When your imagination and your thought are in conflict, your imagination will inevitably win.
Do you have a very difficult time doing anything without your heart being involved? Then don’t exclude your heart. It isn’t necessary. The only way it’s ‘meant’ to be done (if that word has any meaning at all) is the way it’s naturally done.
People often expect great mystical events from meditation, yet most often meditation helps us with mundane living like washing the dishes. There is no grand insight, but meditation can help you get to your heart. That helps in living, even doing the dishes. People expect spiritual wisdom to be somehow removed from life. It’s right at hand, and doesn’t take any effort. To the contrary, it takes a surcease of struggle. Freedom of mind. No domination or imposition of will, and the wisdom for me of my path might not suit you, though on the common ground it might. There is use in mentoring, but not if you don’t go beyond the mentoring. It can be great to have a guru, but is useless if you won’t go beyond talks with your guru.
You can wu wei your dishes, and do them. When “you” aren’t doing them, then the dishes aren’t any burden to you. But when you come to the dishes with “this is how I do dishes” or “I don’t want to do dishes” or “my dishes must be spotless” you add more to the experience than you might want, or perhaps is even necessary.
When I speak of following your inner nature, it can crop up in the smallest of ways. Example. You suddenly feel like you want to do the laundry. In an instant, you may think perhaps that it‘s evening and that laundry ‘should’ be done in the afternoon. Now normally that will run through your head on autopilot. But you can start to see it for what it is and start to wonder why is a rule necessary for doing the laundry? Really how crazy is that? These little things we think, conditioning, are pulling us constantly away from our true way of acting in all kinds of moments. Many think that it’s all too ‘big’ for them. Too much beyond their control. But look closely, and you can find a million decisions a day totally under your control. Change one and the next one shifts.
There is a Taoist saying. The sage does no great thing and yet nothing is left undone. Even in Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’, he says the true warrior succeeds before strife, before it gets to the point of meeting someone head to head. What this means, and what it can mean, is don’t worry about an arbitrary time line or list of goals. Your worry won’t get you there any faster, but as the little things occur and you are moved to do them, just do them. Naturally. Don’t worry about how they get done. Anything worth doing is worth doing badly. If you didn’t worry about the quality of your work you would find rather than getting worse it gets better. You will want to do whatever you do fully. It will just feel right.
With the smallest ‘doing’, doing the ‘I want’ before the ‘I should’ creeps in, the knot in you loosens a little more. You will want clean laundry, or clean dishes. In fact, if you got started on the job at work with the “I want to do this” you would do it. Might even get annoyed if someone interferes.
There is a human way of doing things. If you would optimize and actualize your full potential it doesn’t come from any act of will. Non-doing. Wanting to be something other than you are will only ever lead to resistance, both internally and externally. Give your heart a break, and follow its guidance even in work.
In surrender victory. When you stop insisting that life should be how you want it, you will start acting and expressing yourself without intending to. You’ll find the smallest decisions matter. Your life will look a lot more like what you were visualizing, or you will surprise yourself and discover it was better than your limited imagination. There are so many decisions one makes during a single moment and they all matter. Change one, and it spreads out to all the next moments.
Allow one to be, naturally, and the power of the Tao begins to spread to other parts of your life quite naturally. So go do the laundry when you want, and not when you should. By doing the laundry when you want, you will come to know you do want to.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.