"Hold to the Tao within
And joy will surely follow"
(Tao, Chapter 35)
We can achieve the joy of Tao by returning to our original nature, which the Tao calls "the uncarved block," natural wood without carving or embellishment. To live this way is to be without pretense. When we know who we are and live authentically as ourselves, we're not affected by flattery or criticism. We don't fear exposure or ridicule. We simply are. Holding to the Tao within, we transcend ego, riding the currents in the sream of life without being caught up into them.
Too often, people look for happiness outside themselves, which leads to endless rushing, compulsively competing, and distress. They're restless and dissatisfied, always searching for more.
As our lives fill up with endless activity and we rush through our days, we can lose our balance. Life becomes a dizzy blur. By slowing down, we can return to our essential nature.
The Tao invites us to slow down, to ask how we feel and if what we're doing makes sense.
Take a few moments now to practice this Tao wisdom.
- Take a deep breath and slowly release it.
- If it's possible where you are, gently close your eyes.
- As you breathe slowly and deeply, ask yourself, "How do I feel?"
- As you become more aware of your body and your emotions, notice. Are you tired. anxious, bored, restless, hungry, or something else?
- Name your feeling to yourself.
- Then ask, "What do I need?" and listen for the answer. This can be anything from a break, a meal, a walk outside, a nap, a connection with a friend.
- What do you need right now?
- Extend care and compassion to yourself as you would to a dear friend. Take another deep mindful breath and see yourself taking one simple action to give yourself what you need.
Now open your eyes and take that step to live more authentically, in greater harmony with yourself.
I wish you joy on the path.