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The Delicate Balance: Finding the Middle Way

feather and stone balance

Inspired by the ancient book of wisdom; The Tao Te Ching: Verse Twenty-Eight

Know the masculine, hold to the feminine
Be the watercourse of the world. Being the watercourse of the world
The eternal virtue does not depart. Return to the state of the infant
Know the white, hold to the black. Be the standard of the world
Being the standard of the world; the eternal virtue does not deviate
Return to the state of the boundless. Know the honor, hold to the humility
Be the valley of the world. Being the valley of the world
The eternal virtue shall be sufficient.
Return to the state of plain wood

Plain wood splits, then becomes tools. The sages utilize them
And then become leaders. Thus the greater whole is undivided

                                                                                           Lao Tzu

At the core of compassion fatigue is the feeling of being spent and blind to options. One can feel absolutely overwhelmed by a sense of isolation. If those trying to recover from this syndrome have the courage to be totally honest with themselves; they can also connect with a subtle sense of nobility that hovers over this painful feeling.

Right there is where the work needs to be done. There is nothing righteous about feeling alone or victimized. In verse twenty-eight, Lao Tzu once again reminds us that we are all a part of this profound Great Oneness. The only fee charged to belong fully to this community of souls is to live a balanced life with virtue.

To create a virtuous life you must use the building blocks of essential goodness and loving kindness. You begin by recognizing the essential goodness in all living things. Seeing the essential goodness in everyone connects you to the community of souls at a cellular level.

The fact that you are part of this great creation slowly becomes tangible and undeniable. Then offer loving kindness and compassion to yourself. Only then can you extend true loving kindness and compassion to another. Nowhere is self-sacrifice recommended as a means to an end.

Living a balanced life means following the middle way. In Feng Shui we refer to this as honoring the Yin Yang principles which are the most important aspect of any Feng Shui practice. Yin and Yang are opposite but they represent the two sides of the same coin.

In essence, Feng Shui practitioners work to design an environment that reflects the feminine and masculine aspects (energetic not gender) of nature and in doing so; create a harmonious space. No feature of the room dominates the other. This environment then supports you as you try to live the middle way.

The middle way becomes the foundation for your ability to form relationships and stay connected. When we live in this manner, our actions and words come from a place that is full. We acknowledge our connecting to the flow of all things. There are no victims. There is no need to assign blame or conjure up any resentment. You are able to carve your life without splitting the wood.


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