There are many ways to improve your overall wellness and quality of life, but if I had to recommend a single path to take, I would recommend listening to the Tao.
What exactly does this mean and how can it lead to holistic wellness in your life?
For those who have never heard the term before, the Tao refers simply to the Way, or Path. It is a natural, primal, and balanced way of living that predates organized religion and materialist philosophies like capitalism, hedonism, and fatalism.
In other words, it is a name given to that which is referred to as “aligned behavior,” or proper balanced living.
Spiritual books and traditions arose based on the Tao, the most famous and obvious of which is Taoism, which is the Path of aligning with the natural order of the universe.
To listen to the Tao is to give up personal beliefs, opinions, and behaviors in favor of natural understanding and acceptance of what is.
There is no room for convoluted beliefs and unnatural behaviors within the Tao. It is here where the Tao shines as a beacon of light for those who seek holistic wellness.
Wuwei and the Root of Wellness
Ask yourself, what is wellness to you?
Holistic wellness is what happens naturally when you marry physical and mental health, with spiritual awareness and proper action.
These two areas are reflective of one another. Often, our choices are limited by our perception and our levels of success, fulfillment, and mood. Likewise, our choices influence these parameters.
Ultimately, perception of the Tao, or a natural order outside of the feedback loop of energy and activity, reveals that for wellness to occur, one must give up improper action and unnatural thinking, in favor of something greater.
Health and life events align when you follow the Tao, or the Way.
The natural pull or drive within us all to come back to nature and align is what mystics call “wuwei.” It is the call of our inner-natures, our true Self.
You want a recipe for wellness? Discover your wuwei and follow it through the darkness.
Much of the suffering and problems in your life are caused by not following the Tao. This is because you have lost touch with your wuwei, your connection with nature.
Without connection with nature and the drive to think and act naturally, you become lost and confused.
This state of being leads you where you don’t want to go, and the results are predictable: unfulfilled longing, apathy, frustration, anger, anxiety, depression, insomnia, weakness, fear.
This is what happens when you are disconnected from nature and our true Way of Being.
Re-Discovering Your Connection With Nature
So how do you do it? How do you bridge the gap between the natural world and your wellness?
Walking the Path isn’t as easy as joining a gym or pledging to give up empty carbs for a month. Our separation with nature runs deep.
You must begin at the source: nature itself.
When is the last time you walked outside for the sole purpose of being mindful and living in the moment?
When is the last time you meditated under a tree?
When is the last time you performed an Earthing and walked with your bare feet upon the dirt?
If I had to guess, it’s been ages.
This is what needs to change: your relationship with the Earth.
You may not at first understand the connection between wellness and nature, but you don’t need to fully grasp what is going on to enjoy the benefits from it.
If you want to invite wellness into your life and begin realignment, follow these simple steps immediately:
- Perform a basic earthing breathwork session by standing on grass or a patch of dirt in your bare feet, breathing in deeply through the nose, and visualizing energy raise up through the soles of your feet to fill your entire body. Exhale through the nose while visualizing the energy leaving the same way it came. Establish a slow and rhythmic flow.
- Practice deep awareness and mindfulness by finding a tree and placing your hand on its bark. Stop and really feel the texture, allow yourself to empty your mind and take note of the sensations that you may feel coming from the tree. Train your awareness so it does not leave the tree.
- Meditate outside on the cycles of change and how you evolved to be a part of them. Feel the sun on your skin, the wind, the ground beneath you. Take the time to “reach out” with your awareness during long meditation sessions. Practice “touching” the environment around you with your mind.
- Let go of your ego and expectation. Let nature fill in the blanks where you once relied on your ego and its desires. Consciously remind yourself to just let things be as they are. Reality as it is made manifest is far more valuable and real than any desires or expectations you have.
- Mentally declare that you are capable of fulfilling the role of our species, as guardians and wardens of the natural world. Decide that you will stand with nature and what is real, rather than fight against it. How does this make you feel? Meditate on the imagery and emotions that may pop up once you decide to align.
Once you follow this line of meditation to its natural conclusion, you will begin to see yourself in the proper light, as a strand in a giant web, a cell in a body. You have a purpose and it is both precious and relational.
Remember, you never need to “manufacture purpose” in your life. There’s nothing you need to find, there’s no magical person or thing that’s going to swoop in and “make your life better.”
Your life improves when you stop cluttering it with expectation and lies. You find purpose once you realize you’ve always had it.
To Walk the Path is to understand that there is no “real life” apart from the natural world and its ends. If your entire life up to this point has excluded the Tao, then of course you’re going to feel lost at sea or disgruntled.
Everything real and substantial in this world begins and ends with the planet and the natural energies around us. We live and die by the physical and metaphysical properties imbued on this planet, millions of years of evolution have brought us to this point, to just “be” and live out our purpose in the web of life.
Materialistic desires and nonsensical goals created by this society are not the longing of the soul. They do not provide us anything substantial and do not feed us.
These distractions are not Tao, they are not the Way.
Though we have to abide by physical societal constraints, it is great folly to believe this is where we are to derive our purpose from.
No amount of jobs, raises, romantic partners, lottery tickets, parties, movies, or any other physical distraction or “life goal” could ever be a replacement for our connection with the natural world and our true purpose.
Purpose is Built Into Your Being
If you are in need of holistic healing, it doesn’t mean you are unwell. It means you are lost.
In a sense, this is reflective of bodily health just as much it is emotional or metaphysical.
Most physical illnesses are not happenstance. They are the result of being lost.
Ill health most often arises from a combination of inactivity and poor diet. Most of the choices we make over so many years decide our health, it is something almost fully within our control.
So to is the case in all aspects of wellness.
Your sickness does not come from some outside force trying to sabotage you. It’s not bad luck. It’s not even fate.
It’s your karma. It’s your choices.
This might be hard for some people to understand. Their ego will fight them tooth and nail, but at the end of the day, you cannot escape the Tao. Neither the results from following it, or the results from ignoring it.
Those who are lost are constantly seeking purpose. They fail to recognize the patterns in their life and in their own mind.
The issue is one of not seeing the larger picture. That seeking purpose and fulfillment outside of yourself will never work.
It’s an idea of materialism that states our “purpose” could ever be anything more than the simple fact of our existence.
Purpose is the feeling of fulfillment, of listening to your inner Self and accomplishing that which feeds your soul.
Nothing, and I mean nothing in the physical world could ever give you this.
Purpose is the end result of following the Tao. It’s not something you find, it’s something you are.
To first know purpose you have to let go of the idea of purpose altogether, because you have been fed lies as to what it is.
What most people believe to be “purpose” is actually unhealthy attachment to vague, unspecified physical outcomes and parameters. The “feeling of purpose” that you get when you get a check from your job or buy a new car is actually a dopamine hit that your ego is relying on like a drug.
It has nothing to do with who you are and your actual purpose in life.
True healing can only occur when you realize that you’ll never find purpose for yourself in these things. Purpose is imbued in you.
The mind-body system is delicate, in the sense that if it strays but a little from the Tao, it can suffer greatly.
Just a bit of unhealthy attachment and delusion can cause decades of misery and trauma.
Earlier I said you must give up unnatural beliefs if you want to find holistic wellness. Perhaps the greatest unnatural belief is the idea that you are on some kind of cosmic treasure hunt for something in the physical world.
You will not find purpose here. That is because the physical world is merely a web of manifestation brought about by the Tao, or the Way of things. It exists for itself, just as you exist for yourself.
You must understand this: no one exists for anyone else. To a further degree, no thing exists for anything else.
This is an hermetic maxim that illustrates the relationship we share with the world. We are connected to everything around us, but that connection is in perfect love and perfect trust, as in accordance with natural law.
There is never any expectation with nature and our connection with other people, animals, and objects. They exist just as you exist, for themselves.
You must lose all attachment to outcomes and physical parameters. Your purpose and your energy must turn inward, toward cultivating inner peace and serenity.
Then you will find, as you align with the natural energies around you, the physical world will align more appropriately to suit your needs.
Part of the reason for this is that you will find that once you let go of many of your expectations and attachments, much of your life is already manifesting according to your will and is fine just the way it is. The ego wants you to believe your life is problematic, because it wants you in a constant fight or flight response.
The other part of the equation comes into play when you realize that you can’t properly accomplish even the simplest of physical goals if you aren’t aligned properly to do so. Manifestation occurs on a level of awareness much higher than the ego and crass expectations.
The Tao is reciprocal. Ask and you will find, and by the same token, the natural world will ask much of you and you will respond accordingly. This is the part we all play, the give and take of life.
But “life” as it were has much to give. Healing is there for the taking, but you must be open to it and aligned for it.
It’s said that the number of blessings you miss while you’re frantically searching for that one morsel of expectation is a hundred to one. You may indeed eventually find a mote of physical accomplishment or pleasure after a years-long search driven by the ego, but while you were busy doing all that apart from the Tao, you missed hundreds of opportunities and enriching experiences that nature handed you on a silver platter.
The last thing to note about healing through the Tao is that healing itself is a soul process. It occurs on the etheric and astral planes.
Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing on the physical plane alone can “heal” your soul. You can’t process trauma, or karma, or relieve yourself of past mistakes or emotional hangups through any kind of a physical medium.
You must aim higher, release these physical expectations, and allow the natural world to “work” on you.
This not only means meditating in nature and allowing the ego to melt away, but also yoga and physical discipline.
Mental discipline is one of the keys to happiness, and it can be achieved in part through physical discipline.
An undisciplined mind can distort reality 100 different ways and find misery where there is none. Part of following the Way is maturing in your sense of Self and taking your rightful place in the web of life.
Use the physical to your advantage, but don’t expect from the physical.
Physicality is here to teach you about your Self, nothing more. It is a reflection, a teaching tool. Do not want from it, do not expect from it.
Learn to dig deeper and “go with the flow” of the Tao.
If you are interested in learning more about the Tao, I highly recommending reading the Tao Te Ching, one of the seminal works of esoteric wisdom of the last few millennia. The entire text can be read as individual mantras or meditations, and also maxims for living a fulfilled life that promotes higher awareness and wellness.