Inspiration – Knowing

This repost just about sums it up for me today. Its one of my favorite passages from the Tao Te Ching.

Photo by Pixabay on

“Knowing the world is intelligent.
Knowing yourself is enlightenment.

Bending the world to your will takes force.
Willing yourself to bend is true strength.

Succeeding in the world yields riches.
Being content with what is yields wealth.

Apply Tao to the physical world and you will have a long life.
See past the physical world to the enduring presence of Tao and death will lose its meaning.”*


New to Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching? Read more about it here and here.

* Translation by Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David (2012-12-02). Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 492-499). . Kindle Edition.

Tao Inspiration – for the times we live In

river rocks

River Rocks by Silvia Hart

Water is unquestionably soft and yielding,

Yet it can carve massive canyons

And sweep away entire cities with ease.

This is because it does not rise up in solid fragility like the structures of humanity,

But flows in low places, fluid and flexible like humanity itself.

There is great strength in what seems weak,

Great instability in what seems strong.

The creation of grand structures implies their inevitable destruction.

Humble, flexible, transitory existence implies true continuity.*

~ Lao Tzu

I find these words somewhat reassuring for the times that we live in. Continuity comes from flexibility and the ability to be fluid to meet what comes along.

There is great strength is what seems weak. Let us go with the flow, and be like water.


*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David (2012-12-02). Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 1028-1036). . Kindle Edition.

* Inspiration – Ground of Being

May this Danna Fauld’s poem fill you with strength and inspiration. “We come from stronger stuff than feelings” 💛

inner landscape

Bonneville Salt Flats

Remember This

Vast and changeless
the ground of being
is not rocked by
ripples on the pond.

The firmament from
which we spring, the
divinity at the heart
of things doesn’t wax
or wane with mind states,
or wither in the wind.

We come from stronger
stuff than feelings.
Essence does not fail
or fade, diminish or
trade reality for illusion.

We are wordless, wide,
and wise beyond time.
Within us is a flame
of truth that never dies.
Let that be the focal
point of life. Let that
be the light that guides
us from the shadows.

~ Danna Faulds

What’s the Difference Between Strength and Courage?

Courage comes from the French word “coeur” meaning heart. Being courageous means facing our fears and coming from our heart rather than our head. Its a place where we face our vulnerabilities and overcome them through compassion and love. As a child in Scotland I was told I had to be strong.

Scottish-LuckenboothThis isn’t just a family legacy, but a whole cultural one! We Scots are independent and strong. But we also have big hearts, often hidden behind the strong exterior. The Scottish Luckenbooth symbolizes our heart and our national pride…. But I’m getting sidetracked here!

Here is an inspirational poem about the difference between Strength and Courage to help you choose for yourself. If anyone knows the author, please let me know. Val x

The Difference Between Strength and Courage 

It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to stand guard,
It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt

It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide your own pains,
It takes courage to show them.

It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another

It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.

~ David L. Griffith

Whenever you feel you have neither, may the heart of the universe hug you today with its warmth, and love.

And may the wind carry a voice that tells you there is a friend sitting in another corner of the world wishing you well!


* Strength and Courage in Life

Not too long ago I shared a poem from an unknown author about the difference between strength and courage. It is very inspiring. Many of us think of strength and courage as being similar, but in my experience their essence and their impact are very different.

To make this really resonate, take a moment and ask yourself these two questions as I did:

  • What is the strongest thing you have ever done?…..

When I think of the answer .. words that come up for me are willpower, tenacity, stick-to-it-ness, pushing, driving, reaching, perseverance, battle through, grit, not caving in … acts of will.

  • What is the most courageous thing you have ever done? …..

When I think of the answer … its all about facing my own fears… being vulnerable… opening my heart.

woman walking into futureCourage brings about personal change and often leads to profound insights and transformation.

The most courageous people I know are curious, compassionate, accepting, forgiving and open. They have gone through many highs and many deep lows of life and found their Middle Ground to nourish, replenish and inspire themselves and others. They are life’s thrivers.

Strength strengthens and often reinforces the existing structure.

The strongest people I know are single minded, headstrong, know what is right,  are somewhat inflexible and usually intense. They have persevered through the highs and lows of life yet find it hard to connect  to their own Middle Ground and a sense of peace. They are life’s survivors.

Bring courage and strength together however, and we can change not only ourselves, but the world.

change the world  Namaste

* To be Whole …

interconnected and opposite in nature

“To be whole, let yourself break.
To be straight, let yourself bend.
To be full, let yourself be empty.
To be new, let yourself wear out.
To have everything, give everything up.

Knowing others is a kind of knowledge;
knowing yourself is wisdom.

Conquering others requires strength;
conquering yourself is true power. “

Lao Tzu from The Tao Te Ching

These wise words remind me of the opposing nature of things and how acting in the opposite way may bring us what we yearn for. Knowing ourselves fully takes courage … to look at the opposing natures within ourselves.

What resonates with you?