This post is #32 of 64 hexagrams in a series of posts about the I Ching, an ancient Taoist text that has many ties to the Tao Te Ching. For those of you new to this series, you may want to start by reading my post called “What is a Hexagram?” that helps to explain more about the general idea of the I Ching. If you are just starting this series, you may want to take a look at some of my other posts on the I Ching.
If you’ve been following my blog lately, you may know that I am now offering personal I Ching readings for my readers. If you are interested in getting a reading done, please see my I Ching Readings page and we can set something up for you. I Ching readings are good for helping you navigate those tricky parts in life.
I’m taking an e-course right now by Todd Henry called Louder Than Words. As I was studying this latest hexagram about consistency, it made me think of an example he had in the e-course about creative hurdles. Todd Henry talks about the creative process as having a U shape. In the beginning, you are at the top of the U looking down. The project seems doable, reasonable. You can see the full scope of it and it all looks fine. Then, as you get into the nitty gritty of it, you are buried in the bottom of the U. You often get stuck and can’t see the forest for the trees. Many times, people give up here. But if you slog yourself up the other end of the U, you will find completion. You may have even had a breakthrough.
In Superhuman by Habit, Tynan says…
“Everyone faces fear when pushing out of their comfort zone, but fear alone is not a good reason to avoid doing something. In fact, those times when we are able to confront fear and push ourselves are often the times when we make breakthroughs in life.”
Tynan even goes so far as to say that he often purposely tackles things if he sees fear show up. So what do both of these things have to do with consistency? Consistency is about the slogging part of the U. It is easy to start things, but not always easy to finish them. As we are destined to do when studying the I Ching, we look to nature as a guide to see us through our challenges.
There are many things that are constant in our lives: the Sun, the Moon and the seasons are just a few. Our breath is constant, the fact that we are born and then someday we will die is another constant. These are things that are unquestioned. One of the suggestions that Tynan makes in Superhuman by Habit is to create daily habits. Daily habits give us the benefit of consistency. Things that are consistent over time take up less space in our gray matter. They become habit. We don’t notice our breathing, and we often don’t notice the moon in the sky. This is because they are always there. They have become part of our backdrop.
Although the I Ching is not suggesting creating daily habits per se, it does suggest that we take an inventory of what we stand for. What are those things that you have consistently stood for your entire life? What are the deeper principles that you find yourself coming back to again and again? Todd Henry’s work is all about finding your voice, so my question to myself is, “What am I trying to say?” No doubt this flows back to wanting to somehow echo the ancient words of these beautiful texts out into our present world, where they are so needed. I find no need to enhance them, only to echo them for future generations.
If you are interested in learning more about the I Ching, please feel free to reach out. One site that I find very useful is JamesDeKorne.com, where he has collected many different versions of the I Ching on one site for us to get the flavor of each hexagram.
So what do you think? What are some things that have been consistent in your life? What principles do you stand by? Please share in the comments if you feel inspired. I would love to hear from you.