I hurt my neck the other day doing pullups, I didn’t properly warm up and didn’t hav enough rest. At the time it happened, I stopped what I was doing and did something else, then did work to fix my neck.
My neck still hurts two days later and this morning, I thought I could go for a run and do burpees, my normal routine everyday. Well, on my third round of running for two-minutes and then doing 10 burpees, something else happened. As my body was being pushed off the ground by my arms, my lower back went out.
If you have ever had your back go out, it feels like electricity shooting through your lower spine into your legs. Not a fun time.
I immediately rolled over and said, “well this work is done for today.” Eventually I got up and went home to lay on the floor and meditate, but the damage was done. Now my neck and my back were fully fudged up.
Which brings me to the Tao Te Ching.
The Tao is constant in nonaction,
Yet there is nothing it does not do.
If the Sovereign can hold on to this,
All things shall transform themselves.TTC – Chp. 37 (Lin)
I have been out of alignment, physically for the past few days with my neck being jacked up and it makes me see that this passage speaks to how we live our lives when we are in alignment with the Tao.
Constant nonaction- Had I been aligned with the Tao I would have realized that doing 100s of burpee when your neck is messed up is a bad idea. Yet, I decided to go and try it anyway, because in my mind not working out would be worse than working out hurt. Why?
Because not working out means that I might get fat, and getting fat is a sin and the worst thing I could do (So says my old programming and lower self). Have I not learned yet? I mean hell, I could maybe just try and eat healthy and go for a long walk, but old habits die hard and being out of alignment with my highest self or the Tao keeps me from creating that reality.
All things transform themselves, things are done without doing, this is what it means to be in alignment with Tao. Once in this alignment the decisions are not based in a place of low level fear. Creating a reality in which the only way for me to have good health is to punish myself into good health, like I had to do when I was younger and over weight.
The sovereign is any of us who have mastery of ourselves, to the degree that we allow a new way of being to take place. I was an unsovereign man today. But, that is ok, because the lesson not learned will continued to be taught until it has been fully grasped.
The alignment of my spine was a physical manifestation of the lack of spiritual alignment with Tao.
“Transformed, yet wishing to achieve,
I shall restrain them with the simplicity of the nameless.
The simplicity of the nameless,
They shall be without desire.TTC – Chp. 37 (Lin)
I was desiring to stick to my strict regimen of exercising even when my body was calling for healing. I only need to see that in each moment is an opportunity to use flexibility or what ever else is necessary to realign myself with the nameless (Tao).
It is not a place of understanding or balance that I was coming from when deciding to push myself through already uncomfortable pain. But the answer was so simple and it was surrounding me. It was Sunday, I had worked hard all week, drove a ton and taken on a lot of new things. It would have made simple common sense to just rest for the day. Maybe stretch and eat well, but that was not the case.
I am not trying to beat myself up here, what I am getting at is that there is so much room for a wonderful life when I simply allow it. When the signs are all pointing in one direction, yet I bull headedly move in the way I want to go, I deal with the difficulties on that path.
The incredible thing about the Tao Te Ching, is the constant coming back to Simplicity, Stillness, and Everything taking care of itself.
Without desire, using stillness,
The world shall steady itself.TTC – Chp. 37 (Lin)
The Tao Te Ching is telling us over and over and over again to simply relax. Everything has its magnificent way of taking care of it self. This is also true when it comes to the individual. I only need to make simple choices (Eventually there are no choices to be made and we just flow as the river does) and listen to what is happening inside of me to live a life that is less full of difficulty and pain and more full of miracles and blessing.
I want the latter.
Hold on to the Tao, be in alignment with the way things are, and save yourself a literal pain in the neck and ass.