The Study of Humility: Part 3

Reflecting on Mountain

This is part 3 of a series on Humility. To read the other parts, please visit our Humility Page. We have also have a series on Awareness , Stillness and Discipline so please check those out as well if you are interested.

This series on humility is the fourth series in our Tao Te Ching Exploration Project. Throughout this project, we will be discussing some of the basic principles brought up throughout the Tao Te Ching. The principles we will cover are Awareness, Stillness, Discipline, Humility, Flexibility, Consistency, Connection, Service and Leadership. I am sure that there are many other principles that have been discussed throughout the text, but these are the nine topics that I am choosing to focus on over the next several months.

I relate to each principle by focusing our attention on each of the nine chakras, based on the Q’ero Shamans’ chakra system that is explained in depth in Dr. Alberto Villoldo’s book, Shaman, Healer, Sage

. In this system, the chakras extend outside of our human form, which allow us to recognize our greater aspects of being. With nine chakras and nine disciplines, we will end up with 81 essays on living with the Tao in mind throughout every aspect of our being. (Since there are 81 chapters in the Tao Te Ching and nine is a completion number, I felt this was a fitting tribute.)


I hope that you are enjoying the series and will continue to explore with us throughout the rest of the project.


The 3rd Chakra: The Power Center

Power and humility are certainly an interesting juxtaposition!

Power and self-esteem are often falsely wrapped up in a story that “I have to be above it all”. In order to be powerful, I have to have lots of money, I have to have lots of possessions, I have to have the great job. In order to be powerful, I have to appear to the world as if I am above all these things or else no one will respect me. I will be humbled and humiliated if I am discovered to not have this power.

Power and humility almost seem to be opposites.

How do we integrate them? How do we integrate our powerful strength with our humility? How do we work in a powerful space and have our strength be derived from our humility?

How do we do that?

We can see the successful integration in other people. We have a gift for hiding that in ourselves and for seeing it in other people. I know for myself, when there is someone who is humble and they are clearly very strong but they give off a sense of being humble, I know that they are truly strong.

There is a weakness from needing to have your strength displayed…

Know your glory,
But maintain humility.
Become a valley below Heaven.
The world’s valley – always virtuous,
Returns to the simplicity of uncarved wood.
~Tao Te Ching, Chapter 28

The humble place is the stronger position.

If you look at it in terms of Tai Chi, if you are doing pushing hands and you present a strong stance, if it is overly strong it is a weaker position. It is brittle. If you take the yin position and go inward, that has more strength in the end.

Are you strong enough to look at your weaknesses head on? Are you comfortable enough with yourself to be with your weaknesses and allow them to be OK? It is one thing to be with your weaknesses and judge them. It is a different place entirely to understand your weaknesses and have compassion for yourself and for your path.

We are always on a path.

There is a part that is behind us and a part that is in front of us. The word “dao” (tao) in Chinese means path. We can’t expect to just be finished, yet that is what people are seeking. When we are seeking completion (AKA “enlightenment”), we are seeking to get off the path and we are not in this moment.

There is tremendous strength in our humility. Embrace it and learn to love it – in yourself and in others.


  1. I am working on the part of seeing my weaknesses and having compassion for myself and for my path instead of judging my weaknesses or myself for it. Wonderful post. xo
    Suzanne McRae recently posted…Bloom True: my first completed paintingMy Profile

  2. I love this post. At the beginning of the year, my Guides told me that my theme for this year was.. embrace your power. I have spent the first half of the year discovering exactly what that means. I have discovered it is not about having power over others, or even power as in money or position, which is usually what comes to mind. It is all about walking in the realization that I am the one who decides. No one decides my life for me. So many times we give away our power when we try to please others or do those things we think we “should” do, but when we learn to embrace our power then we learn to say “yes” or “no” according to our own internal guidance system, not some external feeling of “I have to do this” or “I should do this” or even “I will feel guilty if I say no.” I like the way you describe how humility and power can go hand in hand.

    • Thanks, Joy. It sounds like you are doing some deep work this year. I think it is so important to consider these things you are mentioning here. Thanks for bringing that into the discussion!

  3. What a great series! I just read all three parts, and enjoyed it very much. And I love the idea that we can choose the humble position (very different from being humbled by something outside of us). Lovely post! Thank you xo
    Cindie recently posted…Comment on The Hidden Meanings in Your Relationships by CindieMy Profile

    • Thanks, Cindie. This is the fourth series in a larger project. I have also written a series on Stillness, Awareness and Discipline so far. There are nine posts for each one as we move through the chakras. My goal is to do NINE PRINCIPLES and NINE CHAKRAS to make 81 posts to match up with the 81 chapters of the Tao Te Ching. I love numerology. Can you tell? 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge