Don’t Take Death Too Lightly

Reflections on Chapter 75 of the Tao Te Ching:


The people are starving
because the government swallows up the money for taxes.

The people are unruly
because the government interferes with their lives.

People take death too lightly
because they are too heavily burdened in life.

One who lives lightly in life
lives virtuously.

 The Tao constantly comes back to simplicity.

If you think about someone who is living in the world right now who is afraid for her life, someone who is afraid they may not get enough water today or they don’t have enough food for their family tonight… all of the things that we worry about in many of our lives are so insignificant compared to that challenge.

People are heavily burdened with just stuff. We have complicated lives with hockey practice, choir recitals and all variety of things. My fridge has stuff in it that has been sitting there for a week and no one ate it. It’s crazy.

Why is it like this?

The more that I have success in my life, the more that I see other people that don’t have that. I want to share it in some way. I want to have the world be more equalized. I want people to appreciate their lives.

If you are complaining about your haircut, how important is that?

It seems like the more details we have, the more money we have, the less we look at the things that are important. What is really important are the basic elements in life – having a shelter over our heads, food in our bellies and having something to drink. Those are the important things in life. Many of us have all of those things.

We don’t need more than that.

We have stuff piled on top of stuff piled on top of stuff. The more we get into that stuff, those complicated lives, the less we see of the real value that life offers. We often live empty lives. There is an emptiness that comes from all that stuff.

You can feel that emptiness in your soul.

When my daughter was about three or four, she used to always say to me when she didn’t like what I was saying, “Mama, you hurt my heart.” It was so heartbreaking! Ouch! Painful. It cut me to the quick. It was usually about minor things, but to her the experience was that her heart was hurting and she had that direct expression of that.  Hurtful events can be fuel for us to change things.  It is those types of challenges that make us strong.

Our heart hurts when life disappoints us.

But life won’t always hurt us. Painful moments come, and then they go. Life is sweet. We have so much abundance in our lives. There is much to be grateful for. I am so grateful for the people who have come to this work and have allowed it to touch their lives and to deepen their lives. That is why I am doing this work. It has that extreme value.

I love hearing your stories. How has working with the Tao changed you?

since coming to this work, I see the Tao everywhere. I was listening to something the other day and someone quoted the Tao and I was like, “Yeah!!” If you put stuff out there, it comes back in waves. Like Michele Bergh, doing her Prosperity Blooms course. I am taking that Prosperity Blooms course with her. That is what this work is about! It is about making your life valuable in the sense that you want your life. If you have too much stuff, you forget to pay attention to the little details. That is not where it’s at!

I’ve been reading The Living I Ching lately and learning how the I Ching helps to explain the patterns of everyday life. It is really quite amazing how things ebb and flow.When you go up and down, it sometimes feels like the tide is going out and you don’t have anything. If you just relax and ride the wave, it will come back. That is good.

That is the flow of life and how it works. 


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  1. I was thinking along these lines last night. I wouldn’t have so much housework if I didn’t have so much stuff. Last night was paperwork. Some of that is not my fault because I did not seek the junk mail. Today I read a blog about getting rid of the mail immediately that you don’t need. I love synchronicity. Thanks so much for the profound yet gentle post.
    Sheila Skillingstead recently posted…Reading my novel aloudMy Profile

    • Oh fun! I am doing the same thing right now! I just went to IKEA yesterday and bought a bunch of magazine files. I am going to use these to store my file folders. I also bought a shelf to store books that end up laying around “without a home”. I will be all set before you know it! Good luck with your project to stay organized. Keep me posted on your results! I would love to hear back!

  2. I come here because your blog always reinforces what I believe in and sometimes reminds me when I forget. We all have too much stuff you are right. I know when I clear some of my stuff it makes me feel much lighter physically and mentally.
    Athena Brady recently posted…Author Interview with Aron JoiceMy Profile

  3. I enjoy reading your fresh take on life, Amy. I too have been taking Michele’s Prosperity class, love getting those daily prompts.
    Striving for simplicity is an ongoing struggle- but something to work towards.
    Sue recently posted…Comment on One fish, two fish…. by SueMy Profile

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  5. Great observations and assertions! Ditto! I strive to live an authentic life. Check out my website when you get a chance. It’s easy to declutter life and focus on what matters most when you live in a tent for awhile.
    Livin’ the dream,
    PR 🙂

    • Hi PR,

      Welcome! I am a huge camper. My family loves camping together. We usually get together on a camping trip at least once a year. Next year, we are planning a hiking adventure in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Four days of hiking with a backpack. Not sure how ready I am for that, but we are going to do it. Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation!

  6. Your blog is always so soothing and refreshing. I am reminded to breathe deeply when I am here.

    We are seeking simplicity in our lives (in my family). We have a little farm. We are experiencing the ebbs and flows, the cycles of life, and how quickly the seasons change.

    We are simplifying, and coming out from under stuff, and realizing how little of it we need. How much easier the house will be to keep clean when all the extra stuff is gone?

    Thank you for your words and your heart.
    Liesl Garner recently posted…The Gravitational Pull of Home and Hearth and IdeasMy Profile

    • Thanks, Liesl. I am right there with you! After cleaning out my office last weekend, I am feeling so much better about my paper tigers!

  7. I have been cleaning up some areas that needed it badly and it sure feels good to simplify my space around me and I so understand what you are saying about how our hearts hurt when life disappoints us. That is exactly how I feel. I really need to check out the i ching you keep talking about. I am fascinated and can’t wait to hear more from you as you do more with it!
    Michele Bergh recently posted…Loving from the InsideMy Profile

    • My standby copy that I always go to is the copy by Ni Hua Ching. I Ching: The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth. Lately, I have been studying The Living I Ching by Deng Ming-Dao. There are many versions. The old gray one by Wilhelm is the standard, but I never go with the standard, do I?

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