The poet John Keats said that "negative capability" is a key ingredient for any artist. We demonstrate negative capability when we allow ourselves to remain present in the face of uncertainties, doubts and fear without emotional outbursts, bringing drama or reaching for fact or reason to use as a scapegoat or a life rope. When we, humans, are at our best, we become the artists of our personal life portraits. We can then be at the helm of our own ships, navigating the waters of life, able to overcome impatience and abstain from the need to control.
The Tao Te Ching tells us that all nature follows this process moving from conception to creation one step at a time.
A tree that grows beyond your reach
Springs from a tiny seed.
A building more than nine stories high
Begins with a small mound of earth.
A journey of a thousand miles
Begins with a single step. -- Tao #64 Lau Tzu 500 BCE
As we develop greater strength of character, we're able to face the unknown and to create new possibilities for ourselves. We begin to learn to detach and to recognize the cycles and the patterns that are always evolving within us and around us.
Everyone has moments of self-doubt when facing the unknown. Many of us are facing financial problems, some losing the family home to foreclosure. Some marriages are facing dissolution, either as a part of this sort of situation or due to some other marital malaise. The key is to remember that life is a journey, and we are always charting new paths. The more complex our lives, the more our courage, faith and resolve are tested. The question becomes, can we stay centered and keep moving forward?
The life process is much larger than we are. Conflict, challenges and the unknown will always be a part of the human experience. When faced with uncertainty, re-label this "bad feeling situation" as "contrast." As my old track coach use to tell me, when faced with a limit, a block or a disappointment: "Train through it." Be aware that contrast is a normal and healthy part of life's journey. Whether it is an illness, a financial problem or a familial issue, the key is not how to avoid problems, but how we face them, how we respond. Once faced with uncertainty or fear, "train through it." Set a clear intention; declare a set of behaviors in alignment with what you really want to have happen or become manifest. Listen to what the universe sends you back in response. Then detach and allow things to unfold or adjust your intention, and declare a different set of behaviors. Relish in the journey of life in the natural. The only reason that something "is" or "feels" bad "is because" we were taught that it should. (See my book, Its None Of My Business What You Think Of Me.) This is only our ego asserting itself. Don't buy into that if at all possible. You are spirit first, mind and body second. With that in mind, we are already immortal. (So, check that off your list.) It also means that changing one's perception changes the reality of any given life situation. Every life situation is a good one. Life without our bodies (portal into this universe) is pretty boring. No sight, no hearing, and no music to dance to. The life situations that we experience are just that, music to dance to. Be the intentional painter, artist; each day you add yet another color, another shade to the portrait called your life.
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"Think Yourself Young" now for sale - I discuss diet and meditational techniques according to the Tibetan Monks that I was able to interview living amongst them while at the Lama Temple in Beijing China. These folks appear to be able to stop physiological time dead in it's tracks with the net result being a high quality life beyond 120 years.
Check out this live interview. Copyright 2011.