to learn new skills of patience, flexibility, and self-compassion.

 

Setting our intention, we can learn to live more mindfully, taking each day one step at a time, living in the present moment.  Aware of what is happening around us, we can listen to our hearts, our inner guidance to reveal the next step, taking one step at a time.

 

To be present with the process, take a moment now to:

 

  • Take a long, deep breath and slowly release it.
  • Close your eyes as you focus on your heart, slowly breathing in and out,
  • Recognizing how you feel,
  • Asking, "How am I feeling?" and naming that feeling. Is it fear, worry, frustration, restlessness, loneliness, or something else?
  • Then ask yourself, "What do I need?"
  • Put your hand on your heart, focusing on your breathing as you see yourself taking one small step to meet your need.
  • Then gently open your eyes.

 

As you practice this process, taking one step at a time, the path before you will open up. And together we will get through this challenging time. For as the Tao Te Ching says,

 

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Power of Water

"Nothing on earth

Is more gentle and yielding than water

Yet nothing is stronger."

 

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 78 

 

Water nurtures all life on earth. Falling from the sky to the ground as precipitation—rain or snow—it flows as surface water through rivers into lakes and oceans, or percolates deep into the earth through layers of sediment, becoming aquifers, vast underground lakes. With the sun's heat, surface water evaporates, rising as vapor to form clouds, and the cycle begins again. There is always the same amount of water on earth. We drink the same water that the dinosaurs drank. The golden wheat fields of the American Midwest are irrigated by water from the Ogallala Aquifer, a massive underground lake that dates back to the Pleistocene era

 

Throughout its cycle, water takes many forms--from snowflakes, tiny lace mandallas from the sky, to shimmering icicles, to a summer's day heavy with humidity, to the rapids of a roaring river.

 

Water can be beautiful or destructive. Water is essential to life, yet climate change has brought fear and destruction, violent rain storms and floods to some parts of our world and drought to others. 

 

The water cycle includes us all, and there's a powerful parallel between water and the energies of our lives. Some energies are creative, life-sustaining; others, destructive streams of fear or greed. Each day, we contribute to the collective energy of the planet, the cycle of life within and around us.

 

Living creatively means becoming more mindful of our energies. Take a moment to ask yourself:

 

  • Am I adding to the currents of fear flooding our planet?
  • Or does my heart open in currents of compassion, loving kindness, to nurture and create?

 

 

Whatever challenges you are facing in your life,

 

Take a moment now to

 

Breathe out fear.

 

Breathe in love.

 

Connect with the eternal cycle of life

 

 

 

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