Martin Palmer said that the Tao is simply getting things done in the right way-- the right way of going about doing something. Anything. Everything. The only thing standing between us and doing things the right way is us. Before we do anything, we only have to stop and remember to do it the right way, the way it is to be done, the way it needs to be done. And do it that way. This is not hard. We only have to get ourselves out of the way. Why wouldn't we do that?
We gather ourselves and step into the day. What do we mean by that? What do we intend? What's the point? What are we going to do with this day? Each day is an addition to our body of work. What do we mean by that? Intend? What is the point of our body of work? Who are we showing ourselves to be in our collection of days? What theme are we developing? What is the nature of our life? Who are we becoming? Who have we become? I look at the various segments that make up my day as mirrors reflecting me to me. I see myself in the ways I respond to what meets me in a day, and evaluate my responses in light of my Ideal Me-- the Me I wish I were-- the Me I live to be. Each day is a practice run toward the Me I would like to be, one situation at a time. It goes better when I take my time, embrace the silence, remember my breathing and know what I know. When I step back, and allow Me to lead the way, surprising me with spontaneous responses to the developing situation-- which is quite different from knee-jerk reactions-- things develop a flow that I am proud to be a part of even as I marvel at how this remark or that action could come from me. Where did that come from? is always a joy to find myself asking, and I think I keep living just to see what I will do next! Coming to trust myself to know what to do has been the blessing and the grace of life through the years, and I face the future with the confidence gleaned from having faced the future into the fourth quarter of my seventy-fifth year.
Everything turns--for better or for worse-- on our being right about what we call good. How good is the good we call good is always the question. Our idea of the good can be anything but good. It is up to us to know what's what with the good we call good. How do we evaluate our values? What guides our boat on its path through the sea? Can it be trusted to know True North from Due South? How do we have our alignment checked? What's a valid plumb line in the arena of the Good? Whose word do we take? What makes us think they know what they are talking about? What is the source of our certainty? How often is it calibrated? Against what standard of accuracy is it measured? Who does the measuring? How good is the good we call good? Who says so? If you are going to assume something, or take it for granted, don't let it be the goodness of your idea of the good!