This is the Way

I have an extremely dear friend who has uttered the following phrase to me more than once: “I am going to make a Taoist out of you, yet.”

This got me thinking, “What exactly is the Tao?” I was aware that it is an ancient East Asian philosophy, but I didn’t really know all that it entailed. I am a child/adolescent of the ’90s. Therefore, I owned a yin yang choker like every other respectable girl my age. The only difference between me and most of my friends with the same choker was that I did my research. I didn’t want to wear something that I didn’t know the meaning of, so I looked it up and thus began my journey of acceptance.

I miss my choker. Maybe I should look into getting another one. Anyway, the Tao is the way. I hesitate even calling it a philosophy because the Tao is not about following. It’s about letting go and being. It just is. It is the way.

Without even trying, I realized I have been living this way. The way. There are many lessons from the Tao Te Ching that I plan on breaking down and discussing because I am completely fascinated and invested now.

I recently made a connection. Long-time readers of this blog know that I have been on a weight loss journey for over a year. When I started my journey, I went all in. I worked out every single day, cut out all carbs and sugar, followed a very restrictive diet, and failed many times. With some trial and error, I learned many lessons.

  1. It is not a diet. It is a lifestyle change, a way of life. To be successful at weight loss, just like with all things, I need balance. (The yin and the yang).
  2. Carbohydrates are not bad, but they should be consumed from a natural source and in moderation.
  3. Water is my best friend.
  4. LISTEN! I learned to listen to my body. It will tell me what it needs. When it needs food, it alerts me; when it needs water, it alerts me; and when it needs rest, it alerts me. I pushed myself too far at the beginning and experienced inertia. Learning to listen to my body and act accordingly changed my life.
  5. Love thyself! The biggest hurdle I had to overcome (and am still working on) was forgiving myself and loving myself enough to care for my body the way I should.
  6. Nothing is off limits, even sugar, but again, everything in moderation.
  7. Take it easy – on my meals, on my workouts, on my body, on me.
  8. It is about progress, not perfection!

There is a concept in Taoism called Wu-Wei. This concept fascinates me, but I finally made the connection that to get to my end goal of weight loss, I need to not focus on the outcome.

So, this concept is a bit challenging to describe, but I shall do my best. Essentially, Wu-Wei is the act of not doing, but that does not translate to the act of doing nothing. It is effortless action. To achieve Wu-Wei, one must let go and become one with the act. It is extreme focus without the need for control. Watch John Mayer as he plays guitar. Every good guitar player has what is known as a “guitar face.” My favorite “guitar face” is Stevie Ray Vaughan’s. You can see it; John Mayer doesn’t play guitar. He makes love to it. John becomes the music because he has mastered Wu-Wei. All the greats do!

I really hope to see him live one day. Gosh, I could get lost watching him. He will undo me if he plays the blues…

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh, right, Wu-Wei. *Winks* I think I’m struggling with weight loss because I need to let go and try without trying. I have been so focused on reaching the end goal that I am sabotaging myself by not focusing on the present. So, this will be a practice I apply to all my workouts (not just yoga). I am very excited! Now that I have had this epiphany, I think I’m going to reach my end goal sooner than I ever thought possible! However, that will not be my focus.

And to my friend, I would say it looks like you have made a Taoist out of me yet, but by saying that, isn’t that contradicting the Tao? Am I boxing myself in by identifying as a “Taoist” by adhering to a label? Then again, how would I describe my way of life? Oh, the mysteries of the Tao! It is a mystery in and of itself.

My best friend, Amanda, and I have been wanting to get matching tattoos that say, “Let it Be.” I think now is as good a time as any, Amanda! Let’s get to planning!!

And to my readers, I appreciate all the support you have given me on my journey. It’s not over; whether you live your life by the Tao or not, I hope you stick with me.

After all…

Love & life lessons,

Kristian

This entry was posted in Lessons, Personal, This Is Me and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to This is the Way

  1. Paula Light says:

    Agree on the weight loss lifestyle change focus rather than an end goal…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I liked it all. You are a smart cookie. I need about a quarter of your skills and I will go far. Loved the everything and nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brad Osborne says:

    The force is strong with this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. utahan15 says:

    tao not mao
    mother mary was his dead mother
    and not the holy other
    o s lose thanks to joey
    ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bridgette says:

    I had that same necklace in the 90s! Yes, everything in life is about balance. The trick, for me, is to not allow any one thing (focus on my weight, helping others, writing) force everything else out. I tend to be all in or all out. I seek the balanced grey space. It’s so much easier to visualize than to put into practice. Good luck on your journey to find that balance.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have that problem with weight lost too. I want to have lost weight NOW, lol

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kenhume31 says:

    Lots of common sense and thought provoking stuff here Kristian, thanks for sharing. πŸ™πŸ˜ Very true about listening to your body, it’ll always tell you what you need. πŸ‘πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

  8. kenhume31 says:

    Fully deserved Kristian! πŸ‘πŸ˜Š Keep on listening to your body and being kind to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

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