Accomplishing without doing


zen stones

“An integral being knows without going, sees without looking, and accomplishes without doing.” ~ Lao-tzu

Like in the epic stories, I grew to believe that caring deeply makes you strong (not to mention appreciated), and is essential if you set out to fight for you know…all the good stuff that matters. Caring does that for sure, but always showing that you do and how much also makes you very vulnerable and often misunderstood…as in taken for a fool.

You have to be honest and vulnerable in life. Yet in some situations, you also have to deal with people at their own level. I don’t know about you, but this being taken for a fool and treated accordingly (with no retaliation except more love and buckets of sunshine) suddenly gets very tiresome. So I found a remedy. Re-discovered it to be more exact. It sends a clear message without having to use rude words or gestures.

Ideally, you get to the state Lao-tzu describes by easing into it. It’s a state of complete belonging and openness, one where you let go of everything and land smack in the middle of the right spot, knowing it ahead of time without asking, needing or wanting to know. Nobody takes you for a fool either.

But not all situations are so ideal, and we’re not all Lao-tzu. So it’s ok to cheat a little when you’re in a bind.

It starts with a bit of a tantrum. You throw down your ‘sword’ in a very dramatic gesture (preferably onto a stone floor so it makes a lot of noise), and you say“Fine. You win.” Then you allow a bit of anger within yourself as you focus on how and why exactly you’ve had quite enough. And finally, you shrug and say “What-evah” as you turn and leave the scene.

There’s a quote I often see and love…“Don’t mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, my kindness for weakness.” Yet this is what happens all too often. And when it does, fighting back is pointless and ultimately even degrading. As Tywin Lannister reminds us (sorry Starks fans, but he got this one right), “A man who must say “I am the king” is no true king”. Amen.

Ok, so now what?

Now stillness. And retreat. And a blend of detachment and indifference, founded on the softest and yet strongest kind of certainty there is. That knowing…the mystery that is no mystery but is complete certainty, beyond words. There is no room for dispute. There’s only calmness. It’s a bit wicked, even a touch sadistic, because it confuses those who took you for a fool. It’s delicious really.

Imagine you’re sitting with a cup of coffee and some idiot rushes up to you and starts yelling. And instead of yelling back and defending yourself, you sit there and smile, calmly adding some sugar or cream to your coffee, and stirring. And the idiot gets more annoyed and yells even louder. And all you do is smile and stir…smile and stir.

That’s what I’m talking about and a great example of accomplishing without doing.

And here’s another treasure for you to ponder <wink>:

“By letting go, it all gets done.” ~ Lao-tzu

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