Catch the transition, own it and love it is the theme of this and may it serve you full well. This is a short but complete protocol for managing those inevitably occurring instances of suddenly finding your personal agenda and related plans at odds with the way events are developing and causing you a set-back, major or minor, but either way enough to provoke distress that can throw you off your stride – and have you back in command of your mental and accompanying emotional processes in a relative jiffy.
It’s important to remember the time-delay effect of performing such interventions on yourself or others – in the same was as you take a painkiller and wait twenty minutes for the effect, you perform the intervention and wait sometimes up to a day but usually no more than an hour, depending on how invested you are in the drama of it all. Obviously the less you tend to allow yourself to indulge in seducing yourself into an internal tragedy movie of your own making, and the less you insist on regarding that as sacrosanct reality rather than a mere self-concocted fiction, albeit a very cleverly produced and convincing one, the faster the effects of the intervention are felt.
And when it comes to managing apparent disaster, the only difference between the master and the un-masterful, is that the master gets off it faster, because they know how to roll with the Tao.
What follows is one crucial aspect of Taoist self-mastery technique, presented in contemporary Wayward Taoist (Barefoot) style.
You have an agenda. You make a plan. You invest in the plan, You even ascribe it quasi-divine ordination. No matter your agenda except perhaps in the extreme case of taking steps to become a total recluse but even then, your agenda will involve other people, more or less directly and will depend for its success on people cooperating, supporting or transacting with you in connection with it. This because no one exists or operates in a vacuum and all of us are interdependent. Even the recluse requires the rest of the world to withdraw from, not to mention various resources and utilities, which are provided by others – even the land the recluse’s lair sits upon is owned by them or someone and requires paying rent, mortgage payments, upkeep costs, taxes and so on – and without a road and the people involved in road building and maintenance and the taxpayers’ money that pays for that they'd not have been able to get there so easily – all of which is an example of universal interdependence even for hermits.
And all other people have their own agendas and associated plans.
And with so many people negotiating so many differing agendas, and with the infinite multiplicity of variables involved in that, your reliance on other people remaining constant and dependable is risky at the least.
Because inevitably with some sort of frequency in everyone’s lives, this complex variance factor will cause events to turn in a different or opposite direction from the one that could have worked for your plan.
And now you enter a transition phase.
Transition phases are powerful and must be respected.
You can be upended by a transition phase, sometimes permanently.
Yet properly negotiated it;s these very transitions that spur your growth by quantum leaps.
So you start by being awake to it.
Meaning to observe and note that you’re being required to quickly adjust your plan, and possibly even your whole agenda in order to keep flowing with the current of your adventure, for there’s no other option that to check out either physically or mentally, and while the challenge of transition may be stiff, the joy of overcoming it when you do, which you have every reason to expect you will, far outweighs any possible merits of either killing yourself or electing for some form of psychological shut-down – for initially save for cases of brain injury, or severe congenital biochemical imbalance mental disharmony and disarray of any sort, does begin as elective, at least at the unconscious level.
This is not intended as disempowering incidentally. To the contrary, knowing it’s we ourselves who elect at the deepest level to generate whatever state of disease exists in whatever way, we then know we also have the same power to elect differently, provided there’s someone around such as your writer for instance to help us know how.
So assuming you elect to face the challenge of adjusting your view and recalibrating your agenda and plan to harmonize with what’s happening rather than what you think should be happening, what you’re dealing with as I say is a brief transition from the former state of confidence and all-is-well through a state of confusion born of assuming you know better than life about what should be so and forgetting life knows better, (I’m referring to the Tao), through the stage of slowly accepting what is, remembering the option to be willing to assume life (the Tao) always has your very best interests at heart and isn’t trying to test you or let you down, neither has it forgotten or forsaken you, nor taken leave of its own senses and become insane, just that you’re as yet unable to get a big enough perspective to see where it will turn to your advantage, through to the phase of eschewing apparent rational thinking consisting in mostly fearful thought-habits to instead acquiesce to trusting the adventure to work out in its messy magnificent way, and to do so far more elegantly than could happen if it was just following your plan, through to the phase of feeling humbled, through to the phase of surrender through to the phase of grace, finally to emerge rebalanced and feeling strong, fearless and let-me-at-them-ready to continue in your stride, without a single moment of it able to spoil or dent your supreme enjoyment of the greatest gift of all, after which all others are lesser, being alive to experience all this in the first place.
That’s the transition.
Once you know that’s what it is, rather than set your goal-making mind on the details, it helps enormously to set it to the task of undergoing the transition with aplomb. Because if you do that, you’ll manage the detailed action aspect with aplomb too.
That’s the frame. Here’s the protocol fleshed out.
1 – note you’re fantasizing worst-case scenarios, projecting them onto the screen behind the forehead, so to speak, making yourself feel afraid of what you’re projecting, investing in the fear, hence investing in the projection and at that point forgetting it’s only a projection, and that by investing in it you’re indulging an unconscious death-urge related wish for it to happen.
2 – acknowledge the worst case scenario and acknowledge the chances of it occurring are (in the vast majority of cases but obviously this can’t be universally stated) incredibly low. Acknowledge also that in the unlikely event it did go that way, you wouldn’t even let that spoil your innate delight in being alive moment-by-moment, but that you’d still groove on the experience no matter how intense it got.
3 – acknowledge also that by far the greater odds are that this current set-back is going to work to your advantage in some as yet un-gleaned way and acknowledge that by choosing to go along with that schema and it’s pretty much inevitable you’ll get exactly that. Even and especially if this runs counter to everything your negativity-based rational mind is shouting in your forebrain.
4 – note yourself deciding to eschew that level of mental processing in favor of backing your entire self into the Tao that’s been producing the effect of you and everyone and everything associated with you and your story all along, so that it can take over running operations for a while, steer the ship for you, so to speak.
5 – acknowledge that everything has its rightful timing and that it’s futile questioning or resisting the timing of what’s actually happening, however at odds it is with your previous version of how you expected things would be best arranged.
6 – acknowledge the Tao loves you, hence provides for you, not because you’re nice or deserve it, but because you are it and it is you (in human form).
7 – dare to expect the intrinsic magic underlying and moving your experience of reality will now perform a world-class trick for you and as you do all of this progressively roll back graciously inside yourself rather than rush forward in panic, and let all you need now be drawn of itself unto you.
This as I say is the way of the master, who merely gets off faster when dealing with disaster because the master knows how to roll with the Tao and that’s what makes the life of a master a proper blaster.
I think it was Lao Tsu who said that, or maybe the Barefoot Doctor, I can’t recall. But either way they/we do it by using this method in context of the whole cornucopia of Taoist methods you’re privy to here, and again may it all serve you full well.