Entries in stress management (1)

Friday
Aug142015

A lesson from the Tao Te Ching: Everything you need is within you.

We can learn a lot from ancient wisdom. Human beings thousands of years ago were asking the same questions we ask today.

Who am I? Why am I here? What is the purpose of this life? There must be something bigger here! 

They were just like us with a beating heart, and curious mind. 

I keep a copy of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching by my bedisde table. Here's a verse that has resonated with me lately.


 

This verse reminds us to look within ourselves for spiritual guidance and knowing. We have everything we need within us already. We are spiritual beings living a physical existence. Although this verse is referring to a greater spiritual knowing, I think it can apply to our everyday stress management as well.

Too often we look outside ourselves to provide a sense of comfort and peace. We rely on material items to define us. We find ourselves in an "I'll be happy when..." state of mind, missing the happiness in the moment. We look to substances and even food to provide comfort. The obesity and heroin epidemics in this country demonstrate this outward search for comfort to the extreme.

I've learned to become aware of my own signs of looking outward. I have a weakness for afternoon ice tea/coffee and oatmeal cookies. I catch myself frustrated with not being able to replace my living room rug or my bathroom at this time. When my desires cause suffering I take some time to focus on what I have, what I've accomplished. I make an honest effort to ease up on myself and feel gratitude for all the gifts and blessings I have in my life. 

It's human to desire and want things for ourselves. I don't know if I can give up cookies, but I can be honest with myself and take the time to go within. The last line in the verse is the most important to me; "He sees without looking; He works without doing."

This line helps me accept and appreciate the way things are. To trust in the flow, the tao, for divine timing and assistance. Most of my stress is what I create for myself by desire and striving. Can you relate?

Strive less. Trust more. That's my mantra (this week). 

Does this verse resonate with you? Do you have a source of writing that inspires you? I'd love to know what it is.