Embrace the Mystery of Who You Are In This Very Moment

IN THE MIDDLE OF the night, I woke to embrace the sound of unexpected rain falling from the sky. I smiled amid my dreaming state, joyfully awaiting the fresh morning to come.

I got up a few hours later to a drizzly grey dawn; I was about to begin my normal routine before working: meditate, get the blood moving, read. My mind told me go; begin, there’s much to do.

But my body told me stop, look around; there’s much to see. You have all that you need, just go.

I felt a call to step into the rain, so I left my house to connect with the world, to think about life and the oncoming day.

The rain kept falling, although barely perceptible to my eye like the grainy noise of a timeless photograph. I could feel it with an outstretched hand.

The striking colors of the flowers edging the street and those in the road became darker, but no less brilliant. I didn’t plan to start the day like this, following the signs of a midnight rain.

With my gaze set forward, I continue to work towards a future that feels earned. I’m working on something that I love, where hard work plus patience will turn what was once just a dream into a reality. Every minute of every day feels valuable.

It can feel like there’s much to prepare for if I want to become all I can be. But to look forward, not around, is to miss the mystery of the day.

To not stop and look around is to miss the mystery of who I am right now.

On this morning I listened to my body and followed the smell that I love so much — the awakened Earth.

This departure from the norm and my morning routine felt synchronistic with something beyond me, as if I wasn’t in control. The mystery of the day started to unravel.

This moment brought to mind a profound lesson I’d come across over the weekend from the Tao-Te Ching.

As the morning unfolded, I contemplated how the following stanza relates to my individual journey, but also to our collective human experience:

The Tao is both named and nameless.
As nameless it is the origin of all things;
as named it is the Mother of 10,000 things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery;
ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations.
And the mystery itself is the doorway
to all understanding.
Seeking the Way

This comes from the first chapter of the Daodejing (Tao-Te Ching), the Classic (Jing) of the Way (Tao) and Virtue (Te), the ancient scripture of Taoism believed to be written in fifth or sixth century BC China by the philosopher Laozi.

The Tao signifies the Way and the middle path of harmony.

The text was later compiled into its more formal collection in the fourth century BC, although it’s debated whether Laozi was an actual person, if the Tao-Te Ching was written by a single author, and when the text was consolidated.

Regardless of who wrote about the Tao and when, its profound teachings can help us better understand who we are, how we may find gratitude in all we are, and how we might live in accordance with the Way, no matter the era we call our own.

At One With the Naturalness of Life

There’s something inspiring to be taken away from practically all ancient scriptures, as their teachings have shaped the world we inhabit for millennia.

But what I take away from the ancient world in which the Tao-Te Ching derives is a gentle simplicity, a desire to be still, at one with the Earth and the deeply embedded energy which makes it turn.

This early morning outing was the latest of events over the last couple of weeks that felt beyond my doing. Like stars aligning in the sky, I feel at one with the mystery of life.

Cleansing both me and the Earth, the rain cleared my mind to allow in nothing but gratitude and a welcomed peace.

To me, the Way — balance — means planning for the future, but living for today. This is easier said than done, but it’s how I strive to live.

Yet, we’re simply human beings working with what we know, what we’ve always done, and what we see around us.

When we keep our head down and work towards something far off, hoping then that we may enjoy life, we miss what’s right in front of us.

We miss the mystery of now.

Stillness in the Mystery

In that mystery, we can cultivate a stillness no matter what the day has in store. When we ask questions and stop moving even for a moment, we may learn about ourselves in ways that we’ve never previously explored.

The Tao is both named and nameless.
As nameless it is the origin of all things;
as named it is the Mother of 10,000 things.

From my perspective, the Tao is the origin of all things as the energy which binds us; before modern civilizations, before the dawn of humankind, before the first organisms on Earth, this energy existed.

Imagine this world as the Earth we inhabit now, where chaos and order ebbed and flowed, where unfathomable processes created life.

As named, it is the Mother of 10,000 things — this energy has brought about our modern-day, the birds in the trees, the cars on the road, the heart beating in your chest, for nothing could exist without it.

Finding Gratitude In What We Have

Today, I felt called to break from my usual routine to go embrace the world. Like a flower brought to life, the rain gave me energy; the rain was a sign to seek the mystery and follow life, brought about from some distant time and place.

What if we could wake up every day and approach the new day as a mystery waiting to be unraveled, regardless of what we have to do or the tasks on our schedule?

Imagine if we could wake up and before the noise of the world flooded in, we’d wait patiently in the stillness so our body could adjust, and we’d simply give thanks.

From a place of gratitude, we could step into the beautiful mystery, not needing to know what’s to come, not seeking some exterior validation in who we are, but grateful for who we are and all that we have.

Ever desireless, one can see the mystery;
ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations.
And the mystery itself is the doorway
to all understanding.

We all have countless desires. I do no less than anybody else. We place so much emphasis on becoming, on achieving, on doing, and we often get caught in believing once we get there, we’ll find the time to be still.

Once we finish the job, once we better ourselves, we’ll be happy, content, satisfied. But are we?

Loving Who We Are Right Now

Just as we place importance on achieving, it’s human nature to believe we’d be happier if we had what they had. It’s a daily challenge to truly love ourselves as we are.

Each of us has gifts, talents, a mind like nobody else; but too often, we’re seeking the answers in the wrong places. We’re led to believe that if we had what he had, or she had, then we’d be happy.

Instead of finding sincere joy in our individuality, we see our strengths as weaknesses. If we let it, this mindset will drag us down from the moment we get out of bed.

The answers to find inner joy, inner peace, inner fulfillment are far from obvious; that’s why we’ve been writing about them for thousands of years.

But I believe there’s something powerful in this message of embracing the mystery of every day, the mystery of nature — therefore, of ourselves.

We are nature, for we embody the most beautiful mystery of all, what it means to be a human being.

You don’t have to be anybody but you. Take a chance and be an explorer of our modern-world. Be an explorer, fascinated with all that you are.

See each day as a wonderful mystery, waiting to be experienced in a way that only you can.

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