Take a look at this translation from Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition by Jonathan Star.
The best way to live is to be like water for water benefits all things and goes against none of them. It provides for all people and even cleanses those places a man is loath to go. In this way it is just like the Tao.
Live in accordance with the nature of things: Build your house on solid ground. Keep your mind still. When giving, be kind. When speaking, be truthful. When ruling, be just. When working, be one-pointed. When acting, remember – timing is everything.
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.
In Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao he offers this translation of the same verse:
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 dealing 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 nture 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.
A few things stood out for me when reading these two translations.
- Let it be easy
- Good things are for everyone, not just the people I like or the people who are like me
- Your word, what you say, is a representation of who you are
- Some things may be right, but this may not be the right time
- Stop trying to force things to happen
- Be who you are. Don’t try to be somebody else
- I have an inner knowing and I need to follow it
These are not necessarily things that are easy to grasp, easy to implement, or comfortable to contemplate. That is where tapping can be a big benefit. We can tap to minimize resistance. We can tap on feeling uncomfortable. We can tap about specific incidents in which we failed miserably in these lofty goals. We can tap about our uncertaintly about whether we could every achieve such a state of enlightenment.
One of my favorite ways to get started when reading spiritual texts of any kind is to start tapping while I am reading it. I believe that it helps with understanding and begins to melt away resistance. When I tap while reading I also seem to be more alert to changes in my body that can signal that a particular passage requires a deeper investigation or has particular applicability for my life.
Try it. Pick one or both of the translations about and just start your tapping. Switch to a different tapping spot whenever you feel like it. Notice what you are feeling. If you want, you can stop to jot down some notes any time you feel moved to do so. Then, resume your tapping when you are done.
As always, tapping that includes your own words, thoughts, and experiences will be the most beneficial.
If you perceive all instances where you were not successful as failure, you are probably pretty miserable. Most people do not get something right the first time. Most people do not evey get it all right the second time. Do you think that Edison invented the light bulb on his first try? If he had decided not to try to second, third, and hundredth time because he had “failed” we would all still be living in the dark.
It is not true that not trying protects you from failure either. Not trying could be perceived as failure. Further, there is no truth to the belief that failure leads to embarrassment. It is time to challenge that automatic thought.
Tapping is a great tool to use to change this type of thinking.
Say the following statement aloud. “If I don’t try, I don’t risk the embarrassment of failure.” Rate how true you believe this statement is on a 0-10 scale where 10 = completely true, and write it down.
Repeat this statement three times while tapping gently on the karate chop point. “Even though I believe I can avoid the embarrassment of failure by not trying anything – I choose to love, forgive, and accept myself and all of my limiting beliefs.”
Eyebrow – I don’t want to feel embarrassed
Side of Eye – And I will feel embarrassed if I fail
Under the Eye – So I keep myself safe by not trying at all
Nose – But it doesn’t really keep me safe
Chin – And it doesn’t avoid failure
Collarbone – And I am embarrassed anyway
Under the Arm – I believe I will fail
Top of Head – I know I will fail
Eyebrow – I can predict the future
Side of Eye – My failure is certain
Under the Eye – My failure is absolute
Nose – No it’s not!
Chin – Not trying is failure too
Collarbone – It is safe to try
Under the Arm – I can be successful
Top of Head – I KNOW I can take risks and succeed
Take a deep breath and check the intensity of your original statement. “If I don’t try, I don’t risk the embarrassment of failure.” Rate the truth of the statement again on the 0-10 scale. Continue tapping with these or similar statements until your rating is quite low (below 3).
What happens inside you when you think about the number of times you have “failed” at something before? Is it a negative feeling? Is it a positive feeling? Is it neutral? My hope for you is that it is either neutral or positive, but I suspect you will really feel more negative. I know that my response is usually negative.
So you have “failed”. I say GOOD! That means you have tried something. Do you have a number in your head for how many times it is okay to fail at something before you should give up? Is that number the same as the number of times that you think it is okay for other people to try something before they give up? If there is a difference, try to understand why. It will likely be another belief that you will want to tap on in the future. Be sure to write it down in your tapping journal for later if you don’t have time right now.
I like tapping. No, I love tapping. It often baffles me that people are so resistant to trying it. Excuses are numerous, but one that used to ring true to me was “Tapping can’t change anything. The problem is still there.” Maybe yes, but maybe no.
Let’s say that you are traveling along the road when you come upon a tree that is down and blocking yor path. You are right that tapping is not going to make the tree go away for you. It will still be there after you are done tapping. So what is the point of doing tapping in this situation?
Most people experience some degree of upset or frustration when their plans must be altered suddenly. The word “detour” often has negative emotions attached to it. Tapping could be used immediately to decrease the frustration or negative feelings that arose when you first saw that the path was blocked. Tapping could also be used for the automatic negative thoughts that because evident such as “Now, I’ll be late” or “I’ll never get there”, or “I’ll be stranded out here forever.” This type of negative thinking is seldom productive and, in fact, blocks our ability to creatively problem-solve and move forward.
There may be enough room to go around the tree. You might be able to back up, turn around, or go another route. The blocked path could be a gift because an even bigger obstacle or danger is around the next turn. If your energy system is all messed up you might miss the opportunity to feel thankful that you didn’t end up in an even bigger disaster.
Bottom line….you are absolutely right. The tree is still there. But your perception of the tree and the total situation can change dramatically with the use of tapping. The relief will be obvious. Happy tapping.
You would think that I would immediately think of tapping whenever I have a challenge. I really wish that were true. I would suffer so much less that way. But, like many people, I go about trying to solve my problems in the “usual” way first. I have had some trouble sleeping at night. The way I was thinking about the problem suggested at least three things were interfering with my sleep. First there was a temperature problem. My bedroom was way too hot. In fact, my house was too hot. Temperatres during the day had started getting into the 90s and my house was turning into a little oven. I don’t sleep well if I’m not in a cool room.
A second issue was a frequen cough and plugged up sinuses. I have been sick recenty and my respiratory system doesn’t particularly like the climate here in New Mexico. Open windows and doors, heat, and blowing fans weren’t helping my dryness problem. I would start to fall asleep and then awaken when I started coughing.
The third issue that I identified was emotional. I was angry and frustrated about the swamp cooler, the dryness, and the illness. Thoughts like “if people were just competent I wouldn’t have to suffer” (waiting on repairs for the swamp cooler), “I wouldn’t have to deal with this if I were back in Ohio”, and “if I don’t get some sleep soon it is really going to get ugly” were prominent. To add insult to injury, at the time I was spending a majority of my day helping other people overcome their insomnia. I was angry that I might have to resort to using those techniques for myself and I didn’t want to. (My inner 2-year-old was definitely in control.)
So there I was…awake, miserable, and angry. It was almost like one of those cartoon lightbulbs lit up over my head. So I started tapping. At first I wasn’t sure what I was tapping about. I just knew that I was miserable and that I wanted it to stop. Then I focused on feeling hot. After I had tapped a few rounds about that I started tapping about my lungs settling down. I tapped while I focused on my rising panic about not sleeping. I also tapped about how angry and frustrated I was with the whole situation. I even threw in some tapping about feeling stupid because I didn’t think of tapping sooner.
All of that tapping souncds like a lot, but in reality it probably only took about 10 minutes until I was calm, relaxed, and comfortable enough to fall asleep. There are a few lessons here that I feel are important to highlight,
1. I just started tapping. I didn’t need clarity about what I was tapping for in order to get started.
2. I didn’t do any real setup statements or formal reminder phrases. I didn’t need them. My body, mind, and spirit knew exactly what I needed in the moment.
3. I had to stick with it for a little while in order to get results.
4. It worked.