A month or so ago, I started this blog as part of a self-improvement process I found myself going through. I thought it would be a good idea to detail that process and my experiences with using meditation (the Calm app I’m always talking about) and the discoveries I made along the way. That all came with the added bonus of getting me back into photography, a hobby I really like but had abandoned some time ago. So far, I think that want has worked out pretty well, I’ve kept up the blog and the meditating far beyond my usual point of abandoning projects that don’t have a deadline.
One big discovery I made along this way and that I’ve shared is Taoism. I feel a strong connection with this philosophy and my readings about it have led to an enlightenment about how I can live my life, find contentment and maybe even become a better person. All things I really want.
Recently, reality has rather invaded my bubble of self-improvement and enlightenment in a way that has not quite measured up to the self-improved me of my wants. This has all caused me to feel like I have lost my way with “The Way” that is The Tao, literally. Have I been wrong? Is this philosophy one that I truly just cannot own because of the make-up of my brain and DNA?
My working life is one of great reward. Teaching is, in my opinion, a noble profession and an important one. The opportunity to shape young children and help them on their way to their own life path’s is one I take honor in. My workplace, on the other hand, is one that’s rather in a constant state of chaos of late, where uncertainty abounds and you never quite know what to expect next. The children are mostly protected from this chaos and are free to learn in a safe and encouraging environment, which I am grateful for.
But the chaos and uncertainty takes its toll on me, as I’m not good with uncertainty, at all. Chaos, I can manage, uncertainty is like the mortal enemy of my brain. This is where I’ve just not been able to fully embrace the teachings of the Tao and where I find myself doubting myself. The Tao says, ‘do nothing’ ‘let things happen’, there is no uncertainty in the Tao because you just believe that things are moving along as they should. The reality of my brain just doesn’t work that way. As much as I’d like or want it to.
Certainly no person can change or improve in a day, a week or a month, so I’m possibly being too hard on myself for feeling like I’m failing in this pursuit of enlightenment. Somehow there is a part of me that knows everything is going to work out the way that it is meant to, that I will find myself next school year in exactly the right place I’m meant to be. So perhaps my enlightenment is just happening in bits and pieces. And possibly I’m not meant to fully embrace only the philosophy of Taoism, but to take the bits and pieces of it that work for me and connect those to other bits and pieces that make me content with me no matter what is happening in my life.
Self-improvement is all about growth and learning. Growth generally has its painful bits as we stretch ourselves out of our comfort zones. So maybe this reality I’m enduring now is really just a stop on the path to what I really want – a me content with me and the world I inhabit.
On a side note: just writing all of that down right now has left me in a better place. Putting it down in words has in some way helped me to understand what I’m going through and that it’s okay and just part of the process. So maybe, just maybe, reality and wants colliding was a good thing right now. Funny how things work out like that.