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


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


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


How Is The Power of Your Faith?

Whoever is planted in the Tao will not be rooted up.

Verse 54 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

This year I began to understand the meaning of faith. Maybe “meaning” is not the word I am looking for. Power is probably a better word. This year I have begun to discover the Power of Faith. This year there have been shifts and changes in my life that have tested the path I walk and, though often I have not walked the path as I would have liked to, the foundation upon which I have built was not shaken. I was very religious from about the fifth grade until my high school years. I studied and read the Bible, and followed the path of a Christian in my belief systems. I had faith – or what I thought was faith. I also had many doubts. I did not have what I have now. Now I have Faith with a capital “F.” I may still have doubts, but they are different. Before they dug at the core and wheedled their way into my beliefs. Now when they come I see them for what they are – a part of my ego mind that wants to be in control.

Now my Faith is backed by a Knowingness that is deep and rooted. It is based in a feeling of “Coming Home.” It is confirmed by a feeling of Truth that resonates in every level of my being. This Faith has reconciled many doubts that I had before. This Faith has allowed me to accept and honor my own Truth. It has allowed me to stand in my own Power and has allowed me to awaken to the deep longings of my soul without guilt and shame about who and what I am. It began with exploration and questions about the nature of what I believed. This journey allowed me to say “I don’t understand” and to look around and find Truth. It allowed me to accept some things and reject others. It has supported me in discovering others on the same and different paths. It has given me the courage to say “I accept your Truth is not for me.” It has given me Peace to say nothing when others disagree and disparage my beliefs.

I did not know the Power of Faith until I had to stand in it, question it, and find that when I said to someone “I know the Truth, our physical bodies are but a moment in time and our Spirit will never die,” that it wasn’t a platitude but a rock solid belief that becomes the foundation of my world. I did not understand how to be rooted or even what it meant to be rooted. I do now. The roots run deep and wide and will weather the storm that is coming. In those moments when I hear the false voice of doubt, I can get still and quiet and feel the Power of the Tao that is rooted in my life and know that all things go from it and to it. I can feel to the depths of my soul that there is no “good” or “bad,” there is only The Tao. That is the Power of Faith.

In love and light


The Truth of Who We Are.

If you keep your mind from judging and aren’t led by the senses, your heart will find peace.

Verse 53 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

So we are over two thirds of the way through the Tao at this point and by now we should know what the great Way is. However, I don’t remember any step by step instructions in what I read. I don’t remember any guide book. I don’t remember any one verse telling me exactly what the Way is. How can you say it is easy when there is no path? How can you say it is easy when you haven’t gotten clear goals of what you are striving for?

I got into a debate, or back and forth you might say, with someone on twitter. I posted my article on the first verse of the Tao. Click here to refresh your memory. In this article, I assert that by using words alone that you can never fully explain the Tao. That was objectionable to them. For they had clear methods and instructions of how to follow the Tao, and it was changing people’s life. That is great, I wrote, and yet no matter how much you say – you can’t explain all of the Tao. He or she disagreed. I marked it up to the “we agree to disagree” statement and let it go. So if you can’t truly explain what the Tao is how can you explain what the Way is?

Love thy neighbor as you would love yourself. That is the Way, or at least part of the Way. Many don’t find that easy at all. However the Way is more than just that. It is loving everything that comes into your life as yourself. You love every event, person, and situation that comes into your life as yourself because this is all the Tao. It is all one with you. It is all you. The Way is acceptance of all that is and understanding that this physically body is but a moment in the sum total of the Tao. It is putting into daily practice these beliefs and understanding. It is knowing when you are in the midst of an arguement that you are arguing with yourself. It is believing that your dying relative, your unemployment, your pain, your divorce, your troubled past are also of the Tao. That they are one with the Way. It is knowing to the depth of your soul that this physical body that appears to be, that you are at the moment, is but a brief moment of your existence. That you are so much more than your physical form.

How can that be easy? How can the constant struggle to accept, understand and be one with everything in your life be easy? Well, for one thing, stop believing it is hard. That’s the best place to start. Then be gentle with yourself when you forget. Before you incarnated in this form you knew at every level of your being that you were one with Everything. You didn’t think about it. You just KNEW it. We have forgotten. We have forgotten because we have been lead to believe that the material world is important. That satisfying all our physical needs will bring us happiness. Remember who and what you are. You are a spiritual being having a human experience. Even though it seems like that is all there is in this moment, it is a brief moment in the truth of who you are.

In love and light


Where is Your Judgment Leading You?

If you keep your mind from judging and aren’t led by the senses, your heart will find peace.

Verse 52 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Ah – judgment. This is single thing in the course of human history that has caused the most problems ever. I believe every argument, every war, every hurt feeling, everything that caused a clash between two sides of a conflict comes down to a clash in judgment. Judgment is defined as: the capacity to form an opinion by distinguishing and evaluating. At it’s very simplest, every conflict comes down to one thing – one side judges something as “good” and the other side as “bad.” The rest is all convincing, emotions, and, a lot of times, anger and resentment. People don’t like to be wrong. So if a person is working hard to convince you of their side of an argument, you feel judged. You feel like you are wrong. Many people then get defensive and work harder to convince others of the validity of their side. It is an endless cycle with neither side willing to give in.

The Tao speaks of another way. When you can release judgment about what is happening around your heart, you will find peace. Think about what it would be like to not place any judgment of “right” or “wrong” or “good” and “bad” on anything. You go through your day by accepting all that comes your way as part of the Tao. It just is. You respond to the situation. You don’t react to it. This means you take the actions in the situations that will support you with judging (or reacting) to what is going on.

Many times in a situation our emotional reactions are really about past events that we have judged to be “bad.” They have caused us hurt, pain, or embarrassment and so any new situation that come up that looks and feels the same way are also judged as bad. By accepting the situation, allowing yourself to feel your emotion but not react to them, you will not be led by your senses. You will notice what is going on for you, you will feel it, and you will not judge it. It just is. All that occurs is of the Tao. So too is it with your emotions. They are of the Tao. Allow things, accept situations, feel your emotions, and release your judgment and you heart will be peaceful.

In love and light


Are Your Expectations Supporting You?

creating without possessing, acting without expecting, guiding without interfering.

Verse 51 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

If you look at your daily life you probably don’t realize how many expectations you hold for the day. We expect to wake up in the morning. We expect to arrive safely at work and on time. We expect our car to start or the buses to run. We expect the power to be on all day. There are thousands and thousands things that occur in our everyday lives that we just expect to happen. When they don’t, we get upset. This verse of the Tao speaks to us to let go of those expectations. It asks that we move through our day in a place of attention and awareness of what is going on around us with no expectations of anything occurring in a certain way. It asks that we stop looking for certain results. The awareness and attention you have could be considered to be a place of anticipation. When you ask yourself the question “What’s next?” from a place of discovery and curiosity, you are living in this place of anticipation and you are letting go of expected results. This place of “What’s next?” is one way of letting go of your expectations.

These three lines in verse 51 are asking us to move through the actions of our lives from this place of letting go. You act, and yet it is not you who is acting – it is the Tao. It is not you who speaks, creates, guides – it is the Tao. If you come from a perspective that the Tao is orchestrating all things, everything that happens in each moment, then it is not your creation, your actions, or your guidance that is occurring every day. It is the Tao’s. If all these actions are the Tao’s then whatever happens as a result is also of the Tao, and therefore not yours either. All things come from the Tao and all things return to the Tao. By letting go of the results and the expectations of certain results we can focus on the present moment and immersing yourselves in the Tao. We can concentration on becoming one with the Tao and one with all things. In this state of letting go, of allowing, you let go of stress and frustration. You let go of disappointment and anger. You let go of grudges and power struggles. You operate from a place of “It’s all the Tao” and “I am one with all that happens.” You operate from a place of peace and love.

In love and light