It is as it is, and it is all good...(Tao Te Ching part 5)
~ by Adele
If you can, take a breath or two to drop into yourself. Down into an expansive space somewhere within, where the Tao resides. And then, with a feeling sense into your energy, see if you can delicately drop in the following exploration...

If there were two ways to look at our relationship life, which one would resonate with you the most?

“It is as it is”, offering a possible surrender into whatever is happening…or
“It’s all good”, meaning of course, that everything is ultimately good. That even the bad stuff, is all headed in the direction of the ultimate good.
And knowing that there is not a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer, ask yourself - your truest self…which one of those two ideas open you up? Which one starts to fizzle away your armour, and your resistance to life?

Even though they consist of different feeling tones, they are of course going in the same direction. We have learnt, through exploring into the Tao Te Ching, that the power of the Tao is all-knowing, all-pervading, and beyond our comprehension. We cannot control it, but we can totally co-exist with this life force by accepting that it is bigger than us and letting go of the reigns a little. Dropping into the Tao means we stop resisting what is happening and trust in the great wisdom of life.

“It is as it is”, can drop us into the Tao by bringing up that initial wave of acceptance on all levels. Once we accept it is as it is, we might stop fighting and be able to choose instead to be with it. To go through and feel whatever life is asking us to go through and feel at that time. Which is all life is ever really asking us to do!

“It’s all good”, is of course, totally true too. Even if something is bad, it’s still good for us. It’s good because we can grow through it, no matter how impossibly difficult it might feel. There is a quote from Sadhguru which puts this quite straightforwardly. He says…

“Once you are a Yogi, nothing bad can ever happen to you again because there is nothing that you cannot use for your ultimate growth”.

Sometimes, we may feel like “it’s all good”, could have the potential to try and wash things over with ingenuine positivity. It is truth, and it is all ultimately good, but nobody here is trying to force a smile on the face when it’s not in the heart. Rather, it’s a quiet kind of ‘good’. Not such a smiley-happy-show-off kind of good, but a willingness to believe in the bigger picture and unfolding. Even through pain, with a broken-heart, or feeling totally de-railed by life.

Whichever one of these you rest with more comfortably, pick it up and help it to drop you in to that feeling place of the Tao. If there’s some difficulty and resistance going on in our head, we try if we can remember to ‘take a breath in the head’, like our Izzy does! We see if we can drop the hot coal, drop that painful thought-stream, and realise that we don’t need to pick it back up when it’s burning us.

There is no way that I want to ever downplay the immense difficulty in breaking our habits. But instead of expending so much energy trying to ‘fix’ them, or pour positivity all over them, we can take another route of remembering the Tao. Most of the time, our one and only problem is that life is not happening the way that we think it should be happening. We can become quite insistent it has all gone wrong, and not quite realising yet how ‘right’ it all might be because of our ideas. But whatever we’re having difficulty with, we could choose to take a moment to believe that this is just one page in a huge book. That we don’t have to pre-live tomorrow’s experience over and over again so that we’re equipped for it. We don’t have to ‘make’ anything happen. We can trust that once we centre into ourselves, what needs to happen will happen. What needs to be said, will be said. And sometimes what needs to happen might be painful, uncomfortable and confusing. But can we stick with it, for the future evolved version of ourselves?

It is ultimately a lifelong practice of trust. Lifelong, because it doesn’t happen overnight. And that’s okay! We try to remember it when we possibly can. If life has a bigger plan for me, that means I will have to let go of the outcomes that I can so desperately cling to. If I have an idea that I know best, I might be in the way of something miraculous unfolding. We don’t become nonchalant and boring about it, though. We become just curious….and uninvested if we can. When I have made an energetic investment into an outcome of a situation, I have so much to lose. But when I totally take my hands and ideas off, I cannot possibly lose. We can become so wonderfully present with something or someone when we have no investment of the outcome….when there is no manipulating, agendas, or steering each other into what we want. It is then we can truly connect.

I say none of this lightly. This practice is one that goes on for me daily, and in fact moment by moment sometimes. But there are times where I have been so totally blindsided by the wisdom of the unfolding of my life that have proven to me I have no idea what’s going on. So I effort as much as I can to offer my hand to be led instead of push. I have a little scene in my mind where I imagine life is holding a huge surprise party for me that is so perfect in every way for me. But because I don’t know about it yet, I try and set up my own party and it’s just not working out so well. Things aren’t going to my plan. But I keep trying and trying, and then I feel a little frustrated and disappointed. When all the while I’ve got no clue that the party that I’m setting up is nowhere near as cool as the party life has planned for me!

Life is wiser than us, funnier than us, and much better at planning our surprise parties. But it can feel really weird to give up the fight. There will be some inevitable inner resistance. “So hold on….a bigger energy is now going to do all this stuff that I used to do?! What am I going to do now with my time when I don’t have to hold everything together anymore?”

We will undoubtedly get caught in our old thought patterns and beliefs until they eventually run out of juice. Unfortunately, they don’t just ‘pop’ and disappear just like that. We’ve got to let them run the rest of their battery life! Instead, we choose not to feed them with new energy and see if we can drop the outcome a little bit….but also still be willing to do the work to get through them. We do this with our Sadhana, our practice, our meditation, our prayer, and our watchfulness to stop ourselves from plugging into these. And this isn’t always linear either. We can feel like we’ve got through something, only for it to come back into our mind with a vengeance. “Oh you thought you could get rid of me!?” an old thought pattern might say. Some even pop off into hibernation for years, one day to return. Old habits really do die hard – and they will try and get as much juice out of themselves before they eventually burn out. But they are wearing down bit by bit, and parts of us attached to them may start to wear down too. The people we thought we were may start to dissolve a little and the personality framework we were so convinced by might blur. Perhaps if we loosen up the ‘me’ that we think we are, the 'greater me’ could emerge….
Our work for this week ahead, is to work with and feel into the verse from the Tao below. To go away and explore it on our own and what it means to us. Until next week when we will meet back and share all our endeavours and discoveries in our Sangha….

Verse 22 is yours!

If you want to become whole,
first let yourself be partial.
If you want to become straight,
let yourself be crooked.
If you want to become full,
let yourself be empty.
If you want to be reborn,
let yourself die.
If you want to be given everything,
give everything up.

The Master, by residing in the Tao,
sets an example for all living beings.
Because she isn’t self-centred,
people can see the light in her.
Because she does not boast of herself,
she becomes a shining example.
Because she has nothing to prove,
people can trust her words.
Because she does not know who she is,
people recognise themselves in her.
Because she has no goal in mind,
everything she does succeeds.

When the ancient Masters said,
“If you want to be given everything,
give everything up,”
they weren’t using empty words.
Only in being lived by the Tao
can you truly be yourself.



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