Fear seeks safety. Love seeks Truth. Please read and enjoy. Productive, truthful feedback welcome.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Sharpening your Knife

Part 3 of a the 5 parts series on serenity.


Fill your bowl to the brim
And it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
And it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
And your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
And you will be their prisoner.


Do your work, then step back
The only path to serenity.

~ From Tao Te Ching as translated by Stephen Mitchell

This week let’s explore the second line:
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Over sharpening is when we have done something too long or too much or so meticulously that by the time we get to the point, the point has lost its edge, or the reason has lost its purpose.
Over sharpening makes things less by becoming more and happens throughout life by . . .
Adding one more pinch of seasoning,
Wearing one too many accessories,
Over packing for too many just-in-case scenarios,
Using too many words when fewer is better,
And even citing too many examples of counterproductive excess.
You get the idea.
When we spend so much time doing the work of doing our work, we don’t leave room to step back.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

~~
Thank you for reading.
_____________

CHECK OUT The Bottom Turtle ~For musings from Dave on how to Love More and Judge Less link to his new book.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Fill Your Bucket

Part 2 of a the 5 part series on serenity.


You will recall the quote below from last week’s post.
For the next four weeks we will explore each thought, one at a time.

Fill your bowl to the brim
And it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
And it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
And your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
And you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back
The only path to serenity.

~ From Tao Te Ching as translated by Stephen Mitchell

This week we explore the first line,
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.

Let’s begin with a mental picture of a bowl—full to the brim.
Let’s fill it with soup, its contents quivering at the edge, daring you to even look at it.

The bowl is in the kitchen.
You must get it to the dining room.

It WILL spill.

In deference to Forrest Gump, life may be like a box of chocolates, but for our purposes today, it is also very much like a bowl of soup: chock full of your favorite ingredients. My imaginary soup is beef barley; with onions, carrots, mixed vegetables, and a variety of spices. Yours may differ.

My life soup is comprised of family, an airedale, teaching—high school and yoga, sleeping, reading, writing, walks in nature, date nights, as well as the various typical and unexpected events that come with all of the above. You will find in your own soup just as many ingredients, and just as much expectation.

It’s easy to imagine why we might have a bowl on the brink of spilling. It is easy to picture any one of our ingredients placing just one more demand on our finite time.

24/7/365. It’s a thing.

It should not be.

Seek those things that fill your bucket, not spill your soup.

Do your work, then step back
The only path to serenity.


~~
Thank you for reading.
_____________

CHECK OUT The Bottom Turtle ~For musings from Dave on how to Love More and Judge Less link to his new book.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Do Your Work, Then Step Back

Part 1 of a 5 part series on the path to serenity.

Fill your bowl to the brim
And it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
And it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
And your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
And you will be their prisoner.


Do your work, then step back
The only path to serenity.
~ From Tao Te Ching as translated by Stephen Mitchell

We will each find ourselves in one or more of the lines above.
Some will be past experiences. Some will be current.
Rejoice on those past. Reflect on those current.

Now, take a deep breath in.
On your slow exhale, step back, let go, and invite the current to become the new past.


Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.


~~
Thank you for reading.
_____________

CHECK OUT The Bottom Turtle ~For musings from Dave on how to Love More and Judge Less link to his new book.