Are you Afraid of Death? Why?

If you aren’t afraid of dying, there is nothing you can’t achieve.

Verse #74 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.

I have never been afraid of death. Dying on the other hand… I don’t want to be burned to death, or eaten by a shark, nor tortured to death. I can really do without that kind of death. Not so much on the drowning either. I am completely not worried about what comes after this physical body finally bites the big one and stops functioning. I’m not really worried about the hours and days before my death. In other words I don’t ponder it a lot or think about it often. When it does come up, it’s more like “No. I really don’t want to die that way.” Not that I don’t want to die because, really we don’t have much choice about it. That being said, I’m totally cool with the death part.

The Tao Te Ching mentions several times in its 81 verses about our physical bodies and the complications that these bodies can cause. We get so wrapped up in its sensations, its wants and needs, and the trappings of this physical existence that we lose sight of what is happening underneath it all. We lose sight of the Truth. The Tao is what happens underneath it all. The Tao is ever present and without end. When these physical bodies bite the big one, the Tao and the part of us that is One with the Tao in every moment, will continue on. It is only when we get caught up in this physical existence and the belief that this physical is all there is that death and dying become this frightening, scary thing. It is then that we are desperate to do everything and anything to ensure our continued existence and we grab for material things to fill that grave hole. We have separated ourselves from the Truth. When you look at the lifetime as all there is, of course its ending would be frightening.

How would you live your life differently if you truly knew, like really knew, I mean like no kidding, that you continue on beyond this earthly body? How would your life be different if you incorporated that knowing into all that you do? Would things become less stressful for you? Would you not take things so personally? Would you live your life with less urgency? Would you stop and smell the flowers more often? Perhaps all those cares and worries that weigh you down day by day, week by week, and month by month would feel a little less heavy. Maybe they would feel a little less burdensome. Knowing that there are lifetimes in front of you to experience the physical world, would it really be that important to get the next X-box, iPad, or new car? Certainly we are meant to enjoy life and this physical existence. However we are not here to make the physical trappings of the world our sole reason and purpose for doing things. We are meant to Live. Appreciate this life and those that share this life with us. We are meant to Create and share that with others. We are meant to Laugh, Cry, Hope, Connect, and die. Always we are meant to know that we are more, so much more, than our physical bodies.

In love and light

Celina

Feel Like There’s Not Enough Time?

(The Tao) … arrives without being summoned, accomplishes without a plan.

Verse #73 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.

I am learning to get into the habit of planning my day and paying attention to a to-do-list. I have found that I have been losing track of things or they fall by the wayside as life picks up speed. I want to take daily actions in transforming my business, my spiritual life, my home, and my beliefs. I want to take committed, focused action. So to support me in that goal I started doing a to-do-list, maintaining meeting notes and writing down things when I think of them. You know what? The whole process is very overwhelming when you haven’t worked like this before. I began this process of integration on the first of the year. There have been some weeks when I completely ignored my lists. However, there have been more weeks of me paying attention to it, even if I did not, exactly, get most of it done. I have been very gentle with myself and reminding myself that this is a process, a new habit I’m developing, it will take some time, and it will take some falling down. That’s OK. I can get up and continue on the next day.

Then I read this verse of the Tao and I think “Crap. I am really making this WAY harder than it is.” All things unfold in the Perfection that is the Tao. The Tao does not struggle to make things happen. A bird doesn’t struggle to fly. A tree doesn’t struggle to grow. A lioness certainly doesn’t create a do-to list when she decides to go hunting. So if all those things happen effortlessly and I am not any less a part of the Tao then they are, why am I struggling so hard? I can tell myself it is because they don’t have goals that they want to accomplish. They are not looking to change and transform there lives. I want to ACCOMPLISH something. I want to CHANGE THE WORLD. So of course it will take planning, struggle, and HARD WORK. Right?

Way wrong answer! I want things to flow easily and effortlessly. I don’t want to struggle, work hard, or be planning. I want to move and flow with the Tao. I want to create and respond to what happens around me and have that move into the exact things I desire. If the Tao provides all those things for a bird, lion, or tree, then why not for me? What’s the catch? The catch is to hold expectancy about what you want to see manifested and not to hold on to the plan. The catch is to be willing to let go of all the to-do lists, plans, and committed actions in a instant when the Tao presents your desires before you. The catch is to be open and willing to SEE those desires when they show up in all their many forms. The catch is to let go and allow the ever flowing creativity of the Tao to support you in every moment. It’s not about not taking actions necessarily, it is about taking actions without attachment. Follow your instincts and just do it. That’s the catch.

Yeah. I’m still working on it.

In love and light

Celina

Guess Who Has All The Answers?

When they no longer trust themselves, they begin to depend on authority.

Verse #72 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

I recently was listening to a music video posted on Facebook by a friend. (Click here to view.) One of the lines jumped out of the song and went right into my heart. When I heard this, my eyes teared up and I knew it was something I have been waiting to hear all my life. “I am the one I’ve been waiting for.” In this world of experts – where everyone is waiting to tell you what to think, what to believe, what to accept as truth, and what to understand, I am the best person to Know what is my path, what is the Truth for me.  I am my own guru. I am my own political expert. I am my own financial expert. I am my own relationship expert. I am the one I have been waiting for.

Think about any time you have asked for advice. Why did you do this? Was it because you didn’t know what to do? Was it because you didn’t want to choose? Was it because you knew what to do and didn’t want to do it? What are the reasons that you seek advice, wisdom, and guidance from other people? This verse of the Tao Te Ching answers that question. It is because you did not trust yourself to come up with the “right” solution. You didn’t believe that you had the knowledge to make the decision. You didn’t think you had enough knowledge, information, expertize, or whatever to make it happen they way you wanted to. So you began to look outside of yourself for your answers. NEWS FLASH – you have all the answers! Yes – I mean you!

During my life coach training, I was taught to hold the belief for the client that they had all their own answers. No one who came to me as a client was broken. No one needed to be fixed. They were whole and complete. They were the Perfection of Spirit incarnated (OK, that little bit came later in Modern Day Priestess training, and it is all the same). My job, my duty, my PRIVILEGE as a coach is to KNOW this for every one of my clients. It is my aspiration for this year to know this for everyone I meet and to do so despite the circumstances, despite the actions, and despite the external appearances. Depend on no one to tell you the Truth. Trust in your connection to the Tao to reveal to you all the you already know.

In love and light

Celina

“I know that.” If You Hear Those Words, Stop Talking.

Presuming to know is a disease. First realize that you are sick, then you can move toward health.

Verse #71 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

“I know that.” I attended a Millionaire Mind Intensive in June, and the facilitator equated those three words to the most dangerous words in the English language. I totally get where he’s coming from with that statement. If someone speaks those words to you, you might as well stop talking. When someone speaks those words to you they have stopped listening to anything you are saying. Their opinion has been formed and cemented into rock. Whatever you may want to say at that point is a waste of time and effort. Just give it up and go home. Otherwise both people are going to end up angry and frustrated.

When you “know” something you stop looking, you stop considering, you stop theorizing, and you stop investigating. When you “know” something every other course of action has been closed off and you only do what you know. Why does the Lao-tzu consider this to be a disease? Actually, what Lao-tzu says is “presuming to know,” which implies that you really don’t know at all. So why is “presuming to know” a disease? It is a dis-ease because “knowing” cuts you off from the ebb and flow of life. You are firmly planted in the river while the river rushes around you. “Knowing” allows for no change, and change is all there is. All life changes, constantly. When you “know,” you cut yourself off from the change. Knowing something makes us solid, unmovable, and unchangeable. You are now cut off from life. You are opposed to it. Dis-ease is opposed to life.

Allow yourself to not know. Question your beliefs. Question your knowns. Remove that phrase “I know that” from your vocabulary. This is realizing that maybe you don’t know what you thought you knew. This is realizing you’re sick. Then you can begin to become part of the ebb and flow of life again. You will become changeable. You will open yourself to new possibilities and see new perspectives. You will flow with life and be opposed to standing firm against it. Unlearn all that you thought was true and begin to ask yourself what might be true. Don’t presume to know anything. If you do know something to be true, allow that tomorrow, that something may no longer be true. Every morning when you wake up, forget all that you presume to know and discover what the day holds for you.

 

In love and light

Celina

Is Your Thinking Failing you?

Yet, your intellect will never grasp them, and if you try and practice them, you’ll fail. 

Verse #70 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.

Well, that’s a cheery thought. Thanks Lao-tzo.

Actually in the lines before this Lao-tzo stated that his teachings are easy to understand and to put into practice. What I think Lao-tzo is pointing out in this verse is that your intellect will never grasp his teaching. Your intellect will always want to explain, reason, find out why and dismiss that which is not logical. It does not like those things it can’t see and grasp immediately. Much of Lao-tzu’s teachings in the Tao Te Ching seems paradoxical to the logical mind. He teaches that there is no good and evil. They both come from the same source, therefore they are one. He teaches that there is no ending. There is only the return to source. Yet all we see and experience in the physical world seems to tell us differently than what he teaches. Our intellect understand what it experiences. To fully embrace the teaching of the Tao, you must release what your physical experiences say to you and what your intellect tells you the truth is. You must embrace what lies below that which is the Truth of the Oneness we all are. That we are all the Tao.

For me, this verse tells me to stop trying to wrap my brain around it. This verse says to me to feel into what the Truth is. It reminds me that the Way is easy. All I have to do is just be. The Way means to stay in the present moment. It means embracing the Now. It means feeling all that there is to feel and accepting it all as part of what this life is meant to be. The Way means to know that death is not the final stop for us. It is but another step in the return to Source. As long as I focus on the present moment and let the events of my life unfold without stressing or challenge that which occurs then I am beginning to put into practice the teaching of Lao-tzu. It will not be hard. It is our intellect that wants it to be hard and a struggle because if it was easy, then the intellect will have nothing to do. When you don’t have to figure anything out, then the intellect is no longer needed.

Do not worry about practicing these teaching. Do not worry about grasping their meaning. Spend your time just in being. Spend your time in meditation. Spend your time immersed in music, laughter and the sound of the rain. The more you do this the more these teaching will become integrated into your life. You will discover that as you read the Tao the words will feel right and you will not even have to think about it. You will know it. You will to be it.

In Love and Light

Celina

What Does It Mean to Compete?

Not that they don’t love to compete, but they do it in the spirit of play.

Verse #68 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.

Have you ever played a game with someone and they are only concerned with winning? Have you ever played with someone who will do everything and anything to win? How about those people who gloat and gloat about their wins afterward? Do you know anyone like that? It doesn’t make playing a game very much fun does it? Unless of course you win and then rub their faces in it. Right? It is really satisfying when you pull a win from this type of person at the last minute, then you really rub it in their faces. Give them a taste of their own medicine. Of course we are all too nice of people to ever have done that! In the end, none of these things make a game enjoyable to play – for you or the other players. Is that what it means to compete – to only play so you can win and someone else lose? The word compete is defined as: to strive to outdo another foracknowledgment, a prize, supremacy, or profit; engage in a contest.I guess winning is outdoing all the others in the game and yet it doesn’t have to what is it all about.

The Tao speaks about completing in the spirit of play. If you are engaged in a game, especially the game of life, and all you are doing is thinking, planning, and scheming about how to win, and of how everyone else can lose, are you really doing it in the spirit of play? Play implies enjoyment for all involved. You might a thrill and a rush for your experience, and yet those around you probably are not having that same reaction. You can compete and go for the win and still have those around you enjoy the game. Enjoyment of the game is essential to have others play with you. After all, if it is always about crushing your opponent and everyone else, then soon no one else will play with you. You might enjoy that. However most people at the end of the game, at the end of their lives, are considered with the people in their life and not the wins in there life. If you are only surrounded by your wins then things can get pretty lonely. Go ahead and compete, and do so from the place of play. Have a good time and make sure others are also. The game is no fun if you are playing alone.

 

In Love and Light

Celina

Just Three Things to Teach

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion.

Verse #67 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Only three things to teach? Lao Tzu is very verbose if he only has three things to teach. Interesting that one of them is simplicity! Patience and compassion are very well known. These things may not be put into practice very often in your life yet it is probably a good bet that you understand what they are. So I will explore simplicity and its lessons and principles. Since I think many of us would agree that the world today is any but simple.

You probably have a good idea of what simplicity is also. So do I and, as always do when I want clear on something. I start with a dictionary definition (those of you who are long time readers know this!). This time is no exception. Simplicity means the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do or the condition of being plain or natural. There, now we are all on the same page about what the definition of simplicity is. I don’t know if that clears up what Lao Tzu meant when he wrote “teach simplicity.” How do you teach simplicity? What does it means to incorporate simplicity into your life?

I know my life always seams to have thousands of things going on within it. There always seems to be something I “must” do or “should” do. If I don’t have enough things on my list, there are other people who are more than willing to add others. How in the world, with all the stuff I have going on and all the stuff I want to do, am I supposed to have simplicity? Well, I believe that simplicity as LaoTzu is referring to is not about the things you do, although that is part of it, so much as the way and mindset of you doing them.

Keep it simple. Have you heard that before? Focus on one thing at a time. Do one thing at a time. Solve problems in the simplest way available. Be concise and purposeful in your conversations. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Simple, right? Then you never have to remember who you told what. Be present in the moment. Accept things as they are and release judgments and preconceived notions. That is called the “natural” aspect of simplicity. Simple in thought – straight to the point, one thing at a time. Simple in action – do one things, do it well and do it for a clear purpose. Simple in life – live this moment now, to the best of your ability and let the rest go. Ahhhh, simplicity! A breath of fresh air.

 

In Love and Light

Celina

Leading and Following

If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.

Verse #66 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

People understand the value of a great leader. They understand how things can be changed and shifted when a good leader shapes a country, corporation or team. Most people will recognize a leader when they experience one. Great leaders make leading look easy. They make leading people seem like the most natural thing in the world. A great leader makes it seem like anyone could be a leader. Everyone wants to be a leader.

If all you had in this world were leaders, very little would get done. They would be so busy attempting to lead everyone that no one would actually do anything.We always talk about the value of a great leader and what that person will offer. It is rare that we mention the power and value of following. If there are not any followers than there can be nothing to lead. The followers are the ones that execute the plan. They are the ones that make it happen. They are the ones that change the world. The leader can give directions and vision. They can’t get it all done by themselves. Leaders need followers as much as followers need leaders. It is a very symbiotic relationship.

Before anyone can be a great leader they must understand the value of the followers. They themselves must have been, at one time, a follower. Without understanding the whys and the motivation of being a follower, a great leader will never be great. The plans and the vision will go unmade as the leader wonders why they can’t get followers. If you want to be a great leader, find a person who is leading a cause you believe and follow them. Commit to being the best follower you can be. Look at how this person leads and whether their leadership is effective. Is this leader getting the things done that they said they will? Are you, as a follower, invested in the outcome? It is the leader’s job to see that you are. Do you understand the reasons and goals of what you are doing? It is the leader’s job to see that you are. Invest yourself in the value of following to see the power of leading.

In Love and Light

Celina

Bit By Bit All is Accomplished

accomplish the great tasks by a series of small acts

Verse #63 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

 

A little bit of water moving over a rock is such a small thing. Yet given time this little thing will wear down mountains and carve out grand canons. Bit by bit and a little at a time this is accomplished. The Tao Te Ching also speaks of this process and tells us to accomplish small acts to finish the great accomplishments. It tells us to do your tasks when they are still small. It do them before they grow and get out of hand. Take action before what you want to do becomes this great big, huge, overwhelming thing for you to do. This is really, really, really great advice. For no great accomplishments was ever accomplished all at once. These accomplishments are done over time with each task being done in the present moment, one second at a time, one moment at a time. That is the truth of all accomplishments.

Have you ever put something off and put it off and put it off until it becomes this great big thing? Then, when you went and finally, finally, finally did the task, it really wasn’t that hard and took you no time at all. What had made it so big was the energy we put into resisting doing the task. The more we put it off the more energy gets stuck around that task. It grows and grows and grows. The hugeness of the task rarely has much to do with the task itself. It has to do with the resistance we have to doing the task Maybe we resist the time it will take. Maybe we resist who we have to call, or talk to or work with. Maybe we resist where we have to go or mental activity it will take. Whatever it is we resists, creates the block that damns up our energy and makes us feel overwhelmed, downtrodden and pressed upon.

Why do we put things off? The answers for that are as varied as people are varied. However, looking at your own reasons why and figuring out what benefits you perceive you are getting from not doing something may help you figure it out. There is always some reasons we tell our self for not doing something. Listening to those reasons will support you in moving past them. Did you forget? Does that happen to you often? There are structures to put into place to support you in remembering. However, be aware that your forgetting is also a form of resistance, so take a look at what you may not be paying attention to underneath the surface of your thoughts. I find that writing all the stuff downs supports me in releasing some of that blocked energy as well as support me in remembering what I desire to do. Take it a step further and put a due date down when you write it down. After all that break everything down into small tasks. After all it is a series of small acts that will accomplish the great tasks!

 

In Love and Light

Celina

What Is the Nature of Belief?

He (the Master) never expects results; thus he is never disappointed.

Verse 55 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Ask. Believe. Thank. Receive. These are the four steps from the movie The Secret on how to manifest what you want into your life. Nowhere does it say expect. Believe – yes. Expect – no. There is a difference. They have a different energy to them. They have a different vibration to them. Believe is defined as “to have confidence or faith in the truth of or to give credence to.” Expect is defined as “to look for with reason or justification.” Expectation has in it an energy of “owning” or “deserving.” Expectation has a logic to it. It has a plan. Expectation has a way in which everything will fall into place and you will get what you want. Expectation is about a step by step process. Belief is different. Believing is about the unexpected. It is about being in the flowing. Moving when you feel it’s time. Stopping when you feel it’s time to stop. Belief is about a check in the mail out of nowhere. It is about someone reading your blog, seeing your design, tasting your creation and then contacting you – unexpectedly. Belief is about miracles and “Hail Mary”s. It is about prayer, trust, and a deep abiding knowing in the Truth of the Universe. Belief is about allowing the Universe to reveal in its own time and its own way. It is about not holding on to those dreams too tightly and allowing them time to breath, grow and develop.

When you are fully immersed in the Tao, the world flows around you and you flow with it. There are goals and commitments, wishes and desires and there is also a knowing that all things have a time and place. You know that what you want will flow to you and yet you place no time frames, no expectations, and no hows on those desires. They are a part of you and a part of the Tao; therefore of course they will occur. Yet each day is allowed to move around you without you looking for or forcing those desires into place. You adapt and interpret what occurs. You shift and change and flow all the while knowing that what you desire will come.

Without an expectation of what has to occur and what has to be, the Tao can use all it resources available to send what you desire to you. Expectation is a dam in the river. It is a stone the Tao must flow around. If you expect how something must be, you limit the possibilities of what can occur. It must so up in a certain way. If it doesn’t you are disappointed. Without expectations the possibilities are endless and you are always surprised and grateful at how the Tao has sent your desire to you.

In love and light

Celina