“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

— from Tao Te Ching

Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:

  • Tao Te Ching includes wonderful teachings about the cycle of life, about doing and not doing, as well as acting and waiting.  
  • Many cultures use nature as an example of how we can feel fulfilled in our lives.  For example, if we are observant, we see how leaves change color and fall to the ground, as well as how new buds form and bloom again into new leaves.
  • Depending on where we live, we can decide which seasons are best for planting and which are best for harvesting.

Contemplation Questions:

  • Accomplishing our New Year’s goals, intentions, and resolutions can be confusing and stressful because we may feel uncertain about what we really want.  As you consider yours, ask yourself:
    • Do I really want to invest my valuable energy and time on this?
      • If Yes, label them “Continue.”
      • If No, cross them off the list.
      • If Maybe, mark them “Wait” and set them aside for another time. 
    • Pay attention to how your body feels as you do this.  A “Yes” can feel calm or energizing.  With “No,” we can feel nauseous or tired.  
  • Contemplate your “Yes” list.  Ask yourself:
    • Of everything here, which are most important to me to begin now?
    • When I consider each item, what steps do I need to take to see the projects through to completion?  Note each step, then put them in the appropriate order. 
    • What resources do I already have and what additional ones do I need?
    • Who is best to assist me?
    • Who will be blessed by what I do?
  • Using your planner or calendar, schedule appointments and tasks, blocking specific times when you knew you feel most energized and creative.
    • Be as specific as possible where you can and fill in more details as you go.  Hold a gardener’s mindset so you feel assured about when to water, fertilize, weed, and prune.
    • Set a projected completion date so you can celebrate your harvest.

Remember, throughout this process, to avoid “shoulding” on yourself, so you don’t struggle to do something that would be better done by someone else.  Give yourself as much time and space as you need to contemplate your intentions, create your lists, honor your feelings, and allow divine ideas to unfold.

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