Perspective, use it or lose it – as in when you're blowing everything out of proportion, making mountains out of molehills, taking yourself and your hopes, fears, dreams, and stories too seriously, too personally, when you're forgetting we are all but transient phenomena passing swiftly through the garden of life, you lose your delight.
Yes, the state of perpetual delight, which you could say is the primary promise of regular daily Taoist practice as customarily espoused by your writer, and which from personal experience I can vouch for, eludes you whenever you lose perspective.
All the while we fret over which shoes to wear or why we can't afford this or that, or whether we're getting too old or putting on too much weight, or whether he or she is still interested and will call or now, or how we're going to tell someone it's over, or whether we will ever realise our ambitions,
(these are not autobiographical personal examples incidentally but ones gleaned as a brief snapshot smattering from helping people with their problems for 50 years),
and lose sight of where we are and what's actually happening here, we deny ourselves the state of delight – delight in being alive in this moment regardless of what's been before or what may come next.
The irony of course is that the reason people fret over the passing details of an existence is because they want to feel the delight.
It's just that they're seeking it in externals and externals do not provide delight.
They can trigger it. They can de-trigger it. But the delight and the mechanism that produces it lies solely within.
Firstly where we are is on a planet in infinite space, circling the nearest star at the prodigious rate of no less than 66,000 mph, roughy 30 kilometres per second.
We don't feel the speed because of the gyroscopic effect of the planet's 1,000 mph axial rotation.
The ground beneath our feet though apparently the most solid endlessly reliable resource is in fact only a relatively thin crust surrounding a ball of fire as hot as the surface of the sun.
It's nothing less than a magnificently poky nuclear powered spaceship.
As the planet moves along on its orbital trajectory of the sun, the sun is also moving – it's circling the back hole at the center of the Milky Way at around 400,000 mph.
Meanwhile the Milky Way itself is moving through space at around 500,000 mph.
Compared to that, whether you make it to work on time or achieve your goals or are wearing the right shoes, are plainly inconsequential.
As the planet, the sun, and the galaxy move into different areas of space different influences are brought to bear – this goes way beyond what we think of as astrology, obviously, as that only addresses what the changing influences within our local solar system.
And right now we're clearly moving through an area that's influencing upheaval of every sort.
Our human activity has contributed greatly to and is in any case part of the cyclical effect of an increase of temperature, inevitably producing more extreme weather events as well as causing the land-based ice at the poles to melt and push sea levels upwards.
And no matter how earnestly we discuss it, castigate ourselves for it, and otherwise generally ignore it and hope for the best, the effects of this are already changing the world we know and love, and will do so increasingly.
I say none of this to stir fear – to the contrary. I mention it only to provide the necessary ballast to retrieve perspective in a jiffy.
And while you may find addressing the reality of the enormity of our species' burgeoning collective and individual challenges contradictory to the notion of perpetual delight, it does in fact provide the most effective trigger of all to remind you to be here so to enjoy it while it still exists, rather than waste your time lost in stories in your head that have very little bearing on actual reality even though they seem to comprise what peole refer to as 'the real world'.
Once you've remembered reality by remembering where you are and whats actually happening here, the next stage is to alter your inner realm by shifting the position within whence you're bearing witness to and experiencing it all.
Instead of remaining locked in the front of your body and brain where the internal dialogue, the story-telling and the fear and tension reactions occur, slide back into the rear part of you. Occupy your back fully. Occupy the back sector of your brain. Bear witness to and experience being alive, right here, right now, on this overheating nuclear-powered spaceship ripping through space in vast circles, from back here in the back of you.
Notice the habitual noise in the front related to the relative superficial, has miraculously subsided.
This is important.
Breathe slowly – stop holding your breath (holding the breath is a habit associated with misguidedly trying to numb the self-induced emotional reactions in the belly to the stories you're telling yourself), and breathe freely like a baby.
Soften all your muscles with a command - “Soften now, all muscles”.
Relax your chest in the front there and allow your natural kindly nature to prevail and radiate its kindliness all about, within and without.
Notice that in this moment as you sit in your back, nothing is missing, nothing is alack.
All your needs are provided for in this moment – proof is you're here and not dead.
Agree to allow the next moment to take care of itself (and you), rather than attempt to coerce it into agreeing with your own desires for this or that.
Finally give voice to your deepest intention, in respect of how you'd like the action to develop for you, in the broadest terms.
For instance, that the action develops for you with supreme elegance, everything falls into place with ease, and everyone associated with you benefits, as you do by them, and that you make the very most of and are feeling the delight in each and every moment.
Agree to it. Invest no energy trying to believe it or wonder of it'll come true – simply stay back inside remembering everything is complete in this moment.
Repeat six times:
sitting here in my back, nothing is missing, nothing is alack.
And carry on as you were.
I trust you've enjoyed this, albeit its quite arresting theme, and that it fires you up to enjoy yourself to the full.