Thursday, March 24, 2011

Personal Observations

Each day I continue to read from Wayne Dyers Living the Wisdom of the Tao, yet I have not written in a few days, why????  At first I thought it was because I was so busy, then I thought no one is reading and then I realized... I am doing this for ego, I am writing this to be "followed" ... to be applauded.  This is NOT the way of the Tao...

What has come through loud and clear after only two weeks on this journey is that to live by and through ego is not harmonious with our natural essential state.  It was interesting to me to think, why write because no one is reading and come to terms with that part of myself.  I did not berate her or judge, I simply acknowledged the truth of where I was in that moment.  This journey if nothing else is giving me perspective, to view myself and my decision making processes through the lens of the Tao.

In realizing this and in embracing a conscious choice to move from my higher self and live beyond form as recommended in verse 14, I have decided to shift... I am officially allowing this journey to BE mine.  I do not need readers or followers but rather just a writing space in which to express my thoughts and my take away's as I have them over the remaining 62 days.  I of course am happy if someone is reading this and decides to come along for the ride, but it is now not a pre-requisite.   In fact, i am throwing whatever "rule book" I had out the window. I am giving myself permission to write as the verse's inspire me to do so.  To write, as I feel I have something meaningful or insightful to contribute.

In the beginning I set an expectation on myself based on others, now I free myself of this. I embrace my natural state totally, completely and harmoniously trusting in it's natural essence which emanates from the Tao.

What lies ahead??? We shall see...

Namaste to YOU and Me~
Melissa

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Living with Inner Conviction

Verse 12.
The five colors blind the eye.  The five tones deafen the ear.  The five flavors dull the taste.
The chase and the hunt craze people's minds.

Wasting energy to obtain rare objects only impedes one's growth.

The master observes the world but trusts his inner vision.  He allows things to come and go.  He prefers what is within to what is without...

We can all too easily spend a lifetime living for what is outside of ourselves or as Lao Tzu says, "without" vs. living sourced from what is within. In the process the real person inside withers and wastes away while the exterior life seems to be a perpetual quest for obtaining happiness.  Happiness, joy, love and acceptance will never come from outside until it is fully recognized and understood within for in that understanding is your inner master guiding you.  For as Lao Tzu says' the master observes the world but trusts his inner vision.

Trust all that you are, let your inner master guide you to experiencing unlimited happiness, joy, love acceptance and so much more that is the truth of you, the truth of me.  As you are, so you will experience...  The external world of things will come to you vs. you chasing after it for your inner guidance will be like a light house, a beam of light, a magnet so strong for you are unwavering in the knowing of your pure truth.

And so it is~

Namaste,
Melissa

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Living from the Void

Verse 11
Thirty spokes converge upon a single hub; it is on the hole in the center that the use of the cart hinges.

Shape clay into a vessel; it is the space within that makes it useful.  Carve fine doors and windows, but the room is useful in its emptiness.

The usefulness of what is depends on what is not.

From the silence comes a musical note, from emptiness, fullness, for non being gives rise to the beingness within us all... Today I practiced a simple breathing exercise in which I closed my eyes and allowed my awareness to move to my hands.  I moved my hands through space with each breath paying close attention to the non being of the empty air through which my hands moved.  This space of non being is filled with being.  I felt the fullness of what seems to be empty and just enjoyed all that the moment was.. and was not...

Namaste,
Melissa

Friday, March 18, 2011

Two Days in One... Why?

I had to follow the 9th verse of the Tao and take a day off, to let the work be done.  I have recently been "doing" so much that what mattered the most was being neglected.  Yesterday when I opened the book to the 9th verse and read it, I got my message loud and clear...

9th Verse
To keep on filling is not as good as stopping. Overfilled, the cupped hands drip, better stop pouring.

Sharpen a Blade too much and its edge will soon be lost.  Fill your house with jade and gold and it brings insecurity.  Puff yourself with honor and pride and no one can save you from the fall.

Retire when the work is done; this is the way of heaven.

Wayne Dyer shares his understanding of this verse as the Tao, which is in a continuous state of creating, knows when enough is enough. Living humility is knowing when to stop, let go and enjoy the fruits of our labors.  I think that all too often enjoying the fruits of our labors is forgotten or postponed for some distant date in the future,a date that seldom comes.

So I decided to enjoy the fruits of my labors, to relax and seek the joy in the activities rather than focusing on an agenda.  The result... a truly AMAZING day with my son and husband... and in fact, it was a day in heaven.


Verse 10, Living Oneness
Carrying body and soul and embracing the one, can you avoid seperation?

Can you let your body become as supple as a newborn childs?  In the opening and shutting of heaven's gate, can you play the feminine part?

Can you love your people and govern your domain without self-importance?

Giving birth and nourishing; having, yet not taking credit; leading without controlling or dominating.

One who heeds this power brings the Tao to this very earth. This is the primal virtue.

This verse shares a powerful message to see ourselves in everyone we encounter.  I spoke of this at yoga with my students the other night to explain that seeing ourselves in others, seeing and sharing acceptance and compassion does not mean that we condone a hurtful or harmful behavior or act, it simply means becoming an observer and witnessing all people, situations and things as part of the one.  If you weren't you, but just an observer watching a situation unfold from a different angel or through the other persons eyes, what would you notice?

Be slow to judge because you NEVER know another persons story.  You have no idea what they are fully experiencing inside of themselves. The only thing we all know for sure is that we come from the same unlimited source, call it energy, call it God, Buddah, Heaven or the Tao.  Regardless of the name of the source, it is still the source.  This source resides within us all.  Look and you will see~

Namaste,
Melissa

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Living in the Flow~

Verse 8
The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things without trying to.  It flows to low places loathed by all men. Therefore, it is like the Tao.

Live in accordance with the nature of things.  In dwelling, be close to the land.  In meditation, go deep in the heart. In dealings with others, be gentle and kind. Stand by your word.  Govern with equity.  Be timely in choosing the right moment.

One who lives in accordance with nature does not go against the way of things.  He moves in harmony with the present moment, always knowing the truth of just what to do.

This verse offers such a great reminder to stay open, to stay flexible, to honor the natural unfolding of each moment as it moves into the next.  Think about a time when you may have tried to control or direct an outcome, now think about a time that you just allowed the natural course of things to occur...which was a more enjoyable process?  Which gave you a more desired outcome?  Typically when we control or take over directing the natural process, we constrict and interfere with the natural state yet when we allow things to flow the outcomes are typically much greater than we could have ever imagined.

Wayne Dyer shares in this verse a few key concepts of interpretation for modern day living...  We are like water, in fact 75% of our Body and 85% of our brain IS water.  Be like the water we are and flow... "If it stays stationary, it will become stagnant; if it is allowed to flow, it will stay pure.  It does not seek the high spots to be above it all, but settles for the lowest places... Be receptive to all, go to the "low places"\loathed by men" and have an open mind when you are there... By making every effort to avoid controlling the lives of others, you'll be in peaceful harmony with the natural order of the Tao."

Or in a more simplistic way to look at this verse from the great modern day guru...Kick Buttowski ( Disney Cartoon Series :))... Roll like the Dog... 

Today, may you flow, may you roll with the moment, moving in it and with it vs. directing, controlling.  Be aware of the water that you are and nourish yourself with greater ease...Drink water, and as you do, say a silent blessing of what it is that you intend to receive into your body with the flow of the water.  I do this simple exercise first thing every morning giving thanks to and for the water and welcoming in health, light, energy, vitality and grace filled abundance with joy filled appreciation and ease~

Namaste~
Melissa

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Living Beyond Ego

Verse 7
Heaven is eternal-the earth endures.  Why do heaven and earth last forever?
They do not live for themselves only.  This is the secret of their durability.

For this reason the sage puts himself last and so puts himself last and so ends up ahead. He stays a witness to life, do he endures.

Serve the needs of others, and all your own needs will be fulfilled.
Through selfless action, fulfillment is attained.

Wayne Dyer reminds the reader of this verse to Stop the Chase and Be a Witness. He states," the more you pursue desires, the more they elude you.  Try letting life come to you and begin to notice clues that what you crave is on its way."

Without even reading this verse, I have been practicing this very concept, so today's lesson is a gentle reminder to stay on course with all that I have been practicing... Letting life come to me, detaching from the pursuit of my desire, moving from a level of being of and in service and trusting that the way will be made. I have been clearer than ever on what I want & desire as well as why but in the next breath, I set my intentions free to unfold as they are intended in perfect time.  More often than not, i am cool with the process of trusting and allowing but at first this was my biggest challenge.  I wanted to trust, heck, I even thought I was yet I would find myself compelled to take action to "do my part" in helping my desires along.  If I just "do more" I will produce more of what I want, right?  Wrong... in my futile pursuits, everytime, I actually pushed exactly what I wanted further away because I was not trusting, therefore I was moving from fear. Fear is in direct opposition to trusting. To Trust is to do just that...Trust.  Serve a higher purpose, see where,when, how and in what ways you can be of service and the way will be made to manifesting your desires greater than you could imagine...

Enjoy the journey~
Namaste,
Melissa

Co- Create Your Reality

Verse 6
The spirit that never dies is called the mysterious feminine.  Although she becomes the whole universe, her immaculate purity is never lost.  Although she assumes countless forms, her true identity remains intact.

The gateway to the mysterious female is called the root of creation.

Listen to her voice, hear it echo through creation. Without fail, she reveals hers presence.  Without fail, she brings us to our own perfection.  Although it is invisible, it endures; it will never end.

Wayne Dyer shares this verse to mean:  "Lao-Tzu refers to an eternal adn indescribable force of creation that continuously gives birth to new life.  It's telling us that we have the ability to tap into this unlimited field and co-create. He suggests that we listen to our inner callings, ignoring how others might want to direct our life energies, and allowing ourselves to radiate outward."

My journey with this practice and todays verse reminded me to look to my son and his spiritual mastery.  He trusts in and fully listens to his inner callings and I have also noticed how much we are all conditioned to shut down this process.  The little things like "don't do this, do more of that that we say to ourselves, to our children our spouse, our friends, every day.  We are unconsciously, constantly, saying NO to our inner self, we shut of our intuition, we trust little in the truth that is spoken from our soulful level.

So for today...May we each trust in our inner callings, may we all trust in who and what our natural, pure essence is, may we all say yes to who we are and are here meant to be. As you and I embrace the truth of our inner soul-filled self, from this space go forth and co-create with the endless feminine presence. The presence spoken of in the Tao, in the filled of pure unlimited possibilities, pure creativity, pure being, go be all that you are here to be and so much more!

Namaste,
Melissa

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Living Impartially

Verse 5
Heaven and earth are impartial; they see the 10,000 things as straw daogs.
The sage is not sentimental; he treats all his people as straw dogs.

The sage is like heaven and earth: to him none are especially dear,nor is here anyone he disfavors. He gives and gives, without condition, offering his treasures to everyone.

Between heaven and earth is a space like the bellows; empty and inexhaustible, the more it is used, the more it produces.

Hold on to the center.  Man was made to sit quietly and find the truth within...

Our truth lies within yet we are constantly searching outside of ourselves for validation, understanding, answers, knowing into the essence of our individual worth, to our individual truth.  Search as we will, we will each become exhausted to the extent that all we do is look out.  To turn within is to awaken and reconnect to the source that lies within.  As we understand our truth, it will be in this moment that we recognize ourselves in all things, free of better than, or separate from but rather an extension of one another, of the source of each of us and all that is... 

For today may I, may we each offer our gifts to everyone, may we be generous and kind to ourselves and each other.  Notice if and when partiality comes up, an act of exclusion or separation does just that...it separates... it separates us from our source.  To reduce and eliminate judgment of ourselves and others can be a challenge but it is a basic component in igniting a true deeper spiritual connection.  Free the interference, see the truth of what IS for what you see in another is what resides within you... 
From My Heart to Yours with Love & Gratitude,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Living Infinitely

4th Verse...
The Tao is empty but inexhaustible, bottomless, the ancestor of it all.

Within it, the sharp edges become smooth;  the twisted knots loosen;   the sun is softened by a cloud;  the dust settles into place.

It is hidden but always present. I do not know who gave birth to it.It seems to be the common ancestor of all, the father of all things.

Wayne Dyer speaks of the Tao as many spiritual scriptures speak of their one infinite... the source of all of life.  This source, regardless of name is that which all things (us included) eminate from.  This source is limitless and cannot be constrained, quantified or measured.  It is the source that smooths out the sharp edges, and loosens the knots, it is always present, inexhaustible, never depleted...

We are of this source, our truth is that which is expansive in every way.  It is so easy to get caught up in the sharpness and twisted knots of life, easy to get disconnected from the very truth of our eternal, expansive being.  I sat with this today thinking of all that has just occurred in Japan.  How does the tao bring light into what appears to be dark?

The answer is in the truth of our eternal nature.  The essence of our oneness, our connection to all that is, here, on the other side of the world and out of this known world... we are all ONE.  May we each take this moment to allow this verse to settle into the fabric of our humanity.  For this moment may you fully recognize all that lies within you, within me, may we all together connect to something greater than the sharp edges.  May we all together fully recognize ourselves in each other and see that which bonds, which binds, which is our truth.  From this space of true recognition the potential for moving from source as the human race can become closer than ever thought possible...Together we can be the change~

Namaste,
Melissa Grill-Petersen, DC

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ask and You Shall Receive

Welcome to day 3 and already this journey is like rubbing my geini lamp, "ask and you shall receive". The only difference is I am not getting something like a new car, no instead I am getting the very teaching of the verse that I read within minutes. Yesterday it was several big moments in which I reacted to life vs. allowing myself to be conscious of it. I reacted vs. felt and acted free of explanation or defending of my actions.  Nope, yesterday, I was busy explaining away, the allowing of opposites or paradox didn't quite go so well in the moment but I did have powerful take aways from yesterday.

I learned that I react when I feel that I an not understood or being heard.  I am now very clear on this and my triggers.  Today I am happy to say, that I did much better holding paradox, explained less moving from lesson 2 into lesson 3. 

Today, verse 3 spoke of bringing pureness, happiness and gratitude into situations and from a pure place a natural outcome will result perfectly.  When my computer started acting up, at first I was just in a space of gratitude and appreciation, then the longer the problem went unresolved, the more I moved from pure contentment to pure frustration.  I was soooo conscious of this occurring as I really was trying to find the goodness in the situation.  I guess the good was that I shut everything down, laughed about it with a friend and continued on my day being happy vs. carrying the frustration.

May Verse 3 inspire you as it did me to choose to bring in the gratitude, happiness and contentment~
Putting a value on status will create contentiousness. If you overvalue possessions, people begin to steal.  By not displaying what is desirable, you will cause people's hearts to remain undisturbed.
The sage governs by emptying mind and hearts, by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.
Practice not doing... When action is pure and selfless, everything settles into it's own perfect place.

Wayne Dyer shares this verse to represent an opportunity to be guided vs. trying, to practice gratitude and in that we will find a contented life. To allow what is within to emerge by suspending worldly determination.  He says to stop pushing oneself and to feel gratitude and awe for what IS.

For me, he shared a sentence that really summed it all up for me... "Remind yourself daily that there is no way to happiness; rather, happiness is the way."

By the end of the day, I was in and holding a true state of allowing, of contentment and happiness.  I noticed this when I had to discipline my son.  I stayed very calm and loving, focused on bringing every word from a place of  love and gratitude for my son and the opportunity to be his mother.  That said, he still cried, he sat in his room, we talked, he cried more, all the while, I loved him and loved holding a much different space than that of reacting.  When we were done he said, "that was a really good conversation mommy, I love you with all my heart."

And so it is that there is something very powerful unfolding in this journey with the Tao~

Namaste,
Melissa Grill-Petersen, DC

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 2, Living the Paradox

Day two and already some very interesting life lessons gained...

Yesterday,verse 1 of the Tao was about allowing the world to unfold without always trying to figure it out.  It was about desiring something then simply allowing it to occur in the ways and means it is intended without focusing on the way I want/need/think it should manifest.  Yesterday's verse held many powerful take aways, but if I had to sum it up in a single phrase I would say it is truly about being an observer, simply noticing free of judgment, and as one notices, great mysteries/learnings are revealed.

The space in which I am the most challenged of just observing is in being a parent.  How do I apply the Tao to parenting a toddler? I realized yesterday that I judge alot when it comes to myself as a parent.  I want to provide teachings, love, support, guidance, structure, so many "outcomes" in which to raise my child. In a world of labels that attempt to help us understand and define ourselves and the world around us, how do I parent more expansively, peacefully, allowing-ly?

I still have yet to figure this out,but I will at least observe as many opportunities through my wide angle lens to allow my son to blossom into who and whatever expression of life source he is here to be. 

Parenthood, allowing the unfolding of my son,accepting what comes without labeling, lovely, wonderful ahhhh I am sooo zen.... yeh right...

So now fast forwarded to today... I read verse 2 which is the following:

 Under heaven all can be seen as beauty, only because there is ugliness.All can know good as good, only because there is evil.
Being and nonbeing produce each other. The difficult is born in easy. Long is defined by short, the high by the low. Before and after go along with each other.
So the sage lives openly with apparent duality and the paradoxical unity. the sage can act without effort and teach without words. Nurturing things without possessing them, he works, but not for rewards; he competes, but not for results.
When the work is done, it is forgotten. That is why it lasts forever.
Wayne Dyer shares the concept of living the paradox through combining perceived opposites and living a unified life. An example he gave for living the paradox is to notice an opportunity to defend or explain yourself and CHOOSE NOT to.  He says to instead turn within and sense the texture of misunderstanding, feeling it all the way through the physical system and simply being with what IS vs. trying to opt out of it by explaining and defending.  

Wow, really, don't defend my thoughts, my beliefs, my ideas, my rightness???  Haven't I been taught to do the "right thing" my whole life, to get the "right answers" to be the "best". There in lies the paradox, I guess because to be right, implies someone else is wrong.  Hmmm how will this lesson work out???

Ask and you shall receive, at least I did within 5 minutes of reading this verse this morning...
What I got was a big lesson in failing or should I say, "don't judge Melissa, your are living the Tao for the next 80 days.... Oh, yeh, I am living the tao... sure,ok, I didn't fail.... I got major feedback this morning..".


I went into wake up my husband and he made a comment based on a thought that I had done something (that he didn't like) which I did not.  I immediately defended myself and even got ticked off. Not so very zen!  I did however realize as the last of the words were leaving my mouth what had just happened.  I got up, went away, observed the feeling and allowed it to move through me, then I went back and apologized for getting so defensive. This non defensive thing is going to take some work!

My take away already today is how we are all on such auto pilot of reacting and responding vs. observing.  I totally get that if I or my husband were able to have zoomed our personal lens out to see more than our narrow focal point that the conflict would not have occurred and the understanding would have presented itself in the very mystery of the process as verse 1 spoke of yesterday.

If I sound like Yoda, sorry, this stuff is already making a tiny shred of sense and I am just typing as I am allowing the information to simply process through.  From here until tomorrow, I will do my very best to observe the paradox and minimize my attempts to label, to judge and to defend or explain my views over another.  Today I will do my very best to simply allow life and all that it is to be ALL that it IS in it's own unique expression.

Join me tomorrow for day and verse 3 as I continue my81 day journey with the Tao as shared in Wayne Dyers book, Change your thoughts, Change your life- Living the Wisdom of the Tao.

With Gratitude & Acceptance,
Melissa

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Journey Begins

Famous words were spoken by Lao Tzu thousands of years ago..." A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". Today I was inspired and so this blog is my first step of many that I will take over the next 81 days.

In exactly 82 days, I turn 40. Not a bad thing but just the opposite, a wonderful life marker, representing the places I have been and yet still to go. A few years ago on an earlier birthday, I bought the book by Wayne Dyer called, Change Your Thoughts- Change Your Life..Living the Wisdom of the Tao. I read most of the book and have picked it up numerous times over the years to open at whim to a chapter and notice which verse pops up, offering wisdom and inspiration for the day.

This morning, as I mentioned a moment ago, I was inspired... I was responding to a friends email and was sharing an irony about an article written today that was sharing scientific validation for teachings from the Tao thousands of years ago...sometimes science is slow to catch up... As I went for Wayne Dyers book to find the verse I was thinking of my little voice inside said, "practice the 81 verses of the Tao. Do a verse a day and write a blog about your experience. " Then my conscious brain said," hmm 81 verses, I wonder if that will take me up to my birthday?" I quickly went to the calendar, counted the days and you guessed it... If I begin today, I will complete verse and blog post 81 the day before my big 40.

So here I am, beginning my journey. This is my personal inspiration, I am not a taoist, in fact as far as religion goes, I classify myself as a spiritualist. I believe in the oneness of all and I celebrate the spiritual teachings from all of the great religious leaders from Christ to Buddah. The intention of this blog is not a religious position or preaching but rather one gals personal journey into a greater awareness of self and the wholeness that is life. If you feel inspired by what you read then please share your thoughts or pass the words along. If you feel extra inspired,go out and get a copy of Wayne's book and take the journey with me. I say, the more, the merrier!

Here we go...

Verse 1...Living the Mystery...
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 the named it is the mother of 10,000 things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery; ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations. And the mystery itself is a doorway to all understanding...

What spoke to me in this verse is the fact that I am often so focused on outcomes and on what I manifest, that I miss the wonder and the mystery. In my desire to manifest, I all too often miss the expansive doorways that offer even greater opportunities to experience more of what it is that I seek. Focus is good, but sometimes becomes to narrow. I will expand my focus to a wide lens and in so doing, expand my very awareness to all the wonder, the mystery, the nameless presence that animates and emanates all of everything.


Simple thoughts to practice today:
  • Expand the lens
  • Let go
  • Observe
  • Notice the mystery and the learnings it holds
Wayne Dyer suggests a few other elements but since this is my journey, I am going with what stands out to me in the verse and what it is that I need to understand on this day... Tomorrow I will follow up with letting go and allowing myself to observe the mystery to then move into Verse 2~

Namaste,
Melissa Grill-Petersen
Chief Transformational Officer