To be a Taoist means many things to many people. To be a practitioner of Contemporary Taoism simply means to have realised that we are all minute parts of an indescribably large Whole (the Tao), and to choose therefore to 'Flow Like Water' and live in a spontaneous, natural manner. This blog is about: Personal Growth / Spiritual Development as guided by the principles of Eastern Philosophy, particularly modern philosophical Taoism; Developing constructive habits and achieving success with minimal effort; Meditation - Taoist, Zen or otherwise. See 'What In Lao Tzu's Name is a Contemporary Taoist?'

Monday, April 03, 2006

Tao of Commitment

So, in the spirit of this morning's post, I will now go through what this Contemporary Taoist did with himself on this splendid day to further his virtue - or to actually speak like I'm from this century - things I did today that didn't suck:

1) Got up at the crack of dawn and did my Chi Gong meditation and movement.

I am finding it relatively easy to get up early and do my Chi Gung at the moment. This is because I am NOT drinking or smoking. This makes all the difference.

However, on some days, and today was one of them, I struggle to move onto the next stage of my morning discipline – jogging and muscle building. I get so excited about writing/generally being creative that I just want to skip to this part of the day immediately. This of course, makes no sense, because I believe it is important to do your exercise before breakfast (Why? See #4).

2) Read some inspirational literature to buck my spirits up.

I am usually browsing (or immersed in) one inspirational self-help/spiritual book or another. Yesterday I surprised myself with the latest that is doing it for me: Andrew Robbins ‘Awaken the Giant Within’! I bought it once for a buck at a charity store but never thought I would bother with it.

Why not? Because as a stoned out of my brain dude in my early twenties I used to watched his info-mercials at three am (I suffered from insomnia back then) and used to think he was a joke. Why I have been listening to this left-over opinion of my former, far less together self, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just that the guy looks like a cheese-ball. Whatever the case, I just assumed he was a bit blah y’know? Anyway, I flicked through the book yesterday and was very surprised – the guy knows his stuff. And as a veteran reader of countless self-help books I can say this with some authority. So there you have it. Next I’ll be getting my teeth bleached and talking about the ‘Creator’!

3) Applied myself to my short list of daily goals.

Although most of these are listed here as things I DID, I thought that it was important to point out that I actually have a SHORT list of goals each day. I stress ‘short’ because it can be discouraging to write a really long list that is unrealistic and then not get it all done (you can always do more if you get through your list ahead of time). Also I should point out that my list of goals includes things NOT to do – like smoke or drink. These are important.

4) Got some exercise.

I did eventually get my butt out there and go for a jog – but it didn’t feel as good as it does in the morning. Even though I gave my lunch two hours to digest, I could still feel it weighing me down, and I got a stitch for the first half of the jog. Then I did push ups – but I passed on the usual sit-ups because of the food in my belly. I figured it would do more damage than good so I skipped them and made the definite decision to do my exercise before breakfast.

5) Practised my music.

What fun! I am preparing for my first live gig in ages (at the Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, on April the 20th, 2006). I am definitely feeling very inspired about my music at the moment.

6) Worked on my novel.

I actually didn’t feel like writing today as I had a headache and couldn’t think straight (I suspect due to skipping my exercise!), but I made myself do it. I resolved to get it done after my lunch. When I returned to my computer there was a note from a publisher at a major publishing house who read and liked my first manuscript (but passed on publishing it for specific reasons) returning my email and confirming that she will definitely read my second novel when it is finished. Talk about the magic of decisiveness!

It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes:

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now".

J. W. von Goethe

Sweet. Hope you're having a wonderful day, but if it is proving more challenging than most, then take a deep breath and remember to...

Flow Like Water...


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