What does it mean to allow life to unfold? What do you do? What do you not do? If we look at the Taoist principle of wu-wei we can begin to identify some specific steps.
Wu Wei means non-action, non-doing.
No, it doesn’t mean sitting around all do. Another translation is “not-forcing.” Now that’s interesting, isn’t it? What do you try to force throughout your day? What would change if you embraced the wu-wei of not-forcing?
Wu-Wei of not-forcing in relationships
Relationships are about compromise. Give a little. Take a litte. Ideally. How can you live the principle of we-wei, not-forcing, in your interactions with others?.
The most powerful concept in relationships is “I am you.” What is our highest good? What can we do for each other? How is our whole bigger than the sum of our parts?
In your enthusiasm, in your need for companionship, support, and attention, how do you force your relationships? When my needs were not being met, my choice was to change tribes, and move in an on-line environment that is like-minded, where people bring support and encouragement and enthusiasm. Knowing what you need and want and finding people all over the world to give you that, helps you be fulfilled without forcing your opinions, values, needs and wants into the relationships closest to you.
Wu-Wei of mot-forcing in your work
There are some things about your work that you love and other aspects not so much. The wu-wei of not-forcing as it applies to work is not about procrastination, or forcing yourself to do something you don’t like. It’s about allowing circumstances to unfold.
For instance, I had an idea for a course. It began as a 21-day mini-ecourse. Then it evolved into an ebook. Then it expanded into a 31-day on-line course. Now I will turn it into a short video course. Those changes in shape occurred as I immersed myself in the material and uncovered ways I could help people learn the system I had designed. If I had a deadline, it would never have had time to evolve. If I had intended it for a piece of income in a certain quarter, it would have stopped short of its full potential. . I didn’t force the idea. It organically asked to be shaped the way it was. Can you give your projects time to unfold? Can you give yourself enough time to explore the alternatives and variations that show up? That’s wu-wei, not forcing ideas to unfold until they are ready.
Wu-Wei of mot-forcing in personal growth
There is no way you can force personal growth. Actually, you may need to develop patience around the proces. As I watch the cycles of my life, I see that things happen only when they are ready to happen. When I am ready, it happens. When I am not ready it dos not happen. When I understand that, when I accept that, when I learn to recognize my personal growth cycles, I become more accepting of my own unfolding process. You cannot force yourself to grow. You cannot force yourself to chage.l However, you can encourage yourself to both grow and change. You can allow change and growth to happen.
Wu-Wei of not-forcing in making choices
Not making a choice is a choice. Thank about that for a minute. How do I appy the wu-wei of not-forcing to my choices? By being in the moment. By responding from the depth of my being. By looking at choices as opportunities to experiment, to explore rather than see it as a cast iron path I must take. As you become more tuned into yourself you will begin to honor your urges and allow your choices to unfold.
For instance, one day I wanted to learn something. That was my urge. I wanted to uncover a new application for a principle that intrigued me. I was reading The Way of Tao by Alan Watts and came to his explanation of the Taoist principle of wu-wei. He used three words to translate wu-wei that so deeply resonated with me that I immediately sat down and wrote this three-part series. As I explore, I understand how using those three different words can bring me a deeper understanding of this powerful Taoist principle. Follow your urges and see where they lead you. It’s an adventurous way to live.
What are you forcing? Can you release your need to control and learn to simply shape things as they come? Can you accept what shows up as being perfect – for here and now – for you? What do you need to let go? What part of you do need to change? Can you embrace the principle of wu-wei as “not-forcing?
To Sing a Deeper Song Consider