Saturday, September 26, 2015

Give Up On Your Dreams

Or At Least Be Flexible About Them

Whatever you think you want or need, whatever your dream is, I can guarantee there's more to it than you think there is. Lots more, and it's not all good.

They say, "Never give up on your dreams." and "Never settle for less than what you want." But I say, Be willing to give up on your dreams if they're not realistic...Be willing to settle for less than what you want if that's all you're going to get...Be willing to revision your needs as preferences. 

If all your dreams came true exactly as you dream them...If you got everything you want exactly as you want it...your life would no doubt be awful. That's because you don't know what the Hell you really want or need. None of us do. We have ideas. Fine, have ideas. Go for what you want. Head in the direction of your dreams. But give life some room to dance with you. In fact, give it a lot of room. In fact, consider life to be the "lead" and you to be the "follow" in the big dance of life and things will be much, much better.

The Tao Te Tching says: Know the yang side, but keep to the yin side. In other words, know how to set goals and work towards them…but listen to the results you’re getting and be willing to change or adjust your plans and direction to suit your inner sense of rightness.  

Expecting life to unfold on your own terms, needing things to come to you in specific forms, is a recipe for disaster, disappointment, bitterness, pain and trouble. The open-ended dance with life will bring you to places far better than the ones you dream of. You will not be in charge but you will not be a cork floating on the ocean either. You will be like a surfer who does not own or control or disrespect the wave, but instead follows it, surrenders to it, and uses it to express her deepest creativity and soul.

Imagine paddling out to a wave with a plan in mind...a dream...a desire to ride it in a very specific way to a very specific place...pretty dumb right? My point exactly.

Surf the waves or fight ‘em. The choice is yours.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Taoist Motto

Get it undone.

Taoism, at least my version of it, is about noticing where I'm using too much force, that is to say "doing things", and instead seeing if I can use less force, finding ways to do things that don't require force and don't feel like consciously doing anything in the usual sense of the word. It's tricky because consciously trying not to use force is actually forceful. It's more like developing a knack for letting the forceful actions go rather than suppressing them with still more force. These natural un-forced actions are called "wu-wei" or "non-action" in Chinese. "Get it undone" is using the word "undone" more in the sense of getting a knot undone or in the sense of getting things unblocked, rather than in the sense of getting a job undone...It's more like releasing things that are held in place with force or conscious action and letting them become undone so they can "do" themselves.

What did the Taoist say on his deathbed?

"If only I had done less..."