Ancient wisdom reminds us
it is not in the doing,
the best things in life you cannot force,
like love, joy, peace, generosity,
forgiveness, and lasting change.
This is hard for our driven minds to understand
we’re used to bulldozing our way through life
to get what we want,
our egocentric work ethic tells us:
good things come to those who work for it.
Yet, nature’s wisdom often laughs
at our constant effort
when she can sweep in to create or destroy
in an instant
or slowly create magnificent rock formations
one drip at a time
so simple and delicate and patient
in no hurry to prove anything,
just letting it unfold.
Yet do not doubt her power and strength
when it is needed.
Anyone swept under her crashing waves
knows to respect her.
Yet she feels no need to strut in pompous achievement
She’d rather unfold her beauty and her mystery
in the blossom of a flower.
As you ponder this way of being in nature,
perhaps you might feel invited
to enter into her flow.
When one takes the time to see
the wisdom of this path,
the whip naturally seems to fall to the wayside.
It no longer makes sense to continue berating
one’s own nature,
for there are destinations for which
no amount of striving can get you.
We know this, but I think we are afraid,
because doing is all we know.
We have not tried on the art of being,
afraid it will leave us naked, powerless.
In fact, part of entering into the Tao,
entails a letting go.
We opt for control, even if it is an illusion.
And so the struggle will continue.
Perhaps pride and fear tell us this is the only way.
Yet glimpses of this truth
will inevitable peek through
like rays of sun that shine in,
when the cloud passes by.
It may come at a moment
least expected and unsought.
Peel away the selfishness and anger,
love and forgiveness are born.
Still the noise,
and a wellspring of intuition will speak to you.
Like an athlete in the zone, or a child playing
there is a doing, without doing.
We are seeing now that we cannot fight for peace
and that we need to respect our environment.
Disasters of our own doing can wake us up
to our need for balance and harmony and respect.
So as we contemplate the lilies of the field
Let us turn to the words of the Tao Tê Ching:
“The Sage is occupied with the unspoken
and acts without effort.
Teaching without verbosity,
producing without possessing,
creating without regard to result,
the Sage has nothing to lose.”
Christi Ortiz is a licensed marriage and family therapist by profession and a poet by passion. She enjoys trying to put to words to that which is wordless and give voice to the dynamic and wild spiritual journey called life. She lives in Spokane with her husband and two children, Emmanuel and Grace. She loves the outdoors and meditating in the early mornings which gives rise to her poetry.