Secrets of the Tao

Take a look at Tao, a spiritual philosophy that encourages you to chill out and go with the flow instead of rushing your way through life.

Secrets of the Tao
Rushing around with a seemingly endless list of tasks to finish, it can often feel as if you're in a constant battle to get everything done. The phrases 'running up hill' or 'swimming against the tide' seem to describe your daily struggle to keep everyone and everything ticking over, from pleasing the boss, to keeping the kids occupied and getting dinner on the table on time.
The drive to succeed in all areas of life is a constant source of stress and worry.
If you don't appear to be a super-man or a super-woman constantly on the move, then you feel as if you're not doing well enough.
But rushing about can be counterproductive, and according to an ancient belief system, called Taoism, chilling out is actually the key to success.
The Taoism teaches that if you stop your struggle and instead 'go with the flow', life will cease to be a strain. This doesn't mean that you stop working for your goals or striving to improve. It means you should stop stressing about every detail or needing every aspect to be perfectly planned.
Taoists trust that the divine source (the creator) will ensure that everything turns out as it should. Taoists believe there's a natural driving force to life which will keep your life in harmony and balance - if you allow it.
The word 'Tao' means 'path' or 'way'. It represents not a divinity but the knowledge that everything in the universe is connected and everything has a natural rhythm. Follow this natural rhythm of life instead of fighting against it and you will have the power to achieve great things.
The black and white Yin and Yang symbol of Tao shows you that, although life is filled with opposites (male/female, light/dark, bad acts/good acts), all these opposites are linked and intertwined - nothing exists in isolation. So every choice you make will have an impact big or small upon your future.
Tao originates from China; its origins are shrouded in legend but about 2000 years ago a man called Lao Tzu is said to have written the main Taoist text, called Tao Te Ching. This book is a system of guidance for followers of Tao. But it contains wisdom that everyone can apply to their lives today.
According to Tao...
Learn the secrets of Tao to build a better life.
1. The smallest of actions can have big consequences
Your thoughts, words and actions have consequences that can shape your future - for good or for bad. Learn to recognise that what you say or do now will change your future. Keep this in mind before you act or speak.
Even your thoughts can affect your future. If you always worry and think the worst, that is what you are likely to get back. Expect the best to happen not the worst.
2. Slow down
Nature develops at its own pace; plants and flowers cannot be forced to grow more quickly. Day takes a set amount of hours to turn into night - you can't hurry the process.
People, too, should respect the rhythm of life. If you are always rushing about, you are trying to speed up the natural cycle and this only leads to a crash in the end, either physical or mental. Try to slow your pace of life. Does it really matter if you leave the washing up until tomorrow, or if you prepare a simple, healthy meal instead of a four-hour cooking marathon?
3. Go with the flow
To live is to experience change. It's how you react to this change that counts. If you resist the future and cling to the past, you will not find happiness. Only by letting yourself flow along with the natural course of your life can you be happy. This means being able to move forward and embrace new experiences and new phases in your life. As times change so should you adapt and change to face your future fearlessly.
4. From start to finish
Having patience to see something through to the end is a key facet of Tao. You can achieve great things if you put effort into a project right until the final moment. With patience you can achieve your full potential. Know everything in life runs in cycles so the bad times will pass and the good times will come around again.


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