Have you ever heard the saying, “If you aren’t outraged, then you aren’t paying attention?” After all, with all the suffering in the world right now, is the choice to stay calm and centered or happy the right response? How can we stay alert and aware of what’s going on in the Ukraine, with COVID, the climate crisis, rising food prices, etc. etc. and not feel motivated to respond with outraged action? Actually, there is another way. And that way is called the Tao. I was recently given an excellent reminder of that possibility when asked to review the book, The Tao of Inner Peace by Diane Dreher Ph.D. While I’m not exactly a stranger to the Tao, this book offered me clear instruction and insight as to why our inner peace is so very primary. And the more chaotic the circumstances in the world and in our lives, the more we need to access that inner peace. For it is only there that we can ever truly make a difference for ourselves and others. [Read more…]
Thom and I toyed with meditation on and off for several decades until we finally committed to a daily practice a little over four years ago. Then a couple of months ago Thom suggested we take a tai chi class together, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that tai chi is considered to be a “moving meditation.” In many ways, the experience of tai chi manages to broaden, deepen and enhance what we are already doing. But even more surprising, is how the practice of tai chi can help any of us create a very SMART, happy and harmonious way of life—365. [Read more…]
My husband Thom and I recently spent some time talking with a young couple we know about the direction of their life. With one small child and hope for one more, they are considering moving to a larger home to give them all more space in a slightly more prestigious neighborhood. That certainly means larger mortgage payments, higher utility costs, more stuff, and a longer commute. Still, they seem convinced it would all be worth it. After all, isn’t that the American Dream—more, bigger, better? Thom and I kept our mouths shut because they appeared to want encouragement more than advice. Yet because I wish someone had tried to explain to a younger me that the dream we sought was not really a bigger house or more stuff, I thought I’d share what the joy of real abundance has come to mean to me after all these years. [Read more…]
My husband Thom is much more of a Taoist than I am. In case it’s new to you, Taoism (pronounced Dow-ism) is an ancient Chinese teaching originally developed from a book written over 2,500 years ago by a man named Lao Tzu. Often referred to as “The Way,” Taoism emphasizes a harmonious relationship between nature, humanity and the divine. Put another way, Taoism is a path to simple, SMART and sustainable living. This year Thom decided to make the book The Tao of Pooh part of his summer reading. After quickly absorbing the content, he urged me to read it as well. I was surprised to discover that The Tao of Pooh offered both an entertaining and unique perspective on Taoism, as well as a number of simple living lessons that I thought any minimalist might appreciate.
Thom and I just returned from a vacation. Spanning 12 days, we attended a wedding, visited with family, stayed in six different hotels, drove over 1,600 miles, hiked in three national parks, and explored parts of five different states in the Southwestern United States. To accomplish this our trip was an orchestration of coordination and planning—as well as an ongoing intention of the Taoist principal of wu wei. While most people lean one way or another when taking a vacation, I believe that the best of them include a delicate dance between the two. Much like the Tao symbol of yin and yang, wu wei and planning blend the two aspects of action into a harmonious whole. In fact, including wu wei in your travel plans just might be the best way to travel on vacation-–or through life itself. [Read more…]