Thursday, March 30, 2017

Paradoxes and Frogs!

The Tao Te Ching
Verse #1

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

The Tao is both named and nameless.
As nameless it is the origin of all things;
 as named it is the Mother of 10,000 things.

Ever desireless, one can see the mystery;
every desiring, one sees only the manifestations.
And the mystery itself is the doorway to all understanding.

In an effort to change my life, both mentally and physically, I have started reading a book called, 'Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life,'  by Dr. Wayne Dryer.  I have read another book by him and I have listened to several of his lectures.  The way he approaches life and the problems we may bring to it.

Dr. Dryer tells us that the Tao is an unknowable, unseeable realm where everything originates; while at the same time, the Tao is invisibly within everything.  When we desire to see this invisibleness (mystery), we attempt to define it in terms of the outer world of form--what Lao-tzu calls "the 10,000 things."  
 Dr. Dryer goes on to say that we achieve this by recognizing and allowing the paradoxes in our life.

When I first read this I immediately thought that desiring was to do and desireless was to do nothing.  To be desireless I must merely sit and meditate on what I want and it will come to me.  That's completely insane and wrong.  What Dr. Dryer is saying is exactly the opposite.  Desiring is the sitting and meditating or just trying and desirelessness is the actual doing.   When we are desiring of something we are wanting it to happen but if we are desireless than we are allowing it to happen.
Wanting = Trying                Allowing = Doing

There are many paradoxes in my life.  I desire to loss weight.  I go out into the world and learn about nutrition and exercise.  I may even practice what I have learned for a while.  As time passes my desire and wanting to loss weight may pay off and I lose some weight but eventually I go back to my old ways and regain all the weight I lost plus some.  I never reached that allowing phase to occur.  And that's my problem.  How do I allow myself to allow?

Dr. Dryer says that we focus too much on how we desire our world to be and not on how it actually is.  If we relax and stop worrying about the 'should be's' in our lives and enjoy what we have and where we are maybe our 'should be's' will turn in to our realities.

In Dr. Dryer's book, Everyday Wisdom for Success, his first piece of advice is based off of this first verse of the Tao TaeChing.

Chasing success is like trying to squeeze a handful of water.
The tighter you squeeze, the less water you get. 
When you chase it, your life becomes the chase,
and you become the victim of always wanting more.
-Dr. Wayne Dryer (2006)

I thought this was completely crazy when I first read it.  Of course, you have to chase success, or how I interpreted it your dreams.  They don't just come to you.  I have never heard of someone sitting at home when there's a knock at the door.  A stranger tells this person that he/she will be a best-selling author and here's your first book.  And no matter how much you want it, there is no magic pill that will cause you to become thin overnight.  No, you chase your dreams.  They do not chase you.  And most dreams worth chasing are more of a marathon than a sprint and the finish line can move or change all together.  But that's not what he is really saying.

Now, I interpret this as, chase your dreams or success but don't let the chase become your dreams or your measure of success.  I have seen people who start out wanting something, once they have achieved that they are off to the next thing never really taking the time to appreciate what it is that they achieved.  They end up losing themselves chasing the next best thing rather than enjoying the journey of getting there.  On the other hand, others never being the chase because they are to afraid of the journey to get them there.  Either way, they are all victims of the chase.

I fear I fall into the later category.  I can see the long hard road ahead of me and I'm afraid, it's too hard and painful, I don't want to do it.  In this case I think I'm allowing my fears to control me rather than allowing what I want to motivate me.  I want to lose weight but do I exercise?  Do I eat what I should?  I want to write but how much time do I devote to actually writing vs thinking about writing?  I want to make jewelry and build it into a business, how much time do I actually devote to doing jewelry each day, week, or month?

In an effort to turn my wanting into allowing, I started reading another book by Brian Tracy called, Eat That Frog!  21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.  I love this book.  Not only does Mr. Tracy give great advice but he does it in such a humorous way that I want to take his advice rather than being overwhelmed by it.

Mr. Tracy states: It has been said for many years that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through your day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.

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